US Investors Give Govt. High Marks for North Coast Infrastructure


Recent Government investments in road and water infrastructure on the North Coast are suggested as key factors that influenced the decision by the Tavistock Group to embark on a US$2 to $4 billion project in Jamaica.
The Tavistock Group is the international luxury resort developers who will be undertaking the Harmony Cove Resort Development Project, in conjunction with the government.
Addressing an American Chamber of Commerce of Jamaica Speaker’s Forum on the Harmony Cove Project yesterday (May 16), at the Hilton Kingston Hotel, Christopher Anand, Managing Director of the Tavistock Group said that for someone coming from the outside and to see that kind of investment in infrastructure was “pretty awesome.”
“The reason the Tavistock Group is here is because of the investment that has been made in this country over the last five to ten years,” Mr. Anand said.
“What struck me as amazing was the investment in the airport, the investment in the road infrastructure.it was the investment in the water supply, the investment in the cricket stadium,” he noted.
Outlining the projects which were undertaken by the government, Minister of Information and Development, Donald Buchanan cited the Martha Brae to Harmony Cove water supply project, the North Coast Highway Phase Two project, the modernization and expansion of the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay and the modern multi-purpose stadium in Trelawny.
Mr. Buchanan reiterated the government’s commitment to creating and maintaining an investor-friendly environment.
“Already, we have some good things going for us,” he said, citing the 2006 Global Competitiveness Report which indicated that Jamaica was 21st out of 110 countries for low red tape and 25th out of 110 countries for the quality of its port infrastructure.
Turning to the World Investment Report, the Minister said that Jamaica was classified as an over-performing Foreign Direct Investment location and was 21st out of 141 countries as an Inward Investment Location.
With respect to the 2007 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, Jamaica is placed 48th overall out of 124 countries in relation to the attractiveness of the tourism product, third for good policies and regulations and 29th for availability of qualified labour.
Citing the 2007 Business Competitiveness Index, the Minister said “we are considered as 53rd of 116 countries for ease of doing business and 54th for the sophistication of company operations and the quality of the national business environment.”
“These votes of confidence in Jamaica do not in any way lull the Government or the country into a sense of complacency,” he noted, but “on the contrary, we are emboldened to dream bigger dreams, see more lofty visions and to set about transforming the economic and social landscape of Jamaica in very profound ways.”
Harmonisation Limited, the government organization, in partnership with the Tavistock Group comprises the Development Bank of Jamaica and the National Housing Trust. Preliminary design work is underway and by 2009, the partners hope to break ground. Construction will take place over a five to ten year period thereafter.

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