World FZO Annual International Conference and Exhibition (AICE)

World FZO Annual International Conference and Exhibition (AICE)

The World FZO Annual International Conference and Exhibition (AICE) took place in Cartagena, 3 -5 May 2017. The largest interactive gathering of free zone professionals and experts across the globe, aimed to tackle the biggest challenges and opportunities in the design of next generation free zones.

Dr. Douglas van den Berghe provided a workshop on “Doing Business in Free Zones”. This workshop addressed a number of issues in relation to doing business in Free Zones. It focused specifically on how Free Zones can enhance their competitiveness. Additionally, this workshop also explored relationships - both external with local suppliers as well as internal through connecting zone-based companies with different value chain activities. Enabling Free Zones to expand beyond the activities they currently have in their Free Zones and attract more companies operating within a value chain.

Download the presentation here

Dr. Douglas van den Berghe also moderated a panel on “Sustainable Development & Sustainable Development Goals”. Free Zones can:

  • encourage sustainable investment across sectors for FDI – not just attracting renewable energy
  • target companies that have implemented SDGs. These companies will have an interest to invest in sustainable development projects and their presence in the host country will have many positive effects on environment, suppliers, technology exchange, employees etc.
  • implement standards for sustainability in their value propositions to investors
  • create incentives that promote sustainable investments
  • serve as best practice examples


Download “Sustainable Development And FDI” publication here