PM Hasina stresses industrialization

Bangla Tribune Desk
Published : 17:32, Nov 12, 2019 | Updated : 17:35, Nov 12, 2019

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presides over the 34th meeting of the board of governors of Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) at the Prime Minister’s Office in Dhaka on Tuesday (Nov 12). Sheikh is also chairperson of BEPZA Board of Governors. FOCUS BANGLA

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has stressed industrialization not only relying on the agriculture to generate more employment, promote exports and socioeconomic development of the country.
“Since Bangladesh is a country which is largely dependent on the agriculture, we will have to go for industrialization alongside the agriculture to generate more employment, promote exports and ensure socioeconomic development of the people,” she said.
The premier said this while giving an introductory speech at the 34th meeting of the board of governors of Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in Dhaka on Tuesday (Nov 12), reports BSS.
Sheikh Hasina, also chairperson of BEPZA Board of Governors, presided over the meeting.
The prime minister simultaneously put emphasis on giving special attention to increase food production, saying, “We will have a look at the matter that food production doesn’t decrease as the demand for food never ends rather increases with soaring up the population”.
She also asked the authorities concerned to set up industries by taking all initiatives to protect the environment and said, “We’ll have to go for industrialization by protecting environment.”
Praising the role of BEPZA for attracting foreign direct investment and for industrialization, the premier asked for giving further attention to this end
Describing Bangladesh as the most lucrative destination for investment, the prime minister gave credit to the youth work force, prolonged political stability and continuation of the democratic process for this.
She went on saying, “Bangladesh has become the attractive destination for investment as we have been able to maintain political stability, continuation of the democratic process and develop a vast youth work force.”
The premier said, “We need to make youth work force more efficient by giving them with proper training.”
Turning to special economic zones, she said 100 special economic zones are being set up across the country.
BEPZA’s Executive Chairman Major General S M Salahuddin Islam gave a presentation on the activities of the regulatory body and progress on the implementation of decisions taken in its previous 33rd meeting of the board of governors.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, Textiles and Jute Minister Golam Dastagir Gazi, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid, State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury and State Minister for Labour and Employment Begum Monnujan Sufian were present on the
PM’s Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman moderated the function while PMO Secretary Sajjadul Hassan, PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim and concerned secretaries were present.
As many as 10 issues, including fixation of the agenda for the 33th meeting of the BEPZA board of governors, progress on implementation of the decisions taken in the 33th meeting, re-fixing the rate of rent for industrial plot and factory buildings at EPZ, and retrospective approval of the MoU signed between BEPZA and BEZA to set up “BEPZA Economic Zone” at Mirsharai Upazila in Chottogram district, came for the discussion in the meeting.
The meeting also discussed several others issues including setting up an EPZ in Joshore district for socio-economic development of the southwestern region of the country, building “Rangpur Export Processing Area” at Sahebganj inside Rangpur Sugar Mill, introducing pension instead of gratuity for the permanent officers and employees of the BEPZA, use of three training centres, dormitory and other equipment of a project titled “Northern Areas Reduction of Poverty Initiative (NARI) and giving allocation of the industrial plots and factory buildings to the investors at the Adamzi EPZ alongside giving allocation of 10 plots reserved for production of the export oriented jute goods among the investors at the EPZ.
The meeting was apprised that the eight EPZs (Export Processing Zones) built only on 2307 acres of land have been playing an important role in booming the country’s economy in the last 10 to 12 years with contributing 19-20 percent in national export and 20-25 percent in foreign investment.
The numbers of industries have increased to 475 from 195 in the last 10 years due to the government’s investment friendly policies. The total investment in the EPZs now stands at $ 5.09 billion which was only $ 1.51 billion in 2009.
It was also informed that as many as 521,561 people have been employed at the EPZs which was only 203,447 in 2008. Sixty six percent employees working in the EPZs are female. The total export from the EZP is now $ 7.52 billion which was only $ 2.58 billion in FY 2008-09.