Sri Lanka wants to invest in the special economic zone in Bangladesh with an objective to expand trade and economic relations between Dhaka and Colombo.
With this objective in view, Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) has discussed the issue with Sri Lanka High Commissioner in Dhaka, Y.K. Gunasekera recently, BEZA sources told the Daily Observer on Monday.
A senior official of BEZA said, "The economic zone authority has arranged the meeting with Sri Lanka High Commissioner in Bangladesh as they expressed their willingness to invest in Bangladesh, especially in the newly declared 100 proposed economic zones."
"A high profile BEZA team will visit in Sri Lanka as soon as possible," he added.
Before this, 44 Sri Lanka companies are doing business in Bangladesh with an investment of $300 million, while six Bangladeshi companies are doing business in Sri Lanka with an investment of $20 million from October 2014.
Sri Lanka businessmen are keen to invest in printed packaging products, RMG accessories, IT, education, food processing and electric cables sectors of Bangladesh.
A G Abeysekra, a leading Sri Lanka Sri Lanka businessman recently told the media "A good number of investors are willing to invest in Bangladesh especially in RMG accessories, education, IT, electric cables and food processing sectors."
It would not only help develop trade and investment in Bangladesh but also address the bilateral issues, said Abeysekra.
He also urged the Bangladeshi private sector entrepreneurs to export more pharmaceutical products to Sri Lanka market and also to invest in pharmaceutical sector there.
Earlier, Japan, China and Russia wanted to invest in special economic zones in Bangladesh that created a hope for the country to reinvigorate its national economy through rapid industrialization.
BEZA Executive Chairman Paban Chowdhury told the Daily Observer that the authorities would provide all kinds of incentives including tax holiday, security and other infrastructural facilities to attract the foreign investors in the proposed economic zones.
According to the sources, in a bid to boost investments, the government will set up 100 new economic zones across the country. Of them, 21 economic zones have already been established in the country BEAZ sources said.
The government has taken up the massive scheme to set up 100 economic zones across the country to generate employment opportunities in the country. Besides, such economic zones would attract foreign entrepreneurs to invest in Bangladesh. The authorities hope once the economic zones are set up, employment scopes for at least 10 million people would be created.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has opened 10 economic zones including four in public sector and six in private sector through video conference from a programme held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka on Sunday.
The four state -run economic zones are Mirsarai Economic Zone in Chittagong, Srihatta Economic Zone in Moulvibazar, Mongla Economic Zone in Bagerhat and Sabrang Tourism Park in Cox's Bazar districts while the six private-run zones are - AK Khan Economic Zone in Narsingdi, Abdul Monem Economic Zone in Munshiganj, Meghna Industrial Economic Zone, Meghna Economic Zone and Aman Economic Zone in Narayanganj and Bay Economic Zone in Gazipur districts.