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City Gr to pour $ 100m into dedicated zone

Commodity colossus to focus on food & beverage

FE Report | January 24, 2018 00:00:00

City Group has decided to pump US$ 100 million this year into a dedicated economic zone as part of its expansion plan.

The consumer goods colossus would set up several industrial units on 77.96 acres of land in Roopganj upazila of Narayanganj near the Shitalakkha River.

Chairman and managing director (MD) of the group Fazlur Rahman disclosed this Tuesday after receiving the final licence for 'City Economic Zone'.

The group has already opened letters of credit for setting up seed crushing, auto rice and pulses mill and edible oil factories.

Executive chairman (secretary) of BEZA Paban Chowdhury handed over the licence to City Group boss at a programme.

Mr Rahman said that establishing units in the zone will take in the next three to five years to complete.

"We will try to attract foreign investments, especially from Korea and Japan to go for joint venture investment in the zone," he added.

Initially, food and beverage industries will be a major area of focus for industrialisation, he said.

He stressed the need for developing skill of the local labour force to expedite the pace of industrialisation.

He sought support from BEZA to get import permission and speedy clearance of the project.

BEZA chief said the investors were now queuing up for land allocation in the zone due to "significant progress".

"City group also applied for three zones. We've awarded the final licence for one and two are under process," he said.

Development work of the Miresharai and Moheshkhali zones is going on in full swing and the two clusters have attracted both local and foreign investors including Korean giant SK Gas, he said.

"Mirersharai will be investment capital of Bangladesh," he added.

He urged City Group to lay emphasis on employment generation along with technological advancement.

Executive member of BEZA Md Ayub said the group dominates around 30 to 35 per cent of the market share of consumer goods.

"Joining of the compliant company would help BEZA speed up the establishment of 100 zones," he said.

Another executive member Emdadul Huq said some 17 licences were awarded so far to the private sector investors for investing in the zones.

Investment in zones would help the country generate more employment, he added.

BEZA chief said a knowledge park will be developed in the Mirersharai for imparting training.

"The World Bank has also initiated a project for the technology centre. Around Tk 2.5 to 3.0 billion would be spent in the centre," he said.

Also, BEZA is ready to spend Tk 50 million annually for research work in the centre, he added.

Naser Ezaz Bijiy, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Standard Chartered Bank, Bangladesh said economic zones could solve the two major impediments to investment-land acquisition and supply of energy.

He said success stories in zoning regime were crucial to building confidence among the investors.

Investment of the City group would help generate 3,000 jobs in a year of commercial production and it would be increased to 20,000 over the next five years. The City zone has power and gas connection in the area. The company has done land filling and erecting boundary.

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