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Jamaican team in Singapore on study tour

The Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA) is spearheading a one-week study tour to Singapore, which started last Friday.

Headed by minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, the tour is one of a three-part programme agreed on with the government of Singapore through the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise, an agency formed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore.

The seven-day initiative will see key ministries and department and agency heads participating in a full immersion in Singapore’s practices and standards in areas such as economic and industrial development; Customs procedures; and maritime, aviation, and technical education.

While in Singapore, the team will visit government agencies such as the Economic Development Board, the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Maritime Port, Special Economic Zones, the Urban Redevelopment Institute of Technical Education, Singapore Customs, and the Airport Logistics Park, among others.

There will be a learning journey through sites of economic interest and workshops, including a session on “Envisioning the Future”.

The Jamaican contingent will learn about Singapore’s industrialisation journey; their SEZ ecology; the key ingredients for a successful SEZ – planning principles, site considerations and development strategy; and, among other things, see how Singapore has developed a world-class logistics ecosystem around the airport.


“Growing the Jamaican economy is a priority for the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority, and our intention is to get it right,” said the JSEZA’s chairman, Metry Seaga.

“In order to do this, we must incorporate international best practice and service standards. This is why we have partnered with Singapore and will be participating in this study trip to get a first-hand view of First-World practices,” added Seaga.

According to Seaga, Singapore has a results-driven approach to the business of economic growth, and it is expected that this programme will provide participants with the tools necessary to spur growth through the development of SEZs.

The second part of the initiative will include workshops to be held in Jamaica, which will allow more than 200 government officials to be trained in key areas of development.

The third part of the programme will see the creation of an implementation road map for the creation of a large-scale SEZ in Jamaica.

“This initiative is a true governmental partnership model as it includes participants from a range of government organisations that are central to the SEZ development process. This is also the ideal time for us to participate in this programme as the SEZ regime is new and in the initial stages of rollout,” said Seaga.

Readmore: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20170611/jamaican-team-singapore-study-tour

Customs to police leakage from auto SEZs

Jamaica has opened up its special economic zones, or SEZs, to car importers, but is offering assurances that it comes with safeguards to prevent leakage of uncustomed vehicles into the local market.

The May 9 decision by Minister of Industry Karl Samuda will allow dealers to import vehicles into a SEZ duty-free and without a licence from the Trade Board.

SEZ-stored vehicles are mainly meant for trans-shipment, but the policy does not bar SEZ-designated cars from being sold in Jamaica. To emerge from the SEZ and into the local market, the vehicles would then have be to assessed for tariffs by the Jamaica Customs Agency and obtain the requisite import permit from the Trade Board.

Kent LaCroix, chairman of the Automobile Dealers Association (ADA), is suggesting that bonded storage areas are needed at the wharf to facilitate the migration of autos from the SEZ into the local trade.

Read more: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/business/20170609/customs-police-leakage-auto-sezs

Jamaica’s Special Economic Zones: Form, function, and model

Free Zone to SEZ: a new policy direction
The name change from Free Zone to SEZ is not a simple matter of form over substance. The SEZ concept is a deliberate policy break away from past policy and is intended to send a clear signal to the investor community (domestic and international); the multilateral lending agencies; and the WTO that Jamaica is moving in a new policy direction.
The Free Zones of the past were largely export processing zones reliant on non-World Trade Organization (WTO) compliant export performance fiscal incentives, the SEZ on the other hand move beyond export processing and is fully WTO compliant.

The Jamaica SEZ model
SEZs are purposed built and fully serviced sites aimed at improving the competitiveness of manufacturing and services. They are founded on the principles of improving efficiency, clustering of complementary value added services, and seamless integration into the global value chains, low corporate taxation and a business friendly environment.
These principles, however, are not self-applying. They have to be implemented systematic and this is where the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA) comes into play. JSEZA is the government body charged with regulating, monitoring, supervising, promoting and facilitating investments in SEZs in Jamaica. Through the work of JSEZA SEZs investors will facilitate and be facilitated by:
a. Developing world class industrial infrastructure, supported by world class transport infrastructure (road, rail, airport and ports) that function as trade facilitators;
b. Competitively priced energy;
c. Increase cargo flows through increased transshipment throughput; increased imports as inputs into production (SEZ and domestic); and increased exports as semi or finished goods (SEZ or domestic) that have the Made in Jamaica label;
d. Optimize and analyzing cargo flow information to seek out, attract and manage higher value-added logistics activities; and
e. Create backward linkages to the rest of economy through our Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through the sourcing of domestics raw materials as inputs into production and by subcontracting of local service providers.

Readmore: http://www.commerciallawinternational.com/?p=1804

Jamaica’s special economic zone framework designed to support private sector SEZ development

Its always a good idea to review your past work and accomplishments from time to time, you just never know what you will find.  Such a review brings to mind the old adage what is old, is new; reviewing after some time gives you perspective and at times new insights. Conducting such an exercise led me to remember my participation as a panelist in 2014 on a Government of Jamaica policy dialogue: Jamaica’s Growth & Special Economic Zones Policy Dialogue. Some how I posted an article on my LinkedIn but not on Commercial Law International. What an oversight!

