Beijing: China Harbour Engineering, a leading construction company in China, has signed a preliminary agreement with the Jamaican government for the development of a controversial transshipment hub off the southwest coast of Jamaica.
According to the agreement, China Harbour Engineering seeks to develop the Portland Bight Protected Area southwest of the capital, also known as the Goat Islands.
The government said that the project, part of a larger logistics hub, would create 2,000 jobs during the construction phase and 10,000 jobs when it is completed.
The hub is being planned as an addition to the existing port of Bustamante in Kingston and is designed to facilitate faster distribution of container cargo, mainly from China, throughout Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean region.
Currently the project is facing resistance from local environmentalists.
"We treasure the preservation of the environment as much as any other group, and we are concerned about the human beings and the plight of poverty, and the impact which that has on the environment," said Omar Davies, the cabinet minister responsible for the development. [03/04/14]