Dhaka, Feb 28 (IANS) Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday inaugurated the development activities of 10 more economic zones in the country.
In Dhaka’s Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC), also known as Bangladesh China Friendship Conference Centre, Hasina inaugurated the development activities of the economic zones.
Bangladeshi Finance Minister A.M.A. Muhith had earlier said as many as 100 economic zones will be established across the country in the next 15 years.
“We’ve taken initiatives to establish economic zones in prospective regions with a view to encouraging industrialisation, generating employment opportunities, enhancing production and ensuring export promotion and diversification,” Muhith said in his budget speech.
He noted that big investment initiatives such as those found in Japan, South Korea, China and India cannot be realised in the country due to scarcity of land.
In order to change this scenario, approval has been accorded to the establishment of 30 public and private economic zones in different parts of the country, he added.
“I would like to inform you all that as many as 100 economic zones will be established across the country in the next 15 years. That will increase export earnings by $40 billion and generate about 10 million additional employments,” he said.
Bangladesh has now 37 government owned and 10 private economic zones.
The zones whose activities were inaugurated on Sunday were Mirersarai Economic Zone, Sabrang Tourism Park, Srihatta Economic Zone, Mongla Economic Zone, AK Khan Economic Zone, Abdul Monem Economic Zone, Meghna Economic Zone, Meghna Industrial Economic Zone, Bay Economic Zone and Amra Economic Zone.
Bangladesh’s Export Processing Zones, the most preferred destinations for both domestic and foreign investment, are mainly dominated by labour-intensive textiles, ready-made garments and footwear plants.
Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority, which has been placed directly under the country’s prime minister’s office, was set up by an act of parliament in 1980 to woo particularly foreign capital and technical know-how and thereby boost exports through the establishment of export-oriented industries in special zones with special facilities.