Export processing zones (EPZs) are areas within developing countries that offer incentives and a barrier-free environment to promote economic growth by attracting foreign investment for export-oriented production. The number of zones internationally, countries hosting EPZs, and firms operating in them, and the business volume they handle, are all growing rapidly, suggesting their importance. Yet, business research on EPZs is virtually nonexistent, leading to poor understanding of their role in international marketing. This article draws from the literature in economics, macromarketing, and other disciplines to provide an integrative review of the concept. The authors then adopt a macromarketing perspective to develop a new definition of EPZs, typologies of free export zones and of their benefits for host nations and investors, and the notion of a "virtual network" of free zones as part of the international market system. The authors conclude by highlighting the need and potential directions for new research in this field.

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Journal of Macromarketing
Sprott School of Business

Papadopoulos, N, & Malhotra, S. (Shavin). (2007). Export processing zones in development and international marketing: An integrative review and research agenda. Journal of Macromarketing, 27(2), 148–161. doi:10.1177/0276146707300070