Category Archives: Industrial/Manufacturing and Export Processing Zones

More Asian shoemakers plan relocation in Bangladesh

http://www.newagebd.com/2008/aug/31/busi.html#1

More Asian shoemakers plan relocation in Bangladesh
Kazi Azizul Islam

After such plants from China and Taiwan have found there new bases here, foreign shoemakers from Vietnam and Cambodia are mulling relocating their plants to Bangladesh’s export processing zones.

According to industry insiders, in the global map of shoe manufacturing Bangladesh has been identified as a most suitable location because of the availability of very cheap labour and the country’s privileged market access to Europe. These factors are definitely alluring to the investors.

‘At least seven foreign shoe manufacturers are now in advanced negotiations with us to relocate their factories to Bangladesh’s export processing zones from Vietnam and Cambodia,’ a top official of the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority told New Age.

The official said most of the investors were seeking industrial plots in the EPZs in Dhaka, Comilla or Chittagong, but the BEPZA authorities were trying to convince them to set up their plants in some remote EPZs like those in Mongla and Iswardi.

If the negotiations end positively, the number of shoe factory owners with whom the BEPZA has signed contracts in the past few months will increase significantly.

In the past four to five months, the BEPZA has made agreements with at least a dozen of investors in shoe industry, most of them Taiwanese and Chinese, on setting up plants in Bangladesh. Their estimated cumulative investment would be to the tune of $300 million.

The investment deals include $52.50-million Genfort Shoes Limited and $50.09-million Xin Chang Shoes – both owned by Taiwanese companies.

‘Bangladesh has become significantly spotted in the global map for shoe manufacturing industry,’ said Syed Nasim Manzur, managing director of the Apex Adelchi Footwear Limited, Bangladesh’s largest shoe exporter.

Manzur pointed out that availability of a huge pool of cheap labour in Bangladesh and antidumping duty in European market on shoes made in China or Vietnam motivated the investors to relocate their factories to this country.

The shoe industry whizkids, who is also a leader of the Leather-goods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association of Bangladesh, however thinks the government should scrutinise the aspiring investors.

He suggested that the government should ask the investors to pledge to operate their plants here for a long term and make significant local value addition.

Bangladesh’s export earnings from footwear stood at $170 million in the last fiscal year, posting a 25 per cent rise from that in the previous fiscal.

[Maybe] ‘A billion dollar shoe export sector will remain no more a daydream by the next fiscal or so,’ quipped an official of the BEPZA.

$1,404m deal to set up industries at EPZs

http://nation.ittefaq.com/issues/2008/08/30/news0203.htm

$1,404m deal to set up industries at EPZs

BSS, Dhaka

A total of 78 companies signed investment agreements worth US dollar 1,404 million during the last fiscal year to set up various industrial units in the country’s eight Export Processing Zones (EPZs).

Besides, US dollar 302.19 million actual investments were made in 283 running industrial units in these EPZs, officials of Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority (BEPZA) said here on Friday.

They also said that the trend of investment in 2007-08 was 148 percent higher than the previous year’s level when the actual investment increased by 98 percent.

During the last fiscal year, the actual investment was US dollar 126.46 million at Chittagong EPZ, US dollar 110.34 million at Dhaka EPZ, US dollar 9.72 million at Comilla EPZ, US dollar 33.71 million at Adamjee EPZ, US dollar 0.15 million at Uttara EPZ, US dollar 18.34 million at Karnaphuli EPZ, US dollar 1.43 million at Ishurdi EPZ, and US dollar 2.03 million at Mongla EPZ.

The total actual investment in the EPZs till June this year amounted to US dollar 1,434.45 million, the officials said adding that the industries in the EPZs exported products worth US dollar 2,429.58 million in 2007-08. It was US dollar 2,063.67 million during the 2006-07 financial year.

During the last fiscal year, a total of 140 industrial units at Chittagong EPZ exported products worth US dollar 1,117.17 million, while 96 units at Dhaka EPZ exported goods worth US dollar 1,146.50 million, 18 units at Comilla EPZ US dollar 131.38 million, 12 units at Mongla EPZ US dollar 8.26 million, 5 units at Uttara EPZ US dollar 0.95 million, 3 units at Ishurdi EPZ US dollar 1.21 million, 5 units at Adamjee EPZ US dollar 15.10 million and 4 units at Karnaphuli US dollar 9.86 million.

The total number of workers in these EPZs is 2,18,299 and another 400,000 are indirectly doing various jobs there, the officials said.

