Jamaica to host first Caribbean World Free Zones Conference and Exhibition

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Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, Chairperson of the World Free Zones Organisation (World FZO), and Edmund Bartlett, Tourism Minister of Jamaica

By Tariq alfaham and Khoder Nashar

DUBAI, UAE, (WAM) – Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, chairperson of the World Free Zones Organisation (World FZO), met Edmund Bartlett, tourism minister of Jamaica, to discuss preparations for the eighth Annual International Conference and Exhibition (AICE) 2022, scheduled to be held in Jamaica from 13-17 June, 2022.

The first such event in the Caribbean island nation – which will highlight the role of free zones in facilitating world trade, promoting resilience, sustainability, and prosperity of eCommerce – will witness the presence of international organisations from 100 countries, including UNCTAD, OECD, UNIDO, IRU and IDB.

Al Zarooni said: “The eighth AICE 2022, to be held in Jamaica, will discuss and highlight the role of global leaders in keeping pace with the latest developments and global trends – affecting business, investment, trade, and policymaking. This exercise is being done to harmonise the rapid changes in the world, their repercussions on global trade chains and the essential role of free zones in development and diversification ways to attract and sustain the movement of foreign direct investment and its sustainability through the free zones.”

”The five-day conference will serve as an interactive platform to discuss the future of international free zones and setting the direction of the industry in Jamaica. It will strengthen the role of free zones in driving and facilitating global trade. Moreover, the Caribbean is an important region for the World FZO, with the potential for rapid growth. This international event, we believe, is in line with the World FZO’s vision of free zones being recognised worldwide as a tool for development, economic prosperity, and socioeconomic sustainability,” he added.

For his part, Edmund Bartlett added: “Staging the AICE 2022 in Jamaica allows international speakers, global free zone practitioners, policymakers, and other business representatives to meet and exchange ideas on how to make the region’s global trade and business environment more integrated. The event is set to bring together the best minds from across the free trade zone and investor community, who will share insights through keynote speeches and panel discussions on how companies manage complex and dynamic scenarios, and most importantly, offer networking opportunities that provide participants an invaluable experience, all under one roof.”

Themed ‘Zones: Your Partner for Resilience, Sustainability and Prosperity’. The event will feature five engaging and comprehensive sessions on the future course of supply chain resilience – inclusive eCommerce, creation of a new generation of SDG/ESG entities, reformation of the global tax system, and ecosystems of trust to drive prosperity.

Several announcements will be made on the side-line of AICE 2022, such as the launch of Global Alliance of Special Economic Zones (GASEZ); setting up of free ports strategy by the UK; first Global Biz Asia Pacific by Philippines; and plans for two ministerial meetings with the Ministry of Industry and Investment and Ministry of Tourism; in addition to the global launch of UNCTAD 2022 World Investment Report.

AICE will serve as a major boost to Jamaica’s cruise sector. Held annually, the World FZO AICE is the world’s “must attend” event for free zones and associated entities. It is an opportunity to build awareness among World FZO members and prominent participants from across the globe.

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