KINGSTON, Jamaica, Mar 20, CMC – The Jamaica government says it is pleased with the overwhelming response to its offer to develop the Caymanas Economic Zone which is one of several components of the Global Logistics Hub project aimed at taking advantage of the anticipated increase in maritime activities from the widening of the Panama Canal.
Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister Anthony Hylton, said the reaction to the first offer is such that the Portia Simpson Miller government can go ahead with the multi-million dollar project.
“The response has come from all over the world and is at a level that we don’t need to re-tender. What we have on the table is sufficiently exciting that we need to just proceed to get it done,” Hylton said, adding that the tremendous response confirms that “we have a world class project that everybody is interested in”.
Hylton said that Jamaican investors were among the bidders who are being evaluated and that he expects that the results from the bids would be announced within the next two weeks.
Work on the project will begin in May and the government said the Caymanas Economic Zone will operate as a multi-use facility catering to the Information Communication Technology (ICT), manufacturing, and agro-processing sectors.
The other elements of the project are dredging of the Kingston Harbour; expanding port facility at Fort Augusta and Gordon Cay; establishing a Dry Dock facility at Jackson Bay, Clarendon; establishing a transshipment commodity port facility near Yallahs, St. Thomas; and developing an air cargo and passenger facility at Vernamfield, in Clarendon.
Hylton said that by April 2015, the Caymanas Economic Zone should be functioning and that the Port of Kingston dredged to the extended depth to receive the Super Panama vessels.
This will ensure that the vessels can call on Jamaica and the containers can be transferred across the port to other vessels or go into the logistics centre, he said.
The Global Logistics Hub project was unveiled last year and is one of the planks on which the government says it intends to grow the Jamaican economy.