A bright future ahead
The nation is fast progressing with the introduction of several policies and reforms by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
Public-Private Partnership programme
The reforms and initiatives introduced by the Prime Minister have led to the establishment of one of the largest Public Private Partnership (PPP) project pipelines in emerging markets. We expect this momentum to continue and lead to the development of much needed public infrastructure services in Bangladesh.
According to the eight Five-year Plan, Bangladesh requires nearly $5.25 billion investment in the physical infrastructure and service sector a year through the PPP route to achieve the development goals. The government has already directed the ministries and divisions to implement 30 per cent of their investment projects using the PPP modality.
Building on a strong regulatory base with a clear set of policies and guidelines, the PPP Authority has overseen the expansion of the PPP pipeline to 79 projects, with an estimated investment value of $29 billion, at different stages of development and delivery. Bangladesh has now developed one of the largest and most active PPP programmes in emerging markets and this momentum is expected to accelerate with further projects being processed within shorter timescales.
Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority (BHTPA) was established in 2010 to develop international standard infrastructure and other facilities for hi-tech industries in Bangladesh.
BHTPA is establishing 39 Hi-Tech Parks (HTP) and Software Technology Parks (STP) across Bangladesh. Five parks are already in operation and another three parks will be operational by December 2021. Many software, hardware and biotech companies have already started their business activities and have employed over 3,000 people.
Advances in information technology reinforce the economic and social changes that are transforming business and society. A new kind of economy, 'the knowledge-based economy' has emerged where the synergy between trade, investment and skilled human resources are global.
Hi-Tech Parks are full of opportunities to invest in industries including information technology, software technology, biotechnology, renewable energy, green technology, IT hardware, IT-enabled services, R&D etc.
It is also focusing on developing a start-up eco-system in the country by providing dedicated space and free utilities and other fringe benefits in the different hi-tech parks and software technology parks. Supporting the development of the start-up ecosystem in Bangladesh with policies and legal issues by organising events on such pressing issues.
A One Stop Service Center has been created and an online one stop service portal (http://ossbhtpa.org/) has been developed by BHTPA for ensuring quick service delivery related to invest in Hi-Tech Parks to the local/foreign investors. At present, 148 services are identified to provide to the investors. Out of them seven services are provided online to the investors through the portal. the rest of the services will be incorporated gradually in the portal.
The Bangladesh Economic Zones Act, 2010 was enacted as an epoch-making decision of Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister, to meet the domestic demand of a fast-growing economy, establish planned and labour-intensive industries, preserve the environment, achieve high productivity, establish export-oriented and value-added industries and integrate with the global economic dynamics. One of the goals of the present government is to bring about a major change in the socio-economic condition of the country by establishing economic zones.
The Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) has taken various initiatives to identify favourable locations, formulate investment-friendly policies, announce attractive incentive packages, ensure one-stop service and expedite the identification of investment promotion strategies to attract investment in economic zones.
BEZA Governing Board has already approved the location and area of land in 97 economic zones. Among these economic zones, there are two public-private partnership zones, four government to government (G2G) zones and three tourism parks. So far, more than 7,000 acres of land has been allotted for lease in favour of 168 investors. The total investment proposal stands at $27.07 billion. Even during Covid -19, BEZA attracted investment proposals from foreign investors from the UK, China, Australia, Netherlands, India, Singapore and Germany.
- Duty-free import facilities for capital machinery and construction material
- Corporate Tax exemption for up to 10 years and 12 years respectively for unit investors and zone developers
- Exemption from value-added tax on utility services
- 100 per cent tax exemption for 10 years on royalty fee, capital gain and dividend payment
- Foreign residents working in economic zones get a tax waiver for half of their income in the first three years
- These incentives are also applicable for Hi-Tech Park.
The first planned industrial city
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpanagar (BSMSN) of about 33,000 acres is being developed as the first planned industrial city of Bangladesh and one of the largest industrial cities in South-East Asia. The construction work of the necessary infrastructure is progressing at a fast pace by dividing the industrial city into several zones. The country's first 'superdike', 23 km long, has been created to provide maximum protection to the city from natural disasters. In addition to industrial establishments, residential and commercial areas, business hubs, service zones, administrative/institutional areas and rehabilitation areas, logistical hubs, green parks, fields and lots of open space including water bodies have been set up. The desalination plant, Central Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) for waste treatment will be set up to supply water to the industry. To establish this city as self-sufficient, the activities of the Private Investment and Digital Entrepreneurship (PRIDE) project funded by the World Bank will start in 2021.
Major development projects ongoing in Bangladesh
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