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Management & Advisory Board

Internal organization

The Bureau des Trustees is the main management body of our organization.

It is mainly shaped by the ideas of its founding members, and others who shared our philosophy and objectives, which were incorporated during the first stage of FEMOZA. Some of these members provide open and regular support, while others have offered their help anonymously to FEMOZA during our 20 years of operations.

From 1999 to 2019, an Executive Committee has been responsible for executing the guidelines set by the Bureau des Trustees. During the FEMOZA meeting held on April 29, this Executive Committee was dissolved and the position of an Executive Director was created in its place.

FEMOZA’s Executive Director, currently Mr. Juan Torrents, is the link between the Bureau des Trustees and the SEZ community.

Our Team

Juan Torrents
Founder and President

Juan Torrents, from Barcelona, Spain, is a senior adviser on international trade and special economic zones, having worked as a consultant since 1986. He is the founder and president of FEMOZA, the world’s leading zone federation.

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For 25 years, Mr. Torrents gained private sector experience in sales, logistics, finance and management, creating a worldwide network as Managing Director in different economic sectors such as Textile Machinery and Logistics.

Juan later entered the public sector during the decade of 1986-1996 as Managing Director of the Barcelona Free Zone. During this time he led the zone to diversify its activities, develop, expand and increase its influence worldwide. As a result, he gained public recognition in 1989 as Barcelona’s best promoter of the year.

Mondher Khanfir
Africa Coordinator

Mondher Khanfir is a professional with a extensive experience in business consulting, governance, transformation strategy and investment advisory. His passion for public policy as an enabler development drove him to policy analysis and advocacy, mainly in Africa and the MENA region, […]

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[…] where he is regularly appointed as an expert by different International institutions, namely the World Bank, OECD, UN-ESCWA, AFD, GIZ and EBRD.

Mr. Khanfir assists governments in managing infrastructure investment plans to better integrate international value chains. He authored several reports and led many missions to implement framework programs. He is also a recognized Mentor and Speaker in the Startup Ecosystem.

Mondher has been involved with FEMOZA since 2014, especially in PPP projects. He is the Head of the “For a Shared Prosperity in Africa” Think Tank and the Founder of the African Institute of Public Private Partnership.

Mazdak Rafaty
Gulf Coordinator

With more than 15 years of practical FDI experience in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) Region, Mazdak Rafaty is FEMOZA’s Gulf Coordinator and an expert foreign investment with a special passion for SMEs, entrepreneurship and startups.

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In his PhD thesis, Mr. Rafaty investigated SMEs as sustainable foreign investors to emphasize the importance of small foreign-owned companies for a sustainable development of their host countries. He is a trusted partner and advisor to numerous UAE based international chambers of commerce on social-economic and business aspects in the MEA region, serving as board member for various organizations.

Mr. Rafaty is based in Dubai, having worked there for years in administrative positions. Since the last 5 years, he has been covering the MEA region as the columnist of the fDi Magazine, published by the Financial Times.

Cui Yi
China General Director

Cui Yi is FEMOZA’s China General Director and a senior FDI expert, with 10 years of working experience in some of China’s largest national business organizations. He has extensive connections with companies, entrepreneurs and politicians from across the world.

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He is a key organizer of delegations of Chinese top entrepreneurs and business leaders accompanying state leaders of China on their visits to Europe, Asia and America. Mr. Yi also serves as the Chief Foreign Liaison Officer of international ministerial and higher-level summits held in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao. Further, he is the Founder of the International Advisory Network (IAN), with 2,000+ lawyers worldwide.

Mr. Yi has a Master’s Degree in Business English from the UIBE and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Economic Law from Tianjin Foreign Studies University.

FEMOZA’s Advisory Board

Since we believe in SEZs and their real potential to contribute to the economies of developing countries, FEMOZA created an Advisory Board. Its main objective is to provide help and support to anybody within the SEZ community through our Training Center, offering human and technical resources for the development of Free & Special Economic Zones globally. We have also the experience and knowledge to attend after care projects.

To guarantee the highest standards of professionalism, our Advisory Board is composed exclusively of experienced professionals with successful prior projects implementing, developing, and operating SEZs.

We act as a consultant, and receive professional fees for our services. Due to our NGO status with no lucrative purposes, our fees qualifies to be considered a social cost in emergent countries.

Our Advisors

Zoë Harries
Advisory Board Chairwoman
Dr. Titus Gebel

With a background in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) Advisory, Zoë Harries is the founder of Impact Zones, a boutique foreign trade and investment advisory firm specializing in sustainable SEZ development.

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In complex and dynamic business environments, Zoë brings together commercial and sustainable growth strategies for public-private partnerships. She has extensive experience in industrial parks and SEZ conception and implementation, with a focus on sustainability, also from an operational and business modelling point of view.

She supports governments, SEZs and business parks with attracting foreign investment. Zoë also supports companies with cross-border expansion projects, scaling sustainable supply chains, and has also co-developed and launched three digital FDI applications.

A lawyer by training and an entrepreneur at heart, Titus Gebel is a resources expert who founded several successful companies. He founded SEZ companies TIPOLIS and FEMAC, both of which he leads as CEO. Previously, he formed resources company Deutsche Rohstoff AG […]

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[…] for which he served as President & CEO until he retired in 2015. In that role, he directed oil & gas, base and precious metals exploration and development projects in Europe, Australia and North America. He is also a sought-after public speaker who gives talks about next-generation SEZs, which he calls Prosperity Zones.

