Author: Zeng Manyuan, Research Assistant, Department of Regional Development Planning, CDI Wang Zhen, Research Associate, Department of Regional Development Planning, CDI
Editor’s Note: Countries along the "Belt and Road" in the Middle East regards the establishment of special economic zones as a viable path to mitigating troubles in the petroleum sector and realizing economic transformation. The successful model and experiences of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, has been highly regarded by the government of Kuwait.
Production capacity and mutual investments are priorities in the course of the joint establishment of the "Belt and Road" with special economic zones becoming an effective platform.
First of all, the establishment of special economic zones will function as a vital platform for Sino-Kuwaiti joint efforts in building the "Belt and Road". Kuwait has always been a steadfast supporter for the “Belt and Road” initiative. In order to alleviate current predicament of the oil industry and achieve economic transformation, the government of Kuwait has made plans for the projects of Silk City and five-island comprehensive development zones with an intention to leverage China's advanced experiences in building special development zones. Furthermore, the integrated management model for special economic zones is going to be a paramount subject for Kuwait to study from. Strategic planning, rules and policies, investment and financing, development and construction, and operation management are all pivotal to the overall construction and planning of the special economic zones. Rules and policies related to the general operation of special economic zones will directly affect the zone's investment and industrialization.
Last but not least, the life-cyclic management of special economic zones will facilitate Sino-Kuwaiti joint efforts in building the "Belt and Road". The Kuwaiti government needs to ensure that the national development strategy is supportive for the establishment of special economic zones and to stipulate rules and policies which will improve the investment environment of the special economic zones. The objectivity and rationality of the special economic zones should be considered as the top priority in the early stage of the planning. What’s more, industries featured by the Sino-Kuwaiti production capacity cooperation should also be arranged in the special economic zone in the phase of attracting investment. Kuwait needs to improve the government efficiency and management in the special economic zones based on the overall planning so as to optimize the investment environment of the zones.