As many as 17,130 Bangladeshi workers got employment in different units of these EPZs during the last fiscal year. Of them, 6,805 workers were employed at Chittagong EPZ, 1,029 at Dhaka EPZ, 218 at Mongla EPZ, 1,672 at Comilla EPZ, 388 at Uttara EPZ, 4,173 at Adamjee EPZ, 29 at Ishurdi EPZ, and 2,816 at Karnaphuli EPZ.

Six private companies signed agreements as Service Oriented Industry to operate and maintain six power plants with 50 MW capacity each at six EPZs to generate a total 300 MW electricity. Some foreign firms have also applied for setting up power plants in other EPZs, they said.

After these power plants are established, the officials said uninterrupted power supply will be ensured in these industrial unites of the EPZs. Besides, they added, excess power could be added to the national grid after meeting demands in the EPZs.

The officials said that the private companies would be offered for establishing water treatment plants and effluent treatment plants in the EPZs.

Prolog BD to make laptop affordable to all students

http://nation.ittefaq.com/issues/2008/08/13/news0757.htm

Prolog BD to make laptop affordable to all students

Mahbubur Rahman Khan

Prolog BD, the sister concern of Prolog US, is going to offer attractive laptop of Intel Core2 Duo Processor series at cheaper rate for the students of the country soon in an attempt to ensure each and every student of Bangladesh having own laptop by the year of 2020.

A lot of brilliant Bangladeshi scientists and engineers are working in reputed companies in abroad who think a lot about the country and are always eager to give something back to the nation. A living example of such an attempt is Prolog BD, a new IT venture in Bangladesh.

The main aim of Prolog was to contribute in the academic sector of Bangladesh and help students gain access to the latest available technologies. As a result it came up with a mission- to make sure that each and every student of Bangladesh owns a laptop by the year 2020- named “Vision- 2020″.

As a part of the vision the engineers of Prolog decided to manufacture Prolog Laptop- targeting the students of Bangladesh. Initially, Prolog US engineers came up with the design that is tailored to meet the need of a student. They manufactured three laptops- Afford Top, Standard and Performance.

Afford Top is made up by exclusively with the combination of Intel Celeron Duo 1.73GHz microprocessors and Mobile Intel 965GM motherboard. Prolog named it Afford Top which also consists of 1 GB DDR 2, 667MHz RAM, 80 GB SATA Hard Disc, Optical DVD R/W Drive, 14.1″ WXGA LCD Display, 56K Dial Up Modem, 10/100 MB ONBOARD Ethernet, 10/100 MB ONBOARD Wireless, 1.3 Mega Pixels Webcam, 6 Cells intelligent Li Battery, On Board Sound System, Built-in microphone, Sound Volume control by keyboard hot keys 3xUSB 2.0, 1xRJ 45,4 in 1 Card Reader, 1×Express card Type 34/54mm, 1xMic-in, 1xHeadphone-out/SPDIF, 1xDC in, 2×SO-DIMM DDR2, 1xS-video and 1×IEEE 1394 port.

Prolog US engineers have designed two other laptops-Standard and Performance- using the Intel Core Duo 1.83GHz processor with 2 GB DDR 2, 667MHz RAM, 120 GB SATA Hard Disc and the Intel Core2Duo 1.83 GHz processor with 160 GB SATA Hard Disc respectively for corporate executives and of course the students who can afford to pay more than their requirement. The motherboards and other hardware parts and ports of the Standard and Performance are remained same as Afford Top.

The biggest catch of Prolog branded laptops lies in its hardware compatibility. Most of the hardware inside a Prolog laptop is of from Intel, which ensures optimum compatibility among the hardware components.

They import other parts from the US to Hong Kong and have the Hong Kong Prolog team assemble the laptops. As mentioned before, keeping student’s needs in mind Prolog decided to introduce the Intel Celeron Duo processor for the first time and exclusively in Bangladesh. This processor makes a perfect balance between a student’s requirement and affordability. Officials of Prolog informed that the price of the laptops would be cheaper than that of any other companies of Bangladesh.

Dr. Shaestagir Chowdhury, former lecturer of BUET who is now working at Intel Corporation, said that with the advent of new wireless technologies like WiMax, every student would have Internet access once they have a laptop with them. They can even access their university servers from their home and obtain all the academic materials while at home.

