Free & Special Economic Zones, Past, Present and Future

  • Free Trade Zones have existed in the world since 300 BC, when the antique Mediterranean ports of Tyre and Cartage were two of the first such references
  • Livorno and Marseille, in the middle Ages, supported trade coming overland from the Silk Road.
  • The past two centuries have seen Hamburg (1888), Cadiz (1911) Panama (1948), Shannon (1959), Manaus (1967), JAFZA 1985, Montevideo (1989), Shanghai (1990) and Suez (2000); Salalah Free Zone, (2007), succeed as further examples adopting different regimes and systems.
  • UNIDO launched the Export Processing Zones programme in 1976, for which our beloved Hon President Mr. Peter F. Ryan (R.I.P.) worked so hard as Team Leader, creating more than 200.000 jobs in 12 countries during its first year.
  • In 1965 Lic. Jaime Bermudez from MĂ©xico set up the “Mexican Maquila” or Assembly Plants for Export, a scheme that in forty years reached 1.300.000 jobs by 2005.
  • Dr. K T Lee, the architect of Taiwan’s industrial development, implemented an Export Processing Zones system of which Kaohsiung Export Processing Zones are today a national High-Tech Park with more than 65.000 jobs

Femoza plays the role of connecting these variously successful systems, still in use and enabled today by current technologies that operate within the global economy.

The Summit in Geneva will be a meeting point for multiple exchanges between Governments, CCIs, Zone Operators, Financial Institutions, SMEs, Logistic, Transport, Insurance, Engineering, Construction and Zone Supplies companies from 132 countries with Zones.  Debate and example will define the challenges for countries yet without free zones, with the opportunity to master a programme, attract investors and create jobs, reaching prosperity by adopting suitable zone models. As the main challenge for all countries, without exception, is to create employment, FDI is the solution and Zones are the tool for delivering this.

Free & Special Economic Zones are the recognised means to achieve this, and by adding technology transfer to local Industry, improving labour force skills through training, they can thereby reduce for their investors.  In this context, Femoza acts as facilitator to market requests, operating with high standards of method, transparency and professionalism.