FREE Issue No. 10
Oct / Dec 2018
One Community Growing Together
SUPPORTING CSME SINCE 2008
OECS Nationals to Enjoy Health Benefits from MOU With French Islands
CCJ Installs First Homegrown President
www.oecsbusinessfocus.com An Official Publication of the OECS Commission
Discover Dominica Authority
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
O E C S
23. Preventing The Propagation of Invasive Agricultural Produce In The Eastern Caribbean
CARICOM Development Bank
34. CDF Celebrating 10 Years of Service to the Caribbean Community 38. Historical Overview Of The CDF 41. CDF As A Response To Address Disadvantaged Countries, Regions And Sectors In The CSME 42. Country Assistance Programmes Overview 47. 10 Years Of Supporting The CSME 48. Initiatives Under Development 52. The CDF: A Major Plank in the CSME 53. Featured Messages Caribbean Court of Justice
70. The Caribbean Court of Justice: From Concept to Reality 71. Protection from Political Pressure and Influence 72. Selected CCJ Cases: An Overview 73. Judges of the Caribbean Court of Justice 74. Past Presidents and Judges 75. Justice Adrian Saunders Sworn in as Third CCJ President 76. The Making of a Homegrown CCJ President: The Honourable Mr. Justice Adrian Saunders 77. Landmark Decision Made by The Caribbean Court of Justice 78. Make Use of CCJ for Redress 80. Commentary: The CCJ - A Court for the People 4. 6.
Editor’s Note OECS Briefs
OECS Commission 8. OECS Chairman Dr. Ralph Gonsalves Commits To Accelerating Regional Integration 12. Improving Financial Literacy 13. Regional Transportation Issues Highlighted at Hemispheric Meeting 14. OECS YES In Action Highlights Cheyenne Polius 17. OECS Commission Completes Third SpanishLanguage Course 18. OECS Transitioning to a Blue Economy 20. Juvenile Justice Reform: One Size Never Fits All 22. Healthy News For Tourism OECSBusinessFocus
Governance Guru 24. Employee Engagement: The Missing “Success Ingredient” in Board Oversight Money Matters 26. ECCB to Issue New Polymer-Based Notes in 2019 27. CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Anguilla Operations To Close 27. CCRIF SPC Welcomes St. Maarten To The Facility 28. Living Local, Investing Global: The Case for Global Diversification 29. How Crypto-loans Can Optimize Your Tax Situation 30. ANSA McAL Earns $454m Second Quarter Profit 30. Decline in Profits for First Citizens 31. JMMB Net Profit Up 56 per cent 31. World Bank to Issue World’s First Blockchain Bond 32. CIBC Raises Provision For Credit Losses 32. Republic Financial Holdings Makes Offer for Cayman Bank
54. Budget Marine Antigua: The Caribbean’s Leading Chandlery A Look Back on 25 Years of Evolution
Economy & Trade
56. US$40 Million Rum Distillery Coming to Grenada 57. ECLAC Predicts 1.5% Expansion For Latin American, Caribbean Economies 58. Mexico, U.S. Agree Basis For NAFTA Renegotiation 59. Creating an Innovation Mindset for Competitive Advantage 60. Exxon Mobil Announces Ninth Discovery Offshore Guyana 60. St. Kitts/Nevis PM: “Agricultural Sector Development Key To Sustaining Economy” 61. Harris Paints Expands Regional Presence 61. Trinidad & Tobago’s Manufacturing Sector Needs Caribbean Market for Growth 62. Caribbean Flavours to Supply Sugar, Salt Reducer to Regional Manufacturers 63. Bridging the Gap Between Caribbean Agriculture and U.S. Consumers 64. FAO Strengthens Fisher-folk Groups in Seven Caribbean States 65. Saint Lucia Exports Breadfruit To U.S. 66. SOL St. Lucia Wins Multi-million-dollar Fuel Contract in the BVI 66. Sun Country Airlines Flights Set For Belize, St. Kitts
67. Trinidad’s Excellent Stores Celebrates 60th Anniversary, Set to Open New Store in St Lucia and Go Regional 67. Rainforest Sends First Shipment of Live Lobsters To China 68. BVI Premier to Lead First Trade Mission to Africa 68. Barbados Could Access Up to US$290M Through IMF Agreement
82. Fujitsu and Oracle Partner to Introduce Oracle Cloud at Customer to the Caribbean 84. Flow Jamaica Shines In C&W Q2 Report 85. Google Clarifies Location-Tracking Policy 86. Samsung Launches Note 9 With Boast of Ultimate Performance 87. Taiwan ICT Experts Visit SVG to Complete E-Governance Project 87. China’s Huawei Eyes Smartphone Summit After Passing Apple
88. Kingston Hosts Earn US$2.4m From Airbnb Service In 2017 88. Caribbean Hoteliers Develop Disaster Preparedness Manual 89. Antigua’s New Historic Restoration Push 89. American Airlines Adds Second Daily Miami to Saint Lucia Flight
90. BMR Energy Acquires Solar Power Plant in St Croix, USVI Hurricane-Damaged Facility Currently Being Restored 91. Probiotic Animal Feed Now Being Introduced in Dominica 92. Hurricane-resistant Modular Homes Coming To Antigua 93. Dominica to Ban Styrofoam, Plastic Dinnerware in 2019 93. USAID/OFDA Provides Plastic Sheeting Training in Caribbean
In The Know
94. Supporting Women in STEM 96. Pamela Coke-Hamilton Moves on After 8 Years at Carib-Export Agency Launches 2018 Caribbean Exporter of the Year Awards (CEYA) 97. Jamaica, Belize Sweep Caribbean Media Awards 98. Work Continues in Antigua to Establish Local Nursing Degree 98. China Granted Observer Status In IICA 99. St. Kitts Defence Force Gets Policing Powers 99. Taiwan Funds EC$500,000 Upgrade of St Vincent Government Printery 100. MAJOR MOVES 103. Events 104. Advertisers’ Index www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
Hurricane-resistant Modular Homes Coming To Antigua
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
Regional Institutions – Key Development Partners with consistently increasing distribution. We invite those of you who wish to receive our Newsletter to submit a request to us with your email address and we will ensure you are added to our database.
Lokesh Singh Publisher / Managing Director
Welcome to our final edition for 2018. Over the past three years we are pleased to have been able to deliver the OECS Business Focus Magazine, supporting the efforts of the OECS Commission to strengthen and expand trade, investment and business development across the OECS Member States. The Magazine has been well received across the region and beyond and we Thank You for your support. We also have since added earlier this year, our sister publication – The OECS BUSINESS FOCUS WEEKLY. This is a Weekly Newsletter focusing on Business Issues for the benefit of our corporate community which is distributed electronically
In this edition of the Magazine, our Special Feature celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the CARICOM Development Fund. This organisation has been quietly but actively supporting regional development initiatives for the benefit of the many communities which have been impacted positively. We commend the visionary countries who created the CDF and provided the necessary resources and support to ensure they were able to successfully deliver on their mandate. We wish to express our congratulations and best wishes to the CDF for their continued success as they embark on their second decade of operations. We also have included a smaller feature on the very important Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). In addition, we wish to extend congratulations to Justice Adrian Saunders of St Vincent & The Grenadines as he assumes the Presidency of the CCJ. He is the first homegrown legal luminary to assume this most important regional position having received his legal training and work experience in the region. He is a graduate of the University of the West Indies now celebrating its 70th Anniversary.
Editorial Management Team: Lokesh Singh | Dr. Didacus Jules | Ramon Peachey Project Manager: Ashwini Singh - firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Assistance: Stan Bishop Graphic Design: Tannel George | Carlisle Searles Advertising Sales: Cennette Flavien - email@example.com Cleopatra Jules Webmaster: Advertising & Marketing Services
Oct / Dec
In November 2018, the two islands of Antigua & Barbuda and Grenada will be each holding a Referendum on deciding to accept the CCJ as their final Appellate Court. We trust that the editorial content on the CCJ in this issue will assist in some small measure to understand the CCJ and garner the necessary support of the people of these islands to extend its jurisdiction within the region. We welcome Dr the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves as he assumes the Chairmanship of the OECS and wish him a successful term under his leadership. Let’s play our part in helping the region and our people to grow and prosper. On behalf of our entire Team at the OECS Business Focus Magazine, we offer our best wishes for a successful last quarter of 2018 and continued success in 2019 and beyond. Happy Reading!
OECS Business Focus Magazine is published Quarterly by Advertising & Marketing Services Limited (AMS), Saint Lucia, in association with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). Publisher / Managing Director: Lokesh Singh - firstname.lastname@example.org
This institution was established to replace the Privy Council as the final Appellate Court for all of the countries of the CARICOM region. Unfortunately, as at today it only has been granted that authority to serve five jurisdictions. Its work over the years since its establishment has delivered outstanding legal judgements which have earned the CCJ and its Judges admiration and respect across the region and beyond.
Photography: OECS Commission | CARICOM Development Bank CCJ - Caribbean Court of Justice Contributors: Lokesh Singh | Dr. Didacus Jules | OECS Commission CARICOM Development Fund | Rodinald Soomer Dr. The Hon. Ralph E. Gonsalves | Sir Ronald Sanders Dr. Chris Bart | Caribbean Court of Justice Michelle Stephens | Gloria Septra Augustus Peter Arender | Dr. Lawrence A. Joseph Edmund Bartlett | Marissa Auguste | Stabroek News Janice Sutherland | Caribbean News Now Now Grenada Editorial, Advertising, Design & Production: Advertising & Marketing Services P.O. Box 2003, Castries, Saint Lucia Tel: (758) 453-1149; Fax: (758) 453-1290
Email: email@example.com Website: www.oecsbusinessfocus.com OECS Business Focus welcomes contributions from professionals or writers in specialized fields or areas of interest. Reproduction of any material contained herein without written approval, constitutes a violation of copyright. OECS Business Focus reserves the right to determine the content of the publication. FREE Issue No. 10
Oct / Dec 2018
One Community Growing Together
SUPPORTING CSME SINCE 2008
OECS Nationals to Enjoy Health Benefits from MOU With French Islands
CCJ Installs First Homegrown President
www.oecsbusinessfocus.com An Official Publication of the OECS Commission
On The Cover: CDF - CARICOM Development Fund CCJ - Caribbean Court of Justice Dr. Didacus Jules & Henri Yacou
St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
OECS BRIEFS BUSINESS FOCUS
Digicel Wins Bid to Rebuild Telecoms, ICT Services In Dominica
ICT managed services provider Digicel has officially been selected as the winning bidder to provide the rebuild of the telecommunications and ICT services in Dominica. With the competitive bid process complete, Digicel has been selected as the strategic provider of telecommunications and ICT services to the government of Dominica for a 15-year term. The awarding of this contract to Digicel comes upon approval from Cabinet after accepting the recommendation of the bid evaluation committee. As Dominica recovers from the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria in September last year and focuses its renewal efforts on becoming a world leading climate-resilient nation, this landmark agreement sees Digicel working in close partnership with the government to deliver a highly-resilient, state-of-the-art network infrastructure. Digicel will rebuild and provide telecommunications, internet, data, cloud and other ICT services to government sites – including every government office, school, community centre and health centre, across the island. ¤
OECS Briefs the destination from two new flights added by Air Antilles starting later this year. The flights will co mmence on November 1, departing Pointe-a-Pitre for Dominica at 9:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays, and returning to Pointe-a-Pitre on the mornings of the following days. The flights will terminate on March 29, 2019. Forty-two flights will operate on the ATR 42 with capacity of 48 passengers, allowing for movement of up to 2,016 people in and out of Dominica, and allowing travelers to connect from several international flights. Additionally, Air France will offer a code share with Air Antilles. Travelers to Dominica will have sameday connections and same-day access from JFK into Dominica via connections with low-cost carrier Norwegian Airlines, and same-day connections from Europe, particularly France, at reasonable rates from airlines departing from Paris Orly. ¤
Barbados Switching to E-Passports
Barbados’ Immigration Department has started phasing out machine-readable passport in favour of an e-passport, following a recommendation by the International Civil Aviation Authority as the new standard to be adopted for travel document issuance.
Oct / Dec
Marshall said the chip would capture the same biometric information – facial representation and biodata – as the machine-readable passports. However, he noted that the computer chip in the cover could not be easily accessed, replicated or changed. He stressed that the more security features a passport had, the more accepted it was by countries around the world. However, Marshall recommended that people wait until their passports expire before applying for a new one. ¤
Sagicor General Insurance Inc. Retains Strong Financial Rating
For the sixteenth consecutive year, Sagicor General Insurance Inc. has retained its A.M. Best financial strength A- (Excellent) rating. In an August 10 news release, the statistical rating organization, A.M. Best, outlined the basis for the affirmed financial rating and a second Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a-”.
New Air Antilles Flights Add 2,000+ Seats to Dominica
The Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the Air Access Committee of Discover Dominica Authority have successfully negotiated an additional 2,016 seats into
antenna in the cover that enhances the security features.
Anyone applying for a Barbados passport for the first time, or seeking to renew one, will be issued with the new e-passport. Chief Immigration Officer, Wayne Marshall, explained that the new travel document is biometrically-enabled with a chip and
“The ratings reflect Sagicor General’s balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as strongest, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.” These factors are supported by Sagicor’s risk-adjusted capitalization, measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR) and the financial flexibility of being an indirect subsidiary of Sagicor Financial Corporation Limited (SFC) (Bermuda), a publicly traded holding company that is listed on the Barbados, Trinidad and London stock exchanges. Sagicor General first attained a financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) in 2002. ¤ www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
OECS BRIEFS innovation exhibition and hosts the SIAL Innovation Awards each year to recognise those who help to shape what we eat both today and tomorrow.
Significant Improvements in 2018 CSEC Results
Students from the OECS and the wider Caribbean, who sat the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination in June have done exceedingly well compared to last year. This is based on the figures presented recently during a ceremony held in Grenada to officially launch the 2018 results by the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC). “This year we had over 60,000 candidates doing five or more CSEC subjects and 59 percent of them gaining acceptable grades,” CXC Registrar Glenroy Cumberbatch remarked as he noted that Grenada attained 63 percent acceptable grades. The statistics showed an overall improved performance of 90 percent in most subjects, but Mathematics continues to be a challenge for most students which became evident when a regional pass rate of just over 60 percent was revealed. Spanish and other foreign languages also did not show much improvement which was reflected in the less than 60 percent overall pass rate. Cumberbatch also spoke about a growth in the new-generation subjects which, he said, were designed to help young people to enter the world of work or to create employment for themselves. The new-generation subjects are tailored for college students who are sitting the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) – another exam administered by the Barbados-based regional examination body. ¤
Taking place in Paris from October 21-25, the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) and the European Union are supporting twelve food and beverage producers’ participation at SIAL under the Caribbean Kitchen banner. as Thomas Cook, Jet2Holidays, Royal Caribbean International, Beachcomber Tours and Celebrity Cruises, and walked away with the three top prizes on offer, including the coveted Travel Company of the Year Award. Sandals Resorts also scooped awards for ‘Hotel and Resort Operator of the Year’ and ‘On the Road Hero’, which was awarded to Business Development Manager, Neil Read for his outstanding contribution to the Sandals Resorts’ sales team. In the ‘Hotel and Resort Operator Award’ category, Sandals beat back companies such as Elegant Hotels Group, Hard Rock Hotels – All Inclusive Collection, Palladium Hotel Group, Secrets Resorts & Spas and Warner Leisure Hotels to take the top prize. Not only has Sandals been voted World’s Best All-Inclusive Company at the World Travel Awards for 23 consecutive years, the resort chain copped the award for ‘Best All-Inclusive Resort Operator’ in January 2018 at the Travel Weekly Globe Awards -- it’s 10th win in this category. The TTG Travel Awards aims to celebrate success by showcasing the highest standards within the UK travel trade industry. ¤
Caribbean Companies Recognised at SIAL Innovation Awards
Sandals Wins Big at Top Travel Awards It is viewed by many as the Emmys of the Travel Industry and, in mid-September, Sandals Resorts International swept the Travel Trade Gazette Awards 2018 held at the Lyceum Theatre in London’s Covent Garden. Sandals held off competition from the world’s leading travel industry bodies such
Two Caribbean companies have been selected as finalists in the SIAL Innovation Awards 2018 for their product innovations. They are Caribbean Cure Ltd. of Trinidad and Tobago and Naledo Belize Ltd. SIAL is regarded as the world’s largest food
Caribbean Cure and Naledo’s participation has already started draw attention given their shortlisting for a SIAL Innovation Award for their dynamic and creative product offerings. Naledo Belize Ltd are one of the world’s first manufacturers of fresh turmeric paste. Caribbean Cure Ltd produce a line of loose leaf natural healing teas that utilise indigenous plants found within the Caribbean. ¤
St. Lucia Set to Ban Styrofoam
St Lucia is set to ban Styrofoam, phasing out the usage of the environmentally detrimental products totally by November 30, 2019 with a ban on importation beginning December 1, 2018. Minister of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development, Gale Rigobert announced the plan via a statement noting that the government viewed polystyrene-based food containers as having a negative impact on both the environment and human health. Rigobert noted that the Department of Sustainable Development had developed a plan to eliminate singleuse plastics, polystyrene and expanded polystyrene in collaboration with the Department of Finance, the Ministry of Commerce, the Saint Lucia Solid Waste Management Authority and the Customs and Excise Department. To date the stakeholders have completed fiscal analyses, surveyed the key suppliers of the products and identified suppliers. ¤ OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
OECS Chairman Dr. Ralph Gonsalves Commits To Accelerating Regional Integration OECS Chairman Dr. Ralph Gonsalves Commits To Accelerating Regional Integration
Prime Minister Gonsalves further committed to ensuring that climate change negotiations and work advanced under previous OECS Chairman and Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Allen Chastanet, be strengthened to protect the OECS as a collection of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). OECS Director General, Dr. Didacus Jules, said the assumption of the chairmanship by Prime Minister Gonsalves was fortuitous as he brings a long record of service as one of the signatories to the Revised Treaty of Basseterre and a rigorous grounding in political economy and history at a time of increasing uncertainty and the decline of multilateralism. “Strong national economies are the bedrock of being able to uplift and improve the lives of all citizens and to this end we are not only fashioning OECS Regional Integration in conformity to the RTB but to the economic circumstances we find ourselves,” Dr. Jules said.
Dr. Ralph Gonsalves OECS Chairman
“These include globalization and the opportunities it brings but, conversely, tackling international headwinds such as financial derisking which threaten to cut full access to global financial systems and stymie growth.
Accelerating OECS regional integration and committing to strengthening climate change adaption measures are just some of the key priority areas recently outlined by the new Chairman of the OECS, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines at the 31st Meeting of the OECS Commission.
“Small business is the engine room of any economy and, through our support for OECS entrepreneurs, we are confident we will continue to see improved private sector job creation supported by Regional Integration measures that will make doing business regionally and indeed globally easier.
Key Points • OECS Chairman, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, signals regional integration and climate change adaptation measures are some key priority areas under his Chairmanship • OECS Commission pushes forward with its strategic objectives to accelerate regional integration, climate change adaptation and entrepreneurial support as some focus areas • OECS Commission to also focus on better explaining regional integration and the rights and responsibilities of every citizen for improved economic opportunities
“We are on the frontline of the climate change war and are thus are committed to exploring the vast potential of renewable energies, such as geothermal, to send strong signals to the world that we are firmly committed to a low carbon future.
Prime Minister Gonsalves, who assumed the role of OECS Chairman on June 18, 2018, signaled these priority areas for the coming year at a recent meeting of OECS Commissioners -- designated representatives of Ambassadorial rank from each Member State to the OECS. Framed against an evolving regional and global political landscape, Dr. Gonsalves reaffirmed the work of the OECS Commission and Member States in advancing regional integration for the social, cultural and economic benefit of all citizens but noted more work needed to be done in accord with the Revised Treaty of Basseterre (RTB). OECSBusinessFocus
“Too often Regional Integration is a term bandied around with little significance to the fish vendor, the school student, the farmer, the small business person; and henceforth we will also be doubling down our efforts to explain what it means for every citizen and how they can become more involved to shape the future state of our nations. “Together, we have achieved much and to improve opportunities for all we must continue to traverse the fault lines of triviality, focus on our special place in the world and be emboldened that within the OECS we have the wherewithal, talent and ability to create the futures of tomorrow. “We thank Prime Minister Gonsalves for his strong, principled leadership and we look forward to working under his Chairmanship, the Authority and Commissioners to advance a more secure, safer and prosperous OECS for all.” ¤
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
OECS Nationals to Enjoy Health Benefits from MOU With French Islands Citizens of the nine-member Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) will now have easier access to medical facilities in the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe following the signing of an agreement at the OECS Commission in St Lucia.
to specialised healthcare within the region and this agreement with the CGSS in Guadeloupe is a materialisation of these efforts. We look forward to deepening areas of cooperation in the years ahead.”
The three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by OECS Director General Dr Didacus Jules, and the General Director of the General Social Security Fund of Guadeloupe (CGSS), Henri Yacou.
Yacou said he was pleased to be party to an agreement which seeks to help the vulnerable by affording them easier access to healthcare which might not be available in their homeland.
Dr Jules said the agreement will address the administrative, logistical and financial barriers that nationals from the OECS face when accessing health services in the French Departments in the Eastern Caribbean. He told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that it will also facilitate the exchange of information and capacity building in an effort to support the development of regional approaches to health services and the portability of health benefits backed by adequate health insurance. Jules said that the OECS is very aware of the exorbitant costs associated with extra-regional travel for medical care. “As a result, the Commission has been actively seeking to create linkages with our French neighbours to expand access OECSBusinessFocus
“I sincerely wish that this project will facilitate the free movement of citizens of the OECS to access health care in the best conditions possible,” he noted. The CGSS is presently working on a plan for a pilot project with a French health insurance company that will allow for unique identification numbers and a financially and legally secure partnership with hospital establishments of Guadeloupe, Martinique and St Martin. The OECS groups the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts-Nevis, Anguilla, Montserrat, and the British Virgin Islands. Martinique became an Associate Member State of the OECS on February 4, 2015. (CMC) ¤
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OECSBusinessFocus Jun / Aug
Improving Financial Literacy OECS Feature Series highlights St. Kitts and Nevis National Advocating For Financial Security In Low Income Communities the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank’s (ECCB) fora to show the students the application of what was taught in the classroom – efforts that deepened his love for economics.
Improving Financial Literacy
Dr. Terrance K Martin Jr. It was in the small village of Newtown in the capital city of Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis, where Dr. Terrance K Martin Jr. would first learn the importance of financial planning – a skill that he would perfect throughout his academic career and later use to uplift low income communities. Raised in his formative years by his aunt and grandmother, a devout Christian, he spent every Sunday morning in church and every Sunday afternoon at his grandmother’s Sunday school where she would encourage the local church members to be financially secure through her savings scheme. “Every Sunday she would collect the monies, then make a deposit during the week and update her records,” he said. “At the end of the year, she would withdraw all the funds and distribute the interest among the participants in the scheme. “Now, my nanny had no formal education, yet she was calculating weighted averages to accurately divide the interest on the funds. Seeing this at a young age blew my mind!” As a teenager, he became heavily involved in youth advocacy groups: he held the positions of President of the National Young Pamites; President of the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) Student Council; Executive Secretary of the Caribbean Young Democratic Union; and actively participated and represented the Peoples Action Movement (PAM). Participation in the youth organisations afforded him the opportunity to travel throughout the Caribbean to present on topics such as regional integration and food security as a measure of economic empowerment. Once at the Community College, he became involved in politics but his interests were still focused on economic policy. Terrance fondly remembers the guidance and encouragement of his Economics professor at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College, Mr. Heyliger, who would take the class out of the classroom and to OECSBusinessFocus
He successfully graduated with his Bachelor’s in Economics with the highest honours (Summa Cum Laude) from Midwestern State University in Texas. Equipped with the strong foundation laid at CFBC, he was able to complete the degree in only two years. He then quickly moved on to attaining his Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) with a research topic which examined the economic impact of tourism arrivals and receipts on the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Finally, at the age of 27, he obtained his Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Financial Planning. All within a remarkable seven-year span. Dr. Martin’s accomplishments were not without struggle, however. “Financial support was always a major challenge along the way. Whereas most students had their parents, or governmentsponsored grants or scholarships to support them financially, I did not,” he noted. “My aunt was very helpful, as she was when I was growing up, but I didn’t want to burden her.” Driven by a lack of funds, Dr. Martin did everything in his power to complete his studies in the shortest possible time – this included doubling his course workload while actively seeking out and maintaining the grades necessary for scholarship benefits. Unable to find employment in his native St. Kitts and Nevis once he attained his Bachelor’s degree, he secured another scholarship and returned to school in pursuit of a Master’s. “I completed the Master’s in one year and became the first student to achieve this; not because I wanted to be first but because I had financial constraints. I had a scholarship that covered tuition, but it was only for one year,” he said. In a stroke of ill-fortune, Dr. Martin’s graduation with his MBA coincided with the recession in the United States, making it extremely difficult to find a job in his field. Miserable, and working odd jobs to make ends meet, he considered a suggestion from a colleague to pursue a PhD in Personal Financial Planning – a cross between microeconomics and finance. “Initially I resisted, but when I looked at the details of the coursework, I heard my grandmother’s voice telling me this is where I should be,” he fondly recalled. “I applied and I was accepted with full assistantship and the AT&T Chancellor Fellowship.” During his PhD studies, he was blessed with the birth of his daughter, Nyah, who became his biggest motivator for success. “Nyah was my motivation to not quit, to keep fighting and to smile through the difficult times. She was the reason I pushed myself and graduated from my PhD programme in three years when it should have taken 5-6 years.” www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
Regional Transportation Issues Highlighted at Hemispheric Meeting His PhD dissertation, Three Essays on Planning for Retirement, opened the door to a faculty position in finance with an emphasis on financial planning at the University of Texas Pan American, which later became the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He also served as the Centre Director for the Edinburg Centre of Economic Education, Director of Financial Literacy initiatives and Program Director of the College of Business and Entrepreneurship’s Personal Financial Planning Program. Currently, Dr. Martin is an award-winning researcher and an Assistant Professor of Finance at Utah Valley University. His University courses focus on corporate and household finance. In the capacity of researcher, Dr. Martin discusses financial advice and financial decision-making.
