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Resource: Mapping the World's Special Economic Zones

Excellent resource by Adrianople Group research team - Open Zone Map is the world’s first comprehensive attempt at mapping every single Special Economic Zone (SEZ).


This map was created to improve public understanding of SEZs. Our goal is to inspire other researchers studying SEZs to create their own data sets, sparking a knowledge revolution.


Zone Types:

We divided our map into SEZ zone types, loosely based on the World Bank’s 2008 SEZ types and UNCTAD’s 2018 SEZ types.

Specialized Economic Zone : A zone with deep incentives that focuses on a single industry

Diversified Zone : A zone with deep incentives that focuses on a wide variety of industries

Free Trade Zone : A large zone with shallow incentives that focuses on the import and export of goods

Export Processing Zone : A small zone which exclusively has customs and duties incentives

Economic Revitalization Project : A zone that exists to improve the economy of a distressed area, usually through tax incentives

Charter City : A large zone with deep incentives, both a commercial and residential district, and its own school

Foreign Trade Zone : A type of Free Trade Zone which exclusively exists in the US / Canada

Other Zone : Zones that do not fall neatly into any of the above categories


Management Type:

This describes the management of the operating company which manages the SEZ; not the management of the zone itself.

Private : The management company which operates the zone is entirely privately owned

Public-Private Partnership : The management company which operates the zone is a public-private partnership

Public : The management company which operates the zone is entirely government owned

Activity Status:

The activity status of the zone, according to its own materials.


Active : The zone was active and had tenants as of January 1 2021

Inactive : The zone was active between 2010 and 2020, but it currently is inactive

Under Development : The zone plans on becoming active, but isn’t yet fully active as of January 1 2021

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