At the same time a laptop integrated with WiMax technology would provide a tremendous boost to the yet untapped potential of distance learning he added. Referring to the most of the reputed universities in India and all in the where purchasing a laptop before admission is mandatory for a student Chowdhury mentioned that students of Bangladesh should have access to laptops for academic purposes; and the only hindrance for them is the high price and the quality of laptops, which Prolog intends to shatter.

Esquire to set up Tk180cr chemical plant

http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=51201

Esquire to set up Tk180cr chemical plant
Star Business Report

Esquire Group will establish a Tk 180 crore chemical plant to produce Hydrogen per Oxide, mainly in the textile dyeing industry.

The chemical is used as a bleaching or cleaning agent in textile, dyeing, pulps and paper industries. Industry people said a new plant to manufacture the chemical would reduce the country’s dependency on the import of the product.

“There are ample opportunities for marketing the product as it is imported every year to meet demand by local industries,” said Mofazzal Hossain, chairman of Esquire Group, known for its flagship company Esquire Electronics, the distributor of such electronics brands as General and Sharp.

The Group chairman made the remark as one of the subsidiaries, Esquire Chemical Industries Ltd (ECIL), struck a deal with 11 banks and financial institutions for a syndicated term loan of Tk 126 crore to set up the chemical factory in Gojaria, Munshiganj.

People close to the deal said the sponsors would provide the rest of the fund through equity financing.

AB Bank arranged the syndicated term loan as part of an agreement signed in Dhaka on August 19, when Kaiser A Chowdhury, managing director of AB Bank, managing directors and senior executives of other participating lenders were present.

The other participating banks and financial institutions are: Bank Asia, Bangladesh Commerce Bank, LankaBangla Finance, Mutual Trust Bank, One Bank, Phoenix Finance and Investment, Pubali Bank, Saudi Bangladesh Industrial and Agricultural Investment Company, Southeast Bank, and The City Bank.

ECIL officials said the company wants to produce 20,000 tonnes of Hydrogen per Oxide annually with the completion of the project next year.

“But together with all other local factories we will be able to supply only about 20 percent of total demand,” said the chairman of Esquire Group which moved to diversify its business into textile in 1993 by establishing a dyeing factory and subsequently expanded to knitting.

Esquire officials said the new venture would further boost the company’s revenue earnings, as demand for the chemical product will continue to increase.

Esquire also intends to tap the potential of exports to India, saying the country has banned chlorine and bleaching powder as the chemicals pollute the environment.

Arifur Rahman, managing director of Esquire Chemical, said the plant would be completely environment friendly as he claimed the product to be completely environment friendly as well.

“It will ultimately replace the chlorine based bleaching in Bangladesh dyeing industries,” he said.

Industry insiders said ECIL would be the fourth local company to produce Hydrogen per Oxide with HP Chemical Industries leading among the locally established chemical factories.

Samuda Chemical Complex, another chemical company, is also producing the product. The company has recently planned to double its production capacity from about 10,000 tonnes a year to about 35,000 tonnes.

However, industry people said the local plants largely fail to meet demand for the chemical.

IIDFC, a pioneer committed to industrial, infrastructure dev

http://www.newagebd.com/2008/aug/16/busi.html#8

IIDFC, a pioneer committed to industrial, infrastructure dev
Staff Correspondent

The Industrial and Infrastructure Development Finance Company, as its name implies, has its primary focus on promotion and development of industry and infrastructure in the country, said the IIDFC chairman, Md Matiul Islam.

The company offers lease finance, term lending, and structured and equity finance to its clients with a special emphasis on infrastructure development, he said.

It has a proven track and expertise in arranging syndicated loans for large infrastructure projects, including power and telecom, he added.

The IIDFC arranged a total of Tk 243 crore syndicated loans in fiscal year 2006-2007 compared to Tk 400 crore in the previous year. In July, the company arranged the highest ever syndicated loan in the country’s history, of about Tk 400 crore, for the Summit Power.

Some of the big groups for which it has arranged loans include BRAC, Warid Telecom, Ranks Telecom, and GMG Airlines, said Matiul Islam, Bangladesh’s first finance secretary.

The IIDFC started its operations in 2001 and within just a span of seven years its investment reached to the tune of Tk 500 crore. It earned Tk 77 crore operational revenue, with Tk 8.4 crore post-tax profit, in 2007.

The company is the pioneer in introducing zero-coupon bond and participated in the first-ever floating rate aircraft leasing transaction in 2003.

