Special Economic Zones
IDG operates under the philosophy that there is no cookie-cutter solution for SEZ development. While general best practices exist, each zone to be developed must reflects a country’s unique socio economic position and must take into account its long-term development goals. The successful creation and operation of a special economic zone recognizes a country’s unique position and applies the correct strategies that mirrors its goals.
IDG with its expertise in advising on SEZ development strategy is in a prime position to aid countries in the following capabilites:
Feasibility Studies of SEZs
IDG’s experts have experience in conducing feasibility studies of SEZs. Our seasoned team has global experience in assessing not only the financial and economic viability of economic zones, but determining the type of physical on and off-site infrastructure, environmental, and engineering requirements for a zone in order to best plan and design the facilities for sustainability and viability, setting the zone up for short, medium and long-term success.
Analyzing the Business Enabling Environment
IDG is a leader in examining the business and enabling climate of a country, region, urban and rural area (the process of doing business and implementing reforms) that eliminates barriers, reduces associated costs and streamlines processes and procedures in order to promote increased and varied new local and foreign investment. Our experts in business regulation and One-Stop Shops design have helped countries become more competitive by assessing the constraints to business growth and identifying opportunities for improvement that helps position a nation's SEZ regime and framework through targeted reforms.
SEZ Institutional Reform
IDG is experienced in assessing identifying and assessing appropriate institutional structures for an SEZ regime. Our team can set up institutional frameworks, design institutional structures for the SEZ Authority and clearly define institutional and organizational roles that increase operational efficiency, improve transparency and reduce transactional costs. Our experts draw from their vast experiences, lessons learnt, and global/international best practices to advise on procurement processes, structuring PPPs, standard operating procedures, and capacity building for SEZ regulators.
IDG’s SEZ Team
Ms. Deborah Porte is a world renowned economic zones expert with over 25 years of experience providing a full range of advisory and technical services for the development of special economic zones, technology parks, free zones, industrial parks, transport, logistic, and cargo hubs, port development, export processing zones, and media parks. She has worked in more than 40 countries throughout Africa, the CIS region, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America with donor agencies such as the World Bank, IFC, USAID, ADB, UKAid, and the EU. Recognized as a leader in master planning and SEZ development, Ms. Porte has led feasibility studies and master planning for SEZs in East Timor, Mali, India, Senegal, Malaysia, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, Lebanon, Kuwait and Morocco. Her additional SEZ portfolio includes Mozambique, Mexico, Thailand, Kenya, Ethiopia, Haiti, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Tanzania, and Nepal. This includes developing SEZ visions, value propositions, implementation strategies and policies, SEZ legal, regulatory and institutional frameworks, reforming existing SEZ/business environment policies, processes, procedures and cost estimates, One-Stop Shop frameworks, infrastructure planning, transport, customs reform, and environmental/social evaluations and recommendations. Some of her roles included undertaking financial and economic modeling, preparing public private partnership (PPP) strategies, and developing short, medium and long-term development strategies and action plans. Ms. Porte holds a Master of Architecture, Master of Urban Planning, and Master of Urban Design from the University of Washington.
Mr. Ahmad Al-Azzam is a financial modeling and institutional capacity building expert with over 25 years of experience developing financial models and forecasting projections for public utilities and the private sector. Mr. Al-Azzam has a proven record working in special economic zones and water sector. He designed and implemented a budgeting system and privatization financial model for the Aqaba SEZ, designed the financial model for the Tripoli SEZ, prepared the financial and economic analyses in the feasibility studies for three SEZs in Bangladesh, and prepare the Financial and Economic Analysis for the feasibility studies of the proposed economic zone projects in Tibar Bay – Timor Leste. He also has extensive experience leading and implementing projects in PPP, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), managing contracts, and developing financial policies and procedures. Mr. Al-Azzam has worked with donor agencies such as the World Bank, UNDP, USAID, GIZ, and EIB and has undertaken projects in many countries, including Canada, UK, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Albania, Tajikistan, Timor Leste, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, and the United Kingdom. Mr. Al-Azzam holds an M.B.A. in Professional Accounting from Canisius College in New York, CPA, CMA and CISA in addition to post graduate degree in Project Management.
Alliances Aimed at Improving Social and Economic Conditions
The last few years in particular have seen an uptick in donor and government interest in public-private partnerships (PPPs), including industrial estates and other collaborative endeavors between national or local governments and the private sector, often with donor technical assistance and/or financing. Developing these partnerships can bring investment, economic growth, increased trade, employment, foreign exchange earnings, access to new markets, and better provision of services to a population.
Jamaica Caymanas Special Economic Zone: IDG is assisting the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) and the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA) by creating a feasibility study and master plan for the planned Caymanas Special Economic Zone (CSEZ). The main objective of this project is to prepare a comprehensive feasibility study for the CSEZ in Jamaica that considers the best uses (industrial, ICT, transshipment, commercial, worker housing, etc.) and development phasing of the 1,200 acre (485.62 hectare) CSEZ site, in a manner that is financially feasible for a private developer, PPP, or other arrangement. The zone will operate under the rubric of Jamaica’s SEZ and PPP policies. The study also draws on best practices in the Caribbean and those linked to transshipment hubs globally, as well as considering the particular circumstances that affect private investors in Jamaica. IDG is collaborating on this work with subcontractor partners: Gensler, an international firm specializing in planning, urban design, sustainability, architecture, and branding; and Fluid Systems Engineering, a Jamaican firm specializing in hydrology and engineering issues.
Lebanon Tripoli Special Economic Zone Program: The TSEZ project entailed drafting a feasibility study and master plan for a Special Economic Zone in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli, with the intent of facilitating job creation outside the capital city. Targeted sectors include ICT and manufacturing. The IDG Team assessed market demand; proposed sites; developed spatial planning ; calculated revenue streams; reviewed transportation and infrastructure needs; conducted economic analysis of job creation and social impact; proposed a public-private partnership structure; and reviewed legal, regulatory and environmental issues.
Midterm Evaluation Project of USAID/Senegal Economic Growth Program: IDG conducted an evaluation of the Accelerated Growth for Increased Competitiveness Program (Senegal) that supported the efforts of the Government of Senegal to attract private investment and promote a vibrant and competitive private sector. The project developed Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) that attract investment for efficient delivery of public goods or services and initiated policy reforms for improved business environment to accelerate growth, competitiveness and trade, to build Government of Senegal capacity.
Liberia Vision 2020 Corridors Development Program: IDG assessed and provided recommendations to the Government on the appropriate level of rehabilitation needed on primary infrastructure networks, including the potential for private sector participation. IDG also identified opportunities for investments with maximum returns and growth potential for existing and new investors, including areas for public-private partnerships (PPP) and joint venture (formulation of an investment prospectus with costings), public and private investment.