210: Unlocking Economic Zones: Thibault Serlet’s Masterclass

Thibault Serlet interviewed my Mikkel Thorup on The Expat Money Show

Thibault Serlet is the Director of Research at the Adrianople Group, a business intelligence firm that focuses on Special Economic Zones and master-planned cities. He is also the architect of Open Zone Map, the world’s largest SEZ dataset.

He advises for Pronomos, a VC fund that invests in new city projects and co-founded the Startup Societies Network, a charter cities think tank. He frequently writes about SEZs, economic history, and the open data movement.



  • If you are a business owner looking for more freedom living as an expat, this episode is for you. Thibault shares with us his biggest reasons and strategies for setting up your company in a special economic zone.
  • Is your company facing regulatory problems? I believe you can find a solution, no matter your industry, so keep listening.
  • Exactly what is a special economic zone, and why do governments create them?
  • Where is the very best place to look for the best special economic zone for your company?
  • Interesting facts about when the first special economic zone was created; no, it wasn’t the Shenzhen Zone. Listen to hear the fascinating history behind this concept.
  • You’ll be amazed at how these special economic zones work, what they can and can’t do inside their area, and how many there are throughout the world. 
  • The next question is why? Why would you open an SEZ anywhere in the world? After listening to this episode, your next company may be in an SEZ.
  • If an SEZ sounds like a good idea for you and your company, how do you pick the right one? If there are thousands of them worldwide, which one is right for you? Thibault shares his theory on this!
  • Wondering what business best suits using an SEZ? I talk to Thibault about this exact thing.








192: Building Free Private Cities Around The World – Peter Young

202: What Is A Startup City? – Francisco Litvay



This was a very educational and interesting topic for me. I learned a lot, and I hope you’ll take the time to listen in, as I believe it’s a worthwhile discussion to have when you are a business owner and can locate your business wherever you choose. Be creative and do a little bit of research on SEZs. I think you’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish.

About The Host, Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup; the host of The Expat Money Show, has 20+ years in continual travel around the world, visiting more than 100 countries including Colombia, North Korea, Zimbabwe and Iran.

His goal now is to help Expats just like you to generate additional streams of income, eliminate your tax bill, and take advantage of offshore structures so you can travel the world freely and never have to worry about money again.

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