KINGSTON, Jamaica, October 23, 2017 — The Factories Corporation of Jamaica (FCJ) plans to establish some 1.5 million square feet of office space, adding to the 1.7 million square feet already in operation, and providing more than 30,000 new jobs.
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Dr. Horace Chang, said the Corporation is on a trajectory to dramatically increase the amount of commercial/industrial space available in the island and to put them to full use for Jamaicans to be gainfully employed.
He was speaking at the FCJ’s 30th anniversary awards banquet, held on Saturday (October 21) at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, to recognise the contributions of long-serving staff members and loyal clients.
The FCJ is the leading, single-largest provider of factory space and infrastructure in Jamaica. It has embarked on a new thrust, aimed at creating more space to accommodate the mushrooming business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.
Minister Chang said the agency is under a directive from the Ministry to invest in space for research and innovation.
“We are providing purpose-fit facilities that will help to stimulate our science, research and innovative capabilities,” he informed.
“We have to go in this direction if we are to bring sustainable development to this country, and persistent growth,” he added.
Minister Chang told his audience that the Garmex Free Zone and Industrial Estate, managed by the FCJ and located on Marcus Garvey Drive in St. Andrew, has more than 500,000 square feet of net rentable space.
He said the area will have facility to accommodate youth entrepreneur zones, and an incubator centre, focusing on early-stage companies that can benefit the most, from hands-on mentorship, guidance and advice.
Minister Chang noted that FCJ reserves 40 percent of every new facility that it constructs, for operators of small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs).
This is in keeping with the government’s mission to reduce barriers affecting the sector, which is a major provider of jobs.
Meanwhile, Minister Chang said the St. Thomas leg of the South Coast Highway, set to get under way in 2018, is an example of providing critical investment in ports, water supply and sewer systems, so that the private sector can “focus on getting the productive sector going”.
The project will cover a four-lane highway from Harbour View to Bull Bay, largely utilising the existing alignment of the roadway; an upgrade to the road between Bull Bay and Morant Bay, which may include minor road realignment, a truck lane and the reduction of deep corners and steep ridges, as well as improvement of the road from Morant Bay to Port Antonio, and Morant Bay to Cedar Valley.