What do Hong Kong, West Berlin and China’s Shenzen region have in common? They have all prospered as special economic zones alongside regions dominated by government.
The federal Opposition’s leaked proposal to spur development in Australia’s sparsely populated north met with peremptory dismissal last week. But special economic zones are neither a new nor untried idea.
The spectacular transformations of Hong Kong and West Berlin are renowned testament to the power of free trade and market prices. China’s spectacular economic growth rests on creative economic zoning too. Inspired by Hong Kong’s rapid efflorescence, then-leader Deng Xiaoping designated special economic zones in Shenzen in 1980.
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