Proposal made and accepted

Juan Torrents, the President of the World Federation of Free and Special Economic Zones, visits Gomel, which is soon to host the International Congress of Free Economic Zones
Juan Torrents, the President of the World Federation of Free and Special Economic Zones (FEMOZA), visits Gomel, which is soon to host the International Congress of Free Economic Zones

This non-governmental and non-commercial UN-supported organisation was established to render assistance to free economic zones — which number several thousand all over the globe. However, despite privileges and preferences, only around 300-400 are truly efficient, according to FEMOZA, due to lack of technological modernisation in developing countries.

FEMOZA helps FEZ administrations share experience, proposing developments for doing business and training personnel. It holds congresses all over the world, with the most recent held last September, in Serbian Belgrade. There, the Head of Gomel-Raton FEZ, Antonina Yezhova, presented Gomel’s free economic zone and signed a co-operative agreement with FEMOZA. At the time, Mr. Torrents proposed holding the congress in Gomel. According to the official, such agreements are made only to those free economic zones already enjoying certain achievements, as Gomel-Raton does.

Gomel FEZ was established in 1998, becoming among the first free economic zones in Belarus. Today, 76 resident companies successfully operate there, including 35 with foreign capital. The FEZ has already expanded its borders, covering not only the regional centre but surrounding districts. It offers the preferences and privileges envisaged by Belarusian legislation, while its infrastructure aids the setting up of new business.

Mr. Torrents notes that Gomel is situated at a crossroads of international transport corridors. With this in mind, the congress’ motto is to be ‘A New Investment Corridor’. The event is scheduled for early March 2015 and aims to gather 200 participants from 40 countries — including Belarus’ closest neighbours, FEZ representatives from Northern and Eastern Europe and, even, African Ghana

By Valentina Grigorieva

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