By Garfield L. Angus
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – Prime Minister Andrew Holness, has welcomed the US$60-million investment by Kingston Wharves Limited (KWL) in logistics and port infrastructural development as a signal of confidence in the economy.
He said that the stable economic and political climate, coupled with sound management of the country’s debt, is influencing significant investments across various sectors.
“There is a sense that we are getting our debt under control, we are getting our fiscal house in order, there is certainty, there is confidence in the economic environment of the country, so you can now calculate your risks and make investments,” the prime minster noted. “You are now able to predict and manage the threats to the investments that you are making. The sovereign risks, the political risks, the governance risks are at a level where … you [can] go ahead and make an investment,’” the prime minister added, while delivering the keynote address at the unveiling of KWL’s development project on Wednesday, January 12.
Part of KWL’s latest investment includes US$30 million for the redevelopment of Berth 7, with the reconstruction of some 183 metres of space at Port Bustamante, to further boost capacity to service additional vessels.
The plan also entails US$25 million of construction works at the Ashenheim Road Warehouse Complex to expand logistics services. It will provide facilities for freight handling, and joint-venture investment opportunities.
The prime minister said that the development project will further enhance the competitiveness of the KWL, and by extension Jamaica, as a regional maritime centre, creating opportunities for new, attractive, high-skill jobs, and positioning Jamaica as the maritime and logistics centre of the Americas.
He noted that KWL has emerged as the regional automobile centre, with its handling of more than 120,000 motor vehicles annually, for local and other markets. “That is some serious investments that you have undertaken,” Holness said.