• Export Processing Zones, Development and Working Conditions. The cases of China and Mexico

Lambert Academic Publishing
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(Alessandra Assenza is graduated in Law from the University of Turin(Italy) and holds an L.L.M. in "International and European Labour Law" from Tilburg University (The Netherlands). She has worked for the Programme for Employers’ Activities at the Int. Training Center of the ILO(ITCILO) and at the International Labour Organisation(ILO).)


Considered as "engines" for development and trade liberalisation in developing countries, Export Processing Zones (EPZs) have been introduced and massively expanded in the last decades with the aim to increase exports and FDI, while generating employment and upgrading technology. Today there are around 3500 EPZs throughout the world, operating in 130 countries and employing 66 million of people. While analysing the cases of EPZs in China and Mexico, this book proposes an answer to the following question: How an EPZ, built up as a trade policy tool, can be an instrument of sustainable economic and social development? This work therefore provides the reader with a general framework on EPZs and examines several possible solutions to improve their social sustainability. It argues that EPZs reproduce a model similar to the economy of the rest of the country, but potentially easier for government to influence and monitor. Thus, if further inserted in a wider programme of development, zones can represent a driving force towards decent work, social justice and social inclusion.

Processing Zones, China, Mexico, Trade Agreements, International Labour Standards, ILO Conventions, Special Economic Zones, maquiladoras, Sustainable Development