MEDAM in the News

Saving the World, One Proposal at a Time


Excerpt from the Article

Before the G20 there was the Think 20, a Berlin summit for leading think tanks that dream up solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. How realistic are the proposals being debated by G20 leaders?

[…] Proposal on refugees: Mobilize the private sector to develop sustainable solutions and endorse the establishment of Made by Refugees Special Economic Zones - "MBR Zones." Promote refugee entrepreneurship with fast-track work visas and other special visa programs.

The MBR Zones would apply to countries where refugees have settled in clusters, such as in Turkey or Lebanon, explains Matthias Lücke, a senior researcher at the Kiel Institute , who focuses on migration and integration and who co-wrote the original proposal.

"Some business owners have also become refugees and they could, under certain conditions, go back into business again," Mr. Lücke explains. However, the individuals concerned would still need to pass certain tests and fulfill certain criteria, all of which would take time.

How realistic is it? Whether a special economic zone is useful or workable depends completely on the country, Mr. Lücke continues. And the devil, as they say, is in the details. Jordan, for example, already has something like this but it is proving challenging to make it work well. Jordan also already has a free trade agreement with the EU, which makes adding another level of special trade conditions on top of that tricky. [...]

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