Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- The government has approved proposals for setting up 17 economic zones in the country, including three private zones, one in Narsingdi and two in Munshiganj.

The approval was given in the second meeting of the Board of Governors of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authorities (BEZA) at Prime Minister’s Office in the capital Dhaka on Wednesday with Chairman of the Board Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The approved 17 economic zones will be established at Mirersari, Gohira, Moulvibazar, Mongla, Sirajganj, Sreepur, Sabrang, Keraniganj, Narayanganj, Bhola, Ashuganj, Jamalpur, Panchagarh, Narsingdi, Manikganj, Kushtia and Nilphamari.

Of them, Sreepur economic zone and Gohira economic zone will remain exclusive for Japanese and Chinese investors.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, PM’s Press Secretary AKM Shameem Chowdhury said the meeting also approved special incentive packages for local and foreign investors to attract their investment in those economic zones.

Members of the board, including Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu and Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, were present, among others.

Executive Chairman of BEZA Paban Chowdhury briefed the meeting about the progress the board has achieved so far in establishing the economic zones.

The government enacted private economic zone law in 2010 aimed at materializing the Vission-2021, long term perspective plan, sixth five-year plan, expediting economic growth, alleviating poverty, industrialization and balanced development of the country.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the officials for providing one-stop service from every economic zone for the investors.

The meeting was told that a total of 100 economic zones would be established in the country by next 15 years, creating employment opportunities for about 10 million people and exporting goods of worth US$ 40 billion every year.

Earlier, Comptroller and Auditor General of Bangladesh Masud Ahmed submitted annual audit reports to the Prime Minister.

PM’s Principal Secretary Abul Kalam Azad and PMO Secretary Suraiya Begum were present at that time.

BBN/SSR/AD-18Feb15-10:30 pm (BST)