Besides Matiul Islam, the company is owned by 14 banks and non-banking financial institutions — Sonali and Janata banks, the Investment Corporation of Bangladesh, AB Bank, Bank Asia, BRAC Bank, City Bank, Mutual Trust Bank, National Bank, One Bank, Southeast Bank, Pragati Insurance, Eastland Insurance, and National Life Insurance. Its board of directors is comprised of Matiul, also the promoter chairman of AB Bank, and the managing directors or chairmen of the institutions who play a pivotal role in arranging the syndicated loans, he said, (because) ‘The board members have wide networks and good connection with big clients.’

When the company receives a good proposal, it approaches its board members for participating in syndicated loans, he said.

The company has a wide range of loan portfolio, with textiles, chemicals, glass, printing and packaging, and manufacturing as the main sectors.

In the small and medium enterprise sector, the IIDFC has about 120 projects with involvement of about Tk 30 crore.

Entrepreneurs generally prefer the IIDFC to banks as it gives quick service and, in most of the cases, does not require collateral for offering loans, said Matiul.

Explaining the reasons, he said, ‘The loan sanctioning and disbursement process in a bank starts from a branch and pass through a complex hierarchy.’ But, the NBFIs do not have any such complicated lending process. A client just approaches a high official, including the managing director, and places his or her proposal. If the proposal is good, the board takes prompt action and the required loan is sanctioned within a very short time, the IIDFC chairman said.

The company has obtained a licence to open a brokerage house, which will go into operation within this year. It will also open a branch in Chittagong within the next one or two months, he added.

The NBFIs are competing with banks and playing a more active role for developing the country’s industrial sector, the IIDFC chairman said.

In this connection, he viewed that the Bangladesh Bank could play a major and more proactive role in improving the capacity of the NBFIs.

The central bank should encourage the sound and large companies to come to the market which ultimately will help the general clients, he felt.

The banks have a wide range of income sources, but the field of operations of the NBFIs is limited and so the government should not tax the two separate business sectors at the same bracket of 45 per cent, Matiul argued.

Bicycle export witnessed 19pc growth last fiscal

http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.info/search_index.php?page=detail_news&news_id=42241

Bicycle export witnessed 19pc growth last fiscal

Jasim Uddin Haroon

The country’s bicycle export is growing fast as the European buyers are looking for non-traditional countries like Bangladesh following rise in the manufacturing cost in China and Taiwan, industry sources said.

According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), the country exported bicycles worth US$ 64.28 million in the just concluded fiscal year, up by 18.93 per cent over that of fiscal 2006-07.

Bangladesh exported around half a million bicycles in 2007-08, industry sources said.

There are four local companies producing sport quality bicycle for export only. However, the country imports around 300,000 bicycles from China and India to meet the local demand for such transport.

“There is huge demand for our bicycles in the European countries,” said Halim Khan, executive director of Meghna Group, the country’s premier bicycle manufacturer, told the FE Saturday.

Following huge potential, another big manufacturer – German Bangla bicycle Limited at Savar – is in final stage of production.

Currently, world’s some of the leading companies including Raleigh of UK, Avocet Sports, PCM of UK, Motor and Sports of the UK, Aldi of Holland, Bachtenkirch Interbike of Germany, M&F De Scheemaeker of Belgium and Formula Cycling of Belgium are importing bicycles from Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is also trying other potential markets like Canada, the United Kingdom (UK) through supplying bicycles in a limited scale.

The UK is a leading importer that imports bicycles worth around 220 million euro a year, the industry sources said.

Bangladesh alone exported bicycles worth 13 million euro to the UK in calendar 2007.

Bicycle industry is a light engineering sector and most of parts are locally available.

“We produce almost all parts locally and we are capable of manufacturing fashionable bicycles,” Mr. Halim said.

Bangladesh is now manufacturing MTB, city bikes, free styles, trekking, folding, beach cruiser and kid bikes.

Industry insiders told the FE that Bangladesh can export around 2.0 million pieces of bicycles a year.

“We have potentials as the Chinese government is discouraging investment in such light engineering venture in their country,” said Mohammed Ferdous Ahmed, a senior official at the Alita, a Malaysian company situated at Chittagong Export Processing Zone.

Mr Ferdous said labour is cheap in the country and the technology is easily adoptable.

Bangladesh bicycles industry employs both male and female workers. The ratio is 50:50.

However, Meghna Group, which has three units in Dhaka, each having capacity of producing around 100,000 a year, is planning to supply in the local market.

