Speech by the Prime Minister

The Launch of The Pinnacle, Montego Bay

The Launch of The Pinnacle, Montego Bay

Keynote Address


The Most Honourable Andrew Holness ON, PC, MP

Prime Minister of Jamaica


The Launch of The Pinnacle, Montego Bay


January 20, 2024


You can imagine that I am at a loss for words. The presentation which we have just seen brings a new level of real estate development to Jamaica.  And I want to congratulate the principals of LCH Developments.  It is a visionary project.  It is a project that shows quite a bit of bravery. And I know that there are many looking on, on the project and saying this is substantial, this is significant.  So, you’re not only breaking ground today, you’re doing something that is groundbreaking in Jamaica.

Today I hosted the Foreign Minister of China, His Excellency Wang Yi.  The Ambassador, obviously, could not have been here with us because he has to take care of his Foreign Minister who is here. He did not give me a message, he sent his message but I’m sure he would not object to me saying that the visit of the Chinese foreign minister was a very useful visit, and we had very good discussions about the economic partnership and the infrastructure partnership and the people-to-people relationships that exist between Jamaica and China.

LCH is the exemplification of the people-to-people relationship. I’m not quite sure if I should say you’re Chinese or you’re Jamaican.  You’re Jamaican, I like that but we acknowledge that you bring with you your Chinese heritage, values and culture and you have sought to integrate with the Jamaican dream and aspiration, with the Jamaican goals and objectives, with the objective of everyone here which is to develop this beautiful island.  And you’re not just talking about it, you’re making your mark, your contribution and your investment in the country.

In speaking to the foreign minister, he pointed out that China has achieved what they call a centennial goal.  They have lifted their entire population out of extreme poverty. They have eradicated extreme poverty from their land. And he said to me that China is moving on to the next phase of their development, and they are setting another 100-year goal.  And the essence of that 100-year goal is described quite succinctly in speed and quality. Very simple, very elegant.

I did say to His Excellency Wang Yi, how much more speed, and how much more quality?  But it shows you the high standards that they have set for themselves.  We too can learn from that, speed and quality.  What I have seen displayed here today quite clearly is that you have set a new bar for quality, and you have aptly described it as the Pinnacle.  I asked you while you were speaking chairman, how long will it take and you told me, four years, you will complete everything in four years. Mind you, four towers, 28 floors, 500 plus apartments; we look forward to the completion of this very significant development.

The development will cement Jamaica’s brand in the lifestyle segment of the hospitality market.  It will add a new dimension to our tourism and I’m very happy for that because our tourism product which has carried us for the last 50 years must diversify.  It must move into other segments, into other areas, and make significant marks there.

A few weeks ago, in my New Year’s address, I outlined some policy objectives for the coming year. I pointed out that the government will be seeking to directly participate and promote the development of housing for tourism workers.  We believe that this is a necessary part of the development of the tourism product. So, as we celebrate the development of this new dimension of our tourism, the government is mindful that you will need more tourist workers and they will need places to live and it must be our objective that the development of the country must always be mindful that as we seek to develop more luxury and opulence, we must lift the standards for all Jamaicans.

Already, the Minister of Tourism and myself, we have agreed that some of the tourism enhancement revenues will partner with our New Social Housing Programme to provide housing solutions for those persons working in the hospitality sector who have below standard housing. We have given directives to the NHT, and the HAJ and they are now looking for lands. Well, they have secured lands and about to secure more in areas that have a high concentration of tourism enterprises.  So, in the very near future, we will be coming to market with housing solutions specifically targeted to tourist workers.

Yes, I would not hesitate to clap for that, but I could not have this very large audience gathered and not make a few very important points that I know that the leader of the Opposition and the Members of the Cabinet would be very interested to hear. This development, Mr. Chairman, I claim it as I claim all developments happening in Jamaica because as I’m always reminded by Mark, all the problems are mine so if there are good things happening in Jamaica, I must claim it.

And yes, we know there are many challenges in Jamaica, significant but I look at it as a cup being half full rather than half empty because perspective matters.  Half full, I’m starting closer to the top, half empty, I’m looking to the bottom, so perspective is important.  And the perspective I have is that LCH Developers would not have taken the decision to make such a significant investment, take such a significant risk if they did not take an optimistic view of Jamaica’s future.

