Free Zone Watch, a dynamic web platform bringing together global investors, free zones, free zone-based companies, investment agencies, and business groups around the globe, has launched its website, www.freezonewatch.com, on 21 December, 2016.
Free Zone Watch is dedicated to attracting sustainable investment to free zones – that is, free trade zones (FTZs), special economic zones (SEZs), export-processing zones (EPZs), industrial parks, creative cities, and more – using in-depth content marketing and multimedia.
There are more than 4,000 free zones – areas with special fiscal regimes designed to attract foreign and local investment, and boost employment and exports, among other aims – around the world. They account for over 100 million jobs, and the model is evolving rapidly as expanding petrochemical and commodities-based economies look to diversify, and as nations and regional communities take steps toward investment liberalisation and infrastructural integration.
“We are a truly universal platform for free zones to share their profiles with international investors and receive concrete returns, and for investors to find the zone that matches their business needs,” says Ms Banu Senel, the founder and CEO of Free Zone Watch, which is based in the United Arab Emirates. “We expect to be the global brand that comes to mind when executives think of free zones.”
The site launches with “Turkey 2017: Rising Above”, a comprehensive report on the current state and outlook of Turkey’s free zones; an exclusive interview series with high-profile economists, academics, and executives, highlighting major trends in free zones globally; and articles and videos related to free zone investment, free trade agreements, and China’s One Belt One Road initiative, among other topics.
“Our focus is on promoting free zones to corporate investors,” says Nicholas Triolo, the company’s editor in chief, “but we also aim to be a first-rate content provider. Our editorial staff is focused on synthesising the latest news on free zones, free trade, infrastructure, finance, and FDI into insightful, analysis-based stories, interviews, and multimedia.”
“We saw a big gap that needed to be filled in free zone investment,” said Ms Senel. “These zones have much to offer to international investors, whether those are large multinationals or small and medium enterprises. Many zones, however, have an underdeveloped or nonexistent web presence, and investors have trouble finding actionable information. Many zones have excellent sites and outreach, but even these will benefit from being able to share their unique advantages in a centralised online location.
“Our aim is to make investors feel they have visited the zone and know it inside-and-out without having left their offices.”