The Government of Jamaica is working towards the goal of establishing the Island as a global Shipping Centre.
The Government of Jamaica is working towards the goal of establishing the Island as a global Shipping Centre. Specialist consultants were in the country last week to hold discussions with a multi‐sectoral team from government and private sector organizations as a precursor to developing specific recommendations as to the legal and institutional framework that will be required to develop and operate the Country"s maritime cluster on a sustainable basis.
Rear Admiral Peter Brady, Director General of the Maritime Authority which has the mandate for the regulation and development of shipping under the Shipping Act, and is spearheading the project, says: ?Jamaica is a maritime state by virtue of its history, international trade links, geographical position in the hemisphere and dependency on the sea. There is strong demand for our maritime facilities, particularly because Jamaica is strategically situated at the centre of an 800 million person market in the Western Hemisphere, including the largest market in the world ? the United States of America.?
He points out that Jamaica bestrides strategic sea trade routes and will benefit from the projected increase in transshipment traffic through the Caribbean. In addition, Jamaica enjoys comparative labour cost advantages, and already has in place the basis for the development of a viable maritime cluster.
Namely, a world class container transshipment port, cruise port facilities; an IMO approved training facility for the training of officers which in the face of the global shortage of officers support the Government aspirations to develop crew for the international market. He further points to bunkering which has seen significant growth since its commencement in 2005.
Now Jamaica is aiming to further enhance its framework to create an environment which will lead to growth in these activities as well as develop its potential in other areas. Possible target are merchant shipping, shipmanagement, shipbroking and chartering, ship repair and specialist maritime services such as ship finance and insurance.
R/Adm Brady explains: ?These are exciting times for Jamaica. The Government is actively pursuing the vision of developing Jamaica as a shipping centre, building on the achievements the Jamaican shipping industry has already made.
?We intend to make Jamaica a "one‐stop shop" for shipping in the Caribbean region and indeed for this hemisphere!?