PM commits to making Jamaica a logistics hub under current administration

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prime Minister Andrew Holness in his contribution to the 2017/2018 budget debate yesterday at Gordon House said, the goal of making Jamaica a centre for logistics will be realised under his administration.
The prime minister during his presentation said that beyond the trans-shipment of cargo, the Government intends to develop Jamaica as a logistics hub, with facilities for the warehousing, consolidation, repackaging and re-exporting of the cargo brought to the country in containers or in bulk form.
He further stated that in order for the government to develop Jamaica as a premier international logistics hub, his administration will be appointing an enterprise team led by Michael Lee Chin, who is also the chairman of the Economic Growth Council.
He said the team will be responsible for assessing customs reform, shipping regulation reform, logistics activity zones and logistics investment promotion.
The enterprise team will also seek to: integrate the efforts of all the relevant project units, statutory agencies, ministries and public bodies into a coherent, unified project team, capable of advancing the objectives more quickly and equipped to interface more effectively with international and local investors, Holness explained.
The prime minister said the government intends to develop special economic zones where light manufacturing and assembly operations can be undertaken for the international market.
He further stated that the government intends to create an environment that attracts international marquee or ‘anchor’ investors as well as other innovative knowledge based firms to relocate their regional and international operations to Jamaica.
He added that to further develop logistics operations, the government has identified strategically located parcels of land for the construction of warehousing and to facilitate manufacturing, assembly and other value added activities.
Holness said that the government has also enacted the Special Economic Zone law and regulations as a critical component of the Logistics Hub Initiative, saying “this will provide the legislative framework to attract manufacturing companies and technology firms to engage in value added activities on goods trans-shipped through Jamaica”.
He disclosed that a Free Zone Council has been established to oversee the enactment of the new regulations, adding that in conjunction with this SEZ Legislation, the Customs Act is being revised with a view to rendering it more supportive of the development of logistics operations linked to the trans-shipment of goods through the island’s sea and airports.

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