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Mongla to host economic zone for India

MoU on Feb 8

FE Report | February 06, 2019 00:00:00

Dhaka is set to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with New Delhi on February 8 to set up an Indian Economic Zone in Mongla, Bagerhat.

The NIDAR Industrial Park Pune (Pvt) Ltd., a sister concern of Hiranandani Group, will develop the economic zone (EZ) on 110 acres of land.

The MoU is likely to be signed at the 5th India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) meeting to be held in New Delhi on February 7-8, sources said.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen will lead the Bangladesh side at the meeting.

Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) Paban Chowdhury said the first country-specific EZ would encourage other countries to set up their industries in a dedicated zone.

Two more special economic zones exclusively for the Indian investors will also be set up in the country -- one in Mirsharai, Chattogram, and the other in Bheramara of Kushtia.

The authority concerned has already completed acquisition of 1,106 acres of land for the three economic zones.

In Mongla, NIDAR would initially establish chemical factories, said Paban Chowdhury.

The BEZA already submitted the Development Project Proposal (DPP) to the planning ministry, seeking $28.90 million from the second Indian Line of Credit (LoC) for the Indian EZ, he added.

The BEZA has also carried out a feasibility study and an environmental impact assessment for the Indian EZ project in Mongla.

The authority expects that around 8,000 jobs will be generated once the factories in the EZ go into operation.

The EZ, located around 200 metres away from the Mongla Port, will have agro-processing, light engineering and chemical industries.

BEZA officials said the Indian High Commission in Dhaka pledged to expedite the process of signing the MoU on Mongla EZ.

A representative of BEZA will also attend the JCC meeting along with the Bangladesh delegation.

The BEZA executive chairman said a number of Indian investors were queuing up to invest in the country's economic zones.

Recently, Adani Wilmar Group, a joint venture of India and Singapore-based two companies, expressed its interest to invest $400 million in the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Industrial City in Chattogram.

Japan and China also showed interest to invest in the country-specific EZs, said the BEZA official.

The BEZA has a plan to establish 100 economic zones in the country under government, private, public-private partnership and government-to-government arrangements.

It will develop land and provide utility services to the investors in the economic zones.

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