Port Authority to spend $15b on development in 2018
Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Dr Horace Chang, says the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) is committed to investing some $15 billion in development programmes for a two-year period starting in 2018.
In delivering the main address to local stakeholders at a function at the Falmouth Cruise Ship Pier, where he gave an update on the infrastructural work being undertaken by the PAJ throughout the town of Falmouth, Chang said the agency has also been a reliable partner in carrying out the Government's mandate to create job opportunities for Jamaicans.
"The PAJ is probably, at this point, our leading development agency," Chang declared.
"The agency continues to demonstrate the ability to get things done. It is one of the few agencies we can call on and set targets and can rest assured that they will get things done."
Chang noted that the PAJ is about to complete 63,000 square feet of space in Montego Bay which will generate some 2,000 jobs, while at the same time is in the process of doing some work in Portmore, which should create a further 6,000 jobs by the end of the year.
"In addition to that, there is development in all the cruise ports," he added. "Montego Bay is being transformed into maybe the best multifunction port in the Caribbean. I was there this morning touring the port and looking at the waterfront, and also at what needs to be done."
MoBay Port to be major cargo, fuel centre
The Montego Bay Port in St James is being envisioned as an excellent destination for not only cruise ships, but a major cargo and fuel centre for the north coast, says Dr Horace Chang, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.
"The entire north coast is being looked at for development," he further revealed. "Ocho Rios is being transformed by the PAJ and we are looking at Port Antonio as well. The Kingston Freeport Terminal, while divested, is being developed as the primary trans-shipment port in the Caribbean. And we are not stopping there! We are also thinking of doing some cruise shipping from a different nature than you do here in Falmouth."
Dr Chang added that each resort and cruise shipping town will "have its own character", where history, cultural and entertainment offerings will be used as an enticement for visitors.
"We intend to make Falmouth one of, if not the finest destination in the Caribbean, with its own character," he continued. "Ocho Rios will have its own features and could, in fact, end up with more ships going there because of its location. The character of Ocho Rios will certainly be different and we will no doubt capitalise on the fact that it was formerly a fishing village."
"Our mandate is to upgrade and enhance our port facilities so they can be up to world-class standards," he added.
He further pointed out that Montego Bay also has the potential to be the business hub of the Caribbean, a dream "that could soon become a reality".