World Bank senior economist Marek Hanusch on Monday told the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) economic policy dialogue that locating SEZ’s in cities would realise the growth potential of the zones.
Hanusch said the number of indirect and direct jobs created would change if more of the zones were located in cities.
“Although there are indisputable gains to be had from more equitable geographical distribution of economic activity, there [is] evidence that increasing urbanisation has strong, positive externalities through deeper and more extensive forward and backward linkages,” Hanusch said.
He said the success of the SEZs in creating large-scale jobs depended on greater policy co-ordination between the national government, provinces and cities to maximise the integration of SEZs in local economies. The SEZ Act was gazetted in 2014 with the government envisaging the development of 15 SEZs across the country, supported by various tax incentives.