JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Prime Minister said her Administration is committed to devising ways of improving the physical infrastructure to encourage an increase in private investment.
  • The Prime Minister cited examples of the Government partnering with the private sector to expand the country’s infrastructure network.
  • The Prime Minister said these partnerships are critical to Jamaica’s ability to attract foreign direct investment.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller has reiterated the importance of public private partnerships (PPP) noting that her Administration “has sought to systematically identify critical areas which require investments to expand and modernize the infrastructure network and seek to invite, in as transparent and equitable a manner as possible, private sector partners to work with us.”

Speaking at a Seminar on Delivering Growth by Partnership-Sharing UK Capabilities in Public Private Partnerships on February 20 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, the Prime Minister said her Administration is committed to devising ways of improving the physical infrastructure which will provide the necessary supporting elements to encourage an increase in private investments which will lead to economic growth and expanded employment.

The Prime Minister cited examples of the Government partnering with the private sector to expand the country’s infrastructure network and pointed to an impending PPP for the operations of the Kingston Container Terminal. She said: “Three major players in port facility management have been short listed and hopefully before the end of year we will have engaged one to take control of the operations of the Kingston Container Terminal.

The Enterprise Team which has been established to privatize the Norman Manley International Airport is far advanced with its work and this we expect to be completed in early 2015. At the same time, work is proceeding apace with the privatization of the Jamaica Railway Corporation and again several parties have expressed initial interest.”

Mrs. Simpson Miller noted that projects developed through PPPs do not have a long history in Jamaica but this mechanism has led to the expansion of the Donald Sangster International Airport and the construction, operation and maintenance of Highway 2000.

She said the potential impact of this project on the country’s overall economic development is significant and: “When completed, the tollway will cut travel time between Kingston and Ocho Rios from the present two hours, to 45 minutes. This reduction in travel time will provide several spin-off investment opportunities.

For example, the historical and cultural sites of Spanish Town and Kingston can now be used to broaden the range of attractions available to both long-stay and cruise ship visitors based on the north coast.”

Highlighting the important role that PPP’s currently play in the country’s development, the Prime Minister said these partnerships are critical to Jamaica’s ability to attract foreign direct investment for the expansion and modernization of the country’s infrastructure.

She welcomed the Seminar which has been organized by the British High Commission in Kingston in association with the UK Trade and Investment and the Development Bank of Jamaica.

The two-day conference from February 19 to 20 explored economic opportunities of PPP’s while providing training with the support of experts from the UK Treasury.