Mike Henry Expresses Optimism About Visit by Singaporeans


Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Mike Henry, has expressed optimism that last week’s visit of a Singaporean business delegation to Jamaica, will lead to increased co-operation, especially in improving air and sea links.
“Nowhere else in the world is there a seamless connection of air and sea and Jamaica offers that,” Mr. Henry said during a luncheon meeting with the delegation at his Ministry, Kingston, on Tuesday (July 21).
The Minister noted that Jamaica was looking for partnerships, including both the public and private sectors resulting from the discussions.
“We are looking for partnerships between the public and private sectors, with the Governments facilitating the expansion and development of these programmes,” Mr. Henry said.
Leader of the Singaporean delegation, Dr. Aloysius Tay, suggested that Vernamfield in Clarendon offered huge potential for a multi-modal transportation and logistics hub, as well as tourism spin-offs.
“Vernamfield is not too far away from Kingston, and Milk River Bath is not too far away. There are so many things that are advantageous to Vernamfield that can be used. Trans-shipment is something that Singapore has been relying on, and it is very possible that we can grow Jamaica through Vernamfield,” he suggested.
He said that there are also great possibilities for a Jamaican airline that goes beyond the region, and into the Far East.
“What excites me is that I can get from the Far East to Kingston, Jamaica within 24 hours. That really could enhance tourism for Jamaica,” he pointed out.
“We have been working hard to ensure that all of us enjoy the fruits of what is being done, both in Jamaica and Singapore, for companies to benefit from the relationship. We, at the trade office in Singapore, will ensure that we do our best to promote brand Jamaica, not only in the Caribbean, but in the Far East, as well,” he assured the Minister.
Dr. Tay has been Jamaica’s trade counsel in Singapore since January. It is Jamaica’s first trade office in South East Asia.
The delegation was in Jamaica for high level discussions with various Government agencies and a number of private sector interests, and is the result of a similar visit to Singapore by a Jamaican delegation led by Mr. Henry, in May.
The Singaporean team also included: Trade Officer and Deputy Registrar of the Jamaica Ship Registry in Singapore Arthur Gerard Kok; Managing Director of Asian Cargo and Charter Consultancy Alex Soh; Procurement Representative of Asia (Rum and Coffee) Company Weixiu Guo; Director, ST Electronics Wang Kwang Meng; and CEO of Jupiter Innovations Chan Chee Kheong.
Asian Cargo and Charter Consultancy has interest in streamlining air services between Asia and Jamaica; ST Electronics is interested in supplying simulators for the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI); and Jupiter Innovations is focussed on providing e-learning infrastructural platform for the CMI.
Since the visit of the Jamaican delegation to Singapore in May, the Jamaican trade office has been established in Singapore, and discussions have begun on the extension of the Singaporean-based Air Transport Training College’s aviation maintenance training curriculum, as well as, the launch of the Jamaica Ship Registry in Singapore and re-opening of negotiations on a bilateral Open Skies Air Services Agreement between both countries.

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