UNIDO ITPO Tokyo, jointly with the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) and the Embassy of Bangladesh in Japan, organized an online seminar with a focus on investment opportunities in economic zones in Bangladesh on 8 June 2022.
In the opening remarks, Mr. Yuko Yasunaga, Head of UNIDO ITPO Tokyo addressed his view on his recent visit to Bangladesh*. While recognizing a high potential in Bangladesh economic growth and industrial development, Mr. Yasunaga referred to the importance of further improvement of soft infrastructures and expectations for FTAs with neighboring countries. H.E. Mr. Shahabuddin Ahmed, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Japan, mentioned that Bangladesh will graduate from LDC status by 2026 and seek to reach upper middle-income country status by 2030, and encouraged more Japanese companies to make investment in Bangladesh.
Mr. Mohammad Hasan Arif, Joint Secretary & General Manager (Administration & Finance) of BEZA mentioned that 97 Economic Zones (EZs) have already been approved, of which 9 are already in production and 28 are under construction. Referring to the advantages of investing in EZs, Mr. Arif underlined the following; 1) adequate land, 2) uninteruppted utility connection, 3) fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, 4) simplified business procedures under One Stop Service Centre, and 5) both domestic and international market. Mr. Arif further elaborated on the fiscal and non-fiscal incentives investors can enjoy such as exemption of income tax and divident tax.
Mr. Chiharu Tagawa of Sumitomo Corporation introduced Bangladesh Special Economic Zone (BSEZ), which is a joint venture between Sumitomo and BEZA. BSEZ, with an easy access from Dhaka, boasts high standard of infrastructure including electricity, water supply, wastewater management, and in particular deliberate countermeasures against flood. With BSEZ expected to be operational towards the end of 2022, BSEZ has been receiving a lot of interests and inquireis from potential investors.
Mr. Yuji Ando, Country Representative of JETRO Dhaka, mentioned that the Bangladesh economy has been solid even under the pandemic wtih the growth of 7.2% and 7.3% expected in 2021/22 and 2022/23, respectively. Recently, interests in the construction sector as well as in the domestic market are seen among Japanese companies. While there are challenges such as delay in customs clearance, container shortage, rising costs of logistics and raw materials, and remittance regulations, there are lot more opportunities for Japanese companies, for instance, in domestic demand driven projects, collaboration with local leading companies, and utilization of high-skilled IT personnel in the country.
BEZA and the Embassy officials answered the questions raised from the audience, which include BEZA incentives, comparative advanages of BSEZ against other SEZs, information on government-related tenders, and business opportunities in waste management. The seminar was concluded by Mr. Shaikh Yusuf Harun, BEZA Executive Chairman, who shared BEZA’s vision to establish 100 zones with 10 million jobs and its intention to fruther improve the investment scenario trhough exchanges with concerned parties.
* Mr. Yasunaga’s meeting with the Japan-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce (JBCCI) in Dhaka was featured in the Bangladesh Post.
Date: 8 June 2022 (Wed)
Time: 15:00-16:00 (JST) / 12:00-13:00 (BDT)
Format: Online seminar
Organized by: UNIDO ITPO Tokyo, Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA), Embassy of Bangladesh in Japan
Language: English-Japanese with simultaneous translation
*You can view presentation slides by clicking the title below in blue.
15:00-15:05 Opening Remarks by Mr. Yuko Yasunaga, Head of UNIDO ITPO Tokyo
15:05-15:10 Welcome Remarks by H.E. Mr. Shahabuddin Ahmed, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Japan
15:10-15:25 Presentation: “Investment Opportunities in Economic Zones in Bangladesh”
by Mr. Mohammad Hasan Arif, Joint Secretary & General Manager (Administration & Finance), BEZA
15:25-15:35 Presentation: “Bangladesh Special Economic Zone – Project Outline and Current Condition“
Mr. Chiharu Tagawa, Assistant to General Manager, Overseas Industrial Park Department, Sumitomo Corporation
15:35-15:45 Presentation: “Latest Business Environment in Bangladesh” by Mr. Yuji Ando, Country Representative of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Dhaka
15:45-15:55 Q & A
15:55-16:00 Closing Remarks by Mr. Shaikh Yusuf Harun, Executive Chairman, BEZA