Trending Topics

Logistics Hub Will Diversify Industries, Make Jamaica Global Competitor

State minister in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams (right), in discussion with custos of Clarendon, William Shagoury - JIS

State minister in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams (right), in discussion with custos of Clarendon, William Shagoury – JIS

As several interest groups continue to label the plans to make Jamaica a world renowned logistics hub a pipe dream, technocrats in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce have sought to defend the government’s plan to forge ahead with the plans.

Dr. Eric Deans, head of the logistics hub task force in the ministry, said the hub has to happen as it will give Jamaica a chance to diversify its industries and become more globally competitive.

“The essence of it (the logistics hub) is to attract companies into Jamaica, to base aspects of their production here so that they can serve this wider market and in order to do that, you have to create the business environment that makes it conducive for these companies to operate,” Deans said at a recent Gleaner Editors’ Forum.

He added that the human capital and resources, which will allow international companies to effectively carry out their productions, would also have to be developed.

Deans explained that all these necessary attributes are currently being concretized as part of the plans to make Jamaica the fourth node in the global logistics chain.

He said the logistics hub would open Jamaica to several industries outside of the agriculture and tourism sectors, with more focus being placed on “high-tech and new industries.”

“There are these large corporations who we are attracting to base their operations in Jamaica, which we will cluster with the range of suppliers that they need in the completion of their processes,” Deans said, adding that they have already been approached by several companies wanting to start operating in the proposed special economic zones.

He said micro, small and medium-size businesses will stand a chance to reap a wealth of benefits from having Jamaica as a globally competitive logistics hub.

Deans argued that the country’s strategic location should be capitalized on and allow businesses to access much larger markets outside of Jamaica.

What people are saying

One thought on “Logistics Hub Will Diversify Industries, Make Jamaica Global Competitor

  1. Steven Smith says:

    There are several issues with this project. The largest one being the placement of the transshipping hub. The purposed site for that is the Goat Islands in the Portland Bight Protected Area. The area is protected by some 86 local laws and international agreements as a biological hotspot. The lack of a firm commitment by the Government of Jamaica has kept the Portland Bight on a very slow track for recovery of the depleted area. Indeed the government admits that this area is a mix use national park.

    The UN approved the application for this area to become Jamaica's first Biosphere Reserve under the UNEP Man and Biosphere Program. The UN estimates for the Mangroves in the Portland Bight Protected Area alone in 2012 where estimated to be worth 45 million USD in carbon sequestration per year. The area is also home to several endanger species. The area also has 3 fish sanctuaries. The announcement for the biosphere was made just 2 months after the signing of the MOU to develop the area. The study for the biosphere reserve took over 10 years to complete, and required the government to sign off on it. The application was deferred by Jamaica's minister of Land, Water, environment & Climate Change Mr. Pickersgill.

    The second issue is one of the area was home to the Taino Tribe. They not only inhabited the Goat Islands but the area around the Portland Bight. The Goat Islands where also used during the slave trade as a holding point before slaves where taken to Kingston. Many sick or injured slaves died there. This makes the Goat Islands of Cultural Heritage importance.

    The largest issue with the area being used is the violation of the amended charter of the Constitution of Jamaica's Freedoms& Rights. This right raises the protection of a healthy environment to that of a human right. To violate or attempt to build in the Portland Bight Protected Area then would be an Human Rights violation under Article 13 (3)(l) of the Constitution of Jamaica.

    Our suggestion has always been that Jamaica can have both the transshipping hub ad the Biosphere Reserve if the transshipping hub is located elsewhere, where it would do less damage. When the Government of Jamaica talks about sustainable economic development they are leaving off the most important part. That is there must be something left for future generations.

    Steven G. Smith.
    Peralto JADE Foundation
    Campaign Organizer
    NO! port on Goat Islands/PBPA, Jamaica.

Leave a Reply

Back to top