MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (JIS) – Minister of Finance and Public Service Audley Shaw says the Port Authority of Jamaica will be spending $3.8 billion to increase Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) space in Kingston and Montego Bay.
Addressing the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry luncheon at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, Rose Hall, St James on Wednesday, Shaw pointed out that 213,000 square feet of space will be constructed to facilitate a sector that is literally bursting at the seams.
“The Government will be supporting this venture by way of providing financing to the tune of US$30 million. This will be disbursed in Jamaican dollars over the 2016/17 and 2017/18 financial years,” the minister said.
According to the minister, the investment will immediately create employment during the construction phase and will serve to further diversify the employment pool by providing higher value permanent jobs upon completion.
“Jobs created by the construction and operation of these facilities will further support the national growth strategies to create 30,000 BPO jobs within five years,” Shaw said.
“Specifically, the Montego Bay Free Zone will benefit from an additional 63,000 square feet facility, which will be completed at a cost of US$9.1 million over the period June 2016 to April 2017,” the minister added.
Shaw pointed out that the development in Montego Bay will provide a number of benefits, such as increasing the existing 602,000 square-foot free zone capacity by approximately 10 per cent; diversifying the portfolio of business operating in the city; and providing temporary jobs during the construction phase, as well as 2,100 permanent jobs.
The minister noted that approximately US$55 million is expected in foreign-exchange earnings.
Shaw said the Government, in its quest for economic growth, will continue to seek partnerships with private-sector entities, the churches as well as civil society.
He added that the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a key partner in the Government’s mission for economic growth.
“I challenge the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry not only to promote, support and advocate the interest of the business sector, but to drive investment, enterprise, development and job creation by linking entrepreneurs to stimulate business development in and around the Second City and in western Jamaica,” Shaw urged.
Source: Jamaica Observer, JAMPRO
Published Date: Friday, June 17, 2016
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