The 352-acre Srihatta Economic Zone in the country's eastern district tea district Moulvibazar will play a crucial role in industrial decentralisation and generate around half a lakh jobs once the factories go into commercial production, said the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (Beza).
Beza Executive Chairman Shaikh Yusuf Harun said, "All the plots of the economic zone have been allocated. We will turn the low lying lands adjacent to the zone into an eye-catching lake."
The Beza executive chairman underscored the need for the economic zones for a well organised and planned development.
Land development, infrastructure construction and development, power and gas supplies, construction of the boundary wall and setting up the drainage network has been completed.
Beza is now constructing the roads inside the economic zone.
"With the cooperation of all, Beza wants to play a key role in the planned development of the country," said Shaikh Yusuf Harun.
With an accumulating $818 million investments, six industries who have got the plots totalling around 228 acres of land at the Srihatta Economic Zone (EZ) will set up 17 factories, said a Beza top official.
Most of the heavy industries in Bangladesh are located in Dhaka and Chattogram district thanks to their better connectivity. But Srihatta Economic Zone with the size of around 266 football fields appears to be an exception as it neither falls in Dhaka or Chattogram industrial belt.
With direct access to River Kushiara for water supply, the economic zone is located by the Dhaka-Sylhet highway, and only 40km away from Sylhet city. It lies beside the Dhaka-Sylhet railroad and is just 100km away from Tamabil land port.
Shaikh Yusuf Harun, executive chairman at Beza, said the low-lying lands by the economic zone will be turned into an eye-catching lake.
Several industries are now being constructed at the government-run EZ that will be manufacturing textiles, ceramics, knit fabrics, readymade garment backward linkage items, double glazing glasses and faucets.
MA Jabbar, managing director of DBL Group that will set up an industrial park comprising ten factories on the EZ, said the park would be an important step towards their plan for the future.
DBL Group factories will manufacture textile and ceramics at the EZ.
"With the integrated and technologically advanced industrial park, we are aiming at a skilled workforce and to create a sustainable co-dependency between man and machine," he noted.
The managing director said the construction of their first factory is likely to be completed next year, while the remaining production units are expected to be completed within the next five years.
Besides the DBL Group, Abdul Monem Group, Palmal Group's Ayesha Clothing and Aswad Composite Mills, Great Wall Ceramics Ltd, and UK's Double Glazing Ltd have been allocated lands at the EZ.
Palmal Group has taken 14 acres of land at the EZ for textile factories. The group will build apparel backward linkage and knit fabrics factories there.
Kazi Abdul Muhit, head of finance at the group, said they began the construction in April this year and are now doing land piling for the factory.
"We will invest around Tk882 crore at the EZ, and likely to go into production in 2023," said Muhit.
With a 3 acre plot, UK's Double Glazing Ltd will initially invest Tk69 crore in the economic zone.
Nazrul Islam, director at the company, said they began construction of the factory three months ago and the work is likely to be completed in December this year.