Logistics hub activities to be fast-tracked
Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister Anthony Hylton has indicated that the Government will be ramping up activities geared at making the proposed logistics hub a reality.
He said in the next few weeks, Cabinet should have a better understanding of China Harbour Engineering Company's proposal for a trans-shipment hub on the Goat Islands and decide on how best to proceed.
"Thereafter, assuming there is an interest, then that will form the basis of whatever environmental impact analysis the Government will be making," Hylton said this week at a press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister.
In addition to making a final pronouncement on the Goat Islands as part of the logistics hub development, the minister said going forward, greater emphasis would be placed on getting the public more informed.
He said that the Government had partnered with the Caribbean Maritime Institute to deliver a Logistics 101 certificate course, free of cost, with some 4,000 persons having already completed the course.
Hylton said coming out of last week's logistics hub symposium, "a much broader public-education programme, largely targeted at people at the grass roots and the micro, small and medium-size enterprises sector" will be implemented with the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC).
Harold Davis, deputy chief executive officer of the JBDC, told The Gleaner that as part of the public-education plan, before the end of this quarter, the corporation would be partnering with the ministry to kick-start a series of road shows in major towns across the country.
Hylton added that his ministry was also "actively looking at 'hub-enabling' legislation with a view to putting in place a regulatory entity and regime to support the roll-out of the special economic zones".
He intimated that the finance ministry had already started to look at the appropriate incentive regimes that the Government should offer in the 16 special economic zones and the proposed international financial centre.
Hylton said these pieces of legislation would also help in eliminating the issues that have been "stifling competitiveness in our business environment".