The owners of private economic zones have urged the Bangladesh government to complete at least a dozen out of 100 proposed new zones on a priority basis, in order to build up the confidence of investors as well as to attract more investment from both foreign and domestic sources.
In addition, they suggested that Mirsarai Economic Zone be developed as the flagship for the upcoming zones, as it has already generated significant hype among local and global investors.
The remarks were made on Monday by speakers at a seminar titled “Economic Zones: Transforming Bangladesh into a Manufacturing Hub- Key Policy and Regulatory Issues,” organized by the Policy Research Institute (PRI) in Dhaka.
“If Bangladesh can present a dozen or even just five economic zones as models, it will draw the attention of global investors,” said ASM Mainuddin Monem, managing director of Abdul Monem Economic Zone Ltd.
Monem said Honda recently invested in the economic zone of which he was in-charge, and about 10 spare parts manufacturers were observing the venture in order to also invest, if it was successful.
He added that infrastructural support should come from the government, although public-private partnerships were acceptable in cases of power generation.
Furthermore, AK Khan Economic Zone Project Director M Shahadat Hossain said: “The establishing of 100 new economic zones sounds good. But the question is whether it is possible to implement them all at the same time.”
Md Abul Kalam Azad, principal coordinator for the sustainable development goals at the Prime Minister’s Office, said the government would be able to complete all of the zones as similar doubts over the scale were expressed regarding electricity generation projects.