Pakistan's Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) is to set up the second-phase of the Karachi Export Processing Zone with financial assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

EPZA chairman Tariq Hassan said the project has attracted both foreign and local investors. Work on Phase II will start by March 2013.

The Karachi Export Processing Zone is located at 35 miles from the Karachi Seaport and connected to the Landhi Industrial Estate, Quaid-e-Azam International Airport, and Port Qasim. At least 35,000 people, including 20,000 women from nearby areas, work in the EPZ.

The facility spreads over 500 acres and offers facilities like uninterrupted power supply, a dedicated water pipeline, workers' accommodation, efficient transportation systems and training institutes.

The project is a part of country's efforts to introduce structural reforms, simplify investment procedures and develop a modern infrastructure in order to attract investment in export-based industries such as textiles and clothing.

Its five-year textile policy (which runs from 2009-14) aims to increase the country's textile and clothing exports to US$25bn by the year 2015.

A textile city and three garment cites are also being established at Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad.