Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Biz: Jamaica, Land of P-3 Opportunity

There's literally tens of billions of dollars (and maybe even oil) awaiting the right investor in Jamaica. That is, if one is prepared to partner with the Government.

Separate from those properties - like the recently completed Caymanas Park racetrack - that the Government is seeking to divest itself of, the administration is open to partnerships in a myriad of  large infrastructure projects, from sea and airports (in particular, Kingston's Norman Manley, now in its 2nd go-round), to hospitals, water and sewerage works (there are still pipes in the capital dating back to the early 1800s!) and roads and other utilities.

That's the very encouraging word coming from the Government - via the Development Bank of Jamaica, which is hosting a two-day conference on Infrastructure (it ends today) with a marked focus on  public-private partnerships(or P-3s, as they have been so neatly abbreviated).

The audience heard form Government agencies in Canada, Barbados, Guyana and Jamaica, and an equally wide cros0-section of private sector players on what conceptualising, developing and implementing P-3s really involved and the do's and dont's learned from executing them in previous years.

Multi-national agency funding still exists (the World Bank and IDB both had a presence at the Conference), but the realization has dawned that the "big ticket" development items are no longer just going to be "blanket funded" and in any case, the need is such that private funds, which are themselves looking for more stable landing places, will have to be engaged if the process is to be seen through.

At day's end, the hardier participants "decamped" to the Pegasus hotel's 17th floor lounge for some informal (yet important discussions) over cocktails and the sounds of Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff et al, guys who long ago understood and effected the "global partnership" model.

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