Regional Transportation Issues Highlighted at Hemispheric Meeting
On a community level, Dr. Martin advocates for improved financial literacy and has raised over $100,000 in three years to help support his efforts of improving financial decisions among low income individuals in two of the poorest counties in the United States. He also wrote the curriculum of a stateadapted high school for financial literacy. His research has been featured on NASDAQ.com, CNBC, CNN Money, Yahoo Finance, WalletHub, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Kiplingers, as well as several newspapers and magazines across the United States of America. Dr. Martin’s work has also been presented on an international scale having been invited as a speaker at national and international symposiums in the USA, Europe, Argentina and the Caribbean. He recently held a Financial Literacy Seminar in Antigua and Barbuda which was endorsed by the Office of the Prime Minister. Since then, he has begun to offer Financial Literacy presentations to several organizations and companies both in Antigua and the wider region. “It takes financial knowledge to know you are making financial mistakes. This is why I launched the Financial Adulting Initiative via my company Evolve XY, to change Generations X and Y,” Dr. Martin said. As a part of the initiative, Dr. Martin is writing a series of “How To” books on various financial topics, the first being a how to on Caribbean Investing, with topics on insurance, small businesses, credit and borrowing. He also plans to launch an online personal finance class with the aim of increasing financial literacy in the region. When asked what advice he would give to young people in the sub-region who may be interested in following his career path, Dr. Martin said: “Follow your heart but be practical. Understand that the academic path you are on has consequences. It costs us all the same to go to school, but different degrees have different returns on investments. Choose carefully! Choose a career that matches your personality because, when you do, you will feel so enriched by the work that you do daily.” He added: “Do not be afraid to challenge the status quo. I am taking my own advice during this next step in life as I re-enter the region as an expert. If you see something that you can change, start the process of changing it.” ¤
CARICOM’s Multilateral Air Services Agreement (MASA) was among matters presented to a meeting of the North American, Central American and Caribbean Directors of Civil Aviation, held in August in Ottawa, Canada. CARICOM Secretariat’s Head of the Transportation Unit, Dr. Pauline Yearwood, delivered a presentation on “Assistance Towards the Finalization of the MASA”. This Agreement recognizes that the principal means of transport within CARICOM, particularly for people, is by air, and that there are several airlines operating within the Region and between the Community and other parts of the world. Some of the airlines, such as Caribbean Airlines and LIAT, are also national airlines for some Member States. The Agreement points to the importance of all stakeholders operating by common rules. Dr. Yearwood was also expected to facilitate and participate in Meetings with CARICOM Member States. Eleven CARICOM Member States are part of the hemispheric body, which is a part of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO.) These are Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago. The Canada meeting was also expected to discuss the business plan for the ICAO 2010 – 2011 Triennium, the accountability report of the ICAO/NACC’s “No Country Left Behind Strategy”, and global aviation needs, challenges and security implementation matters. ¤
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
OECS YES In Action Highlights Cheyenne Polius OECS YES In Action Highlights Cheyenne Polius
Saint Lucian Astrophysics Student Challenging The Status Quo in the Region about nature because they always satisfied my curiosity when it came to wildlife, marine life and even human life. However, documentaries about outer space were my favourite because they always left me more curious than before. I would learn new things about the vast universe we live in but it always ended with a mystery since there is so much yet to be discovered about space. It left me with a unique feeling of satisfaction that I had learnt some new things about space but that satisfaction was mixed with excitement and curiosity because there was so much more to find out.
In August, OECS YES In Action caught up with Cheyenne K. Polius, a 21-year-old Saint Lucian Physics and Astrophysics Masters student effecting change in her homeland and encouraging her peers to get involved! Tell us a little about yourself. I have just completed my third year of a four-year Integrated Masters in Physics and Astrophysics at the University of Sheffield in England. I enjoy unravelling the mysteries of the universe through my degree and other forms of entertainment outside my course, i.e. reading, watching YouTube videos and documentaries. However, if you sat down to have a conversation with me, my face would light up if you asked me about space, fitness, procrastination, dogs or pretty much anything! I enjoy having meaningful conversations where I get to share my knowledge and learn something new in the process. My constant desire to learn new things has accelerated my personal and professional growth as I am always looking for new ways to improve all the aspects of my life. This has helped me tremendously both in and out of school as it has led me to many exciting opportunities. When did you first notice your inclination towards Astronomy and Physics? I have always been curious about how the world around me works. I remember spending hours watching documentaries on the Discovery and National Geographic channels. The more I learnt, the more I wanted to know. I enjoyed watching documentaries OECSBusinessFocus
So, I knew outer space excited me the most but I did not know what that meant for me until Form 3. I did a Physics project about different scientists and one of them was Galileo Galilei. My research showed that, among other things, Galileo was an astronomer and a physicist. Eventually, I came across the term, “Astrophysics”, and that’s when it clicked. Physics is used to explain everything happening in Space! I spent the rest of the night researching “Astrophysics” and I discovered that there were degrees in it. There was that feeling again. From then I decided I wanted to study Astrophysics with hope that I would finally satisfy my curiosity about the wonders of the universe. What were you doing before you began your studies? I was lucky enough to go university directly after completing tertiary education so, up until then, I was at school feeding my passion for Science and Mathematics. I studied Chemistry, Biology and Physics at the St. Joseph’s Convent and moved on to do Chemistry, Pure Mathematics and Physics at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College. University was always on my to-do list for my life. I set the bar high for myself at a very young age and I have just been working towards the goal of completing university. I am grateful that I discovered my passion in time to start my degree without having to take a gap in my studies. What obstacles, if any, did you face at the start and how did you overcome them? I had to move from St. Lucia to England to start my university journey and I was VERY excited. Reality did not hit until I went www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
to my first lecture. I was in a new school, in a new country with no friends and no idea how to make friends (or so I thought). I had always been shy and introverted but I never had a problem making friends in my small classrooms in St. Lucia. Something about a big lecture theatre with hundreds of students made me very anxious and afraid to talk to any and everyone. But I knew I did not want to be a loner throughout my time at university. I researched things like “How to make friends” and “How to get over social anxiety”. It may seem silly but I felt hopeless for months. However, I did not let it stop me from doing the things I loved. I took part in extra-curricular activities and then I got my first part-time job at the beginning of my second year. Through this, I built connections with other students from all over the university. That is when I thought “If I can make friends outside my classes, I can do the same with people in my classes, right?” So I took a leap of faith and just talked to people. It started out as simply smiling and saying hello when I saw people I recognised. Eventually, that bloomed into conversations and before I knew it, I had made so many new friends! It sounds so simple but that is the thing about social anxiety: it stems from a place of irrational fear. So how did I overcome it? I stopped overthinking it and began actively reassuring myself. I kept mentally repeating things like “I’m good enough” and “I’m fun to be around” because that was the truth, I just needed to believe it. The change did not happen overnight. It took months of daily reassurance but it happened. When I reflect on that time in my life, I realised that the only thing that changed was my attitude towards socialising. The whole time, the answer was within me. Tell us about the journey from the first spark of interest to where you are currently. It has not been easy but it has been worth it. I decided I wanted to pursue Astrophysics for the first time when I was 15 and I did not change my mind until my first few weeks at university. One of my classmates got an amateur telescope as his Christmas present and he was so excited about it. As much as I was interested in space, I never wanted a telescope and I did not know how to identify any of the constellations. I felt like a fake. I went to my personal tutor and I told him exactly that and asked him if the course was right for me. He asked me, “Do you enjoy your modules?” I said that I only enjoyed some of them and there were some I hated, which made me feel even worse. His next words have stuck with me since that meeting three years ago. He told me that no one enjoys every single topic in their field of study and that I should give it some more time before I decide if the course was right for me. By the end of first year, nothing could make me drop out! I was loving it! As for the guy and his telescope, my tutor reassured me by telling me that there were many lecturers in my department who were just like me: “Some people don’t fuss about looking up at the sky, they just like the science behind how things in the universe work”. All this to say that I’ve had moments of doubt. This was one of many instances that I’ve doubted if Astrophysics was right for me. Most, if not all my doubt, stemmed from comparing myself to other people. It took me a while to realise that everyone is living their life based on their unique timeline. Once I realised that my best was enough, my university journey became so much more enjoyable. I kept working hard and kept myself busy through a range of extracurricular activities and part-time jobs. Collectively,
these experiences and part-time jobs have led me to another passion: Science Communication. The only thing I enjoy as much as Physics and Astrophysics is telling people about Physics and Astrophysics. Because of this, I chose to do one of my third year projects in Physics Education and Outreach. This project taught me Science Communication knowledge and skills such as video-making. We were also encouraged to participate in Science Outreach events which is where I discovered my zeal for sharing my love for Science. Developing a love for Science Communication ties in perfectly with my role as National Point of Contact for St. Lucia in the Space Generation Advisory Council. What would you consider your biggest challenge along the way? My biggest challenge has definitely been the financial demands of my degree. This has been the most difficult because it is something that is out of my control. If I get a bad grade, I can find out what I did wrong and do better next time. If my room is messy, I can dust and put things where they should be to make it tidy. But money feels like the only thing that I do not have full control over and, at times, it has adversely affected my mental health. I try to see everything from a positive perspective and I see this chapter in my life as another point for growth. Life will not always be smooth sailing and getting through the low points in my life has made me so much stronger. I have also been blessed with parents and loved ones who are willing to support me financially and I will never be able to thank them enough. I have taken up as many part-time and temporary jobs as I can balance with my workload. This has helped ease some of the pressure and I am thankful to have gotten this far in my degree. With everything else in my life, I am taking it one step and a time and keeping the faith that with hard work and determination, I will get where I need to be. Is there an achievement or contribution that you are most proud of? I am most proud of being an active National Point of Contact (NPoC) in the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC). The Space Generation Advisory Council is a global organisation that aims to give the next generation of space sector leaders a voice in global space policy. The council wants to create a global volunteer base of university students and young professionals in the space sector who have a passion for making a difference in the space sector and a commitment to action. My role as NPoC is to serve as the communication channel between St. Lucia and the council. The Caribbean region is not currently active in the space sector and I believe the benefits are not obvious when considering economic growth of the region. So, in a nutshell, I am using my capacity to raise awareness of such benefits and to open the minds of youth in my island to the countless careers available in the Space Sector and other Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. It was very discouraging at the beginning since I believed that no one would be interested in getting involved in SGAC. It would have been easy to give up since I emailed a number of schools to tell them about the council and my goals for St. Lucia and I only got one response. I believe this was partly because the importance of my role was not recognised but also because I was limited to sending emails since I live the UK. I knew communication would be a lot more effective in person or at least over the phone but I Contiued on pg. 17 OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
made use of what I had at the time. I kept trying and I am happy to say that the movement is finally gaining some traction in St Lucia. Spending this summer on the island, I was able to meet with the Science & Technology Officer at the Department of Sustainable Development to get my message out there. This led me to giving my first talk on behalf of SGAC to a group of students at a Science and Robotics Camp in Vieux Fort. The information I gave about the SGAC and the benefits of Astronomy to the Caribbean region was well-received. Since then, I have reached a wider audience through social media and several young people have contacted me expressing their interest in the SGAC. I am overwhelmed by the interest and I am glad I chose not to give up. I am excited to see how the SGAC movement will grow in St. Lucia and I hope it will cause a ripple effect throughout the Caribbean. What would you say most motivates you to do what you do? What gets me excited every day is being able to inspire people to do what they are most passionate about and to help those who have not found that passion yet. When I chose to study Physics and Astrophysics, I did not know anyone who worked in the field. My teachers gave me valuable insight into doing a Science degree but not into what it would be like to be an Astrophysicist or someone working in the Physics industry. If I was not so determined to pursue Astrophysics, the fact that no one around me had done it before could have made me change my mind and choose a career that was more popular for a sense of security. So I want to be a role model for anyone thinking of pursuing Physics, Astrophysics or any other career that is out-ofthe-box. Knowing that my journey can inspire someone to follow their dreams is what keeps me most motivated. What are the goals you most want to accomplish in your area of study? The area of my degree that has interested me the most is the search for extra-terrestrial life. It is the popular belief among researchers that there is life elsewhere in the universe and contributing to its discovery would be rewarding. However, my main goal is to increase gender and ethnic diversity in Physics. Physics is a male-dominated field. It is also a field where people of colour are in the minority. In my capacity, as National Point of Contact, I hope to start the foundation for achieving this goal as it is something I will continue to work towards as long as I am in the Science field. Did you have any key mentors or people who deeply influenced your journey? Yes! Yes! Yes! My Physics teachers! My very first Physics teacher, Charlin Bodley, made me fall in love with Physics at secondary school. At the time, I only saw her as a great teacher but looking back, she was so much more. As I mentioned before, Physics is a male-dominated field. It is certainly not the norm for a woman to pursue a Physics degree. So, with Charlin being my first Physics teacher, it showed me that it was perfectly fine for a woman to love Physics and I believe this gave me a head start in my journey as a woman in Science. Another person who had a significant positive impact on my journey is Dr. Camille Alleyne. She is an Aerospace Engineer at OECSBusinessFocus
NASA and she is from Trinidad! I met her shortly before starting my degree in 2015 and I am so happy I did. Just knowing that there was a Caribbean woman working at NASA was enough to keep me excited and motivated about my degree but she has also been a great mentor to me throughout the years. She has always been willing to offer me invaluable guidance and she has kept me on track in my studies and in my efforts as National Point of Contact for St. Lucia. What advice would you have for other Caribbean youth aspiring to get involved whether in the space/science field or other areas? Remember these five things: 1) There is no substitute for hard work. Nothing will be handed to you; you have to work for it. I do not believe that there are people who are “meant to do Science” or any other subject. If you have a passion for something and you put in the work, you will succeed. 2) Believe in yourself. You are good enough. There’s something called impostor syndrome. Do not let it get the best of you! It makes you doubt your potential despite evidence that you have achieved great things. Recognise the syndrome and actively rebuke it. Reward yourself for everything you have achieved so far and keep going. 3) Believe in your dream. There were many people asking me why I did not choose to do something else but there was nothing that excited me more than Astrophysics. I have never regretted choosing it. 4) “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” Do not be afraid to ask for help. If you think you are supposed to know it all, I can tell you now that you are the only one who thinks so. Do what you can and ask for help with whatever you cannot do. You may be amazed by how many people are willing to help you. 5) Do not compare yourself to anyone else. Take the things you admire about people and adjust it to your life and your goals. But do not think you are inferior to anyone else. Everyone’s journey is unique and we are all learning along the way. What’s next for you? What are you looking forward to? I have one more year of my degree to complete and I am excited. In my fourth year, I will complete my Master’s thesis in a Physics or Astrophysics topic of my choice and I am mostly looking forward to that. After I complete this degree, I hope to pursue a PhD in Astrophysics. It would be ideal if I could find a programme that would incorporate Science Communication and I will be on the lookout for one. I chose Physics because I liked it but I have since learned that a Physics degree can make you valuable to any employer. People always ask me what kind of jobs I can get with a Physics degree. The answer to that is “pretty much any job”. Completing a Physics degree equips you with so many transferable skills, such as problem solving, teamwork, numeracy and communication. These skills are useful in any career you decide to pursue and even in everyday life. ¤ www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
OECS Commission Completes Third Spanish-Language Course
OECS Commission Completes Third Spanish-Language Course
OECS Commission Completes Third Spanish-Language Course The OECS Commission celebrated another successful end of tenure in July, as the current three-year “Spanish as a Second Language” resident lecturer agreement with the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID) attached to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain comes to a close. The OECS-AECID agreement supports studies of Spanish language, culture, and literature, and specifically seeks to develop the Spanish language skills of OECS diplomats and professionals. Native Spanish lecturer with extensive specialist training and experience in teaching Spanish as a foreign language, Maria Salazar, has been installed at the OECS Commission for the past three years. During this time, approximately 60 students participated in the Spanish programme at varying levels of difficulty. Salazar was pleased with the results of the cooperation project, noting a marked improvement in the spontaneity and comfort of the students when interacting in Spanish. “The majority of the students that participated in the programme had some basic Spanish-language knowledge, having studied it at secondary school, but a lack of practice for many years caused this knowledge to deteriorate,” Salazar said. “The Spanish programme at the OECS Commission offered the students an opportunity to refresh their knowledge and increase their levels of proficiency in speech and grammar.” She also attributed some of the course’s success to the benefits of learning Spanish as a second language with a native Spanish speaker. “The contribution of a native speaker to the classroom is quite significant, as the students can experience the feeling of being in direct contact with a different culture and can immerse themselves in the language they are learning. I also believe that a native teacher sparks the curiosity of the students a bit more since it’s a more exotic experience for them. And, as we know from advances in neuroscience, cognitive processes are inseparable
from emotions and what ignites learning is emotion and curiosity,” she explained. Salazar added that the immersion of the Spanish lecturer in the host country also creates a deepened understanding and empathy for the learning process and fosters a mutual understanding and trust in the classroom between teacher and student. Spanish as a tool for cooperation Salazar highlighted the importance of the Spanish language as an essential cooperation tool given the geographic proximity of OECS Member States to the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America, and the potential economic opportunities that exist, particularly for South-South cooperation, once the language barrier is overcome. “Spanish is the third most spoken language after Chinese and English. It is spoken in 22 countries; most of them in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is, therefore, strategic for the staff of the OECS to learn Spanish in order to establish cooperation ties with these Spanish-speaking countries,” she noted. Salazar thanked the staff at the OECS Commission in Saint Lucia for their hospitality and warmth during her three-year tenure on the island. “This experience has been really rewarding for me,” she said. “Not only has it allowed me to enthusiastically convey our linguistic and cultural wealth, it has also given me the opportunity to come into contact with the Saint Lucian people, their customs, gastronomy, music, cultural values, idiosyncrasies, geography and history.” “All of these elements have come together to add to my cultural identity forever, which makes me really fortunate.” The Spanish language course at the OECS Commission corresponds to Level 1, as established by the Council of Europe in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, and focuses on developing writing, reading, grammar and communicative skills through the use of new technologies, text books, magazines and conversation. ¤ OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
OECS Transitioning to a Blue Economy
OECS Transitioning to a Blue Economy By Marissa Auguste
The ocean is being touted as the Earth’s last frontier. While covering approximately 70% of the Earth’s surface, the ocean is the least explored environment. However, growing industrialization is threatening this system and putting economic growth at risk for our islands. Interestingly, the concept of the Blue Economy focuses on the use of the ocean’s resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and of paramount importance, maintenance of ocean ecosystem health to ensure continued benefits. Given that the marine space of small island states is significantly larger than their land mass and clearly a substantial asset, transitioning to a Blue Economy is critical to ensuring continued economic growth for our islands. With this in mind, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) embraces transition to a Blue Economy, enunciating that the region’s marine and coastal assets offer an unprecedented opportunity for strengthening the region’s economy, and closing the gap on poverty and unemployment rates. As one of the key Blue Economy frontrunners in the region, the OECS has taken a first step to enabling the transition to a Blue Economy through the adoption of the Eastern Caribbean Regional Ocean Policy (ECROP) and its associated strategic action plan (ECROP SAP). Endorsed by the OECS Heads of Government in 2013, the ECROP guides the future use of the region’s marine waters and provides a basis for enhanced coordination and management of ocean resources within the Eastern Caribbean. Notably, the ECROP is the first of its kind in the Caribbean region. The ECROP SAP includes a number of priorities, including Priority 3: Promote Sustainable Economic Development; and Priority 4: Reform Ocean Governance. The ECROP SAP further details a number of specific actions to be undertaken to facilitate the transition, including:
• Priority 3: Action 3.1 – Develop the ocean (blue) economy; Action 3.2 - Adopt an integrated approach to development and management of the ocean; and Action 3.3 - Apply marine spatial planning for improving management to achieve economic development. • Priority 4: Action 4.1 - Establish high-level coordinated institutional arrangements for integrated ocean and coastal management; and Action 4.2 - Review, strengthen and/ or establish policy, legal and planning arrangements in accordance with national and regional needs and capacities. Pursuant to efforts under the ECROP, the OECS has sought to form partnerships and access funds to begin to implement the ECROP in earnest. On October 14, 2017, a Grant Agreement for the Caribbean Regional Oceanscape Project (CROP) was signed
Marissa Auguste recently completed her second year at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College where she studied Biology, Physics and Spanish. She is fascinated by marine life and hopes to become a Marine Biologist. Marissa joined the OECS Commission as an intern this summer and was pleased to spend some time, assist and learn within the Commission’s Ocean Governance Unit.
between the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, acting as an Implementing Agency of the Global Environment Facility, and the OECS and became effective on October 18, 2017. The relating grant is USD6.3 million and for the benefit of five participating Member States, namely: Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The CROP is designed to contribute to the implementation of the ECROP by strengthening capacity for ocean governance, and coastal and marine geospatial planning in the participating countries: a necessity to facilitate transitioning to a Blue Economy. Outputs under the CROP will include an enhanced ECROP that is aligned to the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development; National Ocean Policies and Strategies; National Coastal and Marine Spatial Plans; a regional Marine Spatial Plan; readily available web-based and OECS relevant ocean education materials and courses; and spatial tools to enhance decision making on ocean matters. Notably, these outputs are in direct response to ECROP SAP Actions 3.3 and 4.2, among others. To achieve the objectives of the CROP, the OECS Commission is working through the: • OECS Oceans Governance Team, who has been authorized to support the development and implementation of an OECS ocean policy framework, strategic action plan and related instruments and policies. The Team, comprising representatives from all Member States, was established at the Fifty-fourth meeting of the OECS Authority where it “agreed on the establishment of an OECS-wide approach to the development of a regional integrated ocean governance framework”. ECROP SAP Action 4.1. • National Ocean Governance Committees (intersectoral bodies), who provide advice to their respective government on matters relating to the marine space under their jurisdiction. ECROP SAP Action 3.2. Further, to ensure maximum benefits are derived from the CROP, the OECS is teaming up with a number of partners that have experience in coastal and marine spatial planning, data aggregation and management, ocean education, knowledge services, and capacity building. Partners include: • The Nature Conservancy (TNC) - The OECS seeks to improve ocean data access to decision-makers. For this, the OECS is partnering with TNC who will use data and information collated under the CROP to expand and enhance the Mapping Ocean Wealth platform. The Mapping Ocean Wealth platform allows the aggregation of existing data and information relevant to ocean management and governance, and uses tools and maps to make ocean science more accessible and relatable to all audiences through highly visual and impactful means for informed decision making.
• Virtual Educa Foundation - The OECS Commission, on behalf of the OECS Member States is a founding partner of Think Blue U (TBU), a first of its kind partnership-based edu-tech platform that allows ready access to ocean education through virtual means. The TBU aggregates and curates existing content, develops new content and makes it accessible and available to millions. Under the CROP, the OECS intends to expand the reach of TBU, powered by Virtual Educa, by including OECS relevant content. ¤
As a little girl, I discovered a great interest in sea animals and other marine life and decided that I wanted to become a Marine Biologist. I have always loved exploring marine life and I go snorkeling frequently. Over the years, I have observed a significant difference in the colors of corals and a decrease in the variety of fish, and this has heightened my desire to get involved in this field. I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to work with the OECS Commission through an internship this summer. While working with this Organisation, I met many new people and learnt how the Environmental Sustainability Cluster of the OECS is working towards a “Blue Economy” via a project called the Caribbean Regional Oceanscape Project (CROP) – which is designed to strengthen and support the implementation of the Eastern Caribbean Regional Ocean Policy (ECROP). The main priorities of the ECROP is to promote and support sustainable economic development in the OECS by adopting an integrated approach to development and management of the ocean. My experience at the Commission has made me more aware of the importance of ocean governance (ensuring the use of the ocean’s resources for economic growth and improved livelihoods and jobs, while sustaining healthy ocean systems). In my opinion, collaboration in the area of ocean governance is extremely important as the ocean is shared by all nations, and cooperation is necessary to achieve a successful blue economy. I hope to continue my studies and further my education in Marine Biology to contribute to strengthening ocean governance in Saint Lucia, and the world at large. My quest is to ensure that the world’s oceans are managed effectively, thereby facilitating development of our blue economies in a manner that will maintain ocean health for many generations to come.
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
Juvenile Justice Reform: One Size Never Fits All
Juvenile Justice Reform: One size never fits all
By: Gloria Septra Augustus, Technical Specialist for the Juvenile Justice Reform Project II at the OECS Commission
Legalize it, reparation, climate change, resilience: these are all dominating conversations in our region. A critical area of focus Juvenile Justice Reform has been struggling to get that attention and further action in the 6 independent Member States of the OECS. So, you may ask the following: When did the process/ struggle begin? Under the OECS Family Law and Domestic Violence Reform Initiative consultations were held to harmonize existing laws and reform the justice system to deal with family and domestic violence issues (social concerns) in keeping with basic human rights and the relevant International Conventions ratified by Member States. One of the outputs of the process was the OECS Draft Child Justice Bill, since family law includes children and their interests. Why the need for the Bill? To take a more rights-based, individualized approach to dispensing justice for children in conflict with the law, with the main focus on diverting them away from the criminal justice system and providing effective rehabilitation. There was also need to consider a minimum age of Criminal Responsibility given that in the OECS region it spanned ages 7-12 years. Who is a child? Any person under the age of 18. A child in conflict with the law - means a child who is alleged to have committed an offence. What is the age of Criminal Responsibility? It is the minimum age below which the child shall be presumed not to have the capacity to infringe the penal law. In other words, OECSBusinessFocus
a child who has not yet reached that age cannot be charged with an offence or subjected to any criminal law procedures or measures (the general agreement for the OECS harmonized Child justice Bill is 12 years). Children under the age of 12 who commit serious offences will be dealt with under the Care and Protection (civil) system. Although this age is debatable and difficult to pinpoint, it is an age at which a child can be considered to have a general understanding of the nature and content of criminal proceedings and the potential repercussions.
