Port meets with Chamber of Commerce

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Members of the Antigua and Barbuda Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ltd. were yesterday updated about ongoing changes at the Antigua and Barbuda Port Authority which should improve operations.
Yesterday at the Cortsland Hotel, over 50 members of the business community heard from Port Manager Darwin Telemaque on how the port intends to address the challenges they may have while conducting business at the port.
Following the Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Telemaque told OBSERVER media that the most significant challenge is space.
“They were updated on the changes taking place at the port and the impact as well as some of the remedial arrangements we are putting in place to mitigate the overall impact. There are significant challenges with space, the design processes as a result of losing a significant amount of space at the port and we believe that as those situations emerge that it would be wise to sit down with the business community,” he said.
Telemaque said Chinese financiers of the US $90 million port project require large amounts of land which is now being utilised by the port. He said the task now is to assess the port’s ability to function in less land space.
“We have the awesome task to run the port with less than half the space when they are done and maintain 100 percent effectiveness. It is going to be a dance, it is going to be a difficult task to do that. To not have the support of the public makes that more difficult,” he noted.
The intention of the session was to get the buy-in of the business  community because Telemaque said some of the solutions are still being formulated.
Members of the contracting firm overseeing the construction of the port modernisation project at the Deep-Water Harbour were also present at yesterday’s event.
Described as the single largest infrastructural project ever in the country, the expansion and modernisation of the port are expected to boost the country’s economy in a major way, due in part to the longstanding relationship that exists between Antigua and Barbuda and China. 
The new facility is expected to bring opportunities to Antigua and Barbuda, the government has said. (Tameika Malone)

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