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KINGSTON — Minister with responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, says that plans for the Caymanas Economic Zone development in St. Catherine are being revised.

While not stating the extent of the revisions, he said that Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, has advised Cabinet that the project is being reviewed and “tweaked” and the Industry Minister will speak further on the matter in due course.

Mr. Vaz was addressing journalists at Wednesday’s (September 21) post-Cabinet media briefing, at Jamaica House.

The project, to be undertaken at a cost of some US$2.5 billion, entails the development of some 1,000 acres of state-owned land at Caymanas, just outside Kingston, into a warehousing and light manufacturing hub.  

Mr. Vaz said the project is expected to create “significant employment”, noting that job creation remains a “foremost priority” for the government.

He told journalists that there is “continuous discussion” on the issue within the administration, particularly within the context of efforts to “revive” the bauxite industry; sustaining the successes recorded in tourism; and maintaining the information and communications technology (ICT) programmes.

“Whereas we have bottomed-out, in terms of the harsh effects of the recession, we are clearly showing a trajectory in the right direction, including jobs. Every day, every breath that we breathe in Cabinet has to be (about job creation),” he said, while alluding to Dr. Tufton’s disclosure of 15,000 new jobs being created up to the end of December 2010. 

Turning to the possible re-opening of West Indies Alumina Company’s operations at Kirkvine, Manchester, following on the restart of the company’s Ewarton plant in

St. Catherine, Mr. Vaz said while the matter is being pursued, it is not at a stage where any announcement can be made.

He said that Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. Clive Mullings, “will have to speak more in detail to that”.

 

By Douglas Mcintosh, JIS Reporter