From the Corporate Herald today, a typically uncritical view on freeports.
Here are the facts:
There is clear evidence in a House of Commons Briefing Paper that they simply transfer business away from other areas and, according to the Royal United Services Institute, ‘encourage drug trafficking, trade in counterfeits, money laundering and a vast array of other crimes.
- Full report: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-8823/
- Additional evidence from Institute for Government on economic factors: There is also a risk that freeports and zones don’t create new economic activity but rather divert existing business into the area with the allure of tax breaks – at a cost to the taxpayer in the form of lost revenue. https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/explainers/trade-freeports-free-zones
- Additional evidence from Royal United Services Institute: The misuse of freeports in other countries for drug trafficking, trade in counterfeits, money laundering and a vast array of other crimes has drawn the attention of key international stakeholders, including the Financial Action Task Force, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Customs Organization. The European Parliament has gone so far as to call for the abolition of freeports in the EU. https://rusi.org/publication/briefing-papers/free-ports-not-safe-havens-preventing-crime-uks-future-freeports