Prime Minister Andrew Holness last week tabled the long-awaited Special Economic Zones (SEZs) Regulations in the House of Representatives.
The regulations are intended to drive the SEZs, which are expected to open up significant economic opportunities for Jamaicans in terms of employment generation, manufacturing, small-business development and foreign exchange earnings.
The rules do not require any affirmative resolution and will be signed by the relevant minister to become part of the law.
“The players in the industry have been waiting on these to be tabled, so it is important that it doesn’t just pass silently into law, but at least something is said to alert the country and the players that we have now completed a very important part of the framework,” Holness said.
SEZs represent a wide variety of geographically demarcated areas that offer simple and efficient business regulations and procedures for investors.
The Special Economic Zones Act, which came into force on August 1, 2016, provides for the designation, promotion, development, operation, and management of the zones, the establishment of a Special Economic Zone Authority, and the granting of incentives in order to attract domestic and foreign investments.
Prime Minister Holness noted that the administration is seeking to create a business-friendly environment with the requisite governance in place.
“We have to strike the balance and to ensure the required interconnectivity to drive us forward. It is this relationship among a range of service providers, infrastructure developers, providers of goods and technology and services that will ensure the linkages in our economy, to ensure our growth and job creation success,” he said.