GASEZ members addressing global sustainability challenges

13 November 2023
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Panel 2: Emerging global issues affecting the SEZ community

IASP CEO Ebba Lund recently  participated in a panel in the 2nd annual conference of the Global Alliance of Special Economic Zones (GASEZ) of which IASP is a founding member.

The event, hosted in parallel to the 26th Conference of Ibero-American Special Economic Zones (SEZs), took place on 9th November 2023 in Barcelona (Spain). The opening session heard remarks from Co-Chairs James Zhan (UNCTAD) and Samir Hamrouni (World FZO), as well as AZFA President Claudia Pellerano and local host Blanca Sorigué (Zona Franca Barcelona). In sessions moderated by Paul Wessendorp and Stephania Bonilla-Feret from UNCTAD, experts addressed emerging global issues affecting the SEZ community, discussing the global context of STPs/AOIs and SEZs today, including the energy challenge and the upcoming Global Standards on Sustainability. With sustainability as a priority in the global challenges and the 2030 Agenda, Ebba shared insights and best practices of IASP members, where over 60% have activities in green tech, and for many years in fact have been leaders in their regions and innovation ecosystems in terms of environmental regulations.

At the event, GASEZ also presented the ongoing process and results of their initiative to identify Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Model Zones with the objective to initiate, mobilize and recognize efforts by the STP/AOI and SEZ community to contribute to the SDGs. On 18 October 2023, GASEZ announced at the 8th World Investment Forum a list of 50 nominees for SDG Model Zones. Panellists presented SDG related best practices and proposed activities and projects for the SDG Model Zones initiative.

IASP is proud to have 17 of its members among the 50 chosen. Each had to comply with criteria directly derived from UNCTAD’S World Investment Report 2019, which are (i) commitment to sustainable development; (ii) promotion of investment in the SDGs; (iii) levels of social, environmental and governance standards and compliance; (iv) and linkages and spillovers.

The IASP members among the 50 are:

More plans relating to this initiative are under development. We hope to see more IASP members become SDG Model Zones in the near future, and congratulations to those already on the list!

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