JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness says regulations will be brought to Parliament in another two weeks to bring to life the special economic zones (SEZs).
  • Mr. Holness said the zones will represent a significant enhancement to the country’s industrial infrastructure, noting that as part of the integrated development strategy, areas around the zones will be developed for commercial, residential and recreational activities.
  • The Prime Minister argued that a good example of a proper business environment is “when persons are actually making the investment in the physical space”.

Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness says regulations will be brought to Parliament in another two weeks to bring to life the special economic zones (SEZs).

Mr. Holness, who was addressing the opening of the inaugural Jamaica International Exhibition (JIE) Trade Show at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on June 1, said that while the regulations have been long in coming, it is a case where “we have to strike the right balance”.

“The legislation and the regulations will be business-friendly. However, we will also have to meet all the good governance requirements to ensure that our business is in line with our obligations for anti-corruption, for ensuring that our financial sector is solid and for ensuring that we cannot be penetrated for terrorism or used for other nefarious activities,” the Prime Minister emphasised.

Mr. Holness said the zones will represent a significant enhancement to the country’s industrial infrastructure, noting that as part of the integrated development strategy, areas around the zones will be developed for commercial, residential and recreational activities.

Special economic zones represent a wide variety of geographically demarcated areas that offer simple and efficient business regulations and procedures to investors.

 

The Special Economic Zone Act has effectively repealed the Jamaica Export Free Zones Act, making way for the designation, promotion, development, operation and management of SEZs; the establishment of an SEZ Authority and the granting of benefits and other measures in order to attract domestic and foreign investments.

In the meantime, Mr. Holness, in praising the island’s improved road network, said having very good infrastructure makes it a lot easier to do business, and that the Government will continue to put in the necessary work, so as to enhance  productivity.

“We are making those investments in our physical infrastructure, to make your business that much easier,” he said.

The Prime Minister argued that a good example of a proper business environment is “when persons are actually making the investment in the physical space”.

“There is always a lag time between the thought and the actual development, creation and implementation of a business. But a good indication of what is to come is when you see the actual movements being made in the physical space, and the Chairman of the Factories Corporation has actually reported that there is an increase in the demand for factory space,” Mr. Holness said.