The government will set up a green industrial zone on 2,000 acres of land in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar (BSMSN) to attract foreign and local investors in the post-Covid-19 period.
To this end, the Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (Beza) will take up a project at a cost of Tk4,356 crore. The World Bank will provide Tk3,970 crore in loans for the project.
The Beza has sought the remaining Tk386 crore at 1 percent interest from the Finance Division to implement the project, to be called "Private Investment and Digital Entrepreneurship", between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2025.
A number of countries have been shifting their investments from China to other countries. Bangladesh is taking various initiatives to come by part of these investments.
If the 2000 acres of land in the Bangabandhu industrial city are prepared quickly, it will be possible to meet investors' demands.
The Development Project Proposal has already been prepared, with the Project Evaluation Committee (PEC) giving its go-ahead in a meeting held last June to present the project to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council for its final approval.
The PEC also suggested forming a company named "BSMSN Development Company" as per Beza law.
Beza officials said under the new project, a 30-kilometre four-lane road, water supply and sewerage system, central effluent treatment plant, desalination plant, stream network, solid waste management plant, biogas plant, waste sorting and material recovery, rooftop and floating solar would be set up within the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar-2.
An investors' club, a furnished one-stop service centre for BSMSN, an emergency response centre, a skill development centre, a child care and an emergency health centre will also be built.
Beza officials said the project aimed at creating an enabling environment for private investment and sustainability and job creation in economic zones.
Paban Chowdhury, executive chairman of Beza, said they want to turn the entire economic zone into a green place.
"Initially, we will develop 2,000 acres of land as a green economic zone with the help of the World Bank. We hope that foreign investors will be attracted to the zone in the post-Covid-19 era," he added.
The Bangabandhu industrial city is being developed on 30,000 acres of land touching three upazilas – Mirsarai, Sitakunda and Sonagazi – under Chattogram and Feni districts respectively. Various types of infrastructure are being constructed for its development.
With the World Bank's support for the period 2014-2021, under the Bangladesh Economic Zone Development Project Phase-I, 90 percent of the 2000 acres of land in the two zones (BSMSN-1 and BSMSN-2) of this industrial city have been filled and developed fully for industrial purposes. The land has already been allotted to a total of 104 industrial units in BSMSN-2.