The Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) and Bangladesh Special Economic Zone Limited have inked a deal on the development of a dedicated zone for Japanese investors in Narayanganj's Araihazar.
The agreement, which was signed on Wednesday, marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and Japan.
In March 2019, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council approved the Foreign Direct Investment Promotion Project for the establishment of the Japanese economic zone at a cost of Tk 25.62 billion, reports bdnews24.com.
BEZA and Sumitomo Corporation, appointed by Japan to develop the zone, later formed a joint venture, Bangladesh Special Economic Zone Ltd, to carry out the infrastructural development of the project.
Work on the project, including land acquisition, road construction, and securing approvals from government agencies, has progressed over time.
The country's first government-to-government-based economic zone will sprawl over 1,000 acres of land in Araihazar.
The project aims to facilitate the establishment of diversified industries, create an appealing environment for Japanese and local investment while alleviating poverty by creating employment opportunities.
The authorities are planning to open the economic zone before the end of 2022.
BEZA also hopes to initially secure about $1 billion worth of Japanese investment in the economic zone. This will not only create skilled manpower but also expand the field of technology transfer, according to the regulatory body.
Ahmad Kaikaus, principal secretary to the prime minister, commended the initiative and expects it to boost Japanese investors' confidence in Bangladesh.
Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Naoki Ito said several reputable companies from the East Asian nation have already shown interest in investing in the economic zone.