KINGSTON, Oct. 28 (JIS): Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) has facilitated investment totalling over US$350 million for a free zone to be opened in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, with provision of some 2,500 jobs.
The companies operating in the zone will also provide 300 engineering scholarships to Jamaican students.
Speaking at a press briefing today (October 27), to announce the Spanish Town Free Zone, President of JAMPRO, Diane Edwards, said the facility is being set up under the Jamaica Logistics Hub Initiative, to leverage Jamaica’s connectivity to manufacture products for regional markets.
She told her audience, which included international investors who gathered at the Terra Nova Hotel, in St. Andrew, that the investment will have a tremendous impact on St. Catherine and the wider Jamaican economy, noting that her agency will continue to work with the investors to complete the first phase of the project, slated for June 2016.
“The Logistics Centre being built in Spanish Town is expected to make a significant contribution to the community, and Jamaica as a whole,” she said, adding that the greater effect is the inspiration and hope it will bring to young Jamaicans – those who seek employment, financial independence and economic prosperity.
The operation, which will be delivering scores of high-paying jobs, is a joint venture involving Gulfray Americas and China National Automotive Industry International Corporation (CNAICO). It will be administered by Masada Jamaica Limited.
Activities at the facility will include refining and regeneration of petroleum products; manufacturing of composites and insulation material; vehicle assembly; auto parts remanufacturing and distribution; manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and nutraceutical products, as well as research and manufacturing of tobacco products.
“We are able to maximiSe on Brand Jamaica, the logistics thrust of the island, its workforce and its strategic location in the heart of the Americas,” said Executive Director for Masada Jamaica, Dr. Robert Melamede.
He said so far, agreements have been reached with companies located in the United States (US), United Arab Emirates, India, Dominican Republic, Singapore and China.
“We have been able to successfully convince companies to relocate to our Economic Zone from other parts of the world. Some of these companies are represented here today,” Dr. Melamede said.