Jananese companies consider SEZs as attractive destination

Many Japanese companies are showing keenness to set up their factories in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) areas as they consider the SEZs as comfortable investment destination.

In view of this, Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA) is developing a SEZ exclusively for the Japanese at Araihazar upazila in Narayanganj district. Last year, Honda Bangladesh started operation of their new factory at Abdul Monem Economic Zone while Sakata Inx, a globally reputed Japanese liquid ink manufacturing company, is going to set up an ink factory in the Meghna Industrial Economic Zone (MIEZ) in Narayanganj, reports BSS.

Talking to BSS, BEZA Executive Chairman Paban Chowdhury said many Japanese companies are showing interest to invest in different SEZs, including Moheshkhali Economic Zone and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Industrial City comprising the Miresharai, Sitakunda and Feni Economic Zones in Chattogram.

BEZA is providing all sorts of support to the investors in the economic zones for running their business smoothly and as a result, many companies from home and foreign are setting up their factories in the zone areas, he added.

Like many other Japanese companies, Rohto-Mentholatum (Bangladesh) Limited, a concern of Japanese Rohto Pharmaceutical Company Limited, is also considering setting up a manufacturing factory in SEZ area in future.

“We would need a full-fledged manufacturing facility in the future. Considering the challenges of land acquisition and formalities of all the other approvals and licenses required for a plant, SEZ might be a better option for companies like us,” Chief Operating Officer of the Rotho-Mentholatum (Bangladesh) Limited Prodip Das told BSS.

Describing their business, Prodip said, in general, Japanese companies tend to start with one or two of their successful brands to understand the market and their acceptance to the local consumers.

“Once they see the potential, they go for further investment such as manufacturing plants. Rohto would follow the same strategy,” he added.

“Around eight years ago, we started our journey in Bangladesh. Now, we have a small packaging factory near Dhaka where we mainly produce face wash products. Depending on the business growth, we are open to invest more in factory,” he said.

Responding to a question on the existing business environment in the country, Prodip, also vice-president of Japanese Commerce and Industry Association in Dhaka, said the environment is good and for this, Bangladesh’s economy is growing fast.

He said “Bangladesh is a unique country. Huge people are living in a small place. So, the marketing or reaching a consumer is easier compared to many other countries in the world. It seems a potential market for many foreign Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies.”

He said the stable government and peaceful political situation are attracting foreign companies and Japanese companies are among them. “The country’s economy is growing, infrastructure is also developing,” he added.

Besides, the diplomatic relationship between these two countries is very good which is working as a motivating factor for the Japanese investors, he opined.

He said the security level in the country is getting better as the law enforcement agencies are giving their highest efforts to ensure safety and security for all people, including foreigners.

ROHTO is a global health and wellness company, providing non-prescription drugs, healthcare, and personal care products to consumers worldwide. Rohto is dedicated to providing effective solutions that not only satisfies also exceeds customer’s expectations. ROHTO’s business arena includes eye care, health care, skin care, internal ‘medicines and functional cosmetics.

In the global span, ROHTO has presence through subsidiaries and distributions in more than 150 countries.