Feature
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (left, standing); and Transport and Mining Minister, Hon. Robert Montague (second left, standing), observe as Chief Executive Officer of Mexican entity, Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico S.A.B. De C.V. (GAP), Raul Revuelta Musalem (second right, seated), signs the 25-year Norman Manley International Airport concession agreement in October 10. Also observing (from left, seated) are President and Chief Executive Officer, Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ), Audley Deidrick; AAJ Chairman, Hon. William Shagoury; and Head of GAP subsidiary, PAC Kingston Airport Limited, Saul Villarreal Garcia. At right (standing) is NMIA Enterprise Team Chairman, Paul B. Scott.

Story Highlights

  • Several private-sector leaders have welcomed the Government’s decision to forge more public-private partnerships for the management and operation of State assets.
  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says this is being embarked on in a bid to pair targeted assets with the expertise determined to be capable of maximising the entities’ outputs.
  • Examples of this include divestment of the management and operations of the Norman Manley and Sangster International Airports to Mexican entity, Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico S.A.B. De C.V. (GAP), and the Kingston Container Terminal (KCT) to Kingston Freeport Terminal Limited (KFTL), a subsidiary of the global terminal operators, CMA-CGM Group.

Several private-sector leaders have welcomed the Government’s decision to forge more public-private partnerships for the management and operation of State assets.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says this is being embarked on in a bid to pair targeted assets with the expertise determined to be capable of maximising the entities’ outputs.

Examples of this include divestment of the management and operations of the Norman Manley and Sangster International Airports to Mexican entity, Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico S.A.B. De C.V. (GAP), and the Kingston Container Terminal (KCT) to Kingston Freeport Terminal Limited (KFTL), a subsidiary of the global terminal operators, CMA-CGM Group.

Additionally, Mr. Holness says the move is in keeping with the Government’s thrust to create an ownership economy by affording Jamaicans the opportunity to own shares in assets shortlisted for divestment, as is the case with Wigton Wind Farm Limited, which is being listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE).

Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF) President, David Wan, lauds the Government on this decision, particularly as it will potentially benefit individuals.

“It’s good for the Jamaican economy, it’s good for the Jamaican investors, and it’s good for the public if they spread out the ownership of these enterprises to [local interests]. There is nothing but benefits to be derived from that undertaking, as it will create wealth for individuals,” he tells JIS News.

Noting that the economy is “performing quite well”, Mr. Wan argues that if more citizens “feel like they have a stake in, and are benefiting from it, this will redound to the benefit of the entire economy”.

“If these people make money by investing in government assets that are divested, then they will be able to use some of that money to start small businesses or educate their children. It’s going to give us so many spin-offs,” he adds.

Former Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) President, Warren McDonald, says the decision is one that the JCC has been “pushing for some time”.

“Anything that can allow locals to participate more fully in the ownership of the assets of the country must be positive. I personally would fully support it [because] that’s a positive move,” Mr. McDonald tells JIS News.

Small Business Association of Jamaica (SBAJ) President, Hugh Johnson, in endorsing the proposal, expresses the hope that the Government will “move at a faster rate” to ensure more small stakeholders are facilitated in short order.

“We know that certain due-diligence has to be done, and it will take some time to advance the process of enabling broader local stakeholder participation in the ownership of State assets, but we believe that if you facilitate the smaller players, you will see greater growth figures,” Mr. Johnson says.