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https://thefinancialexpress.com.bd/home/italy-keen-to-invest-200m-euros-in-bangladeshs-rural-infrastructure-1626007324?amp=true

Italy keen to invest 200m Euros in Bangladesh’s rural infrastructure

UNB | Published:  July 11, 2021 18:42:04 | Updated:  July 11, 2021 20:23:52

Italy has expressed interest in investing 200 million Euros in Bangladesh for development of rural infrastructure, transportation system, drinkable water and drainage system.

Italian Envoy to Bangladesh Enrico Nunziata expressed the interest on Sunday during a meeting with Local Government, Rural Development (LGRD) Minister Md Tajul Islam.

Tajul urged the Italian government to assist in implementing the 'My Village My Town' ideology of Bangladesh government which aims to take all the amenities of towns to remote villages.

He thanked Italy's envoy for showing interest in investing in these sectors.

He emphasized on enhancing bilateral and economic ties between the two countries and expressed hope it will reach new dimensions and be strengthened in future.

Enrico Nunziata lauded Bangladesh as a country with immense possibilities.

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8 minutes ago, Joel Ahmed said:

Japan's Infrastructure Development in Multimodal hub-Kamlapur Railway Station, Multimodal hub-Airport Railway Station, Chattagram-Cox's Bazar Highway Extension to 4 lane, Dhaka Outer Ring Road, MRT Line-2, Payra Deepwater Container, Bhola-Barisal Bridge.  

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https://www.thedailystar.net/business/news/japanese-firms-invest-64b-1872655

Japanese firms to invest $6.4b

 

Six infra projects will be implemented under the PPP model

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Major Japanese large firms are to invest about $6.4 billion to implement six infrastructure projects in Bangladesh under the public-private partnership model.

The implementation timeline for the projects to be implemented by groups such as Kajima, Sojitz and Marubeni will be set at the fourth Bangladesh-Japan Joint PPP Platform meeting in Dhaka next month.

The feasibility study, the construction period and other issues will also be fixed at the meeting, said officials of the Prime Minister's Office and the planning ministry.

The government had submitted a list of 18 projects to the Japanese government in December 2017. But Shinzo Abe's administration picked the six projects from the list that it deemed suitable for investment through Japanese private investors.

The ministry of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism (MLIT) of Japan has selected a consortium of private investors for each project to be led by a major company. The consortium is known as the sub working group (SWG).

The Japanese companies, which have set up their offices in Dhaka to start the construction of the projects, will invest under the government-to-government system without participating in any bidding.

At the meeting, Dhaka will seek investment for four more projects, which include the Bhola-Barishal bridge and the deep water container terminal at the Payra port.

SECOND METRO RAIL

The proposed route of the MRT Line-2 is Gabtoli-Mohammadpur-Jigatola-Science Lab-New Market-Azimpur-Palashi-Shaheed Minar-Police Headquarters-Motijheel-Kamalapur-Demra-Chattogram Road covering around 40 kilometres.

The cabinet committee on economic affairs has already approved the project.

The metro rail is expected to go on commercial operation in 2030.

"Japan SWG will make best efforts to secure MLIT's fund from next fiscal year's budget starting from April 2020 for the basic study of the project," said an official of the PMO.

The lead company of the project is Marubeni Corporation. The other participating companies are: Oriental Consultants Global, Katahira & Engineers International, Sojitz and Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Corporation.

OUTER RING ROAD

The approximate length of the proposed revised alignment is 130km, of which 46km is new alignment and 84km will follow existing alignment that needs to be improved.

The lead company is Marubeni Corporation. Other participating companies include IHI Corporation, Obayashi Corporation, Shimizu Corporation and Taisei Corporation.

The route of the Outer Ring Road will be Hemayetpur-Kalakandi-3rd Shitalakhya Bridge-Madanpur-Bhulta-Gazipur-Bypail-Hemayetpur.

MULTIMODAL HUBS

Two multimodal hubs will be built at Kamalapur Railway Station and Dhaka Biman Bandar Railway Station each. The hubs will have road and rail connectivity as well as flyovers for facilitating easy movement of commuters.

The lead company of Kamalapur hub project is Kajima, while Sojitz will lead the group of companies that will implement the hub at the airport railway station. 

DEPOT NEAR DHIRASRAM

The government has decided to establish a full-fledged inland container depot near Dhirasram Railway station attached to the Dhaka eastern by-pass road with constant access to container handling and transportation.

This will ease the pressure on the Kamalapur ICD.

