WE’RE doing well.
That is what Prime Minister Andrew Holness told guests at the official opening of Kingston Wharves Limited’s (KWL) Total Logistics Facility yesterday, as the country moves to expand its logistic services.
The facility is the latest manifestation of KWL’s programme to take advantage of developments in shipping and logistics to include expanding its draft capacity; investment in modern equipment and expanding into supply chain management.
“My key message today is that we’re doing well on the economic [side]. It is happening; growth is happening and this is a perfect example of it. But we still have the social issues to contend with and we still have the infrastructure issues to contend with,” Holness said in his keynote address.
“The demand for logistics services now is the greatest it has ever been in the world, and more things are happening to suggest that logistics will grow even greater,” the prime minister said.
“We see the Panama Canal and we see the Latin America region, that the economies there are growing. That means that their consumption base will grow and that means that they will demand more services and goods and generally the outlook for the world economy is that there will be growth. So Jamaica is in this excellent position of being centrally placed on the major trade routes,” he added.
The Jamaican economy grew by 0.8 per cent in the third quarter of 2017, the Statistical Institute of Jamaica reported.
This was an increase when compared to 2016 and was attributed to improved performances in both the services industry, which grew 1.0 per cent, and the goods-producing industry, 0.3 per cent.
Yesterday, the prime minister acknowledged that KWL’s US$30-million expansion project has created the gateway for more jobs. He suggested that with more employment, crime will see a decrease.
“One hundred males employed means 100 less males available for gangs to create the havoc they create in our society,” he said. “Poverty and crime, we’ll tackle those when we start to truly expand at a geometric pace in our employment, and all of that is happening. We must keep faith and we must keep positive. Jamaica is the centre of the Caribbean. It is the centre of culture, of lifestyle, and it will soon become the centre of trade,” he said.
Holness shared that he was “very happy” about the plans and that the Government “supports the idea of creating a true port community that is secure and orderly”.