South Korean factories are operating in an export processing zone in Bangladesh. The zone has 25 factories. Nine new factories will go into operation this year. The plan is to reach a total of 100. Exports earnings of the Korean Export Processing Zone (KEPZ) are gaining momentum. Companies like Samsung and LG are interested in investing in the EPZ.
Out of the 25 factories, one is a shoe factory and the rest are for textiles. The zone offers some 20,000 direct jobs, which is expected to double by 2021. The target is to create 1,00,000 jobs. Indirect jobs will total 2,00,000.
Construction is underway for IT industries, a product research, design and development zone, and a female workers' dormitory. Other facilities in the making include a university building for 3,000 students, schools, colleges, hospitals and vocational institutions, all expected to be complete by 2021.
In the 2,492-acre zone 48 per cent of the area has been allotted for setting up factories and associated facilities while the rest are for gardens and lakes. This is Bangladesh’s largest private export processing zone. In 2009, it saw factories begin operations. Some of these are Karnaphuli Shoes, Karnaphuli Garments, Karnaphuli Polyester Products, Evertop Product Development Company, Gaya Product Development Company and Dei-Go Product Development Company.