MedaTalk Consorci Zona Franca de Barcelona

Much More than Economic Zones

The Mediterranean, a sea where three continents meet, was the cradle in which the first concept of Free Zones was born 2000 years ago, driven by Chaldeans, Phoenicians and Carthaginians. These civilisations were born in a framework of free ports: an alternative to facilitate trade and business logistics.

In the last 50 years Free Zones have played an important role in boosting the development of several countries and consolidating their transition to thriving economies. Currently, 19 terms are used to describe these zones (open, free, industrial, special, export, etc.), with more than 4,500 Free Zones in the world in 135 countries, 839 of which are in OECD countries. Asia hosts the largest number of Free Zones, followed by the Americas and the Middle East. 30% of the world trade owes its origins to these areas.

The potential of Free Zones as niches of business creation, employment and attraction of foreign investment is undoubted. These are fast economic development platforms that also impact the growth of their cities, regions, countries and logistic sectors. One of its main effects is to facilitate the development of business cooperation. The Mediterranean region has a strong interrelation between Free Zones and the logistics and transport sector, which means that they are called to play a fundamental role in achieving the development objectives that are set from a start.

Free Zones play an important role in stimulating economic growth in many regions and are essential for an integrated global economy.

22nd November 2019



Organised by:


10:30 – 11:00

Coffee Break

11:00 – 12:30

Neptú Room

11:00 – 12:30

MedaTalk: Much More Than Free Zones

On the occasion of a new edition of the MedaTalks, within the framework of MedaWeek Barcelona 2019, the Consorci de la Zona Franca de Barcelona co-organises together with ASCAME the session titled “Much more than Free Zones”.

A round table with representatives from different parts of the Mediterranean, where valuable exchanges of opinions will be generated around the present and the future of the Free Zones of the Mediterranean region.

  • What benefits can the Free Zones bring to the development of regions, countries and cities?
  • How could the Mediterranean Free Zones work together?
  • How can governments and the private sector create successful Free Zones that foster innovation and industrial acceleration?
  • Given the economic changes that are taking place today, how will things evolve in the future?
Jorge Díaz Rivera

International Projects Manager, Consorci de la Zona Franca de Barcelona

Dragan Kostić

Chief Executive Officer, Pirot Free Zone

Cesare Zingone

Chief Executive Officer, Zeta Group

Djamal Eddine Bou Abdallah

President, Spanish-Algerian Circle of Trade (CCIAE)

Martín Gustavo Ibarra

Vice President, World Free Zone Organization (WFZO)

14:00 – 15:00

Lunch Break & Networking

European Regional Development Fund              A way to make Europe