The judges identified free zones that stood out in particular areas. Below we list the honorable mentions in FDIGlobal Free Zones of the Year 2022 and its impressive qualities.
Amata City Chonburi Industrial Estate (Thailand) for food manufacturing
Alex Irwin Hunt: “This area has successfully attracted many domestic and foreign food and beverage manufacturers, including McCormick, Lotte, Mead Johnson and Nestle.”
Canary Islands Special Zone (Spain) for audiovisual focus
Alex Irwin Hunt: “This zone has focused on developing an ecosystem of technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) companies. It has hosted companies such as Buendía Estudios and Fortiche, the animation studio behind the popular Netflix series Arcane.”
ZPE Ceará (Brazil) for accelerating the adoption of hydrogen
Preston Martin: “ZPE Ceará focuses on creating a green hydrogen center, to encourage and support companies in the production and distribution of hydrogen fuel. Their approach to the hydrogen business combines the incubation of an emerging green industry with the reliability of building clusters for horizontally and vertically integrated industries.”
Seth O’Farrell: “This free zone has focused on the development of a green hydrogen hub and has sought insights from the port of Rotterdam. The area has attracted large-scale investment commitments in green hydrogen production.”
Coega Special Economic Zone (South Africa) for Ukraine’s war pivot
Alex Irwin Hunt: “Investors located within the free zone upgraded their facilities to meet demand from customers seeking to replace carbon black supplies originally served by companies in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.”
Dalian Free Trade Zone (China) for addressing supply chain issues and infrastructure support
Preston Martin: “Dalian deserves praise for overhauling operations to help its tenants weather the supply chain shocks of the pandemic era. By working with companies to diversify international supply chains, support on-site agglomeration effects through pools, and implement relief policies to reduce costs, Dalian has helped mitigate significant risks to tenant operations.”
Gabon Special Economic Zone (Gabon) for environmental practices
Seth O’Farrell: “The area’s sustainability practices, such as its plans to develop solar farms, coupled with the fact that it is the first carbon-neutral SEZ in Africa (so they say), links Gabon’s industrialization with the fight against climate change.” .
Katunayake Export Processing Zone (Sri Lanka) for reinvestment strategy
Alex Irwin Hunt: “This area has focused on attracting reinvestment from existing companies. Four of the 33 large tenants in the area have started the expansion with a promised investment of $26.5 million and almost 1,000 job opportunities.”
Klaipeda Free Economic Zone (Lithuania) for energy independence
Alex Irwin Hunt: “This area is presented as a place that offers investing companies a resilient energy supply, thanks to its nearby liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and its electrical link with Sweden”.
Kulim Hi-Tech Park (Malaysia) for semiconductor and wafer fabrication
Alex Irwin Hunt: “This area has focused on the development of the semiconductor supply chain. AT&S decided to invest €1.7 billion in its first substrate production facility in Southeast Asia in the area.”
Łódź Special Economic Zone (Poland) for environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects
Preston Martin: “Many of this year’s contestants, including ódź SEZ, have come a long way in terms of investing in ESG. ódź SEZ deserves special recognition for going above and beyond in responding to immediate and unpredictable social pressures in their community caused by the war in Ukraine. It leveraged its own ability to help mitigate the crisis and help businesses relocate, thus achieving both a humanitarian and a commercial goal.”
Łódź Special Economic Zone (Poland) for 5G connectivity
Seth O’Farrell: “After piloting a 5G acceleration program, the zone guides its investors through a one-stop shop where they receive technical support in areas such as training and logistics.”
Special Economic Zone of Łódź (Poland) to support Brexit
Alex Irwin Hunt: “This zone claims to be the only entity in Poland that offers support to companies exporting to the British market that have faced difficulties after Brexit.”
Free zone of the city of Masdar (UAE) for the cultivation of insects
Alex Irwin Hunt: “This area is focused on attracting research and development operations and has a project carried out by Circa Biotech. The company is transforming organic waste into animal proteins, organic fertilizers and oils”.
The West of England (UK) for post-Covid training
Alex Irwin Hunt: “The local Ways2Work initiative is helping create jobs and training for those looking to return to work after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”