South-South Ideas: South-Report on the Potential for Monitoring and Evaluation of Special Economic Zones in Bangladesh

March 18, 2019

This research report presents the results of a scoping visit realized in Bangladesh to assess the potential of its new Economic Zone (EZ) programme for inclusion as a pilot in the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) programme for Special Economic Zones (SEZs) developed by Institute of New Structural Economics (INSE) at Peking University. The aim of the M+E programme is to facilitate countries in the Global South and international partners in making decisions and investments regarding SEZs that promote structural transformation and the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The research conducted further provides regional analysis comparing the historical evolution of economic zones in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Further insight is provided with consideration of the success and evolution of SEZs as a development tool in China.  The findings of the regional comparative analysis highlight three essential steps for governments of developing countries wishing to develop an SEZ program: articulating the zone programme within a broader economic strategy and political vision; designing a clear dedicated governance framework and policy package for the zones; ensuring transparent implementation of those rules and adjusting them when necessary to preserve public and social interest.