United Group to set up economic zone for IT industry - Share market analysis of dhaka stock exchange, Bangladesh

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18 July, 2016 10:55 AM Source: The Daily Star Bangladesh


United Group will set up a specialised IT-focused economic zone in Dhaka to attract foreign entrepreneurs.

The group will receive a prequalification licence today from the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority to set up “United City Economic Zone” on 2.5 acres of land in the capital's Satarkul area.

Within a year of receiving the licence, United will have to do an environmental impact assessment, feasibility study and a master plan.

Upon satisfactory completion of the prequalification exercises, it will get the full licence, which will make it eligible to enjoy tax exemption for 12 years.

It will be the first prequalification licence from Beza for an IT-focused economic zone, said an official of the economic zones authority.

Apart from the developers, entrepreneurs also can get fiscal and financial incentives and other benefits that industrial units get in the export processing zones.

By setting up a unit in an economic zone, investors can get the tax exemption facility for 10 years.

They can also enjoy Bangladesh's significant market access to developed and neighbouring countries, demographic dividends, the domestic consumer market and most importantly, the cheap labour force.

United Group started its journey some 30 years ago with a few small ventures.

The group has investments in sectors such as power, healthcare, education, real estate and construction, port and maritime, textile and other manufacturing industries.

Beza has so far awarded licences to six local private sector companies to set up seven economic zones -- one each to AK Khan and Company, Abdul Monem Ltd, Bay Group, Aman Group, Maisha Group, and two to Meghna Group.

The government is also setting up four economic zones in the public sector: Mirsarai Economic Zone in Chittagong, Mongla Economic Zone in Bagerhat, Srihatta Economic Zone in Moulvibazar and Sabrang Tourism Park in Cox's Bazar.

Recently, China Harbour Engineering Company signed a deal with Beza to set up an economic zone, especially for Chinese investors, in Chittagong.

These economic zones are part of the government's plan to develop 100 such zones by 2030 on 75,000 acres, to create jobs for one crore people and to produce $40 billion worth of products and services.

The authority has so far selected 59 places across the country for economic zones; feasibility studies on 22 sites are currently underway. 

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