Japanese Economic Zone (EZ) is expected to go on full-swing operation in the first-half of 2023 as all development work of the zone is likely to be completed within June of the same year, reports BSS. Executive Chairman of the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) Paban Chowdhury told BSS, the zone will become an investment hub for the Japanese investors and it will create a new chapter for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of Bangladesh. “Land filing work is progressing fast. The work is likely to be completed within this year. All the development works of the zone are expected to be completed within 2023″ he said. It is expected that 100 Japanese companies will set up their factories in the zone,” he added. He told that Sumitomo Corporation, one of the biggest trading companies in Japan, is the partner for the EZ and BEZA and Sumitomo has established a special purpose company (SPC) to develop the economic zone. Paban Chowdhury hoped that the investors at the Japanese EZ would set up planned and environment-friendly industries. A certain portion of the zone is expected to be handed over to investors at the end of this year for the construction of factories and other necessary tasks, a project official told BSS. As the project is funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), It is expected that 100 Japanese firms will invest in this economic zone, which will create around 1,00,000 employment opportunities. Through the establishment of this EZ, Project Director of the Japanese Economic Zone Development Project Saleh Ahmed said, planned industrialization would be ensured side by side many new employment opportunities would be created. He said the goal of the zone is to expand the facilities of diversifying industries to produce various commodities, to create a friendly environment for attracting investors. Japan Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JBCCI) General Secretary Tareq Rafi Bhuiyan said, many Japanese companies are showing their eagerness to set up their business entities in Bangladesh as there is an investment-friendly atmosphere in the country. “The existing number of Japanese companies in Bangladesh is around 320. BEZA is establishing a special economic zone for Japan. BEZA is also setting up Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagor on 30,000 acres of land at Mirsarai and Sitakunda under Chattoggram district and Sonagazi under Feni district. Establishment of the economic zones will help attract more FDI,” he added. He told that the number of Japanese investors in Bangladesh is increasing day by day after exchange visits of the Prime Ministers between the two countries in 2014. “Now, the Japanese business community has started paying attention to Bangladesh as the next destination of investment”, he added. The Japanese EZ is being set up at Araihazar in Narayanganj on some 1,000 acres of land. BEZA has already acquired around 625 acres of land. Acquisition of the rest of the land is under process. The total land acquisition will be completed within September this year. JICA is funding the EZ under the “Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Promotion Project” and the project will also finance the investors for their short-term, mid-term and long-term capital investment and operations to promote investment in Bangladesh. JICA is financing for the infrastructures, including access road, power plant and sub-station, in the EZ. TOA Corporation, a Japanese company, is working for the landfilling of the economic zone. BEZA envisages that this investment will play an important role in creating employment and also in transferring technologies to this country. The zone will have an appropriate recycling plant to remove industrial wastes. BEZA expects that industries from the agro-food, light engineering, chemical, automobile assembly, garments and pharmaceutical sectors will be set up in the EZ.