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BUSINESS GUARDIAN guardian.co.tt FEBRUARY 2 • 2017
the success of
The Jamaica government says the sugar industry
will contribute an estimated US$80 million in earn-
ings this year.
Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries
Minister, Karl Samuda, says the turnaround is due
in part to the decision of the government to step in
and save the sector.
"We have saved an industry for the betterment of
the country. God has blessed us and we are coming out
on the right side. It also employs 50,000 hard-work-
ing Jamaicans," Samuda said, noting that despite all
the obstacles his Ministry faced in the early days of
assuming portfolio responsibility, the sugar indus-
try and its workers have proven to be very resilient
and the sector is now on the verge of a comeback of
"When we got here, which is not even a year yet,
the first problem we encountered was the closure of
the Monymusk Sugar Factory. We were able to keep it
open, albeit with creative financing and deals made
here and there.
"This year, however, we are going to have perhaps
one of the best crops we have had in years. And, it is
going to be run at the field level...at the farm level by
Jamaican farmers," he said.
Samuda said that Jamaica has been fortunate on two
scores, in that there has been a lot of rainfall which
has put the sugar sector back in good stead; and that
the price of sugar has moved from US$370 per ton
to almost US$600, "which will translate this year
into a gain of nine million US dollars just for price."
Meanwhile, Samuda said consumers can now be
assured that the sugar they buy at the supermarket
will be of certain integrity and standard.
"We have taken steps that have now been gazetted
into law. The manufacturers of sugar will now have a
better chance to market the sugar on the local market
without having the unfair competition from sugar
brought in from all parts of the world. We don't even
know where or the conditions under which it had
been manufactured," he said. CMC
Tourism Minister calls
for more investments in
upgrading resort attractions
Tourism Minister Edmund
Bartlett is calling for in-
creased investments to
boost the number of re-
sort attractions in Jamai-
ca to meet the anticipated
growth in visitor arrivals.
"I have been preaching religiously that
we have to get ourselves ready to meet the
inevitable demands, as it relates to our
tourism offerings over the next five years,"
Bartlett said, noting that the need for in-
creased investments to develop more di-
verse attractions, which he believes will be
a winning proposition "by any stretch of the
One local company, J Wray and Nephew
Ltd has announced plans to spend an es-
timated Jca$1 billion (One Jamaica dollar
=US$0.008 cents) to renovate its Apple-
ton Rum Tour facility and Bartlett said "I
have told them that based on everything I
am seeing, by way of investments, they will
have very little problem meeting or exceed-
ing their annual projections"
Bartlett said he also welcomed the Port
Authority of Jamaica's (PAJ) infrastructural
upgrade of the fisherman's beach in Ocho
Rios, St Ann, noting that, on completion,
the development will be a major tourist
"We need a lot more initiatives like these
and there is still time (to undertake these).
There is no doubt that the visitors will be
coming. So it's just a matter for us to put
our shoulders to the wheel and get going."
Bartlett's comments come against the
background of emphases by local tourism
interests of the need to increase the sector's
complement of resort attractions.
Currently, Jamaica is deemed to have some
of the most appealing and visitor -friendly
attractions in the Caribbean.
Locations such as Dunn's River Falls,
Mystic Mountain, Chukka Adventures and
Dolphin Cove, are among the island's most
enchanting world class attractions, which
have figured prominently as major pulls for
"These are tried and proven entities that
have been delivering for us big time. It would
be nice, however, if we get a lot more to
complement them, thereby enabling us to
meet the inevitable demands that will soon
be here," Bartlett said.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the National
Cruise Council (NCC) and Mayor of St.
Ann's Bay, Michael Belnavis, is encourag-
ing Jamaicans to position themselves to take
advantage of the anticipated boost in visitor
arrivals over the coming years.
"Jamaica's greatest asset is its people and
this is something that we should never lose
sight of. We are creative enough to come up
with our own unique ideas where we too can
be marketable," he contends.
He also dispels the view that investing in
the tourism sector is only for a "chosen few."
"If this were so, then it would simply mean
there would be no craft traders, no souvenir
shop owners, and certainly no-one who is
not considered amongst the elites. As Min-
ister Bartlett keeps reiterating, tourism is
not an exclusive club and every effort will be
made to ensure that the smaller players get
their fair share of the tourism pie," Belasis
Jamaica partners with
Singapore to develop
special economic zone
A partnership between the governments of Jamaica
and Singapore to develop Jamaica's Special Economic
Zone (SEZ), was discussed last week as Prime Minis-
ter Andrew Holness, met with Daniel Seah, Deputy
Director of Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE)
and representatives from the Special Economic Zone
Authority (SEZA) .
The development of the SEZ is based on memo-
randum of understanding (MOU) that was signed last
between both governments.
Kingston PortPrime Minister Holness said that the
"development of the SEZ will greatly impact Jamai-
ca's economic development as all Jamaicans should
benefit from the Zone."
This he says will be possible with limited interven-
tion from government. The three-tiered MOU estab-
lishes that the SCE will develop a world class Special
Economic Zone; provide planning and workforce skills
qualification framework and create a business envi-
ronment within Special Economic Zones.
Last year, the Jamaica government, promulgated the
Special Economic Zone Act which repeals the Jamaica
Free Zone Act. This makes provisions in respect of the
development, regulation, construction, supervision,
management and control of Special Economic Zones
in Jamaica. It is expected that the SEZ will create a
modern framework to attract investments in planned
industrial clusters that develop and deliver a wider
range of goods and services. CMC
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