He made the remarks at the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA) and Bashundhara Industrial Economic Zone Ltd (BIEZL) at Radisson Blu hotel in the capital on Monday.
Under the deal, BEZA will lease out 500 acres of land to BIEZL, a concern of the country’s leading business conglomerate Bashundhara Group for Mirsarai Economic Zone in Chittagong.
BEZA Executive Member Mohammad Harunur Rashid and Bashundhara Group Vice Chairman Safwan Sobhan signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides.
Principal Coordinator (SDG Affairs) at the Prime Minister’s Office Mohammad Abul Kalam Azad attended the MoU signing ceremony as the chief guest and Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan as the special guest while BEZA Executive Chairman Paban Chowdhury presided over it.
Bashundhara Group Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir, BDG-Magura Group Chairman Mustafa Kamal Mohiuddin, BEPZA Executive Chairman Major General Mohd Habibur Rahman Khan and BEZA Executive Member M Emdadul Haque were also present on the occasion.
In his speech, the Bashundhara Group chairman said Mirsarai is going to be the biggest economic zone of the country and Bashundhara Group has got 500 acres of land allocated for it.
Highlighting Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s contribution to Bangladesh’s independence and its economic development, he said the Father of the Nation dreamt of an economically stable country, which faced a major setback after his killing.
“Bangladesh turned back to his dream under the leadership of Bangabandhu’s daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who has been taking bold steps one after another to attain her vision to turn Bangladesh a middle-income country by 2021 and developed nation by 2041,” said Ahmed Akbar Sobhan.
He said Bangladesh is going ahead at a great pace but still has problems like inadequate infrastructures and traffic congestion.
He expressed his hope that the government and its agencies will address the issues.
The Bashundhara Group chairman suggested bringing back the money that has been sent to foreign countries ‘in right or wrong way’ through imposing minimum penalty or fess.
“There are huge scopes of investment in Bangladesh. If that money gets white, Bangladeshi people can change the face of country.
Foreign direct investment will not be needed that much,” he said.Ahmed Akbar Sobhan advised BEZA to include establishment of a sports complex in every divisional and district city to attract the new generation to sports and save them from the drugs.
Principal SDG Coordinator Abul Kalam Azad said Bashundhara Group has proved its worth in all sectors as a leading investor of the country and the MoU with BEZA will lead it towards further success.
He also said: “Scope of investment in EZ is a great opportunity and we urge leading entrepreneurs of the country to come forward and BEZA and BIDA is ready to provide all-out support in this regard.”
BEZA Executive Chairman Paban Chowdhury said the private sector is the main pillar of country’s economic force and it is the duty of the government to extend policy and other supports to nourish investment.
He said the country still lacks an investment culture and the government is trying to develop it.