Gloria Septra Augustus BSc. (HONS.) MSc. LLB (Hons.), L.E.C, Dip. Legislative Drafting Miss Gloria Septra Augustus has been a Magistrate from October 2004 dealing mainly with Juvenile and family court matters in Dominica. Prior to becoming an Attorney- at- law in 2001, Miss Augustus worked as a Secondary School Teacher and a Senior Fisheries Officer. From April 2017 Miss Augustus has been on secondment to the OECS Commission working as part of the OECS/USAID Juvenile Justice Reform Project Phase 11 team as Technical Specialist. Miss Augustus has received awards for her work with youth and HIV Advocacy. www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
Why a separate specialized System for Children who are alleged to commit offences? Children are among the most vulnerable members of society and it is the duty of the state to protect them until they are adults. It is for this reason children are treated differently from adults in the criminal justice system. The general process for dealing with children in conflict with the law is that, when a child who is alleged to have committed an offence is arrested and charged, the matter goes to Court where the child could plead guilty or be found guilty during a trial. A probation or pre-sentence report is usually requested by the Magistrate to be used in informing the sentencing decision. Magistrates had very limited sentencing options in the legislation, however, and the process of pre-trial diversion was not formalized. The reform legislation supports pre-trial diversion at an informal mandatory procedure called THE INITIAL INQUIRY. Prior to attending the initial inquiry, the child alleged to have committed the offence must be assessed for individual, family and community history that may put them at risk for reoffending and the needs that can be addressed to reduce reoffending are explored. The reform also addresses screening for mental health issues. The report from this process would inform the Magistrate or Committee/Board, which conducts the initial inquiry, on how to divert the child if this is an option under consideration. Otherwise the child will move on to a formal Court trial. The reform legislation has 3 levels of diversion listed from which the Magistrate or Committee/Board can choose. The relevant Minister also has the power to create or endorse court connected
diversion. What the reform legislation does is that it provides the court with a history of the child from the onset, thus giving the Magistrate or Committee/Board information that would help in dealing with the child. It also speaks to the role of key stakeholders like, police, the DPP, probation/social worker/ assigned officer. The diversion process usually uses community-based measures that allows for second chances and saves judicial time for more serious matters. If the matter goes to trial and the child pleads or is found guilty, a pre-sentence report will be requested which will inform the sentence choice of alternative sentences or, residential facility or correctional facility. The Philosophy is that children in conflict with the law should only be detained as a measure of last resort for the shortest possible time. The general goal is to hold the children accountable, rehabilitate them in the process and in some cases reintegrate them back into their community. This supports the individualized rights-based approach where appropriate, fair and proportionate are key determinants of the outcome. It is no longer one size fits all. We need you to keep the conversation alive for our children. Major funding for the Reform has been provided by USAID through the OECS Commission under the Juvenile Justice Reform Project (JJRP) Phase 1 and now Phase11. There has also been tremendous support from UNICEF. Â¤
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Fax: (268) 481-7860 OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
Healthy News For Tourism
Healthy News For Tourism Zika virus transmission in the Caribbean Region has been interrupted, and the risk to residents and visitors to the Region of acquiring Zika is low The OECS Region has good news for persons considering travel to the Caribbean. The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has concluded that “Zika virus transmission in the Caribbean Region has been interrupted, and that the risk to residents and visitors to the Region of acquiring Zika is low.” CARPHA’s statement follows a review of the data of the last 30 months pertinent to the situation. CARPHA informed that, “Zika Virus (ZIKV) was first detected in the Caribbean Region in late 2015. The number of cases increased in the first half of 2016 and reached its peak circulation in August 2016, and then declined rapidly by December 2016.” Director General of the OECS Commission, Dr. Didacus Jules welcomed the announcement made by CARPHA knowing the impact that the Zika has had on the tourism sector, the business community and general public as a whole in the OECS region, “Since the outbreak of the Zika virus in 2015 the OECS Commission has been collaborating closely with CARPHA and Member States to arrest the situation. The recent reports from CARPHA reassure us that these collective efforts are paying off.” Dr. Jules encouraged persons to continue to be vigilant, “Even though the Zika is seen OECSBusinessFocus
to be on the decline and is now considered low risk, we must continue the monitoring and prevention efforts for other mosquitoborne diseases.” The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association has also commended the efforts at reducing the risk of mosquitoborne diseases including Zika to the region, “Efforts in recent years by many of the Caribbean’s Governments, public health authorities, the tourism industry and the public at-large to adopt public awareness and preventative measures are paying off as the Caribbean on the whole has seen a dramatic decrease in reported mosquito-borne illnesses, in particular the Zika virus.” Frank J Comito, CEO and Director General of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association. Comito went on to confirm that “A growing number of areas throughout the Caribbean are being taken off of travel advisory lists, having had at least one year of no reported Zika infections,” but cautioned that “travelers to the Caribbean should take common-sense precautions as they would when visiting any tropical area.”
that she is “encouraged by the news but suggests that the advocacy efforts must continue both at national and regional level to ensure that the balance of the Caribbean countries are removed from the various international health agency websites such as CDC or the risk categories levels published on these websites substantially reduced.” The OECS Commission continues to work with CARPHA, the Member States and the tourism industry to strengthen OECS capacity to prepare for, respond and mitigate against public health threats. Discussion is ongoing for funding for the expansion of an integrated, multisectoral and multifaceted Tourism & Health programme for the OECS region. Ministries of Health of the OECS have also agreed to take a regional approach to meeting International Health Regulations (IHR) commitments. The purpose of these international regulations is to prevent, and provide early detection and a public health response to control the international spread of disease in ways which do not unnecessarily restrict international traffic and trade. ¤
Immediate Past President of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association and current President of the St. Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association, Karolin Troubetzkoy, said www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
Preventing The Propagation of Invasive Agricultural Produce In The Eastern Caribbean
Preventing The Propagation of Invasive Agricultural Produce In The Eastern Caribbean
USDA/APHIS, the OECS Commission and Saint Lucia authorities are working together to implement the “Don’t Pack a Pest Outreach Programme”. The programme provides a platform for participating countries to increase the traveling public’s awareness of the risks associated with carrying food and agricultural items throughout the region and is an essential component of safeguarding agriculture and natural resources. It is suggested that 98% of the entry of pests results from passenger traffic, which has been on an upward trend over the years, given the growth of the tourism industry and an increase in regional travel. With increased activities in the trade and tourism sector in the region, the risk of introducing potential invasive species also remain a major concern and raises a question on the institutional and technical capacities to control and manage pests to protect the environment and ensure the economic wellbeing of citizens. Acknowledging the need to address that issue, a delegation from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health Inspection Service (USDA/APHIS) paid an official visit to the Director General of the OECS Commission Dr. Didacus Jules recently to discuss the implementation of the Don’t Pack a Pest Outreach Programme and the continued collaboration with the OECS on matters related to regional plant health safeguarding activities such as export certification, the regional plant quarantine principles and procedure training course and the exchange of electronic phytosanitary certificates through the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) electronic hub. Dennis Martin, Director of Safeguarding Initiative for the Greater Caribbean, and Renita Sewsaran, Agricultural Scientist, presented the Programme which seeks to draw traveller’s attention on the risks of transporting agricultural produce which may harbour pests in countries of the Eastern Caribbean. Dr. Jules commended the assistance of USDA/ APHIS in building capacity to protect the region from pests over the past ten years and expressed full support with regards to this new sensitization campaign. “I wish to further note the pioneering work done in support of our science-based systems to enhance regional biosecurity and the strengthening of regional and national pest mitigation activities
to facilitate and enhance international trade of agricultural commodities through a collaborative process. “We strongly support the traveler outreach programme and would like to see the programme implemented in all ports of the OECS. We look forward to continued collaborative working relationship with the USDA/APHIS that will redound to an improved quarantine and pest management infrastructure in the region,” Dr. Jules said. As a matter of fact, USDA/APHIS and the OECS Commission have been maintaining a 10-year working relationship under which major projects advancing the management of pests have been implemented: • The annual training of plant quarantine officers at the University of the West Indies • The training in pest surveillance and the development of a manual for use by technicians • The training in pest risk analysis and pest prioritization and the establishment of risk analysis labs in Saint Lucia, Dominica and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines • The training in the development of a national pest list for the facilitation of a regional one and the development of a manual for technicians • The supply of digital imaging microscopes linking the region to the Caribbean Pest Diagnostic Network Besides the aforementioned initiatives, Dr. Jules further emphasized the urgency for assistance to enhance export certification and inspection services, develop an electronic phytocertification system, support and mentorship to countries that are not equipped with the pest risk analysis laboratory facilities and to implement a phyto-sanitary capacity evaluation and strategy for the Eastern Caribbean. These areas are new opportunities to deepen the existing partnership between both organisations. The delegation of USDA/APHIS and the OECS Commission furthered this official visit to other key stakeholders whose participation will be decisive for the successful implementation of the Don’t Pack a Pest Outreach Programme in St. Lucia. Among them were the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health of the Government of Saint Lucia, Research, Plant and Animal Quarantine, Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) and the Customs & Excise Department. ¤ OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
Governance Guru BUSINESS FOCUS
A Wish List for Caribbean Directors
Employee Engagement: The Missing “Success Ingredient” in Board Oversight Dr. Chris Bart, FCPA, FCIoD – Chairman, Caribbean Governance Training Institute Creating a winning business strategy can be pretty straight forward - find an unmet need in the marketplace and develop a plan to satisfy it better than every competitor. For most companies this means providing outstanding service at a competitive price relative to their nearest competitors. But in the grind of the real world, delivering on that strategy day in and day out in a manner that will build customer loyalty and referrals is a completely different matter. In fact, it is one of the most difficult and enduring problems faced by organizations and their leaders all around the world. Research shows that regardless of the economic circumstances, having an engaged workforce – one that is enthusiastically willing to give more than just what is required to hold onto their jobs - contributes to better business performance. Consistent, flawless execution of an organization’s strategy requires a dedicated and committed workforce that is passionately focused on achieving the aims and aspirations contained in it. The Case for Engagement Conceptually, this all makes sense. But practically, as experience has shown, it can be very difficult to do. Why? Because, according to a survey by The Conference Board, 55 percent OECSBusinessFocus
of employees stated that they are dissatisfied with their jobs. And according to the Gallup Organization, 80 percent of employees surveyed say they dislike going to work while 40 percent dread showing up! Yet there is clear evidence that a significant relationship exists between the level of personal commitment (or “engagement”) an employee has towards their employer and organizational performance. Hewitt Associates for example has found in its annual survey of employees in client companies around the world that for those organizations having less than 40% of their workers ‘engaged’, shareholder returns were 44% lower than the average. In contrast, when 65% or more of employees were engaged, shareholder returns were 19% higher than the average. According to GreatplaceJobs.com, in a Q3 2007 to Q3 2008 comparison between the 100 Best Companies to Work For and the top Fortune 100 firms, the Best Companies had 30 percent revenue growth and no bankruptcies compared to the Fortune 100 with only 3 percent growth and 9 bankruptcies. And while both groups experienced significant drops in their share prices as part of the recession, the Best Companies bested the Fortune 100 by 10 percent. www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
So, why are there such dramatically better results for firms with engaged employees? It’s because engaged employees are both passionate about their jobs and the work they do as well as emotionally bonded to their organizations. They are willing to give that elusive ‘discretionary effort’. Companies that engage not just the minds but also the hearts of their employees have a more intense strategic focus, higher efficiency and better productivity which ultimately translates into better products, services and customer experiences. They execute better by beating out those competitors that aren’t able to produce the same level of human – some say, ‘spiritual’ - commitment. It’s for these reasons that eliminating workplace alienation and creating an engaged workforce has become the new mantra for organizations seeking to improve their performance – not just a little, but a lot! In other words, happy employees lead to happy customers...and happy shareholders! Why ain’t it happening? And yet the alienation persists despite the overwhelming evidence in support of having an engaged workforce. To be sure, creating and maintaining a high level of employee engagement can be a challenge. But it’s also not that difficult or complicated. After two decades of research on how companies can better execute their strategies (especially their missions and visions), I shared the five essential practices to capturing the holy grail of employee engagement in my #1 best selling book “A Tale of Two Employees and the Person who wanted to Lead them”. At their heart, they concentrate on three themes: the degree to which an employee knows and clearly understands what’s specifically expected of him/ her at work and, most importantly, how it is meaningful to the company’s mission and vision; giving rewards for good work that are actually valued by the employees receiving them; and having leaders who show they really are interested in and care about their (subordinate) associates as human beings and their development (and not just as instruments of production). So again, why do the vast majority of organizations not have engaged employees. My work with CEOs and Boards over the past 30 years has caused me to believe that the root of the engagement problem lies with the Board’s lack of oversight for employee engagement and especially the three engagement themes described above. With such overwhelming evidence in support of employee engagement, Boards need to start holding their CEOs accountable for creating it and to acknowledge their responsibility for providing oversight on employee engagement efforts within the organization. Employee engagement is not a fad, passing fancy or flavor of the month leadership issue. It’s a shareholder value issue, and accordingly, directors should take an enthusiastic role in monitoring it (through employee surveys) and see it as an appropriate and justifiable area of ‘board interest’. Accordingly, directors must make employee engagement part of their governance oversight obligations. More specifically, this means making sure, principally through executive compensation mechanisms, that their CEO and the rest of the senior management team view employee engagement as a major job responsibility similar to their accountability for building customer loyalty and the careful control of costs.
The Way Forward In conclusion, the way to build better businesses is by having better boards who understand that their fiduciary responsibilities go beyond their organization’s financial performance and the safeguarding of its assets. Boards must look beyond the numbers and understand the root causes of financial success – loyal customers for sure but also dedicated, enthusiastic and engaged workers willing to give their employers the discretionary effort which separates ‘great’ organizations from the merely ‘good’. So here’s the big, uncomfortable question for Caribbean directors: how would you rate the degree to which employees throughout your organization are truly engaged? If you think that there is room for improvement in the way your board’s oversight for this important component of an organization’s culture is carried out, you might want to suggest that they consider going to one of the corporate governance training programs currently available in the region – like the extraordinarily unique 3 day Chartered Director Program (“C. Dir.”) currently being offered exclusively by The Caribbean Governance Training Institute. Over 500 Caribbean directors have attended this program to date (including all the Governors of the ECCB and the entire Government of Saint Lucia!) By attending programs like this one, your organization’s stakeholders would then know that their interests are being represented not just by individuals with successful track records in business, but also by men and women who have the governance qualifications - and the certification - necessary for effective board leadership and oversight of their organization’s strategic activities. After all, it’s not education which is expensive, but rather ignorance.
Dr. Chris Bart, FCPA, F.CIoD is a recognized global governance authority and Co-Founder of the Caribbean Governance Training Institute. The Institute is the first to offer throughout the Caribbean an intensive 3 day governance program leading to the prestigious and internationally recognized Chartered Director (C.Dir.) designation. For more information visit CGTI’s website: http://www. caribbeangovernancetraininginstitute.com/ or phone Lisa at 758 451 2500
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
ECCB to Issue New Polymer-Based Notes in 2019 ECCB to Issue New Polymer-Based Notes in 2019
For the $20, $50 and $100 notes, the Bank has opted to include a full holographic pane with features embedded in it so that someone holding up the note to light will see the features through the pane, which protects the note against being counterfeited. “The security features that we have on the current notes will be enhanced and will remain so that persons who are using their notes will see that there’s some familiarity,” said Brathwaite. “We didn’t want to disturb the concept of notes that people have been accustomed to all these years. So we have enhanced graphics of the same features using modern technology.”
The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) is preparing to roll out a new suite of enhanced bank notes by mid-2019. The new notes, which will be made from a polymer-based material, will replace the current notes made from cotton.
According to Brathwaite, many so-called First World countries are now issuing their currencies on this substrate and the sub-region will be the first in this part of the world to issue all of its notes on this particular substrate.
The Bank issues notes for eight countries in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).
“Trinidad and Tobago had issued a $50 note on a polymer for the anniversary of its Independence, I believe, sometime ago. But that’s the only existing polymer substrate note in our jurisdiction at this point in time.
Deputy Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Trevor Brathwaite, made the disclosure during a recent appearance on “ECCB Connects”, a programme produced by the regional bank.
“So we are leading in this particular area and we expect that eventually central banks — once we’ve had the benefit of this experience — will see the benefits of issuing notes on this particular substrate,” he explained.
Brathwaite said polymer is a much more durable substrate with a number of features that enhance the durability of the notes, resulting in the notes lasting much longer in circulation and costing less in printing costs.
The new notes will have a tactile feature for visually-impaired individuals so that they can feel the note. While it is not exactly Braille, Brathwaite said raised bumps on the notes will distinguish the denomination of the notes.
“Eventually, it will reduce the cost that the Central Bank has to incur in printing notes,” Brathwaite said. “So that’s a long-term benefit – a reduction in cost – hence the use of the polymer substrate.”
Former ECCB Governor, Sir K. Dwight Venner’s image will be featured on the new $50 note, in tribute honouring his legacy and the more than 25 years that he spent at the Central Bank. The $50 and $100 notes will be the first set of notes in circulation, Brathwaite said.
A key difference between the current and proposed new notes is the orientation. The new notes will be lateral — not horizontal like the current ones. Other crucial differences are the enhanced security features. The $20, $50 and $100 notes will have a ‘holographic window’, or see-through window, so when one holds the note up to light, they will see through that holographic panel. Therefore, if someone attempts to make copies of the note, that portion will turn black. The $5 and $10 have similar holographic windows but on a smaller scale. There’s a triangle with a feature coloured plant and in that holographic window – the smaller one – will have the same feature so if the note is held up, one can see through that particular holographic window. OECSBusinessFocus
Brathwaite said a public sensitization programme will be undertaken prior to the issuance of the new bank notes, including an educational drive targeting people who are visually-impaired. So should citizens be concerned about transitioning to the new notes? Not really, Brathwaite said. He cited the U.K., where the pound is now issued on polymer notes, and where citizens have not been adversely affected. “They’ve accepted the fact that it’s on this new substrate,” he said. “In Canada and Australia as well. So there’s a variety of countries in the so-called First World where the substrate is used.” ¤ www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
CCRIF SPC WelcomesAnguilla St. Maarten CIBC FirstCaribbean’s OperTo The Facility ations To Close
CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Anguilla Operations To Close
CCRIF SPC Welcomes St. Maarten To The Facility CCRIF SPC has announced that St. Maarten has joined CCRIF SPC (formerly the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility), purchasing coverage for tropical cyclones, earthquakes and excess rainfall. St. Maarten joined the Facility on September 1 as a late entrant this policy year which began on June 1, 2018.
CCRIF’s membership now stands at 20 countries – 19 Caribbean governments and 1 Central American government – as in this policy year both the British Virgin Islands and Montserrat also joined the Facility. CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank on September 12 announced that it has taken a decision to close its Anguilla office early next year. Managing Director of Barbados and the EC Islands, under which the Anguilla business falls, Donna Wellington, noted, “We conducted a strategic review of our business across the region and given the growth path we have identified we have made the difficult decision to close our operations in Anguilla. “Our operation in Anguilla is a small one accounting for just 5 per cent of overall market share there. Since the economic downturn, our business in Anguilla has been experiencing operational losses. Given the continuing economic climate, we have therefore taken the difficult decision to close our office there.” CIBC FirstCaribbean has held discussions with the Government of Anguilla and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, as the regulator, and all parties have agreed to work in close coordination to ensure that the transition can take place in an orderly manner and that all are committed to ensuring continued financial stability in Anguilla. The bank’s employees in Anguilla will be offered separation packages consistent with the Bank’s policy. Wellington added that branch operations will cease on Thursday, January 31, 2019 and the bank was requesting all account holders to close their accounts and transfer their business to another commercial bank in Anguilla. As it prepares for the closure of its Anguilla branch the bank will not be transacting any new business with immediate effect. The regional bank is also making arrangements with National Commercial Bank of Anguilla Ltd, to allow clients with loan facilities and credit cards to service their debts to completion. Wellington asserted, “We have met with our staff in Anguilla to apprise them of our decision and we are fully committed to supporting our employees and customers through this process.” She noted: “Additionally, we will be communicating with our clients to offer them the support they need in winding up their business with us.”
CCRIF provides parametric insurance coverage, the selection of which is largely driven by the fact that parametric insurance is generally less expensive than an equivalent traditional indemnity insurance product as it does not require a loss assessment procedure in case of a disaster. This is an important feature considering the urgent need for liquidity by a government after a catastrophe. St. Maarten, like 12 other Caribbean countries, was severely impacted by Hurricane Irma in September 2017 with damages in the country estimated by the Government and contained in its disaster recovery plan to be in excess of US$1.8 billion. Following Tropical Cyclones Irma and Maria in 2017, CCRIF made payouts totalling US$55 million to 9 member governments. Since CCRIF’s inception in 2007, it has made 36 payouts totalling US$130.5 million to 13 member governments, all within 14 days of the event – one of the Facility’s core principles. It is the parametric nature of CCRIF’s policies that enable rapid payouts against losses estimated in a catastrophe risk model (which can provide such estimates almost instantaneously). These payouts allow governments to reduce their budget volatility and to provide capital for emergency relief as well as assistance to the affected population and restore critical infrastructure and homes. While these payments are relatively small compared to the overwhelming cost of rebuilding, this rapid infusion of liquidity allows our members to address immediate priorities and reduce post-disaster resource deficits. CCRIF CEO, Isaac Anthony, said: “We are pleased to welcome St. Maarten as a new member to CCRIF and look forward to working with the Government of St. Maarten to strengthen its disaster risk management framework in the face of increasing climate-related risks.” St. Maarten is joining CCRIF at a time when countries are increasingly recognizing that parametric insurance and risk transfer mechanisms are valuable tools to support financial and social protection strategies within countries given the increasing occurrence of natural hazards due to a changing climate. ¤ OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
Living Local, Investing Global: The Case for Global Diversification
Living Local, Investing Global:
The Case for Global Diversification By Peter Arender
In the Caribbean, there are plenty of reasons to invest in our own back yards. Some investors are drawn to the idea of supporting local business people and economic development. At times they can be handsomely rewarded, and at others not so much. The Jamaican stock market, for example, has shown great returns in recent times after struggling for many years. Other Caribbean investors find themselves bound by a web of regulations in areas like pension and insurance company investments, as well as currency controls which can keep large pools of investment capital homebound in several countries, not by choice but by necessity. This can lead to a fundamental lack of diversification which acts against the best interests of these institutions and their beneficiaries in the long-term. Investing globally key to financial health There are significant benefits to including the rest of the world in investment portfolios, especially in a region where countries can have small, segmented capital markets with the scope for both really good and really bad outcomes. Investing globally is important to the financial health of our institutions and to each one of us. Our futures may depend on it, and here are three reasons why. Global diversification helps avoid disaster. Each year the global investment bank Credit Suisse publishes a Global Investment Returns Yearbook which summarises 100+ years of asset returns for most countries around the world. This might sound boring, but it is beautiful. Over such a long horizon the day-to-day noise is cut out and you can truly see what matters. And, as it turns out, what matters for long-term investment returns is avoiding disaster. In the stock and bond markets at different places and times, this has taken the forms of war, hyperinflation, debt default, government confiscation of private assets, and catastrophic economic mismanagement. Spread risk around the world Places like Australia wind up with some of the highest long-term returns on their stock markets ($1 in 1900 becomes approximately $2,000 today) due to the luck of not having had their productive wealth destroyed by calamity. Countries like France, Germany and China on the other hand had a very different experience, seeing the same $1 become only $41, $42 and $0.50 respectively over the same period. Closer to home, we know what effect currency devaluations in places like Guyana have had, as well as the impact of debt defaults and losses in companies like CLICO. Spreading risk around the world is just plain common sense. Global diversification helps liquidity. Institutions like insurance
companies often need to sell assets to pay claims in circumstances they cannot predict in advance. Caribbean capital markets can be challenging places to find liquidity at the best of times, but immediately following a hurricane, for example, small markets will almost certainly find that their institutions cannot raise cash at the exact moment they need it. A sensibly constructed portfolio of global investments can usually be liquidated in a matter of days, helping institutions and individuals meet the obligations that the assets were set aside for in the first place. Global diversification gets better returns. Caribbean capital markets are dominated by government bonds. The same Credit Suisse yearbook highlighted another important lesson: equity investments far outpace bonds over time. One reason for this is that they can recover given enough time but when bond investments become permanently impaired (i.e. by default) there is no coming back. Global diversification lets you own a share of the profitable activity of a wide range of companies. Pay attention to todayâ€™s prices There are two important footnotes to investing globally - and anywhere for that matter. The first is that investors need to pay attention to price, focusing holdings in attractively valued securities where todayâ€™s prices imply the best chance of good returns in the future; the second is that they need to keep the management and other fees on the investments to a reasonable level. With globally diversified portfolios of reasonably valued securities to complement local investments, Caribbean investors will be able to avoid some important trouble spots and take proper care of their financial health now, and for the next 100 years. Â¤
Peter Arender is chief investment officer, Fortress Advisory & Investment Services. Fortress Fund Managers is based in Barbados. Its range of funds covers the asset classes of equities and fixed income, providing creditable performances over the years. Fortress is also a leading provider of pension management and administration services to companies of all sizes, and to individuals
How Crypto-loans Can Optimize Your Tax Situation
How Crypto-loans Can Optimize Your Tax Situation This April’s tax return may be a thing of the past but tax regulators around the world, and especially in the U.S., show no sign of easing their oversight of cryptocurrencies.
investment or for productive use in your trade or business and exchanges of real property not held primarily for sale.” Following these changes, any crypto swap triggers a tax event.
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), for one, has demonstrated it is utterly resolute in its efforts to crack down on crypto investors who may need to declare their holdings. Consequently, other countries have followed suit, borrowing some of IRS’s principles and adjusting them to their own needs.
It is important to note that not all capital gains are made equal. The IRS distinguishes between short-term and long-term gains and treats them differently from a tax standpoint. When an investor holds an asset for a year or less before they dispose of it, the sale triggers a short-term gain or loss. The latter are taxed at the investor’s ordinary income tax rate of up to 39.6 percent.