Tk10,000cr investment in basic steel sector planned

http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=48802

Tk10,000cr investment in basic steel sector planned
No big impact after Tata pull-out, local conglomerates say
Jasim Uddin Khan

Local industrial conglomerates are now preparing to go for a $ 1.5 billion or Tk10,000 crore investment in the basic steel sector on the Indian Tata Group’s pull-out from its proposed US$3 billion investment plan, according to sector people.

They said they do not see any big impact on the country’s economy after Tata scrapped its Bangladesh project.

These conglomerates are S Alam Cold Rolled Steels, Abul Khair Steel Products, PHP Group, Jamuna Group, KY of KDS groups and Meghna Group of Industries.

A consortium of four steel companies S Alam, PHP, KDS and another Chittagong based company is conducting a feasibility study to set up the country’s first ever hot-rolled steel plant in collaboration with the Essar Group from India. A memorandum of understanding to go ahead with this joint venture was signed in February with the Essar Group. As per their plan, the project is to go into production by 2010.

“We will submit the concrete proposal of our project to the Board of Investment (BoI) after completion of the feasibility study of the project by this year,” said Saiful Alam Masud, managing director (MD) of S Alam Group.

The consortium earlier planned to set up the Tk 3,500 crore steel plant in Chittagong, but now it mulls to establish it in Dhaka due to acute gas crisis in the port city.

The S Alam Group MD added, “If the government provides us the same incentives what it promised to allow Tata Group, we will successfully establish bigger steel projects than Tata’s and will be able to amass the necessary fund from both local and foreign sources.”

Besides, Abul Khair Group has a plan to set up a basic steel plant in Chittagong. A senior executive of the group said, “ It has made up its mind to start work on establishing the Tk 2500 crore project in the port city as soon as possible as Tata’s scrapping of its Bangladesh project brightened the market prospect of its project.”

“If we get green signal from the government about availability of gas we may start working on the project by January next year,” he added.

Meanwhile, Jamuna Group, a leading developer, has already submitted a Tk 2000 crore steel project plan to the Board of Investment (BoI) targeting producing around 1.5 million tonnes of HR coil, steel plate and slab per annum.

“We submitted our plan even when the Tata’s project was in place. Now the government can consider the same benefit it offered to Tata,” an executive of Jamuna Group said.

The BoI sought opinion from different ministries and departments concerned about the investment plan.

A high official of the Jamuna Group said it will collect the fund locally and if the government approves the plan it will start working within the next couple of months.

The government has been seriously considering some of the private industrial groups’ proposals to set up basic iron industry in the country to cope with the crisis of the steel industries in the long term, a high official of the BoI said.

The country is fully dependent on imports for its annual requirement of around 5 lakh tonnes of HR coil. HR coil is the raw material of CR coil which is used to make corrugated iron sheet, iron plate and other flat iron.

The major part of the requirement of over 3 million tonnes of re-rolling steels comes mainly from scrap ships and recycling industries.

Japan-Bangladesh Printing, Papers goes into production this month

http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.info/search_index.php?page=detail_news&news_id=41600

Japan-Bangladesh Printing, Papers goes into production this month

FE Report

The country’s first and sole privately run security printing company “Japan-Bangladesh Printing and Papers Limited” starts its production commercially from this month aiming to provide international standard security printing, offset printing as well as pre- press and post-press system.

A concern of “Japan-Bangladesh Group”, the company is starting its operation in Bangladesh with joint collaboration from PCK Printing Co. Ltd. and Naigai Ink Chugoku Hanbai Company of Japan.

“Mainly our production ranges will include the printing of bank cheques, demand drafts, payment orders, certificates and mark sheets, share certificates or any sort of security printing product,” Chairman of Japan-Bangladesh Group Salim Prodhan, said at a press conference held at the National Press Club in the city Sunday.

“All these security printing products will bear our company’s hologram to ensure safety, security and quality for our clients,” he added.

“Our company has already invested Tk. 1.30 billion and hopefully by 2010, our total amount of investment will stand at Tk. 7.80 billion,” he said.

He said the company’s business partners from Japan are equipped with 40 years’ long experience in the printing sector in their own country and internationally.

“While meeting the local demand for security printing; we will also export our products to international market on a large scale,” Salim affirmed, “Almost all of our raw materials will be imported from abroad,” he added.

“Apart from training and employing a large number of local workers; this venture would also benefit the country by saving large amount of foreign exchange that is now spent for maneuvering printing jobs from abroad,” he observed.

Japan-Bangladesh Group which is a joint venture concern of the two countries with 51 percent Bangladeshi share has already launched a few other enterprises under the same umbrella.

