The Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (Beza) inked a nonbinding agreement with Adani Ports and SEZ Limited of India on 1 April in Mumbai to establish an economic zone at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar in Mirsharai of Chattogram.
The Indian Economic Zone will be established on about 857 acres of land with a cost of about Tk964 crore under Indian line of credit of $115 million, said a press release.
Mohammad Irfan Sharif, executive member (planning and development) of Beza, and Captain Sandeep Mehta, president of Adani Ports and SEZ Limited, signed the agreement, called a Term Sheet, on behalf of their respective organisations.
Beza Executive Chairman Shaikh Yusuf Harun and other senior officials were present at the signing ceremony.
As per Investopedia, a Term Sheet is a nonbinding agreement that shows the basic terms and conditions of an investment.
Through this Term Sheet, full-fledged development activities of the Indian EZ will begin. Other processes, including the formation of a company, to operate the EZ will be started in phases.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Bangladesh government and the Indian government in June 2015 to establish the Indian EZ. The Indian government has selected the Adani Ports and SEZ Limited to work as a developer of the EZ.
Beza Executive Chairman Shaikh Yusuf Harun hoped that the zone will be able to attract Indian investors as it is going to be an international standard EZ by ensuring all investment friendly facilities.
Yusuf Harun also said Bangladesh is becoming a centre for the global business community which will help the country achieve Vision-2041.
"Very low labour cost, skilled manpower, favourable government policies, uninterrupted electricity supply, high productivity and political stability are turning Bangladesh into a global investment hub despite the Covid-19 pandemic," he added.
The main activities of the project are land development, construction of access road, administrative building, security shed, water supply and sanitation system, telecommunication, water treatment plant and other investment friendly facilities.
In this context, recruitment of consulting firms and manpower has already been completed.
Beza is developing the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar on around 30,000 acres of land touching three upazilas – Mirsharai, Sitakunda and Sonagazi – in Chattogram and Feni districts.
It is located on the mouth of river Feni covering 25 kilometers of coastline of the Bay of Bengal. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of the EZ on 28 February, 2016.
Beza is in the process of developing a comprehensive master plan including incorporating sea port, rail connectivity, marine drive, residential area, tourism park, power plant, hospital, school and university for developing this self-contained industrial city.
Various types of industries, including garments and its supporting industries, agro-products and agro-processing products, integrated textiles, leather and leather goods, shipbuilding, motorbike assembly, food and beverage, pint and chemical, paper and products, plastics, light engineering (including auto-parts and bicycles), pharmaceutical products, power and solar park are being set up in the industrial city.