Global conglomarates eye Bangladesh

$20b fresh investment proposals received for EZs


The government has received fresh investment proposals worth $20 billion in several Economic Zones, which will be implemented by the next four years.

According to Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA), entrepreneurs from China, Japan, Malaysia, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Australia, South Korea, Singapore and India have made those investment proposals.

Officials concerned told Bangladesh Post that leading global conglomerates now view Bangladesh as an attractive destination for making fresh investments, thanks to a number of initiatives taken up by the present government to develop the country’s infrastructure and communication sectors and liberalise business policy.

For an investment friendly infrastructure, land, power and gas are some basic requirements. Foreign investors are getting all kinds of the infrastructural supports at the economic zone areas, which draws them to make more investments here. International business partners are interested in making fresh investments especially in manufacturing industry including steel, electricity, food processing, garment accessories, construction materials, painting and petro chemical products.

Abul Kasem Khan, former president of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) said, "We are observing that foreign investment proposals are coming in huge volumes and most of the investment proposals are coming to economic zones, adding a new dimension to the country’s industrialization”.

He went on saying that apart from making investment proposals the foreign business giants have also taken lease of land in several economic zones.

The foreign investors are coming to the government and private economic zones with investment proposals. A number of factories in special economic zones have already started their production, he added. Paban Chowdhury, Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) said “We are getting huge response from foreign investors as they are getting all kinds of infrastructural supports at the economic zones.”

He said a number of industries in six private economic zones have already gone into production. The factories in Bangabandhu Economic Zones will start their production within a short time. Factories in Japanese and Chinese Economic Zones will start their operation in 2021, he added. BEZA data showed that Japan's world-renowned Nippon Steel Company wants to invest $59.19 million to manufacture fabricated steel as building material.

Malaysia's Younmetall International Limited has a plan to invest $19 million for manufacturing steel rake while China's largest company Beijing Jaininkans Limited has a proposal to invested $ 304 million in 200 MW of solar power generation. Another major company Hangzhou Jinzun Group Company Limited will invest $ 2.5 billion to set up a 1320 MW coal-fired power plant, according to BEZA.

Rupali Chowdhury, former president of Foreign Investors’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) said the economic zones are playing a vital role in attracting foreign investments. In the economic zones the investors are getting land easily which is very hard in other places, she added. She, however, pointed out that it is necessary to improve services and tax benefits, ease bureaucratic tangles, and improve road communications to attract more investments.

According to BEZA, the government has embarked on an initiative to establish 100 economic zones across the country by 2030. To this end, the government has already passed “Bangladesh Economic Zones Act-2010” and formed the Economic Zones Authority (BEZA). The BEZA has approved 82 economic zones so far. Of these, there are 54 government economic zones, 23 private and 4 for China, Japan and India. Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) will also establish an economic zone.

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