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.