Minister of Transport and Mining, Mike Henry says international shipping is a major plank of the Government’s strategic economic programme, capitalising on potential mega investments associated with the global logistics hub initiative and bolstered by the expanded Panama Canal.

He was speaking on day one of the 30th Session of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) General Assembly at the entity’s headquarters in London on Monday. The session, which concludes on December 6, is being held under the theme ‘IMO: Connecting Ships, Ports and People’.

Jamaica is actively lobbying support for its election to Category ‘C’ of the IMO Council at elections to be held this Friday, December 1.

Henry told delegates that Jamaica considers the development and growth of the maritime sector as a major feature of Vision 2030, which is the national development plan. The sector, he said, is essential in growing the economy while providing employment through a range of professional services, building on the success facilitated by substantial investments in world-class ports in cruise and transshipment, global distribution through the logistics hub, a dynamic and diverse Caribbean Maritime University, and an effective marine administration with a small but quality ship registry.

He informed that the island’s capacity to perform as a well-regulated maritime State continues to benefit from the IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme, and that through its own bilateral assistance, Jamaica has the honour of delivering training on behalf of the IMO to other Caricom countries.

Henry said Jamaica continues to show leadership in the Caribbean region in partnering with the IMO to find solutions to reducing emissions from international shipping. He noted that the country is the only one in the region and the only Small Island Developing State that was selected as a Lead Pilot Country under the Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnership (GLOMEEP), which tackles emissions from international shipping through legal, policy and institutional reforms.

GLOMEEP is a project of the IMO, Global Environment Facility (GEF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
During a courtesy call on Secretary-General of the IMO, Kitack Lim Minister Henry underscored Jamaica’s long-standing commitment and support for the agency, citing the country’s implementation of the rules and standards emanating from the IMO.

The secretary general commended Jamaica on its active role and involvement at the IMO, on its advanced maritime infrastructure, as well as the unique skills and contribution of Rear Admiral (Ret’d) Peter Brady, who is Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) and Special Envoy to the IMO.

Jamaica’s delegation to the assembly includes Jamaica’s High Commissioner to London, Seth Gorge Ramocan; MAJ chair, Corah Ann Robertson-Sylvester, president of the CMU, Professor Fritz Pinnoc, and Rear Admiral Brady.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News.