World Bank offers to help Jamaica's hub planNews // March 6, 2013
Jamaica's plans to become one of the world'fs top four logistics centres has received a major boost after the World Bank committed to providing technical and other assistance for specific aspects of the proposed Global Logistics Hub initiative.
The World Bank Group, through its representative to Jamaica, Giorgio Valentini, has endorsed the Government of Jamaica's plans for the logistics hub initiative, describing it as 'transformational' when implemented.
A 16-person delegation from the World Bank Group visited Jamaica last month for consultations on Jamaica's Country Partnership Strategy. The Country Partnership Strategy will govern the relationship between the island and the World Bank
between 2014 and 2017.
The World Bank Group support includes issues such as Public Private Partnerships, infrastructure needs and infrastructure investment funds, facilitation mechanisms, energy needs, capacity building and providing a skilled workforce.
High level discussions have already started with a number of overseas investors to develop vast areas of prime real estate to handle increased volumes of air and sea cargo. Projects under discussion include growth of container throughput at the Port of Kingston ahead of the expansion of the Panama Canal, as well as the development of commodity ports to handle petroleum products, coal, minerals and grain; the development of an air cargo strong hold through the expansion of existing airports and construction of an air cargo airport as well as the construction of large scale ship repair dry docks and aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities. Special
economic zones are also being conceptualised by a wide range of local and foreign investors.
Once completed the initiative, which is being spearheaded by the Jamaica Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, will, it is hoped, transform Jamaica into the fourth node or pillar in the global supply and logistics chain alongside Singapore, Dubai and Rotterdam.