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The World Free Zones Organization and the United Nations Trade and Development Organization launch the Global Alliance for Special Economic Zones

The World Organization of Free Zones announced the establishment of the Global Alliance for Special Economic Zones, on the sidelines of the activities of the eighth session of the organization’s annual international exhibition and conference, which is being held in Montego Bay, St. Multilateral organizations and global corporate leaders from more than 100 countries.

The annual international exhibition and conference, which is held under the slogan: Free Zones: Your Optimal Partner for Flexibility, Sustainability and Prosperity, witnessed the launch of the first annual session of the Global Alliance Conference for Special Economic Zones, in cooperation between the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the World Organization for Free Zones, which addresses the most prominent issues Emerging and related to special economic zones and the role of partnerships in enabling the exchange of experiences during the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The launch of the Global Alliance for Special Economic Zones came during an official ceremony held as part of the organization’s annual international exhibition and conference, in the presence of His Excellency Andrew Michael Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica, His Excellency Dr. Muhammad Al Zarooni, President of the World Organization of Free Zones, and a number of the founding members of the alliance. The alliance includes UNCTAD, the World Organization of Free Zones, the Organization of African Economic Zones, the Association of Free Trade Zones of the Americas, the International Association of Science Parks, the National Association of Free Trade Zones, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority and the World Federation of Free and Special Economic Zones.

The Alliance aims to develop global partnerships to facilitate cross-border and cross-sectoral cooperation in the areas of trade, investment promotion and the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as well as collectively promoting policies to develop frameworks to empower special economic zones at the local, regional and global levels, in addition to learning from peers from Through the exchange of experiences and best practices, including through the World Investment Forum and others, as well as the launch of participating programs to develop special economic zones and build model areas for sustainable development goals.

His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, President of the World Organization of Free Zones, stressed that the formation of the alliance confirms the organization’s commitment to support efforts to develop free zones around the world, as it comes within the framework of efforts to enhance the organization’s contribution to shaping the future of partnerships between financial institutions, developers of special economic zones and governments and investment promotion companies, noting that this initiative aims to develop regional and international partnerships and provide them with growth opportunities, which is a pivotal factor for achieving sustainable growth in the free zones.

His Excellency added: “The number and areas of free zones have witnessed remarkable growth during the past ten years, as there are today about 7,000 free zones around the world in which more than 100 million workers and employees from different countries work, which highlights the importance of this sector and its significant contribution to the growth of the global economy. Especially during the recovery period from the health crisis.

He continued: “We are making unremitting efforts to cooperate with global multilateral organizations, including the World Trade Organization, the International Labor Organization, UNCTAD and the International Road Transport Union, to support the development of free zones around the world. We look forward to continuing our contribution to providing opportunities, overcoming challenges, and developing new strategies and models, to achieve sustainable development and ensure a promising future for the sector.”

James Zane, Head of Investment and Enterprise at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, said: “Facing global challenges requires strong and innovative partnerships, and here enables the strength of this alliance as it brings together the resources and expertise of 8 founding members towards one goal of strengthening existing free zones and developing a new generation of zones.” private economic sectors that effectively contribute to sustainable development.

This year’s edition of the annual international exhibition and conference of the World Organization of Free Zones aims to organize more in-depth dialogues on the future of the sector, as participants present analyzes that shed light on the future of supply chains and free zones, and discuss a wide range of legal issues around the developments in the trade sector Regional and international, as well as new technologies and emerging trends in the free zone sector.

The first day of the 2022 Annual International Exhibition and Conference kicked off with opening speeches by James Zahan, Director, United Nations Trade and Development Organization, and Co-Chair of the Global Alliance for Special Economic Zones, Switzerland; Dr. Samir Hamrouni, Executive Director of the World Free Zones Organization and Co-Chair of the Global Alliance for Special Economic Zones, United Arab Emirates; and Dr. Horace Chang, Deputy Prime Minister of Jamaica, among others.

The first day witnessed the holding of three dialogue sessions that shed light on emerging issues, to support the policies of the Special Economic Zones and the Model Zones that contribute to achieving sustainable development goals and cooperate together to facilitate the launch of investments during the economic recovery period. In its first day, the event also included three special sessions on doing business with free ports in the UK, the US Foreign Trade Area and zone management systems.

The annual international exhibition and conference of the World Organization of Free Zones, the main event of the World Organization of Free Zones, succeeded in attracting the most important stakeholders from all over the world for years, and this year’s session hosted the most prominent global multilateral organizations, regional development organizations and leading private companies.

The event brings together the brightest minds from all aspects of the free zone sector and the investor community, to exchange views and experiences through speeches and holding dialogue sessions. Participants in this session have the opportunity to focus on three topics: flexibility, sustainability and prosperity, as well as the role of economic zones in supporting efforts to achieve Corporate goals.

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