Top 10 best reads to understanding Jamaica's SEZ Regime

Here are the top ten best reads to understanding Jamaica's Special Economic Zone Regime and the mandate of the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority. Click on the button to expand the story.


The Act provides the legal framework for Jamaica's Special Economic Zone Regime. The Act repeals and replaces the Jamaica Export Free Zone Act and make provisions in respect of the development, regulation, construction, supervision, management and control of Special Economic Zones in Jamaica under the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority.


The SEZ policy tabled in the Jamaican Parliament as a White Paper provides a 'compass' to guide the implementation of the SEZ Regime. The SEZ White Paper encompasses a policy framework for SEZs in Jamaica where globally competitive firms will thrive, driving unprecedented growth and development for all in a logistics-centred economy.


There are a wide variety of frequently asked questions about Jamaica's SEZ Regime. These ranging from the basic (What is a special economic zone?) to the technical (what is a master-concession?). The answers to these and other frequently asked question can be found on the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority's website.


This publication covers the main tax concessions available to entities in the SEZ regime, while Part II will address issues relating to the transitioning of Free Zone companies to the new regime and the new stringent investment requirements.


Part I of this publication outlined the wide range of tax concessions available for SEZ entities. Part II now explores the transitioning provisions for Free Zone companies and regulatory aspects of the regime.


For Jamaica, much like China, special economic zones, are a ‘special’ vehicle to increase its participation in the global economy. It is certainly true that Jamaica can learn many important lessons from China and other countries in the use of SEZs as a tool for economic development, however, to my mind here are seven of the most important...


A Special Economic Zone (SEZ) generally refers to a geographically demarcated area within a country that offers special economic regulations and procedures to entities which operate within the zone....The passing of the Special Economic Zones Act (the Act), which effectively repealed the Jamaica Export Free Zones Act, represented a major initiative by the Government of Jamaica to improve the manner in which SEZs were designated, promoted, developed, operated and managed within the country.


Is a free zone by another name still a free zone? The Special Economic Zones Act (SEZ Act), which came into force on August 1, 2016, has repealed the Jamaica Export Free Zones Act (JEFZA).....The Jamaican Government envisions that SEZs will attract investment and new economic activities - for example, logistics - to Jamaica; generate employment; give domestic suppliers the opportunity to sell to companies located in the SEZs and thus become part of global supply chains; and create other synergies and linkages with the rest of the Jamaican economy to maximise broader positive economic impact.

Vision 2030 Jamaica's, Jamaica's national development plan, is a strategic road map to guide the country to achieve its goals of sustainable development and prosperity by 2030. It is the 'roadmap' for making "Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business”. While it does not expressly mention SEZs, Vision 2030, however provides a development framework that guides the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority in the implementation of the SEZ Regime.


This Wold Bank study sets out the nuts and bolts of SEZs and along with other studies provided a great level of guidance for Jamaica in its policy development. This study analyzes the major development trends in terms of zone configuration, ownership, development, management, and regulation approaches, and identifies good practices. It evaluates the overall economic performance of zones in light of these changes, and assesses the relationship of zones and economic reform efforts. The ultimate goal is to draw out lessons and implications that will enable policymakers to design and facilitate zone development that maximizes benefits to their host economies.

For more information visit the website of the

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Ainsley Brown


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