Jamaica has unveiled plans to step into the spotlight on the global economic stage, serving as host this June to the World Free Zones Organisation’s eighth Annual International Conference & Exhibition (AICE).
The event, which will take place from June 13-17, will be the first of its kind to be held in the Caribbean.
The news was announced during a ceremony shared internationally from tourism capital, Montego Bay.
Permanent secretary at the ministry of tourism in Jamaica, Jennifer Griffith, said the event represented an unrivalled opportunity.
“We could not be more pleased to have our island serve as host nation for this important global event,” said Griffith.
“Investment is crucial to the ongoing development and growth of our tourism sector as we seek to diversify our tourism product, provide more jobs for Jamaicans and attract more visitors to our shores in the future.”
Themed Zones: Your Partner for Resilience, Sustainability and Prosperity, the World Free Zones Organisation’s AICE 2022 will be held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.
The five-day event will bring together world-class speakers, global free zone practitioners, policy makers, multi-lateral organisations and business representatives, to exchange ideas, experiences and visions for creating a more integrated global trade and business environment.
The event is expected to bring over 1,000 visitors into Jamaica.
“Jamaica is the investment destination of the Caribbean,” said senator Aubyn Hill, minister of industry, investment and commerce, Jamaica, who was the keynote speaker at the press conference.
“We now have 213 special economic zone stakeholders located across ten of our 14 parishes.
“Preliminary data suggests that special economic zones already approved and those being processed here on island, will provide employment for approximately 53,000 people.”
Held annually, the AICE is the “must attend” event for free zones and associated entities.
It is an opportunity to build awareness among world free zone members and prominent participants from across the globe.
Samir Hamrouni, chief executive of the World Free Zones Organisation, said: “The Caribbean is an important region for World Free Zones Organisation.
“Free Zones here contribute immensely to economic growth, jobs, income and prosperity.
“We also believe there is potential for growth of Free Zones in this region.
“This is one of the key reasons we have chosen Jamaica to host the next edition of AICE.
“Thank you to each one of you, the Jamaica Tourist Board, the Jamaica Special Economic Zones Authority, the local organising committee and everyone who has helped us bring this Conference to the island on behalf of myself and my colleagues.”
The event will be held alongside the World Travel Awards Caribbean & North America Gala Ceremony, which is scheduled to
take place at Sandals Montego Bay on June 14th.
Jamaica itself is considered the World’s Leading Family Destination and World’s Leading Wedding Destination by World Travel Awards voters.
The World Free Zones Organisation is a not-for-profit entity representing and acting as a unified voice for over 2,260 free zones around the world, spread across more than 168 countries in every continent.
It aims to transform the way free zones are understood and interact with the broader economy.
Established in Geneva, Switzerland and headquartered in the Dubai in United Arab Emirates, the body provides global leadership in terms of knowledge of free zones as well as works to enhance public and general knowledge and perceptions of free zones.
Registration for AICE in Jamaica is now open here.