The Financial Express

‘Macro-level policy reforms needed for completion of EZs’

| Updated: March 04, 2021 10:36:39

‘Macro-level policy reforms needed for completion of EZs’

Macro-level policy reforms and strong governance are needed for the successful completion of the targeted Economic Zones in Bangladesh, Chairman of Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA) Paban Chowdhury said Tuesday.

Paban said this while Chairperson of Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) Abul Kasem Khan called on him at his office to discuss more private sector-friendly policies and joint research.

Paban informed that BEZA has already received more than $20 billion of investment and it is going reach $30 billion soon.

Terming Mirersarai EZ as a game changer, he shared that land allocation is almost exhausted in this Zone. Considering the potential, the areas of the zone can be increased further encompassing Companiganj, Sitakunda, Sandwip, Hatia and so on.

He suggested that BUILD should come up with comprehensive proposals with facilitation of trade and investment, attracting more FDI, supporting SMEs, spill over impact in society in the special economic zone (SEZs) etc.

Mentioning success of SEZs in different countries, Kasem said that each SEZ can become a new economic growth centre for the country.

He added that BUILD is thinking of preparing a concept called SEZ - the New Economic Frontier.

"SEZs ultimately work towards not only creating jobs within the SEZ but outside as well in addition to generating various spill over economic opportunities, thereby effectively working as economic cities. Therefore, SEZs should share in the additional revenue generated from various taxes collected from economic activities created in that area due to the SEZs operations," he said.

Abul Kasem added that this sort of support in terms of a revenue sharing model and approach can be developed, that will thus bring sustainability to SEZs to a great extent. Each SEZ is an economic frontier for the government to nourish and an economic city to be developed.

CEO of the organisation Ferdaus Ara Begum said that the policy gaps in handling private and public EZs and other country-specific EZs would need to be minimised.

"BUILD will come up with a research study on the New Economic Frontier to consolidate the idea and seek support from the government for policy reforms in attracting more private sector investment," she also added.

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