Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) has moved to conduct the feasibility studies on 10 more economic zones (EZs) for exploring investment potentials. The authority was in the process of finding local and international firms to conduct the studies, officials said. The EZs are Moheshkhali EZ-3 (Dholghata), Natore Special EZ (SEZ), Sylhet SEZ, Mymensing EZ, Sherpur-Jamalpur EZ, Nilphamari EZ, Khulna EZ-1 (Botiyaghata), Araihazar EZ-2, Potiya EZ and Manikganj EZ. BEZA executive chairman Paban Chowdhury said the BEZA moved to conduct the feasibility studies on all its proposed zones to find out trade potentials and explore investment opportunities. Earlier, Japan Development Institute (JDI), Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), Uniconsult and Doha Engineering conducted the feasibility studies on existing EZs now under operation. All the feasibility studies were funded by the World Bank under its support to capacity development programme for BEZA. BEZA has a plan to develop 100 EZs across the country and create employment for around 10 million people over a period of next 15 years. The Meghna EZ, Meghna Industrial EZ, Aman EZ and Bay EZ have so far started their industrial operations. Japanese company Honda is also expected to lay its foundation in Abdul Monem EZ this month. The BEZA executive chairmansaid that around US$700 million were invested in the Meghna EZ. Nine units of Meghna Group of Industries (MGI) have so far been set up in the Meghna EZ. These are Meghna Edible Oil, Meghna Pulp and Paper Mills Ltd, MPP Power Plant Ltd, Sonargoan Flour and Dal Mills Ltd, Tasnim Chemical Complex Unit 2 Ltd, Meghna Container Terminal Ltd, Meghna PVC Limited, Meghna Sugar Refinery Ltd and Sonargoan Seeds Crushing Mills Ltd. In the Meghna industrial EZ, Al Mostofa Group, Dynaplast Industries Ltd, S2S Group, TIC Group and some industries of MGI were continuing their operations. Mr Chowdhury said that the Meghna Industrial EZ so far received a total investment of $873 million. Aman Cement, shipbuilding, feed and beverage industries are located in the Aman EZ. Aman Cement, one of the biggest local cement manufacturers, has a capacity to produce 3.5 million tonnes of cement annually. All foreign investors have made investment in the Bay EZ. Investors from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and other countries invested in the EZ. Mirshorai EZ will be one of the biggest and lucrative EZs in the country due to its location and easy access to the seaport, officials said. Recently, the BEZA has taken initiatives to issue orders for building power plants. Power Grid Company of Bangladesh will set up 400 KB substations. “Land acquisition of 16,000 acres of area for Mirshorai EZ has already been completed,” Mr Chowdhury said. The BEZA recently held a meeting with Karnaphuly Gas to ensure gas supply to the Mirshorai EZ. The authority was also preparing a master plan for Sonadia to develop eco-tourism zone in the area. The BEZA has a plan to develop 100 EZs by 2030 on 75,000 acres of land. A private consultancy firm Shahidul Consultant is conducting an economic impact analysis on the country’s EZs, officials said. The analysis report will be placed before the government high-ups, including the BEZA.