Vol. 5 Num 1108 Fri. July 13, 2007  

EPZs expect $300m investment in FY08

Aiming to register $800 million investment proposals in the current fiscal year, Bepza expects $300 million actual investment in the country's export processing zones (EPZs) by the end of 2007-08.

Bepza (Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority) also set a $2.3billion export target for the current fiscal year.

Bepza registered $566 million investment proposals during FY2006-07, a 270 percent rise over the previous fiscal year.

The investment in the EPZs in 2006-07 was $152.37 million, which was 35 percent higher compared to that of FY 2005-06, according to Bepza statistics.

The regulator of the EPZs, Bepza, also expects the number of employment will reach 30,000 in the EPZs by the current fiscal year. Now, some 23,000 people are employed.

"I'm very much hopeful about the upcoming investment in the EPZs," said Brig General Ashraf Abdullah Yussuf, executive chairman of Bepza.

"The country's present investment climate is better now," Yussuf told a press briefing yesterday to announce Bepza's performance in 2006-07.

"Bepza's achievement in FY07 was tremendous despite labour unrests in the EPZs," he said.

He said Bepza now gives much attention to workers' facilities and benefits.

He said wages of workers in the EPZs have already increased.

Yussuf said Bepza is also offering training to workers of the EPZs.

Bepza has already trained 900 workers, he said.

Export from country's eight EPZs was $2.064 billion the last fiscal year, which was 12.40 percent higher than the previous fiscal year, he said.

Along with Bangladesh, so far a total of 30 countries have invested in different sectors in the EPZs.

Prasanta Bhushan Barua, member (investment promotion) and AZM Azizur Rahman, general manager of Bepza, were also present at the press conference.