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A New Perspective on Special Economic Zones

Date: August 17, 2020

Time: 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm ET

Instructions will be emailed on Friday, August 14

Questions? Please contact webinar@iedconline.org


In the post-COVID world, economic developers will need to utilize all the tools available to bring their economies back. Special Economic Zones (SEZs) including Foreign Trade Zones, Opportunity Zones, and Enterprise Zones, can help the local economies recover, especially when they are used in tandem to build value. In this webinar, you’ll learn from experts about how to make the most of the zones you have, as well as how legislatures should protect, and possibly expand, the benefit of these frameworks.




Joseph McKinney
Startup Societies Foundation
Salt Lake City, UT

Joseph McKinney is CEO of the Startup Societies Foundation, a 501c(3) nonprofit group dedicated to supporting small, experimental jurisdictions worldwide. The organization has created the world's largest database of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), the only active academic journal focused on special jurisdictions, and a how-to-guide for entrepreneurs to create new SEZ projects. He also cofounded Nuhanse Network, a benefit corporation dedicated to supporting the Startup Societies movement throughout the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Nuhanse Network develops and customizes strategies, software, and services for next-generation Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and other types of Startup Societies.

John Rossant
Founder and Chairman
NewCities Foundation 
Montréal, QC

In 2010, John Rossant founded the NewCities Foundation. He believes it is imperative that different stakeholders work together to improve the quality of life and work in 21st century global cities. From the outset, NewCities mission has been to shape a better urban future for all by generating and scaling ideas and solutions through events, research and urban innovation projects.

John had previously been Executive Chairman of PublicisLive in Geneva, responsible for the production of some of the world’s most prestigious events, in particular the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos and other WEF events around the world. In 2010, the President of France asked him to organize the e-G8 Forum on the future of the Internet. In addition, John has personally led the Foundation’s initiatives in urban mobility and transportation and is the CEO of CoMotion, the leading global event and media platform on new mobility and organizers of CoMotion LA — the annual gathering in Los Angeles of public and private sector leaders of the mobility revolution. A former journalist, John held several senior editorial positions at Business Week, including Europe Editor, as well as Paris, Rome and Middle East correspondent. He has received a number of prestigious awards, including the Overseas Press Club Award and the German Marshall Fund’s Peter Weitz Award for Distinguished Reporting. John holds advanced degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the American University in Cairo. He is a member of the board of the Fondation Tocqueville in Paris, Humanity in Action, and is a member of the Advisory Board of NEOM.

Erik Autor
National Association of Foreign Trade Zones
Washington, DC

Erik Autor was named President of the National Association of Foreign Trade Zones (NAFTZ) in August 2016. Prior to assuming that position, he was President of Autor Global Strategies, LLC, a consultancy providing public policy, advocacy, legal/regulatory, and strategic communications services to business clients with a focus on international trade and investment, customs, corporate social responsibility, and global supply chain management.

Mr. Autor’s experience includes 15 years as Vice President and International Trade Counsel at the National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association. At NRF he represented and advised member companies in the retail industry on international trade, corporate social responsibility matters, supply chain and transportation, and customs issues. Among his responsibilities were developing and advocating policy positions issues before Congress, the Administration, foreign governments, and international organizations such as the World Trade Organization.

Prior to joining NRF, Mr. Autor served as International Trade Counsel and Senior International Trade Counsel to the Senate Committee on Finance from 1992-1998 for Senator Roth (R-DE) and U.S. Senator Packwood (R-OR) assisting Congressional consideration major trade agreements such as NAFTA and the Uruguay Round. He began his career as a law clerk to a federal judge at the U.S. Court of International Trade and an associate attorney in the trade practice at the law firm of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.

Mr. Autor received a J.D. and LL.M. from Duke University School of Law, an M.Sc. (Econ.) from the London School of Economics, and a B.A. (magna cum laude) from UCLA.

Claude Baissac
Quatre Bornes, Mauritius

Eunomix is led by Claude Baissac, a recognised specialist in strategy, risk management and economic policy with over 20 years of executive and consulting work with corporates, governments and international organisations. He is a consumed multidisciplinarist with a wide combination of skills and experiences serving investment, operation and growth in emergent societies. Claude has worked as an economist for the African Development Bank, the World Bank and the United Nations; served as Deputy Managing Director of Air Afrique; and consulted with leading advisory firms like Deloitte, Kroll, K2 Intelligence and a number of economic development firms. He has secured, led or managed several hundred projects, in addition to launching and running businesses.

He has a distinct understanding of the strategic and operational realities of investing and managing businesses in emergent societies, and of running and reforming these societies. He has a rare capacity to work effectively with senior government officials in both political and administrative functions, C-suite executives and boards, and members of civil society. For this reason, he is increasingly sought after as a corporate coach on corporate resilience, risk management and stakeholder engagement. As a trained policy analyst and political scientist, he brings in-depth understanding of politics and the policy process. As an economist, he has a robust comprehension of the mechanism of growth and development. He is a recognised expert on special economic zones, and was President of the World Economic Zones Association between 2011 and 2014. He has a strong track record on the relationship between natural resources and sustainable growth, given the central role these play many emergent societies. For several years he was involved in corporate integrity management, conducting investigations, crisis management and corporate security projects throughout Africa.

He has worked across Africa, the Americas, Central Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Claude is fluent in English and French, in the French creoles of the Indian Ocean and is conversant in Spanish. Claude has advanced degrees in economic geography from France, and was a doctoral scholar in political science in the United States.


Instructions and Technology

Instructions and dial-in information will be sent up to three days in advance and a minimum of two times. If you do not receive an email from IEDC or GoToWebinar 24 hours prior to the start of the web seminar, it is your responsibility to email webinar@iedconline.org. No refunds or credits will be given for not receiving the dial-in information for the webinar.


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-- a supported sound card
-- speakers or headphones
-- a microphone (for speaking during the conference)


• Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0, Mozilla Firefox 1.5 for Windows/Mac/Linux, or Safari 2.0 for Macintosh
• Broadband Internet connection

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