On April 30 and May 1, 2018, was held in Dubai, the fourth international conference of the WFZO (World Organization of Free Zones) gathering near 200 attendees from all continents. This conference was preceded by special workshops including one dedicated to the new Silk Roads.

Mr. Lu Fangzhou, vice-mayor of Pudong New Area in Shanghai stressed the need for greater recognition of standard and norms in the states of the BRI, to facilitate coordination between free zones.

Dr. Sébastien Goulard, director of Cooperans and coordinator of OBOReurope was invited and called free zones to get more involved in the BRI and explain how the BRI can learn from free trade zones experiences.

Dr. Klaus Hachmeier gave some hints about how WFZO may answer to the BRI objectives.

The worshop was chaired by Dr. Mohan Guruswamy.

With the BRI, new free zones are emerging, such as Gwadar in Pakistan, Djibouti or Kyaukpyu in Myanmar.

Free zones and other special economic zones have been widely and successfully used by China to enable its economic opening since the 1980s. New SEZs including Xiongan in Hebei are under construction. This model could also be used by some BRI states that seek to open gradually and pursue their economic reforms.

Free trade zones along the BRI
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