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Significant stride in country's economy

5 foreign units at BSMSN ready to go into operation

Published : 03 Sep 2021 09:30 PM | Updated : 04 Sep 2021 12:49 AM

Country's economy is waiting to see a significant stride as five foreign industries are ready to go into production in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar (BSMSN) soon. 

Covid-19 pandemic situation had slowed down the pace of the construction work of dozens of industries in this largest economic enclave.  

"These five factories are almost ready to go into production and are waiting for final clearance from foreign experts who are expected to arrive in Bangladesh soon," said an official of the BSMSN. 

A senior official of the economic zone said the Covid-19 has slowed down the work of entrepreneurs. Even then, the construction work of 13 industrial establishments in this industrial city is nearing completion, he added.

He said the construction work of Zhuzhou Jinyuan Chemical Industry Company Limited of China was completed a year and a half ago with  an investment of US$ 28 million on 10 acres of land of the industrial city. Entrepreneurs returned to China after the outbreak of Corona in March, 2020.

Construction work of Nippon & McDonald's Steel Industries Ltd, a steel sheet processing plant, was completed about five months ago. McDonald's Steel Building Industries of Bangladesh set up this factory in a joint venture with Nippon Steel Trading of Japan. In addition to the joint venture, another factory of McDonald's Steel Building Products Limited is in the final stages of operation.

"The two factories have been set up here on about 100 acres of land at a cost of USD 6.0 crore," said the BSMSN official. 

When contacted, a senior official of McDonald's Steel said that the joint venture factory was scheduled to start production in April-May this year but the owners shifted the schedule due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Asian Paints, an Indian company, was scheduled to start production in June but Covid-19 halted the production of this factory. This factory has been built on 20 acres of land and now the last minute work is going on.

Construction work of two more factories is also going in full swing as the infection of second wave of Covid-19 is showing improvement.  Modern Syntex Limited's factory is being built on an area of about 20 acres with an investment of US$15 crore.  "Around 50 per cent of the construction work of this industry has already been completed," said an official.

Sources said Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) has so far received investment proposals amounting to around US$20.13 billion from 153 investors for BSMSN in Chattogram for setting up their factories.

The zones authority has already allocated over 6,000 acres of land to the investors.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of the EZ on February 28, 2016.

In BSMSN, BEZA has already allocated a total of 6,131 acres of land among the investors, including Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority (BEPZA) Economic Zone, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Garments Village and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Zone.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar is one of the most suitable sites for setting up industrial establishments in the country, a senior official of BEZA said.

He said it is along the strategic location of Dhaka-Chattogram industrial corridor as business and living cost are significantly lower at Mirsarai as well as in Chattogram division than other developing cities in the world.

BEZA is developing the industrial city with a view to encouraging rapid economic development through increase and diversification of industry, employment, production and export.

The industrial city is being developed on around 30,000 acres of land touching three upazilas- Mirsarai, Sitakundu and Sonagazi- under Chattogram and Feni districts respectively. It is located on the mouth of river Feni covering 25 kilometers of coastlines of Sandeep channel of the Bay of Bengal.

BEZA is in the process of developing a comprehensive master plan including incorporating seaport, rail connectivity, marine drive, residential area, tourism-park, power plant, hospital, school and university for developing this self-contained industrial city.

Various types of industries, including garments and its supporting industries, agro-products and agro-processing products, integrated textiles, leather and leather goods, shipbuilding, motorbike assembly, food and beverage, pint and chemical, paper and products, plastics, light engineering (including auto-parts and bicycles), pharmaceutical products, power and solar park will be set up in the industrial city.

The city is expected to create employment opportunities for 1.5 million people within next 15 years and ensure $15 billion export from this industrial enclave.