The Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce welcomes the passing of the Special Economic Zone Act in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The legislation represents a milestone achievement as part of the Global Logistics Hub Initiative and facilitation of investments into Jamaica.
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 The Special Economic Zone Act has effectively repealed the Jamaica Export Free Zones Act, making way for the designation, promotion, development, operation and management of Special Economic Zones; the establishment of a Special Economic Zone Authority and the granting of benefits and other measures in order to attract domestic and foreign investments.
Minister Hylton in commenting on the legislation stated, “We envision that the zones will attract new economic activities, supported by the provisioning of new infrastructure. It will also allow domestic suppliers to sell to companies located in the SEZs and potentially become part of global supply chains. Importantly, incubators will be a key feature to ensure our MSME sector has an opportunity to be part of this growth initiative.”
In preparation for the transition from the Freezone regime to the SEZ regime, the Ministry has conducted consultations with existing Free Zone entities to allow for a smooth process. Existing Freezone operators such as Gulfray Americas Limited, which recently announced a US$350 million investment in the build out of the Spanish Town Free Zone and Kingston Wharves Limited, which is investing $J 1.8 billion in the build out of its Total Logistics Facility are among investors that will transition to the Special Economic Zone regime.