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Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, has highlighted the commencement of work to redevelop a number of Garmex Free Zone facilities, in line with the Jamaica Logistics Hub initiative.

Making this announcement in his contribution to the 2013/2014 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 14, he explained that some of the Factories Corporation of Jamaica (FCJ) existing properties, including the Garmex Free Zone near the Port of Kingston, have been identified for major redevelopment.

“Garmex is in the process of being master planned, to reflect our entry into logistics, and the increasing demand anticipated from the demolition of the Kingston Free Zone to facilitate port expansion,” he elaborated.

The FCJ is also engaged in the re-opening of the Free Zone facility at Hayes, Clarendon, as a logistics centre, on a phased basis. That property had been closed for more than five years.

Minister Hylton said the country continues to make a significant contribution to the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) sector.

“Some of our old buildings in the Montego Bay Free Zone have been converted into ICT facilities to ensure growth in that high-value sector. More will be done as we work through the details of collaboration with the Port Authority of Jamaica on major space build out,” he told the House.

The Government has described the logistics hub initiative as a central plank in Jamaica’s overall growth strategy. It will see Jamaica becoming the fourth node in the global logistics chain, joining Rotterdam, Singapore and Dubai.

Jamaica’s strategic geographic position on major sea lanes and air routes to North and South America, as well as Europe and South East Asia, has increased its competitive advantage, particularly in the logistics and shipping sector.

With the expansion of the Panama Canal to be completed in 2015, Jamaica’s unique location, and natural resources, such as two of the best natural harbours in the world, will see the Logistics Hub initiative enhancing the global trading system, and as such representing a global asset.

Contact: Alphea Saunders