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Western Jamaica will rebound, says JAMPRO

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) says it believes that western Jamaica will rebound, as it looks towards upcoming opportunities in 2021-22.

Manager of the agency's Western Jamaica Regional Office, Conrad Robinson, said that while the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the tourism sector, investment projects are still in the pipeline for the next two years.

According to JAMPRO, the region has several projects that are being implemented in key sectors. This, it said, includes investments in tourism, where 1000-2500 new hotel rooms are in the advanced stage of planning and implementation; logistics, with the Port Authority of Jamaica committing to the redevelopment of the Montego Bay port; and in the agribusiness space, where there are at least two agro parks are slated for development.

The corporation noted that the outsourcing sector also continues to grow, with companies like ibex recently opening a service centre in Ocho Rios; the expansion of ITEL BPO; the construction of BioPrist Knowledge Parks 1 & 2, as well as the continued development and expansion work in the Montego Bay Freezone, Barnett Tech Park and the CAZOUMAR Freezone auguring well for the continued growth of the sector in the region.

Robinson said these developments and others being undertaken by Government in the city, have been positive for western Jamaica, and there are still several opportunities that will be promoted by JAMPRO in the next two years as part of its economic recovery strategy for the island.

He pointed out that the Montego Bay Freeport area is being eyed for a business hotel as well as other resort type properties, and that housing is a significant investment opportunity in the region. He also explained that manufacturing's potential has not been fully realised in the area, and that there was still room for growth in the export of digital services.

“Montego Bay is perhaps the fastest growing city in the English-speaking Caribbean, and we intend to maintain that status,” said the JAMPRO manager, “The pandemic has motivated us to be even more aggressive in our pursuit for investments into western Jamaica, as we believe the potential is there to have projects that can have a major impact on Jamaica's economic development.”

Robinson added that, “This part of the island is ideal for many sectors, and the talent is here to support any investment project. This is why, for JAMPRO, it is imperative to continue our efforts to diversify the industries that exist in this region, and to continue to build on the already existing success in outsourcing and tourism. We believe that in the next two years, western Jamaica will rebound, and we are committed to supporting that growth.”