EPZ investments edge up 12pc

Investments in the eight export processing zones or EPZs went up 12.17 percent year-on-year in the first half of the current fiscal year, getting a boost from new industrial units.

Over $213 million was invested in the EPZs in July-December, compared to $190.23 million in the same period last year, data from Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority shows.

The companies in operation exported goods worth $2.9 billion between July and December, against $2.59 billion in the same period last year, according to Bepza data.

“The regulator allocated more space to new industrial units after vertical expansion of existing structures,” said Nazma Binte Alamgir, general manager for public relations at Bepza.

In addition, eight new industrial units started production, expanding export volumes during the period, she said.

“Entrepreneurs found the EPZs’ investment climate favourable and uninterrupted, with hardly any effect of outside factors, such as impacts of the Rana Plaza building collapse or Tazreen Fashions fire.”

Stability boosted both investment and export volumes in the specialised zones, she said.

A total of 437 industrial units are in operation in the EPZs as of December; a further 123 enterprises are under construction.

Chittagong EPZ attracted the biggest investment — $72.99 million, followed by Dhaka at $48.8 million, Adamjee $32.17 million and Karnaphuli $30.69 million.

Uttara EPZ received $10.71 million in investment, Comilla $10.17 million, Ishwardi $4.46 million and Mongla $3.42 million.

Cumulative investments stood at $3.4 billion as of December 2014.