More companies keen to develop economic zones

Large private corporations are growingly showing their interest in making investment through setting up new economic zones thanks to the friendly investment climate prevailing in the country.

In response to a business opportunity offered by the government under Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA), 10 large business groups are establishing 13 economic zones, across the country.

The zones have already started attracting local and foreign investments.

Finding this opportunity attractive, around 20 more business groups have submitted their interest to establish economic zones in different parts of the country.

Sources in BEZA said renowned entities like Abul Khair Group, City Group, TK Group, Saad-Musa Group, East Coast Group, Magura Group, Alliance Group and Standard Group have submitted proposals to BEZA to get pre-qualification licences for establishing private economic zones.

Aman Group and Abdul Monem Group placed new proposals for their second economic zones.

As of now, BEZA has awarded prequalification licences to 10 companies for establishing 13 economic zones under the Bangladesh Economic Zones Act, 2010. Of the licence awardees, AK Khan Group is establishing the ‘AK Khan Economic Zone’ in Narsingdi on 200 acres of land, Abdul Monem Ltd is setting up ‘Abdul Monem EZ’ at Gozaria of Munshiganj on 300 acres of land, Aman Group in Narayanganj on 90 acres of land, Bay Group in Konabari of Gazipur on 65 acres of land, Meghna Group is establishing two economic zones in Narayanganj on 245 acres and 80 acres of land, Unique Group in Narayanganj on 55 acres of land, Maisha Group in Keraniganj on 51 acres of land, United Group on 2.5 acres of land in capital’s Satarkul area, Akij Group on 100 acres of land in Mymensingh and Bashundhara Group is establishing two economic zones in south Keraniganj’s Pangaon and Hazaribagh on 223 acres and 218 acres respectively.

BEZA source also said many companies are also showing interest in making investments in the proposed economic zones. BSRM Group of Companies, Runner Group, Summit Corporation Ltd, Bengal Group of Industries, Omera Fuels Ltd and Energypac have already proposed to make investments in several economic zones.

According to official data of the private economic zones, 10 out of 13 economic zones have so far directly invested $938 million in the facilities.

AK Khan EZ has invested $35.17 million, Abdul Monem EZ $54.65 million, Meghna Economic Zone 163.88 million, Meghna Industrial EZ 55.35 million, Aman EZ $307 million, Bay EZ $76 million, Arisha EZ of Maisha Group $ 150.63mn, United IT EZ $6 million, Sonargaon EZ of Unique Group $40 million and Akij EZ has directly invested $49.66 million in their respective zones so far.

Paban Chowdhury, Executive Chairman of BEZA, said it is a positive development for the country’s investment and the private economic zones are helping to attract foreign investment and leading to a well-planned industrialisation regime.

Mentioning that more private companies have submitted proposals for establishing economic zones, he said BEZA is scrutinising the proposals. BEZA has already granted 13 pre-qualification licenses for establishing economic zones.

He also expressed hoped that the proposed economic zones will bring a major breakthrough in the country’s investment scenario.

Sources said almost every economic zone authority has completed the necessary arrangements to bring foreign investment in their respective facility.

They also said the investment volume will increase by many folds in the upcoming years after getting the final licenses. As of now, Meghna Economic Zone and Abdul Monem EZ received the final license after meeting the criteria set by the government. Meghna Economic Zone has already received more than Tk 2000 crore in investments from local and foreign investment in its EZ.

“We have completed all the necessary preparations and waiting for final the license. As of now, we have received $50 million in foreign investment for the Bay Economic Zone,” Bay EZ spokesperson Nowshad Hasan told daily sun.

The government has set a target to develop 100 zones by 2030 on 75,000 acres of land for creating jobs for one crore people and fetching $40 billion in investment.