Getting Jamaica ready for the emerging global trading patterns: The vision

This symposium provides an opportunity to share some thoughts and dialogue on a very important issue in our 51st year of Independence. We need to think about the ways in which we can collectively collaborate to achieve objectives. And we need to think too about whether the ways in which we do that collaboration and dialoguing is the most efficient. We have to think about how we convert these large visions and dreams into a reality within the context that we operate in.

I will, first, give a brief sense ofthe magnitude of what we are talking about. When you look at the movement of vessels in the Kingston Harbour you will see that it is miniscule compared to major hubs such as Dubai, Rotterdam and Singapore. Also, within the Caribbean region,several countries have more and bigger ports than Jamaica; the list includes Panama, (with five major container ports) Columbia and the Dominican Republic. Columbia, for example, has a very large bulk cargo operation because they have a lot of coal and other ore that is exported. So this proposed development is occurring in a very competitive environment; and in that context, I will focus on developments in international maritime sector and Jamaica’s prospects as a maritime and logistics hub within this broader global context.

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