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Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) received investment proposals amounting to around US$4.080 billion in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to various steps of the government to keep smooth the flow of investment, reports BSS.

BEZA is responsible for establishing and managing state-run special economic zones (SEZs) across the country.

Out of the investment proposals, BEZA received around $3.150 billion during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the $3.150 billion, around $0.545 billion will come as foreign direct investment (FDI) from different companies in China, India, Australia and the UK.

World-famous companies like Berger Paints of the UK, Jiangsu Yabang Dyestuff Company Limited, Jiehong Medical Products (BD) Company Limited and CCECC Bangladesh Limited of China, Ramky Enviro Services Private Limited of India, German and India joint venture company Fortis Group, HA Tech Limited of Australia, Lizard Sports BV of Netherland and Inter-Asia Group Limited of Singapore are the major foreign investors.

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The local investors include Metro Spinning Ltd, Maksons Spinning and Textiles, Samuda Food Products Ltd, Uttara Motors Ltd, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGMEA), Sayeman Beach Resort Limited, Maf Shoes Ltd, Bangladesh Garments Accessories & Packaging Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGAPMEA), N. Mohammad Plastic Industries Ltd, Ifad Autos Limited, Runner Motors Ltd, Saif Powertec, Delta Pharma Ltd and Asia Composite Mills Ltd.

Talking to BSS, BEZA executive chairman Paban Chowdhury said beyond these investment proposals, many world-renowned foreign companies are coming with big investment offers.

BEZA is now providing a total of 125 services under OSS centre. Out of the services, investors are now getting 48 services through online

He also said the investment proposals during COVID-19 pandemic prove that the economic zones of Bangladesh are the greatest place for investment.

He further said that due to the sustainability and long-term planning of the government, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar (BSMSN) has become known as an ideal place of investment for domestic and foreign investors.

If the flow of investment in BSMSN continues, he said, it will be a challenge for BEZA to give land to investors for industrial use next year.

He mentioned that BSMSN will be the next investment and trade capital of Bangladesh.

The BEZA executive chairmen said many entrepreneurs from home and abroad have already started construction work of their industrial units in the economic zones, while many are taking preparations to set up factories there.

He mentioned that the government is providing all sorts of facilities to the economic zones to ensure investment-friendly environment. “Both local and foreign businesses who will invest in the economic zones will enjoy the same facilities.”

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Chowdhury said BEZA governing board has already approved the location and amount of land in 97 economic zones, of which 68 are public economic zones and 29 are private economic zones.

Among the economic zones, he said, there are two public-private partnership economic zones, 4 G-2-G economic zones and three tourism parks.

In the meantime, a total of 7,315 acres of land has been selected for lease in favour of 172 investing institutions in five economic zones (BSMSN, Maheshkhali, Shrihatta, Jamalpur Economic Zone and Sabrang Tourism Park) with a proposed investment of about $23.96 billion, he added.

Besides, he said, about $3.1 billion has been invested in private economic zones. As a result, the total investment proposal stands at $27.07 billion and the implementation of the proposed investment will create direct employment opportunities for about 10 lakh people, he added.

Paban Chowdhury said BEZA has also introduced the One Stop Service (OSS) centre for providing all necessary services to the investors of the country at a single window.

He also informed BSS that BEZA is now providing a total of 125 services under OSS centre. Out of the services, investors are now getting 48 services through online.