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Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda, has announced that the Government’s efforts to divest its factory spaces has so far resulted in the sale of $43 million worth of property.
Mr. Samuda told the House of Representatives yesterday (January 26), that the Factories Corporation of Jamaica was intended to be a developer of facilities, which would then be sold to investors, but that over the years, the Corporation had developed the habit of renting facilities for warehousing.
“So, we made the decision that we would divest ourselves of those factories and we would take those proceeds and build new ones on lands that we own. In that way, we would be able to multiply the effect of providing facilities to accommodate manufacturing,” he said.
The Minister pointed out that in addition to the $43 million worth of property already sold, there were 14 sales valued at $572 million that the Government is in the process of closing. However, he noted that there was still $4 billion worth of properties to be disposed of by the Government.
Mr. Samuda said there was also an immediate demand for 200,000 square feet of Information Communication Technology (ICT) facilities, but that it would be expensive to retrofit the factories. He disclosed that the Corporation was considering floating a bond to help with the financing to provide these spaces.
“In addition, we will be seeking foreign investment that will come in and, perhaps, take all the space we have and build additional spaces that we need, because the demand at the moment is somewhere in the vicinity of one billion square feet of factory space,” he shared.