The World Free Zones Organization AICE 2021 – Free Zones: Engine of Safety and Compliance, St. James, Jamaica, 21-24 June, 2021.

Tempo de leitura: 2 minutos

Held annually, the World FZO AICE is the world’s “must attend” event for free zones and associated entities. It is an opportunity to build awareness among World FZO members and prominent participants from across the globe.

In 2021, the World FZO AICE will once again be held virtually, meaning you will have the opportunity to connect with a larger audience than ever before. Over the course of the four-day event, world-class speakers and senior policy makers, academics, multi-lateral organizations and global business leaders from over 150 countries come together with delegations from international free zones to share best practice and foster public awareness of the role and contribution to economic growth that free zones make.

Attendees benefit from broad-based insight on critical issues affecting free zones, as well as various networking opportunities with key international decision makers who have an impact on business, trade and investment.

For the world gradually recovering from the ravages of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the word ‘safety’ has assumed special significance. Undoubtedly, safety has multiple dimensions, not the least of which is people, material and process safety.

Central to the idea of safety is the need for strict compliance with certain well-settled standards of behavior. Most often, these standards are written as Codes of Conduct; but they may be unwritten too but widely and clearly understood for what they are, such as ethical behavior.

In the world’s economic landscape, Free Zones hold a niche position. Their importance is increasing in the context of the growing interdependency among nations and among business entities. As an integral part of the global value chains, Free Zones perform a remarkable economic function. Also, FZs’ economic rationale and operations are somewhat distinctive.

Because FZs are enclaves of excellence and enjoy policy concessions, they are also under the constant glare of the regulators and policymakers who want to ensure that the Codes of Conduct are strictly adhered to. In other words, FZs’ business should not only be legitimate, but also ‘seen to be’ legitimate and in perfect compliance. Therefore, it devolves on FZs to ensure that their safety and compliance standards are firmly anchored and that the strong ethical moorings are not strained.

This gives FZs a phenomenal opportunity to lead the paradigm of safety and compliance, and thereby set an example, and in some sense, function as a lighthouse to other business entities in the turbulent waters of the world trade. To play this stellar role FZs need appropriate tools including human, financial and technological resources. Also, FZs must have an unwavering commitment to ESG principles.

The World Free Zones Organization has introduced a new global compliance standard for clean trade in free zones with its Safe Zone Certification program. Now, FZ stakeholders can come together to explore ways to spread this program worldwide across the entire Global Value Chain of free zones for a cleaner, more compliant and more valuable free zone model. Through this standard, a new generation of modern, safe and clean zones is emerging.

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