In October 2019, fDi Magazine has crowned its Global Free Zones of the Year, recognising the most promising free zones across the world - those which offer the best investment environments and prospects for business expansion and economic development.
For this year’s awards, fDi invited free zones, government entities and investment promotion bodies to complete a short survey detailing their zone’s attractiveness, facilities and incentives offered to investors. In total, 85 entries were received from Free Zones across the world. A panel of judges from fDi was appointed and studied each location. Judges nominated their winning and runner-up locations in each region, as well as their top zones for SME and Large Tenant categories. The locations which were particularly outstanding have been acknowledged with honourable mentions and bespoke awards.
Rezekne SEZ is mentioned among the best in the category "Expansions" taking into account outstanding performance of Rezekne SEZ woodworking company "VEREMS" RSEZ Ltd, which is the largest tenant in the zone, that has launched a new expansion project in 2018. The company plans to build a new 10,000-square-metre plywood facility and to increase plywood production from 46,000 cubic metres to 85,000 cubic metres by 2022, thus increasing plywood production volume by 85%.
Along with Free Economic Zone Taraclia (Molodova), Free Zone Pirot (Serbia) and Sohar Free Zone (Oman), Rezekne SEZ has received the bespoke award in the category "Incentives". Rezekne Special Economic Zone in Latvia offers competitive operating costs, favourable tax incentives and other state aid measures that enhance return on investment. Companies can apply for an immovable property tax discount ranging from 80% up to 100%, as well as setting up free customs zones to ease logistics of services/products and customs procedures within the EU.
For the first time, Rezekne Special Economic Zone has received the bespoken award in the category "Talent Pool". Rezekne SEZ offers investors access to a well-educated and highly skilled talent pool. The Rezekne Academy of Technologies, and vocational training institution the Rezekne Technical School, produce graduates in a diverse range of subjects including science, technology, engineering and mathematics as well as economics. The local community is multilingual, with more than 85% of people speaking Russian, and about 70% up to the age of 40 having a good command of English.
"The award by the fDi is a significant evaluation of our operations serving as a prove to our investors – the present and the future ones – that Rezekne SEZ is a trustful and strong partner serving for their best interests in the most appropriate and beneficial way," says Sandra Ežmale, Chief Executive Officer of Rezekne SEZ Authority.
fDi Magazine is part of the fDi intelligence and GIS Planning portfolio of investment products and services from the Financial Times specialising in all areas related to foreign direct investment promotion. Readers of the magazine are active investors and executives involved in the intelligence gathering and decision-making process. Each issue of the fDi Magazine includes several rankings, including annual Global Free Zones of the Year 2019.