Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Driving development

Published:Sunday | June 14, 2015 | 6:00 AM

The task of driving development and the concurrent job and economic growth is of the highest priority in Jamaica, yet we seem unable to get anything of worth in this regard.

We are a maritime nation - an island that sits on one of the world's most active shipping channels. We are in a tropical region, surrounded by warm water 365 days per year. The operation of the world's shipping industry requires ships be taken out of the water every six years and recertified as seaworthy. All of this provides us with natural competitive advantage.

Jackson Bay has not generated the ire of the environmentalists as a suitable location. Job creation is significant. All of this has been recognised by the planning authorities here at home.

The following is the 'Terms of Reference Market Study for the Establishment of Dry Docking Facilities in Jamaica'.

 

"1. Background

 

Jamaica's geographical location relative to the major trade routes connecting Europe, the Far East and the US East and Gulf coasts via the Panama Canal gives the country the competitive advantage in terms of the potential for providing transiting traffic with a range of shipping services. The country has recognised this and has developed container port facilities to attract trans-shipment business. Jamaica seeks to accrue much more from its maritime sector by leveraging its port facilities to attract and develop a wider range of services not only to visiting ships but those transiting the Panama Canal. The Government of Jamaica, in its Vision 2030 National Development Plan, has identified the establishment of Jamaica as a shipping centre providing a range of targeted ancillary shipping services as a major strategy to generate income and employment for the economy. A range of services/activities has been identified which could be a part of Jamaica's maritime portfolio, including crewing, bunkering, dry-docking/ship repairs, ship management, ship finance, ship chartering, marine insurance, ship broking, and ship chandelling.

There are no dedicated ship repair or dry-dock facilities in Jamaica, and while a rudimentary level of ship repair does take place, there is no structure to the industry. If the country is to accrue the perceived benefits of ship repair, there is an urgent need for a study to quantify the potential as well as develop a cogent strategy for its exploitation.

The Government of Jamaica, through the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), submitted a request to the secretariat seeking assistance to conduct a market study for the establishment of ship repair/dry-docking facilities in Jamaica.

 

2. Purpose of the Project

 

The overall goal of this project is to assist Jamaica to become world-class maritime logistic hub in the region.

3. Description of the Project

The broad objective of the project is to examine the feasibility and identify an appropriate plan of action towards the establishment of a structured and strategic plan that will enable Jamaica to establish itself as a provider of efficient ship-repair and dry-docking services in the region.

 

4. Scope of Work

 

The consultant(s) will work closely with the project manager from the Special Advisory Services Division (SASD) and, using internationally acknowledged methodologies, will perform the following tasks:

1. Situation analysis to address the following:

a) Overview/analysis of ship repair/dry-docking in Jamaica.

b) The size, type and number of vessels currently being repaired.

c) Infrastructure in place.

d) Support/ancillary services in place and their level of adequacy.

e) Forecast of ship repair demand over the next five years (best, worst and most probable scenarios).

f) SWOT analysis.

2.Market assessment and forecast, including:

a) Overview and analysis of the global and regional ship-repair market, including factors that drive the development of the industry and future trends.

b) An assessment of the ship-repair market in the region (US East and Gulf Coast, Caribbean, South and Central America).

c) The current and future demand for ship repair in the region in terms of, size, type and number of vessels and potential key characteristics of the vessels.

d) The supply of ship-repair facilities, the providers, market sectors, delivery infrastructure, volume of business, quality and pricing structure

e) Competitive analysis, including factors which promote the choice of facilities.

f) Identification of downstream ancillary support service industries.

g) Administrative and technical skill sets required to support ship repair.

h) Future facilities development in the region.

Economic impact assessment, including

a) Assess the potential contribution of Jamaica's ship-repair activities to the country's GDP, balance of payment, capital inflows, and employment opportunities

b) Undertake a comparative study of the impact of ship-repair activities in Jamaica and other jurisdictions (Bahamas, Singapore).

c) Assessment of the environmental impact based on international best practices and the identification of necessary regulatory requirement.

4. Strategic planning

a) Recommend short-, medium- and long-term strategies required to develop Jamaica as a ship-repair/dry-docking centre.

b) Developed clustering strategy.

c) Preparation of detailed framework, budget and strategy for the development of Jamaica as a regional ship-repair/dry-dock centre.

d) Conduct two stakeholder consultation workshops.

 

5. Consultants' Output

 

The expected outputs of the assigned are:

- Market Study

- Guidelines for identification of suitable locations for ship-repair/dry-docking facilities.

- Develop a strategic action plan to enable Jamaica to become ship-repair/dry-docking centre in the region.

* Short-, medium- and long-term strategies required to develop the ship-repair and dry-docking facilities in Jamaica.

*Action plan, budget and strategy to enable Jamaica to become ship-repair and dry-docking centre in Jamaica.

 

6. Expected Project Outcomes

 

* Increased activities and investments in ship repair and dry-docking sector in Jamaica.

* Increased inflows of FDI.

* Increase in GDP growth rate.

* Increased employment opportunities in the dry-docking sector activities.

Where are we in regard to this matter? Answers are needed from the PIOJ, Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Ministry of Works, Ministry of Finance, JAMPRO, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and indeed the Cabinet of Jamaica.

The country is starving for development. Vision needs bold, quick implementing action.

- Ronald Mason is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and nationsagenda@gmail.com.