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Ventspils touted as having high potential

By Anatol Steven. 08.07.2010

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A major port in Latvia has ranked fifth in a survey of the world’s top 25 free trade zones of the future.

The business publication fDiMagazine, part of the London-based Financial Times Group, took the step of ranking the Free Port of Ventspils in Western Latvia as the fifth most promising free economic zone after inviting 700 zones worldwide to complete a survey involving both qualitative and quantitative data.
That gives it the highest position among all of the contenders for the list in Europe. The magazine assessed the 700 territories for its survey entitled “Global Free Zones of the Future”.
The highest scores were awarded to Ventspils for its unique cost effectiveness – particularly striking in the wake of the cost-cutting frenzy that has taken place in Latvia following the economic crisis – and its promotional strategies.
The Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone in Shanghai, the biggest free-trade zone in China, came first overall. This is in part due to the large number of companies that have set up operations in Shanghai WFTZ – more than 9,000 of them.
This was followed by economic zones in Dubai, Mexico and Jordan. Zones based in the United Arab Emirates dominated the Free Zones of the Future 2010/11 ranking, with seven of the top 25 zones coming from the UAE.
The process of ranking zones was based on economic potential, cost effectiveness, facilities, transportation, incentives and FDI promotional strategies.
Ventspils was one of only five European zones to make the top 25, a list that was clearly dominated by Arab and Asian locations. Zones in Poland were ranked 11th and 17th, Lithuania’s Klaipeda Economic Zone came in at 20th and a zone in Croatia was listed at 22.


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