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.