CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh — Sure, the shipping distance from Japan to this sprawling industrial park might be great, and his trucks must sometimes compete with rickshaws and livestock on the crowded roads outside its walls.

But overall, Yasufumi Matsuo, executive director at Japanese electronic parts maker Op-Seed Co.'s factory in Chittagong, is happy with conditions at the Export Processing Zone here in Bangladesh's main port town, where local workers at his plant manufacture buttons and light-emitting diode displays used in vending machines assembled back in Japan.

"They make good products," said Matsuo, who has run the plant for a decade. While he wants improvements in water supply and, to reduce downtime, electricity generation, his 1,200 workers get the job done well, he said. "They hold their own against workers in China and Thailand."