Port could drive growth downtown
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Permit me to add my 10 cents' worth to the ideas of Dr Glen Christian, outlined in the Public Affairs article 'Bold plans for downtown' (Sunday Gleaner, September 18, 2016). For decades, we have been hearing of plans to redevelop downtown. This did not surprise me as, from time immemorial, countries have depended on ports to stimulate development. This is what was becoming apparent 50 years ago when nightlife downtown was really buzzing. The money was coming from the port. What went wrong?
Dr Christian speaks of "low-hanging fruits" and "shovel-ready projects". He also mentioned cruise shipping. I would go further by stating that our port could be the major driving engine of economic growth that would fit perfectly with what he is already proposing.
Movement of freight by sea is expected to triple by 2020 - 10 years before our 2030 development deadline. The burden on ports is destined to soar. Currently, in the US, port activity generates more than 15 million jobs and adds some US$780 billion to the GDP annually through shipping-related enterprises, trade services, inland transportation, cargo and vessel services. In Newark Bay, there are fishery nurseries and wildlife. In Boston and Baltimore, there are tourist attractions.
Add a port with expanding market opportunities to Dr Christian's plans and the result will be enormous economic vitality.
Stony Hill, St Andrew