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Jamaica becomes logistics centre for regional humanitarian ef forts

Published:Friday | November 15, 2013 | 12:00 AM

JAMAICA HAS been designated as the subregional centre for the region by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Anthony Hylton, industry, investment and commerce minister, made the revelation on Wednesday at the launch of TechConnect Week. The event was hosted by the shipping industry's leading information technology service provider, Advantum Port Computer Services, at its Newport West offices.

Hylton said OCHA's designation will mean strengthening of the logistics link between Jamaica and Panama, which has been designated the Regional Logistics Centre for Humanitarian Assistance for the Americas.

"As we look to the future, therefore, we are likely to see Jamaica's global logistics hub, operating as a sort of magnet for multinational corporations whose products and services are directly or indirectly involved in the logistics associated with disaster management and in disaster relief," he said.

Hylton said this designation, made at the sixth Meeting on Enhancing Humanitarian Partnerships, held in Jamaica in October, strengthens Jamaica's resolve in expediting the establishment of the hub.

Jamaica's importance

"More important, it sends a clear signal that the global community understands the geostrategic importance of Jamaica to global logistics," he said. Hylton took the designation as Jamaica's efforts being viewed favourably.

"They see the build-out of Jamaica's existing facilities and the promise of the logistics hub as a major partner, and a major reason for making Jamaica the sub-regional operation centre," he said. Hylton said Jamaican authorities are now meeting to iron out the necessary details.

"We at the logistics task force will be engaging in that discussion to ensure that the aspects of logistics, both in hosting and operating the centre and allowing for the relief operation to be ready and to be able to be implemented efficiently, that we play our part in that," he added.

Advantum, a subsidiary of the Shipping Association of Jamaica, is using TechConnect to provide participants with a holistic approach to security and the latest developments in technology as it relates to the logistics chain.