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“Criticize by Creating”


Spreading Peace and Prosperity through Zones of Prosperity and

Success-Sharing Zones

It is well established that economic freedom leads to peace and prosperity.  It is less widely recognized that secure property rights and rule of law are a crucial pre-requisite to economic freedom, and that it is often very difficult to improve property rights and rule of law in much of the developing world.  There have been cases in which zones have allowed nations to introduce liberal economic policies within a specified geographical region, including improved property rights and rule of law, which have then resulted in nation-wide reforms later.

Robert Haywood, Executive Director of the World Economic Processing Zones Association (WEPZA), has pointed out that Special Economic Zones have historically been a pre-cursor to broader economic liberalization, and prosperity, in Taiwan, South Korea, Mexico, Mauritius, UAE, Ireland, and China.  India is now deploying zones in an attempt to accelerate their rate of economic development.  Dubai is using their extraordinary free zone expertise to replicate their success around the world.

The broader free zone movement has a controversial history due in some cases to mistakes, in some cases to prejudice, and in some cases to corruption and other factors.  We would never claim that all free zones have been always good.  Not all zones have been well-designed, and few zones have truly provided open-ended opportunities for anyone seeking to create an enterprise.

That said, zone solutions have the potential to create more prosperity for more people more quickly than any other approach to global poverty alleviation.  We therefore support an ongoing research program to identify best practices in free zone design in order to optimize global poverty alleviation, including success-sharing zones in which the massive wealth created by zones is shared widely in the communities in which zones are located.

Key papers:

A selection of articles on the rapidly growing global free zone movement:


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