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Special Economic Zone (ZES) in Sicily: A Boon for Businesses and High-Qualified Workers

by Marie on March 12, 2024
Special Economic Zone (ZES) in Sicily: A Boon for Businesses and High-Qualified Workers


The Zona Economica Speciale (ZES), or Special Economic Zone, is a geographically defined area within the state where businesses can benefit from special conditions related to investments and business development. The ZES was established to stimulate economic growth and attract investments in specific areas, generally those less developed or needing economic revitalization.

The Unification of ZES in Southern Italy

The decree-law n. 124/2023 establishes the “ZES Unica” for Southern Italy, including the territories of Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise, Puglia, Sicilia, and Sardegna, starting January 1, 2024. This unification replaces the fragmented Special Economic Zones with a single administrative structure.

Benefits for Businesses

Businesses operating in the ZES can enjoy a range of benefits:

  • Tax Exemptions: For a specific period, businesses can be exempted from certain income and property taxes, such as VAT and corporate income tax.
  • Fiscal Benefits: Businesses can benefit from a lower income and property taxation than the norm.
  • Financial Incentives: Businesses can take advantage of economic incentives, including tax credits, to purchase instrumental goods for business activity.
  • Administrative Simplifications: The ZES offers simplifications and streamlining of procedures.
  • Promotion of Exports: The ZES can offer incentives for businesses that export their products and services abroad.
  • Support for Training and Research: The ZES can offer support for personnel training and research and development for businesses operating in the zone.

Benefits for High-Qualified Workers

The establishment of the ZES can also benefit highly qualified workers. The incentives for businesses, particularly in the form of support for training and research, can lead to increased employment opportunities and the creation of high-skilled jobs. Furthermore, promoting exports and attracting foreign businesses can lead to an international working environment, providing highly qualified workers with opportunities for global networking and career development.


Establishing the ZES in Sicily represents a significant economic growth and development opportunity. By providing a range of benefits and incentives, the ZES aims to attract investment, stimulate business activity, and create high-skilled jobs, thereby contributing to the economic revitalization of Southern Italy.


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