Jamaican government moving to establish more Special Economic Zones

Jamaica's Prime Minister Andrew Holness said work is already under way on the Caymanas Special Economic Zone in St. Catherine.

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – The Jamaica government says it intends to establish at least two Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the country within the next three years as it seeks to further improve the country’s economy.

Caymanas – St, Catherine

Prime Minister Andrew Holness said work is already under way on the Caymanas Special Economic Zone in St. Catherine, where a comprehensive feasibility study has been undertaken and that he had recently approved a Cabinet submission relating to development of the south side of the Caymans lands.

“We are now going to have an investor come and ‘conference’ to determine the level of interest that is in the market to start this kind of development,” Holness told the recent Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation’s Strategic Leadership Retreat.

He said his administration is currently in the process of finalizing negotiations for the north side of the Caymanas lands and “as soon as that is [done], I will be informing the public as to where we are.

“I can see, spatially, that we can very well have the entire Caymanas area developed as an SEZ connected by the significant investments already made on Mandela [Highway and] Spanish Town Road going straight into our ports.

Prime Minister Holness said that once the zones are in operation, they will facilitate a seamless “plug and play” framework for investors to create and nurture new industries.

“So, the investor, who is coming to do business is not coming to worry about getting permit for this, permit for that, deal with contractors and workmen, sourcing materials and all that. That’s not what they are coming to do. They are just coming to do their business.

“So, whether they are into cosmetics, information and processing [or] high-level research, they just come, the space is ready, they plug in their computers and they start working. That is the concept of the SEZ,” he told the retreat.

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