9 firms to invest $55m in hi-tech parks

Nine foreign and domestic firms are going to invest $55 million in Bangladesh's hi-tech parks to set up manufacturing units for a number of products, including semiconductors, digital devices, and medical equipment.

The companies will also assemble automated teller machines, cash recycling machines, smartphones and other electronics items at the new units, which are expected to create nearly 3,500 job opportunities. The Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority (BHTPA) disclosed this information during an agreement signing ceremony to lease the required lands for these projects for a 40-year period.

Seven of the firms will set up facilities at the Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City in Gazipur while the other two will invest in the Sheikh Hasina Software Technology Park in Jashore.

Of the nine companies, Ulkasemi Pvt Ltd plans to invest $25 million to make semiconductors at the Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City, the BHTPA said during the event, held at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka.

Bikarna Kumar Ghosh, managing director of the BHTPA, signed the agreement with the heads of the nine companies.

Planning Minister MA Mannan was present.

Halima Telecom of Cumilla will set up a software technology park under the private sector while Celltron Electro Manufacturing Services will establish a medical technology plant by investing about $7 million, according to the BHTPA.

The hi-tech park authority went on to say that it allocated land to Walton Hi-Tech Industries to provide IT enabled services and manufacture digital devices at Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City. Walton will invest $ 6.50 million in the project, which will likely create 1,550 jobs.

MacTel will investing $ 6million to assemble smartphones, acquiring 1.37 acres of land for the project that will create employment for 332 people.

"Now is the right time to build a sustainable high-tech manufacturing ecosystem in Bangladesh, where hi-tech parks can play a leading role," said Planning Minister Mannan.

"A labor-intensive economy is not enough to survive the competition and overcome the risks of a global recession amid the Covid-19 pandemic," he added.

Zunaid Ahmed Palak, the State Minister for ICT, said the Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City is a flagship project of the BHTPA established on 355 acres of land.

He said the government has established eight hi-tech parks across the country which are ready for investment at any moment.

Most products produced at the Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City are exported. So far, more than 150 local startup companies have been allotted free co-working space at various hi-tech parks, Palak added.

The BHTPA allotted lands to 166 companies with private investment at the parks amounting to Tk 570 crore until now.

The hi-tech park authority has so far invested Tk 950 crore to prepare the enclave for investors, said BHTPA Managing Director Ghosh.

Of the private investors, Oryx Bio-Tech will invest about $300 million in the Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City, he added.


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