New economic zone near capital...

Dhaka, Wednesday   12 August 2020

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New economic zone near capital

 Staff Correspondent

 Published: 04:08 PM, 4 July 2020   Updated: 09:49 PM, 4 July 2020

File Photo

File Photo

The government has taken initiative to establish a large economic zone in Nawabganj, very close to the capital, to encourage planned industrialization, employment, production, export growth and diversification and taken various steps to build the country’s economy through rapid economic development of the country and employment of a large working population.

It is learned that the Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA) will establish this economic zone on 874 acres of land. Meanwhile, BEZA has already sent a Detailed Project Plan (DPP) to the Prime Minister’s Office at a cost of Tk 1,702 crore. 

BEZA says the proposed economic zone is 39 km from Dhaka, 3 km from Kamalapur railway station and 256 km from Chattgoram. So this economic zone will attract the investors. With the approval of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, production will start here in four years.

Paban Chowdhury, executive chairman of BEZA, said, many world-renowned foreign companies are coming up with big investment proposals. Their interest in the economic zone has opened the door to immense potential for the economy of Bangladesh. So, the government has taken initiative to establish a big economic zone in Nawabganj to open the door for domestic and foreign investment.

Mentioning the overall investment situation in the economic zone to be set up in Nawabganj, he said the project has two objectives. “The first is to arrange land for the removal of as many dangerous industries as there are in the capital. Second, to arrange land for domestic and foreign investors who want land around Dhaka,” he added.

“Out of 874 acres of land, 834 acres are privately owned,” Paban Chowdhury said, adding that there is no settlement in these lands. Moreover, one part of the year is underwater, the rest of the time is farming. The Dhaleshwari and Ichamati rivers are very close to this region. As a result, the proposed economic zone will also have waterway connectivity.

According to BEZA sources, small and medium industries will get priority in Nawabganj. Old Dhaka’s chemical, plastic and light engineering industries will get special benefits. The economic zones' authority is also keeping in mind the needs of foreigners. 

The Nimtali or Churihatta tragedy proved how dire the consequences of unplanned industrialization or industrialization in residential areas can be. The lives of many people have been burnt to ashes in these two horrific blaze incidents. Although various organizations have taken initiatives to make Old Dhaka safe, no result has come. As a result, steps have been taken to build an economic zone near the capital, BEZA sources told. 

BEZA chairman said the green policy will be followed in the construction of the region. There will be designated areas for reservoirs and afforestation besides factories. BEZA will ensure all services including central waste treatment plant and fire service station. “Even investors do not need to visit different companies to build factories in the region, all services can be taken from One-Stop Service Center,” he added.

It worth to be mentioned that Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA) has so far received investment proposals of about $20.5 billion from 151 domestic and foreign businesses. $2.8 billion of this has been invested. Among the foreign investors – Honda Motors, Sumitomo, Nippon, Asian Paints and Berger Paints, Adani, Wilmer, Yabang, Jindun, Siam Group, TIC Group, Unilever, Sakata Inx and China Harbour – are notable.

To open the door for domestic and foreign investment, BEZA has already set up eight special economic zones, these are – Mirsarai-2A Economic Zone, Mirsarai-2B Economic Zone, Mirsarai Economic Zone, Feni Economic Zone, SBG Economic Zone, Jamalpur Economic Zone, Srihatta Economic Zone and Mongla Economic Zone under Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Industrial City.