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Minister touts potential of Vernamfield development, calls for local investment

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

MINISTER of Transport and Mining Lester “Mike” Henry says local investors have a significant role to play in the overall scheme of the Vernamfield Aerotroplis Development in Clarendon.

Speaking at a joint meeting with school community representatives in May Pen on the weekend, Minister Henry said local capital is more than welcome for the mega project.

According to a release from the Ministry of Transport, the minister said this will represent the local base of the economy while, benefitting from extensive overseas investment.

The minister said, while he understands the hesitancy of local investors, based on apparent intimidation from the huge scope and complexity of the Vernamfield development — which is projected to be one of the biggest in Jamaica's history — it's critical that Jamaica secures a significant piece of the pie.

Accurate information and forward-thinking applications must underpin the development, the minister said.

Henry explained that already there are some local commitments for investment in the project, but said that there is much more scope for similar moves from other Jamaicans who have tended to invest more in developed economies overseas, instead of in the profitable pursuit of betterment of Jamaica.

Minister Henry said, for the most part, overseas investors tend to walk in, roll over their dollars, and then smile all the way to the bank with the accrued benefits.

According to Henry, Jamaicans with the wherewithal should consider joining the Vernamfield development, which is poised to take Clarendon to the pinnacle of investments over and above that of the Chinese in St Elizabeth in the mining industry.

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