US$3 billion investment to create tens of thousands of new jobs in Jamaica
Member of the country’s economic growth council Adam Stewart.
KINGSTON –Jamaica stands to benefit from over US$3 billion in investment projects up to 2019, which will create over 25,000 new jobs, with another 100,000 persons to benefit indirectly.
That’s according to member of the Economic Growth Council (EGC), Adam Stewart, who noted that the projects, which are either underway or slated to come on stream, span several sectors including mining, tourism, shipping, and business process outsourcing (BPO).
Stewart, who is deputy chairman and chief executive officer of Sandals Resorts International, said that among the undertakings is the US$1 billion investment in the upgrading of the Alpart alumina refinery in St. Elizabeth by Chinese entity, Jiquan Iron and Steel Company Limited, which is expected to provide 3,000 permanent jobs.
There are also the US$750 million Bogue power plant in Montego Bay; upgrading of the Kingston Container Terminal; and construction of the US$70 million 150-room Breathless Resort.
Other projects include: Kingston Wharves Limited’s opening of 150,000 sq. ft. of space; and the Heineken Group’s committal of 3,000 acres of land for cassava cultivation.
Stewart said projects on the verge of implementation include investments of US$1.4 billion in tourism across Jamaica, which will add 6,800 hotel rooms to the existing stock of 32,000 while providing 12,000 new jobs.
There is also a US$150 million BPO project that will create just over 9,000 new jobs; as well as US$575 million in alternative energy projects expected to generate 1,700 jobs.
Stewart said future projects anticipated include: boosting of the BPO sector by over 1,000 new seats, coupled with expressions of interest in operational expansions by a number of entities; construction of an additional 4,000 hotel rooms by the Karisma Group; Sandals Resorts and the Marriott’s commitment of US$50 million to develop 220 rooms; as well as Sandals’ US$100 million development in Portland that will create 500 new jobs.
He also disclosed that Sandals’ investment of US$50 million in development projects has generated 250 new jobs; while the opening of the Ibex BPO facility in Portmore, St. Catherine, last October provided 1,000 new jobs.
“This is only a snapshot…and by no means is this list exhaustive… (but) it’s quite mind-boggling,” he said. “When you take it all and amalgamate it and look at what Jamaica has right now (it amounts to) opportunities. We are on the cusp of something fantastic.”