JISCO Industrial Park Can Be Economic Game Changer – Vaz

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Minister without Portfolio in the Economic Growth and Job Creation Ministry, Hon. Mike Henry (third right), addresses a meeting involving officials from Jamaica and the People’s Republic of China at Jamaica House on June 21. At fourth left is Vice Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, People’s Republic of China (PRC), Wang Jiangping.

Story Highlights

  • Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, says the multibillion-dollar development project being undertaken by Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCO) in Nain, St. Elizabeth, has the potential to be a game changer in terms of its impact on the economy.
  • Minister Vaz told the Vice Minister that he has given instructions for the JISCO project to be facilitated as best as possible.
  • “We will really try our best to push and encourage this project and start it and get the transformation and upgrading and getting that project built to success,” he added.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz, says the multibillion-dollar development project being undertaken by Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCO) in Nain, St. Elizabeth, has the potential to be a game changer in terms of its impact on the economy.

JISCO, which operates the Alpart alumina refinery in Nain, plans to invest approximately US$3 billion to develop the Jamaica-Gansu Industrial Park and Special Economic Zone in the area, which is expected to, among other things, generate tens of thousands of jobs for Jamaica.

Minister Vaz said that priority will be placed on getting the project under way in short order.

He was speaking at a meeting with Vice Minister in the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, People’s Republic of China (PRC), Wang Jiangping; and Minister without Portfolio in the Economic Growth and Job Creation Ministry, Hon. Mike Henry, among other officials, at Jamaica House on June 21.

The visit of the Chinese Vice Minister follows the signing of a framework agreement between the Government of Jamaica and the PRC in February this year to facilitate the Gansu economic zone among other investment projects in the areas of construction and infrastructure, cement manufacturing, resource processing, equipment manufacturing and light industry.

Minister Vaz told the Vice Minister that he has given instructions for the JISCO project to be facilitated as best as possible.

“We look forward to working with the JISCO team through Chairman, Chen Chungming, to make sure that we can get the project started and implemented in the shortest possible time,” he assured.

He noted that Minister Henry and Chairman of the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA), Metry Seaga, recently travelled to China, and “based on the report that Minister Henry has given to Cabinet, we are satisfied that this investment is something that we can achieve in short order”.

“Be assured that both Minister Henry and myself will be giving it the oversight and the priority that it deserves,” he added.

Minister Henry, in welcoming the visit from the Chinese Vice Minister said “your presence here now offers to us a welcome indication of the firm support from the Government of the People’s Republic of China to the project. You can take it as our assurance that we want to have this project moving as fast as we can and as forward as we can”.

Mr. Wang, in his remarks, said the initiative is a “win-win” for all and will serve to strengthen the relationship between both countries.

“We are fully supportive of the industry park project and we are also facilitating the JISCO group to start it and implement it with our Ministry’s capability. We will push and promote for more and more Chinese companies to come here and find potential investment opportunities,” he said.

“We will really try our best to push and encourage this project and start it and get the transformation and upgrading and getting that project built to success,” he added.

The Jamaica-Gansu Industrial Park and Special Economic Zone is one of three pivotal projects under Jamaica’s Logistics Hub Initiative (LHI), which is being spearheaded by the JSEZA.

The others are the Caymanas Special Economic Zone in St. Catherine, and Vernamfield Aerotropolis in Clarendon.

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