China Harbour Engineering Company yesterday signed a deal with the Bangladeshi authority to set up an economic zone for Chinese investors in Chittagong, Bangladesh.
The economic zone, which will be ready in the next two years, is expected to bring foreign investment of about $1 billion and create employment opportunities for one lakh people.
It is the first ever economic zone that is being built under a government-to-government initiative.
Industrial units from various sectors, including pharmaceuticals, garments, telecom, electronics, medical devices, and IT, will be set up at the 774 acres economic zone.
“We will ensure investment of Chinese entrepreneurs once the economic zone is ready,” Bai Yinzhan, vice-president of China Harbour Engineering Company, said at the deal signing ceremony in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Paban Chowdhury, executive chairman of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (Beza), and Yinzhan signed the memorandum of understanding.
Md Abul Kalam Azad, principal secretary at the Prime Minister’s Office, expressed his hope that China Harbour Engineering Company will complete the work in time and help bring Chinese investment to Bangladesh.
Apart from China, the government has also plans to provide economic zones to Japan, Hong Kong and India.
Beza has so far awarded licences to six local private sector companies to set up seven economic zones — one each to AK Khan and Company, Abdul Monem Ltd, Bay Group, Aman Group, Maisha Group, and two to Meghna Group.
The government is also setting up four economic zones in the public sector: Mirsarai Economic Zone in Chittagong, Powerpac Economic Zone (mongla) in Bagerhat, Srihatta Economic Zone in Moulvibazar and Sabrang Tourism Park in Cox’s Bazar.
These economic zones are part of Beza’s plan to develop 100 such zones by 2030 on 75,000 acres, to create jobs for one crore people and to produce $40 billion worth of products and services.
Beza has so far selected 59 places across the country for economic zones, of which feasibility studies on 22 sites are currently underway.