The capacity of Kamalapur ICD is not adequate to serve the increasing share of container handling diverted towards Bangladesh Railway, according to the PPP Office under the PMO.

Further expansion of Kamalapur ICD is difficult due to heavy built up of the surrounding area. Apart from capacity constraints, daytime prohibition on movement of commercial vehicles is also very difficult in Kamalapur ICD, according to the PPP Office.

The handling capacity of the proposed ICD is 354,000 twenty-foot equivalent units. The lead company is Sojitz.

CTG-COX'S BAZAR HIGHWAY

The two-lane highway will be turned into a four-lane one under the project. The lead group is Marubeni. 

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https://www.tbsnews.net/bangladesh/infrastructure/rail-wants-dhaka-coxs-bazar-broad-gauge-link-276136

Rail wants Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar broad gauge link

The government is already implementing a huge mega-plan to transform Cox's Bazar to an economic hub like Singapore and Hong Kong. For this, a deep-sea port is being constructed in Matarbari. The Dhaka-Chattogram railway line will also be vital for the bay terminal and economic zones in Chattogram.

map-01.png?itok=BBgfT1i5&timestamp=16265

Bangladesh Railway is planning to link Cox's Bazar directly with capital Dhaka via Chattogram to help the economy reap full benefit from the mega projects centering the beach town and port city.

It is examining a project of around Tk77,000 crore to convert the whole Tongi (Dhaka)-Dohazari (Chattogram) link into double broad gauge track to join the Dohazari–Cox's Bazar segment, work on which is now in progress.

When completed, Dhaka to Cox's Bazar will be 470 km by train. An earlier project of the Dhaka–Cumilla chord line bypassing Tongi, which could shave off 94km and two-hour travel time from the journey, was abandoned in the 90s.

However, the new project will have a component of Faujdarhat–Sholashahar chord line (a straight rail route across outer parts of an urban centre) to bypass the Chattogram Railway Station, which will save at least one hour.

Feasibility study completed

Md Abidur Rahman, director of the Technical Assistance for Survey Project to facilitate the preparation of Dhaka‐Chattogram‐Cox's Bazar Rail Project, told The Business Standard, "We have completed the survey work. Now the investment project is being prepared. Negotiations are ongoing with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for funds. Once the financing is confirmed, the implementation of the original project will start."

The project tenure will depend on availability of funds, authorities said.

According to railway sources, rail communication with Rajshahi and Khulna will be established if the broad-gauge line of the railway is constructed in the eastern region. The western region of the country has a broad gauge rail communication system while the eastern region has metre gauge rail network.

On the other hand, the installation of broad-gauge lines in the east will also make it easier for Bangladesh to be connected with China, Pakistan, India and Myanmar through the Trans-Asian Railway connectivity.

The initiative to connect Cox's Bazar with Dhaka comes almost a century after the construction of the Sholashohor-Dohazari railway line in Chattogram in 1931 by the British-Indian government. The British could not proceed further toward Cox's Bazar at that time.

Cox's Bazar economic hub will be linked to Dhaka

The government is already implementing a huge mega-plan to transform Cox's Bazar to an economic hub like Singapore and Hong Kong. For this, a deep-sea port is being constructed in Matarbari. The Dhaka-Chattogram railway line will also be vital for the bay terminal and economic zones in Chattogram.

The railway project will support the government's mega plan by easing the rail communication with Dhaka and Chattogram.

Bangladesh Railway has already completed the feasibility study for the Tongi-Dohazari project, which will be done in eight segments. Twelve railway bridges will also be constructed along the line.

Besides, it will incorporate conversion of a new Inland Container Depot (ICD) including ancillary works and new rail link with the ICD from Pubail and Dhirassram railway stations.

Moheshkhali and Matarbari proposed power plants will be served by the rail track. Besides it will have carriage and wagon and loco workshop, fuelling facilities and depot for BG rolling stock, as well as, construction of a number of offices for railway services.

Railway bridges will be constructed over Tongi Khal, Balu, Shitalaksha, Arial Kha, Old Brahmaputra, Meghna, Chhoto Feni, Muhuri, Feni, Karnafuli, Matamuhuri and old Matamuhuri rivers.

Dhaka-Cumilla chord line neglected

The initiative to develop the railway line from Dhaka to Cox's Bazar via Chattogram has been taken on the current rail route at a huge cost. However, experts say if a chord line was constructed from Dhaka via Narayanganj-Cumilla, the distance of the railway line would be 94 km shorter. They say it would take two hours less time to transport passengers and goods from Dhaka to Cox's Bazar and also save a huge amount of money including fuel cost.

