Special Economic Zones and Economic Corridors
By Masami ISHIDA
ERIA Discussion Paper 2009-16
Posted: June 2009
Various reports show that special economic zones (SEZ) have become a prime catalyst for regional development in developing countries such as China and the ASEAN countries. The SEZ can be defined as a specific geographical region with economic laws that are more liberal than a country's typical economic laws. Many SEZs have characteristics of bonded zones, export processing zone (EPZ) or free trade zones and provide special incentives, including tax exemption or reduction to investors. The purpose of the paper is to enumerate the candidates for SEZ in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam (CLMV countries) according to four types: "metropolitan areas," "ports and harbors," "border areas" and "junctions or intersections." The first two types are based on the experience of forerunning ASEAN countries and the latter two are based on the economic corridors of the Greater Mekong Sub region Economic Cooperation Program. The paper concludes by identifying locations for the questionnaire and flowchart approach-based surveys, and presenting country-specific strategies.