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Founder and Executive Chairman of LASCO Affiliated Companies, Hon. Lascelles Chin, says he will be partnering with the government through the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP), to help retrain the Rio Cobre River in St. Catherine.

In addition to damaging his property, he noted that the silt from the river could clog up the port, which would cost the government half a billion dollars to clear.

Mr. Chin was speaking at the LASCO Police Officer Of The Year 2012/13 Award ceremony on Wednesday (October 31) at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston, where Corporal Oneil Patterson of the Area 4, Kingston Eastern Division, was named the LASCO Police Officer of the year 2012/13.

The businessman in his remarks, called on private entities to increase their partnership with the Government to create jobs and grow the economy. He said the country’s survival depends on the courage and positive outlook of its entrepreneurial class and economic growth requires the collaboration/partnership of all sectors.

LASCO's for its part, is undertaking a US$25 million factory and warehousing expansion project, which Mr. Chin said, is well underway, and is expected to be completed by the beginning of 2013.

"Together, LASCO Distributors Ltd. and LASCO Manufacturing Ltd. have provided approximately 80 new jobs in the construction of the buildings under the expansion programme. They will be adding over 200 new jobs,” he informed.

He said his company will be focusing on exporting many of its new products that it will be introducing to build the economy’s foreign exchange earnings.

Turning to the matter of security, Mr. Chin said continuous improvement in national security is a critical factor for development and prosperity, and “breaking the grip of crime and violence is one area where strong partnership is required."

The entrepreneur, whose company has sponsored the Police Officer of the year Award since 2000, stated that it was important for the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), to succeed, because crime, and the fear of crime, have a negative impact on the investment climate and deter and delay both local and foreign investments.