The British colonial government in India built the Dhaka-Chattogram railway line via Akhaura-Brahmanbaria to transport tea produced in Assam and Sylhet through the Chattogram Port. At that time Dhaka was not a very important city. For this reason, the British emphasized establishing railway lines to connect Kolkata with Assam.

After the partition of India in 1947, the importance of this route for tea exports began to decline. But no initiative has been taken to shorten the 321 km distance of this route from Dhaka to Chattogram in the 50 years after independence.

However, in 1980, the government completed a feasibility study for the establishment of the Dhaka-Cumilla chord line. But this plan was dropped in the 90's. If the project was implemented at that time, it would have been possible to save thousands of crores of taka in the last three decades.

After the railway division became a separate ministry in the government, former railway minister Mujibul Haque announced the establishment of a Dhaka-Cumilla direct railway line via Daudkandi instead of Dhaka-Laksam-Cumilla chord line in 2015. But no initiative has been taken to implement the plan in the last five years.

The government has taken the initiative to launch a direct train from Dhaka to Cox's Bazar on the existing railway line covering a distance of 470 km.

Shamsul Haque, professor of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, said, "The big question is—why Bangladesh Railway is not giving priority to the Dhaka-Cumilla chord line. In the 80s and the 90s, several initiatives were taken to build the Dhaka-Cumilla chord line. But for unknown reasons it was not implemented. The only reason you can find behind this is the immaturity of the railway."

He added that many railway projects are being implemented at a cost of thousands of crores of taka. But this project is not being implemented.

"The Dhaka-Cumilla chord line needs to be constructed on an urgent basis to strengthen the rail link with Cox's Bazar, the economic hub of the future, and Chattogram, the current main economic center of the country," he said.

Railway Minister Nurul Islam Sujan said, "There must be a public demand for the Dhaka-Cumilla chord line. Why would we do this if there is no demand from the people? If it is logical and has a public demand, we would do it. It will be easier to take action if there was a continuous discussion over the issue."

According to Bangladesh Railway, another feasibility study is underway to set up a high-speed rail line from Dhaka to Cumilla/Laksam-Chattogram.

Besides, a feasibility study has also been initiated for the construction of Dhaka-Cumilla chord line. However, it is not on the list of the priority projects of the railways, a railway source said.

S M Salimullah Bahar, chief planning officer of Bangladesh Railway, said, "The existing railway line from Dhaka to Dohazari in Chattogram will be converted to broad gauge. We have already completed survey work. However, we have also taken a project to estimate the possibility of constructing a Dhaka-Cumilla chord line. We may take initiative to build the chord line in the future based on this estimation. However, the decision will be taken considering the future situation."

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https://www.tbsnews.net/economy/india-invest-926m-chattogram-epz-276379#.YPP7g_W-Qts.facebook

TBS Report

18 July, 2021, 03:55 pm

India to invest $9.26M in Chattogram EPZ

4r_6972.jpg?itok=UFoFKDwa&timestamp=1626

 

 

Indian company M/s Sewtech Fashion Limited will establish a Readymade Garments manufacturing industry in Chattogram EPZ with an investment of $9.26 million. 

The company, a sister concern of India's largest apparel manufacturer Shahi Exports Pvt Ltd, has signed an agreement with Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) in this regard today. 

Member (Engineering) of BEPZA Mohammad Faruque Alam and Director of Sewtech Fashion Limited Balagi Pavadai signed the agreement at BEPZA Complex in Dhaka on behalf of their respective organisations. 

Issuing a press release, BEPZA said it is receiving many investment proposals from both local and foreign investors even amid the pandemic.

This fully foreign owned company will produce 3.36 million pieces of ladies, kids and men's woven tops annually. They will create employment opportunities for 3,393 Bangladeshi nationals.

Among others, member (Finance) Nafisa Banu, Secretary Md Zakir Hossain Chowdhury and General Manager (Investment Promotion) Md Tanvir Hossain of BEPZA were present at the signing ceremony.

