Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Aubyn Hill, has announced four major free zones and special economic zone (SEZ) developments that are proposed for the parish of Trelawny, including WEST77 Tech Park.
Jamaica is to appeal to investors for the proposed projects at the 8th World Free Zone Organisation’s Annual International Conference (AICE2022). The conference is to be held from June 13-17 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Montego Bay, St James.
Hill said the WEST77 Tech Park is projected to be an internationally recognized epicentre for technology and innovation in Jamaica, and be a world-class facility with clusters of leading innovators in industry, business and education in a mixed-use sustainable environment.
“The Silicon Valley-type project will have an extensive range of users who will create a vibrant and unique business and educational ecosystem. These will include STEM schools, business start-ups, universities, testing labs and multinational corporations (MNCs),” Hill is quoted as saying in a release.
Another major concept project that is an integral part of the proposed development, is the Olympus Sports City. This is expected to form the central point of world-class sports infrastructure on the island, with the best sporting technology and equipment for its development to nurture champions and winners in a sustainable environment.
Catering to baseball, track and field, cricket, soccer, coaches and trainers, sports fans and visitors, the state-of-the-art multisport complex is to offer international standards for the needs of amateur athletes to become champions, Hill outlined.
The project is to incorporate the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium, with access to 694 acres of land that is owned by the Sugar Company of Jamaica (SCJ).
Trelawny is also being marketed as a major location for investment in entertainment, with the proposed Xanadu SEZ to cover 450 acres of the Long Pond Estate at Georgia in the parish.
With a vibrant and inspirational ambiance for arts and cultural societies, the proposed project is expected to be a media and creative hub to provide advanced infrastructure to foster growth and allow the users of the zone to work in synergy and to be highly creative.
The hub is also expected to lure large-scale movie productions and aspiring media professionals, colleague minister, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, stated.
Grange said the particular SEZ is proposed to be an innovative mixed-use zone that merges a Dubai media city and Dubai creative cluster.
“Key components of the project include a film city specialising in Asian, European and local sets; Mughal, Chinese, Japanese theme gardens; a musical arts and cultural centre helipad; post-production offices; a convention centre and hotels; apartments, villas, retail shops and bazaars; an amphitheatre, theme park or waterpark; and a training centre among its features.
In addressing journalists in Trelawny last Friday, Hill said the fourth project, ‘Pandora’, is to open the door for pharmaceutical-like manufacturers to capitalise on over 300 individual medicinal plants that are particular to Jamaica.
“They can do their pharmaceutical work here, repackage and then export from Jamaica to the Caribbean, Latin America and to the biggest market in the world – the United States,” said Hill in a release.
Overall, the Jamaica Special Economic Authority (JSEZA), the lead agency behind the conference and the proposed projects, has planned developments on lands situated in Hyde Hall, Long Pond and Lottery, near the Hampden Estates, and at Georgia.
The AICE2022 conference delegates, many from countries such as Panama, the Philippines, Morocco, Dubai, Curacao, Costa Rica, India and Argentina, are expected to tour the greenfield sites during the event.
According to Hill, AICE places Jamaica on the global stage, not just the zone community, but the entire Jamaican business community.
“We are all in this partnership together for resilience, sustainability and prosperity, and the exposure of Jamaica’s business ecosystem to the globe via the AICE is invaluable,” he stated.