Fri | Dec 9, 2016

Ministry of Industry creates enterprise team for first special economic zone

Published:Friday | January 16, 2015 | 12:01 AM

The special economic zone (SEZ) project will be dependent on private capital for development, ownership and operations, but the first of them - Caymanas Special Economic Zone, or CSEZ - has kicked off as a project of the State.

The CSEZ envisages the phased development of 1,000 acres for light manufacturing and distribution, under point agency Factories Corporation of Jamaica, a public body which answers to the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce.

Chairman of the Jamaica Logistics Hub Task Force, Dr Eric Deans, clarified however, that the CSEZ itself is not a Factories Corporation project, and says an enterprise team has been established to oversee the development of the CSEZ.

"The FCJ is, however, responsible for developing specific projects that fall under its portfolio, including the Naggo Head project, Garmex and other projects," he told the Financial Gleaner.

The newly released SEZ Green Paper identifies several types of special economic zones, including: a petrochemical, dry and wet bulk trade centre for St. Thomas, St Catherine and Clarendon; Clarendon and Kingston have been identified as potential locations for maintenance and repair of ships, boats and other watercrafts - Vernamfield in Clarendon is highlighted as a site for air cargo and trans-shipment maintenance and repair operations; Caymanas in St Catherine has been earmarked for light manufacturing and assembly; Sangster International and Norman Manley International for air cargo trade and trans-shipment of passengers; the Kingston Container Terminal and Kingston wharves for merchandise trade, semi-finished products and trans-shipment; and the Portland Bight for heavy industries and commodities. Kingston has also been designated for light manufacturing and assembly as well as business process outsourcing.

Countrywide, high-tech and science-based projects will receive SEZ designation.

The CEZ is expected to be established this year, according to the Green Paper, while the SEZ Authority will be created by March 2016.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com