Business

JCC, Government to host Logistics Hub symposium

Friday, January 10, 2014    

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THE Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) will host a two-day symposium later this month on the proposed multibillion-dollar global logistics hub development.

A launch ceremony for the January 21 to 22 event, "Jamaica Logistics Hub Symposium for Jamaican Companies and Investors", was held yesterday at the headquarters of national investment agency, Jampro, one of the partners in the JCC-led initiative along with the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce and the Jamaica Business Development Corporation.

The decision to have the symposium, which will be held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, was made against the background of uncertainty among Jamaicans on what the hub will mean for national development, local businesses' sustainable advancement and what the impact will be on an individual level, JCC president Francis Kennedy said. "We believe that the people of Jamaica must be engaged," said Kennedy.

"There are a lot of discussions and debates about the logistics hub, but no one is talking about what this hub will mean for the local businessman and each Jamaican," he continued. "Yes, this is a great development step for the country, but how will it affect me? What benefits are there for businesses? That's what we want people to know."

According to the organisers, the symposium will mobilise experts from the world's leading logistics hub, business leaders and international funding agencies to share insights, clarify related issues, air areas of concern, as well as discuss critical success factors for Jamaica's contextual model.

Kennedy explained that the symposium will especially explore investment and business opportunities, manufacturing possibilities, the various types of commercial zones being considered and the time horizon in which Jamaica is to ready itself to take advantage of this national project. There will also be special discussions geared for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and an exploration of workforce needs, he added.

"The JCC is taking the mystique out of the proposed logistics hub and instead painting a realistic picture for greater understanding of the feasibility," Kennedy said.

A key feature of the event will be practical presentations from Singapore, Canada and Panama with representatives from each country outlining the road map to development of a profitable logistics hub. Presentations will also be made by representatives from the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and Caribbean Development Bank.

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