Beza asks for investors' security at economic zones

Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority or Beza yesterday urged the government to provide security for investors and their assets, and ensure a smooth supply of energy and power to the industrial units that will be set up in the economic zones.

“All the economic zones should be kept free of interference from any quarter,” said Paban Chowdhury, executive chairman of Beza.

He spoke at a function to award a contract to Powerpac-East West-Gasmin Consortium, a joint venture between Shoulder Group, Bashundhara Group and Garmin Ltd.

The contract was for the development, construction, finance and operation of the Mirsarai Economic Zone Phase-1, which is located on 550 acres at Mirsarai, Chittagong.

Beza also signed a memorandum of understanding with BPDB-RPCL Powergen to set up a 150MW power plant at the Mirsarai Economic Zone.

M Abul Kalam Azad, principal coordinator of Sustainable Develop-ment Goals at the Prime Minister's Office, said Powerpac will take the necessary steps so that industrial production can begin in the economic zone by next year.

He said the government is formulating an act on 'one stop services' to assist investors from one place. The draft act will be placed at a cabinet meeting soon for approval, Azad said.

Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority's Executive Chairman Mohd Habibur Rahman Khan said they will sign a deal with Beza by this month to set up Bepza economic zone on 1,150 acres at Mirsarai.

“We expect to develop the zone in the next two years. Some 350 industrial units can be set up in the zone, which will also create employment for about 5 lakh people,” he said.

Mahboob ur Rahman, managing director of Powerpac-East West-Gasmin Consortium, said the Mirsarai economic zone will be the best place for entrepreneurs due to its strategic location.

“We will offer world class infrastructure and services to the industrialists.”

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.

Beza has so far awarded three final licences to three private sector companies to develop, build and operate three economic zones. It has also given pre-qualification licences to 10 other local private companies to set up 13 economic zones.

It is setting up four economic zones in the public sector. Beza aims to create jobs for one crore people in 100 economic zones by 2030 and produce goods and services worth $40 billion. So far 76 sites and 84,000 acres of land have been selected to set up the economic zones.

Beza is now working to set up 15 economic zones and develop about 33,000 acres of land where $866 million has been invested so far. It signed three memoranda of understanding with India, China and Japan under G2G arrangements to set up three special economic zones for these countries.


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