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JIS News

The Kingston Free Zone (KFZ) made a profit of $55.17 million for the financial year ending March 31, 2010, as the company, despite the economic recession, made efforts to meet its targets, mainly through prudent management of expenditure and strong client servicing practices.
Foreign exchange earnings from rental income and management fees for the year totalled US$1.02 million, while $59.52 million was earned from the rental of warehousing space to local companies. This allowed the KFZ to fulfill its mandate to generate foreign currency earnings through the sale of US$400,000 to local commercial banks as well as through lease payments on its inter-company account and the repayment of a shareholder’s loan to its parent company amounting to US$878,204.
This is outlined in a Ministerial report on the performance of the KFZ for 2009/2010, which was tabled in Parliament recently.
In relation to client service activities, the arrangement for the lease of 30,000 square feet of warehousing space to the Jamaica Commodity Trading Company for the storage of fertilizer on behalf of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce (MIIC), ended in September. Eighteen thousand square feet of this space has already been refurbished and rented to new client, Caribbean Depot, while arrangements are in place to refurbish the remaining 12,000 square feet for rental to the same client in this new fiscal year.
Meanwhile, the report said that Jamaica Agent Services Limited has advised that it had submitted a bid for a new contract, which would result in an expansion of its facility by 70 to 140 seats.
If this bid is successful, the company plans to utilise its training rooms, administrative areas and break room as additional call centre areas. Jamaica Agent Services is an ICT company operating out of the Portmore Informatics Park.
Some of the space made vacant by companies which had to reduce their operation as a result of economic challenges has already been leased to other clients, and there has been some commitment from potential clients to lease the remaining space as soon as it becomes available, the report said.
Additionally, a development plan was submitted by the Board of Directors to the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), for the construction of two office-type buildings to house ICT companies at the Portmore Informatics Park. “Through this development, it is anticipated that more jobs will be created and greater foreign exchange will be generated as this construction attracts additional foreign investment to Jamaica,” the report noted.
During this financial year, the KFZ will continue its strategy to expand the ICT sector with the construction of additional space at the Portmore Informatics Park. Also, the company plans to implement various strategies, with emphasis on cost reduction and improved productivity, to reduce the impact of the global economic recession on its operations/profitability.