In the U.K., regulations lend themselves to different interpretations and are somewhat outdated. Yet, they too state that income from cryptocurrency trading may be subject to capital gains tax. Other jurisdictions, including Canada and Germany, also have laws in place treating cryptos as a taxable asset. Recently, the U.S. joined forces with other nations and formed an international coalition to ramp up tax enforcement efforts in the crypto space. Following in the footsteps of Coinbase, Bitfinex became the latest exchange to comply with tax regulations. In a statement, it notified some of its users that it was required to “report certain account information” to the government. The latter, in turn, “may then exchange that information with the tax authorities of the customer’s country of residence”. Japan and South Korea also introduced various measures meant to streamline the regulations governing crypto exchanges. For tax purposes, the IRS treats “virtual currencies” as property. As a result, investors, traders and anyone who has sold their coins during the tax year, must file them on their tax return. Failure to do so may result in a penalty of up to $250,000. This obligation holds true regardless of how taxpayers obtained their coins – whether they bought them on the open market, mined them or received them as a compensation for services. The regulations apply also to crypto-to-crypto trading, referred to as “like-kind exchanges”. Generally, the IRS allows taxpayers to postpone paying taxes on sold properties when they “reinvest the proceeds in similar property”, e.g. when swapping one property for another. Unfortunately for crypto enthusiasts, the exception no longer works for crypto assets. In an update from 2018, the IRS said that after the end of 2017, “the nonrecognition rules for likekind exchanges apply only to exchanges of real property held for
Investments held longer than a year are considered long-term and taxed at a rate less than 20 percent. Simply put, as far as taxation is concerned, it makes sense to hold cryptocurrencies for more than a year. Now, given the high tax on crypto capital gains, investors can gain a big tax benefit from borrowing against the value of their crypto holdings as an alternative to selling. Nexo, for example, gives borrowers access to instant cash against their crypto assets while retaining the upside potential of their cryptocurrencies. It further saves them from a double setback where they might be forced to liquidate crypto holdings to cover tax obligations, falling into the vicious cycle of multiple tax events every year. Based in Switzerland, Nexo was founded by the team behind Credissimo, a European FinTech group with 10+ years of experience in the credit facilitation space. It raised $52.5 million earlier this year and its lending platform is already live. Borrowing against assets instead of selling has been a longfavoured practice for wealthy people for many years. Steve Jobs reportedly never sold any of his Apple stock, worth over $2 billion at the time of his death. Oracle’s chief executive, Lawrence J. Ellison, is also said to have borrowed more than $1 billion against his shares in the company as a means to finance a lavish lifestyle. The list goes on. Using loans could prove beneficial for individuals and businesses alike. For instance, cryptocurrency miners can take advantage of loans to cover capital expenses and expand their operations without liquidating assets. Similarly, hedge funds holding crypto and other digital assets can leverage their portfolio to tap into further investment opportunities. ICO and crypto companies, too, can open crypto-back loans to cover operating expenses while keeping their assets. Even crypto exchanges can opt for a loan to finance their margin lending and operations. ¤ OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
Decline in Profits for First Citizens
ANSA McAL Earns $454m Second Quarter Profit
ANSA McAL Earns $454m Second Quarter Profit Noting the recent improvement in the Trinidad & Tobago economy, ANSA McAL Group Chairman Norman Sabga said this has bolstered the conglomerate’s strategy of innovation with its new products. “That strategy is working well. The fact that we are up three per cent locally would indicate to us that things are improving, or that we are getting a larger piece,” he said as the Group announced its unaudited results for the six months ended June 30, at Tatil Building, Port-of-Spain. Sabga took the opportunity to announce a series of acquisitions the Group is working on. “Right now we are doing due diligence for four acquisitions. One in Costa Rica, one in Barbados, two in Trinidad and Tobago, so our pipeline in acquisitions is very rich,” he said.
Decline in Profits for First Citizens While the First Citizens Group achieved a profitable quarter for the period ended June 30, there was a 5.9 per cent decline in its year-to-date profit to $469 million. Chairman Anthony Smart told shareholders the decline was due to the increase in the corporate tax rate for commercial banks to 35 per cent.
“Two of the acquisitions will be add-ons to the existing businesses that we have, so we are in a particular business and that acquisition, when it is consummated, will just be added on to this, so it will be the same administration. They are really very tactical acquisitions. Trinidad Aggregate Products (TAP) is one.”
Profit before tax remained relatively flat at $680.3 million in comparison to $681.4 million for the nine months ended June 2017, after incorporating a substantial impairment expense in respect of the Group’s Barbados portfolio, following that Government’s announcement that they would be unable to service its existing debt.
Giving an insight into ANSA McAL’s T&T operations in relation to its overseas businesses, he said: “Overall, the Trinidad and Tobago market is by far our largest market. That is part and parcel of our strategy to invest in other economies going forward.”
Smart said this affected an otherwise exceptional performance, with an increase in the group’s operating profit for the nine months to June by approximately $118 million or 15.9 per cent to $857.3 million.
The Group’s financial results show that profit before tax increased to $454 million from $432 million and revenues are up five per cent to $3,057 million from $2,899 million.
First Citizens’ total net income grew 3.7 per cent to $520.8 million and operating expenses declined by 1.8 per cent compared to the corresponding quarter in 2018. As a result, operating profit increased by $23.5 million or 9.7 per cent for the period.
The earnings of $1.61 per share is an improvement of seven per cent. In a statement to shareholders which accompanied the second quarter results, Sabga said: “Our strategies of growth, while containing expenses, have proven to be the right approach across the region and at home.” The ANSA McAL Board approved an interim dividend of $0.30 per Photo: ANSA McAL Group Executive Chairman A Norman Sabga, centre, with Deputy Chairman David Sabga, right and CEO Andrew Sabga following the announcement of the Group’s unaudited results for the six months ended June 30. Photo: Shirley Bahadur OECSBusinessFocus
“Our continued effective management of expenses resulted in an improved year-to-date efficiency ratio of 47.8 per cent as compared to 51.2 per cent for the corresponding period last year,” Smart said. Total assets as at June 2018 amounted to $41.2 billion, an increase of 5.8 per cent when compared to the total assets as at September 2017. ¤
JMMB Net Profit Up 56 per cent
JMMB Net Profit Up 56 per cent Regional financial entity, JMMB Group, has recorded 56 per cent growth in its net profit, year-over-year, totalling J$956.6 million, for the three-month period ending June 30. Additionally, the Group posted net operating revenue of J$4.7 billion, which reflects an increase of 15 per cent, compared to the corresponding period in 2017. The Group’s performance was largely driven by growth in its core business operations, namely: foreign exchange trading gains; fees and commission income; net interest income; and net gains on securities trading. Foreign exchange trading gains saw a significant increase of J$277.1 million, or 117 per cent, amounting to J$514.6 million, as a result of increased trading activity and the faster pace of depreciation of the Jamaican dollar, over the period. Fees and commission income totalled J$481.6 million, an increase of 32 per cent, over the corresponding prior period, driven by significant growth in managed funds and collective investment schemes, across the Group. Net interest income for the reporting period stood at approximately J$2.1 billion, reflecting growth of 8 per cent, or J$155.9 million, in the Group’s loan and investment portfolios. Additionally, net gains on securities traded, showed a marginal increase of 4 per cent, compared to the prior period, totaling J$1.6 billion, due to a decline in trading activities caused from the frequency of US Federal rate increases. Keith Duncan, JMMB Group CEO, said the positive performance achieved by the company reflects its commitment to build-out of its integrated regional financial strategy, even as the entity has intensified the consolidation and growth phases of its business model. Duncan said: “I am proud of the Group’s performance over the first quarter, which would not have been possible without a strong and motivated team, who has worked hard in yielding positive results and remained committed to providing financial solutions, in the best interest of our clients.” He added: “We look forward to the process of leveraging strategic synergies and improving operational efficiency, during the strategic period. Meanwhile, the JMMB Group is also looking to introduce innovative financial offerings across the markets in which it operates in order to drive growth, assist individuals to achieve their goals and support business expansion and growth; providing a win-win opportunity for all our stakeholders, through our financial partnership approach. “As part of the growth focus JMMB Group is seeking to launch consumer financing service in Trinidad and Tobago and to expand the provision of automated teller machine (ATM) services in Jamaica.” ¤
World Bank to Issue World’s First Blockchain Bond
World Bank to Issue World’s First Blockchain Bond The World Bank is taking a step into the brave new world of digital finance to sell the first-ever bond to be issued entirely using blockchain technology, the bank announced. More than just funds, the World Bank aims to gain experience using blockchain — a digital public registry of transactions — that could lead to “a golden future” for financial services for developing nations, a bank official told AFP. The technology is most often associated with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which often raise suspicion about their reliability and volatility, as well as their use for criminal purposes. But because there as yet is no Central Bank-backed digital currency in existence, the two-year Blockchain bond will rely on real-world money: Australian dollars. The Washington-based development lender aims to raise about Aus$50 million (about US$36 million), although it could be double that if more investors get involved before the bond is finalised the week of August 20. “Since our first bond transaction in 1947, innovation and investor satisfaction have been important hallmarks of our success with leveraging capital markets for development,” World Bank Treasurer Arunma Oteh said. “Today, we believe that emerging technologies equally offer transformative, yet prudent possibilities for us to continue to innovate, respond to investor needs and strengthen markets.” The transaction is the brainchild of the World Bank’s innovation lab, which has been working on the issue for nearly a year, together with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The institution also partnered with Microsoft, which will ensure the platform and software are “solid, bug-free, and have no vulnerabilities to attack”, said Paul Snaith, Manager of the World Bank’s Treasury Operations Capital Markets. He said use of Blockchain could improve transparency, since it is public, and cut down on transaction time since the bonds eventually will be exchanged instantaneously for cash. For now, though, investors still have to register and all cash will be transmitted separately from the Blockchain through “normal channels,” the old-fashioned way. The two-year life of the Blockchain bond will provide “quite a few learning events and opportunities”, he said. ¤
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
CIBC Raises Provision For Credit Losses
CIBC Raises Provision For Credit Losses
Republic Financial Holdings Makes Offer for Cayman Bank
CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank Ltd. is blaming Government’s debt restructuring for an increase in its provision for credit losses. In its consolidated financial statement for the nine-month period ending July 31, the bank said due to the announcement by Prime Minister Mia Mottley that her Government would restructure its debt payments, it had reclassified its exposures. “In response to the Barbados Government’s June 1, 2018 announcement of its intention to restructure its public debt, the bank classified its exposures as impaired as at July 31, 2018, which resulted in increased provisions for credit losses,” Chief Executive Officer, Gary Brown, said in the report, which was published on August 24. “Given the information currently available, we believe our expected credit loss allowances are reasonable at this time and will continue to closely monitor the situation and work with key stakeholders until the restructuring agreements are concluded,” he said. Days after her election, Mottley announced plans to restructure the island’s debt of about $15 billion. In addition, she announced she would suspend payments due on debt owed to external creditors and ask domestic creditors to roll over principal maturities until a restructuring agreement is reached with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). She also said Government would “endeavour to make scheduled domestic interest payments”. The CIBC report revealed net income of US$38 million for the third quarter, $4.6 million or 13.8 per cent higher than the US$33.4 million reported for the corresponding period last year. “Results for the period were affected by several items of note, including US$20 million (or US$8.2 million after tax) relating to provision for credit losses due to the impairment classification of Barbados Government debt exposures,” Brown said. The banking executive said income was also affected by insurance recoveries of some US$1.8 million, arising from the impact of hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017. “Excluding these items, the bank generated US$44.4 million of net income for the period, compared with US$33.4 million in the prior year,” he said. However, for the nine-month period ending July 31, the bank reported net income of $120 million, up by US$15.7 million or 15.1 per cent. FirstCaribbean International Bank recorded total revenue of US$435.1 million, up US$33.2 million or 8.3 per cent, due to its continued growth in performing loans and benefit from rising US interest rates. ¤ OECSBusinessFocus
Republic Financial Holdings Makes Offer for Cayman Bank Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) announced recently that it is in discussions with Cayman National, the parent of Cayman National Bank Ltd, for potential acquisition of a majority stake—at least 51 per cent and up to 74.99 per cent in the bank. According to a notice sent to the T&T Stock Exchange by Corporate Secretary and Group General Counsel Kimberly Erriah-Ali, this potential acquisition opportunity is still in the embryonic stage. A due diligence exercise is ongoing and the offer is subject to board approval being granted. The terms of the possible offer includes a price of between US$6 to $6.75 per Cayman National share. Once there is board approval, RFHL will inform shareholders about a definitive agreement with Cayman National for the purchase of the shareholding. However, this will also be subject to, among other things, the requisite regulatory approvals being obtained. In the interim, shareholders have been advised to take no action in relation to this potential acquisition until there is a further announcement confirming execution of a definitive agreement. Established in 1974, Cayman National Corporation Limited is the largest financial services company based in the Cayman Islands. It provides banking, trust and company management, fund administration, and wealth management services to clients around the world, from the Cayman Islands, and the Isle of Man, with an office also in Dubai. The company, which is publicly traded on the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange, comprises Cayman National Bank Ltd, Cayman National Fund Services Ltd, Cayman National Securities Ltd, Cayman National Bank (Isle of Man) Limited and Cayman National Trust Company (Isle of Man) Limited, and Cayman National (Dubai) Ltd. Previous acquisition include National Commercial Bank in Grenada (1992), the National Bank of Industry and Commerce in Guyana (1997), the Barbados National Bank (2003), Dextra Bank in the Cayman Islands (2006), a 57 per cent stake in HFC Bank in Ghana (2015) and a 20 per cent stake in East Caribbean Financial Holding Company Ltd in St Lucia (2003). ¤ www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
â€˜To lead in providing effective, efficient and sustainable solutions that address the challenges faced by disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors participating in the CSME.â€™
CDF Celebrating 10 Years of Service to the Caribbean Community
CDF-CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF SERVICE TO THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY By Mr. Rodinald Soomer
Chief Executive Officer
Why the CDF? The theory and practice of economic integration point to a tendency towards polarisation when participating countries are at uneven levels of development. In the case of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), some Member States have ‘pre-existing’ disadvantages emanating particularly from the small size and structures of their economies, which act as constraints on their capacity to take full advantage of the benefits of integration. In addition, all Member States, but particularly the more vulnerable, may experience temporary economic shocks which negatively affect their performance, and which if left unaddressed may widen existing disparities. Against this background, the need for a Development Fund emerged out of an admission that for the pursuit of deeper integration, in the form of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) to be a success, there needed to be a mechanism to enable benefits to be shared equitably among all the participating Member States of CARICOM. In 2008, the Caribbean Community in support of implementation of the CSME, established the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) to provide financial and/or technical assistance to disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors, as called for by Article 158, Chapter 7 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. Disadvantaged countries are defined in the Treaty as Belize, Montserrat plus the six independent members of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) grouping, and Guyana by virtue of its designation as a Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC). The CDF was therefore conceived as a key compensatory and developmental mechanism in the architecture of CARICOM, geared to supporting the strategic integration objectives of Member States and the Community, within the context of advancing the CSME.
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The CDF seeks to address any negative impact from economic and social dislocation arising from implementation of the CSME, as well as proactively assist with the region’s medium to long term development challenges of structural diversification, infrastructure development and regional investment promotion and mobilization.
36th CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting, July 2015, Bridgetown, Barbados, at which Replenishment of the CDF for the Second Cycle was approved
Specifically, CDF’s programmes help to increase business competitiveness, especially of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs); strengthen the production and export capacities of regional economies generally, and in key economic sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and other services; assist with support measures that help to remedy impairment of www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
SUPPORTING CSME SINCE 2008
resources resulting from natural disasters; and focus on initiatives that address temporary low levels of economic development. These programmes have the collective and cumulative impact of deepening regional integration and achieving greater cohesion. These broad thrusts of CDF’s development programmes are consistent with the overall CARICOM objective to build resilience (economic, social and environmental) in the Caribbean region. Given the demonstrated acute vulnerability of the region to climate change induced natural disasters, resilience building is becoming a more central feature of CDF’s activities, reflected necessarily in the approach to the design and implementation of enterprise competitiveness and infrastructure development projects. Mandated by Treaty The Agreement to launch the CARICOM Development Fund was signed by the CARICOM Heads of Government on 4 July 2008. The instrument known as the “Agreement Relating to the Operation of the CARICOM Development Fund” (The CDF Agreement) is rooted in Article 158 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas which provides for the establishment of a “Development Fund for the purpose of providing financial or technical assistance to disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors” in CARICOM. This Agreement confers on CDF its separate and distinct legal and juridical personality. In accordance with the CDF Agreement, the CDF, which is headquartered in Barbados, is mandated to: (a) address economic dislocation and other adverse economic impact arising from the operations of the CSME; adverse social impact arising from the operations of the CSME; and structural diversification and infrastructural development needs; and (b) facilitate regional investment promotion and mobilisation; and business development and enterprise competitiveness. The CDF became effectively operational in November 2008 with the appointment of its first Chief Executive Officer, Ambassador Lorne McDonnough. The stage was set for the design and introduction of a new set of developmental interventions that would directly unlock the benefits of membership of the CSME, particularly for the Least Developed Country (LDC) members, but more broadly for regions and sectors within all CSME-ready Member States, including the More Developed Countries (MDCs). Governance The CDF is currently headed by Chief Executive Officer Mr. Rodinald Soomer, who oversees daily administration and reports to a Board of Directors. The CDF is staffed by fourteen persons, ten of whom are at the professional level. Its administrative expenditure is financed from income earned from its investments.
Chairman and CEO CDF Meet Minister of Finance Suriname to discuss a programme of support under CDF Cycle 2, Paramaribo, June 2017
Eight Directors sit on the CDF Board. The Chairperson of the Board, is appointed by CARICOM’s Council of Finance and Planning (COFAP) for a term of two years. The other Directors represent groups of Member States rather than individual countries. Two Directors represent the MDCs and two the LDCs. The regional private sector is also represented on the Board and the CARICOM and OECS Secretariats are non-voting Members. Each Director has an Alternate. Directors are not eligible for re-election. The Heads of Government agreed that the Directors would serve for periods of either two or three years. The First meeting of the Board determined the rotation. The Board is accountable to the CARICOM Heads of Government and reports to the Community Council of Ministers, the second highest organ in CARICOM. The Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) as well as the Council for Finance and Planning (COFAP) advise the Community Council. The Community Council in turn, in collaboration with COFAP, may give such directions to the Board as are required to give effect to the operations of the CDF, in accordance with Article 158 of the Revised Treaty. The exercise of this prerogative is most critical at the beginning of each contribution and subvention cycle, at which juncture the Community Council in collaboration with COFAP determines the contributions of the Member States to the Development Fund. The CDF may also accept subventions from public or private sector entities of the Member States, or from other entities
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Establishing a Track Record- The First Cycle (2008 – 2015) In fulfilling its mandate, the CDF is required to assess and determine the needs of its stakeholders, select the most appropriate interventions and evaluate the impact of its operations. It is also required to conduct regular scans and strategic analyses of the external and internal environment. This is the approach that informed the formulation of development programmes under the CDF’s first cycle of operations, which spanned the period November 2008 to June 30, 2015.
People’s Republic of China Ambassador Wei Qiang makes a cheque presentation to Ambassador Lorne McDonnough, CEO of the CDF, Bridgetown, September 2011
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Energy Efficiency Capacity Development
d anda ua u ig arb t n B
t nd s en s s a vi nc ne itt Ne t Vi adi in en Sa Gr e Th &
“It is important to note that the CDF opened its doors when countries were in the throes of the international economic and financial crises of the period. The significance of this is that identified development partners and friendly states from whom it was envisaged that the CDF would mobilise significant amounts of its startup capital, were unable to support the CDF to the extent anticipated. Furthermore, Member States of CARICOM were themselves grappling with the impact of the global crises. At that time too, Caribbean countries were also feeling the impact of the collapse of two major financial institutions. The combined effects of these developments led to narrowed fiscal space and the accompanying economic challenges and this made it much more challenging for them to meet their obligations to the CDF.”
in millions of United States Dollars
external to the Community. Indeed, in the design of the CDF, it was anticipated that a significant part of its resources would be garnered from partnerships with external countries and agencies. Resource mobilisation is therefore an important element of the CDF’s ongoing programme of work. The challenges associated In that period, the CDF Board approved Country Assistance with this are alluded to in the excerpt below, of remarks delivered on behalf of Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Distribution of Approved Programmes by Country and Purpose (First Cycle) Vincent and the Grenadines to the 4th Meeting of Contributors 10.00 Specified Infrastructure and Development Partners of the CDF, September 2014. SME Support
Programmes(CAPs) for all eight of the disadvantaged countries within the CSME. Twenty-four projects were executed within the CAPs. At the end of the cycle, an independent evaluation was conducted of these projects to determine their relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability. These factors were ranked on a scale from 1- 5 with 1 being poor and 5 very good. The weighted average of CDF’s performance was 3.58. The result of this evaluation is summarized below: • Relevance (Extent to which objectives are still consistent with beneficiaries’ requirements, country needs, global priorities and partners and CDF policies) 4.48 • Efficiency (Achievement of purpose) 3.26 • Effectiveness (Sound management and value for money) 3.13 • Impact (Achievement of wider effects) 3.76 • Sustainability (Likely continuation of achieved results) 3.25 The CAPs for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Belize recorded consistently high grades. On the downside, the assessment showed that delays occurred in nine of the projects especially with respect to SME loans. However, the reasons for delays varied across the CAPs and were not attributed to the CDF.
SUPPORTING CSME SINCE 2008
Legal framework 4 3
Controls, policies and procedures
attention to the disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors is aimed at contributing towards the promotion of inclusive and sustainable growth of an integrated CARICOM. This is an important pillar in the CARICOM Region’s Strategic Plan 2015-2019.
Peer organisations Figure : Distribution of Approved Programmes by Country and Purpose (First Cycle)
Decision support Metrics and reporting
Skills and Competency level
Skills and competence development
Maturity Assessment of the CDF’s Organisational Management and Performance compared to selected peer organisations (taken from the Final Internal Assessment Report of the Independent Evaluation of the First CDF Contribution Cycle, Maxwell Stamp PLC July 2015.)
Drawing on the experience of the first funding cycle, in the second cycle the CDF has undertaken to expand the scope of its operations to include new beneficiary CARICOM Member States and to support disadvantaged regions and sectors, including in the MDC countries. The Revised Treaty of Chaguaramus defines disadvantaged countries as the LDCs and Guyana (given its HIPC status) but does not define disadvantaged regions and sectors in a specific enough manner to allow for the development of a transparent and evidence-based regime of support. Therefore, one of the key objectives of the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan is to establish a policy and operational framework to facilitate the development and implementation of assistance programmes geared towards addressing the needs of disadvantaged regions and sectors. This regime will be encapsulated in the development of a CARICOM Cohesion Policy and Implementation Plan.
US$ ' millions
The overall conclusion was that the CDF made an impressive start in the first cycle operations. Of the Twenty-four projects, twenty scored above average, three recorded an average score below three, while one project scored below average. In instances where the evaluators scored a low grade for sustainability it was recommended that the CDF consider extending further assistance The above chart to be inserted after the first line of the second paragraph under subsection ‘Establishing in the second cycle while encouraging the entities to introduce a Track Record…’ in the Article by the CEO entitled ‘CDF-Celebrating 10 Years…’. That first line reads: In The rate of disbursement of resources is expected to accelerate in measures to improve the internal efficiencies of the projects. that period, the CDF Board approved…within the CSME light of the lessons learnt by the Member States and the CDF in the first cycle. But increasing the pace and efficiency of operations Figure : Loan and Grant Disbursements Trend for individual years 2010 to 2016. Loan and Grant Disbursements Trend for Individual years 2010 to 2016 will be critically dependent on the pace of replenishment of the CDF’s capital fund. In that respect, the Organisation is aware that Loans Grants Total Disbursement 12.00 there may be downside risks which may arise from challenges in 10.00 obtaining resources from development partners and Member States in a timely manner, given their growth, debt and fiscal 8.00 constraints. 6.00
In recognition of both the constraints and needs of Member States, CDF’s second cycle core programmes goals are to achieve: 2.00 • Higher levels of Inter-regional trade and investment 0.00 between MDCs and LDCs; 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 • Increased Intra-regional trade within the LDCs; The above chart to be inserted at the end of the subsection ‘Establishing a Track Record…’ • Improved competitiveness of the private sector in the Strategic Thrust of the Second Cycle (2015-2020) disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors; and By design, the CDF has an important role to play in the workings of • Reduced level of regional and sectoral disparities. the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, as well as the Region’s efforts to build competitiveness and unleash the key economic Programme activities are being structured to achieve results drivers to transition to sustained growth and generation of gainful across beneficiary countries and communities in one or more of employment especially in the disadvantaged countries, regions five thematic areas, in accordance with the stated development and sectors in CARICOM. It must therefore plan carefully and priorities of Member States, as follows: strategically to make optimum use of its resources in fulfilment 1. Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency/Climate Change & of its mandate. To that end, the CDF prepared a new Strategic The Environment; Plan to guide its work programme for the second funding cycle, 2. Support to local or sector-level Physical Infrastructure to 2015-2020. facilitate private sector trade and investment; 3. Enabling SME Development and Competitiveness; The CDF’s second and current Strategic Plan was approved by 4. Human Resource Development; and the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) in 5. Cohesion Policy and Advocacy. ¤ November 2015. It is an important tool to facilitate the alignment of the organisation’s activities with long term goals that meet the aspirations of the Caribbean Community. In that regard, the CDF’s 4.00
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF THE CDF Start-Up Phase The CARICOM Development Fund, ‘the CDF’, became a reality with the signing of ‘the ‘Agreement Relating to the Operation of the CARICOM Development Fund’ (‘the CDF Agreement’) in Antigua and Barbuda on July 4th, 2008. The first Chairman of the CDF Board of Directors, Dr. Shelton Nichols was appointed by CARICOM’s Council for Finance and Planning (COFAP) to chair the CDF for its first two years. He commenced his tenure in September 2008. A CARICOM Secretariat Executive Director and a Macroeconomist were provisionally seconded from the Secretariat to prepare for the first CDF Board meeting and the CDF Board of Directors held its inaugural meeting on September 30th to October 1st, 2008.
