Japanese Economic Zone's Land Development Deal Signed

Ahmad Kaikaus, principal secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office; Hiroyuki Yamaya, minister at the embassy of Japan in Bangladesh, and Hirata Hitoshi, chief representative of Jica, attend a deal signing ceremony at the Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka yesterday. The Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority and Japanese TOA Corporation will develop the land in the Japanese economic zone, which will be financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, at Araihazar in Narayanganj. Photo: Star

Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) yesterday inked a deal to develop 650 acres of land in Narayanganj’s Araihazar to set up a dedicated industrial park for Japanese investors.​

Japanese entity TOA Corporation would be developing the economic zone.​​

The Tk 2,582.17-crore project got the approval from the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council in March last year.​ ​

Of the cost, the government will provide Tk 454.35 crore as investment and Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) the remaining sum as loan.​​

A new “special purpose company” has already been established by the BEZA and Japanese trading giant Sumitomo Corporation to run the economic zone, which would be able to accommodate around 200 companies.​​

Sumitomo has built and continues to run economic zones in the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam and the Bangladesh one will be its fifth, Paban Chowdhury, executive chairman of the BEZA, told The Daily Star earlier.​​

Chowdhury said they were expecting the zone to draw in $21 billion in Japanese foreign direct investment.​ ​

It will create employment for 2 lakh people, as per a Sumitomo presentation delivered in the signing event held at the capital’s Sonargaon hotel yesterday. ​

​Though the “Development of Infrastructure for Japanese Economic Zone at Araihazar in Narayanganj Project” is scheduled for completion by June 2023, Chowdhury hopes for the factories to be set up by early 2022.​​

According to a latest study of the Japan External Trade Organisation, investment by Japanese companies in Bangladesh has been steadily increasing at a rate of 16-17 per cent for the last couple of years, with a majority showing growing interest in expansion. ​

​The study shows that the number of Japanese companies grew from 183 in 2014 to 269 in 2018, with 70 per cent expressing interest in expansion within a year and about 60 per cent in the next two to three years.


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