World Investment Report 2019

Special Economic Zones

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This report focuses on special economic zones (SEZs) which are widely used across most developing and many developed economies. It explores the place of SEZs in today’s global investment landscape and provides guidance for policymakers on how to make SEZs work for sustainable development. It presents international investment trends and prospects at global, regional and national levels, as well as the evolution of international production and global value chains. It analyses the latest developments in new policy measures for investment promotion, facilitation and regulation around the world.



Special economic zones

Special economic zones (SEZs) – geographically delimited areas within which governments facilitate industrial activity through fiscal and regulatory incentives and infrastructure support – are widely used across most developing and many developed economies. Although the performance of many zones remains below expectations, failing either to attract significant investment or to generate economic impact beyond their confines, new zones continue to be developed, as governments increasingly compete for internationally mobile industrial activity. Policymakers face not only the traditional challenges of making SEZs succeed, including the need for adequate strategic focus, regulatory and governance models, and investment promotion tools, but also new challenges brought about by the sustainable development imperative, the new industrial revolution and changing patterns of international production.


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