Sunday, September 25, 2005

Bangladesh EPZs best in South Asia: study

Source: Xinhua

Export Processing Zones (EPZs) in Bangladesh are better equipped and they offer more liberal incentives to investors compared with services available in such exclusive zones in South Asia, showed a study.

"In fiscal and non-fiscal incentives and facilities currently offered by the zones in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, apparently, Bangladesh is offering the most generous incentives and facilities to the zone units," local daily New Age quoted the study as saying on Thursday.
According to the daily, the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations recently released the comparative study surveying EPZs in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka and showed that Bangladeshi EPZs offer advanced infrastructure and utility facilities.
It revealed that the Bangladeshi authority approves a project in one week, half of the time taken by the Indian authority.

The study found that in terms of incentives including tax holiday, FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) limits, repatriation of profit, labor laws, duty-free import of raw materials, exemptions on dividends, local duty and taxes, Bangladesh offers most liberal facilities.
"EPZ industrial units in Bangladesh enjoy huge relative benefits compared to the domestic units in terms of incentive package, infrastructure facilities and the quality of governance,"said the study report titled "Performance of export processing zones: a comparative analysis of India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh."

Performances in EPZs in terms of rapid investment and employment are also the best in Bangladesh, the study showed.

Bangladesh EPZs attracted investment worth 750 million US dollars up to the end of 2003 from just 17 million dollars in 1983,Sri Lanka 292 million dollars from 100 million dollars, and India 388 million dollars from 69 million dollars.

Up to the year 2003, EPZs in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India employed 144,000, 104,000 and 89,000 people, respectively.

Recent performance of EPZs in Bangladesh shows that in the fiscal 2004-05 (July 2004-June 2005), exports increased by 14 percent, employment 57 percent and investment 3 percent.
The enterprises of the EPZs in Bangladesh exported goods worth 1.5 billion dollars during fiscal 2004-05, crossing the billion dollar mark for the 5th consecutive year.

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