despite COVID, many interesting developments are taking place in the world of Special Zones. Another ZEDE is starting in Honduras; there is a new project and investment opportunity in Asia and we are proud to announce the Free Private Cities Foundation.
The Honduran ZEDE law is the most advanced worldwide when it comes to creating semi-autonomous Prosperity Zones (ZEDE = Zone for Economic Development and Employment). After the successful start of Honduras’ first ZEDE Próspera, the government now has approved a second one. It is called Ciudad Morazán and located near the town of Choloma on the mainland. Unlike Próspera, the target of the Zone is labour intensive-light manufacturing, focusing on minimum-salary blue-collar worker families. The ZEDE organizers believe they are the ones that will reap the greatest benefits from a freer environment.
There is already significant construction activity going on, with the first three companies registered in the ZEDE Morazán already operational. The investment on the first 50 acres will be around 100m$, of which 5m$ are already spent or committed. This amount includes land, studies, basic initial infrastructures, 100 houses and apartments, and 4.000 square meters of industrial space. We will definitely follow this promising project and keep you up to date on any further developments.
At the same time, we encourage everybody who is interested in setting up a Free Private City, Prosperity Zone or Charter City to consider Honduras as a location, since the process of getting the legal autonomy is a lengthy one and a tough one. In Honduras this is already done, and the autonomy of the ZEDE law is far reaching. It is our strong belief, that such project can only make a real difference and set an example of better governance, if they have a substantial legal autonomy going beyond traditional Special Economic Zones. Unfortunately, this is not (yet) the case with most projects which are promoted in this new market.
Planned Design of Ciudad Morazán.
The new ZEDE targets low-income Honduran workers and their families by providing them a better place to live and work.
The Free Private Cities Foundation and Tipolis Corporation
Thanks to your support and interest, the movement for Free Private Cities, as a means for more self-determination (and insofar a special variant of Charter Cities), has grown exponentially. As we move towards the day when Free Private Cities manifest themselves onto the world, it is time for some structural changes in preparation for such a future.
In order to better manage our operations, the Free Private Cities project will be split into two entities: From now on, a non-profit entity, the Free Private Cities Foundation in Zurich, Switzerland, will be responsible for spreading the idea, creating related content and keeping contact to donors and other stakeholders. It will be steered by Dr. Marc-Felix Otto, an experienced entrepreneur, consultant and longtime supporter of the Free Private Cities idea. Future newsletters also will come from the foundation.
Secondly, specific Free Private Cities projects will be developed by TIPOLIS Corporation, the former Free Private Cities Inc. TIPOLIS will become our sole for-profit branch, thereby becoming an operative company in charge of developing and participating in Free Private City and Prosperity Zone projects. Currently TIPOLIS is undertaking a capital increase and is setting up a group of professional officers and directors for that purpose. TIPOLIS will be lead personally by Titus Gebel. We are currently in advanced negotiations with a government in Africa and will keep you up to date.
To reflect these changes, both the Free Private Cities and Tipolis websites will be redesigned and relaunched in the coming days.
Dr. Marc-Felix Otto is the new President of the Free Private Cities Foundation
Investment opportunity for smaller pockets
A new kid on the block. Yung Drung City is a so far undisclosed project in early licensing stages. Their founder spent a decade building support and alignment in a small South Asian country and is confident that the project will get substantial autonomy. The team is now cashing in on this credit, with the help of a lead investment from Patri Friedman’s Pronomos VC. Pronomos is offering a portion of the deal through it’s AngelList syndicate, we’ve secured invites for accredited investors via this link. You can see information on the project deal after onboarding with AngelList. Investment starting at 1,000$.
Spreading the Idea – Volunteer Group
The growth of Free Private Cities wouldn’t have been possible without our hard-working Volunteers, whom have helped translate our articles and book to many languages, from Russian to Portuguese, English to Spanish, bridging the gap between different cultures.
We have translated, subtitled and reviewed over a hundred articles and videos so far, but there is more work to be done we if wish to make Free Private Cities a reality. If you are fluent in English and another language and want to help our efforts, please consider volunteering by filling this brief formulary.
As always, we’re counting on your support to help spread the idea as much as possible. Please share our website, book and content with friends, think tanks, (social) media channels, politicians and others that might be interested. If you’d like to represent Free Private Cities, consider applying to become a local ambassador for your region.
Thank you for your continued interest and support. For any questions, proposals, criticism, etc. you are welcome to write at [email protected].
Monaco/Panama, September 2020
Titus Gebel, Francisco Litvay and Marcelo Soruco