Uganda Free Zones Authority (UFZA) participated in the historic event when the inaugural conference of the Global Alliance for Special Economic Zones Conference (GASEZ) was officially launched, at the 8th Annual International Conference and Exhibition (AICE) 2022 organised by the World Free Zones Organisation (WFZO), in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The Alliance was launched in partnership with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and in the presence of the Most Honorable Andrew Michael Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica.
GASEZ is a global initiative to foster investment for sustainable development through the modernization of Zones across the globe to maximize their contribution to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The alliance seeks to develop global partnerships to facilitate cross-border and cross-sectoral cooperation in the areas of trade, investment and achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and to support SEZs in contributing to resilient and inclusive development. It will lead to shorter and closer supply chains, which can improve regional economies, especially in Africa.
The WFZO AICE 2022, held under the theme “Zones: Your Partner for Resilience, Sustainability and Prosperity”, discussed solutions to the new challenges of adapting to the new industrial revolution, the digital economy, the changing global policy environment with rising protectionism and shifting trade preferences that the SEZs are currently grappling with.
The conference particularly discussed opportunities to benefit from policies on reshoring and near shoring through the creation of SDG Model Economic Zones, catalyzing industrial upgrades, adapting to the new industrial revolution, supply chain resilience, global tax reforms and building New Generation Special Economic Zones. Collaboration among SEZs and Innovation hubs globally through existing associations and networks to maximize SEZs impact was emphasized.