The construction of the proposed SEZ is expected to be completed by June 2021

India and Bangladesh could sign an agreement for a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) during the virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina in December.

As per The Daily Star, a Bangladeshi news outlet, the agreement for the SEZ will be signed between Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (Beza) and Exim Bank of India.

The final draft of the agreement has already been prepared and shared with India while the latter has sent a shortlist of consultancy firms to design and supervise the construction of the project.

According to the report, the proposed SEZ to be setup on 1,000 acres of land, will be exclusively for Indian investors. For this, Beza is ready to hand over the land of Chattogram based Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar (BSMSN) to the Adani group and the work is likely to start after the negotiations, Beza officials were quoted as saying.

According to the Executive Chairman of Beza, Paban Chowdhury, the deal will be signed after necessary negotiations.

Talking to the publication, he said, “We will sign a commercial agreement with Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) shortly to start the implementation work after completing necessary negotiations.”

“Formalities have almost been completed as Adani Group does not want to waste time,” he added.

Beza is also discussing a profit-sharing model with the developers, he said.

As per the report, the Adani Group, as the largest private port operator of India, plans to invest US $350 million in Bangladesh. The Indian business group with a joint venture with Singapore based agro-products manufacturer, Wilmar, wants to establish an industrial park in the zone.

For the project, India approved US $115 million in June under its third line of credit worth US 4.5 billion.

The construction is expected to be completed by June 2021 while the factories will go into operation by 2023, the report said.

However, the companies which will set up shops at the SEZ are yet to be finalised. But once in place, the project is expected to generate about 3 lakh jobs and reduce the trade imbalance between the countries.

India is looking forward to establishing similar economic zones in Mongla, Bagerhat while Bangladesh has set a target of setting up around 100 economic zones to promote multi-product industries and attract foreign investment.