Dr. Bernard LaCorbiniere
Carla Barnett, PhD
Dr. Alvin Hilaire
The first CDF Board of Directors comprised: Dr. Carla Barnett and Ambassador Wendell Lawrence (nominated to represent the Least Developed Countries - LDCS); Mr. Neemal Rekha and Ms. Sidjae Robinson (nominated to represent the More Developed Countries - MDCs); Dr. Ronald Ramkissoon (nominated to represent the Private Sector); Mr. Randolph Cato (nominated to represent the OECS Secretariat); Dr. Maurice Odle (nominated to represent the CARICOM Secretariat) and Ms. Juanita ThoringtonPowlett (selected on a special non-renewable 3 year appointment by the host country Barbados). This was the beginning of fourteen critical months of preparatory work leading to the start of business operations on August 4th, 2009.
Historical Overview Of The CDF
Ambassador Lorne McDonnough, CD
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
Shelton Nicholls PhD
The combined early stewardship of first Chairman Dr. Shelton Nichols (September 2008 to July 2009) and Deputy Chairperson Dr. Carla Barnett (August 2009 to May 2010) brought a dynamic Economic Analysis and Central Banking skills set to the initial Board leadership. In their successive leadership terms, they ensured that the Board’s main objective for the start-up period remained focused on ensuring that the CDF was established in accordance with its mandate to address issues of dislocation and disparity and with the solid regulatory framework required to achieve its purpose of ‘providing financial and technical assistance to the disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors of CARICOM Member States’. www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
SUPPORTING CSME SINCE 2008
Guided by the principles of integrity and accountability, the early period of the first funding cycle was devoted to designing, approving and implementing governance rules, regulations and procedures. These were integral to establishing and demonstrating transparency of operations. During this formative period, Project Appraisal Policy and Procedures were prepared and approved while draft Procurement Operating Guidelines, Investment Policy, Financial and Accounting Policies as well as Human Resources Policy Guidelines were considered by the Board. The stage was set for the CDF practice of streamlining internal operations with the continuing development and periodic reviews and updates of its policies and procedures.
CDF Staff 2015
CDF convenes its inaugural Regular Board Meeting in 2008
The management dimension of the CDF evolved in tandem with that of the Board. The Board agreed that the initial management structure for staff would comprise: The Chief Executive Officer; a Technical Director; Legal Counsel; Financial Officer; Executive Assistant; and two Seconded Officers from the CARICOM Secretariat (agreed to at the inaugural Board meeting). Ambassador Lorne T. Mc Donnough was appointed as the first CDF Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and he took up office in November 2008. Thereafter, in the course of 2009, the initial team of the CEO and the two seconded CARICOM Secretariat staff was augmented by the recruitment of the other management staff proposed by the Board. From the outset, Ambassador Mc Donnough was clear in his mission ‘Management had to ensure that the organization being created would be credible and transparent, with optimum use of the available resources and with a response capability that would set the CDF apart from other financial institutions.’ Key Operating Principles and Parameters The Board decided in December 2009 to adopt a Country Assistance Programme approach as the medium through which
to facilitate interventions to Member States as opposed to the project approach originally contemplated. This change provoked a review of the institutional structure of the CDF to include the recruitment of a full time Accountant to strengthen the financial management and the recruitment of two Programme Specialists to assist with development and management of the Country Assistance Programmes. At present, the CDF is still modestly staffed. The compliment of 14 staff members now also includes a Financial Controller, Senior Economist, Resource Mobilization Officer and an Information Technology Officer. Fundamental to the CDF’s operations is the ‘Pay to Play’ principle enshrined by Annex III (6) of the CDF Agreement, which means that Member States must pay up their full assessed contributions in order to access the resources of the CDF. From the onset, the Board and management had many difficult decisions to make in balancing the provision of assistance to Member States with the need to avoid compromising on this principle. The decisive and unswerving leadership of Chairman Dr. Shelton Nichols was critical in navigating the early challenges that surrounded the Board and Management’s insistence on adherence to it. The ‘CDF Agreement’ prescribed a four-year First Contribution Cycle which would have come to an end in December 2012. However, the First Contribution Cycle was extended to July 2015 to, inter alia, allow for all Member States who were eligible for CDF interventions to become compliant and to have approved Country Assistance Programmes within the First Cycle. OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF THE CDF
In the course of the First Contribution Cycle, the CDF steadily evolved under the astute leadership of the following distinguished Chairpersons, successively appointed by the Council of Finance and Planning: 1. Dr. Shelton Nichols – (September 2008 to July 2009) 2. Dr. Bernard La Corbiniere - (June 2010 to June 2012) 3. Dr. Alvin Hilaire – (October 2013 to October 2015) The target of holding four Board meetings per year, mandated by Article VI (1) of the CDF Agreement, was made possible by the dedicated service of the following Directors who were respectively appointed to act as Deputy Chairpersons for those periods in between the appointments of a substantive Chair. The CDF acknowledges the importance of the contributions of: i. Dr. Carla Barnett – (August 2009 to May 2010) ii. Mr. Nigel John – (June 2012 to January 2013) iii. Ms. Alison Gajadhar- (February 2013 to October 2013) The Second Cycle of Operations The Second CDF Contribution Cycle commenced in July 2015 and the Board of Directors and management had, in the course of the year, taken several strategic steps to set the platform for a seamless and guided transition to the second cycle of operations. The Board unanimously approved the appointment of former CDF Director, Mr. Rodinald Soomer to the position of the new CDF Chief Executive Officer, following an independent and transparent recruitment process. Mr. Soomer assumed office in September 2015 and primary amongst the many objectives he outlined was the implementation of the new CDF Strategic Plan covering the period 2015 to 2020. In the early years of the Second Contribution Cycle, the exemplary service of Deputy Chairpersons: Mr. Martin Cox (October 2015 to April 2016) and Ms. Evelyn Wayne (May 2016 to June 2017) ensured that there was unbroken continuity to the conduct of the business of the Board. The present Chairman of the CDF, Dr. Sherwyn Williams was appointed by the COFAP and commenced his leadership of the CDF in July 2017. Acknowledging that the CDF is relatively small, compared to other regional and international financial institutions, Dr. Williams emphasizes the CDF’s advantage of being nimble and in touch with the ground level in a manner that larger institutions cannot replicate. On the flip side, he also strongly advocates the CDF participating in large projects by joining forces with other development agencies such as the CDB and IDB. He is also of the view that in the Fund’s relatively new thematic thrust of human capital development the CDF is well positioned to make a significant impact during the second cycle. The human capital needs of the region are likely to change vastly in the near term, OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
reflecting growing knowledge-based jobs, major climate change initiatives particularly in energy, new oil producers in the region, and recent focus on the underexploited potential of the blue economy. The CDF will need to position itself for investments in human capital development for this changing workforce. Poised for Growth In charting the journey from 2008 to 2018, the CDF owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to the host Government of Barbados for their steadfast support to its operations. This support has ranged from, inter alia, providing the CDF’s offices from inception to date as well as providing some of the
Current CDF Chairman Dr. Sherwyn Williams addresses CDF’s 6th Meeting of Contributors and Development Partners, Bridgetown, September 2017
requisite CDF administrative staff. Additionally, the CDF formally acknowledges the invaluable institutional support received from the CARICOM Secretariat and the Caribbean Development Bank in its formative years and ongoing, as well as the critical role played by its Development Partners - the European Union and the Governments of Australia, Finland, Luxembourg, China, Turkey and the United Kingdom, in providing tangible funding support for CDF Programme activities. Ten years later, the CDF has matured from a fledgling organization to a vibrant CARICOM financial institution, anchored by sound corporate governance, validated by a positive report on the thorough external evaluation of its operations undertaken in mid-2015. The CDF is poised to continue to grow into a regional development entity of notable impact, providing concessional loans, grants and other financial products and services that fill certain niche development gaps identified by Member States and the Community as being integral to the success of the regional integration project. ¤ www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
SUPPORTING CSME SINCE 2008
CDF AS A RESPONSE TO ADDRESS DISADVANTAGED COUNTRIES, REGIONS AND SECTORS IN THE CSME
CDF As A Response To Address Disadvantaged Countries, Regions And Sectors In The CSME
The framers of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas establishing the CSME which was signed by Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community on July 5, 2001 at the Twenty-Second Meeting of The Conference of Heads of Government in Nassau, Bahamas adopted the following Mission Statement: “We envision a Caribbean Community in which every citizen has the opportunity to realise his or her human potential and is guaranteed the full enjoyment of their human rights in every sphere; in which social and economic justice is enshrined in law and embedded in practice; a Community from which poverty, unemployment and social exclusion have been banished; in which all citizens willingly accept a responsibility to contribute to the welfare of their fellow citizens and to the common good; and one which serves as a vehicle for the exercise of the collective strength of the Caribbean region, and the affirmation of the collective identity of the Caribbean people, in the world community.” The CSME seeks to deepen regional economic integration and establish a single economic space within which business and labour operate; in order to stimulate greater productive efficiency, higher levels of domestic and foreign investment, increased employment, and growth of intra-regional trade and extra-regional exports. The CSME is a most ambitious undertaking by Regional Heads of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and is viewed as an instrument for achieving, in a regional framework, certain development goals that are difficult or impossible for Member States to achieve individually. But popular support for integration requires that economic benefits are spread broadly across countries and social groups; and that it makes a difference to quality of life issues such as crime, health and education. In the deliberations preceding the establishment of the CSME, it was acknowledged that some Member States, particularly the Less Developed Countries (LDCs ) which participate in the CSME, would be at a disadvantage by reason of size, structure and vulnerability of their economies. Disadvantaged countries are defined in the Treaty as the LDCs, plus Guyana by virtue of its designation as a Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC). It was also felt that the persistence of disadvantage howsoever arising, may adversely impact the economic and social cohesion in the Community. A commitment was therefore made to establish effective measures, programmes and mechanisms to assist disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors of the Community. In that vein, in 2008, CARICOM established the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) to provide financial and/or technical
assistance to disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors; as called for by Article 158, Chapter 7 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. The CDF is a critical instrument in enabling the smooth adjustment of the Community’s disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors to the establishment of the CSME and assisting their transformation in line with CARICOM’s regional development strategy. The CDF provides both loans and grants to eligible recipients through interventions which are countrydeveloped and implemented. General eligibility criteria for CDF assistance are set out in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. The underlying rationale is that cohesion within the integration movement requires the minimisation of adjustment costs that are borne by weaker partners and equitable participation by all in the economic benefits. Accordingly, CDF financing is used for providing financial or technical assistance to disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors to redress, to the extent possible, any negative impact of the establishment of the CSME, thereby promoting social and economic cohesion. From inception, the CDF has undertaken situation and sector analyses to identify some of the underlying causes of economic and social disadvantage in some of its Member States and arising from these insights, included the following areas of focus for many of its developmental interventions: • Supporting infrastructural projects, both at national-level and sector-specific to facilitate private sector trade and investment • Enabling policy and legislative reform • Promoting research and development, along with product innovation • Improving competitiveness amongst firms • Training/certification and human and institutional capacity development More recently, within the context of the current second cycle of its operations, the CDF has also identified Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency as thematic priorities for support at the country and sector levels, and has necessarily adjusted the approach to the design and implementation of enterprise competitiveness and infrastructure development projects to include elements of adaptation that take account of vulnerabilities to the adverse impacts of climate change. Arising from these insights and imperatives, the CDF has undertaken several Country Assistance Programmes (CAPs) aimed at addressing the identified disadvantages. As at December 31, 2017, the CDF had approved more than US$61M in loans and grants to its disadvantaged country Member States. The support under these CAPs is highlighted in the following section. ¤ OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
COUNTRY ASSISTANCE PROGRAMMES - OVERVIEW At the commencement of CDF’s operations in 2008, only the designated disadvantaged countries in CARICOM - the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), namely the independent OECS Member States and Belize, and Guyana (as a Highly Indebted Poor Country) were permitted access by the Conference of Heads of Government to support from the CDF; although all Members of the CSME contributing to the CDF were eligible to receive financial and technical assistance support. Subsequently, with the commencement of CDF’s second cycle of operations in 2015/2016, all Member States of the CSME, including the More Developed Countries (MDCs) could exercise the prerogative to apply for assistance. The initial set of CDF’s interventions in the LDCs were guided by Needs Assessments/Consultations and international best practices. The Consultations identified the priorities of the eligible Member States while the best practices guided the process for delivery. Following the 2011 High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea, the CDF adopted the programming approach to the provision of assistance as well as implemented systems for beneficiaries to take ownership of their projects. The details of the criteria for project selection, design, monitoring and evaluation could be found in the CDF’s Appraisal and Disbursement Guidelines on its website www. caricomdevelopmentfund.org The CDF financed interventions through concessionary loans mainly for small-to-medium sized projects with short implementation periods and grants for several technical assistance requests. In general, the size of loans was set to range between US$0.5 million and US$4.0 million and the minimum size of grants at US$20,000. In addition, subject to the limit of its funding, up to US$10 million was earmarked to finance private sector regional or sub-regional projects. The CDF was also committed to work with its development partners to leverage external resources for both financial and technical assistance. “The Grant Funding from CARICOM enabled hotels to implement various energy saving methods that resulted in lower energy use and ultimately lower energy bills.” Pancy Cross, Executive Director Grenada Hotel & Tourism Association At the end of 2017, the CDF had approved a total of US$61.73 million (EC$166.67 million) of programme funding. This comprised US$50.85 million (EC$137.41 million) in support of the eight
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
beneficiary Member States during Cycle 1 and US$10.88 million (EC$29.38 million) for Cycle 2. Loans for the First Cycle were 65.0 per cent of the approvals, while grants accounted for 35.0 per cent. During the First Cycle, 50.0 per cent of approved financial assistance was committed to supporting the Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSME) sector’s competitiveness through concessionary financing mainly in Saint Lucia, Dominica, Belize, St. Kitts and Nevis and Grenada. Distribution of Programmes by Thematic Area To End 2017 Thematic Areas
Country AssistanceSustainable Programmes - Overview Energy 2%
Promoting Investment 28%
Reducing Regional Disparities 40%
Enhancing Competitiveness in SMEs 30%
Reducing Regional Disparities
Enhancing Competitiveness in SMEs
The resources allocated to reducing regional disparities were the second largest allocation at 28.2 per cent, while the remaining 22.1 per cent was allotted to projects that could promote investment such as the assistance provided for Guyana, which has already resulted in increased private investment in agriculture production, and that provided to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda which has boosted the services sector. Capacity development was supported in Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Belize and St. Kitts and Nevis, while energy efficiency initiatives were financed in St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Belize, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. During the Second Cycle, infrastructure and technical assistance projects are being undertaken to stimulate investment in Guyana and Saint Lucia, in the agriculture and tourism sectors respectively. www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
SUPPORTING CSME SINCE 2008
The total loan portfolio as at the end-2017 was US$39.68 million (EC$107.14 million) while grants totalled US$22.06 million (EC$59.56 million). Overall, for both Cycles 1 and 2, loans were 1.80 times the value of grants. Put differently, Member States on average received almost three times as much as they contributed to the CDF. Dominica maintained the highest loan to grant ratio of 4.09:1, followed by St. Vincent and the Grenadines at 3.98:1. Antigua and Barbuda as well as Belize had ratios at 0.80:1 and 0.92:1, respectively. The disbursements during 2017 brought the cumulative amount to US$46.49 million (EC$125.52 million) or 75% of the US$61.73 million (EC$166.70 million) that was approved since inception. Loans and Grants to Member States in US$ Millions Cycle 1 & 2 Loans
Antigua and Barbuda: Collage of selected activities of the Antigua and Barbuda CAP. Clockwise – repaired walkway, completed security hut for the planned upgraded taxi hub, vendors mall works and the status of completion of the LRC. Photo credit (Sheik Kadir)
Antigua & Barbuda
5.73 3.73 2.37
St. Kitts & Nevis
1.64 St. Vincent & the Grenadines
An analysis of the distribution of CDF resources by Sector shows that the public sector was the dominant recipient. The public sector managed interventions in the First Cycle were allocated 75.0 per cent of the approvals (US$38.14 million or EC$102.97 million). In contrast, for the second cycle to end-2017, 100.0 per cent (US$10.88 million or EC$29.38 million) of the approvals was made to the public sector in support of Guyana and Saint Lucia.
COUNTRY PROGRAMMES SUMMARY ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA:
Antigua and Barbuda’s first Country Assistance Programme (CAP) which was approved in 2014, was designed to enhance export revenue from the tourism sector and contribute to lowering youth unemployment. The programme consisted of two components: the Redevelopment of the Lower St. John’s Cruise Ship Terminal which was financed by a concessionary loan of US$1.79 million (EC$4.80 million) to refurbish selected landside facilities of the cruise ship terminal; and, the completion of The Learning Resource Centre at the Antigua State College (ASC) which was financed by a grant of US$2.23 million (EC$6.02 million) to complete the structure and expand the available classroom and library areas.
The Belize Cycle One CAP consists of six components with a total value of US$6.25 million (EC$16.88 million). The CAP components include: Support of small and medium sized enterprise (SME) development including Support to the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) through a technical assistance grant for the design and implementation of a Loans Management Information System; Support for energy efficiency/environmentally friendly initiatives; Design and Implementation of the Management Information System (MIS) services for the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP); The development of a Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) Policy; and, The replacement of the Haulover Bridge. The CAP was designed to enhance the competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through the supply of low cost financing as well as supporting retrofitting of enterprises with renewable energy solutions. The CAP also included projects in the public sector for the provision of specific infrastructure and capacity support for the investment strategy. Several elements were completed prior to 2017.
Support for Renewable Energy Project at Yok Ha Resort, Waterfoot Caye, Belize Continued on page 44 OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
CO-OPERATIVE REPUBLIC OF GUYANA
Dominica’s first CAP was designed to enhance the competitiveness of its SME sector and contribute to the reduction of disparities which hinder its participation in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). The CAP has four components: Support of small and medium sized enterprise development through the provision of a concessionary loan of US$4.0 million (EC$10.8 million) made to the Dominica Agriculture Industrial Development Bank (AID Bank) for onlending to SMEs as well as grant support of US$150,000 (EC$405,000) for staff capacity building; Support to the Portsmouth and Roseau Multi-Purpose Packhouses was provided by the CDF through a combination of concessionary loan of US$0.78 million (EC$2.1 million) and grant of US$0.52 million (EC$1.4 million) to the Dominica Export Import Agency (DEXIA). The financial assistance was used to procure sorting and grading equipment as well as management at start-up for Multi-Purpose Packhouses at Portsmouth and Roseau; Support for the National Centre for Testing Excellence (NCTE) through a concessionary loan of US$0.95 million (EC$2.57 million) was made to finance capacity building and the procurement of testing equipment and chemicals; and, Support for the Douglas-Charles Airport in 2015 was provided through a grant of US$0.55 million (EC$1.49 million) to finance critical night landing navigational equipment. Following Tropical Storm Erika in August 2015, CDF approved a request to revise the original equipment list to prioritise the replacement of damaged equipment. CDF also agreed to reallocate an additional US$150,000 (EC$405,000) of grant resources to the purpose. The replacements were received and successfully installed by October, 2016 and the commissioning ceremony took place in April 2017. However, Hurricane Maria in September 2017 and the subsequent floods, rendered the equipment dysfunctional. CDF was again requested to assist with replacement of the damaged equipment.
Produce being prepared for export at Portsmouth Packhouse, Dominica OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
The first CAP of US$9.77 million (EC$26.38 million) for the Co-operative Republic of Guyana which was aimed at the upgrading of four (4) farm to market access roads to increase investment in agriculture was successfully completed in 2016. During 2016, the CDF approved a second CAP for the Co-operative Republic of Guyana from the resources of the Second Cycle. The second CAP of US$10.43 million (EC$28.16 million) was aimed at rural agricultural drainage and irrigation infrastructure development in four (4) small scale farming communities anticipated to result in greater investment in the sector.
Equipment financed under CDF’s US$10.4 million concessionary loan to Guyana at work in the village of Ithaca
“I have experienced a major decline in spoilage of produce since the road was paved. I need less labor now to transport the produce and faster delivery to customers is achieved.” Mrs Omandai Narine, Cash Crop Farmer, Parika Guyana
The first CAP for Grenada was designed primarily to enhance the competitiveness of the SME sector. At December 31, 2016, the US$4.82 million (EC$13.01 million) CAP consisted of one concessionary loan valued at US$3.0 million (EC$8.10 million) and six grants totalling US$1.82 million (EC$4.91 million). The seven elements of the programme included: Support of small and medium sized enterprise (SME) development through the provision of a concessionary loan of US$3.0 million (EC$8.10 million) made to the Grenada Development Bank (GDB) for onlending to the private sector; Support for the Grenada Development Bank (GDB) through a technical assistance grant of US$0.18 million (EC$0.49 million) for the revision of the Act establishing the GDB and a Change Management Consultancy for the GDB in addition to technical assistance for SMEs to develop business plans; Strengthening and facilitating the certification of the Grenada Bureau of Standards through a grant of US$0.28 million (EC$0.75 million); Initiative to promote energy efficiency in the tourism sector through a grant of US$0.3 million (EC$0.78 million) in the accommodation sector was completed in 2015. The initiative www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
SUPPORTING CSME SINCE 2008
which provided grants to twenty-five firms to retrofit to energy efficient consumption and promote the use of renewable energy sources was based on a successful collaboration with the Grenada Hotel & Tourism Association (GHTA), GDB and the CDF; A Grant of US$0.26 million (EC$0.70 million) and US$ 0.25 million (EC$0.68 million) for Institutional support for the modernisation of the Customs and Excise Department and the procurement of a boat, respectively to assist with increasing the volume of traded goods that are taxed. The Agreement was signed on December 5, 2016. Procurement was initiated in the last quarter of 2017; A Grant of US$0.25 million (EC$0.68 million) for the creation of a Management Information System public sector database in collaboration with a complementary World Bank financed project; and, the Provision of a Drying Facility and Marketing Support with a grant of US$0.24 million (EC$0.65 million) was made to the nutmeg industry to improve quality and increase exports.
was provided to the Saint Lucia Development Bank (SLDB) for onlending to the private sector; Establishment of the Trade Export Promotion Agency (TEPA) which was financed by a CDF grant of US$1.0 million (EC$2.7 million) to promote increased exports in Saint Lucia; Support for the Youth Agri-Entrepreneurship Project (YAEP) was financed by a CDF grant of US$1.37 million (EC$3.70 million). The grant provided training, tools, land preparation and infrastructure development support to empower 150 young entrepreneurs to become full time self-employed farmers. At end-2017, there were 75 trained young entrepreneurs. Many were already actively involved in greenhouse, aquaponics and open-field farming. During 2017, it was determined that several entrepreneurs were being constrained by lack of working capital and US$150,000 (EC$405,000) saved from other project lines was reallocated to establish a revolving working capital support fund; and, Support for the reduction of the carbon footprint at the Pigeon Island was funded by a grant to the Saint Lucia National Trust of €0.07 million (EC$0.21 million) from resources contributed by the Government of Finland.
CDF staff on farm of a youth Agri-Entrepreneurship Project (YAEP) beneficiary. . Photo credit (CDF Staff)
Grenada – Collage of some of the testing equipment at the Grenada Bureau of Standards financed by the CDF. Photo credit (CDF Staff)
“the Grenada Bureau of Standards (GBS) has enhanced the analytical capabilities to support Grenadian manufacturers and exporters. The CDF programme has played a critical role in the further development of Grenada’s National Quality Infrastructure.” Robert Medford, Director, Grenada Bureau of Standards
The first Saint Lucia CAP valued at US$6.1 million (EC$16.74 million) was designed to enhance private sector competitiveness including youth entrepreneurship. The programme had four components: Support of small and medium sized enterprise (SME) development through a concessional loan of US$3.72 million (EC$10.0 million)
“It has been CDF which has allowed Saint Lucia to establish its trade export promotion framework.” Jacqueline Emmanuelle-Flood – CEO (Former) Saint Lucia Trade Export Promotion Agency “The availability of the CDF funding has made it possible to grant funding to approximately 100 small businesses to invest in retooling and increasing their competitiveness which ushered in immediate employment opportunities for approximately 400 persons. This support has ensured the relevance of the Bank in the context of St. Lucia’s development.” Dorn Lafeuillee-Simon – Deputy Managing Director Saint Lucia Development Bank Continued on page 46 OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS
The first cycle CAP for St. Kitts and Nevis of US$4.80 million (EC$12.9 million) was designed to support the private sector to enhance competitiveness. It consisted of seven components financed by one concessionary loan and five grants: Support of small and medium sized enterprise (SME) development through a concessionary loan of US$3.0 million (EC$8.1 million); Support for the agriculture sector in Nevis was provided through a CDF grant of US$0.54 million (EC$1.46 million) for the irrigation of farmlands at Indian Castle and the procurement of a dehydrator for drying of fruits at the Nevis Agro-processing Centre; Support for energy efficiency/environmentally friendly initiatives in the manufacturing sector through a grant of US$0.42 million (EC$1.13 million) to the St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency (SKIPA) for the promotion of energy management; Support for the Ministry of Trade through a grant of US$0.22 million (EC$0.59 million) for an Agro-Industry Market Opportunity and Trade Study; Support for the Ministry of Trade through two grants over the period June 2014 - May 2016 totaling US$0.17 million (EC$0.46 million) for the recruitment of a Trade Advisor to assist in the development of national capacity to inter alia develop industry programmes to exploit signed bilateral trade agreements including the Partial Scope Trade Agreement with Brazil. In addition, the trade advisor was expected to work with the national manufacturers and farmers to expand exports; and Enhancement of the South Frigate Bay Area through a grant of US$0.45 million (EC$1.22 million) was approved by the Board on December 10, 2015.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Support for the completion of the Argyle International Airport (AIA); a programme of financial assistance totaling US$7.47 million (EC$20.17 million) was made to the International Airport Development Company (IADC) as the executing agency at the end of 2016. The assistance comprised an initial concessionary loan of US$2.57 million (EC$6.94 million) and grant of US$1.64 million (EC$4.43 million) to procure trucks, earth moving equipment, a stone crusher plant as well as to install runway lighting and base placing equipment for the runway and taxiway of the Argyle International Airport (AIA), which was officially opened on February 14, 2017. An additional US$3.26 million (EC$8.80 million) was approved by the CDF to procure additional paving equipment.; and A solar photovoltaic farm was established at the Argyle International Airport. In January 2015, the CDF through funding provided by the Government of Finland approved an additional concessionary loan of US$0.75 million (EC$2.02 million) to finance a 300 Kva solar photovoltaic renewable energy plant for the AIA. ¤
February 14, 2017: Front View of the Argyle International Airport (AIA) which was officially opened on Valentine’s Day. Photo credit (AIA)
Signing ceremony in St. Kitts and Nevis for the Enhancement of the South Frigate Bay Area – Phase 1. R-L Mr. Rodinald Soomer, CEO, Prime Minister Timothy Harris, Mr. Andrew Skerritt and Mrs. Carlene Henry-Morton Photo credit (CDF Staff)
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“The absence of direct flights to St. Vincent and the Grenadines from major tourism destinations was, for many years, one of the greatest obstacles to the growth and development of St Vincent and the Grenadines. Our country’s economic prospects today are much better than they were in 2005, thanks in a large part to the financial and moral support provided by the CDF.” Rudolph Matthias Chairman/CEO, International Airport Development Company Ltd.