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https://www.ittefaq.com.bd/scienceandtechnology/260123/তথ্যপ্রযুক্তি-খাতে-বাংলাদেশে-বিনিয়োগে-আগ্রহী-তুরস্ক

তথ্যপ্রযুক্তি খাতে বাংলাদেশে বিনিয়োগে আগ্রহী তুরস্ক

ইত্তেফাক অনলাইন ডেস্ক২৩:০৮, ১৪ জুলাই, ২০২১ 

তথ্যপ্রযুক্তি ও এই সংক্রান্ত সেবাখাতে বাংলাদেশে তুরস্কের বিনিয়োগ বৃদ্ধি এবং বাণিজ্য সম্প্রাসারিত হবে বলে মনে করেন বাংলাদেশে নিযুক্ত তুরস্কের রাষ্ট্রদূত মুস্তফা ওসমান তুরান।

বাংলাদেশ অ্যাসোসিয়েশন অব সফটওয়্যার অ্যান্ড ইনফরমেশন সার্ভিসেস (বেসিস) ও বাংলাদেশে অবস্থিত তুরস্কের দূতাবাসের মধ্যে আইসিটি খাতে বাংলাদেশ ও তুরস্কের মধ্যে ব্যবসা সম্প্রসারণের সম্ভাবনা নিয়ে ভার্চুয়াল প্ল্যাটফর্মে অনুষ্ঠিত দ্বিপাক্ষিক আলোচনা সভায় তিনি এ আশাবাদ ব্যক্ত করেন।

ওসমান তুরান বলেন, আইসিটি খাতে তুরস্ক ও বাংলাদেশ একসাথে কাজ করতে পারে। দু দেশের ব্যবসায়ীদের মধ্যে যাতে সফল ব্যবসায়ী সম্পর্ক গড়ে উঠে এজন্য আমরা কাজ করছি। তুরস্কের বাজারে বাংলাদেশের আইটি খাতের প্রতিষ্ঠানগুলো যাতে সহজে ব্যবসা করতে পারে সেজন্য বেসিসকে আমরা সবধরনের সহযোগিতা করবো।

অনলাইনে অনুষ্ঠিত এ সভায় বর্তমানে বাংলাদেশে আইসিটি খাতে ২০২৪ সাল পর্যন্ত ট্যাক্স হলিডের কথা উল্লেখ করে বেসিস সভাপতি সৈয়দ আলমাস কবীর বলেন, তুরস্কের আইটি কোম্পানি বাংলাদেশে বিনিয়োগ করে লাভবান হতে পারে। এক্ষেত্রে তারা তাদের লভ্যাংশের শতভাগ দেশে ফিরিয়ে নিতে পারবে। বাংলাদেশ এখন আইসিটি খাতে ১০ লক্ষের উপরে দক্ষ জনবল আছে।

তিনি আরো বলেন, এই খাতে তুরস্কের বিনিয়োগের ফলে উভয় দেশের জন্যই লাভজনক হবে। বেসিস আইসিটি খাতের আন্তর্জাতিক বাজার সম্প্রসারণে কাজ করছে। আমরা আশাবাদী তুরস্কের সাথে আমাদের ভবিষ্যৎ ব্যবসা বাড়বে। আলোচনার মধ্যে বাংলাদেশ ও তুরস্কের মধ্যকার অতীতের সুসম্পর্কের কথাও তুলে ধরেন বেসিস সভাপতি।

অনুষ্ঠানে বেসিসের জ্যেষ্ঠ সহ-সভাপতি ফারহানা এ রহমান বলেন, আইসিটি খাতের পণ্য ও সেবা রপ্তানির ক্ষেত্রে ইউরোপ আমাদের প্রাথমিক বাজার। তুরস্ক ইউরোপের বাজারে আমাদের ব্যবসা বাড়াতে ভূমিকা রাখতে পারে।

বাংলাদেশ ও তুরস্কের মধ্যে আইসিটি খাতে ব্যবসা বাড়ানোর অবাধ সুযোগ আছে। এই খাতের ব্যবসায়ীরা পরস্পর একসাথে কাজ করলে উভয়েই লাভবান হবে। বাংলাদেশে বর্তমান ব্যবসার পরিবেশ অতীতের যেকোন সময়ের চেয়ে ভালো। বিশেষ করে আইসিটি খাতে সরকারের দেওয়া বিশেষ সুবিধা এই খাতে ব্যবসা বাড়াতে ভূমিকা রাখবে বলে বেসিস ও বাংলাদেশে নিযুক্ত তুরস্কের রাষ্ট্রদূত উভয়ে সহমত প্রকাশ করেন।

বাংলাদেশে নিযুক্ত তুরস্কের রাষ্ট্রদূতের সাথে অনুষ্ঠিত সভায় বেসিস থেকে আরও যুক্ত ছিলেন যুগ্ম-সচিব ইনামুল হাফিজ লতিফী, আন্তর্জাতিক সম্পর্ক বিভাগের সহকারী ব্যবস্থাপক নাদিয়া তাবাসসুম।

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https://www.thedailystar.net/business/economy/industries/investments/news/china-company-invest-42m-ishwardi-epz-2134391

China company to invest $42m in Ishwardi EPZ

 

Star Business Report

Tue Jul 20, 2021 12:00 AM

Chinese company Vanessa Enterprise has signed a $41.77 million deal with Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (Bepza) to produce accessories for ladies' intimate garments in the Ishwardi export processing zone (EPZ) in Pabna.

