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Shovel-Ready Projects Coming On Stream
KINGSTON (JIS) -- Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says several projects are coming on stream under the Shovel-Ready Initiative. “The initiative seeks to directly assist investors by obtaining preliminary development approvals, conducting carrying capacity studies, assessing appropriate land utilisation and installing preliminary infrastructure,” he said. The Minister was opening the 2017/2018 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on April 4. His address was delivered under the theme ‘Sustainable Tourism – A Catalyst for Job Creation and Inclusive Growth’. Mr. Bartlett said that directly assisting investors to obtain preliminary development approvals will result in an investment process that is streamlined and expedited. Jamaica has already benefited from the first major investment under the initiative with the contract signing of the Karisma Hotels and Resorts for the construction of 5,000 new rooms in Llandovery, St. Ann.
The project is to be undertaken over the next five to 10 years, with some 8,000 jobs to be created.
Mr. Bartlett commended Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz for his “absolute determination and significant role in getting several of these projects moved through the maze of bureaucracy”.
The Minister also noted that Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has assured him that bureaucracy will be reduced in order to meet internationally accepted standards of efficiency and speed.
The Shovel-Ready initiative is being jointly undertaken by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) and the Commissioner of Lands.