SUPPORTING CSME SINCE 2008
10 YEARS OF SUPPORTING THE CSME Through the construction of all-weather roads granting continuous access to and from farms in the Interior, CDF has supported Guyana’s agricultural sector in a major way benefitting some 1200 farmers. The resulting impact includes reduced travel time to market, and increased livestock and crop production.
10 Years Of SUCCESS Supporting The CSME STORIES
In St. Vincent & the Grenadines, CDF was the only regional development institution to provide financing in the form of concessional loans and grants, for the Argyle International Airport. CDF funded critical earth-moving and construction equipment, a stone crushing plant, asphalt paving equipment, runway lighting and fully equipped the air traffic control unit. CDF therefore assisted in the completion of a modern international airport capable of handling some 2 million passengers.
In Belize, CDF’s intervention spawned legislation shaping the country’s framework for addressing the needs of SMEs by bringing disparate institutions together and streamlining the institutional arrangements for collaboration. This resulted in a number of new SME organisations being formed, MoUs signed and increased funding to SMEs.
In Saint Lucia, the establishment of the Trade and Export Promotion Agency (TEPA) was a critical intervention in the country’s successful export promotion strategy.
In Grenada, CDF’s support to the tourism sector resulted in substantial reductions in energy expenditure in 26 hotels.
One of the key successes on the developmental front has been the effect of CDF’s support on several Development Banks in the region. Through the provision of capital, CDF augmented the sustainability prospects of some of the banks, as well as raised their profile to the extent that other development partners have been attracted to and have provided additional capital to those local Development Banks. Lines of credit have been provided to Development Banks in Belize, St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Dominica and Saint Lucia. ¤ OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
INITIATIVES UNDER DEVELOPMENT
Initiatives Under Development
particularly the Less Developed Countries, are entering the CSME at a disadvantage by reason of the size, structure and vulnerability of their economies” and “that the persistence of disadvantage, however arising, may impact adversely on the economic and social cohesion in the Community”. The Treaty notes that the Member States of CARICOM are “conscious that disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors will require a transitional period to facilitate adjustment to competition in the CSME” and is “Committed to establish effective measures, programmes and mechanisms to assist disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors of the Community”.
The main such mechanism established by CARICOM for this purpose is the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) which was established under Article 158 of the Treaty “for the purpose of providing financial or Green House Under Construction, YAEP St. Lucia technical assistance to disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors.” While the Treaty provides a clear legal basis The CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) is the primary institution for a Cohesion Policy for CARICOM and in CARICOM responsible for addressing the disparities among and establishes an instrument specifically intended to promote within Member States, which may result from the implementation cohesion (the CDF), it does not provide detailed operational of the CSME. In a bid to fulfill its mandate, the CDF over the guidance on such a policy or how it should be implemented. years has been instrumental in various development initiatives. Two current and ongoing initiatives seek to (i) formalise a policy Work within the CDF on formulating empirical-based evidence to framework to address disparities among and within Member identify and measure disparities and disadvantages among and States – a regional Policy on Cohesion; and (ii) to develop a within Member States began in 2013 with the development of a financial product to better serve Small and Medium Sized Cohesion Index. The development of the Cohesion Index applied Enterprises (SMEs) – a Credit Risk Abatement Facility. the New Economic Geography model to CSME Member States to devise a CARICOM Integration Index to be used as an objective Cohesion Policy measure to predict agglomeration or dispersion within CSME as Cohesion in CARICOM is the complementary process to integration well as identify disadvantaged regions and sectors. Fast forward that targets disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors. to 2017, work continued on broadening the Cohesion framework Without interventions to promote cohesion, the economic with the formulation of a CARICOM Cohesion Policy. integration process of establishing the CSME could accentuate uneven rates of development. The preamble to the Revised The overall objective of CARICOM’s Cohesion Policy is to promote Treaty of Chaguaramas acknowledges that “some Member States,
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SUPPORTING CSME SINCE 2008
Argyle International Airport Inc.
St Lucia Development Bank
the CARICOM DEVELOPMENT FUND (CDF) On the celebration of its 10th Anniversary SLDB and CDF partnering to facilitate economic development in Saint Lucia and the OECS. At Saint Lucia Development Bank we provide affordable funding for Agriculture, Education, Tourism, Services, Housing, Manufacturing and Construction. Tel: 1-758-456-7532 Email: email@example.com Website : www.sldb.lc OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
INITIATIVES UNDER DEVELOPMENT Continued
In implementing CARICOM’s Cohesion Policy, the CDF will ensure that it’s actions are coherent with: first, its own Strategic Plan; and second, the Strategic Plan for CARICOM as a whole. In relation to the latter, the Cohesion Policy is most immediately related to CARICOM’s strategic priority of “building economic resilience – stabilisation and sustainable economic growth and development”. The CDF will also take due account of relevant Community-wide policies (for example the Human Resource Development Strategy that was adopted in July 2017) and coordinate activities with other development institutions within CARICOM, where appropriate. The programming of interventions under the Policy will make detailed provision for coordinating the related CRAF Stakeholder Validation Meeting, July 2018, Paramaribo, Suriname activities of the CDF with those of each Member State so that there is also a clear coherence between the targeting and delivery of this Community-wide policy, balanced economic and social development within and across its on the one hand, and the efforts of the Member States. The policy aims to promote three dimensions of Member States to promote cohesion, on the other. cohesion: • first, economic efficiency, by helping all regions and social Credit Risk Abatement Facility (CRAF) groups achieve their full potential and so contribute to the With the advent of climate change and the difficulty of mitigating development of not only the Member State concerned but greenhouse-gas emissions, the energy sector must play a critical also the Community as a whole; role if efforts to reduce emissions are to succeed. CARICOM • second, political stability, by helping limit the potential for recognised the need to develop a coordinated approach economic and social inequality to threaten the political to addressing regional energy challenges and commenced direction of the Community and its Member States; developing its Energy Policy in 2002. In 2008, the CARICOM • third, social equity, by helping ensure that all citizens are Secretariat established the Energy Programme as one of the areas given the opportunity to enjoy certain living standards or of work within the Directorate of Trade and Economic Integration. opportunities, regardless of where they live. The CARICOM Energy Unit manages the Energy Programme
SUPPORTING CSME SINCE 2008
and was mandated to coordinate the finalisation of the regional energy policy and given responsibility for the strategic management of a programmatic approach to the region’s energy issues. Funding gaps have been identified in the energy sector and potential financial solutions that are necessary for CARICOM to support the investment requirements for meeting the Region’s energy objectives and targets. One such deficiency is the absence of sufficient and adequately-tailored financing instruments for SMEs. However, SME financing issues have been identified not solely on the supply side, but also on the demandside, both in terms of the reluctance of SMEs to take advantage of external finance and the ‘investment readiness’ of many SMEs. Demand-side issues apart, it is a well-established fact that businesses face challenges in obtaining the financial resources needed to undertake necessary energy investments that enhance their competitive advantage. Indeed, one of the most glaring deficiencies that contributes to stagnation of regional economic growth is insufficiency of access to productive sector finance from the commercial banking sector. The provision of financing from commercial and development banks, especially to SMEs, is an imperative to sustainably reaping the benefits of a vibrant energy sector. One of the critical impediments to the participation of these financial institutions is the high risks involved in servicing SME credit. The key objective of the proposed credit risk abatement initiative is therefore to encourage financial institutions to lend to small businesses with viable projects and good prospects of success, but which are unable to provide adequate collateral, or which do not have a suitable record of financial transactions to prove that they are creditworthy. Furthermore, there are only few Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency (EE) financing mechanisms available. The CDF has been instrumental in the establishment of the Credit Risk Abatement Facility (CRAF) aimed at encouraging commercial banking activity in the energy space. The CRAF is being developed in collaboration with the CARICOM Energy Program and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), an international cooperation agency of the German
Government. The idea is to provide partial guarantee of loans on behalf of qualified SMEs to directly reduce credit risk. At the same time, the CDF intends to leverage Energy Service Companies (ESCOs), as well as channel direct technical assistance to enhance the design and successful implementation of SME projects. At inception, the CRAF will serve SMEs in the energy sector. The facility will be used to encourage domestic investment in CDF Member States and improve competitiveness of firms. The focus is on already established institutions operating in CARICOM States. CDF is proposing that the facility be supported by donations from development partners through a fund arrangement. ¤
AID BANK Congratulates DOMINICA’S DEVELOPMENT AID Bank SPECIALISTS
CDF on their 10 Anniversary DOMINICA AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRIAL & DEVELOPMENT BANK Cnr. Charles Avenue & Rawles Lane Goodwill, Commonwealth of Dominica
Tel: (767) 448-2853; (767) 255-9400 International #: 1-(305) 396-2547 Fax: (767) 448-4903 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
THE CDF: A MAJOR PLANK IN THE CSME By Dr. The Hon. Ralph E. Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines
The CDF: A Major Plank in the CSME A Commentary
The founding fathers of the CSME acknowledged that some Member States, particularly Less Developed Countries, enter the CSME at a disadvantage by reason of the size, structure and vulnerability of their economies; further, they firmly believed that the persistence of disadvantage, however arising, may impact adversely the economic and social cohesion of the Caribbean Community; and they were deeply conscious of the reality that disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors required a transitional period to facilitate adjustment to competition in the CSME. It is thus self-evident that if the Member States in the CSME are unequally yoked, the integration enterprise is likely to fracture beyond reasonable repair. The CDF, and other compensatory mechanisms for disadvantaged countries, regions, and sectors, are critical in ensuring a sufficient spread of the benefits of economic integration to all member states of the CSME. St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a Member State in goodstanding with the CDF, has received commendable assistance from the CDF particularly in respect of the construction of the Argyle International Airport (AIA), the largest capital project ever in our country, and solar energy.
The CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) is a major plank in the design of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), the central economic integration pillar of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a Less Developed Country (LDC) in CARICOM, has benefitted significantly from the CDF. The CDF is established, under and by virtue of Article 158 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, for the purpose of providing financial or technical assistance to disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors. The CDF forms a vital part of the regime for disadvantaged countries, region and sectors under the Revised Treaty.
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
The CDF relies on its funding primarily from the Member States of the CSME and secondarily from overseas sources. Unless there are funds in the CDF of a level consistent with its mandated obligations to its potential beneficiaries, the CSME would weaken. Accordingly, in the current second cycle of funding, it is imperative that the CDF be endowed with a sufficiency of funds; as such Member States are being urged to make their contributions in a sum no less than in the first cycle. In ancient Greece, Aristotle advanced a sage maxim: Equity among equals, proportionality among unequals. Let us follow Aristotleâ€™s wisdom in this second cycle. I urge our overseas friends and allies to make worthwhile contributions. Â¤
SUPPORTING CSME SINCE 2008
FEATURED MESSAGES Testimonials
Honourable Claude E S Hogan Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Lands, Housing and the Environment of Montserrat and Chairman of the CARICOM Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) – September 2015, CDF 5th Meeting of Contributors and Development Partners:
Dr. the Honourable Ralph E. Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines – September 2014, CDF 4th Meeting of Contributors and Development Partners:
“Undoubtedly as I have taken the pains to point out, the CDF has a critical and a unique role in the region’s development agenda. It is a vital institution, necessary and relevant particularly to those countries which experience disparities or development challenges consequent upon the implementation of the CSME; CDF is relevant too, for all of us small island developing states which continue to be adversely affected by the impact of climate change. Climate change is real and it is an existential risk for Caribbean countries. Indeed, understanding the risks that our countries in the Caribbean face as a result of climate change has taken on additional urgency, and this must be placed centrally, on the agenda of the CDF as we move forward.” ¤
“The CDF is to be lauded for its deliberate focus on human and social development in our region by building market and economy around the innovation and deliberate efforts of people acting both as natural and legal persons. The CDF is the real lynchpin… and … it means we must empower our people at all levels to develop, prosper, build sustainable livelihoods and protect our heritage for our future generations.” ¤
Dr. the Right Hon. Keith C. Mitchell, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Energy, September 2017, CDF 6th Meeting of Contributors and Development Partners “Now more than ever, we in the CARICOM are seeing the imperative of regional integration, and the virtues of solidarity and collective action. In the past weeks, we have witnessed the countries in the region, whether or not we were affected by the ravages of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, rallying together and collectively confronting as one family of nations, the severe adversity that has befallen our brothers and sisters in the affected Caribbean. The monster storms that have impacted the Caribbean will aggravate the social and economic disparities in our region. The CDF was established explicitly to guard against such potential negative outcomes…I must, therefore, strongly urge all member countries of the CDF…to honour their financial obligations to the CDF for this second funding cycle and beyond. The urgent need to complete the replenishment of the CDF in this current period is also important to our wider efforts to mobilise external financing for the development, and in many cases, the literal reconstruction, of the region.” ¤
Export Saint Lucia (TEPA)
EXPORT Export Saint Lucia (TEPA), is grateful for your partnership and funding of export promotion in Saint Lucia.
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
Budget Marine Antigua: The Caribbeanâ€™s Leading Chandlery A Look Back on 25 Years of Evolution
Budget Marine Antigua:
The Caribbeanâ€™s Leading Chandlery A look back on 25 years of evolution Antigua was the first location Budget Marine expanded to after 10 years of building the market in their St. Maarten headquarters. It was not an easy path and during the first years of operations the shareholders were wondering if they had made the right decision. Fast forward 25 years later and Budget Marine Antigua can be seen as one of the strongest in the Budget Marine Group, with three locations on the island delivering to a diverse group of customers, both local and visiting: from boatyard repairs, cruisers and mega-yacht customers, to local fishermen, recreational boat owners and homeowners. This year, on their 25th anniversary, they even started their year with the first month reaching their highest turnover ever.
successfully operating in St. Maarten, Budget Marine Antigua had the advantage that they had expertise to build on and was able to leverage the systems already in place from the greater part of opening 25 years ago. The Budget Marine Group has always emphasized and invested in technological development with a strong focus on advanced software to help in stock forecasting and stock management. This has proven to be one of its most successful strategic decisions as it allows Budget Marine Antigua to profile its stock and provide the highest possible quality of customer service so that they can deliver required products quickly and efficiently.
But what has made Budget Marine Antigua become such a strong dependable player?
As Budget Marine has branched out to other Caribbean territories, covering 9 islands over the years, the collaborative system has expanded and the group purchases have grown stronger, allowing to buy in larger volumes and to leverage its position with relevant manufacturers.
According to Robbie Ferron, founder of Budget Marine, itâ€™s been hard work and continuous development. With one store already opened and
Budget Marine sources products from a wide area and their strong regional basis has helped in guiding the separate entities. It also allows for easy special ordering as this can often be quickly sourced from its headquarters in St. Maarten. www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
Budget Marine Antigua, led by General Manager, Louisa Norris, has a strong and committed local workforce made up of young and energetic staff and management that has a focused strategy for the future. This strategy involves teamwork. “We are a team, we work as a team” Ms Norris states. Budget Marine invests much time in weekly training sessions in the off-season; that is, June to November each year, and all staff members in Antigua participate in these trainings which reflect on the level of advice and customer service they can pass on to customers. Ms Norris further comments that “these weekly training sessions on products and operating systems has resulted in personal growth for staff and as such, empowered them to make decisions within their limits.” Throughout its growth, Budget Marine Antigua has significantly contributed to the tourism industry through the yachting sector in many ways by being an active participant. They have helped the market develop and grow by stimulating and sponsoring new and existing events, being active with government and bringing up relevant issues such as current tax structures, as well as being engaged with social issues and making social contributions with Sailability being one event they sponsor that is close to heart.
Asked how they see the future for the next 25 years, Ferron and Norris both said there is no time to become complacent. Being on top of the game, they concur, means keeping up with continuous technological development and keeping tabs on changes in the political and economic structure of the island, the Caribbean and further afield to reduce the risks of doing business today. OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
ECONOMY & TRADE
US$40 Million Rum Distillery Coming to Grenada “Our goal is a simple one: to distil and mature the most profound rum the world has ever seen,” the company said on its new website.
The company has already planted more than 200 acres of sugarcane to facilitate production when the distillery becomes fully operational in 2019. The plan is to bring the rum to market around 2021, according to Renegade.
US$40 Million Rum Distillery Coming to Grenada
It’s a big step for Grenada, which has found regional and international renown with a pair of brands: Clarke’s Court and Westerhall. “When a project like this comes to a rural community, it sends a message that there is good potential and the spin-off activities will be enormous,” said Grenada’s Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell, who was on hand for the sod turning ceremony. “This project is good for the agricultural sector and for growth in the area.” Another, smaller brand is Rivers, a rum that has found cult status for its organic, ultra-pure overproof rum produced at the River Antoine distillery, one of the oldest in the Caribbean.
The sod-turning ceremony in Grenada
One of the Caribbean’s top rum-producing countries, Grenada, is about to get a major new addition. United Kingdom-based Renegade Rum has officially broken ground on its new Renegade Rum Distillery in the parish of St. Andrew, on the island’s east coast. The project will have an overall cost of $40 million, according to Renegade Rum CEO, Mark Reynier. That includes $20 million invested specifically in the distillery and $20 million in cultivation and plant operations. It’s the brainchild of London-based Renegade Spirits, which has a long background in whisky distillation.
Sugar cane production is already underway
Turning the sod during a ceremony in Conference, St. Andrew on July 20, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell described the project as historic. “It sends an important signal about the development of the rural economy. When a project like this comes to a rural community, it sends a message that there is good potential and the spin-off activities will be enormous. This project is good for the agricultural sector and for growth in the area.” The Renegade Rum Distillery is a unique project which developers describe as a game-changer. The distillery will utilise only locallygrown cane to create premium rums featuring distinct flavours based on the eight varieties of cane produced. The distillery will also be environmentally friendly, using the bagasse to generate 80 percent of its electricity needs.
The centuries-old River Antoine distillery is a legend in the region OECSBusinessFocus
It’s the first new rum distillery to launch in the Caribbean in some time. ¤
ECLAC Predicts 1.5% Expansion For Latin American, Caribbean Economies
ECLAC Predicts 1.5% Expansion For Latin American, Caribbean Economies
The economies of eleven Caribbean nations are expected to expand by 1.5 percent in 2018, despite external uncertainties. This is according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Annual Report. The 234-page Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2018, available online at www.cepal.org, contains dozens of pages containing detailed information and charts showing economic data about imports, exports and expenditures of Caribbean and Latin American nations. The report says these nations stand out because of their robust net imports of energy products (almost 40 percent of their total commodities trade) and, in general, they are net importers of food. The countries ECLAC highlighted in this analysis are: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.
ECLAC’s Sub-regional Headquarters in Mexico City, Mexico, by its Executive Secretary, Alicia Bárcena. According to the document, overall average growth in the region – the projection of which declined by seven-tenths versus the last estimate provided by the organization in April – maintains a positive trend, despite showing signs of slowing. As on previous occasions, there is great heterogeneity among the various countries and sub-regions, since South America is expected to grow 1.2 percent in 2018, while Central America will notch 3.4 percent growth and the Caribbean 1.7 percent. The Economic Survey adds that this regional growth is occurring in a complex global scenario, characterized by trade disputes between the United States, China and other nations; growing geopolitical risks; a decline in capital flows toward emerging markets in the last few months and a rise in sovereign risk levels; depreciations of local currencies against the dollar; and a global economic expansion that is tending to lose momentum.
Our region continues to grow, although at a slower pace than what was projected several months ago
In an international context marked by uncertainty and volatility, ECLAC indicated the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean will grow by 1.5 percent on average in 2018, thanks to a rebound in domestic demand, private consumption especially, and a slight increase in investment. The annual report, one of the organization’s most traditional publications, issued uninterruptedly since the year of its founding (1948) – was released on August 24 during a press conference at
“Our region continues to grow, although at a slower pace than what was projected several months ago, despite international turbulence,” Barcena said. “That is positive but it demands that we redouble our efforts to prompt a reactivation, without resorting to excessive fiscal adjustments. Regional integration can play an important role here, and we must aim in that direction.” ¤ OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
ECONOMY & TRADE
Mexico, U.S. Agree Basis For NAFTA Renegotiation
Mexico, U.S. Agree Basis For NAFTA Renegotiation The United States and Mexico have reached a preliminary accord to end the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and replace it with a deal that the Trump administration wants to be more favourable to the U.S.
that Mexico had agreed to ensure that 75 per cent of automotive content be produced within the trade bloc -- up from a current 62.5 per cent -- to receive duty-free benefits and that 40 per cent to 45 per cent be made by workers earning at least US$16 an hour.
President Donald Trump, in announcing the tentative agreement on at the White House, said a new deal would be called the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement. Trump has frequently condemned the 24-year-old NAFTA trade pact as a job-killing “disaster” for the United States.
“Canada is encouraged by the continued optimism shown by our negotiating partners. Progress between Mexico and the United States is a necessary requirement for any renewed NAFTA agreement,” said Adam Austen, a spokesman for the Canadian foreign minister.
Still, any new agreement is far from final. The administration still needs to negotiate with the third partner in NAFTA, Canada, to become part of any new trade accord. Without Canada, America’s No. 2 trading partner, it’s unclear whether any new U.S. trade agreement with Mexico would be possible.
Austen said the Canadians had been in regular contact with the NAFTA negotiators.
It remains unclear where the announcement leaves Canada. Trump said he would be calling Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Canada’s NAFTA negotiator, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, cut short a trip to Europe to fly to Washington last Tuesday to try to restart talks. NAFTA reduced most trade barriers between the three countries. But Trump and other critics say it encouraged U.S. manufacturers to move south of the border to exploit low-wage Mexican labour. TRUMP’S THREAT Talks to overhaul the agreement began a year ago and have proved contentious. To put pressure on Canada, Trump has threatened to tax Canadian auto imports and to leave Canada out of a new regional trade bloc. U.S. and Mexican negotiators worked to narrow their differences. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said on August 27 OECSBusinessFocus
“We will only sign a new NAFTA that is good for Canada and good for the middle class,” he said, adding that “Canada’s signature is required.” POSITIVE STEP The No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, hailed the “positive step” but said Canada needs to be party to a final deal. “A trilateral agreement is the best path forward,” he said, adding that millions of jobs are at stake. The U.S. had proposed that a renegotiated NAFTA die after five years unless all three countries agree to continue it, but Canada and Mexico opposed it. The accord omits that provision. Instead, U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, says periodic reviews will be required once a new agreement is signed. Lighthizer says the agreement will be in force for 16 years. But every six years will bring an opportunity to resolve issues or modernise aspects of the agreement. The parties would then agree to continue the agreement for another 16 years. Lighthizer says he hasn’t discussed the new proposal yet with Canada. ¤
Creating an Innovation Mindset for Competitive Advantage
Creating an Innovation Mindset for Competitive Advantage By Michelle Stephens
For CARICOM (Caribbean Community) member states, the results of the 2015 Global Innovation Index suggests that our innovation activity is low. Barbados ranked 37th, Jamaica 96th and Trinidad and Tobago 80th out of 141 countries. The impact of this low-level of innovation is a combination of curtailed growth, a lack of global competitiveness and a failure to fully exploit the opportunities of globalization and the advances of technology. Our business and labour sectors are critical actors in driving growth through its roles in research, product development and the exploitation of market opportunities; thus, the levels of productivity and innovation mindset concurrently influences the breadth and depth of innovation. Innovation in this context can be thought of as fresh thinking applied to products, processes, services or business models for an outcome that creates value for both the business and the customer. It can be incremental, radical (breakthrough) or transformational (disruptive). Overall, innovation is the commercialization of creativity (Vijay Govindarajan) or ideas which distinguishes a business as a leader from a follower (Steve Jobs) by intersecting people, vision, risk and resources. Innovation therefore cannot exist without people, rather the collaboration of people envisioning, taking risks and using resources to realize innovative outcomes. For that reason, can the Caribbean claim to have businesses that actively practice innovation or have the collaborative environment to foster innovation? Do we as a people have the mindset for innovation? Maybe not! What is needed is a mindset shift away from being fixed on what works today, to an innovation mindset that exhibits long-term thinking on growth, and flexibility. Leveraging broad knowledge and experiences must occur at all levels of business to attain an innovation mindset. It exists best within an atmosphere that fosters collaboration, tolerates experimentation and failure (through research and development) and secures learning. To build an innovation mindset as a core organizational competence, Caribbean businesses need to introduce and actively maintain an innovation ecosystem that is aligned to their business strategy. This organizational innovation ecosystem is “a coherent set of interdependent processes and structures that dictates how the business searches for novel problems and solutions, synthesizes those ideas into concepts and product designs, and selects which projects get funded” (Gary P. Pisano, 2015). While
levels of innovation maturity differ, here are a few suggestions to nurturing an organizational innovation mindset: 1. Develop an Innovation Strategy which establishes an innovation policy and roadmap. It will clarify what innovation means, its objectives and how it aligns with the business strategy; which stakeholders will be involved; what resources will be allocated; what timelines are necessary; how it will be implemented and measured. 2. Institute a Co-creation Workspace for employees to collaborate amongst themselves and with partners through firstly a digital platform for idea brainstorming, documenting and screening. Secondly a physical space where ideas are exploited through experimentation and testing. 3. Introduce a Two-way Communication Channel that creates a feedback loop for continuous learning, measurement and reporting of ideas, improvements or solutions that are either adopted or not adopted. 4. Define an Innovation Scorecard that itemizes ideas – improvements - solutions, actions taken and impact on financial performance and firm competitiveness. In the face of ever changing customer preferences influenced by technology and global trade, Caribbean businesses need to strengthen their competitiveness for survivability. With continuous transformation and a cognitive shift away from the short to the long term, this can be achieved. ¤ Michelle Stephens-Jules is a Chartered Marketer, Certified Strategy and Business Planning Professional and the Chief Strategy Officer at Caribbean Strategy Inc. She has over 15 years experience in marketing, business development and strategic planning across the Caribbean, and holds a MBA from the Edinburgh Business School.