As per the agreement, the company will annually produce 299.52 million pieces of bra cup and polyurethane foam, said a Bepza press release yesterday.

Bepza said the factory would employ at least 4,028 Bangladeshi nationals.

Bepza Member (Finance) Nafisa Banu and Vanessa Enterprise Managing Director Choi Chun Ho signed the agreement recently at Bepza Complex in Dhaka.   

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https://ekattor.tv/blog/article?article_id=6291

বিনিয়োগ আনতে আমেরিকার চার শহরে রোড শো

 

জুলিয়া আলম

প্রকাশ: ২৪ জুলাই ২০২১ ১৫:১৯:২০ আপডেট: ২৪ জুলাই ২০২১ ১৬:০৯:৩০

 

সোমবার (২৬ জুলাই) থেকে যুক্তরাষ্ট্রের চার বড় শহরে রোড-শো করতে যাচ্ছে বাংলাদেশ সিকিউরিটিজ এন্ড এক্সচেঞ্জ কমিশন (বিএসইসি)। মার্কিন বিনিয়োগকারীদের কাছে বাংলাদেশের সক্ষমতা ও সম্ভাবনা নতুন করে তুলে ধরতেই এই আয়োজন। 

বিএসইসি চেয়ারম্যান বলছেন, অর্থনীতিব সব খাতে বিনিয়োগ টানতে সহায়ক হবে এই রোড শো। পাশাপাশি বাংলাদেশের সঠিক তথ্য জানতে পারবেন বিদেশিরা। 

বিশ্বজুড়ে বাংলাদেশের পরিচয় এখন এমার্জিং টাইগার অব এশিয়া। দেশের অর্থনীতির উচ্চ প্রবৃদ্ধি ধরে রাখতে চাই আরো বিনিযোগ। 

তাই এবার বিদেশি বিনিয়োগকারীদের কাছে বাংলাদেশের সম্ভাবনা তুলে ধরতে যুক্তরাষ্ট্রের চারটি বড় শহরে রোড শো করতে যাচ্ছে বাংলাদেশ সিকিউরিটিজ এক্সচেঞ্জ কমিশন। 

এই আয়োজনের সহযোগী নগদের ব্যবস্থাপনা পরিচালক তানভীর এ মিশুক বললেন, বিশ্বের সবচেয়ে বড় অর্থনীতি দেশ যুক্তরাষ্ট্রের বিনিয়োগকারীদের কাছে বাংলাদেশের সম্ভাবনাগুলো জানানোর এখনই সময়।

পুঁজিবাজারের অংশীদার,  বিএমবিএ-এর সভাপতি সাইদুর রহমানের মতে, গড় মুনাফার হিসেবে এখন বিশ্ব তালিকার সামনের সারিতে আছে বাংলাদেশের শেয়ারবাজার। এই বাজারের নানা সম্ভাবনা বিদেশি বিনিয়োগকারীদের জানাতে এ ধরনের উদ্যোগ জরুরি।

বাংলাদেশের শেয়ারাবাজারে বিদেশি বিনিয়োগ তুলনামূলক কম। করোনাকালে তা আরো কমছিলো। 

ব্র্যাক ইপিএল প্রধান নির্বাহী কর্মকর্তা আহসানুর রহমান মনে করেন, রোড শোগুলোর মাধ্যমে পুঁজিবাজারের সম্প্রতিক সংস্কার ও অগ্রগতি বিদেশি বিনিয়োগকারীদের জানালে সুফল মিলবে। 

পুঁজিবাজার নিয়ন্ত্রক সংস্থার প্রধান শিবলী রুবাইয়াত-উল-ইসলাম একাত্তরকে বললেন, বাংলাদেশ নিয়ে বিশ্বে এখনো তথ্য বিভ্রান্তি আছে। এদেশের উন্নয়ন ও সক্ষমতার সঠিক তথ্য উন্নত বিশ্বের বিনিয়োগকারীদের দোড়গোড়ায় নিয়ে যেতে হবে। 

তিনি আরো বলেন, শুধু পুঁজিবাজার নয়, অর্থনীতির সব খাতে বিনিয়োগ আকর্ষণের জন্যই এই রোড শো। সরকারি ও বেসরকারি সংস্থাগুলোও এমন আরো আয়োজন করবে বলে আশাবাদী তিনি।   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqS7scp--BA

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https://thefinancialexpress.com.bd/economy/bangladesh/japan-plans-to-set-up-two-more-sezs-in-bangladesh-1627267920

Japan plans to set up two more SEZs in Bangladesh

 

 FE REPORT | Published:  July 26, 2021 08:52:01

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Japan is expected to set up two more special economic zones (SEZs) in Bangladesh to bring more investors from the industrially developed country.

