Term Paper on Trade Union Movement in EPZ

Export Processing Zones (EPZs) have become an important factor for economic enclaves particularly in employment generation, export diversification and investment creation. One of the important objectives of Industrial Policy of Bangladesh is to employment creation and to expand investment in export-oriented industries. In continuing to that policy, EPZ is playing as a prime role as an economic instruments for attracting foreign direct investment, employment, foreign exchange earning and technology transfer. In the age of globalization the concept of EPZ has become more significance for economic growth. Result reveals that EPZ in all over the country has a dramatic increasing trend from 1975 with 25 countries and the numbers of EPZs were 79, now 2003 it has covered 116 countries that covered more than 3000 zones. As a result 42.0 million are employed within those zones (Agarwal, 2005). Geographically, politically and economically, in 1971 Bangladesh has got an independent and it covers 144,000 square kilometers and has a population of about 150 million with a density of 953 persons per square kilometer (HDI, UNDP Report, 2008). Bangladesh had to face the challenges , as a result, its economy has been diversified with limited resource and rapidly growing population. After the independence, the turbulent political environment military administration coups in 1975, 1981 and 1982, during this period there was a little attraction of foreign investors. Moreover, natural disaster visited Bangladesh in 1970s and 1980s. Bangladesh is declared as a poorest and least developed country in Asia by World Bank. Over the last three decades, Bangladesh economy has been changed gradually. Agriculture sectors contribution has steadily declining, and manufacturing sector has been rising. Even though, garments sector has become the prior sector for export Business and Management Review Vol. 1(7) pp. 86 – 102 September, 2011 ISSN: 2047 - 0398 Available online at http://www.businessjournalz.org/bmr earning and employment generation. Apart from this, EPZs has playing a pioneer role for attracting foreign direct investment. From the past, Bangladesh economic development can be categorized into three phase, those are 1972-1978, 1979-1990 and 1991 until now (Hossain & Cheng, 2005

In this circumstances, Bangladesh is late starter in the process of liberalization, particularly after 1990s, it‟s opening up the economy with attendant liberalization of the trade regime (GOB, the fifth five year plan, 1997-2002). This trade liberalization geared up the country‟s economic condition like as export, employment, investment and boomed the private sector for economic development. Apart from welcoming private sector, Government had taken initiative to welcome foreign investor with incentive. Finally, Government had taken a decision to emerged capital investment in Export Processing Zone in the name of industrial development. The first zone in Bangladesh was set up in Southern part of Bangladesh in Chittagong in 1983 (Table 1). After reviewing the tremendous success of that zone, Government had decided to establish the second one at Dhaka in 1993. Significant promotional investments were made through these two zones by setting up a large number of small and medium sizes of industrial units. The zone has increased in number 8 including Chittagong and Dhaka.