PM lauds SAJ, CSA for contributions to national and regional development
Prime minister Andrew Holness has thanked the Shipping of Jamaica (SAJ) and the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA) for their roles ”in assisting regional governments to develop policies, laws and regulations to foster growth and efficiency in trade, economic growth and job creation”. In delivering the keynote address at the opening ceremony of the CSA’s 18th Caribbean Shipping Executives’ Conference (CSEC) at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel yesterday, the prime minister made special mention of the SAJ’s contribution to the formulation of the new Customs Act, which will modernise and make more efficient Jamaica’s shipping industry and, by extension, our logistics industry. He also thanked the organisations for their advocacy role in this process.
In congratulating the SAJ on celebrating its 80th anniversary by hosting this year’s CSEC meeting in Jamaica, Prime Minister Holness said, “The SAJ has set a high benchmark for excellence over the past eight decades in its efforts to promote and protect the interests of the Jamaican shipping industry and those of the wider region.” He said that the Jamaican government appreciates the advantage the country enjoys by its strategic location as a shipping hub for the global movement of cargo from east to west and north to south. “To make the most of this business potential, the Jamaica Trade Information Portal has been launched to provide a single authoritative source for trade information related to import and export regulations, processes and requirements,” he continued.
With regard to the topics scheduled for discussion during the two-day CSEC meeting, Prime Minister Holness lauded the CSA for including the crucial issue of maritime environmental protection. He stated that he is a member of the High level panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, which comprises a membership of serving political leaders. “I take my role seriously on this body because a sustainable ocean is vital for the sustainability of the global economy,” he said.
A highlight of the first day’s meeting of the CSEC was the signing of the Caribbean Maritime Environment Protection Agency Resolution, which is of great importance to promotion of the ‘blue economy’.
The prime minister was introduced to the audience of approximately 300 shipping executives by Charles Johnston, president of the SAJ, who pointed out the significance of both the SAJ and the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union celebrating their 80th anniversaries in 2019. He said that although one organisation was formed to represent labour and the other to represent employers, both the trade union and the SAJ had forged a partnership in Jamaica’s first Joint Industrial Council, which continues to play a tremendous role in the growth and modernisation of Port Bustamante.
The 18th CSEC opening ceremony was also addressed by Juan Carlos Croston, president of the CSA, who expressed his gratitude to the SAJ for not only being the host country association for the conference but for the integral role the SAJ has played in the formation of the CSA and its continued vibrancy as the voice of shipping in the region.
The CSEC is the first of two conferences hosted by the CSA annually. The CSA is the voice of the Caribbean shipping industry and was established in 1971 to facilitate the development of an efficient, viable Caribbean shipping industry. Conferences hosted by the CSA provide a forum in which matters relevant to the growth and development of Caribbean shipping are discussed. The conference ends today.