Chinse investors will set up 371 factories to produce medicine, apparel, agro procession, chemical, medical equipment, plastic and IT industries in special economic zone
The Dhaka-Ashulia Elevated Expressway project hangs in a limbo due to complexities in its financing.
The government has kept urging the Chinese authority to finance this project, however, the country is yet to respond to the call.
Officials at the Economic Relations Division of the Ministry of Finance said the process of China's lending to other countries often sees a delay due to its bureaucratic tangle.
Therefore, they said, it takes more time in finalising loans from China when compared to other development partners.
Against this backdrop, the whole matter of financing in this priority project, which the government initially planned to complete by 2022, has become uncertain.
Earlier on July 11 last, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader announced that works on the project would start by December this year.
The project was approved by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) in 2017.
The 24-kilometre elevated expressway, involving an estimated cost of Tk16,901 crore, will connect Hazrat Shahjahal International Airport to Abdullahpur, Ashulia, Dhaka Export Processing Zone (DEPZ) and Chandra on the North Bengal Highway.
It will be an extension of the 26-kilometre Dhaka elevated expressway linking the airport to the Dhaka-Chittagong highway near Shanir Akhra.
After the completion of the project, vehicles from northern districts will not have to come across the horrendous traffic of Dhaka city on their way to Chattogram. Moreover, the expressway will ease communication between the Dhaka EPZ and Chattogram port.
Chinese firm China National Machinery Export and Import Corporation will supervise the construction of the project.
The Economic Relations Division is going to sit with the Chinese authority to discuss the loan situation of 10 projects, including the Dhaka-Ashulia Elevated Expressway, which all are supposed to be implemented with the Chinese funds.
The other projects among these 10 include Power Grid Network Strengthening, Conversion of Meter Gauge Railway Track into Dual Gauge from Akahaura to Sylhet, Establishment of Six TV stations, Balancing Modernization, Rehabilitation and Expansion of Public Sector Jute Mills, Establishing Digital Connectivity, Construction of Dual Gauge between Joydevpur-Ishwardi Section, Rajshahi Wasa Surface Water Treatment Plant, Expansion and Modernisation of Mongla Port Facilities and Expansion and Strengthening of Power System Network under DPDC Area.
The meeting, to be held at the ERD conference room, will be attended by officials from the Chinese Embassy, ERD, the implementation agencies and various ministries and departments of the government.
Apart from finalising loan for these 10 projects, the government wants to know progress of the Chinese Economic and Industrial Zone project in Chattogram's Anwara upazila, giving it utmost priority.
The special economic zone will be established on 783 acres of land under a government to government (G2G) deal.
Chinse investors will set up 371 factories to produce medicine, apparel, agro procession, chemical, medical equipment, plastic and IT industries in the zone.
It is expected that the economic zone, once completed, will create employment opportunities for about one lakh people.