The country’s lone private security printing company has sought cooperation from the central bank to save hard-earned money by using the products of the newly launched company.

“I am sure, if the government and the Bangladesh Bank allow us, we can produce the best quality printing products to be used in passports and currencies and thus save more than Tk 7.0 billion now spent annually on importing the security papers from foreign countries,” Salim Prodhan said.

He said Bangladesh imports the security papers usually from European and other developed countries to print passports and paper currencies.

The company’s products include security printing, offset printing, design and layout, publication printing, commercial printing, digital printing, pre-press services and post-press services.

The company’s factory is located at Rupgonj of Narayangonj.

“Our company has a huge production capacity with 1.5 million per hour and definitely we are offering the ever best printing services to the clients,” Mr Salim who learned a lot of industrial knowledge from Japan said.

Japan-based PCK High-Speed Printing Company Ltd and Naigai Ink Chugoku Hanbai Company Ltd has extended complete cooperation to launch the new company in Bangladesh.

“We have a highly skilled and dedicated team of printing professionals to ensure quality services throughout the complete process and we guarantee efficient, high-volume, high-tech and cost-effective services,” Mr Salim added.

He said as a joint venture entity with Japanese entrepreneurs, his company will never compromise on quality.

“Being one of the largest economies, Japanese entrepreneurs never compromise on quality and similarly I can guarantee you as far as our company products are concerned,” Mr Salim added.

He said the company will also provide post-press services which include binding, packing and delivery of the printed materials through mail, courier or shipping as choiced by the customers.

Bangladeshi co to invest $4.170m in KEPZ

http://nation.ittefaq.com/issues/2008/08/01/news0283.htm

Bangladeshi co to invest $4.170m in KEPZ

BUSINESS REPORT

M/s Votary Accessories Limited, a Bangladeshi company will set up a garment accessories manufacturing industry in the Karnaphuli Export Processing Zone.

This 100 per cent local owned company will invest about Taka 30 crore in setting up their plant and will produce to export annually 9,000 metric tonnes of garments accessories. The company will also create employment opportunity for 114 Bangladeshi nationals.

An agreement to this effect was signed between the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority and the M/s Votary Accessories Limited in BEPZA Complex, Dhaka on July 29.

Prasanta Bhushan Barua, Member (Investment Promotion) of BEPZA and SM Al Mamun, Managing Director of M/s Votary Accessories Limited signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations. Other officials from respective sides were present on the occasion.

Taiwanese relocating factories to Bangladesh

http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=46813

Taiwanese relocating factories to Bangladesh

$200m FDI in six months in EPZs
Jasim Uddin Khan

Taiwanese entrepreneurs are relocating their shoe, furniture and tent fabric manufacturing units to Bangladesh from China and Vietnam as the US and EU imposed anti-dumping duties on the two Asian countries.

The relocation of factories by the Taiwanese helped Bangladesh to receive over $200 million foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first six months of 2008, which is two-third of the investment the Export Processing Zones Authority (Bepza) received in 2007-08 fiscal.

In April 2006 the European Commission formally approved anti-dumping duties on shoes and furniture made in China and Vietnam. In March 2008 EU member states voted in favour of a regulation, which extends the anti-dumping duty until October 2008.

However, it is widely expected that the European shoe industry will request for a further extension of the ant-dumping measure.

“Another reason for shifting the plants to South Asian countries from China and Vietnam is the soaring production costs. Production cost increased over 30 percent in the two countries during the first six months of 2008 due to appreciation of local currencies against US dollar,” Frank Wen-Yan Chen, representative of Taipei Representative Office in Dhaka, said yesterday.

According to sources at the Taiwan Trade Centre (TTC) in Dhaka, during the period seven Taiwanese leading furniture, shoe and tent fabric manufacturing companies shifted their factories in China and Vietnam to Bangladesh.

TTC sources said Trendex Industries Ltd, a global leading furniture maker, invested around $55 million in April of this year to set up a new plant at Karnaphuli EPZ in Chittagong.

Mark Hsu, chief executive of Trendex, signed an agreement with the government under which the company bought 27 plots inside the EPZ for the project.

Another big tent manufacturing company Eusebio Sporting Co Ltd invested $50 million for establishing a tent fabric manufacturing plant in Comilla EPZ. But now the production cost of the fabric has increased over 40 percent in China.

Chief executive officer of Eusebio Sporting Co Ltd Lin signed the investment agreement this month and got 22 plots allocated for the factory.

