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  • Writer's pictureNathalie Mezza-Garcia

Seaphia has helped Set-Up the First digital Special Economic Zone in the United States.

Updated: Jul 28, 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. February 19th, 2022.

After approximately three years of research, preparation, skilling up and the process of getting traction from the relevant parties involved, the General Council of the Catawba Indian Nation of South Carolina, has approved the Catawba Digital Economic Zone. The project is a public-private partnership led by Catawba Corporations, the economic development arm of the Catawba Nation. The Catawba Digital Economic Zone is the first digital Special Economic Zone in the United States and one of the most advanced jurisdictions in the world for digital and Fintech industries. Seaphia is honored to have supported the Catawba efforts since 2021. Our CEO even moved to South Carolina, where the project is set to take place. Construction will begin in the upcoming months.

Joseph McKinney and Michael Castle-Miller, experts in Special Economic Zones who participated in the creation of the Ordinance approving the Zone.

The CDEZ will enable the virtual domiciling of eCorporations from multiple countries across the world. Registered companies will enjoy a special regulatory framework with comparative advantages, special incentives, policies, and regulations for businesses that domicile in it.

The Catawba Digital Economic Zone can be transcendental for the Catawba Nation, which can easily become a global leader in digital industries. The project is estimated to create 3,500 direct and indirect in the next 10 years, including jobs that are on the reservation, although most of them will be remote.

Along with Catawba Corporations and the Catawba Digital Economic Zone Team, Seaphia helped create a program to ensure that catawba citizens will benefit directly from the zone. Together we came up with the idea of reducing annual incorporation fees for registered companies and promoting Catawba citizens’ profiles on the Zone for positions within registered companies. Companies that hire Catawba citizens or other Native Americans lower their tax burden.

Seaphia's CEO, Nathalie Mezza-Garcia at The Catawba Nation Headquarters, where the vote took place.

Since mid-2021, Seaphia also led the planning of the stakeholder alignment strategy, which involved adapting legal zone documentation, regulations, and procedures to informative meetings so the general public could better apprehend the project and its goals. We are excited to see the growth of this jurisdiction. As the CEO of Catawba Corporations, Ronnie Beck, says:

Special Economic Zones have been powerful instruments for economic development, enabling massive foreign direct investment and rapid economic growth. SEZs often rely on tax-incentives. But with our status as a sovereign nation, we are also able to create a best-in-class regulatory climate for the fintech and blockchain sectors. Our plan is to allow these businesses to operate with certainty, and under regulations that protect consumers that help mature the industry. The CDEZ will not only serve companies domestically and internationally but will create tremendous economic opportunities for our people of the Catawba Nation”.
Members of Catawba Corporations with the team of private partners, including some of Seaphia team members.

About Seaphia

Seaphia is a business development company with expertise in Special Economic Zones providing integrated solutions to the needs that arise in such endeavors, from the regulatory framework, stakeholder alignment, and community engagement to environmental studies, among others.

Media Contact: Nathalie Mezza-Garcia

CEO, Seaphia

Follow us on Social Media @SeaphiaGroup

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