Wed | Dec 13, 2017

Logistics Hub Master Plan presented to public

Published:Monday | November 20, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Dr Eric Deans (left), chief executive officer of the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority, and Kirk Philips (centre), deputy director general of the Planning Institute of Jamaica, have a candid conversation with Dr Paul Kent, senior vice-president of Nathan Associates, at the public session held to launch the Jamaica Logistics Hub Master Plan last Thursday at the University of the West Indies Regional Headquarters, Mona.

The Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA), in association with the Planning Institute of Jamaica, has launched the Jamaica Logistics Hub Master Plan.

Prior to the launch last Thursday, during a public session at the University of the West Indies Regional Headquarters, Mona, the master plan was presented to government ministers Audley Shaw and Dr Horace Chang, as well as Senator Aubyn Hill, executive director of the Economic Growth Council.

The JSEZA, which is housed under the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, is the government agency responsible for facilitating the development of Jamaica's special economic zones. The master plan, designed by international consultancy Nathan Associates, in conjunction with Berger ABAM, recommends land use and infrastructure improvements as necessary for successful implementation of the Jamaica Logistics Hub Initiative, which will involve the creation of zones, the upgrading and further development of ports and

the creation of an enabling environment, allowing businesses to fully exploit Jamaica's strategic location.

Final version to be submitted at end of month

With the Jamaica Logistics Hub Master Plan now available to the public, a final draft is to be submitted by the end of the month, following local feedback.

"The road map outlined in this report represents one of the most significant milestones in Jamaica's modern industrial history," said Dr Eric Deans, chief executive officer of the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority, during his opening remarks at, launch of the document last Thursday.

Deans said the master plan "demonstrates the link between the vision [and] the future possibilities for the Logistics Hub, and establishes the overall character, extent, and location of various land uses".

The draft master plan outlined that, at full build-out, there will be more than 3,800 hectares of development across the island, an investment of over US$28 billion and 87,000 direct jobs.

 

Ongoing process

 

Deans emphasised that the development of Jamaica as a Logistics Hub will be an ongoing process. The feasibility study for the Caymanas Special Economic Zone, for example, should be concluded during 2018, followed by its development. Other projects mentioned in the draft master plan that constitute elements of the Logistics Hub, include the dredging of the shipping channel in the Kingston Harbour, private concession of the Kingston Container Terminal and the expansion of Port Esquivel.

The Planning Institute of Jamaica funded the consultancy that developed the master plan, through the Foundations for Competitiveness and Growth Project (FCGP), a US$50-million project designed to strengthen the business environment in Jamaica for private-sector development.

The World Bank provided the loan of US$50 million that funded the FCGP.

As a logistics hub, Jamaica is positioned to be the fourth node in global logistics, joining Singapore, Dubai and Rotterdam. It is expected to establish the country as a significant player in the global shipping and logistics industry, and potential investors and business interests will see themselves as being within striking distance of a market of 800 million people, including those in North America and Brazil.

The FCGP is aimed at enhancing competition in the business environment through the implementation of reforms that will improve the ease of doing business in Jamaica, as well as increase the country's global competitiveness.