Eusebio is the number one Taiwanese owned Chinese sleeping bag, rucksacks and tent producing company.

Zhong Shan Glory Shoes Ind Co Ltd will shift its shoe factory from China to Karnaphuli EPZ as export of the product to Europe and US markets has been reduced by around 60 percent due to anti-dumping duty. Company’s Managing Director Ho signed an agreement with Bepza in May of this year for setting up its plant on 22 industrial plots in Karnaphuli EPZ.

“Like Zhong Shan Glory Shoes many Taiwanese shoe manufacturers with manufacturing units in China and Vietnam are seriously thinking of shifting their plants to South Asia,” the representative of Taipei Representative Office in Dhaka said.

He said Taiwanese investment in India also jumped to $ 600 million this year.

Genfort Shoes Ltd and La Luna Shoes signed agreements in May and this month, respectively, to invest around $35 million and $ 22 million.

La Luna Shoes will also establish a separate shoe machinery manufacturing plant in Karnaphuli EPZ.

Representative Yan Chen said more Taiwanese investment will come and get registered for industrial plots in Bangladesh.

He pointed out that Bangladesh EPZs do not have adequate plots for the Taiwanese firms with plans to investment in Bangladesh.

“If the government allocate separate industrial plots exclusively for Taiwanese companies investment from Taiwan will double within the next year, Yan Chen hoped.

Korean company to invest $ 12.5 million in Karnaphuli EPZ

http://www.bssnews.net/?genID=BSS-01-2008-07-15&id=255

Korean company to invest $ 12.5 million in Karnaphuli EPZ

DHAKA, Bangladesh, July 15 (BSS)- Bohemian Travel Gear Limited, a Korean company, will set up a camping furniture, travel bag and accessories manufacturing industry in the Karnaphuli Export Process Zone.

This 100% foreign owned company will invest about Taka 87 crore in setting up their plant and produce annually 30 million pcs of products to export. The company will also create employment opportunity for 785 Bangladeshis, including five foreign nationals.

Read the rest at: http://www.bssnews.net/?genID=BSS-01-2008-07-15&id=255

Taiwanese investors keen to shift factories to Bangladesh

http://www.newagebd.com/2008/jul/07/busi.html#4

Taiwanese investors keen to shift factories to Bangladesh
United News of Bangladesh . Dhaka

Taiwanese businessmen, who invested heavily in China’s furniture sector, are now interested to shift their factories to Bangladesh to maximise their profit, Taiwanese investors and officials have said.

With Bangladesh’s better facilities, tax incentives and cheap labour, many of the investors are increasingly showing interests in Bangladesh, while a few of them have already set up their offices in Dhaka, they said.

An official with Taipei Representative Office in Dhaka said that the liaison office is hosting more and more Taiwanese investors who want to relocate their factories to Bangladesh from China.

‘You see, Bangladesh is a very good place to invest money, and our furniture-sector investors want to move here,’ the official said on condition of anonymity in line with official policy.

‘Many of our investors are researching their scope here,’ the official said.

The official’s statement carries weight, as Taiwan’s Dhaka office has brought in some $268 million in new investment since 2004 when the office was first established in Bangladesh.

The official said the amount of Taiwanese investment was only $32 million in 2004 but now it is about $300 million. A total of 36 Taiwanese companies, including 10 trading agencies, are operating here. ‘And many more want to come, many of them want to shift their factories from China,’ he said.

‘The furniture sector is one of the thriving sectors, in that case,’ he said. ‘Most importantly our factories want joint venture with Bangladesh’s furniture companies.’

What is prompting the Taiwanese investors to relocate their factories to Bangladesh from China?

‘There are various reasons that a business always needs to be taken care of,’ said Mark Seed of Trendex Furniture Industry, a company that has opted to shift factories from China.

Trendex has opened an office in Chittagong and the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority has already approved its investment proposal to set up furniture factories in Karnaphuli EPZ, Mark said.

He explained why he wants to move to Bangladesh. ‘It’s simple. We had a huge plan in China but we have planned to move here because of China’s changed policy,’ he said.

‘In China, the cost of workers is getting 15 to 20 percent higher a year. Currency is an issue since we are one hundred percent export-oriented company.’

‘I am losing money there,’ he said, adding: ‘I am coming to Bangladesh for the reasons for what we had gone to China 15 years ago.’

Mark would not disclose the size of his planned investment in Bangladesh but said: ‘I tell you I am a small man (investor), if you can give much better facilities big, big investors from Taiwan are ready to invest their money here.’

