March 10, 2005
Posted by Allison Christians

Hello and thanks to Gordon and Christine for the warm welcome and the opportunity to guest blog.  As Gordon mentioned, I will be posting mainly from Tanzania (if all goes well) for the majority of my blogvisit.  I'm traveling to Tanzania as part of a research project I've been working on over the last few months, which involves an exploration into the features and results of free zones.

For anyone not familiar with the term, a free zone usually refers to a geographic area set aside for the purpose of attracting multinational investment via the relaxation of tax and other regulatory barriers. Tanzania's is called the export processing zone, or EPZ.  Often, businesses in free zones can import and export free of customs duties, pay little or no local income, property, or other taxes, and pay little or no taxes upon the repatriation of their income--in the form of dividends or otherwise--to their foreign parent companies.  The expectation of the host country is that multinationals will produce spillover effects such as increased employment and infrastructural improvements, namely in the ares of telecommunications and transportation.  Whether and to what extent results match expectations is the general focus of my research.  In future postings, I'll discuss more about the connection of free zones and tax treaties, and why I think this is such a fascinating subject.

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