This oversight on my part has come to be a blessing in disguise as it allows me an opportunity to put out an article on Jamaica’s special economic zone (SEZ) policy and legislative framework, with particular focus on attracting private sector investment. This is especially timely given the continued roll out of Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority, the Government of Jamaica’s, agency charged with regulating and attracting investments to zones in Jamaica.  While this piece is a bit dated it never the less provides in brief some useful insights, in particular for the private sector, into the policy and legal framework of SEZs in Jamaica.

Read more: http://www.commerciallawinternational.com/?p=1806

Special economic zone regulations for Parliament

ROSE HALL, St James — Prime Minister Andrew Holness has disclosed that in another two weeks, the long-awaited special economic zone (SEZ) regulations will be taken to Parliament.“I am pleased to announce — and I am making the announcement today (last Thursday) so that it will happen; yes, sometimes you have to make the announcements so that the people who make it happen, knows that it has happened — that in another two weeks the regulations will be brought to Parliament that will finally bring to light the special economic zones,” Holness said.

He was speaking at the opening ceremony of Jamaica International Exhibition, which is a trade show that was hosted by the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association from June 1-3, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James last Thursday.

Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/special-economic-zone-regulations-for-parliament_100795?profile=1373

Growth & Jobs | Road to easy business … Kingston to north coast network world class – Holness

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has hailed the island’s road network, which connects Kingston to the northern coast, as world-class. He argues that having very good infrastructure makes it a lot easier to do business.

“We are making those investments in our physical infrastructure to make doing business that much easier,” he told the large gathering of business operators and local and international buyers attending the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association’s inaugural Jamaica International Exhibition last Thursday at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.

Read more:http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20170606/growth-jobs-road-easy-business-kingston-north-coast-network-world-class

Special Economic Zone Regulations for Parliament Soon

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.

Read more: http://jis.gov.jm/special-economic-zone-regulations-parliament-soon/

170 Jobs projected from US$204m investment in logistics, manufacturing

KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) –The Government is projecting that 170 jobs will come from investments of US$204 million in logistics and manufacturing during the current fiscal year.

Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, said investment of US$104 million is projected for logistics, which will see the creation of some 70 jobs across various subsectors, including airports and seaports, railway, transhipment infrastructure and dry-docking.

Vaz, who was making his contribution to the 2017/18 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, said the expansion in logistics will be facilitated through the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Regulations, which is being finalised.

He informed that phase one of the Logistics Industrial Analysis Master Plan has been completed, and phase two is expected in a few months.

In manufacturing, the projects to come on stream are expected to create capital expenditure of some US$100 million and create 100 jobs.

Minister Vaz told the House that the Government is having discussions with the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) to see how the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and the Factories Corporation of Jamaica (FCJ) can facilitate expansion of the sector, particularly with regard to the provision of needed factory space on favourable credit terms. Source: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/170_jobs_projected_from_US$204m_investment_in_logistics,_manufacturing?profile=1023

West Indies petroleum eyes Caribbean market

Following the acquisition of the Jamaica Broilers Ethanol Plant, local bunkering company West Indies Petroleum (WIP) is eyeing distribution of its fuel across the Caribbean.

WIP has signed an agreement with a multi billion-dollar global fuel supplier that will allow the company to meet the demands to trans-ship fuel regionally.

The partnership will also allow WIP to offer low-cost fuel to cruise and container shipping customers in Jamaica.

WIP has completely retrofitted the acquired ethanol plant to store gasoline, diesel and heavy fuel oil and has renamed the facility the West Indies Petroleum South Terminal.


“We are very excited about what we have done so far. We truly believe in our vision and feel it’s all now just within our reach. The entire team has put our hearts and souls into this company but still feel amazed, blessed and humbled by how much we have been able to achieve in such a short space of time,” CEO of West Indies Petroleum, Charles Chambers said in a release from the company.

Last week, WIP imported into its fleet a third fuel barge with storage capacity of 96,000 barrels. The company has also invested in a 65,000-barrel storage facility at the Ocho Rios Cruise Ship Terminal.

According to the company, the upgraded assets have positioned it to close large contracts with major cruise and container shipping lines as well as bauxite companies, energy companies and local manufacturers.

Overall, WIP sees itself as an important player in the Government’s logistic hub initiative.

“WIP has made a very bold step which has signalled a move to diversify Jamaica’s industrial base while attracting large-scale commodity traders. Having toured the WIP facilities, it is evident that the company adheres to very high standards of operation and it is impressive what they have done and will continue to do,” Head of the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority and architect of the logistics hub, Eric Deans, said.

According to WIP, the company now has more than 830,000 barrels of storage, making it the second largest owner of fuel storage on the island, behind Petrojam.

WIP expects its first shipment of approximately 400,000 barrels of fuel to arrive in Jamaica shortly. A host of dignitaries from Jamaica Customs, the JSEZA and various ministries will be present to witness the arrival.