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Klaipėda FEZ selected among SDG Model Zones

18 Apr 2024

The Global Alliance of Special Economic Zones (GASEZ) has selected Klaipėda Free Economic Zone (FEZ) among the top 50 global Model Zone Partners that best reflect global sustainable development goals.

The objective of the SDG Model Zone list and initiative is to raise awareness of the contributions of special economic zones to sustainable development, recognize the efforts of zones that are leading the way in this space and to share best practices which can serve as an inspiration for other zones.

The United Nation’s SDG Summit in September 2023 called for immediate measuresto scale up efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda, including through SDG investments. In line with this aspiration and GASEZ objectives, the Alliance launched its SDG Model Zone initiative on 18 October 2023 during the UNCTAD World Investment Forum in Abu Dhabi. The GASEZ founding members have jointly identified 50 SEZs from across the world that are SDG model zone partners for sustainable development.

The criteria used to select the SEZs nominees for SDG Model Zones were derived from UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2019. These criteria are: (i) Commitment to sustainable development; (ii) promotion of investment in the SDGs; (iii) levels of social, environmental and governance standards and compliance; and linkages and spillovers. Only 10 free zones from the EU made it to the top fifty, with a considerable number of nominations going to special economic territories in South America and the UAE.

Eimantas Kiudulas, the CEO of Klaipėda FEZ, states that this recognition reaffirms the relevance of the strategy the management company pursued for some years. And for Klaipėda, it will create additional advantages in negotiating with new investors.

“Over a decade ago, we realized that high-value-added investments require harmony with residents and the environment, integration into the city, as well as an active and transparent business community with which everyone would like to work, exchange ideas, or collaborate. In order to the best talents, businesses must be interesting, innovative, modern, and respectful- this soon begins to attract new investors willing to work together with like-minded companies and individuals. For us, this approach is primarily important for competitive advantages, but it is gratifying that it also aligns with the UN’s SDGs and helps Klaipėda become more visible,” says Kiudulas.

Previously, Klaipėda FEZ has earned awards for sustainability, innovation implementation, contribution to regional and national economic development, renewable energy development, and other areas from FDI Intelligence, Investment Monitor and other international organizations.

Currently, approximately 2,800 employees work in investor companies in Klaipėda FEZ, and about 5,000 across the entire territory. More than 45 foreign investors operating in Klaipėda FEZ paid over EUR 107 million in personal income, VAT, and social security taxes. They also procured goods and services worth more than EUR 500 million in 2022.

Since its inception in 2002, Lithuanian and foreign capital companies in Klaipėda FEZ have implemented or planned investments totaling EUR 778 million. The total tax contribution of all Klaipėda FEZ companies to the city, state, and social security budgets over the past 10 years amounted to almost EUR 567 million.

The average salaries in investor companies in Klaipėda FEZ exceed the overall average of the Klaipėda region and the local manufacturing sector by 20-30%. At the end of 2023, according to survey data from the consulting firm Smart Continent LT, 94.3% of investors recommended Klaipėda FEZ.

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