A new free zone will be established in Spanish Town shortly, at a cost of more than US$350 million, according to Jamaica’s investment promotion agency, JAMPRO.
Approximately 2,500 jobs will be generated by this investment, Diane Edwards, President of JAMPRO (Jamaica Promotions Corporation) said.
The companies operating in the zone will also provide 300 engineering scholarships to Jamaican students, Mrs. Edwards announced at a press briefing on Tuesday.
She 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 signifiant impact on St. Catherine and the wider Jamaican economy, adding 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 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 re-manufacturing and distribution, manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and nutraceutical products, as well as research and manufacturing of tobacco products.
“We are able to maximize 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, 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.