The Prime Minister, who addressed staff of LASCO following a tour of the White Marl plant in yesterday, said the company’s most recent investment is a massive show of confidence in Jamaica.
“This is the kind of bold action that is needed from our private sector partners at a time when our Government is significantly improving the climate for investment and business generally,” the Prime Minister said.
She pointed out that the expansion of LASCO’s capacity was taking place at a time when the government was strengthening its partnership with the private sector to boost growth and to create jobs.
LASCO Manufacturers has expanded its White Marl facility to 340,000 square feet, and
has installed new state-of-the-art equipment, including a new dry powder plant and new bottle-blowing equipment capable of blowing 36,000 bottles per hour.
The expansion was done to facilitate LASCO’s newest initiative, which is its line of iCool liquid products.
The Prime Minister said it is now time for other businesses to emulate the company’s “bold move “and find similar entrepreneurial courage. “Investments in new projects, plant modernisation and expansion will help to generate the jobs that our country needs urgently,” she pointed out.
Mrs. Simpson Miller said now is a good time for Jamaican businesses to expand, as there is significant improvement in the management of the economy.
“The business climate is better and this view is supported by several sources including the World Bank, Forbes Magazine and local business confidence surveys,” she emphasised.
She noted that at the same time, the reduction in world oil prices is providing a cushion and a window for business consolidation and strategic expansion.
Founder and Executive Chairman of LASCO Affiliated Companies, Lascelles Chin, informed that to meet the increasing demand for its new iCool products, the company has embarked on further expansion.
He said LASCO Distributors Ltd will invest an additional $1.2 billion to erect a 100,000-square foot warehouse, which is expected to be completed by the end of April.
The expansion will also provide additional space for LASCO, in its capacity as the new distributors for international consumer goods company, Unilever as well as Monymusk Rum.
“This warehouse will help to provide us with well-needed space, which we require to satisfy the increased production of liquid and powdered products from the new LASCO manufacturing plant,” he said.
Additionally, Mr. Chin said, LASCO will invest a further $700 million to increase production, a move that will enable the company to double the capacity of its liquid manufacturing plant.
He said the expansion will also increase exports as well as provide further employment opportunities. LASCO Affiliated Companies currently employs some 750 persons.
Mr. Chin informed that the company moved from one to two production shifts last year and with the future expansions, will be adding a third shift.
Launched in 1988, through its LASCO Affiliated Companies, the organisation continues to make a sizeable investment in Jamaica’s manufacturing industry through its 250 consumer products, making it one of the largest distributors of consumer products in the Caribbean.
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