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2014, January 16 - Private sector must jump at logistics hub, says Jampro head

BAS Bulletins - Jan. 16, 2014
(Extracted from the Gleaner dated Jan 15, 2014)

Diane Edwards, president of Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), said there are enough funds available in the country to invest in projects related to the creation of a logistics hub.

She said members of the private sector have indicated to her that they have the resources, but they are not seeing the ventures in which they can invest.

"One of the meetings we have had in the last three weeks was with a group of financiers and bankers, and what they said is there is a lot of money here," she told reporters at The Gleaner's North Street offices in Kingston yesterday.

Relating the complaints from one of the possible investors, Edwards said: "There is money here, but there are not enough projects, [and] that's really what the problem is."
She added that this view is largely because investors are not taking the initiative to seek opportunities in anticipation of Jamaica becoming the fourth node in the logistics chain.

Edwards said the business community must now take the initiative and find the opportunities that are available, instead of waiting for the Government to do everything.

"The Jamaican private sector has to take the lead on certain things. You can't sit here and just say, 'OK, Government, what are you doing to prime the pump?'" she said.

She proposed a paradigm shift in which the private sector becomes more assertive and helpful in creating the sort of environment in which they can in turn profit from the logistics-hub initiative.

NEED TO TAKE THE LEAD
"The private sector has to go and take the lead; not just [say] 'Government is going to set up this enabling infrastructure and we will wait until it is in place and we will come and play our role'," she emphasised.

"Innovation is about the private sector saying, 'We are going to do this, we see this opportunity, we see this niche and we are going for it' and we have companies that have done that, successfully," Edwards stated.

She added that the Jamaica logistics hub symposium next Tuesday and Wednesday will seek to highlight how local companies and investors can make use of these opportunities and look at how they can benefit from Jamaica being part of a global trading hub.

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