Titus holds a Ph.D. in foreign public law and international law from the University of Heidelberg and an MBA in International Management Consulting from the University for Economy in Ludwigshafen/University of Lincoln.

Zoë Harries
Chairwoman

With a background in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) Advisory, Zoë Harries is the founder of Impact Zones, a boutique foreign trade and investment advisory firm specializing in sustainable SEZ development.

In complex and dynamic business environments, Zoë brings together commercial and sustainable growth strategies for public-private partnerships. She has extensive experience in industrial parks and SEZ conception and implementation, with a focus on sustainability, also from an operational and business modelling point of view.

She supports governments, SEZs and business parks with attracting foreign investment. Zoë also supports companies with cross-border expansion projects, scaling sustainable supply chains, and has also co-developed and launched three digital FDI applications.

Dr. Titus Gebel

A lawyer by training and an entrepreneur at heart, Titus Gebel is a resources expert who founded several successful companies. He founded SEZ companies TIPOLIS and FEMAC, both of which he leads as CEO.

Previously, he formed resources company Deutsche Rohstoff AG, for which he served as President & CEO until he retired in 2015. In that role, he directed oil & gas, base and precious metals exploration and development projects in Europe, Australia and North America. He is also a sought-after public speaker who gives talks about next-generation SEZs, which he calls Prosperity Zones.

Titus holds a Ph.D. in foreign public law and international law from the University of Heidelberg and an MBA in International Management Consulting from the University for Economy in Ludwigshafen/University of Lincoln.

Luigi Mercuri

Luigi Mercuri has lived in Italy, Germany, the United States, Belgium, the United Kingdom and South Korea. Through these experiences, he became passionate about business diplomacy and globalization. He is currently based between Germany and Italy and operates as CFO and Head of Investment for Vessel Global; […]

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[…] an international consultancy focused on tech-driven FDI facilitation, trade, and market entry strategies for innovative companies, governmental organizations, investors and Free Trade/Special Economic Zones.

Luigi has previously worked for German and US advisory firms, the Italian Trade and Investment Agency (ITA), the German-Korean Chamber of Commerce in South Korea, think tanks, and a multinational credit rating company. He studied at the Bologna Alma Mater Studiorum University and at the Graduate Studies Program of the Paul H. Nitze School of International Studies (Johns Hopkins SAIS), where he specialized in international relations and economics.

Dr. Andreas Baumgartner

Andreas Baumgartner is passionate about creating and improving economic and social opportunities for people globally, which made the development of SEZs a focus of his activities throughout his career. He is the current CEO of The Metis Institute, empowering (judicial and alternative) dispute resolution for SEZs, governments and industry.

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As an economic development expert, he is a strong believer in the importance of quality dispute resolution, as major enabler of economic growth and a key factor in generating business confidence. Via StrategyImpactReputation FZE, Andreas is also a sought-after strategic advisor to major SEZ projects.

Andreas has PhDs in law and in economic/social sciences from the University of Vienna, Austria. Besides the corresponding master degrees, he holds a masters degree in political science and the European Master of Business Sciences degree.

Karim Palmieri

Karim is currently a Senior Advisor at Fieldstone Private Capital Group. He has over 16 years of experience working with governments, industrial and financial sector clients on their international growth, investor and international relations, fundraising and investment attraction strategies. He has a strong multisector experience, advising clients across the UK, Africa, Middle East, U.S. and Latin America, and through Fieldstone is working extensively in the renewable energy and infrastructure space. […]

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At Fieldstone, Karim has led on development in North Africa and the Middle East, with emphasis on Morocco, and has advised on Fieldstone transactions in the wind sector, new energy technology, funds and government led initiatives. His focus is on business development, investor relations, partnerships and supporting client strategy.

Prior to joining Fieldstone, he led international relations as part of the core team establishing Casablanca Finance City as a global investment hub and business gateway into Africa, with a focus on multinationals, sovereign wealth funds and financial institutions. Since then, has worked with a number of government entities on the development of their master plan initiatives, international trade and accelerated growth through the advancement of special economic zones. He recently advised the World Free Zones Organisation on expansion in Africa and USA.

Karim started his career in the strategy and insights team at Time Inc. covering Fortune 500 companies and sovereign entities on expanding their global footprint He speaks English, French and Arabic and maintains active networks in government and cross border development through ties with global think tanks such as the World Economic Forum, Milken Institute, and Future Investment Initiative in Saudi Arabia.

Karim holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Marketing Strategy and Global MBA in Foreign Direct Investment in Emerging Markets from the London School of Economics and has completed the Executive Diplomat modules for Private Equity from the London Business School.

He is an active member of the British-Moroccan Society and an angel investor in technology enabled startups with emerging market growth potential.

Ekaterina Evdokimova
Observer

Ekaterina Evdokimova is the co-founder and managing partner at Stupino Quadrat, Russia’s first private special economic zone. An acclaimed lawyer in several jurisdictions (Attorney-at-Law (DE), Lawyer (RU), LL.M. (UС Berkeley, USA), Ekaterina is passionate about building bridges between Russian and international organizations.

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In 2015, Ms Evdokimova co-founded Russia’s first of its kind industrial real-estate development with complete technical and social infrastructure in place as well as tax and customs benefits that reduce risk for the investors and shorten the project realization period. It has become known as a unique space for likeminded people under a strong vision “Making investments happen by making investors happy”.

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