(Jamaica Gleaner): British High Commissio-ner to Jamaica Asif Ahmad said Jamaica can generate significantly high levels of economic growth from the Government’s implementation of the Global Logistics Hub Initiative (GLHI), which incorporates special economic zones (SEZ).
Speaking at Wednesday’s official opening of the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA) in Kingston, Ahmad noted that cities and countries establishing logistics hubs and SEZs “have prospered”.
Citing Singapore; Shenzhen and Shanghai, China; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, as examples, he said that international business conducted through these hubs “whether it’s in services, design, or actual physical trade in goods … have prospered”. The high commissioner argued that Jamaica has key advantages that would make it an ideal location to establish a logistics hub to facilitate the seamless provision of goods and services to the nearly one billion-consumer market spanning North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Among these, Ahmad said, is the country’s image, noting that Brand Jamaica is “positive when it comes to the international perspective”. He further pointed to the geopolitical framework, noting that while other countries “might be thinking of building walls and embracing protectionism … you are actually open to the world … and you need to remain open in mind, physicality, as well as in business outlook”.
“You have the right fiscal and macroeconomic position to do so. Through successive administrations, you have finally wrestled with the beast of getting your finances and fiscal position on the right path. Growth is there … year on year … but it can and will, I’m sure, improve if you embrace what these SEZs will deliver,” the high commissioner said.
Against this background, Ahmad wished the administration well in its endeavour to develop the Logistics Hub Initiative, and pledged the high commission’s and, by extension, the UK government’s support in this undertaking.