Katunayake EPZ, a major impetus to Lankaâ€™s economy
VISIT: The BOI recently organised a visit to the Katunayake
Export Processing Zone (KEPZ) for members of the media. The visit
included a presentation by senior BOI staff, members of the Free Trade
Zone Manufacturersâ€™ Association and some zone workers. Also included
were visits to three BOI enterprises in the Zone.
The KEPZ is the first BOI Export Processing Zone, established in
1978, at the same time as the Greater Colombo Economic Commission (GCEC),
as the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka was then known.
The KEPZ is a sprawling facility that has an area of 526.66 acres and
it is located near the airport and just 29 kilometres from Colombo.
The KEPZ is the most highly developed of all BOI zones, as 86
enterprises are operating in the facility. Many of these enterprises can
be described as high technology, using very advanced manufacturing
techniques and procedures. Of these enterprises 24 are the plants of
However other sectors are also represented such as precious stones
and jewellery (5), trading houses (5), hosiery and yarn (4), glove
production (4), electric and electronic (4), footwear(3), artificial
flowers (3), bags and tents (1), rubber products (1) and many other
sectors. The Katunayake Export Processing Zone companies are among the
most modern sector of the Sri Lankan economy.
Export earnings from the zone totaled Rs. 97,186 million.
The Zone is a truly international facility. There are investment
projects from 17 countries in the Zone. Currently there are 12
enterprises from Hong Kong, 12 American, 10 British, 10 Indian, 10
German, 7 Japanese, 6 Sri Lankan, 4 Belgian, 4 Italian, in addition to
companies from Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, China, Luxembourg, France,
Sweden and Norway.
In nearly three decades the zone has contributed significantly to
creation of new job opportunities: In 1978 when the KEPZ was started
there were only 261 employees working for the two first enterprises
established in the Zone.
In 2007 the Zone employs a workforce of 50,475 locals and 197
expatriates and has brought many opportunities to a large section of the