The New Age
It may sound highly ambitious, but a local company has started implementing a project, targeting vehicles export. Unlike imported ones, the plant will produce and export only refurbished vehicles that have a good overseas market. A 35-year old Bangladesh-born British citizen, Abdul Jahan, has initiated the plant at Mongla Export Processing Zone under the name of a company — 3G Engineering Limited. The plant with an investment of over $11 million will refurbish 400 units of vehicles in the initial years as per the agreement with the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority, said Jahan.
The company is expected to go on production by July, said its manager Shaylen Mondal. He said they would import old vehicles like Volvo, Mercedes Benz, BMW and Land Rover mainly from Europe to refurbish those. The refurbished vehicles have strong demand in countries like South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria as they cost one-thirds of the prices of new ones. The company will hire 10 automobile engineers from England and also create employment opportunity for 206 Bangladeshis in the initial years. The number will go up with the progress of the plant.
‘This is the most interesting projects in recent years as it will help the country to produce skilled workforce,’ said Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority member (investment promotion) Prasanta Bhushan Barua. ‘We don’t have any practical knowledge about the refurbished consumers’ items like vehicles, refrigerators, air coolers and computers,’ he said. The refurbishing automobile plant in Mongla export processing zone is not just a money-making project, said Jahan when detailing the background of his plant.
‘It is a long-cherished dream to set up a trail-blazing venture to create a lasting desire among the soul searching new generation of Bangladesh-origin UK citizens,’ he said. Jahan said the third generation Bangladeshis, born and grown up in English atmosphere, are not much aware of Bangladesh and her long struggle for independence and economic emancipation. However, the generation has many experts who can contribute to the development of Bangladesh, he said and added that the number of such experts in different fields was increasing in many suburbs in the UK, including Brick Lane, Tower Hamlets, Camden, Westminster and Newham.
The growing new generation is taking refuge to the English culture, but it has a passionate group with immense potential of contributing to the development of Bangladesh through technology transfer, he said. Jahan believes that the 3G Engineering project will show the much needed paths to many Bangladeshi-origin British citizens who search their roots often. ‘I can invest and make money anywhere in the world, but I have decided to invest in Bangladesh,’ said Jahan who is a successful third generation businessman in traditional restaurant business in the UK and an automobile expert.
The existing 3G engineering limited is a successor of JSL that was formed in 2000 by the same man. The company teamed up with the Sena Kalyan Sangstha, a welfare organisation under the Armed Forces, to market European luxury vehicles like BMW and Volvo. The project was not successful. The unsuccessful venture did not put break on the endeavour of Jahan, who mixed emotion with his imagination to translate his dream into reality.