JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The World Bank has been a key player with the Government and the private sector in formulating the logistics hub project.
  • The World Bank has pledged its support for the initiative.
  • The logistics hub initiative is a game changing project, with strong linkages and benefits for the average Jamaican.

World Bank Representative to Jamaica, Giorgio Valentini, says that Jamaica could begin to see some “big results” from the Global Logistics Hub Initiative this year.

He was addressing the opening day of the Jamaica logistics hub symposium at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston on January 21.

The World Bank has been a key player with the Government and the private sector in formulating the logistics hub project, which is aimed at driving investment and creating sustainable employment over the long-term.

Mr. Valentini said that having worked on the project over the past two years, “we are really at a turning point”, noting that “this year can be the year in which Jamaica can see some of those big results coming to fruition.”

He said however, that to fully realize the benefits “we also need to think very clearly about how you as a society can change, can stimulate, can transform yourself to be a more innovation-type society.”

While pledging the World Bank’s continued support for the initiative, he stated that “we or the other partner institutions will not be able to do anything, unless there is really a change in the culture, a change in terms of making it happen”.

The World Bank Representative stated though, that he has already observed a change in how persons view the initiative.

“To me, compared to what I saw last year….I think there is really a change in the way people behave, the way people think, the way people talk about the logistics hub initiative compared to last year. People see those economic activities, they see the international companies that are coming,” he noted.

Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Collin Bullock, also shared the view that there is a need for a cultural shift in Jamaica which, he argued is essential “in terms of enhancing our capacity to manage a logistics process”.

“As Jamaicans, we need to enhance our capacity for time management and our values and attitudes relative to doing things on time, doing things efficiently and accomplishing things as committed,” he said.

Mr. Bullock further pointed out that the logistics hub initiative is a game changing project, with strong linkages and benefits for the average Jamaican, small and large firms, and the country in general.

“It provides the opportunity for an emergence of a new sub industry and the expansion and modernization of existing industries and significant human capital development through the expansion of skills within the labour force,” he said.

The two-day logistic hub symposium is being organised by the JCC and the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, in collaboration with JAMPRO and the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC).