SECTORAL PRESENTATION BY
HON. DR. HORACE CHANG,
MINISTER WITHOUT PORTFOLIO IN THE
MINISTRY OF ECONOMIC GROWTH AND JOB CREATION
CHANGE FOR GROWTH
TUESDAY, JULY 5, 2016
Mr Speaker, water, housing, ports, and highway development are critical pillars of a growing economy. The Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that these areas drive Government’s programme for prosperity.
We will create a paradigm shift in governance, generating a virtuous circle which will reduce transaction costs, foster transparency, eliminate corruption and the abuse of power.
Mr Speaker, I will outline the initiatives and approaches which we are taking in the Ministry that deal with infrastructure, the area for which I am responsible. These will have wide-ranging social and economic implications for our country. Mr. Speaker, we intend to CHANGE FOR GROWTH.
Mr. Speaker, I will begin by examining the development of the ports and our shipping industry. There are few areas of investment that have a more direct impact on a country’s capacity to grow, to generate jobs and to deliver prosperity to its citizens than investments in infrastructure. The ports are particularly important in Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
They are the channels through which we are connected to the global trade system and are themselves an important source of employment. Ports are an important barometer of economic activity in a country. The Evolution of Port Facilities in response to Jamaica’s Economic Development A review of our economic history will demonstrate that we have had episodes of growth
and increasing wealth when our ports are active.
In the early years, shipping of bananas, sugar cane and logwood made Jamaica the prized colony of Great Britain. The Port of Kingston was dominant and the other five were all active.
The era of modern ports began in the mid 60s with the emergence of containerization, the building of new berthing facilities, and bauxite shipping in several rural ports such as Port Esquivel and Kaiser. For these, our local traders provided ship supply services.
The increase in the number of container vessels which offer economies of scale, has resulted in the rise of hub and spoke type operations. Marine services are now focused on modern ports equipped to handle the larger ships and major ports which became Transhipment Ports as the cargo was moved to smaller regional ports by smaller feeder vessels.