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    • Professor of International Business and Executive Director of the Mona School of Business Management at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Densil Williams, says the time has come for the creation of economic clusters among businesses across the island.
    • Professor Williams said the establishment of economic clusters will bring immense benefits to the business sector and ultimately the country.
    • Professor Williams argued that the creation of economic zones will result in issues, such as transportation between major cities and towns, being done in an organized and efficient manner.

    Professor of International Business and Executive Director of the Mona School of Business Management at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Densil Williams, says the time has come for the creation of economic clusters among businesses across the island.

    Addressing the inaugural Western Jamaica Economic Forum at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St. James, on November 26, Professor Williams said the establishment of economic clusters will bring immense benefits to the business sector and ultimately the country.

    “Those of us who follow the development debates and see where economic developments are going, what we would have recognized is that the developmental trajectory has moved from this broad based broad brush approach and what they are now focusing on are what they call economic zones. These zones are helping countries to become more vibrant players in the wider global sphere,” he said.

    Professor Williams argued that the creation of economic zones will result in issues, such as transportation between major cities and towns, being done in an organized and efficient manner.

    “About 70 per cent of Jamaica’s population is located in Kingston and Montego Bay. The first signal to show that something is happening…is the creation of a proper transportation link, which could reduce travelling time between the cities by more than one hour,” he said.

    “The thinkers in western Jamaica, who are liaising with the thinkers who frame policies for Jamaica, are to start thinking seriously about creating special economic zones within the western hemisphere,” Professor Williams added.

    He said special economic zones should not be confused with exclusion zones, as there must be integration and cooperation among all stakeholders in order for the practice and the country to be successful.

    Professor Williams said in Western Jamaica, the formation of economic zones or what he called “agglomeration” should take place around the sector that is the leading money earner in the region – the service sector and in particular, tourism.

    “We have a good stock of hotel rooms, we have the ports, we have educational institutions …we have a lot of infrastructure that is already offering the services that can be provided to the rest of the world,” he said.

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