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World Free Zones in Jamaica tackled global economic challenges

Minister of Tourism, Jamaica, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, speaking at the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre Ministerial Forum held earlier this month under the theme “Building Resilience for Global Sustainability: Accelerating Recovery and Prosperity" as part of the World Free Zones Organization’s Annual International Conference & Exhibition 2022 held in Montego Bay. – image courtesy of Jamaica Tourism Board
Written by Linda S. Hohnholz

Participants Examined Supply Chain Issues, Building Resilience and More at this International Event

Jamaica was at the epicenter of global economic thought leadership last month as it hosted the World Free Zones Organization’s (WFZO’s) 8th Annual International Conference & Exhibition (AICE) 2022, the first to be held in the Caribbean. 
Free zones are a type of Special Economic Zone (SEZ) designated by governments to foster economic activity through favorable approaches to taxation, duties, customs and more that significantly reduce barriers to trade. Because they create an environment that’s favorable to establishing and conducting business in countries where they exist, they facilitate the development of strong supply chains, many of which have been disrupted by the pandemic resulting in shortages across various economic sectors.
Jamaica’s tourism sector recovery from the pandemic has been strong with record arrivals and earnings, but it has not been linear as other issues have been surfacing,” said the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica. “The fact that this event has addressed supply chain issues and opportunities to benefit from the U.S. policies on nearshoring through the creation of special economic ‘free’ zones is both timely and critical as we are charting the way forward for Jamaica and for countries all across the world.”

In yet another historic first, the event staged the inaugural conference of the Global Alliance of Special Economic Zones (GASEZ), which focused on modernizing and organizing global free zones to maximize their contributions to sustainable economic development. 

Further, the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre Ministerial Forum took place under the theme “Building Resilience for Global Sustainability: Accelerating Recovery and Prosperity.” Panel discussions centered around current and emergent issues including:

  • Shaping the Future for Supply Chain Resilience
  • Charting the Future of an Inclusive E-Commerce
  • Building a New Generation of SDG/ESG Entities
  • Reforming the Global Tax System
  • How “Ecosystems of Trust” Drive Prosperity

The 2022 AICE program included government representatives, policy makers, free zones practitioners, executives from multilateral organizations and media who spoke about free zones as partners for building resilience, promoting sustainability and achieving prosperity.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Jamaica, Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill said, “The conference has been a total experience – business and pleasure – with expert presentations, site visits to explore investment opportunities, an exhibition, and the chance to enjoy Jamaica’s world-renowned hospitality and culture.”
CEO of the World Free Zones Organization (WFZO), Dr. Samir Hamrouni, added, “It’s a promising sign that so many of our colleagues came to Jamaica after two years of virtual events. We are grateful to our Jamaica partners who have taken this journey with us to bring our community together. We remain optimistic that the Free Zone industry is poised to come out of the pandemic stronger, wiser, more agile and better prepared for future disruptions.”
Themed, ‘Zones: Your Partner for Resilience, Sustainability and Prosperity,’ the World Free Zones Organization’s AICE 2022 five-day event was held at the Montego Bay Convention in June 2022. 
For more information about the event, click here.  
For more information about Jamaica, please click here
Jamaica Tourist Board

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.
For details on upcoming special events, attractions and accommodations in Jamaica go to the JTB’s Website at or call the Jamaica Tourist Board at 1-800-JAMAICA (1-800-526-2422). Follow the JTB on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest and YouTube. View the JTB blog at
The World Free Zones Organization

The World Free Zones Organization (World FZO) 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. We aim 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, World FZO provides global leadership in terms of knowledge of free zones, works to enhance public and general knowledge and perceptions of free zones, provides a multitude of services (such as research, events and data) for its members and the business community.
World FZO also helps increase awareness of the advantages of free zones in terms of economic and social development, foreign and direct investment.

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.
Over the course of the event, world-class speakers and senior policy makers, academics, multi-lateral organizations and global business leaders from over 80 countries come together with delegations from international free zones to share best practices and foster public awareness of the role and contribution to economic growth that free zones make.

WTM London 2022 will be taking place from 7-9 November 2022. Register now!

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About the author

Linda S. Hohnholz

Linda Hohnholz has been the editor in chief for eTurboNews for many years.
She loves to write and pays great attention to details.
She is also in charge of all premium content and press releases.

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