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
ECONOMY & TRADE
Announces Ninth Discovery Offshore Guyana ExxonMobil has made its ninth discovery offshore Guyana at the Hammerhead-1 well, marking its fifth discovery on the Stabroek Block in the past year and proving a new play concept for potential development. Hammerhead-1 encountered approximately 197 feet (60 meters) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoir. The well was safely drilled to 13,862 feet (4,225 meters) depth in 3,373 feet (1,150 meters) of water. The Stena Carron drillship began drilling on July 27, 2018. “The Hammerhead-1 discovery reinforces the potential of the Exxon Mobilbasin, Announces Guyana where ExxonMobil is already maximizing value all stakeholders through rapid phased developments and NinthforDiscovery Offshore accelerated exploration plans,” said Steve Greenlee, president Guyana of ExxonMobil Exploration Company. “Development options for Hammerhead will take into account ongoing evaluation of reservoir data, including a well test.” Hammerhead-1 is located approximately 13 miles (21 kilometers) southwest of the Liza-1 well and follows previous discoveries on the Stabroek Block at Liza, Liza Deep, Payara, Snoek, Turbot, Ranger, Pacora and Longtail. Those previous discoveries led to the announcement of an estimated recoverable resource of more than 4 billion oil-equivalent barrels discovered to date, and the potential for up to five floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels producing more than 750,000 barrels per day by 2025. There is potential for additional production from significant undrilled targets and plans for rapid exploration and appraisal drilling. A second exploration vessel, the Noble Tom Madden, is due to arrive in Guyana in October to accelerate exploration of high potential opportunities and will commence drilling at the Pluma prospect approximately 17 miles (27 kilometers) from Turbot. Liza Phase 1, which is expected to begin producing oil by early 2020, will use the Liza Destiny FPSO vessel to produce up to 120,000 barrels of oil per day. Construction of the FPSO and subsea equipment is well advanced. Pending government and regulatory approvals, Phase 2 is targeted for sanctioning by the end of this year. It will use a second FPSO designed to produce up to 220,000 barrels per day and is expected to be producing in 2022. A third development, Payara, will target sanctioning in 2019 and use an FPSO designed to produce approximately 180,000 barrels of oil per day as early as 2023. The Stabroek Block is 6.6 million acres (26,800 square kilometers). ExxonMobil affiliate, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited, is operator and holds 45 percent interest in the Stabroek Block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. holds 30 percent interest and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Limited holds 25 percent interest. ¤ OECSBusinessFocus
St. Kitts/Nevis PM: “Agricultural Sector Development Key To Sustaining Economy” St. Kitts/Nevis PM: “Agricultural Sector Development Key To Sustaining Economy”
A strong agricultural sector remains vital to the success of a diversified economy and food security in St. Kitts and Nevis, said Prime Minister, Dr. Timothy Harris, during his September 10 appearance on “Straight Talk”, a media programme.
“We want to produce more of what we need and what we want in the country,” the Prime Minister said. “We have to see greater production of fruits and vegetables and a significant increase in the production in terms of agro-processed products in St. Kitts and Nevis.” Dr. Harris noted the agriculture sector in St. Kitts and Nevis has been “under-performing” for a very long time. He shared the same sentiments as a caller who touched on the sector, with respect for the need for urgent action. He noted the government remains very supportive of the sector. “In this regard, the agriculture sector must be treated as crop farming, livestock farming and fisheries, under the meaning attributed to it by the Food and Agriculture Organization, he said. “When we speak of agriculture, we are speaking also of the fisheries sub-sector.” The prime minister noted the Agriculture Support Fund recently introduced by the Government. “Under this programme, through the Development Bank, some 200-plus farmers would be able to receive grant support for their pursuit of agricultural endeavours,” Dr. Harris said. “It is just one example of the government’s support for the sector. I am sure when we look at the record we will see an increase in the number of farmers and an increase in the number of young farmers and young fishers.” He added that the government will invest heavily in the fisheries sector, especially in Dieppe Bay, where the fisheries complex had been destroyed. Prime Minister Harris acknowledged the Minister of Agriculture, Eugene Hamilton, who has been integral in ensuring that various incentives were given to the agriculture sector including, but not limited to, duty-free concessions on vehicles, as well as on certain equipment. Dr. Harris reiterated that the government will continue to work assiduously to further strengthen the sector as it is an important contributor to the economic prosperity of the country. ¤ www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
Harris Paints Expands Regional Presence With Purchase of Antigua’s LeeWind Paints
Harris Paints Expands Regional Presence
The Harris Paints Group has extended their reach throughout the Caribbean with the recent purchase of the assets of Lee Wind Paints in Antigua.
The acquisition gives the company, sole manufacturing rights on that island. Harris Paints is a well-known brand in Antigua and has been the established market leader for many years. Ian Kenyon, CEO-Harris Paints Group, said that the company looked forward to establishing a new manufacturing facility, increasing their investment in the country and that it would provide important strategic access to new export markets such as the BVI, US Virgin Islands, as well as Turks and Caicos. Over the past six years the Harris Group has seen consistent profitable topline growth across its operations. Mr. Kenyon said that these results were achieved despite some very challenging conditions. “The Caribbean has experienced difficult economic times in many of the markets and this has been compounded by the recent severe weather systems across the region, yet our teams in each of the 15 countries we currently sell to have responded magnificently and have been very successful in achieving profitable market growth and increasing shareholder value,” he said. “We are very optimistic about our future as we have built very strong springboards for growth with our investments in infrastructure and have a very exciting portfolio of new product and service innovations ready and primed to launch over the next few years.” This year the Harris Group also invested and successfully implemented a new state-of-the art enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that integrates all manufacturing plants and functions across the Caribbean providing improved business efficiency and a comprehensive digital platform that will strengthen their marketing capability. The acquisition of Lee Wind Paints, follows the recent invitation of NOVA, for Harris to join its elite Paint Club. To become a member Harris had to be voted in by other Paint Companies as the leading paint supplier in the Caribbean. NOVA is a prominent, international association of major independent paint manufacturers with a ranking by combined turnover, in the top ten global coatings suppliers. ¤
Trinidad & Tobago’s Manufacturing Sector Needs Caribbean Market for Growth
Trinidad & Tobago’s Manufacturing Sector Needs Caribbean Market for Growth
As Trinidad & Tobago gears up for the Special Caricom Heads of Government meeting in Port-of-Spain this November, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says the growth of the local manufacturing sector relies heavily on the success of the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME). Speaking at the sod-turning for the Nutrimix Group of Companies’ Next Generation Hatchery in Brechin Castle, Couva recently, Rowley said that while T&T is interested in the Caribbean market for trade, there are others who have their eyes on reaping the benefits of the CSME. In order for T&T to benefit, he said there must be a proper presence and advocacy, and it is why the Government has requested and has been granted a Caricom Heads of Government meeting this November with a single agenda of discussing the CSME. “This is of great interest to the people of T&T because we are possibly the major beneficiary of the Caricom economies. And if we are to grow in the way we are expected to grow when this facility is completed in the way that our country’s potential is to be realised, and if we are to preserve what we have, we have to ensure that the Caricom market remains alive and remains our major marketplace. That is the assignment and we observed this before we became the Government. That is why today we have a Ministry of Foreign and Caricom Affairs,” Rowley said. ¤
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
ECONOMY & TRADE to Supply Sugar, Salt Reducer to Regional Manufacturers Caribbean Flavours
Derrick Cotterell Managing Director of Caribbean Flavours & Fragrances Limited
Caribbean Flavours to Supply Sugar, Salt Reducer to Regional Manufacturers Caribbean Flavours & Fragrances Limited (CFF) is now rolling out a salt and sugar reducing agent for distribution to the beverage and baking trades in Jamaica and the Caribbean, under the brand name Flavour Fit. The product -- to be made locally by Caribbean Flavours on behalf of International Flavours Fragrances (IFF) -- has more than 100 applications, depending on the needs of the manufacturers, says Derrick Cotterell, Managing Director of the Jamaican flavour company. Caribbean Flavours’ personnel underwent training in Mexico and the United States over 24 months and are now ready to roll out the product in Jamaica. IFF bears the cost of supplying the technology required to produce the applications, while Caribbean Flavours foots the training costs. Cotterell’s company, Derrimon Trading, is the majority owner of Caribbean Flavours. IFF, which is a listed New York flavour company, is present in 34 countries and makes US$3.4 billion in sales annually, according to information on its website. Cotterell said CFF will be the exclusive distributor for Flavour Fit across the Caribbean, and that the company was already laying the groundwork to bring the products to market in various countries, including Barbados, St. Kitts & Nevis, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Grenada and the Dominican Republic, while weighing interest from manufacturers in Cuba and Haiti. The Jamaican company is already selling the product in Canada and plans to deepen that market. The technology supplied by IFF, Cotterell said, involves use of either a natural or artificial product, the choice of which is determined by the manufacturer. Its application cuts sugar content by 50 per cent, but its effect on salt content is dependent on the taste profile desired and requirements of the client, he added. Caribbean Flavours expects the new business line to grow revenue by 30 per cent, which Derrimon Chief Financial Officer, Ian Kelly, OECSBusinessFocus
described as a conservative estimate, but neither Kelly nor Cotterell would comment on the additional capacity or volume output from the project. Since 2017, Caribbean Flavours has invested $30 million in new equipment, including homogenisers and mixers, to increase capacity and quicken the pace at which products roll off the production line. Those funds are part of an ongoing $50 million capex plan that includes training and factory upgrades. The added capacity, meanwhile, will feed both local and export markets, according to Cotterell, who expects foreign sales to contribute 10 per cent of revenues. In its current push for organic growth, Cotterell said Caribbean Flavours is working on the roll-out of new products, including new essential oils, as well as a return to the production of ginger extracts using raw materials tapped directly from farmers and through the Ministry of Industry, Commerce Agriculture & Fisheries. For the past one-year period ending June 2018, Caribbean Flavours made a profit of $87.21 million on revenues of $423 million, its unaudited financials show. The previous year, the company made $82.8 million from revenue of $410 million. Caribbean Flavours’ financial year end is being revised from June to December, to align with parent company Derrimon’s reporting period. Its next audited statements will, therefore, reflect performance over 18 months, Cotterell reported at Derrimon’s annual general meeting recently. Derrimon acquired majority control of Caribbean Flavours in 2017 in a deal with the company’s founder, Anand James. Since then, the trading company has reduced its stake to 62 per cent, having sold 13 per cent to an entity called Digipoint Limited. The deal with Digipoint was solely a sale of shares, which made it the second-largest owner with holdings of 8.99 million units in the flavour company. ¤ www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
Bridging the Gap Between Caribbean Agriculture and U.S. Consumers
Bridging the Gap Between Caribbean Agriculture and U.S. Consumers As the medical marijuana industry continues to expand across America, Dominica-born Elvis “Papi” Edwards is especially exploring ways in which cannabidiol (CBD) – one of the many components found in the plant that does not get people ‘stoned’ – could be used to promote good health and also promote Caribbean agriculture. Research shows that CBD has several therapeutic benefits in the treatment of various conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety, nausea, rheumatoid arthritis, schizophrenia, diabetes, PTSD, alcoholism, strokes and cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other ailments (California NORML, n.d.). Armed with this information, Edwards has dedicated his time to manufacturing and developing products that incorporate CBD as part of their ingredients in the hopes of bringing relief to sufferers of various medical conditions. Edwards is continuing to grow his U.S.-based business and build networks with cultivators in the Caribbean and Central American region. He believes that there is a definite linkage that can be cultivated in the region between both sectors and can be revived with cannabis and other related crops that are currently being used in the products that his companies manufacture. One of the products that Edwards thinks could revolutionize the medical marijuana industry is the “CBD Enriched Sugar” product soon to be launched by his company, CDBxr. Globally, more than a million metric tonnes of sugar is consumed every year – whether it is with coffee, tea, juice, in cakes or in cookies -- sugar is highly used. Edwards believes that if CBD is added to sugar, then there would be no easier way for people to
get a daily dose of CBD into their systems and get the medicinal benefits they need. It is with that in mind that Edwards hopes that the Caribbean can put more energy into agriculture and go directly into the planting of sugar cane and marijuana in addition to thinking about other products that can be fused with cannabis. Edwards also wants to exploit the manufacturing and processing capabilities in America and bridge technologies in America to the Caribbean to create a binding synergy between both countries. Sugar cane was once one of the Caribbean region’s biggest exports and America is the largest food processor and manufacturer, while on the other side marijuana is still largely illegal in the Caribbean even though the U.S. and Canada are opening up more to the crop. The cultivation of both crops simultaneously and fusing them to produce an enriched sugar-cannabis product would be an exciting, lucrative and innovative endeavour for American entrepreneurs and Caribbean farmers alike, considering the favourable weather conditions where both products can thrive naturally. CBDxr is a vertically integrated, disruptive healthcare solutions company. Its purpose is to create a future where the human body can repair, restore, and rejuvenate itself. Unlike typical big pharma, which creates synthetic drugs to treat symptoms, CBDxr uses natural plants and compounds to address the underlying deficiencies and bring the body into homeostasis. Starting with select active ingredients and combining them into specific medical delivery systems, CBDxr can service doctors and patients in an entirely new way. ¤ OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
ECONOMY & TRADE
FAO Strengthens Fisher-folk Groups in Seven Caribbean States
FAO Strengthens Fisher-folk Groups in Seven Caribbean States
Yvette DieiOuadi, Fishery Officer for FAO’s Sub-Regional Office for the Caribbean The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) launched the Developing Organizational Capacity for Ecosystem Stewardship and Livelihoods in Caribbean Small-Scale Fisheries (StewardFish) project recently. The project aims to strengthen the capacity of fisher-folk and their organizations to better participate in the governance and management of the shared living marine resources in the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems (CLME+ region) to enhance their livelihood opportunities. Targeted countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The StewardFish project was officially launched on September 13 during an inception workshop hosted by FAO at United Nations House in Barbados. The StewardFish Project launch and inception workshop brought together key partners and stakeholders who will be involved in the delivery of the project to ensure that there is a common understanding of objectives, components, outcomes, inputs, outputs and planned activities as well as the roles and responsibilities of all partners. The event also gave participants an opportunity to develop participatory mechanisms for effective project implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Workshop participants included representatives from the fisheries authorities, who will serve as national executing partners for the project, as well as lead fisher-folk organizations in the seven project countries. Also in attendance were representatives from regional executing partner institutions such as the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CFRM); Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk OECSBusinessFocus
Organizations (CNFO); Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI); University of the West Indies Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (UWI CERMES); FAO; and Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC). Cooperatives, small businesses, coastal zone agencies and genderrelated organizations also participated. “The StewardFish Project is designed to empower fisher-folk so that they can be more resilient to the socio-economic and environmental challenges that they face. The project will focus on building their capacity in fisheries value chains so that they can improve their participation in resource management, decision-making processes and the sustainability of their livelihoods, with strengthened institutional support at all levels,” said Yvette DieiOuadi, Fishery Officer for FAO’s Sub-Regional Office for the Caribbean.
The seven project countries share similar characteristics that can affect their growth and viability. These include relatively small but expanding populations; limited natural resource endowments that are fragile; vulnerability to natural disasters; and high dependence on international trade and external support for sustainable fisheries development and management. The small-scale fisheries of these countries also face transboundary environmental threats such as unsustainable fisheries; habitat degradation and ecosystem community modification; and pollution. Other difficulties associated with the sustainable development of fisheries in project countries include insufficient financial resources and human capacity in state institutions; and inadequate organizational, human, financial and technical capacity among non-state actors such as fisher-folk along the value chain to engage meaningfully in management. The StewardFish Project will seek to build the capacity of the fisher-folk organizations in the seven countries under the Strategic Action Programme for the Sustainable Management of the Shared Living Marine Resources of the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems (CLME+ SAP) so that they can better engage in the local, national and regional policymaking processes. The CLME+ SAP aims to address these challenges, using ecosystem-based approaches. The project is part of the larger implementation of the CLME+ SAP, a 10-year plan which was adopted in 2013 by countries located within the CLME+ region, with a long-term vision of “a healthy marine environment in the CLME+ that provides benefits and livelihoods for the well-being of the people of the region”. ¤
Saint Lucia Exports Breadfruit To U.S. Saint Lucia Exports Breadfruit To U.S.
from Saint Lucia to the U.S.,” Dabney said. “It was a huge success, the buyers want more, the shipment went better than expected. I’m going to ship as much as I can until you guys run out of it. Everyone here was very happy; I’ve been getting phone calls all day about more.” Following this test, Dabney remarked that there is certainly room and potential for imports of much larger quantities, as there is no shortage of demand. The buyer has already expressed interest in purchasing an even larger shipment of breadfruit from the exporter as early as the second week in September.
Perineau’s Exports, a Saint Lucian exporter with guidance and assistance from Export Saint Lucia (TEPA) successfully exported a test shipment of breadfruit to Miami, Florida in the U.S. on August 28. This success is directly attributed to Export Saint Lucia hosting an “EXPORTING TO THE USA” workshop at the Finance Administrative Centre in July in Castries. The workshop took the format of an open forum panel discussion and Business-to-Business meeting featuring three expert panelists, namely Tim Bascombe – owner and CEO of World Foods Connections; Jonathan Havens – lawyer and expert on the FDA and USDA, Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) compliance; and Emory Dabney – owner of Toro Imports, an import and export distribution company operating in the USA. Participants benefited from one-on-one sessions with industry experts in areas such as packaging, labeling and other product specifications tailored for U.S. market entry. Over the last few years, it has been recognized that the demands for produce has grown significantly in foreign markets and this latest success is also testament to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Export Saint Lucia and the Department of Agriculture. The efforts of Export Saint Lucia, coupled with the tenacity of a local exporter and the interest and persistence of a United Sates buyer, has reaped dividends of this workshop in quick time. Emory Dabney of Toro Imports, during the last week of August, received 500 kilogrammes of breadfruit from Saint Lucia. Breadfruit is a much-coveted fruit in the U.S. This test shipment has passed with flying colours, much to the delight of all involved, especially Export Saint Lucia and the local exporter, Perineau’s Exports. “Thank you to the Trade Export and Promotion Agency of Saint Lucia TEPA for a job well done in the first shipment of breadfruit
Perineau’s Exports has expressed tremendous thanks to Export Saint Lucia for the various avenues of help that have been derived as a result of the partnership. The company revealed that prior to the services offered by Export Saint Lucia, the business, which started in 1992, experienced a number of challenges before it could even get off the ground. Proprietor Rosemary Perineau said: “Since they were directly involved with exporting generally for Saint Lucia, I found that was a good opportunity to find out what their work entails and how they could assist us in being better able to export produce from Saint Lucia.” Perineau added: “I have gained a contact in the U.S., and I did more or less of a trial shipment and the result was very good. So I’m hoping TEPA and I can develop a greater relationship, where more produce can be exported to the U.S., which is the most difficult market for us.” While geographically close, Saint Lucia’s exports to the United States have remained low. The major exporters are in condiments and fresh agricultural produce. Very few Saint Lucian exporters meet the requirements needed to enter the U.S. market. Furthermore, even fewer can meet the marketing revenues needed to sustain market entry. Jerson Badal, Director of Client Management Services at Export Saint Lucia, said: “With this test shipment, the staff of Export Saint Lucia basically went through the entire stages -- from contacting the distributor, to finding the shipping logistics, the actual freight weight, the cost -- everything was basically done and recorded in house. “So we know exactly what it takes to get it into the U.S. (market), and how to reproduce it. So we have the expertise, we’re able to share with the exporter and this is something we’re hoping to replicate not only for this exporter but for anybody who wishes to sell breadfruits to the United States, as well as any other agricultural produce.” Officials of Export Saint Lucia reiterated the agency’s commitment to the expansion of exports in markets such as the U.S., as it continues to chart a course with its mandate to increase the aggregate volume and quality of exports coming from Saint Lucia. ¤ OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
Sun Country Airlines Flights Set ECONOMY & TRADE
For Belize, St. Kitts
SOL St. Lucia Wins Multi-million-dollar Fuel Contract in the BVI
SOL St. Lucia Wins Multi-million-dollar Fuel Contract in the BVI
Sun Country Airlines Flights Set For Belize & St. Kitts
Sun Country Airlines will start flying to Belize and St. Kitts and Nevis just before Christmas.
The British Virgin Islands’ Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) has awarded a major fuel contract to SOL St. Lucia Limited (Ltd) to supply the government-run utility with fuel and lubricants for the next five years. According to information obtained by Virgin Islands News Online, SOL St. Lucia Ltd. has also been awarded the contract to supply diesel fuel and petroleum for BVIEC’s fleet of vehicles, while Delta Petroleum will provide the lubricating products. SOL St. Lucia Ltd. had proposed in their bid of July 2018 to provide fuel for the entire BVIEC vehicle fleet for $467,992. SOL had further proposed to supply lubricating oil to the BVIEC for $1,285,555 and diesel fuel for the Henry Wilfred Smith Power Station, on Tortola and the Anegada Power Station, at a cost of $88,145,137. On the other hand, Delta Petroleum (Caribbean Ltd) proposed to provide fuel for the BVIEC’s vehicle fleet at a cost of $481,415. In addition to provide lubricating oil, the company had provided two separate bids.
It will offer the first-ever seasonal non-stop service between Minneapolis/St. Paul and Belize, and between Minneapolis/St. Paul and St. Kitts and Nevis, on Saturdays, starting December 22, 2018 and continuing until April 20, 2019. “At Sun Country, we pride ourselves on delivering fantastic value to our guests, connecting them to their favourite people, places and memories. Belize and St. Kitts and Nevis are amazing beach destinations that we have no doubt Minnesotans will be excited to flock to in the winter,” said Ben Brookman, Vice President, Network and Pricing of Sun Country Airlines, in announcing the addition of two destinations to the airline’s network. “We are pleased to be the first airline to offer scheduled nonstop service from MSP to these two great destinations, and look forward to offering Minnesotans affordable non-stop service to even more vacation hotspots.” Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce in St. Kitts and Nevis, Lindsay Grant, said the flight from Minneapolis would increase the number of non-stop flights into the twin-island federation from the U.S., the country’s primary source market for visitors. “Further, the additional lift from the Upper Midwest provides more options for travelers to reach our twin islands during peak season,” he said.
Delta Petroleum, in its July 2018 bid, proposed to use either ‘MobilGard Oil’ at $922,259 or ‘Castrol Oil’ for $887,242. In their bid to supply diesel fuel, Delta had proposed a cost of $91,928,488.
For her part, Director of Tourism for Belize, Karen Bevans, said Sun Country’s new non-stop flight from Minneapolis to Belize City “marks our farthest reach into the Upper Midwest — an area of the U.S. that can really benefit from easy access to a tropical Belizean vacation when winter comes.”
The contract to provide fuel for the engines at Pockwood Pond Power Plant has been awarded to SOL St. Lucia Limited. ¤
“We appreciate Sun Country for further supporting our thriving tourism industry and providing more curious travelers with seamless opportunities to escape to Belize,” she added. ¤
Trinidad’s Excellent Stores Celebrates 60th Anniversary, Set to Open New Store in St. Lucia and Go Regional Trinidad’s Excellent Stores Celebrates 60th Anniversary, Set to Open New Store in St Lucia and Go Regional
Amongst its many milestones Excellent Stores Ltd has yet another to celebrate on its 60th anniversary, which was held at its MovieTowne, Trinidad branch in August. What first opened as a small variety store on Henry Street in Port-of-Spain, then called Excellent Trading, was the contrivance of Chinese immigrant and patriarch, Hong Ling Siu Chong. It has since grown to six retail branches spread across the country, with Excellent Stores recognised as a leading department store in Trinidad & Tobago today. Now in the hands of a third generation of the Siu Chongs, the business boasts of its niches—specialised Christmas and E-commerce stores at its Distribution Centre in Chaguanas, Central Trinidad. Mr Franco Siu Chong – Chairman and Managing Director, said the company prided itself on three things—quality, affordability, and customer satisfaction. “We believe in the principles of honesty, integrity, hard work, and delivering to our customers value for money. Excellent Stores treat all members of staff as family, and it is this cohesive family that is the path to our successes and has allowed us to weather some turbulent times in our country’s history.” In its 60 years of existence, Excellent Stores survived the 1985 fires at its Park and Frederick Streets, Port-of-Spain branch and its London Street, San Fernando branch. The brand remained standing through the 1970 Black Power uprising, the 1990 attempted coup, the 1985 economic downturn of 1983 and most recently, the 6.9 earthquake. “We were shaken at times, but never were we broken,” said Siu Chong. On September 22, 2018, for the first time the ‘Trini-rooted’ business will open in Rodney Bay, St Lucia. The plan is to sequentially open in other islands in the region, including Guyana and Jamaica, Franco Siu Chong disclosed during the Anniversary celebrations.
