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    Welcome to OECS Business Focus Weekly Issue No.6

    Regional Business News for informed decision-making.

    “Capitalize On Linkages In Tourism”, Jamaican Tourism Minister Says

    Jamaica’s Minister for Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, says the Caribbean needs to take advantage of the linkages that exist in the tourism sector.

    Bartlett said linkages exist in such sectors as food and beverage, shopping, health and wellness, nutroceuticals, venues for conventions and other events, among others

    Bartlett said that while some aspects of the industry are open to foreign control, such as marketing and investment, “the things that the visitor eats, the things that the visitor wears, the things that the visitor drinks, the experience that the visitor consumes in our destinations must be owned by us and that way the money stays with us”.
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    IDB Invest Partners with Unicomer Group to Provide Loan Support for Low Income Citizens

    IDB Invest, the private sector institution of the IDB Group, has disbursed financing of up to US$15 million to Unicomer Trinidad, part of the Unicomer Group. This is a medium-term, local currency loan. The funds are intended to finance the client portfolio of Unicomer Trinidad, with a particular focus on reaching low-income citizens.

    Read more...

     

    New Baggage Restriction on US Flights

    A new restriction has been imposed on carry-on baggage for passengers flying to the United States.
    Effective June 30, following a directive to airlines from the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA), any “powder like substance” with the exception of baby formula, medically prescribed powder-like substances and human remains, will be forbidden in carry-on and cabin luggage if the quantity of the substance is over 350 millilitres, 12 ounces or 350 grams.

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    UWI Seeks to Educate Caribbean Leaders on Climate Change

    Despite the technological and other advances since 1951, the political will to make the well-needed appropriate investments in climate change adaptation and mitigation policies and strategies remains a vitally important missing link in the development agenda of most regional states.

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    Antigua to Acquire Machines to Help Fight Sargassum Seaweed

    Equipment to help in the fight against the Sargassum Seaweed is expected to arrive in Antigua shortly.
    This follows a request made to Martinique at the recently concluded Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) meeting of the Council of Ministers of Environmental Sustainability in Montserrat, for assistance in identifying the suitable equipment.

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    Construction of Sandals Beaches in Barbados to Start Next Year

    Construction of the multi-million-dollar Sandals Beaches hotel in St Peter is going ahead despite the current bleak economic climate in Barbados.

    Sandals International Group Deputy Chairman Adam Stewart says this assurance has been given to Prime Minister Mia Mottley during meetings held between the Prime Minister and the Sandals Executives.

    Read more...

     

    TEECA Programme Hosts Business Retreat in Martinique to Enhance Trade and Investment

    A group of 15 Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), together with their counterparts from Martinique, participated in a business retreat held in Martinique from July 1 – 3, 2018, as part of the recently established Trade Enhancement for the Eastern Caribbean (TEECA) programme.

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    Cruise Passenger Arrivals to St Kitts Exceed One Million for the First Time

    St Kitts received its millionth cruise passenger on Monday last, reaching the key number of arrivals that gives the island marquee port status for the first time in its history.

    “I am deeply gratified to welcome over one million cruise passengers to our shores as of today,” said Lindsay Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce. “It is particularly significant that this historic occasion is taking place now, as we have over two months left in the 2017-2018 cruise season to increase arrivals even further. Reaching this milestone at this point in time is truly a testament to the strength of our relationships with the cruise lines and to the continuing appeal of our tourism product.”

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    European Union Steps Up ₤30 Million Support for Hurricane-Hit Caribbean Countries

    Representatives of the European Union (EU) and the governments of Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica on July 17 signed agreements in support of the post-hurricane recovery and reconstruction efforts in those Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states. The financing agreements amount to €30 million (US$35 million).

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    Jamaica Government to spend US$40k on Tablets for Teachers

    The Jamaica Government will be spending $5,234,800 or US$40,000 to provide additional tablets to equip teachers involved in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programme.
    Science and Technology Minister Dr Andrew Wheatley made the announcement this week while addressing the opening ceremony of the Excellence in STEM Experimental Education workshop at the Excelsior Community College in St Andrew.

    Read more...

     

    Cuba Lifting Freeze on New Private Tourism Businesses

    A 16-month freeze on new private restaurants and bed-and-breakfasts will end in December when Cuba's communist government implements new regulations meant to prevent tax evasion and the accumulation of wealth, state media has reported.

    Read more...

     

    How Apple App Store Changed Our World, a Decade Later

    A decade ago, Apple opened a store peddling iPhone apps, unlocking the creativity of software developers and letting users truly make their mobile devices their own.

