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special economic zones

Why are more countries embracing industrial zones? [VIDEO]

Douglas Zhihua Zeng 曾智华's picture
Also available in: 中文

A shipyard crane. Source - Matthew SullivanIn the late 1950s, a group of businessmen and politicians on the outskirts of a small town in western Ireland realized their local airport was in jeopardy of losing its international flights. Knowing how important transit passengers and the airlines were to their economy, a proposal for a special industrial area near the airport was submitted and approved, marking the inception of the world’s first modern free trade zone in Shannon, Ireland. Today, the concept has gone global with an estimated 4,300 various types of zones worldwide. 

All across the world, we have seen countries exploring and seizing the potential of these industrial zones—often also called industrial parks or special economic zones. In East Asia, you can point to the experiences of China, Singapore, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea and Vietnam. In Central America, we have those of the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and Honduras. In the Middle East and North Africa, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan have also created zones. In Sub-Sahara Africa, Mauritius first set up an export processing zone all the way back in the 1970s, and today, countries across the region continue to experiment with modern industrial zone regimes.

The concept of the industrial zone is gaining more acceptance globally. The appeal lies in these zones’ ability to catalyze economic development and structural transformation.

为何越来越多的国家“拥抱”工业园区? [VIDEO]

Miles McKenna's picture
Also available in: English

A shipyard crane. Source - Matthew Sullivan在20世纪50年代末,一群在爱尔兰西部一个小城镇郊区的商人和官员们意识到当地机场正面临着失去国际航班的危机。他们深知中转旅客和航空公司对于当地经济的重要性,于是批准了一份在机场附近建立特殊工业区的提案–世界上最早的现代自由贸易区就这样在爱尔兰的香农地区(Shannon)成立了。今天,这一概念已走向世界,据国际劳工组织估计,全球有4300多个不同类型的产业园区。笔者估计实际数目还要高。
 
纵观全球,我们可以看到各国都在探索和挖掘工业园区的潜力,它们通常也被称为开发区、产业园区或经济特区。例如东亚的中国,新加坡,马来西亚,韩国和越南,中美洲的多米尼加共和国,哥斯达黎加和洪都拉斯都有成功的经验。在中东和北非,阿联酋和约旦也成功建造了工业园区。在撒哈拉以南的非洲地区,毛里求斯在20世纪70年代就首次设立了出口加工区并取得成功。如今,各国仍在继续尝试与探索现代工业区制度。
工业园区的概念正在全球范围内获得更多的认可,其吸引力在于这些园区有着促进经济发展和结构转型的巨大潜力。

Exporting is Easy; the Challenge is Making it Sustainable

Catalyst factory in Macedonia. Source: Johnson Matthey Inc.In 2009, an EU-based chemical manufacturer opened a plant inside one of FYR Macedonia’s recently-established special economic zones. The plant began production of catalysts, a type of emissions-control component used in automobiles. Two years later, this investment drove chemical products to the third-highest spot on Macedonia’s export list, lessening the country’s reliance on metals and textiles.

In Nicaragua, low labor costs and high security compared to its neighbors have led zonas francas to expand dramatically, attracting producers of electronic wires and medical devices and expanding the country’s exports beyond an already-strong apparel sector. Between 2006 and 2008, for example, ignition wiring sets for vehicles were the country’s fourth biggest export.