SAJ Reaping Dividends from New Economy Project


The Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ) is working closely with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under its New Economy Project, to improve cargo importation and link stakeholders in the industry through the use of modern, information communications technology.
Harry Maragh, President of the SAJ, made the disclosure at the Association’s Maritime Week luncheon at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston recently.
The SAJ President said that the project, which started last year, has so far made it possible for custom brokers to pay import duties on-line. He said the ultimate aim was to get all stakeholders in the industry on-line, so that ships arriving at the island’s ports could be cleared in a more timely fashion.
Under the same project, Mr. Maragh informed that a feasibility study “for the creation of a system that will be the flagship in the region” was recently conducted by a team of experts from Maritime Cargo Processing, a leading provider of port community systems in the United Kingdom.
“We await the final report of this study and anticipate the blueprint”, he said. The project should be completed by July of next year.
Turning to activities to mark Maritime Week, which is being observed under the theme: ‘Committed People Working for Safe, Secure and Clean Seas’, Mr. Maragh said, “it is significant that this year’s theme underscores the vital inter-connection between the human resources of maritime trade and the effort to establish and maintain standards for safe, secure and environmentally friendly business practices”.
He stated further, that as the IMO continued to formulate and promulgate maritime standards, these should be endorsed by member-states and embraced by the individuals, who were expected to implement them.The Association is committed to collaborating with the relevant Government agencies to influence policies and the required action for creating safe, secure and clean seas in the Jamaican sea trade environment,” he stated.
On the issue of crime, Mr. Maragh said, “crime has been transformed into a ugly creature that continues to threaten the economic future of Jamaica. Unless we deal with this now, we run the risk of eroding the progress we have made so far”.
He suggested, “we need to adopt creative crime fighting measures to address the crime situation. At the same time, we need to implement strategies to create necessary economic activity to generate employment for Jamaicans and facilitate investments for growth and development”.
Maritime Week was observed from Sunday, September 21 to Friday, September 26.

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