GDP to grow 7.8pc next fiscal year
Bangladesh will be able to attain 7.8 percent economic growth in the next fiscal year, said Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday. The government has set a target of 7.4 percent GDP growth for the current fiscal year of 2017-18. “But we hope it would be 7.5 percent,” said Muhith.
The minister made the comments while opening the Meghna Economic Zone and the Meghna Industrial Economic Zone in Sonargaon upazila of Narayanganj. The Meghna Economic Zone that received the first licence from the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority as a private economic zone housed five new industrial plants. The factories are Meghna Pulp and Paper Mills, Meghna Edible Oils Refinery, MPP Power Plant, Sonargaon Flour and Dal Mills, and Tasnim Chemical Complex Unit-2.
Another three new factories have been set up in the Meghna Industrial Economic Zone. The units are Meghna Beverage, Unique Cement Fiber Industries, and Sonargaon Steel Fabricate. The two economic zones are owned by local conglomerate Meghna Group of Industries. Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said Bangladesh is ahead of Pakistan in all indicators and ahead of India in some indicators.
Mostafa Kamal, chairman and managing director of Meghna Group, said he has invested about Tk 3,000 crore to set up the eight new factories. Some 5,000 jobs were created. Kamal said he is in talks with investors from China, Australia, and Germany who want to set up industrial plants in the zones.
An Australian company has already signed an agreement with Meghna to invest in the industrial zone, he said.
Kamal said if he sees a congenial atmosphere, his group may establish three more zones within next two to three years.
Presently, Meghna has operations in fast-moving consumer goods, cement, commodities, chemicals, seed crushing, fish and poultry feed, power generation, salt, bottled water, banking, and some other industrial products. Last year, the group's turnover crossed the $2.5 billion mark.
Md Mazibul Hoque, railways minister, Shamim Osman and Liyakat Hossain Khoka; lawmakers, Abul Kalam Azad, principal coordinator for Sustainable Development Goals at the Prime Minister's Office; Paban Chowdhury, executive chairman of BEZA; and Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, FBCCI president, were present at the programme.