Export processing zones posted 26.5 percent growth in investment and 15.96 percent in export earnings in the first six months of the fiscal year, a testing period for the industrial sector at large.
Some $190.23 million was invested in the country's eight EPZs in the first half of fiscal 2013-14, according to data from the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority, the regulator.
The investment inflow was $150.37 million in the same period of the previous fiscal year. The cumulative investment stands at $2.98 billion as of 2013.
Export earnings by EPZ-based companies rose 15.96 percent to $2.598 billion in the July-December period from a year ago. About 425 industrial units are now operating in the eight zones, with 136 more under construction, according to officials from the BEPZA.
During the period, the EPZs hired some 8,018 Bangladeshi workers, to take the tally to 381,262. BEPZA officials attributed the growth to uninterrupted production and adequate security.
"The investors feel very comfortable inside the EPZs as there is hardly any labour unrest there. Besides, they get full support from the BEPZA whenever there is any trouble outside of the EPZs," said Nazma Binte Alamgir, general manager of BEPZA's public relations.