By Andrea Braham
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- Permanent Secretary in the ministry of industry, investment and commerce, Vivian Brown, says the Jamaica Global Logistics Hub represents a fresh opportunity to breathe new life into the country’s manufacturing sector.
Brown, who was addressing the launch of the Jamaica Logistics Hub Symposium: ‘Transforming Jamaica’s Business Landscape’, held at JAMPRO’s head office in Kingston on January 9, emphasized that businesses must prepare for opportunities that will arise from the hub.
“For our manufacturers, this means greater integration in the global goods production and distribution chains with their base in Jamaica,” he said.
The permanent secretary urged persons to seize opportunities for training and eventual employment in the logistics sector, through HEART Trust/NTA, Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI), and the various private educational institutions currently offering logistics-related courses.
He pointed out that small businesses are a critical aspect of the logistics industry in any part of the world and Jamaica should ensure that micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) entrepreneurs are included in the economic zones, and become an integral part of the global value chain.
“In that way, the MSME sector will be linked into the various mega projects under the Jamaica Global Logistics Hub. This will necessarily require that our MSMEs retool and reorganize their facilities to meet global standards,” he noted.
Brown further added that establishment of the logistics hub means integrating the country’s productive capacity into the global value and supply chains, whether in agriculture, manufacturing, information technology, or the creative/cultural industries.
“We are, therefore, modernizing and expanding our industrial infrastructure as a basis for attracting the right investments into the logistics hub and to transform, not only our landscape, but also our economy and the lives of our people,” he said.
He said that conceptualization of the Jamaica logistics hub “did not just come out of the blue”, but is based on sound analysis and appreciation of the unique attributes that the country possesses.
Brown said the upcoming two-day symposium, set for January 21 to 22, is essential to the process of creating greater public and stakeholder awareness, and understanding of the logistics hub.
Meanwhile, president of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC), Francis Kennedy, said the symposium will bring together experts from the world’s leading logistics hubs, business leaders, and international funding agencies to share insights, provide clarity on related issues as well as discuss factors critical to the success of the hub initiative.
Day one of the symposium will focus on Jamaica’s integration into global value and supply chains, outlining the government’s vision and infrastructural plans in developing a logistics hub; and explore the Jamaica logistics hub and the national growth agenda.
On day two there will be presentations from representatives of countries with logistics hubs.
The symposium is being organized by the JCC and the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, in collaboration with JAMPRO and the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC).