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Adrianople Group, the leading business intelligence firm that specializes in SEZs, has published the world’s largest data set on special economic zones to-date. The data set is interactive, and you can view it here.
Special economic zones are geographical locations which have separate regulations than the rest of the country. Even though you may not have heard of SEZs, there are thousands of these zones around the world. The economic scope of special economic zones is greater than most may expect –– co-founder of Adrianople Group Thibault Serlet says about 50% of manufactured goods have gone through an SEZ in some capacity before hitting the shelves.When asked for his take on the importance of SEZs and why Adrianople Group decided to publish this data set, Serlet responded with: This is the first attempt at mapping out every single SEZ in the world. This is important because people don’t realize the true scale of SEZs. The World Bank’s low end estimate is that roughly 50% of all manufactured goods are either made in or shipped through SEZs – however, due to the lack of statistics, it is hard to know for sure.
The thing that has me the most personally excited is the ability to use SEZs to foster innovation in highly regulated industries. Governments feel safer experimenting with these in physically closed off zones. That is why you are seeing all sorts of interesting projects in cannabis, medicine, and bioengineering. This is why many SEZs are pioneering the adoption of blockchain from Iran to the Cayman Islands; from Belarus to Honduras.
To learn more about special economic zones, check out Benzinga’s exclusive interview with co-founder of Adrianople group, Thibault Serlet.