Recently, again, Mark and I were at an event where it was not groundbreaking, but a celebration of an expansion in production capacity of the Hendrickson family of a new world class state of the art modern bakery located right here in Montego Bay. A couple of weeks before that, I was opening a new centre with Mark Kerr-Jarrett; so many things are happening good in Montego Bay.

Yes, and a few weeks ago, I went to visit several sites of the new Montego Bay Perimeter Road, which is moving quite rapidly. Can you believe it, 60 per cent of the road course way has already been excavated; a four-wheel drive vehicle could drive on it. They have started construction on a massive bridge and other supporting infrastructure. From what I see, the road is on time, and it will certainly be finished before you’re finished, Mr. Chairman, which is good because I want to go to another point to further explain why I say I claim these developments.

All of these developments must pass through the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation. They come across my desk, certainly, issues of environmental approval and planning, issues for road and traffic but probably the most important thing which the developers will agree is the availability of water.  A development like this cannot take place unless there is significant plans in place and capacity available to provide that very crucial amenity.

So, I had announced a few months ago a massive investment programme close to US 209 million dollars to renew, rehabilitate and construct new water supply facilities for this northwestern belt of the island. It will ensure  reliable water for all residents of Montego Bay, for the thousands of citizens living up in the hills and the valleys in the rural communities; one of them I visited recently, and they were very grateful that for the first time in 40 years, they are having water but we will provide the water for all the citizens of St James and for the businesses that will also depend on it and grow as a result of it.

I want to close my comments by sharing some thoughts I have on the development of the city. Pardon if they may sound harsh, but we cannot continue to develop in enclaves. It is always easy for us to define an area, put security around it, and develop within that area but it doesn’t create the society that we all want, where you can’t walk out of the enclave and have the same level of comfort, amenities, and security outside the gates. That cannot be the Jamaica we are seeking to create. The Jamaica that I’m sure we want to create is for all Jamaicans to be able to enjoy the same level of security, the same level of amenities, the same facilities, the same services. Out of many one, also means one Jamaica.

I am very much seized of my role, duty and responsibility in ensuring that this happens. This is why I serve the country, and this is why I continue to persevere because I want to see one Jamaica where everyone can have the same life chances and opportunities. So, as we move to support industry, commerce, and businesses, the government will ensure that we create a caring economy. We want to create a productive economy.  We want to create a efficient economy but we also want to create a peaceful society and a caring economy and that is why we are making the kinds of investments that you will see materialize in our education system.

For this investment to truly prosper, to truly succeed, Mr. Chairman, you’re going to need people. And the cry of the business community, I get it all the time, is that we simply don’t have enough people and we don’t have enough talent to carry the business. Government is seized of that, and we are already making the investments in our people through increased training in HEART/ NSTA where we have expanded training, through increased training through the Jamaica National Service Corps through the JDF, through the expansion of the education intake by putting two additional years onto high school. I’m currently doing a tour of the high schools, speaking to the students, encouraging them, getting them into the mindset that they prepare themselves to give their service, their talent to Jamaica instead of migrating.

We have started that process because Jamaica can only grow if every citizen feels invested in the country and every citizen realizes that they are a part of the GDP.  And when they increase their quality of output and when they increase their speed of output, our GDP will grow. When we increase productivity, our GDP will grow.  And when that happens, we have a greater chance at peace. And when you put the two things together, increased productivity and peace, you’re on your way to prosperity well-being.

And when people have that sense, Custos, of wellbeing, they become more productive.  And when they get more productive, they get more peaceful.  And more peace gives more prosperity, and more prosperity gives more productivity, and more productivity gives more peace and that is what we are aiming for. I’m sure all of you are aiming for this what we call the virtuous cycle.

My friends, Jamaica is on its way to creating the virtuous cycle of development, the sustainable cycle of development, the development that balances man and nature, that balances our material wants with our spiritual and human development, the development that is fear and equitable and transparent, a development that we can all share in prosperity. This is a very good example of the emergence of the virtuous cycle and the caring, growing peaceful economy.

God bless you. And thanks to the developers for taking the risk on Jamaica and doing this very, very important development.

Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.