"Japanese investors eye Bangladesh as a potential destination," Japanese Ambassador in Dhaka Naoki Ito told a virtual meeting on Sunday, revealing the plan to establish the SEZs at Matarbari and Mirsarai.

He, however, said that the new SEZs would depend on the success of the one already being developed at Araihajar.

To attract the investors, he added, Bangladesh also needed to remove the existing bottlenecks like complicated customs clearance procedures and other trade restrictions.

The Cosmos Foundation broadcast live the virtual dialogue on "Bangladesh-Japan Relations: Prognosis for the Future".

Chairman of the Foundation Enayetullah Khan delivered the opening remarks, with former Foreign Affairs Advisor to the caretaker government Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury in the chair.

Mr Ito also made it clear that the challenges being faced by the Japanese companies in Bangladesh must be addressed to ensure the influx of this potential big investments.

Talking about the Public Private Economic Dialogue (PPED), he said the two countries have resolved many issues related to business climate through this mechanism.

"Most of the Japanese companies are not happy about the customs clearance, which takes time and requires them to go through cumbersome procedures," he said, elaborating the key challenges.

"Next comes trade financing, in particular slow processing of letter of credit and restrictions on telegraphic transfer (TT)."

"In only two countries in Asia, the TT is not used as the primary method of settling import transactions," he added.

Appreciating the Bangladesh government's drive to create a better investment climate, he said that there have been a lot of improvements here despite the Covid-19 pandemic. "I fully appreciate efforts made by the government of Bangladesh."

About the Araihajar SEZ, the Japanese Ambassador said that this should provide the best possible economic zone in Asia, beating its rivals in countries like Vietnam, Myanmar and the Philippines.

"We will also look into opportunities at Mirsarai under the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar being developed on a contiguous land of 30,000 acres and a possible economic zone at Maheshkhali-Matarbari area If Araihajar becomes successful," he added.

He mentioned that the SEZ at Araihajar will be ready for its operation by the end of next year.

Due to the Covid-19 situation, he could not tell exactly about how many companies are coming to invest, but said it is really crucial to see successful and continuous business partnership between Bangladesh and Japan.

"I am sure down the line it'll attract more investment from Japan," he said, adding that they might be able to see 100 companies making investments.

The Japanese envoy said the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is now conducting a feasibility study on Mirsarai economic zone and then will explore the third possible economic zone at Matarbari area, which is being developed as an energy hub and industrial zone.

"I am sure that we will have the opportunity to develop Japanese economic zone in Matarbari-Maheshkhali area as well," he added.

Mr Ito identified five challenges ahead that Bangladesh and Japan needed to address together to elevate the solid partnership to even higher level with multifaceted greater cooperation as the two countries are set to celebrate the 50 years of diplomatic relations in a big way next year.

The five challenges are: developing Bangladesh-Japan strategic partnership, making Bangladesh more attractive for business, expanding people-to-people exchange, enhancing cooperation with Bangladesh as a partner to realise Free and Open Indo-Pacific, and strengthening efforts to increase Bangladesh's stature in the region and beyond.

He said that the year 2022 will provide an excellent opportunity to elevate the partnership even to a higher level and wished that the two countries could call the partnership a "truly strategic partners".

Ambassador Ito, who already spent 20 months in Bangladesh, said the development of quality infrastructures and strengthening connectivity under the Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth (BIG-B) initiative will be beneficial not only for the development of Bangladesh, but also for the regional peace and stability.

"Our leaders are really conscious that this BIG-B is important - not only for the development of Bangladesh but also for the stability of the entire Bay of Bengal region, beyond Bangladesh itself," he said.

Md Abul Kalam Azad, Special Envoy, Climate Vulnerable Forum; Hayakawa Yuho, Chief Representative, JICA Bangladesh Office; Dr Salehuddin Ahmed, former Governor, Bangladesh Bank; Prof Masaaki Ohashi, Professor, University of the Sacred Heart, Tokyo; Manzurul Huq, Columnist, writer and academic; Prof Takahara Akio, Dean, Graduate School of Public Policy, the University of Tokyo and Ambassador (Retd) Tariq A Karim, Honorary Advisor Emeritus, Cosmos Foundation comprised the panel of discussants.

