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Story Highlights

  • No agreement has been signed regarding the development of the Goat Islands
  • The former United States maritime outpost is choking with secondary growth and could not be considered pristine, virgin territory
  • The aim is to create a range of special economic zones throughout Jamaica

Minister of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr. the Hon. Omar Davies, says no agreement has been signed regarding the development of the Goat Islands as part of the Global Logistics Hub Initiative.

Addressing Jamaican business interests in New York on Tuesday, September 3, at a luncheon organised by the Jamaican-American Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Davies said a Chinese investment outfit has expressed an interest in the area, but that no decision has been taken on the matter.

He said with concerns for the environment dominating recent discussions, the administration would delay any such decision until a Port Authority of Jamaica-commissioned study on the environmental impact is completed and assessed.

Minister Davies noted that the former United States maritime outpost is choking with secondary growth and could not be considered pristine, virgin territory.

The hub’s development is being spearheaded by the Government of Jamaica in an effort to position the island as the fourth major node in the global supply and logistics chain. This is intended to take advantage of an anticipated increase in maritime activity, consequent on the expansion of the Panama Canal, scheduled for completion in 2015.

The aim is to create a range of special economic zones throughout Jamaica, including industrial parks, urban business districts, and technology parks. Multi-national companies will be invited to set up operations to provide value-added activities geared towards the international community.

Dr. Davies said the projects present significant opportunities for investors and service providers.

Minister Davies is part of a delegation including government personnel and directors from Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), who are on a tour of North American to update Jamaicans and friends of the island on investment projects in the island.

The team will address Jamaicans in Toronto, Canada, at a town hall meeting on Wednesday, September 4.