China finally intends to set up industrial park in Ctg
After five years of delays, China has signalled its intention to begin work urgently on a 300 hectare industrial park in Bangladesh.
The Chinese Economic and Industrial Zone (CEIZ), to be developed near the southeastern port of Chittogram, is expected to take five years to become fully operational.
The zone was first proposed by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, during a visit to Beijing in 2014. The following year, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council in China approved the plan, and the CEIZ Development Company was set up by China Harbour Engineering Company and Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA).
China Harbour agreed a $100 million investment in scheme and the Bangladeshi government allocated $50 million, however the scheme appeared to stall, until earlier this month, when China Harbour wrote to BEZA seeking the signing of a deal to allow it to start work on site.
The Beijing-based company said its $100 million was immediately available, and that it would begin marketing the scheme to Chinese enterprises.
According the Bangladesh media, more than 60 Chinese concerns have expressed interest in investing nearly $280 million in the zone, accounting for about 40% of the available land.
It added that it had obtained necessary approvals from China's Ministry of Commerce and the National Development and Reform Commission, as well as its parent, China Communications Construction Company.
BEZA officials said the Chinese side was keen on rapid implementation of the zone to set up factories and take advantage of the relatively low tariffs levied on Bangladeshi goods.
Bangladesh presently has 88 special economic zones, 59 set up by the government and 29 by private investors. Earlier this week, China's Yabang Group announced that it would spend $300 million on textile and chemical plants on 40 hectare of BEZA's flagship Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpanagar zone.