Jamaica to Host World Free Zones Conference this June

1 March 2022 - Jamaicans.com

Already known for being a worldwide leader in the tourism industry, Jamaica will step into the spotlight on the global economic stage as it serves as host this June to the World Free Zones Organization’s 8th Annual International Conference & Exhibition (AICE) 2022, the first to be held in the Caribbean. The news was announced last week during a ceremony shared internationally from the island nation’s tourism capital, Montego Bay.

“We could not be more pleased to have our island serve as host nation for this important global event,” said Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Jamaica, Jennifer Griffith, speaking on behalf of the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica. “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 Organization’s AICE 2022 will be held from June 13-17, 2022, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre. The five-day event will bring together world-class speakers, global free zone practitioners, policy makers, multi-lateral organizations 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 the Hon. 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 10 of Jamaica’s 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.”

Dr. Samir Hamrouni, CEO of the World Free Zones Organization, said, “The Caribbean is an important region for World Free Zones Organization. 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 organizing committee and everyone who has helped us bring this Conference to the island on behalf of myself and my colleagues.”

Also speaking at the event was Christopher Levy, Chairman of the Jamaica Special Economic Zones Authority (JSEZA). To conclude the program, a video was played to officially launch the conference and gifts were presented to key individuals who were critical in bringing the AICE to Jamaica. The event was attended by local Jamaican officials and media, while international media attended virtually.

The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), founded in 1955, is Jamaica’s national tourism agency based in the capital city of Kingston. JTB offices are also located in Montego Bay, Miami, Toronto and London. Representative offices are located in Berlin, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam, Mumbai, Tokyo and Paris. 

In 2021, the JTB was declared ‘World’s Leading Cruise Destination,’ ‘World’s Leading Family Destination’ and ‘World’s Leading Wedding Destination’ for the second consecutive year by the World Travel Awards, which also named it the ‘Caribbean’s Leading Tourist Board’ for the 14th consecutive year; and the ‘Caribbean’s Leading Destination’ for the 16th consecutive year; as well as the ‘Caribbean’s Best Nature Destination’ and the ‘Caribbean’s Best Adventure Tourism Destination.’ In addition, Jamaica was awarded four gold 2021 Travvy Awards, including ‘Best Destination, Caribbean/Bahamas,’ ‘Best Culinary Destination –Caribbean,’ Best Travel Agent Academy Program,’; as well as a TravelAge West WAVE award for ‘International Tourism Board Providing the Best Travel Advisor Support’ for a record-setting 10th time. In 2020, the Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA) named Jamaica the 2020 ‘Destination of the Year for Sustainable Tourism’. In 2019, TripAdvisor® ranked Jamaica as the #1 Caribbean Destination and #14 Best Destination in the World. Jamaica is home to some of the world’s best accommodations, attractions and service providers that continue to receive prominent global recognition.

Source: Jamaicans.com


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