A book authored by project member Professor Aradhna Aggarwal entitled “Special Economic Zones in South Asia. Structural Change, Competitiveness and Growth” is scheduled to be published by Routledge on February 29, 2024.
The book provides an integrated conceptual framework for evaluating SEZ policies, filling an important gap in the literature. Focusing on the example of South Asian economies, it analyzes historical trends of growth and structural change, investigates socio-economic and cultural contexts in which SEZs are embedded, and examines the fit between SEZ policy objectives and broader development strategies. Further, the book assesses the impact of SEZs on various economic outcomes, including export competitiveness, innovation and knowledge creation. A key conclusion is that SEZs are no ‘shortcut’ to economic development but need to be re-strategized to address the emerging challenges.