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Hylton: Investor interest growing in hub projects

Published:Friday | January 24, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Anthony Hylton says there is growing international investor interest in Jamaica's logistics hub projects, citing two port operators out of Asia and a shipping company.

"Do not believe that the global investment community is not prepared to invest. The clearest evidence of that is some of the major global actors are vying for the port of Kingston," Hylton said on the closing day of the Jamaica Logistcs Hub Symposium in Kingston.

He named Singapore Port Authority and Dubai World, which is one of the largest logistics operators worldwide, among the serious contenders for Kingston port.

"The third is a consortium of the largest shipping lines in the world," the industry minister said.

Hylton also claimed that other projects such as the dry dock facility, the commodity port and the Caymanas Economic Zone (CEZ) were generating "multiple investor interest" both locally and overseas. The Factories Corporation, which is spearheading the CEZ, said earlier this month that it has identified an investor for the first phase of the project and awaits Cabinet sign-off to finalise a deal.

The symposium, staged by the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) and the ministry, was attended by some 700 people on the first day and about 600 on Wednesday, JCC President Francis Kennedy told the Financial Gleaner. Kennedy said the numbers were down slightly on the second day due the Jamaica Stock Exchange's capital markets conference.

Hylton said that the "intent and objective" of the Logistics Hub Symposium has been achieved.

"People are now better informed about where we are, the challenges, and what needs to be done," he said. "The conversation in the public space should now take on a different dimension."