WB-aided project creates 5,500 jobs
The Private Sector Development Support Project, through which the World Bank along with UK-DFID and IFC is supporting Bangladesh's economic zones and hi-tech parks, has so far helped create about 5,500 jobs.
In the last two years, Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority and Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority awarded licences to 16 economic zones and hi-tech parks and assessed 33 sites, completed feasibility studies and master-plans for new zones.
Beza has issued licences to 11 private zone developers, including a licence to Mongla Economic Zone to be built on public-private partnership.
The tendering process for the development of economic zones in Mirshorai, Shrehatta and other locations has started. Beza has also assessed 12 sites and drafted another nine economic zones.
PSDSP has also supported the green zone initiative of Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority, which includes solar lighting in Chittagong Export Processing Zone, the setup of an environmental laboratory, and ISO 14001 certification to 21 enterprises.
Business registration time has been reduced from 44 days to 8 days. Bepza has developed and implemented a one-stop shop system for registration, export and import licensing, customs clearance, and other regulations in their EPZs.
The construction of the Kaliakoir Hi-Tech Park is progressing rapidly. The regulator has licenced two hi-tech parks under public-private partnership and seven private hi-tech parks.
The process of licensing two additional PPP parks has started. A total of 11,457 people have received industry-specific training or certification and 52 firms now comply with international quality standards (ISO 9000 or equivalent).
Guidelines for private IT parks have been formulated and two private software technology parks have been declared and three firms have started operation in the Janata Tower STP. The WB has approved an additional $130 million to expand its support for Bangladesh in establishing economic zones, taking the total amount to reach $250 million.
“The additional support will scale up project achievements and put greater emphasis on quality, social and environmental standard compliance within the zones,” the WB said in a statement yesterday.
The fund will also directly support the government's target to set up 100 zones in the next 15 years to contribute to the national jobs agenda under the Private Sector Development Support Project or PSDSP.
“Economic zones attract domestic and foreign investment, create jobs and help accelerate growth.”