JIS News

More than 1,500 guests from some 140 countries are set to attend the Annual International Conference & Exhibition (AICE) 2022 that is scheduled for June 13 to 17 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St. James.

Jamaica, through the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA), was selected to host the eighth annual event that is organised by the World Free Zones Organization (WFZO).

The upcoming conference will showcase global business leaders, multilateral organisations and policymakers, who are to share best practices as well as spread public awareness through panel discussions on the roles and contributions that free zones have on economic growth.

The event will feature several major panel discussions, key among which will be ‘Shaping the Future of Supply Chain Resilience’, ‘Charting the Future of an Inclusive Ecommerce’ and ‘Reforming the Global Task System’.

On Thursday (January 27) AICE 2022 had its official launch at the Montego Bay Convention Centre under the theme, ‘Zones: your Partner for Resilience, Sustainability and Prosperity’.

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill, who attended the launch, in his address pointed out that the conference will give Jamaica the platform to showcase its potential as a sustainable investment location.

“Jamaica will be showcased as an ideal location for special economic zone investments and provide a significant injection to our tourism destination recovery plan,” said Senator Hill.

“It [the conference] will also serve to introduce new people to our exciting tourism product while exhibiting brand Jamaica to future investors. This will further our goal of attracting major opportunities for the development of large-scale modern special economic zones,” he added.

The Minister indicated that the Government is fully committed to making AICE 2022 an “outstanding success”, noting that this will be the first major international conference to be held since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We plan to achieve the broadest economic benefits to our individual countries and our organisations, [and] have a positive effect on the wider world. What we do together in the coming weeks and months will resonate for decades to come,” Senator Hill outlined.

“We have the capacity and, indeed, we must help to shape our future through the World Free Zones Conference,” he added.

CEO of the World Free Zones Organization, Dr. Samir Hamrouni, pointed out that stakeholders around the world are anticipating the networking opportunities and knowledge enriching discussions that the conference will feature.

“It’s the who’s who from the world’s trade and commerce industry, including policymakers and practitioners who are brought on a single platform, that is AICE, where discussions revolve around not just current issues of challenges and opportunities but futuristic topics that have the potential to change the way business is done,” Mr. Hamrouni said.

He also said the Caribbean and Latin America are important free zone regions that contribute to economic growth, jobs and prosperity. He added that the region has the potential for even more growth for free zones, and Jamaica must take centre stage.

“That is the reason why WFZO decided to hold AICE 2022 here, particularly in Jamaica, which is a key country boasting a global linkage. We believe AICE will benefit the whole region and Jamaica in particular,” Mr. Mr. Hamrouni explained.

“I strongly and deeply believe that together, through this partnership, we will not just make the event a successful one but a gamechanger for the country, for the region and for the entire world,” he added.

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