Bay economic zone eyes $3b in foreign investment
Bay Group, which received the final licence for an economic zone, expects to attract about $3 billion in foreign investment in the next couple of years.
Contracts worth $1.4 billion have already been signed with foreign companies, especially from China and Hong Kong, said Ziaur Rahman, managing director of Bay Group.
One such interested party is Multi-tech from Hong Kong. The company has signed a contract for about $30 million to establish a toy manufacturing factory in the Bay Economic Zone, situated on 35 acres of land at Konabari in Gazipur.
Multi-tech will start production from June 1, and will export its products mainly to Japan and the US, Rahman said after receiving the final licence from the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority yesterday.
Bay Group is the fourth from the private sector to receive the final licence from Beza after Meghna Group, Abdul Monem Ltd and Aman Group.
An economic zone is a designated area in a country with special economic regulations that differ from the rest of the country.
An entrepreneur can enjoy various benefits, including tax incentives, from the authorities by setting up an industrial unit in an economic zone.
Bay completed the environmental impact assessment and feasibility study and prepared a master plan on the economic zone as per the conditions of a prequalification licence it had received in February last year.
Foreign entrepreneurs from various sectors including leather and leather goods, electronics, light mechanical equipment and IT will get priority to set up export-oriented factories in the zone that can be extended up to 65 acres.
The economic zones will help in faster industrialisation, said Shamsur Rahman, chairman of Bay Group.
“Everyone knows that foreign direct investment does not come spontaneously,” said Beza Executive Chairman Paban Chowdhury prior to handing over the final licence to Bay at the event.
Adequate infrastructure, smooth utility supply, proper security to investors and political stability are the pre-conditions to attract foreign direct investment. “We now emphasise creating a favourable investment culture by meeting all the preconditions.”
Many big foreign companies are now looking to Bangladesh as their investment destination, Chowdhury said, adding that Beza has so far selected 76 sites for economic zones.
As of now, Beza has awarded pre-qualification licences to 10 other local private companies to set up 13 economic zones. It is also setting up four economic zones in the public sector.
The authority is aiming to create jobs for one crore people in 100 economic zones by 2030 and produce goods and services worth $40 billion.