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A Free Economic Zone is a geographical area that has been accorded more incentivised economic regulations than anywhere else in the country. Free Economic Zones have been purposely established to attract investment especially FDI, specifically labour intensive projects, and to increase exports. Generally, companies that set their businesses in these designated areas in Zanzibar enjoy simplified customs and other administrative procedures. ZIPA, as custodian of the Free Economic Zones, readily offers plots for lease in the zones for potential investors. Currently, Zanzibar has five Free Economic Zones. These are:
Fumba Zone was declared as export processing zone in 1992. It is located about 24km from Malindi seaport and 10km from the Zanzibar main airport, Abeid Amani Karume International Airport, on the south-west of Unguja island (Zanzibar). The declared zone covers areas of 3,000 ha of land; divided into residential and industrial areas. Fumba zone is an ideal place for customer-tailored construction of industrial sheds or warehouses as well as light engineering projects based on maximum use of local raw materials. The Fumba masterplan is in place and due to the size of the area, it is expected to be developed in phases.
Covering an area of 808.8ha, Micheweni Free Economic Zone is situated in the north-eastern tip of Pemba about 75km from Mkoani seaport, and 45km from Chake Chake Airport. The zone offers uninhabited and ready land to host investments of different forms. Micheweni borders the sea and is very suitable for fishing, fish processing and related products. The Zone is divided into industrial area (547.4 Ha) and residential area (261.4 Ha).
The zone was declared as export processing zone in 1993. It is located just 3km from Malindi seaport and 2km from AAKIA. Amaan Industrial Park is fairly developed and operational covering an area of 12.5 hectares. Existing infrastructures include:
The Maruhubi Zone is located about 5km outside Malindi Seaport and has all basic facilities including cargo handling equipment, 24-hour security, electricity, water and telecommunications services. The zone has so far attracted 24 projects mainly transit trade business. Maruhubi Zone is ideal for goods to be trans-shipped or warehoused to have minimal administrative and operational efficiency and security to meet the market needs of todayinternational trade.
The Airport Zone is the latest declared zone and is intended to cater for air cargo. It is part of the cargo village in Abeid Amani Karume International Airport Masterplan. Investments are encouraged for development of the site as well as management of its future operation.