Preston Martin & Aleksa Burmazovic | The Incredible World Of Special Economic Zones


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Both Preston & Aleksa work for the Special Economic Zone consultancy firm, The Adrianople Group, of which Preston is a co-founder. We covered so much in this chat – most notably, what are special economic zones? I wrote an article explaining, in brief, an introduction to these phenomena of globalisation and multinational trade, but it is in this conversation I had with Preston & Aleksa that the true depth of Special Economic Zones starts to be realised.

Over 60% of the world's trade runs through a Special Economic Zone and these are spaces whose regulations fall outside of the state's regulations within the country they are housed. So you can immediately see a story of tax evasion and exploitation. But this is to quick and un-nuanced a look at things, it turns out Special Economic Zones (like many things) are subject to both the good and the bad, and things of such complexity are worth thinking about.

My favourite part of the chart was all of it! But that doesn’t help you point out highlights. So in short I would say the following three subjects make up the best parts of the conversation.

  • The Philosophy Of Special Economic Zones
  • China & It’s History With Special Economic Zones
  • Defining Special Economic Zones Through Real-Life Examples

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  • 00:00 – Introduction
  • 08:11 – Defining & Understanding Special Economic Zones (SEZ)
  • 14:15 – Examples Of Special Economic Zones.
  • 27:30 – If It Can Work In An SEZ, Why Can’t It Work Nation Wide?
  • 38:00 – Explaining What Alex & Preston Do With SEZ’s.
  • 43:45 – A Terrific Example For How An SEZ Might Come Into Business.
  • 46:50 – The Fascinating History Of SEZ’s In China.
  • 55:26 – Explaining China’s Middle Income Trap.
  • 57:53 – A Fascinating Explanation Of Chinese Communism – The Mandate Of Heaven.
  • 1:00:35 – China’s Belt & Road Initiative Wrapped Into SEZ’s.
  • 1:13:53 – An Explanation Of Debt Trap Diplomacy.
  • 1:16:50 – Specific SEZ Chat On China’s BRI.
  • 1:24:41 – The Good & The Bad Matrix For Special Economic Zones.
  • 1:29:49 – Onto The Philosophy Of SEZ’s
  • 1:47:50 – What Country Are You Most Bullish On Looking Into The Future?


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