Charter Cities is a concept put forward by World Bank Economist Paul Romer who defends the point of view that it is neither technologies nor the inavailability of resources that will limit the growth of living standards, but the limited capacity to discover and implement new rules, in particular rules concerning land titels, patents and social norms. Hence, the need to adopt new rules. The model he referred to was China’s Special Economic Zones.

Sharing, in particular the sharing of technologies is a key idea behind the concept.

Another key idea is that charter cities could be run under a totally different system from the rest of the country. Also, the cities would be run by foreigners, like Hong Kong was, an idea that has been judged to be neocolonial, particularly as the workers, originating from the poor country would maintain the citizenship of their country and therefore would be strangers in the charter city.