Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The central bank of Bangladesh has relaxed foreign exchange regulations allowing all industrial enterprises in export processing zones (EPZs) to borrow medium and long-term loan from overseas sources, officials said.

“The central bank has relaxed the foreign exchange regulations aiming to facilitate all industrial units in the EPZs allowing them medium and long term loans from external sources,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka.

Only ‘A’ category industrial units in the EPZs were earlier allowed to borrow only short-term loan from overseas sources, the central banker explained.

There are three categories of industrial unites now operating in all EPZs across the country.

Under the relaxed regulations, industrial units in the EPZs will submit borrowing approval applications and related documents as per proforma of the Guidelines for Foreign Exchange Transactions (GFET, 2009 edition), through their nominated authorised dealer banks for onward referral via the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) to the Bangladesh Bank (BB).

The borrowing proposals forwarded to the BB by the BEPZA will be scrutinised at the Foreign Exchange Investment Department (FEID) of the central bank and disposed of with decisions at the governor’s level, according to a directive, issued by the central bank on Tuesday.

A total of 431 industrial unites are now operating in the EPZs while 136 are under implementation, a senior official of the BEPZA said.

The BEPZA is the official organ of the government to promote, attract and facilitate foreign investment in the EPZs of the country.

The primary objective of an EPZ is to provide special areas where potential investors would find a congenial investment climate, free from cumbersome procedures.

There are eight EPZs in Bangladesh at Chittagong, Dhaka, Mongla, Ishwardi, Comilla, Uttara, Adamjee, and Karnaphuli.

BBN/SSR/AD-07May14-11:45 am (BST)