A critical evaluation of how free trade zones and maritime activities impact on port development: A case study of the Port of Kingston

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This dissertation is a study to reveal the degree of impact which free trade zone operations and maritime activities impact on the development of the Port of Kingston. Furthermore, provides a clarification as to the growth of the global economy, causes a significant demand for port capacity. Therefore, additional investment in port infrastructure is required for ports in order for them to maintain their viability and success. Importantly based on the results of the logistics performance index and the doing business report has proven Jamaica competitive in maritime industry in the Latin American and Caribbean region due to its geostrategic location and the efficient services provided at the port. Moreover, the policies implemented by the government specifically the special economic zone act 2016 created an enabling business environment which benefits investors, shipping lines, maritime stakeholders and free trade zone operators.

Additionally, with the use of various statistical tools this research was able to prove that a country is able to develop its economy through the implementation of free trade zones around its ports of entry. Hence the zones attract foreign direct investment and increase employment numbers. Moreover, the combination of an efficient transshipment port fully integrated with the free trade zones is the ideal combination for economic development. Consequently, the Eviews regression model revealed that vessel arrival numbers, free zone values and cargo volumes definitely contribute to port development. Summarily the research presents three scenarios in which the administration of the port of kingston should evaluate in order to main continued growth of the port.

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