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Focus on economic zones to meet middle-income target

By UNB, DHAKA
24th-Feb-2014       
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Achieving the national goal of becoming a middle-income country by 2021 is heavily dependent on successful implementation of economic zones in the country, said an expert here on Sunday.
Dr Shoichi Kobayashi, team leader of the Private Sector Development Support Project (PSDSP), a project of the Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA), said this while putting forward some specific recommendations for BEZA at a workshop held in a city hotel.
While presenting a draft final report on 'Technical Advisory Services for Feasibility Studies for Economic Zones', Kobayashi reminded his audience that Bangladesh will be deprived of investment if economic zones are not set up; and without investment, requisite job creation and income generation for Bangladesh will not be possible.
He thinks the BEZA needs to implement the Sherpur Economic Zone successfully first before turning its attention to two other economic zones to be implemented in Mirsharai and Anwara, Chittagong for attracting domestic and foreign investments, creating jobs and accelerating growth through expediting industrialization.
"Start Sherpur Economic Zone first fully supported by the Prime Minister's Office with strong political will and demonstrate that BEZA is able to implement economic zones quickly and successfully," Kobayashi said while making his presentation in the workshop.
Since the BEZA has a full mandate to develop economic zones, it should develop many economic zones as fast as possible with 'can do spirit', the expert said.
He mentioned that Bangladesh's economy has been maintaining a 6.3 percent growth rate over the past five years but Bangladesh needs to accelerate GDP growth to 8-10 percent to reduce the poverty level from 40 percent now to 15 percent, in line with its target of becoming a middle income country by 2021.

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