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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/

JSEZA welcomes lifting of ban on storage of imported vehicles in free zones

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA) has welcomed the removal of the ban on storage of imported motor vehicles in a free zone or Special Economic Zone (SEZ) without an import licence from the Trade Board.The JSEZA said the removal, which was authorised by the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Karl Samuda on May 9, will boost business prospects for the automotive sector.

“Before this approval cars destined for regional and/or the domestic market were barred from free zones if the requisite licence was not obtained prior to entry into the country”, the JSEZA noted.

The organisation said it has been pushing to identify investment and value adding opportunities in this sector as the global automotive industry is one of the world’s largest manufacturing sectors, and worldwide trade of final products and components accounted for roughly US$1.4 trillion in exports in 2014. Read more…

BPO Sector Seeking To Build Capacity In MoBay

Some 40 participants from the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector got an insight into the fundamentals of effective workplace mentoring last Saturday when they participated in the first in a series of one-day seminars put on by the Caribbean Maritime Institute’s (CMI) School of Advanced Skills at the Montego Bay Free Zone (MBFZ).

The sessions, which enjoyed the supported by the Port Management Association of the Caribbean, comes at a time when the demand for strengthening the available talent pool has increased.

“As an association, we are committed to improving the competencies of employees in areas required by the BPO industry to increase their employability and ability to advance within the organisation,” said Dr Guna Muppuri, president of the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ). “In the past, we have engaged and are currently working with several training institutions to create the pool of qualified manpower to support the growth of the BPO/contact centre industry.”

“Hence, this initiative with the Caribbean Maritime Institute is timely and critical to our efforts in enhancing and building on the basic skills of persons already employed in the industry,” added Muppuri.

Read more:http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20170502/bpo-sector-seeking-build-capacity-mobay

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.

Jamaica’s Trade Facilitation Task Force : Involving Public and Private Sectors to Improve Competitiveness

Jamaica is taking steps to strengthen its trade environment as a way to improve the ease and ways of doing business and stimulate growth. In February 2015, Jamaica formed its National Committee on Trade Facilitation, known as the Trade Facilitation Task Force (TF2). During its first year, the Task Force had fruitful consultations with its members in the public and private sectors on how to increase trade facilitation in Jamaica. These consultations laid the foundation for the creation of a Trade Facilitation Project Plan, currently in use as a guide for the execution and monitoring of Jamaica’s trade-competitiveness activities. This Smart Lesson describes the establishment of the Task Force and the progress of the Project Plan— and shares key lessons learned along the way.

Citation
“Tomlinson, Kanika Y.. 2017. Jamaica’s Trade Facilitation Task Force : Involving Public and Private Sectors to Improve Competitiveness. IFC Smart Lessons;. International Finance Corporation, Washington, DC. © International Finance Corporation. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/26296 License: CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 IGO.”

Logistics sector to get new life, says Holness

Jamaica’s logistics Hub Initiative is to get new life, says Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who declared the development of the logistics sector a national project.
Holness made the announcement last month during his contribution to the Budget Debate in the House of Representatives.
The prime minister said the Government intends to develop special economic zones where light manufacturing and assembly operations can be undertaken for the international market; create an environment to attract ‘anchor’ investors and other innovative knowledge-based firms to relocate their regional and international operations to Jamaica.
Holness pointed to the special economic zone (SEZ) law and regulations as critical components of the Logistics Hub Initiative, which will provide the legislative framework to attract manufacturing companies and technology firms to engage in value-added activities on goods trans-shipped through Jamaica. The Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA) is the organisation established to regulate and facilitate the development of SEZs in Jamaica. The authority is currently working to oversee the enactment of the new regulations.

JSEZA TO FACILITATE TRANSITION

The Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority, which is housed in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, will be facilitating the transition from free zones to the special economic zone regime. JSEZA will regulate and supervise SEZs, while providing a policy direction for the development and sustainability of Jamaica’s economy through the administration of SEZs. Further, the authority is mandated to attract new and diverse investments in SEZs, while simultaneously providing a policy direction for the development and sustainability of Jamaica’s economy. The operations of the authority will seek to grow the Jamaican economy by increasing its production capacity through job creation.
The SEZ legislation, which was enacted August 1, 2016, and resulted in the repeal of the Jamaica Export Free Zone Act, will move Jamaica into a new age of trade and development. An integrated approach has been taken in order to ensure that the environment is conducive to the growth of both goods-producing and service industries. Importantly, the Customs Act is also being revised to make it more supportive of the development of logistics operations linked to the trans-shipment addition of value to goods through the island’s special economic zones, seaports and airports.

… Development a must for boosting economic growth

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has declared the development of the logistics sector key to achieving targets such as making Kingston “the leading trans-shipment terminal in the region in 2018”, and, ultimately, boosting economic growth and job creation.
The latter push is of critical importance to arriving at the five per cent GDP growth promised by the end of the financial year 2020-2021.
“Jamaica has to use all of its advantages in the pursuit of sustainable economic growth and development,” Holness told lawmakers.

MAJOR MILESTONES

Two major milestones in the roadmap to support the development of Jamaica as a logistics hub are currently being funded by the Foundations for Competitiveness and Growth (FCG) Project which is a loan programme from the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (the World Bank). In the first instance, US consultancy firm Nathan Associates Inc is due to present, by July 2017, an industry analysis and master plan that is expected to guide the development plan for the Logistics Hub Initiative. Second, the feasibility study for the large-scale Caymanas Special Economic Zone is currently underway.
The Government is encouraged by the efforts of private-sector investors to take up the challenge to further develop logistics operations on numerous strategically located parcels of land for the construction of warehousing and to facilitate manufacturing, assembly, business process outsourcing, and other value-added activities.