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What are Charter Cities?

A charter city is a city granted a special jurisdiction to create a new governance system. The purpose of the special jurisdiction is simple but powerful; it allows city officials to adopt the best practices in commercial regulation.

As the successes of Singapore, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Dubai illustrate, by improving governance, it’s possible for cities to achieve prosperity more quickly than ever before. Inspired by such success, charter cities offer a set of policy reforms for new cities to create the institutions required for sustained economic growth.

Governance is a key determinant of a country’s economic trajectory. Unfortunately, politics often prevents needed reforms from being implemented at the national level. Because charter cities cover limited geographic areas, their administrations can pursue deeper reforms than would otherwise be possible.


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