MoBay Chamber welcomes multi million-dollar development projects
BY HORACE HINES
Observer West reporter
Thursday, September 06, 2018
MONTEGO BAY, St James - The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) is welcoming the multi million-dollar development projects being undertaken by Government in Montego Bay.
During a town hall meeting last week, Dr Horace Chang, a senior member of the Andrew Holness-led Cabinet, cited a myriad of projects that are currently underway, and others to come on stream in the resort city.
Among them is the ongoing massive Port Authority of Jamaica US$40million-project in the Montego Freeport, which includes the expansion of the berths to facilitate larger cruise vessels.
“The construction of the berth is US$16.3 million and the dredging of the port is going to cost about US$5 million,” Dr Chang expressed.
He added: “We (also) concluded a new centre for Business Process Outsourcing, which is already occupied, at a cost of about US $10million.”
Speaking at an MBCCI quarterly breakfast earlier this year, during which finance minister, Dr Nigel Clarke, was in attendance; president of the MBCCI, Winston Lawson, called on Government to expedite planned projects for the tourist resort city, which, he said, has been making a sterling contribution to the national coffers.
Last week, Lawson expressed that he is impressed with the projects to expand the port facilities, among others.
“The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry is encouraged to learn of the commencement of works to facilitate expansion of the port facilities and services at Freeport, Montego Bay. The expanded facility will allow the accommodation of additional vessels and increase the numbers in cruise shipping arrivals and general port services for the western side of the island,” the MBCCI president stated in a press release.
“This and other imminent developments will augur well for the continued positive growth trend and attractiveness of Montego Bay, the fastest growing city and tourism capital of the Caribbean.”
During the quarterly breakfast, Lawson also made queries about the start of the long awaited MoBay bypass as well as the Closed Harbour Beach development project.
Speaking on the subject of the perimeter road, Dr Chang, who is member of parliament for St James North Western, disclosed that Government has signed off on the contract for the construction of the bypass road. He added that an application has been made to the Exim Bank for a loan to fund its construction.
He also revealed, however, that the “Government is committed to spend the money to build the road”, if the loan conditions are not favourable.
“The Government of Jamaica will fund the road if we don't get the money to borrow. And we will start this road during the course of the next financial year,” Dr Chang who is also the Minister of Security assured the gathering assembled inside the town hall meeting at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre last Thursday.
Dr Chang also announced a $1.9-billion project, which involves the construction of barracks to house 300 members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force; a housing development to relocate some residents of Canterbury; a massive drain project; road rehabilitation works, among other programmes.
Dr Chang later told the Jamaica Observer West that Government has not only approved plans to expand the airport runway “so we can take long-haul jets” but “for this year we are looking at expanding the immigration area in order to ensure that we can get the passengers through in a smooth and quick time”.