BZA, JICA ink deal for preparatory survey of Ocean Front EZ in BSMSN

The Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority
(BEZA) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) today signed an
agreement for “Preparatory Survey on Ocean Front Economic Zone Development in
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar (BSMSN)” at a hotel in the city.

On the occasion, BEZA and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters
Association (BGMEA) also inked land lease agreement for setting up a
specialized garments park with 41 business entities.

Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmed Kaikaus attended the
function as the chief guest while Executive Chairman of BEZA Paban Chowdhury,
Senior Secretary of the LGED Division Helal Uddin Ahmed, Land Secretary Md
Mostafizur Rahman, National Board of Revenue Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul
Muneem, BGMEA President Dr Rubana Hoq, Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh
Naoki Ito and Chief Representative of JICA Bangladesh Office Yuho Hayakawa,
among others, spoke on the occasion.

In his speech, Dr Ahmed Kaikaus said the initiative of JICA will play a
vital role to increase Japanese investment in the country.

He said the business relation between BGMEA and BEZA will be strong
through the initiative.

Paban Chowdhury said if BGMEA will implement the initiative quickly, it
will lower the pressure of population on Dhaka and Chattogram cities.

The initiative will increase the export of Bangladeshi apparel products,
he added.

The Ocean Front Economic Zone Development project has been proposed to
JICA by Sojitz Corporation with an aim to develop or operate this economic
zone in BSMSN.

The objective of the preparatory survey is to assess of this project and
to propose a financially viable project design scheme under the concept of
Public Private Partnership.

The Government of Bangladesh has adopted proactive policies to encourage
rapid economic development through increase and diversification of
industries, employment, production and export.

To support these policies, BEZA targeted that BSMSN will be developed as a
comprehensive industrial city including social infrastructure on a contiguous
30,000 acres of land and create employment opportunities for 1.5 million
people within the next 15 years and ensure US$40 billion export from this
industrial enclave. This Preparatory Study will contribute to the realization
of this plan.

Under the umbrella of the BIG-B, Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt,
Initiative, agreed between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe in 2014, JICA has closely cooperated with BEZA in assisting the
development of Bangladesh Special EZ at Araihazar and the regional
development in Moheshkhali-Matarbari area.

This Project at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpanagar will uplift and move
the BIG-B Initiative to the new frontier.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)