|World Bank offers to aid Jamaica's logistics hub plans|
|World Bank commits to providing assistance to the proposed Global Logistics Hub initiative.
|Updated on 07 Mar 2013 14:44 GMT
|Jamaica’s plans to become one of the world’s 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’ and which, when implemented, will significantly enhance Jamaica’s potential for growth.
A 16-person delegation from the World Bank Group visited Jamaica last month for consultations on Jamaica’s Country Partnership Strategy, which will feature the Logistics Hub Initiative. 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. The World Bank Groiup is also concerned with providing a safety net for the most vulnerable in society.
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 conceptualized 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 aim to transform Jamaica into the fourth node or pillar in the global supply and logistics chain alongside Singapore, Dubai and Rotterdam. A critical element in the equation to make the Logistics Hub successful is said to be the involvement of suitable, longR08;term investors.
The Government of Jamaica is already said to be in discussion with some prospective partners as well as looking for new ones.
The World Bank sees the initiative operating within the context of the Caribbean Growth Forum, a joint venture between the InterR08;American Development Bank, the World Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank. The World Bank Group has already started to provide technical assistance in developing precursors of the master plan for the logistics hub and in support of the Port Community System.