Lessons from East Asia: Comparing Ethiopia and Vietnam’s Early-Stage Special Economic Zone Development

Image: Flickr, QuantFoto
Image: Flickr, QuantFoto

The successful structural transformation of many East Asian countries in the twentieth century has made their developmental path attractive to many policymakers in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and Southeast Asia.

Many developing countries in these regions are learning to apply some East Asian industrialization experiences to improve their own investment environment. For example, special economic zones (SEZs) have successfully served as an industrial ‘big push’ strategy in Taiwan, China, Singapore, and India, so much so that nations beginning industrialization like Cambodia, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, and Nigeria have also adopted SEZs as a popular policy. Taking initiatives to improve the investment climate are not only reserved for countries in the early stages of industrialization, China and other Eastern Asian countries are also actively setting up overseas industrial clusters, seeking new markets and lower labor costs.

1 Jan 2019