Thai Film Industries (pub) Ltd has proposed to set up a packing film factory in Bangladesh with an investment of US$ 40 million, a high official at Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) said.
A team comprising three members of the Thai company visited Dhaka last month and made the proposal to BEPZA and to the Board of Investment (BoI), the official said.
The proposal is the first-ever of its kind in Bangladesh. There is no such manufacturing factory in the country.
"We have received a proposal from the Thai company and are working on it," BoI Executive Chairman Dr S A Samad told the FE.
"Some of the facilities demanded in the proposal do not seem to be acceptable to us. So we are in negotiation with the company on those issues," he added.
"We are eagerly trying to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country. So relating to the Thai proposal, we will try our best to consider their demands so that the company can invest in the country," he added.
"Besides, we are also trying to attract FDI from non-traditional sectors which will help reshape our identity in the international arena," the BoI chief said.
However, although the size and quality of the investment are attractive to the BEPZA, officials at the authority could not commit allotment of plot to the Thai company as there is no empty plot in Dhaka, Chittagong or Comilla EPZs.
The BEPZA has instead asked the Thai investor to build the plant at Mongla EPZ in Bagerhat and Uttara EPZ in Nilphamari; but company officials did not agree to the offer.
"We've told them that the two EPZs in Chittagong and the one outside Dhaka don't have any empty plot," a high official at BEPZA told the FE preferring anonymity.
"It is an attractive investment offer for Bangladesh. Bangladesh spends a lot of hard-earned foreign currency for importing packing film. So we are trying to convince them to set up factories at Mongla and Uttara EPZs," he said.
According to the BEPZA, the Mongla EPZ has around 35 vacant plots and Uttara EPZ 82 plots as of December 2014. Both the EPZs lack gas supply and face acute power crunch.
However, according to a high official of BoI, the Thai company has already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a local company for feasibility study.
Export-oriented factories are the major users of the packing film to pack exportable goods. Country's demand for such packing items is around 45,000 tonnes a year.
According to the investment proposal, the company would be able to meet 50 per cent of local demand in first phase and 80 per cent in the second phase.
Local exporters meet their demand through imports mainly from Malaysia, India, China, Thailand and Korea.
Thai Film Industries Public Company Limited manufactures and sells packaging films primarily at home, a number of Asian and European countries and the United States. It offers BOPP, CPP films, polyethylene terephthalate and metalised films for use in printing, lamination and adhesive tapes.
The company was formerly known as TFI Corporation Public Company Limited and changed its name to Thai Film Industries Public Company Limited in July 2012.
Thai Film Industries Public Company Limited was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Samutprakran, Thailand.