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A major development forum is to take place early next year to bring together local, regional and international investors, financers and public sector entities in a showcase of development projects in tourism, port facilities, water, housing and energy.
The Prime Minister told Development Council members that it was essential to have such a forum so that stakeholders could be part of the development process that is taking place and understand the overall vision and direction of the development agenda.
The Prime Minister proposed the forum after a presentation on the ten-year development plan for the Kingston Container Terminal at the monthly meeting of the Development Council which took place at Jamaica House today (Wednesday December 14, 2005).
The Hon. Noel Hylton, Head of the Port Authority of Jamaica told Development Council that the ten-year expansion plan will bring the annual capacity of the port to over 5 million TEUs per year. Out turn on the 10 year plan will see the PAJ accumulating net surplus of US$40b and cash assets of US$29b. The benefits to the country include employment of some 2,725 persons in various areas such as stevedoring, construction, trucking and in shipping agencies.
Meanwhile, two hundred and thirty one million (US$231) United States dollars will be spent to fund the fifth phase of the expansion of the Kingston Container Terminal which is expected to be completed in 2007. Of this amount, US$158.55m is for infrastructure and US$72.86m will be used to purchase equipment. Early next year, the Port Authority expects to sign a ten-year contract with another major shipping line following its recent signing with Maersk which is adding 600,000 TEUs next year. Mr. Hylton told Development Council that other major shipping lines are in line to follow-suit during 2006-2007.
Another government entity, JAMPRO, which gave an update on the JAMPRO Cricket Legacy Strategy told the Council that the Blue Print for Brand Jamaica and Strategy will be ready by the end of this week. JAMPRO is using Cricket World Cup 2007 to achieve a 2012 vision of developing Jamaica as a global hub for creative industries.
Members of the Development Council include the Ministers of Development,Tourism, Water and Housing, Transport and Works, Agriculture and Commerce, Science & Technology
Members from the private sector include Mr. Richard Byles, William McConnelland Colin Steele.