Refugee SEZs op ed round up

My attention was recently drawn to several op eds which promote special economic zones aimed at creating jobs and opportunities for refugees. Here’s a round up of those op eds.

Peter Sutherland: Special economic zones could be established in frontline countries to attract investment and create jobs for refugees, with the G-20 offering preferential trade status.

George Soros: EU also should help create special economic zones with preferred trade status in the region, including in Tunisia and Morocco, to attract investment and generate jobs for both locals and refugees.

Anne Marie-Slaughter: Individuals seeking refuge from a toxic and deadly environment could be welcomed not into camps, but rather proto-cities where the “global community,” represented by international institutions, NGOs, governments, and citizens, can encourage hope of a different, more secure life by nurturing positive seeds of knowledge, capital, and liberal self-government.

Emma Bonino: Special economic zones that benefit from preferred trade status with the EU and the United States should be created, in order to generate investment, economic opportunities, and jobs for refugees and locals alike.

Markus Brunnermeier, Harold James, and Hannes Malmberg: Where possible, the EU should work with countries currently hosting refugees to establish development zones where displaced Syrians are allowed to work legally.

Alexander Betts and Paul Collier: Refugee camps and some urban areas could be reconceived as industrial incubator zones, where displaced Syrians could gain access to education, training, and the right to work.

Reiham Salam: Betts and Collier offer a more sustainable solution: Instead of herding refugees into camps where they are forced to subsist on aid, they call for the creation of special economic zones.

Paul Romer: To see what a real solution would look like, you need only remember three things: 1. It takes only a few cities, on very little land, to accommodate tens or hundreds of millions of people. 2. Building cities does not take charity. A city is worth far more than it costs to build. 3. To build a city, do not copy Field of Dreams. (“Build it and they will come.”) Copy Burning Man. (“Let them come, and they will build it.”)

Brandon Fuller: The zonal approach is a practical and politically realistic way to offer job opportunities to refugees—Syrian or otherwise.

Naguib Sawiris: I’ll make a small port or marina for the boats to land there. I’ll employ the people to build their own homes, their schools, a hospital, a university, a hotel.

Mark Lutter: To create a sustainable, livable city, where refugees want to move, there must be jobs, and for there to be jobs, there must be enterprise, and for there to be enterprise, the law must encourage it.

Mark Lutter: Create a semi-autonomous city in the Mediterranean for refugees. Importantly, the refugees would be allowed to work and own property and businesses, producing value and thus ensuring the city did not become a giant refugee camp.

And lastly, Refugee Cities and Refugee Nation are two non-profits which are promoting the idea.

H/T Michael Castle Miller and Brandon Fuller


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