    The resulting explosion of phone apps - there are now more than two million for the iPhone alone - has changed daily life for billions of people around the world.

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    UK Trade Commissioner to Latin America and the Caribbean visits the Region

    The UK’s HM Trade Commissioner to Latin America and the Caribbean, Joanna Crellin, visited Barbados from June 22 to 23 as a part of a regional tour, which included Jamaica, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.  

    The Trade Commissioner’s schedule in Barbados included meetings with Foreign Trade Minister Sandra Husbands, as well as representatives from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

    Read more...

     

    St Lucia Imposes Visa Requirement on Venezuelans; Waived for Chinese Citizens

    Pursuant to Cabinet conclusion No. 292 of 2018, which decided that Venezuela is a threat to Saint Lucia’s national security and that China should enjoy most favoured economic and political status, the government has imposed a visa requirement for Venezuelans and waived it for Chinese citizens.

    Read more...

     

    Delta Petroleum Supports Summer Safety Programme In St. Kitts and Nevis

    The 16th Annual Summer Safety Programme organized by the St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Services (SKNFRS) got off to an excellent start on Monday, July 16 with hundreds of children eager to make new friends and learn safety practices that they can apply in their daily lives.
     
    The theme this year was “Protecting the Future of our Federation through Fire Safety Awareness”.

    Read more..

     

     

    Global Travel Magazine Gives Top Marks To Saint Lucia’s Jade Mountain And Anse Chastanet

     

    Jade Mountain resort is the number one hotel in St. Lucia, according to readers of the influential Travel + Leisure (T+L) magazine, which also placed its sister hotel, Anse Chastanet, in the top five on the island.

    Read more...

     

     

    Find more OECS Business information in
    the OECS Business Focus Issue #9.
    Contact Your Local Chambers of Commerce a Free Printed Copy.
    www.oecsbusinessfocus.com

     

    Advertising & Marketing Services
    P.O Box 2003
    Gros Islet, St. Lucia
    Tel: 1758 453 1149
    www.oecsbusinessfocus.com

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    Welcome to OECS Business Focus Weekly Issue No.4

    Regional Business News for informed decision-making.

     

    Moody’s Changes Outlook On Digicel’s B2 Rating To Negative; Affirms Ratings

    Moody’s Investors Service (“Moody’s”) on June 28 changed to negative from stable the outlook on the ratings of Digicel Group Limited (“Digicel”, “DGL” or the “company”) and Digicel Limited (“DL”) and assigned a negative outlook to Digicel International Finance Limited (“DIFL”).

    At the same time, Moody’s has affirmed DGL’s B2 corporate family rating (CFR) and B2-PD probability of default rating (PDR), as well as the B1 rating on the unsecured notes of DL and the Ba2 rating on the secured bank credit facilities of DIFL.
    The change in outlook to negative reflects the company’s ongoing high leverage and the reduced runway available to the company to simultaneously improve its fundamental credit profile and address its large looming debt maturities with anticipation.

    Read more..

     
     

     

    ECCB Governor Appointed Chairman of Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF)

    CCRIF SPC has announced the appointment of Timothy Antoine, Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), as chairman of Caribbean catastrophe risk insurance facility, effective July 1, for a three-year term.

    Antoine succeeds Milo Pearson who chaired CCRIF’s board from its inception in 2007 and has now retired.

    Read more..

     

     

    The UWI Welcomes Alumni, Friends Around The World For 70th Anniversary Week of Celebrations

    For one week in July, thousands of alumni, students, staff and guests from across the Caribbean and the wider globe are expected to converge at The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Mona Campus for a week of activities hosted by Chancellor Robert Bermudez.

    Chancellor’s Week, from July 23-29, 2018, is set to be one of the highlights of a year-long celebration of the University’s legacy of “70 years of service, 70 years of leadership”. 

    Read more..

     

     

    St. Kitts and Nevis Agrees To Land Administration Information System (LAIS) Project

    The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis in partnership with the Republic of China (Taiwan) recently engaged in a brief but meaningful signing ceremony for the Land Administration Information System Project (LAIS), a system aimed at propelling the Federation from the analog era to the digital age insofar as land administration is concerned.

    Read more..

     

    LIAT Reintroduces Flights To St. Thomas

    In response to appeals from passengers, LIAT has reinstated its Antigua to St. Thomas service that the company discontinued on March 14, 2017.
    As of Monday, July 2, and every Monday, Wednesday and Friday thereafter, the company will operate one flight out of V.C. Bird International Airport to the United States Virgin Island of St. Thomas.

    Read more..