‘Bangladesh is a good place to invest in. But I would say it must provide (us with) a system (for long-term benefits),’ he said. ‘Ten-year tax holiday is a good incentive.’

Another Taiwanese investor who has furniture factories in China’s Guang Dong Province said he was visiting Bangladesh recently to explore scope for relocation of his setups to Bangladesh.

‘We will visit Chittagong and see what facilities we may get,’ he said on condition of anonymity to maintain secrecy of his business plan.

The investors and Taiwanese officials said joint venture could be a very good option for Taiwanese investors in the furniture sector.

‘Our investors are very much interested for joint ventures with local companies in the sector,’ the official said.

‘I must say Bangladesh’s furniture industry will learn a lot, especially from designing aspect, from Taiwanese companies,’ he said.

Korean company to invest $15m in Chittagong EPZ

http://nation.ittefaq.com/issues/2008/07/04/news0521.htm

Korean company to invest $15m in Chittagong EPZ

BUSINESS REPORT

M/s North Pole BD Limited (Unit-2), a Korean company will set up a camping tent, sleeping bag, camping furniture and accessories manufacturing industry in the Chittagong Export Processing Zone.

This 100 per cent foreign-owned company will invest initially about Tk 105 crore in setting up its plant and will produce camping tent, sleeping bag, camping chair.

The company will also create employment opportunity for 2535 Bangladeshi and two foreign nationals.

An agreement to this effect was signed between the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority and M/s North Pole BD Limited (Unit-2) at BEPZA Complex in the city on July 1.

Prasanta Bhushan Barua, Member (Investment Promotion) of BEPZA and Steven David Fleischil, CEO of M/s North Pole BD Limited (Unit-2) signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations.

Brig General Jamil Ahmed Khan, Executive Chairman of BEPZA and other officials from respective organizations were present on the occasion.

Korea to invest $45m in Karnaphuli EPZ

http://www.bssnews.net/index.php?genID=BSS-07-2008-06-26&id=255

Korea to invest $45m in Karnaphuli EPZ

DHAKA, Bangladesh, June 26 (BSS)- M/s Pungkook Chittagong (Pvt) Co Ltd, a Korean company, will set up a bags, packs and luggage manufacturing industry in the Karnaphuli Export Processing Zone.

This hundred percent foreign owned company will invest initially about Taka 315 crore in setting up their plant and will produce annually 8 million pcs of all kinds of bags and carrying cases, said a BEPZA press release here today.

The company will also create employment opportunity for 2,000 people, including four foreign nationals.

Read the whole article at: http://www.bssnews.net/index.php?genID=BSS-07-2008-06-26&id=255

Country’s largest chemical plant to be launched in August

http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.info/search_index.php?page=detail_news&news_id=37819

Country’s largest chemical plant to be launched in August

Jasim Uddin Haroon

The country’s largest chemical plant will be commissioned in August next, which will produce a number of import-substitute products for local industries, particularly the textile, company officials said Wednesday.

Chittagong-based Aziz Group and CBN have set up the plant jointly at Sreepur in Gazipur on 42 bighas of lands. This is the first such plant built under private sector in Bangladesh.

The plant — ASM Chemical Industries Limited — built at a cost of Tk 2.5 billion is now ready to introduce six high quality chemical products.

These are Caustic Soda, Chlorine, Sodium hypo chlorite, Hydrochloric Acid, Stable Bleaching Powder, Chlorinated Paraffin Wax and Hydrogen Peroxide for the local and international market.

The chemicals are mainly used in textile, soap and detergent factories.

Company sources said the ASM Chemical Industries Limited is one of the few plants in the world where Caustic and Hydrogen Peroxide are produced simultaneously. The plant will be using German, Swiss, Norwegian and Japanese technologies.

While talking to the FE, Joynal Abedin Chowdhury, Chief Executive Officer of the ASM Chemical Industries said it is going to roll out quality products with international standards.

“Our plant will help the country save foreign exchange worth at least Tk 1.5 billion initially a year,” said the chief executive officer of the ASM Chemical Industries Limited . Local industries are currently using those chemicals through imports from China, Belgium, the United Arab Emirates and other countries.

Only TK Group, a local company, built a plant of Hydrogen Peroxide recently.

The ASM Industries Limited has set up a 10 megawatt Power Plant at its premises to maintain uninterrupted production.

It has also employed around 400 people, which include a large number of foreign-trained personnel.