Mr Hayakawa Yuho said the huge projects under the BIG-B such as three MRT lines in Dhaka, the integrated development of the Matabari-Moheshkhali area and the deep-sea port there, Dhaka airport terminal 3, the Bangabandhu Jamuna railway bridge, EZ in Araihazar were under construction.

Mr Abul Kalam Azad said that work at Arihajar economic zone started very vigorously and the basic works have already been done. He hoped that the respective companies would be able to start their construction there very soon.

Dr Salehuddin said Arihajar is a very good place and Mirsarai might be too crowded. He suggested concentrating on Araihajar and it can become very successful. "Matarbari may be there but I'm little bit sceptic about Mirsharai."

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https://thefinancialexpress.com.bd/stock/bangladesh/worlds-eyes-are-now-on-bangladesh-says-bsec-chief-1627271202

World's eyes are now on Bangladesh, says BSEC chief

 

Published:  July 26, 2021 09:46:42 | Updated:  July 26, 2021 11:06:55

Bangladesh is now recognised as an attractive destination for investment in the world, says Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam, chairman of the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC).

He said this before joining four investment conferences to be organised by the BSEC in the US from July 26 to Aug 2, and designed to woo investors to the possibilities that the Bangladesh market offers.

Prof Shibli Rubayat, a former Dhaka University teacher and researcher, said many research organisations have published positive reports on the economic development of Bangladesh and many investors from different corners of the world now want to invest in Bangladesh, reports bdnews24.com.

“The entire world's eyes are on Bangladesh now. What we need to do is to present the ways of investment in Bangladesh to them.”   

The BSEC chairman said they have two target groups in the US – non-resident Bangladeshis, and American businesses.

The expatriate Bangladeshis cannot make a good profit by investing in the US, but they have the option to take back profits and investments from Bangladesh through non-resident investors taka account, he said.

And a US business association has targeted five countries for investment, with Bangladesh on the top of the list.

They want to make 17 per cent of the total investment in Bangladesh, according to Prof Shibli Rubayat. “We want to bring investment from such foreigners.”

The foreigners are eyeing bond, mutual fund, and commodity market, besides the share market, according to him.

“We will present mutual funds, bonds and other products to them so that they do not keep their eye only on the secondary market.”

“The Bangladesh bond market will be very strong in future. Bonds will take our capital market forward. The foreign investment in bonds will take our economy further ahead,” the BSEC chief remarked.

Bangladesh is also working on derivatives and commodity market, he added.

“Gold can be brought to Bangladesh as a commodity now. The Chattogram Stock Exchange is working on gold now. We'll also dive into this. For this, we will need big investors in future."

“We don’t think that the secondary market is the market. Our country has different big fields for investment now," Prof Shibli Rubayat added.

The BSEC will organise the first conference in New York. It will meet the foreign investors at InterContinental New York Barclay hotel in the morning on that day, and the Bangladeshi expatriates in the afternoon.

The next conferences will be held in Washington, DC on Jul 28, Los Angeles on Jul 30 before the final one takes place at the Silicon Valley of Santa Clara on Aug 2.

The commission is organising a series of roadshow on Bangladesh’s economy and capital markets in different parts of the world as part of a wide and elaborate plan to showcase Bangladesh's capital market and trade and investment opportunities globally, the BSEC said in a statement.

The first of the series, 'The Rise of Bengal Tiger: Potentials of Trade and Investment in Bangladesh', was held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates from Feb 9 to 12.

“We got overwhelming responses from both the NRB and foreign institutional and individual investors in the Dubai Road Show,” the BSEC said.

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https://www.dhakatribune.com/business/2021/07/26/with-eye-on-3-sezs-japan-wants-to-boost-its-investment-in-bangladesh

With eye on 3 SEZs, Japan wants to boost its investment in Bangladesh

 

 Published at 04:31 pm July 26th, 2021

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Ambassador Ito said he has been advocating that Araihazar should be the best possible economic zone in Asia

Japan eyes three special economic zones (SEZs), including the one at Araihazar, Narayanjanj, to give a big boost to Japanese investment in Bangladesh but things depend on the success of the first one, says Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Naoki Ito.

“This (Araihazar EZ) should provide the best possible environment and the best possible incentives for the investors,” he said, adding that a special economic zone is a very important key to invite an increasing number of Japanese companies to invest in Bangladesh.   

