Above: Investment Minister Anthony Hylton at the roundtable this week (JIS Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
With the expansion of the Panama Canal on the way, Jamaica’s proposal to establish the country as a global logistics hub is integral its long-term growth, according to Investment Minister Anthony Hylton.
Hylton, who was speaking at a roundtable on Panama’s logistics platform in relation to Jamaica this week, said that while there was no “magic bullet, no panacea to cure all our economic woes,” the country’s government was confident that the proposed hub would result in “some level of macroeconomic stability.”
“With the projected doubling of the capacity of the Panama Canal by 2015 and the resultant increase in transshipment traffic throughout the region, Jamaica must plan and be prepared to maximize the economic opportunities which will arise,” he said. “We must be ready to stake our claim, carve out our niche and play a larger role in international shipping.”
That could come as a result of Jamaica’s location in relation to Panama and north/south trade routes, he said.
“The country is in a prime and highly advantageous position to play a major role in international shipping,” he said. ”
According to estimates, the global logistics market will reach a value of $4 trillion by 2013.
Jamaica’s logistics hub proposal has six elements: the dredging of Kingston Harbour, the expansion of a port facility at Fort Augusta and Gordon Cay, a Dry Dock facility at Jackson Bay, the establishment of a transshipment commodity port near Yallahs, the Caymanas Economic Zone and the construction of a cargo and maintenance, repair and operations facility at Clarendon’s Vernamfield.