The Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA) continues to secure employment for citizens and investment opportunities for companies to operate in the special economic zones (SEZs).
Details of this were shared during a meeting hosted by the Authority at its offices located at 13 Waterloo Road in Kingston, on Monday, March 27.
The purpose of the meeting was to provide an update on the Authority since its establishment in 2016.
JSEZA’s Interim Chief Executive Officer, Kelli-Dawn Hamilton, pointed out that “we would have recorded over US$750,000,000 investment in the economy through our SEZs as well as within the SEZ space, with over 60,000 jobs being created”.
This shows that the SEZ is really creating opportunities for Jamaican companies to grow and develop and to employ Jamaicans, she said.
“Our objective is to work across government and create partnerships, so that we can all work towards the same end, which is to grow the economy of Jamaica by creating employment for our men and women,” Mrs. Hamilton noted.
To increase the opportunities that currently exist for companies operating in the SEZs, the JSEZA is looking to partner with other special economic zone authorities across the world.
The JSEZA will also seek to pursue partnerships for Jamaican businesses through these entities.
“We are a member of the World Free Zone Organisation and we would have hosted the eighth Annual International Conference and Exhibition (AICE) last year. I’m happy to report that coming out of that, we have 13 very strong projects that will really change the landscape in Jamaica, from our perspective, as it relates to developing those larger zones,” Mrs. Hamilton shared.
“In addition to the partnerships created through AICE and the partnerships that we are forging by connecting with other special economic zone authorities across the world, we are also very keen on attracting different sectors,” she added.
These include energy, manufacturing, tourism and the global digital services sector.
“It is a wider range of activities and opportunities that you would have seen coming out of AICE that will really help to grow our special economic zones in Jamaica,” she pointed out.
Providing details on what is to come, Mrs. Hamilton noted that across the 147 zones located across the island, “we are seeing an uptick in interest in things like renewable energy, and we know that is a thrust of the Government and we believe that we play a strong role in facilitating that as well”.
She further noted that we can look forward to the development of more specialised zones in the near future.
“We’re having discussions now with sister agencies such as the Port Authority of Jamaica, Jamaica Promotions Corporation, Jamaica Customs, and Tax Administration Jamaica, because again, our objective is the same – to create a facilitatory and enabling business environment that can see businesses growing and thriving in the country,” Mrs. Hamilton said.
She hinted that there are 32 SEZ projects, valued at over US$1 billion, in the pipeline, which is expected to provide some 12,225 added labour opportunities.
The JSEZA is an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, responsible for facilitating the development of, and promoting investments in SEZs in Jamaica.