Jamaica: Caymanas Special Economic Zone makes sense
2019, November 1: Dubbed ‘the centre-piece’ of Jamaica’s Global Logistics Hub initiative, the Caymanas Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) is best described as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in which business production entities are housed and facilitated with space, modernised systems, skills and ready access to global supply routes.
As the Jamaican government describes it, “… a modern space where businesses can easily function and (where) investors’ needs are met”.
The CSEZ is conceived as a secure and well-facilitated zone for various business engaged in warehousing, information and communications technology, business process outsourcing, manufacturing, logistics and other business-related activities.
Jamaica’s Global Logistics Hub Initiative makes economic sense because of the country’s fortuitous reality of being located next major global trade routes. As in the real estate business, value (read ‘success’) of logistics hubs are largely predetermined by three fundamental factors: (1) location, (2) location and (3) location. In this regard, the CSEZ is well endowed, with its proximity to: the giant North American Market, the Panama Canal, a major international seaport; an international airport; the largest labour pool in the Region; and, a modernized road system that facilitates efficient movement of produce and raw materials.
However, there are other factors that make economic sense, not the least of which is the Jamaica government’s willingness to make the venture a great investment for some global enterprise willing to engage in a partnership to develop and operate the CSEZ.
Up to mid-year, the Jamaica government was still “shopping” for what was described as a ‘world-class private partner’. The partner would be required to invest in, develop and operate the CSEZ as a fully serviced and effectively managed operation that offers global standard utilities and connectivity. In this regard, the selected operator will target and engage tenants and ensure the delivery of services including security and environment protection.
The Government of Jamaica, through the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA), will provide the site, a 236-hectare greenfield site in close proximity to the Port of Kingston. The government is also willing also give national and international marketing support. [See sidebar].
In its maturity, the projections for the CSEZ include the creation of 70,000 jobs. 
CSEZ – JAMAICAN GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
The Government of Jamaica committed to provide:
- Attractive fiscal incentives
- Land … and make the site available for use
- Trade facilitation facilities … as investors require
- Bulk Water .. adequate bulk water supplied to CSEZ sites
- Reliable power … through a high voltage connection to a ring transmission main; priority in the event of load-shedding; ability to install a power plant on the site; and, provision for rooftop solar, battery and micro-turbine generators on site.
- Construction permits … for the CSEZ developer.
The government is working to reduce electricity tariffs in Jamaica, which will benefit the CSEZ. The government also plans to expand the Soapberry Wastewater Treatment Plant to serve the CSEZ.