SEZs and China’s Development Promotion: Policy Exchanges Under the Belt and Road Initiative
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SEZs in China have been considered a successful experience and an important tool not only to attract foreign investment in an ordered manner but also to stimulate economic growth, generate social benefits, and to experiment innovative policies. The country-specific approach, discarding a “one-size-fits-all” model, is one of the elements that enabled Chinese SEZs to thrive. Policy experimentation, a smaller level of risk aversion, if compared to developed countries, and a mixture of top-down and bottom-up decision processes between local and central governments reflect a dynamic environment attractive to developing nations. This attraction finds nourishment in the pragmatic international cooperation with Chinese characteristics. This chapter explores the role the Belt and Road Initiative can play in exporting the Chinese SEZ “model,” especially, in African countries. By scrutinising the adaptability of the Chinese “model” to different contexts, it tackles the potential accrued to SEZs’ implementation in BRI nations in terms of the advancement of new policymaking procedures.