Ambassador Ito said he has been advocating that Araihazar should be the best possible economic zone in Asia, beating its rivals in countries like Vietnam, Myanmar and the Philippines.  

The envoy said they will look into opportunities at Mirsarai under Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar, being developed on a contiguous land of 30,000 acres, and a possible economic zone in Maheshkhali-Matarbari area if Araihazar becomes successful.

He shared the plans on the three potential economic zones for the Japanese investors in Bangladesh while responding to questions at a virtual dialogue titled “Bangladesh-Japan Relations: Prognosis for the Future” where he delivered the keynote speech.   

Cosmos Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Cosmos Group, hosted the dialogue, premiered on Sunday night, as part of its ongoing Ambassador’s Lecture Series.   

The opening remarks were delivered by the Cosmos Foundation Chairman Enayetullah Khan. The session was chaired by Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, renowned scholar-diplomat and former advisor on Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh Caretaker Government.

Md Abul Kalam Azad, special envoy, Climate Vulnerable Forum; Hayakawa Yuho, chief representative, JICA Bangladesh Office; Salehuddin Ahmed, former governor, Bangladesh Bank; Prof Masaaki Ohashi, professor, University of the Sacred Heart, Tokyo; Manzurul Huq, columnist, writer and academic; Prof Takahara Akio, dean, Graduate School of Public Policy, the University of Tokyo and Ambassador (Retd) Tariq A Karim, honorary advisor emeritus, Cosmos Foundation comprised the panel of discussants.

Ito said the Economic Zone at Araihazar will be ready for its operation by the end of the next year.

Due to the Covid-19 situation, he said, he cannot exactly say how many companies are coming to make investments but it is really crucial to see successful and continuous business partnership between Bangladesh and Japan.

“I’m sure down the line it’ll attract more investments from Japan,” he said, adding that they might be able to see 100 companies making investments.   

The Japanese envoy said Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is now doing feasibility study on Mirsarai economic zone and then will explore the third possible economic zone at Matarbari-Maheshkhali area which is being developed as energy hub and industrial zone.   

“I’m sure we’ll have the opportunity to develop Japanese economic zone in Matarbari-Maheshkhali area as well,” he said.

Hayakawa Yuho said huge projects in BIG-B such as the three MRT lines in Dhaka, the integrated development of the Matabari-Moheshkhali area and the deep-sea port there, Dhaka airport terminal-3, the Bangabandhu Jamuna railway bridge, EZ in Araihazar are under construction. 

Abul Kalam Azad said work on Arihajar economic zone started very vigorously and basic works have been done, and hoped that respective companies will be able to start their construction there very soon.

Responding to a question from Dr Iftekhar, Azad said the Mirsarai economic zone is a big area of 30,000 acres and this land has been naturally reclaimed from the sea mostly.   

“A huge work is going on by different stakeholders from home and abroad,” he said, adding that they will have an independent power plant there and also an opportunity for the port facility.   

Azad said the Mirsarai economic zone is basically one part of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar and it is a great opportunity for investors to work there.   

Also Read - Dhaka receives 245,000 AstraZeneca Covid vaccine doses from Tokyo

Salehuddin said Arihajar is a very good place while Mirsarai may be too crowded. He suggested concentrating on Araihazar and it can become very successful. “Matarbari may be there but I’m little bit skeptical about Mirsarai.”

Talking about Public Private Economic Dialogue (PPED), Ambassador Ito said this has been a major vehicle of economic partnership and the two countries have resolved many issues related to business climate through this mechanism.   

“Unless and until you resolve those issues and challenges, the existing Japanese companies will not come as fast as you might be hoping for,” he said, adding that there are still some issues that need to be addressed.   

The envoy said there are three main challenges in the eyes of Japanese companies. Most of the Japanese companies are not happy about issues like customs clearance, which takes time and requires them to go through cumbersome procedures.   

Next comes trade financing, in particular the slow processing of letter of credit, and restrictions on telegraphic transfer, he said.  

In only two countries of Asia, a telegraphic transfer is not used as the primary method of settling import transactions, Ambassador Ito said, adding that Bangladesh and Pakistan maintain similar restrictions.

As for the investment climate, he said, there have been a lot of improvements despite Covid-19 pandemic. “I fully appreciate efforts made by the government of Bangladesh.”

Wrapping up the roundtable discussion, Iftekhar Chowdhury remarked that Bangladeshis remain “deeply beholden” to Japan for having always stood by them: “As one of the fastest growing developing economies, Bangladesh also provides for Japan an excellent trading partner, and a very useful investment destination.”

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