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Export Processing Zones

  • By: Reginald Yin-Wang Kwok
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

An export processing zone (EPZ) is generally set up by a government to promote and capture foreign direct investment, international trade, technological transfer, and industrial development. These zones provide preferential treatments and incentives to attract foreign enterprises and investors. EPZs are also known as free trade zones (FTZs), special economic zones (SPZs), free zones (FZs), industrial estates, free ports, urban enterprise zones, and other terms.

History and Developmental Functions of EPZs

The concept of EPZs originated in Spain in 1929. In the 1970s, EPZs became a global phenomenon as a developmental tool in low-income nations in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, and, to a lesser degree, Africa. By the 1980s, almost all developing countries had established at least one such zone.

The normal provisions are infrastructure, communication ...

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