Keisha Hill, Gleaner Writer
The local chapter of the Eisenhower Fellowships Committee welcomed international business mogul and past fellow, Solomon Cai Chenyu, from China, to speak at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel recently in commemoration of Jamaica's Eisenhower Day of Fellowship.
Having made significant investments in the supply chain management industry, Cai Chenyu's input ignited ideas for global trade with Jamaicans. He highlighted the opportunities for Jamaica as an important logistics hub linking Asia with North America. Cai Chenyu cited the country's geographic location and proximity to the United States, and Cuba to the North, and South America and the Panama Canal to the south and west.
Dubbed as the 'Jewel of the Crown' Cai Chenyu said, with Jamaica's one-hour flying to Miami and three hours to New York and a developed telecoms infrastructure with available ICT workforce, the country is ideal to facilitate the development of a logistics hub.
MAJOR SHIPPING LINES
"Jamaica is served by some 30 major shipping lines, free movement of capital, and a developed capital market exists, with a competent English-speaking workforce. The road network is being upgraded, with two international airports in addition to a network of small ports and an established container terminal port to be expanded," Cai Chenyu said.
Cai Chenyu also stated that, with Jamaica's trade agreement in CARICOM and other regional and international organisations, and with the 'Third Set of Locks Project' for the Panama Canal estimated to be completed by 2015, it will allow large freight ships to pass through the canal for the first time.
"The 'Super Post-Panamax' vessels will only operate on very few harbours. This creates an opportunity for Jamaica to develop an international trans-shipment port. Developing an international trans-shipment port will benefit the Jamaican economy and generate employment through your trans-shipment port's operation, manufacturing, cargo inventory, and becoming a trading and financing centre in the Caribbean region," Cai Chenyu said.
Cai Chenyu's business, Globelink China Investment Limited, includes international transportation services, logistics financing, logistics facilities, a shipping line and airline agency, and commercial real estate and investment.
"Jamaica can attract Asian investment by setting up an Asian industry park, attracting Asian vessels as a transit hub to the Caribbean and the US, and the construction of an Asian product inventory centre in Jamaica," he said.
Eisenhower Day of Fellowship was first celebrated around the world in 2008. Jamaica has celebrated Eisenhower Day of Fellowship for the last two years. It is non-profit, non-partisan organisation created in 1953 as a birthday gift to President Dwight Eisenhower from a group of prominent US business leaders.