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Chinese firm Orient International to invest $1.2b for garment park development

Logo_fState-owned Chinese firm Orient International (Holding) Co Ltd will make an investment of around $1.2 billion for the construction of Baushia Garment Park on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway in the Munshigonj district for relocation of garment factories from within and around the capital.

The project cost will cover land development including payment of land value to owners and build the garment park with all its infrastructure and utility services ready for factories to move in, the BGMEA Secretary General Ehsan Ul Fattah told The Financial Express Thursday last.

He was on the Prime Minister’s entourage during her visit to China from June 6 to 11 along with BGMEA president Atiqul Alam. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the BGMEA and Chinese state firm on the project.

The BGMEA functionary said the Chinese firm will bear the entire cost of the project. The garment park will be located over 490 acres of land. The government will acquire the land while the Chinese firm will pay the cost of acquisition, estimated at around Tk 8.0 billion as per initial estimate.

The park will accommodate 300 factories and those who want to move in there may either take allotment of plots or use factory shades that the Orient International will build for parties to move in on readily available space.

Non-compliant factories will find priority to the new garment park to give them a chance to improve their work place safety standard along with others who want to move in to a congestion-free environment.

The developer firm will take three to four years to complete the construction of the park and later recover its investment by selling plots or renting its space to users and such other services. They are investing on the firm commitment to recover the cost with profits before handing over its ownership to Bangladesh government.

Meanwhile, initial estimate suggests that the garment factories which may move in to the new garment park may create jobs for 200,000 to 300,000 workers and their annual export earning may be around $3 billion.

The BGMEA leader said the fate of the Baushia project was hanging in the balance over the past decade as availability of fund for the same turned out to be a big problem. empted to push the project onward but payment for land was too big a factor. Two Chinese firms had showed interest but nothing conclusive could be achieved until the Rana Plaza disaster.

He said Orient International (Holding) Co has already carried out a pre-feasibility study in March this year and the MOU in Beijing has been signed after all such developments in the ground.

The pre-feasibility has spelled out three options such as (a) joint venture with BGMEA; (b) EPC contract, meaning engineering, procurement and construction to be run by the Chinese firm and (c) cooperation mode between the Chinese and Bangladesh government.

At the end none of these options worked and Orient International agreed to build the project with its own resources with zero cost involvement for the BGMEA. The company will carry out a full fledged feasibility study within the next six months.

They will set up office in Dhaka soon and move to the spot to carry out the feasibility study. The project site is located at a low land and it will have to be filled up with sands from the nearby Meghna river.

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Report: Faruque Ahmed
Source: Financial Express

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