Success Factors for Implementation
At a Glance
- SEZs need to be able to weather changes in economic and financial conditions, requiring resourcefulness in finding new revenue streams and adjust marketing strategies.
- Even when an SEZ’s design is perfect on paper, how well it is managed and operated will have a large effect on the zone’s ability to meet key policy objectives.
- Staff quality and retention among participating firms are key to the success of any zone.
- Special Economic Zones: Progress, Emerging Challenges, and Future Directions (Thomas Farole, Gokhan Akinci)
- Special Economic Zones: An Operational Review of Their Impacts (World Bank Group)
- Special Economic Zones: A Guidance Framework for Policymaking (Claude Baissac, Thomas Farole, Jean-Paul Gauthier)
This resource is designed to support the early-stage policymaking and planning process, and explores what type of special economic zone ...
This resource offers an overview of the efficacy and overall economic impact of special economic zones (SEZs) through an analysis of ...
This study evaluates the overall economic performance of special economic zones and analyzes key development trends in terms of zone ...
This resource reviews six zone projects in Nigeria in order to highlight opportunities for foreign investment that would maximize the ...
The World Investment Report monitors foreign direct investment trends and outlines investment policy developments around the world. The 2019 ...
SEZs are difficult to get right, even when the concept and design are sensible. Whether an SEZ meets its goals can depend on how it is managed, include the administrative and oversight system.
Many SEZs have looked promising on paper but failed to deliver, because the stakeholders could not implement policies, provide oversight, or monitor outcomes. A participating firm’s staff quality and retention are key to SEZ success. In addition, many SEZs have failed to generate the necessary institutional cooperation. This failure reduces the value proposition of SEZs; arguably, investors face the same bureaucratic constraints as the wider economy, but often with an additional layer of delays and management. SEZs may also need to weather changes in economic or financial conditions and budget availability, so managers must be flexible and resourceful enough to find new revenue streams and adjust marketing strategies.
SEZs are, in part, an acknowledgment of constraints facing the wider economy. The scale of these constraints requires the focused implementation of different strategies, on a small scale. But it is important to note that SEZs cannot make up for these constraints on their own; therefore, it is critical that SEZs not replace reforms in the wider economy. Creating a permanent enclave can lead to both path dependence and stagnation.