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The Construction of Overseas Economic and Trade Cooperation Zones: Experience, Problems and Solutions
—— Take Ethiopian Eastern Industrial Park as An Example (No.3, 2019)


By Zhou Yu & Chen Zheng, Research Team on “International Development Cooperation”, Center for International Knowledge on Development

Research Report, No.3, 2019 (Total 5503) 2019-1-8

Abstract: the successful enhancement of the “Belt and Road” initiative and international cooperation on production capacity has gradually made overseas economic and trade cooperation zones an increasingly important platform for China’s enterprises to conduct foreign direct investment. As a relatively developed overseas economic and trade cooperation zone, Ethiopian Eastern Industrial Park boasts notable achievements in its strategic positioning, development model, industrial planning and so on, which also comes up with its own experience for others to refer to. However, it is also confronted with some problems and challenges, such as the difficulty in policy coordination and sustainable funding, the unsound institutional mechanism in public services and the enterprises’ lack of self-building capacity. Based on the experiences and lessons of the zone, policy options are offered as follows: an inter-governmental negotiation and coordination mechanism for cooperation zones needs to be established; a sustainable funding model for overseas economic and trade cooperation zone needs to be found; a supporting system for overseas investment involving consultation, medical care and education needs to be improved; and information and experience exchange needs to be strengthened so as to better enhance enterprises’ adaptability.

Key words: the Belt and Road initiative, overseas economic and trade cooperation zone, Eastern Industrial Park