Investors have shown faith in the long-term prospects of the Bangladesh clothing and textile sector, with four garment factories costing nearly US$50m starting operations in Bangladesh's Comilla Export Processing Zone (EPZ) this year.

Among them are investors from Japan and Hong Kong, EPZ general manager MD Abdus Sobhan told just-style.

Sobhan added that a Pakistan-owned denim making factory will also be opened at the zone, which is 100km south-east of Dhaka, along with a hair accessory plant and three non-apparel factories - with a total investment exceeding US$70m.

When fully functioning, the nine factories will create 35,000-40,000 new jobs for Bangladeshis, and 400-450 posts for foreign technicians.

The news comes as Bangladesh's clothing industry admitted orders had been falling following April's Rana Plaza garment factory collapse. 

Sobhan stressed factory construction within the EPZ would be of the highest standards, with regular quality auditing undertaken by global buyers.

"For example we [already] have factories like [Sri Lanka's] Brandix maintaining very high standards operating in the zone," he said.

Also speaking to just-style, vice president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), Mohammad Hatem, said such quality was more representative of the national clothing industry than Rana Plaza.

The "industry is about 5,000 plus factory units" and the collapsed factory does not reflect "the actual scenario of the sector," Hatem said adding: "We are doing our utmost to fix factory safety issues."