Harbours at the centre of the development: the way to the establishment of the Special Economic Zone of Sardinia


To foster the development of businesses in an area of over 2 770 hectares neighbouring the Sardinian ports through administrative and tax simplifications. It is the goal of the Special Economic Zone (ZES) of Sardinia. The official process towards its establishment began with the regional approval of the ZES Strategic Plan, which now awaits the government's approval. Compared to the other regions of Italy, Sardinia has chosen for a single ZES, networking the six ports and back areas of the island, making their synergy a strong point.


The Strategic Plan for the establishment of the Special Economic Zone in Sardinia originates from the meetings that the Regional Planning Minister, Raffaele Paci, held with the Port Authority of Sardinia and the Regional Ministries of Industry, Local Authorities and Transports, the local administrations and industrial consortia of Cagliari, which will host 1628 hectares of ZES , Portovesme and the area of ​​Carbonia-Iglesias (110), Olbia and the North East Sardinia (180), Porto Torres and the industrial area with Sassari and Alghero (500), Oristano (219) and Ogliastra (56).


"It is an excellent opportunity to attract businesses in Sardinia from abroad and to support and re-launch the activities of those already established in those areas", says the President of the Region, Francesco Pigliaru."The economic development of Sardinia passes from the sea - he adds. Strengthening the role and potential of the island port network is important in revitalizing our economy, also for the benefit of internal areas". The choice of a single large Special Economic Zone of Sardinia allows all ports to connect with each other "in a virtuous system in which everyone, with his specialization, contributes to the balanced development of the whole region - concludes the president - the ZES is a territorial marketing tool with a high economic impact, closely linked to the economy of the sea and the increase in exports”.


As Paci explains, "in the meetings on the territory there was great participation; we decided together how to draw the boundaries of the ZES in Sardinia". According to the Vice President of the Region, "the process has involved all the local representatives, with whom the strategies have been shared to achieve the best possible result". For Paci, the goal is clear. "We want to trigger development dynamics that make it possible to attract businesses and investments, create virtuous mechanisms for the benefit of the entire regional economy - he says - we involve all the potentially interested territories, including inland areas, in one large ZES, and giving life to a wider and more strategic project". This, among other things, "will allow the integration with the inter-divided customs zones, in the process of activation - concludes Paci - so as to strengthen both instruments".


For the president of the Port Authority of Sardinia, Massimo Deiana, “with ZES Sardinia can compete on equal terms with its main competitors in the Mediterranean”. Now "the special economic zones are hundreds all over the world; they were established to empower the port system and the whole economy that can generate", explains Deiana. "Not having them is an obstacle to the potential for development - he continues - the parts of the world in which trade and trade are particularly flourished are precisely those in which the ZESs exist, they are a very strong and effective instrument". To manage them, he adds, "the law requires a very lean organization, a steering committee composed of four people representing the Region, the Port Authority, the Ministry of Transport and the Presidency of the Council of Ministers". In the strategic plan of the ZES of Sardinia "we decided to provide a control room, a permanent consultative table in which all the stakeholders are connected and confronted - concludes - with a quicker and more streamlined management, to meet the needs of businesses, which require more rapidity and bureaucratic simplification2.

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