     

    New Grenadian Parliament Building Officially Opens

    St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, and European Union (EU) Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribban, Daniela Tramacere, on June 25 opened the Montreal Greenhouse Park which was financed at a cost of EC$4.7 million under the EU’s Banana Accompanying Measures Programme.

    Read more..

     

    Leewind Paints Closes

    Leewind Paints (1980) Ltd. has temporarily closed its doors in Antigua and Barbuda, leaving an unknown number of staff jobless after two months without pay.
    In a letter to staff dated June 29, managing director, Hugh Marshall Sr., said the company was unable to meet salary commitments for the months of May and June.

    Read more..

     

    Finance Minister Says Economic Citizenship Is No Magic Wand

    Seven months after being appointed Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves, has sent a clear message that he will maintain the policy of the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) not to introduce a Citizenship By Investment (CBI) programme in the country.
    St. Vincent and the Grenadines remains the only one of the five independent Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) member nations without a CBI programme, which is also referred to economic citizenship.

    Read more..

     

    Foreign Direct Investment for Latin America and Caribbean Drops for Third Straight Year

    Despite an international context characterized by stronger growth in the global economy, abundant international liquidity, high corporate returns and optimism in financial markets, the flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Latin America and the Caribbean fell for the third year in a row in 2017.
    The United Nations’ Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) reported on Thursday they dipped 3.6% from the previous year to US$161.7 billion. The amount was 20% below the level reached in 2011.
     

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    ECCB Reconstitutes Eastern Caribbean Payments Council

    The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has reconstituted the Eastern Caribbean Payments Council as part of its mandate to provide general oversight of the payment and settlements system.
    The Payments Council was first established in 2006 to provide advice on and oversight of the operations and developments of the payments system.

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    CARICOM Targets Year’s End For Regional Biodiversity Strategy

    The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat has resolved to present to the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) by year’s end a CARICOM Biodiversity Strategy (CBS) that will guide the protection and sustainable use the Community’s natural resources.

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    SVG Becomes The First Caribbean Nation To Establish a Consulate General in Northern Ireland

    St. Vincent and the Grenadines has become the first Caribbean nation to establish a Consulate General in Northern Ireland.
     
    The full resident diplomatic presence is located in Comber, Co Down, a town with historical links to the West Indies and close to Stormont Parliament.

    Read more..

     

    Bluefin Tuna Farming To Be Explored In Grenada

    “The premature start to the 2018 hurricane season on May 25 when subtropical storm Alberto formed East of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula serves as a stark reminder of last year’s devastating season,” said Garry Sinclair, C&W’s Caribbean President.

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    Modern Medical Complex Now Officially Open St. Vincent

    The Modern Medical and Diagnostic Centre is just one part of the Medical Complex in Georgetown that is expected to improve healthcare delivery to the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines. The official opening ceremony for the centre was held on the grounds of the complex on July 2 in Georgetown.
     
    Read more..

     

     

    Sandals Not Fazed by New Tourism Taxes in Barbados

    One of the Barbados’s major hotel chains says it’s not fazed by the new taxes imposed on the tourism industry by the Mia Mottley-led Barbados Labour Party (BLP) administration.
    In fact, Deputy Chairman of Sandals Resorts International (SRI), Adam Stewart, has made it clear that the Jamaica-headquartered hotel chain was ready to play its part in rebuilding the Barbados economy.

    Read more..

     

    UNDP’s Barbuda Recovery Projects To Benefit National Economy

    Rebuilding Barbuda after Hurricane Irma will significantly stimulate the national economy with recovery projects generating ongoing financial benefit for suppliers and local employment gains.
    This is according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the government of Antigua and Barbuda.

    Read more..

     

    Invest Caribbean Now Offering Medical Marijuana Real Estate Loans

    As Caribbean nations continue to focus on legalizing medical marijuana in the region, financing for loans to grow and funding for commercial buildings has become a top priority. To cater to this need, Invest Caribbean Now, the global private sector investment agency of the Caribbean, is now offering the option of loans on land deals and commercial real estate properties to qualified medical marijuana entrepreneurs in countries where the herb is legal.

    Read more..

     

    Find more OECS Business information in
    the OECS Business Focus Issue #9.
    Contact Your Local Chambers of Commerce a Free Printed Copy.
    www.oecsbusinessfocus.com

     
     

    Advertising & Marketing Services
    P.O Box 2003
    Gros Islet, St. Lucia
    Tel: 1758 453 1149
    www.oecsbusinessfocus.com

    Copyright
    Contact Us

     
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    Grenada Chamber of Industry
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    Tel: (473) 440 4485
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    E-mail: gcic@grenadachamber.org

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