Three foreign companies and one local firm are set to invest $50 million collectively at the Bepza economic zone in the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar (BSMSN) in Mirsarai, Chattogram.
Through their investment, the companies plan to establish manufacturing units at an economic zone operated by the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (Bepza) inside the industrial city.
The companies are US-based Campex (BD) Ltd, China's Fengqun Composite Material Company (BD) Ltd, Sri Lanka's Univogue Garments Company Ltd, and Bangladesh's TexTrim Labels Ltd.
Bepza yesterday signed land lease agreements with the respective firms to this end. This is the first time such investments have been made at its economic zone in the BSMSN.
The deals were signed at an event at the Bepza office, where Ahmad Kaikaus, principal secretary to the prime minister, was present as chief guest.
The investment will generate 23,453 jobs, according to a press release.
The four companies will be allotted 18 plots in the economic zone, where they will manufacture garment accessories, camping items, shoe accessories and packaging tools.
Univogue Garments, which was allotted six plots, will invest $36.49 million to manufacture apparel items, such as woven bottoms and jackets.
Campex, which was also allotted six units, will invest $10 million to produce camping equipment, creating employment for about 5,000 people.
Fengqun Composite will invest $2.22 million to make shoe accessories and packaging items. The Bepza allotted four plots to the Chinese company.
TexTrim Labels will invest $1.27 million to establish a garment accessory and paper converting industry at the economic zone, where it has been allotted two plots.
Kaikaus said the Bepza has a unique power to attract investment which ultimately contributes to the country's economic development.
"The Bepza is not only helping integrate Bangladesh with the global economy but is also upgrading the living standards of local people," he added.
Stating that the agreement signing signalled the beginning of a new era, the prime minister's principal secretary said he hopes more industries will come to the Bepza economic zone in the coming days.
Major General Abul Kalam Mohammad Ziaur Rahman, executive chairman of the Bepza, said they have received 666 applications against 539 industrial plots, which is very encouraging.
"In the first phase, we received applications from 81 entrepreneurs against the 160 prepared industrial plots. Of these applications, six companies received final approval and four of them signed lease agreements today (Saturday)," he added.
The Bepza economic zone was set up on 1,138 acres of land, where about 350 industries will be set up in the 539 industrial plots available.
Officials say that this will create jobs for about four lakh people and attract investment of about $4 billion.
Established in 2018, the development work of the zone will be completed within June 2023.