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W. D Carter Lecture Series
Published: Tuesday, May 2, 2017 4:06:37 PM

The Hon. Mike Henry making his address at the W.D Carter Lecture Series on the main campus of NCU

Amidst recent concerns about Chinese taking over jobs in Jamaica, the Minister of Transport and Mining, the Honourable Mike Henry has sought to reassure that this will not be the case with the reopening of the ALPART facility by the Chinese firm JISCO. Speaking at a recent public forum, organised and hosted by Northern Caribbean University through its Department of Business and Management, which focussed on the Bauxite industry in central Jamaica and its impact.

“At the moment at ALPART, 575 Jamaicans have been re-employed and 260 Chinese; the vast majority of [whom] will return to China within the next 6 months, and all of them will be replaced by Jamaicans who will be sent to China for training,” the Minister shared during the forum.

The Minister of Finance, Honourable Audley Shaw, spoke about the great job opportunities that the reopening of ALPART will bring and the possibility of Central Jamaica, namely Manchester and St Elizabeth becoming a hub for the production of bauxite alumina in Jamaica. This he said would in turn create thousands of other jobs, revive the railway system right across the country and could possibly revive the Vernamfield air strip as a logistics centre for the exporting of bauxite to China for processing.

“The possibilities are exciting for adding more value in Jamaica,” Mr Shaw expressed.

While there were positive outlooks on the matter, concerns were raised about the environmental impacts that would arise from the reopening of the plant.

In response, Minister Henry’s team gave the assurance that the environmental implications will be dealt with readily, but also in stages.


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