· H.E Excellency Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni: The alliance will shape the future of partnerships between international organizations and regional unions
· H.E Excellency Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni: More than 7,000 free zones and more than 100 million people working in free zones across the world
· Conference taking place from June 13 - 17 featuring world-class speakers and senior policymakers, academics, multilateral organizations, and global business leaders from over 100 countries
June 14, 2022
The eighth Annual International Conference (AICE) by the World Free Zones Organization (World FZO) witnessed the signing ceremony of the Global Alliance for Special Economic Zones (GASEZ). GASEZ's inaugural included launching its first conference in Montego Bay, St. James, Jamaica from June 13 - 17 and features world-class speakers, senior policymakers, academics, multilateral organizations, and global business leaders from over 100 countries.
The official launch took place at a signing ceremony during AICE, in the presence of the Most Honourable Andrew Michael Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica, His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Chairman, World FZO and the other founding members of GASEZ.
The 2022 edition under the theme: Zones, your partner for Resilience, Sustainability, and Prosperity and in partnership with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has witnessed the launch of the first annual Global Alliance for Special Economic Zones conference.
The alliance aims to address the most prominent emerging issues related to the special economic zones and highlight the role of partnerships in enabling the exchange of experiences in the post recovery phase.The alliance aims to develop global partnerships to facilitate cross-border and cross-sectoral cooperation in the areas of trade, investments, and achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It also helps in promoting policies to develop frameworks to enable special economic zones at the local, regional and global levels.
GASEZ supports organizations to exchange experiences and best practices between leading experts from the World Investment Forum and others. It is also a platform to launch programs for the development of special economic zones and building model free zones for sustainable development goals.
His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Chairman, World FZO, said: “The World Free Zones Organization reaffirms its commitment to support the development of free zones across the world. Today, we took part of launching the Global Alliance for Special Economic Zones. Our role in this partnership strengthens our efforts to enhance the platforms we provide to shape the future of collaborations between financial institutions, Special Economic Zones developers, governments, and investment promotion agencies. These initiatives aims to develop and create opportunities for regional and global partnerships, which is pivotal for the sustainable growth of free zones.
“Over the last decade, we have witnessed a significant growth in the number and size of of free zones. Today, there is more than 7,000 free zones around the world. We also have more than 100 million people working in free zones across many countries and regions. This shows the significance of this sector and its contribution to the growth of the global economy especially in the post pandemic period.” His Excellency added.
“We are working tirelessly to join efforts with other global trade multi-lateral organizations such as WTO, ILO, UNCTAD and International Road Transport Association to facilitate the growth of the free zones around the world. We are looking forward to continuing our role in creating opportunities, tackle challenges and develop new strategies and models to achieve sustainable growth and a promising future.” His Excellency concluded.
Dr James Zahn, Director, Investment and Enterprise Division, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), said: “Global threats requires strong and innovative partnerships. This alliance will enable us to bring together the resources and expertise of eight founding members of the GASEZ towards one goal, which aims to revitalize the existing zones and advance a new generation of special economic zones that contribute to sustainable development.”
The first day of AICE 2022 started with opening speeches from James Zhan, Dr Samir Hamrouni, CEO, World Free Zones Organization and Co-Chair of GASEZ, United Arab Emirates, as well as Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, Deputy Prime Minister, Jamaica among others.
The first day also included the signing ceremony for the Establishment of GASEZ and three panel discussions highlighting the emerging issues for SEZ policy advocacy, SDG Model Zones and working Together to Facilitate Investment in the Recovery. It also included three special sessions about doing business with UK Freeports, doing business with US Foreign Trade Zone and Zone Management Systems.
Over the years, Annual International Conference and Exhibition (AICE), the World Free Zones Organization’s (World FZO) flagship annual event, has attracted stakeholders from around the world. Top global multilateral institutions, regional developmental organizations and leading private sector enterprises are participating in AICE 2022.
The conference brings together the best minds from across the Free Trade Zone and investor community to share insights through addresses, keynote speeches and panel discussions. This year, participants will have the opportunity to focus on three themes: ‘Resilience, Sustainability, and Prosperity, and how the initiatives zones are undertaking can support business goals.