Local packagers and accessory-makers are going to invest Tk5,000 crore in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar to meet its packaging demand as well as to boost direct packaging export, according to manufacturers.
The Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (Beza) has already approved the investment and allotted 25 acres of land to the packagers, Md Moazzem Hossain Moti, president of the Bangladesh Garments Accessories & Packaging Manufacturers and Exporters Association, told The Business Standard.
He, however, said around 1,900 members of the association need at least 100 acres of land for the investment, which the association estimates will generate 4,000 jobs.
"We will begin the construction of the factory after getting certain authorisations from Beza. This may take six months," Moazzem Hossain told TBS.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar, the country's largest industrial city, is being constructed on an area of 30,000 acres in Mirsarai and Sitakunda upazilas of Chattogram and Sonagazi upazila of Feni. There will be a garment village at the industrial city spanning 500 acres of land.
Moazzem Hossain said the association wants to provide packaging support to the garment village, and boost packaging and accessory export at the same time.
He said the new packaging factories in the industrial city will manufacture polybags, plastic hangers, different types of threads, twill tapes, drawstrings, padding and quilting tapes and zippers.
According to the association, there are now around 1,800 packagers and accessory-manufacturing units, mostly in Gazipur and Narayanganj. The factories supply 40 types of products, such as buttons, plastic hangers, polybags, labels, zippers, tags, tapes, thread, ribbon, rivets, laces, hooks, transfer film, paper, and ink, to export-oriented readymade garment industries.
This backward linkage sector is able to meet the overall packaging demand of the local RMG and leather sectors.
Besides, local packagers provide backward linkage support to leather, pharmaceuticals, home textile, rice and crockeries.
According to Moazzem Hossain, the packaging industry fetched the country $7 billion in the last fiscal year through the apparel channel, while annual direct packaging export to 18 countries hovers around $1 billion.
Manufacturers said the global packaging market is around $800 billion. Moazzem Hossain said they are working to boost the direct export too.