Foreign and Local investors have shown lukewarm response to invest newly built ICT Hi-Tech Parks across the country.
Only 27 local firms so far have taken lease of 93.33 acres of land in Bangabandhu Hi-Tech Park, Kaliakoir , as well as 10 others interested Bangabandhu Hi-Tech Park in Sylhet and Sheikh Kamal IT Training & Incubation Centre in Chattogram, a recent ICT division meeting on high tech park revealed.
Major local firms that took land in the Kaliakoir park are Data Soft, Manufacturing Inc, Aamara Holdings, SB Tel Enterprises, IT consultant Ltd, Millennium Solution Limited, Best Tycoon BD Enterprise, Walton Digit-tech Industries Ltd, Dev Net and Metro Net BD limited.
Besides, among those Sylhet and Chattogram parks at them are Automation service Limited, RTM International, Golden Harvest Infor Tech Limited, Shahajalal Science and Technology University, Arodex and Advance Software Technology and Gaming Development.
The Bangladesh High Tech Park Authority (BHTPA) said those 17 firms will help create 25,000 new jobs.
Meanwhile, the High-tech Park Authority are worried as not a single foreign investors registered with BHPA to invest in this sector.
Sources said weak infrastructure, unclear policies, bureaucratic complexities, irregularities, corruption and inefficiency are the reasons which hinder investment by foreigners to Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, 87 foreign companies withdrew investment from China and went to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Malaysia, not a single one came to Bangladesh.
“Even after thousands of acres of land made available in high-tech parks, foreign investment is hard to come by. Only local companies are investing in them – even nominal local companies have been allotted acre after acre of land in these high-tech parks,” a high official responsible to the project told Business Mirror.
Only a Chinese company called Oryx Biotech Limited have has shown interest in investing $300 million in Bangabandhu Hi-Tech Park. Sources said the companies would create invest 25,000 new jobs to the Bangladesh High Tech Park Authority (BHTPA).
The government’s revenue collection has collapsed due to the coronavirus epidemic. As a result, the government’s project expenditure has been challenged. Considering the situation, the expenditure of projects in all other sectors except health and agriculture has been placed in the low-priority project list.
Therefore, ICT division has appealed to the government to consider its projects as a high priority and not to suspend funding ICT projects. A letter has been sent to the Finance Division in this regard.
A businessman interested to invest in Hi-Tech Parks said, even getting essential services to set up business in the Hi-Tech parks is not hassle-free. Board of Investment’s one-stop service meant to assist investors to gain access to utilities is not providing popper services. Just to get a gas connection is a time-consuming process.