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Story Highlights

  • Jamaica could realize in excess of US$500 million in potential capital investments from three of the State entities and service shortlisted for privatization.
  • These are the Kingston Container Terminal (KCT) at the Port of Kingston; the Norman Manley International Airport; and the Port Community Systems (PCS).
  • Dr. Phillips said they have the potential to mobilize significant investment and other inflows to the economy.

Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, says Jamaica could realize in excess of US$500 million in potential capital investments from three of the State entities and service shortlisted for privatization under public/private partnership arrangements.

These, he says, are the Kingston Container Terminal (KCT) at the Port of Kingston; the Norman Manley International Airport; and the Port Community Systems (PCS).

Speaking at a public/private partnership (PPP) conference at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, on February 20, Dr. Phillips said they have the potential to mobilize significant investment and other inflows to the economy through taxes, concession fees, and capital expansion works.

Additionally, he said the administration anticipates increased efficiency in the operations of these, “through the adoption of technology, expertise, experience and economies of scale.”

Dr. Phillips noted that the KCT’s privatization is expected to stimulate economic growth, “not only with the investment in the terminal facilities, but in the further development of Jamaica as the logistics centre for the Caribbean.”

“This will involve, if successful, a number of linked projects which would emerge as viable, as a consequence of this privatization,” he said.

The Minister  said implementation of the Port Community System, a central database that provides  information on port users, is an opportunity to “substantially encourage and promote” more efficient and effective trading practices, while reducing the cost of doing business.

Dr. Phillips said the government is contemplating a privatization arrangement for the Norman Manley International Airport, similar to what currently obtains at the Sangster International Airport. The latter, he advised, is currently being operated under a 30-year concession agreement.

Consequent on this arrangement, Dr. Phillips said the Sangster Airport has generated investment of approximately US$183 million, “resources which were not required of the Government.”

Dr. Phillips also cited the success of another PPP engagement, Highway 2000, in which the administration was able to attract and mobilize private interest and investment.

“That project has produced road infrastructure of the highest quality that is being maintained at appropriately high standards. The highway has significantly reduced travelling time from Kingston to other major towns and has saved cost for the country,” he indicated.

The Minister advised that going forward, the Government will be pursuing the development of PPPs in several other areas, including health and health tourism, the provision of information and communication technologies, road infrastructure, and agriculture, among others.

The two-day public/private partnership conference, staged on February 19 and 20, was hosted by the British High Commission, in partnership with UK Trade and Invest, and the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), under the theme: ‘Delivering Growth by Partnership – Sharing UK Capabilities in PPP’.