Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today inaugurated the operation of the Japanese Economic Zone in Bangladesh Special Economic Zone (BSEZ) at Araihazar in Narayanganj district on the outskirts of the capital.
The prime minister virtually opened the economic zone from her official Ganabhaban residence here.
The economic zone would draw investment of over 1.5 billion USD once it goes into full operation while it has generated employment of over one lakh people initially.
The vision to establish an EZ dedicated to Japan began in 2014, when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited that country.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) undertook the initiative to conduct the feasibility study in 2016. Later in 2019, Sumitomo Corporation from Japan inked the deal with the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) to develop the BSEZ.
Renowned companies like Singer have already started construction of their infrastructures at the economic zone while an agreement has also been signed with German company Rudolf.
Agreements will be signed with two more Japanese investors after the inaugural programme, while 30 more Japanese firms and 10 other firms of different countries have shown their interest to invest in that economic zone.
The Singer would make an initial investment of $79 million while chemical company Rudolf would make an initial investment of $7 million.
Land acquisition to set up the Japanese Economic Zone-2 have been completed while a proposal is also awaiting nod from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for setting up another special economic zone dedicated to the Chinese investors.
BEZA Executive Chairman Shaikh Yusuf Harun earlier expressed very much optimism on restoring the import of LNG soon adding that the government is scrutinizing the possibility of allowing import of LNG by the private sector.