One factory will go into operation at the Mirsarai Economic Zone (MEZ) next month and another five by June next year as the country’s largest industrial enclave is all set to open its doors to both local and foreign entrepreneurs.
Jinyuan Chemical Industry Ltd, a Chinese company which exports chemical products to the US and Canada, will be the first company to begin operations in the economic zone.
The MEZ will be the first public economic zone to go into operation as part of the government plan to set up 100 industrial enclaves across the country to give a boost to industrialisation.
“I have received all clearances to start the operation of the factory,” Wang Yang, chairman of Jinyuan Chemical Industry, told The Daily Star recently.
Yang shifted her factory from China to Bangladesh in order to lessen tariff burden while exporting products to North America.
“My first aim is to avoid the impacts of the US-China trade conflict and make my products competitive,” she said.
She invested $6 million in the first phase of the factory and created jobs for 50 people. “I have a plan to increase the investment in future.”
“The MEZ is not a dream – now it is almost materialised,” Paban Chowdhury, executive chairman of the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (Beza), said.
Five more factories will go into operation in the zone by June next year, he said.
The factories are Modern Syntex, Bangladesh Auto Industries Ltd (BAIL), Nippon & McDonald Steel Industries Ltd, Asian Paint, and Arman Haque Denim Ltd.
Local automobile company BAIL will start producing electric vehicles at the plant for the local market by July, BAIL Chairman A Mannan Khan said.
The plant on 100 acres of land will be ready by December this year, BAIL Managing Director Mir Masud Kabir said.
A Tk 4,000 crore development work at the MEZ is going on in full swing. The zone is ready to provide gas connections to industrial units and the construction of a 150-megawatt power plant is about to complete by December, Chowdhury said.
About 400 to 500 industrial units will be established in the zone within three years.
“We want to provide all kinds of facilities to create an investment-friendly environment at the zones and attract foreign direct investment,” he said.
Some 12,000 acres out of 30,000 acres of land in the zone will be allocated to industries and the rest land will be reserved.
The construction of the road connecting the zone with the Dhaka-Chattogram highway and the roads inside the zone will be completed by the dry season.
So far, the agency has received investment proposals involving more than $12 billion from local and foreign investors for the zone, Chowdhury said.
Globally reputed companies Sojitz Corporation of Japan, Wilmar of Singapore, and Adani Group of India will invest in the zone. It hopes that the zone will create at least 15 lakh to 20 lakh jobs when it will be fully up and running by 2030.
The government plans to set up 100 new economic zones to generate one crore new jobs, earn $40 billion in additional exports and attract $20 billion in FDI, all by 2030.