Rainforest Sends First Shipment of Live Lobsters To China
Rainforest Sends First Shipment of Live Lobsters To China
Rainforest Seafoods Limited shipped off their first orders of 2,000 live lobsters to China via air in late August. The shipment is bound for Shenzhen. “Consumers in mainland China will pay top dollar for their lobsters alive. Therefore, it is critical to ensure the best quality and the strongest animals are exported,” said Rainforest Business Development Manager, Max Jardim, as the lobsters were being crated for travel. “Naturally, the best quality lobster is supplied by our Jamaican fisher-folk who go to sea in the morning and return in the evening,” he said. Rainforest Seafoods is the first Jamaican company to export this type of seafood to that region of China. The company is hoping to export one tonne of live lobsters per week. Jardim said there were some regulatory issues that Rainforest was working through with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries (MICAF), to further unlock the earning potential of seafood. MICAF has been accommodating throughout the discussions and willing to facilitate the company, once food safety standards were kept at paramount concern, he said. Exporting live lobsters is a complex process, Jardim explained, requiring close collaboration with suppliers, as well as training programmes and the supply of equipment to improve the handling of the lobsters. Rainforest has also been working with Waterwheel Estate in Jamaica for the past two years to get the specifications right. “To further prepare and strengthen the animals for export, we must stabilise them in our state-of-the-art saltwater tanks prior to export. The lobsters are held at very specific cold temperatures and placed under a strict monitoring programme before shipping out to ensure only the best quality is exported,” said Jardim. “There’s a science, and our team in charge of this aspect is the best on island,” he added. The lobsters departed from Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay on August 17, and were transferred via Toronto’s WestJet airlines.
“It is the first step we have taken on our journey towards becoming a regional store, rooted in Trinidad & Tobago and yet still growing to serve the people of the Caribbean,” said Siu Chong. ¤
Rainforest is working with other airlines in the meantime “to find better routes,” Jardim said.
Photo: Trinidad & Tobago’s Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon, Deputy Mayor of Port-of-Spain Hillan Morean, Managing Director Excellent Stores Franco Siu Chong, and Dr Johnny Siu Chong cut the Excellent Stores 60th Anniversary cake. Courtesy: Anisto Alves
The shipment was witnessed by MICAF Minister, Audley Shaw, who described it as the beginning of a transitioning of the blue economy, while urging others to capitalise on deepsea fishing. ¤ OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
ECONOMY & TRADE
BVI Premier to Lead First Trade Mission to Africa
Barbados Could Access Up to US$290M Through IMF Agreement
Premier Dr. Orlando Smith
BVI Premier to Lead First Trade Mission to Africa Barbados Could Access Up to US$290M Through IMF Agreement
British Virgin Islands Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. Orlando Smith, will lead a two-week trade mission to Africa in November.
The 2018 BVI Africa Trade Mission will run from November 5-16 and cover three countries and four of Africa’s major business hubs: Cape Town, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Abuja, Nigeria; and Lagos, Nigeria.
Interim Executive Director of BVI Finance, Lorna Smith, said, “We have set our sights on Africa for quite some time now as it represents a major opportunity for our financial services industry. We are, therefore, very much looking forward to taking our message to the governments and business centres where we can work effectively to develop relationships that will benefit all. We are very pleased to be able to make this visit to further strengthen the profile of the BVI in Africa.” Smith will be accompanied by a BVI Finance team and the Africa Expert Network (AXN), BVI Finance’s consultants for this mission. The mission is similar to the Asia Trade Mission and encompasses high-level meetings with government officials, private sector meetings -- including with relevant associations -- and three miniconferences slated for Cape Town, Nairobi and Lagos. The mini-conferences will allow the delegation to promote the BVI as a jurisdiction, together with benefits of a range of BVI products and services, such as private equity and venture capital offerings, investment funds, trusts, estate and succession planning. These, together with the proven BVI corporate product, the BVI business company and the recently unveiled micro-business company, will enhance efforts to broaden and deepen relationships with African businesses. The British Virgin Islands is a major financial services jurisdiction which facilitates the cross-border trade and investment which is central to the continuing growth and development of the African continent. According to the Capital Economics report, “Creating Value: The BVI’s Global Contribution”, the BVI mediates considerable foreign direct investment into developing countries, including many African nations. The BVI is shown as having a direct investment relationship with several countries, including the countries the delegation will visit. The release of the Capital Economics report highlighted that the BVI has been doing considerable business on the continent – Nigeria alone has had the largest foreign direct investment stock from the BVI standing at US$2.9 billion. Expectations are that good business will get done and that the visit allows government and the private sector to work together in driving the growth of the territory’s financial services industry. OECSBusinessFocus
The Barbados government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have reached a Staff Level Agreement that would see the country getting access to up to US$290 million. Prime Minister Mia Mottley and Deputy Division Chief of the Caribbean II Division of the IMF, Bert van Selm, made the announcement during a press conference on September 7, after an August 30-September 7 visit by a team from the Washingtonbased institution. “I am pleased to announce that, in support of the Barbadian authorities’ economic reform programme, the IMF team and the government of Barbados have reached staff-level agreement on a 48-months Extended Fund Facility (EFF), with access of SDR 208 million (equivalent to 220 percent of quota, or about US$290 million),” Van Selm said. “If approved by the IMF Executive Board, SDR 35 million (about US$49 million) would be immediately available. Staff envisages that the IMF’s Executive Board would consider the proposed arrangement under the EFF by early October.” The IMF official suggested that the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) Programme, on the basis of which assistance is being granted, had the Fund’s thumbs up. Prime Minister Mottley said it was an extraordinary achievement by Barbados to reach agreement with the IMF in three months. “We appreciate the Staff Level Agreement, because we recognise that in achieving it we have not put the stability or the value of the Barbados dollar at risk…We have, however, adjustments to make and…we have started to make them. Phase one was the mini-budget on June 11 and phase two and three will start concomitantly,” she said. Mottley noted that the IMF was a “cheap source of funding” but more than anything else, it would assist in unlocking access to funding for the country. Photo: (From L To R) Minister In The Ministry Of Economic Affairs And Investment, Marsha Caddle; Attorney General And Minister Of Legal Affairs, Dale Marshall; The International Monetary Fund’s Nancy Horsman; Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, and Bert Van Selm. (Photo Credit: Bgis) www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
Invest St. Vincent & Grenadines
The Board, Management and Staff of Invest SVG congratulate Justice Adrian Saunders on his appointment as the President of the CCJ. We wish him many successful years in his new position.
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
The Caribbean Court of Justice:
From Concept to Reality The chronology below traces the history and tells the story of the Caribbean Court of Justice: from concept to reality. • 1901: Editorial in the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper • 1970: At the Sixth Meeting of the Heads of Government conference of Commonwealth Caribbean Countries, the Jamaican delegation tabled a proposal for the establishment of a Regional Court of Appeal • 1970–1971: Meeting of the Committee of AttorneysGeneral and issuance of draft report on the Establishment of a Regional Court of Appeal • 1972: Report of the Representative Committee of the Organization of the Commonwealth Caribbean Bar Associations on the Establishment of a Caribbean Court of Appeal in Substitution for the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council • 1989: The Heads of Government agree to the establishment of the Court at the Tenth Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community • 1992: Time for Action Report of the West Indian Commission makes recommendations for the establishment of a Caribbean Supreme Court
• 1999: Trinidad and Tobago announced its plans to house the CCJ in Port of Spain, and the Heads of Government approved the Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice • February 14, 2001: The Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice was signed by the CARICOM states of Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Suriname, and Trinidad & Tobago • February 15, 2003: Two further states, Dominica and St. Vincent & The Grenadines, signed the agreement, bringing the total number of signatories to 12 • August 21 and 22, 2003: The first meeting of the Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission (RJLSC) • August 18, 2004: The Right Honourable Mr. Justice Michael de la Bastide is sworn in as the first President of the Caribbean Court of Justice • April 16, 2005: The inauguration of the CCJ was held at Queen’s Hall, in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, the Seat of the Court
CCJ’s Mission and Vision Mission
The Caribbean Court of Justice: From To protect and promote the rule of law Concept to Reality as a court of final appeal and as guardian of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas by guaranteeing accessibility, fairness, efficiency and transparency, delivering clear and just decisions in a timely manner.
Vision To be: • a leader in providing high quality justice; • responsive to the challenges of our diverse communities; • innovative, fostering jurisprudence that is reflective of our history, values and traditions, and consistent with international legal norms; • inspirational, worthy of the trust and confidence of the people of the region.
Protection from Political Pressure and Influence
Protection from Political Pressure and Influence The framework of the CCJ provides many layers of protection from political pressure and influence in both the appellate and original jurisdictions: • Original jurisdiction judgments and advisory opinions are delivered as a single judgment, with no dissenting or separate concurring opinions or judgments allowed. There is no record of the way judges voted in a majority ruling. Judicial decisions are written as though the Court is speaking with a single and collective voice. • Political pressure is not permitted to reach the judges through member state appointment as occurred in the defunct Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal and as occurs in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and East African Court of Justice. Instead, judges are appointed by the Regional Judicial and Legal Services Commission (RJLSC), an independent body, who appoints judges to the Court. • While CARICOM Prime Ministers vote for the RJLSC’s nominee for the President of the Court, political distance is maintained since it is the RJLSC alone which is responsible for selecting the nominee to the post of President for the member states to vote upon. Prime Ministers cannot substitute any nominee and must await a fresh selection by the RJLSC in the event that they fail to approve an appointment for president. • Even appointment to the RJLSC itself is done by relatively independent jurists, including the Deans of the Faculty of Law of the University of the West Indies and other Law Faculties in the contracting parties (jointly responsible for two nominations) and the Chairman of the Council of Legal Education, as well as the Organisation of the Commonwealth Caribbean Bar Association and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Bar Association (also jointly responsible for two nominations). • The RJLSC does not consider potential judges by recommendations from contracting member states, but by a prospective judge’s individual application. • Only the RJLSC is responsible for initiating proceedings for the removal of a judge (due to inability to perform or misbehaviour) and for recommending an increase in the number of judicial positions in the Court.
• Judges of the Court (including the President) may only be removed (by the RJLSC in the case of other judges or Heads of Government on the recommendation of the RJLSC in the case of the President) upon an affirmation of a tribunal specifically established for this purpose. • While normal judges of the CCJ have tenure until the age of 72, the President of the Court may only serve for one, non-renewable 7-year term. As a result, all judges of the CCJ (unlike judges in the ECJ or the defunct SADC Tribunal) are free to make decisions without having to consider judicial term renewal. This puts a check on the potential for political influence on the CCJ through the President of the Court (who also serves as Chairman of the RJLSC), who is appointed by the super majority vote of three-quarters of the contracting states upon the recommendation of the RJLSC. Once voted in, the President of the Court would not potentially be beholden to the governments of the contracting states to render favourable decisions in order to gain a new term. • As a unique feature, the Court is funded through a CCJ Trust Fund which increases the independence of the Court, by preventing direct financial connections between the Court (salaries of the judges, operations of the Court, etc.) and the member states and ensures economic stability and certainty for the Court. The Court depends on no member state for its operations. The Trust Fund is intended to finance the expenditures of the Court through the income from the Fund in perpetuity. • The CCJ Trust Fund is itself administered by a Board of Trustees drawn from regional entities, many of which are independent of the influence of the governments of member states and represent both private and public interests. • The CCJ’s initial funding was not derived directly from a single member state but was provided by all contracting states, who were required to submit payment without any influence on how the CCJ Trust Fund utilizes the funds. • The CCJ Trust Fund cannot solicit or accept any extra donations unless all the member states agree to do so. ¤
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
Selected CCJ Cases: An Overview Selected CCJ Cases: An Overview The Caribbean Court of Justice’s judgments, its scales of fees and Rules of Court, with provisions for poor persons to access the CCJ without the payment of fees and security for costs (e.g. Ross v Sinclair  CCJ 4 (AJ)), have provided accessibility to timely justice for all. Indeed, where possible in applications for special leave to appeal to the CCJ, the Court has been prepared (with advance notice to parties) to treat an application as the hearing of the substantive appeal. The CCJ has put fairness at the heart of its judgments. Thus, in A-G of Barbados v Joseph and Boyce  CCJ 3 (AJ) the Government was held to the legitimate expectation it had created in two convicted murderers that their sentences of death would not be carried out until the Barbados mercy committee, deciding whether or not to commute the death sentences to life imprisonment, had received and considered a clemency report from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The Court has also determined that time spent on remand must normally be fully credited when sentencing convicted criminals (R v Da Costa Hall  CCJ 6 (AJ)). Moreover, in Gibson v A-G of Barbados  CCJ 3 (AJ), to ensure the penurious accused’s right to a fair trial, his trial was stayed to allow time for the State to provide him with a reasonable sum of money to cover the fees of a forensic odontologist to counter the State’s odontologist in determining whether or not the teeth marks on the victim’s body were his, this being the only evidence capable of incriminating him. If the money for this key expert was not forthcoming, the trial would be permanently stayed and the charge dismissed. Where civil law is concerned, the CCJ has, in Zuniga v A-G of Belize  CCJ 2 (AJ), struck down legislation that was unconstitutional for imposing a mandatory minimum punishment of five years for any contempt of court flowing from breach of a court order. In support of the fair rule of law, the Court also held void (in BCB Holdings Ltd v A-G of Belize  CCJ 5 (AJ)) the Government’s executive action, without any Parliamentary legislation, to grant a foreign company a uniquely beneficial tax regime independent of Belize tax laws. Moreover, the CCJ held (in Marin v A-G of Belize  CCJ 9 (AJ)) that, just as there is a criminal offence of misfeasance in public office that applies to public office holders, like Government Ministers, so there is a civil liability for damages flowing from misfeasance in public office.
In Guyana, where Roman-Dutch law applies to land but, otherwise, English common law applies as affected by Guyanese legislation, we held that no equitable property interests in land can subsist e.g. to protect the rights of occupying contractual purchasers against third parties to whom the owner transferred title. Nevertheless, fair protection has been provided to such purchasers, taking account of developments in modern South African RomanDutch law: see Ramkishun v Fung-Fee-Fung  CCJ 2 (AJ). The prescriptive rights of adverse possessors of land have also been developed and clarified: see Toolsie Persaud Ltd v Andrew James Investments Ltd  CCJ 5 (AJ) and Ramlagan v Singh  CCJ 7 (AJ). Judgments have also supported modern commercial practices (in LOP Investments Ltd v Demerara Bank Ltd  CCJ 10 (AJ) and Atlantic Corporation Ltd v Development Finance Corporation  CCJ 6 (AJ)) and helped to clarify conveyancing law in Barbados in Hope v Rodney  CCJ 12 (AJ), Colby v Felix Enterprises Ltd  CCJ 10 (AJ) and Sea Havens Inc v Dyrud  CCJ 13 (AJ). In the CCJ’s original jurisdiction, the Court has put flesh on the bones of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. Individuals or companies of a State can use the Treaty to make their own State, as well as other CARICOM States, comply with the Treaty: Trinidad Cement Ltd v Republic of Guyana  CCJ 1 (OJ). States can be ordered to implement and maintain the common external tariff: (Trinidad Cement Ltd v Republic of Guyana (No 2)  CCJ 5 (OJ) and to pay compensation for breaches of the Treaty: Myrie v State of Barbados (No 2)  CCJ 3 (OJ) and Rudisa Beverages NV v Republic of Guyana  CCJ 1 (OJ). The Secretary-General of CARICOM and the Council for Trade and Economic Development are subject to judicial review by the CCJ (Trinidad Cement Ltd v Caribbean Community  CCJ 4 (OJ)) and decisions of the Conference of Heads of Government are as much binding law as is the Treaty. Hence it was established in Myrie (No 2) v State of Barbados  CCJ 3 (OJ) that CARICOM nationals have a right to move freely between States and be granted a stay of six months in other CARICOM States unless it is shown that they are likely to be a charge on public funds or are undesirable in a restricted sense. Moreover, persons cannot be denied entry to Belize or Trinidad by reason only of their homosexual orientation: Tomlinson v State of Belize and State of Trinidad & Tobago  CCJ 1 (OJ). ¤
Judges of the Caribbean Court of Justice Judges of the Caribbean Court of Justice
The Honourable Mr. Justice Adrian Saunders President
The Honourable Mr. Justice David Hayton
The Honourable Mr. Justice Jacob Wit
The Honourable Mr. Justice Winston Anderson
The Honourable Mme. Justice Maureen Rajnauth-Lee
The Honourable Mr. Justice Denys Barrow
There are currently six CCJ judges on the Bench including the President. Another Judge is in the process of being recruited by the RJLSC to make up the full complement of seven judges. CCJ judges can come from any where in the world once they have worked as a judge, lawyer or law teacher in a Commonwealth state. The current Bench includes judges from Belize, Jamaica, the Netherlands, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and the United Kingdom. OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
Past Presidents and Judges
Past Presidents and Judges
The Rt. Honourable Sir Dennis Byron Past President (2005-2017)
The Honourable Mme. Justice Désirée Bernard Former Judge (2005 – 2014)
The Honourable Mr. Justice Duke Pollard former Judge (2005-2010)
The Rt Honourable Mr. Justice Michael de la Bastide Former President (2005-2011)
The Honourable Mr. Justice Rolston Nelson former Judge (2005-2017)
Justice Adrian Saunders
Sworn in as Third CCJ President
Justice Adrian Saunders Sworn in as Third CCJ President
His Excellency, The Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen (right), Governor-General of Jamaica, conducts the swearing-in of The Honourable Mr Justice Adrian Saunders as President of the Caribbean Court of Justice during a ceremony held at the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall, St James, on July 4, 2018.
The Honourable Mr Justice Adrian Saunders, the newly-installed President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), declared in his first public address that the CCJ, as a final appellate court, was the only logical option for CARICOM territories. He implored member states -- including his homeland, St. Vincent and the Grenadines -- to break free from the United Kingdom-based Privy Council and embrace the CCJ. “Given the resilience of Caribbean people, I fervently believe that the only logical path will ultimately be taken by the other states, hopefully, sooner rather than later,” said Justice Saunders at his swearing-in ceremony at the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall, St James, on July 4. The event coincided with the 39th CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Justice Saunders, the third CCJ President, noted that the states of Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda were the only countries that absolutely required a referendum to accede to the appellate jurisdiction of the CCJ. “I’m extremely heartened to learn that the Prime Ministers of these states have recently publicly indicated their desire and intention, respectively, to hold such a poll,” he said. Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, remarked: “It is a matter of great regret that the
Justice Saunders is the first CCJ president who received legal training in the Caribbean.
country from which he (Justice Saunders) hails, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is not yet a member of the CCJ in its appellate jurisdiction. I tried in 2009 and failed. Maybe I will try again.” Barbados, Belize, Dominica, and Guyana are the only countries that have signed on to the CCJ as their final appeal court. The Hon. Mr. Justice Saunders is the first CCJ president who received legal training in the Caribbean. His vision is for the CCJ to become an established symbol of regional integration similar to the University of the West Indies, the Caribbean Examinations Council, and the Caribbean Development Bank. Man of Integrity Several regional leaders endorsed Mr. Justice Saunders’ ascension to the post, lauding him as a man of integrity who is deeply committed to the delivery of justice. The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica and CARICOM Chairman asserted, “I am fully confident, therefore, that based on your commendable professional experience and personal attributes, under your stewardship, the Court will continue to be a guardian of the rights of the Caribbean people.” The Hon. Mr. Justice Saunders was called to the Bar in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in 1977. The jurist worked in private practice until 1996, when he was appointed a judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. He rose to the Court of Appeal in 2003, acted as Chief Justice a year later, and in 2005, he joined the CCJ. ¤
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
The Making of a Homegrown CCJ President: The Honourable Mr. Justice Adrian Saunders
The Making of a Homegrown CCJ President: The Honourable Mr. Justice Adrian Saunders
1996: Appointed a Judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court
• 1997: Became a High Court Judge and, until 2001, served as a Judge in Montserrat and Anguilla. • 2003: Became a Justice of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.
• January 4, 1954: Born in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In the ensuing years, he attended St. Mary’s Primary School and later St. Vincent Grammar School in St. Vincent where he was an outstanding student, becoming Head Boy during the 19711972 academic year. • 1975: Earned his LLB degree with Honours from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill. • 1977: Earned his Legal Education Certificate from the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad & Tobago. • 1977 to 1996: Saunders was in private practice as a barrister and solicitor. In 1990, he established the firm of Saunders & Huggins. While in private practice, he served as a member of the Bar Council of the Eastern Caribbean Bar Association and for several years as Secretary of the St. Vincent Bar Association. • 1996: Appointed a Judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.
• 2004: Became the Acting Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, succeeding The Right Honourable Sir Dennis Byron. As Chief Justice, he was the supreme Judicial Officer of the Courts of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. • 2005: Appointed as a Judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice and stepped down from the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. • 2009: Became the Chairman of the Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers. • April, 2018: Appointed to the Advisory Board of the Global Judicial Integrity Network by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration. • July, 2018: Sworn in as the third President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) by His Excellency, the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen, ON, GCMG, CD, KSt.J, Governor-General of Jamaica, in Montego Bay, Jamaica. ¤
Landmark Decision Made by The Caribbean Court of Justice
Landmark Decision Made by The Caribbean Court of Justice By Dr. Lawrence A. Joseph Friday, 4 October, 2013 will be recorded as a red letter day for Caribbean justice. On that day, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) delivered its verdict in a case in which a Jamaican, one Shanique Myrie, claimed, among other things, that the Barbados authorities unlawfully restricted her right to freedom of movement within the Caribbean Community. The Claimant based her claim on the combined effect of Article 45 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (RTC) and a Decision of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community. This decision was taken at their Twenty-eighth Meeting (“the 2007 Conference Decision”). In accordance with the RTC, as an individual, Ms. Myrie obtained the permission of the Government of Jamaica to approach the CCJ directly on the matter. Myrie claimed that upon her arrival at the Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados from Jamaica on 14 March, 2011, she was made to undergo a painful and humiliating body cavity search by a Barbadian border official, was subjected to verbal abuse, was locked up in an insanitary cell overnight and was deported on the following day. The CCJ was, therefore, requested to make a determination on the matter. The CCJ is a regional judicial tribunal established on 14 February, 2001 by the Agreement Establishing the Caribbean Court of Justice signed by CARICOM countries. In its Original Jurisdiction, the Court discharges the functions of an international tribunal, applying rules of international law in respect of the interpretation and application of the RTC. Original Jurisdiction refers to the authority of the Court to hear matters which originate in that Court. This Original Jurisdiction must be distinguished from the Appellate Jurisdiction of the court, which jurisdiction only came about in 2005. For the time being, only Barbados, Guyana and Belize have acceded to the Appellate Jurisdiction of the CCJ. This Appellate Jurisdiction is meant to take over from the functions of the Privy Council which is the final court of appeal for most Caricom countries. Before reaching the Privy Council or the Appellate Jurisdiction of the CCJ, cases would have been heard in the High Courts and the Courts of Appeal in various Caricom countries. In the Myrie case, the judgment was delivered by the headquarters, located in Port of Spain, Trinidad. He was
one of a seven-judge panel which sat on the case. Having determined that it had the jurisdiction to hear Myrie’s claim against the Government of Barbados, the Court held that the standard of proof in the case must be lower than the standard used in a criminal case whether domestic or international. The Court held that the 2007 Conference Decision conferred a right of “definite entry” of a minimum of six months to CARICOM nationals within the Community, subject only to public interest considerations such as the protection of public morals, the maintenance of public order and safety and the protection of life and health. Notwithstanding, the Court made it clear that the scope of refusal on these grounds must be interpreted narrowly and strictly and the burden of proof must rest on the Member State making the allegations. The Court further held that where a Community national is refused entry into a Member State on a legitimate ground, that national should be given the opportunity to consult an attorney or consular official of his or her country or to contact a family member. Additionally, the court required Member States to give promptly and in writing, reasons for refusing entry to a Community national and to inform the refused Community national of his or her right to challenge the decision. Based upon the above considerations, the Court held that the treatment which was meted out to Shanique Myrie on 14 March, 2011 by the Barbados authorities at the Grantley Adams International Airport was in breach of her right to entry and so she was entitled to be awarded damages. The Court then ordered the Government of Barbados to compensate Ms. Myrie in pecuniary damages in the sum of BDS$2,240 and non-pecuniary damages in the sum of BDS$75,000 and to pay reasonable costs. Especially because of this case involving the Jamaican national Shanique Myrie against the Barbados authorities, it is expected that CARICOM nationals would be able to enjoy hassle-free travel to other CARICOM states. It is indeed a landmark decision which was made by the CCJ in its Original Jurisdiction. It is an indication of a bright future lying ahead for Caribbean jurisprudence. ¤ First published on October 15, 2013, in NOW Grenada.
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
Make Use of CCJ for Redress out that the rights which are conferred by the Treaty on private entities and Caribbean nationals are designed particularly to enable greater inter-regional and international trade, so that entities in the region can grow stronger and can compete with entities outside of the region. “It is the CCJ that polices the arrangements that establish the CSME, bringing them under the rule of law and ensuring that no CARICOM state ignores the obligations under the Treaty,” he said.
Make Use of CCJ for Redress
He pointed out that Caribbean people are known for being analytical and insightful “talkers” but have a “very, very, poor reputation of implementation,” which he has heard from a number of non-Caribbean people. He stressed that the insertion of the CCJ into the RTC ensures that “we do not have a regional Treaty system that is just on paper…just words…just premised on nice promises because the CCJ is the engine, the hub around which the CSME operates. It is the vehicle through which individuals and states can go to and ensure that the promises, the rights, the obligations that are set out in the Treaty arrangement are enforced.”
New Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) President The Honourable Mr. Justice Adrian Saunders has urged businesses to utilise the provisions outlined in the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (RTC) to seek relief from the Court for any prejudice experienced at the hands of CARICOM member states. He issued the call on Thursday August 2, 2018 while addressing those in attendance at the annual business luncheon hosted by the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association Limited (GSMA) at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Guyana. Speaking on the role of the Court in the private sector, Justice Saunders explained that although Article 222 provides an avenue for regional businesses to approach the Court, very few have done so. “It is unfortunate that during the 13 years that the Court has been in operation, only a few private entities have to date used the Court to make such complaints,” he observed. He explained to the audience that the Court has two jurisdictions: hearing appeals and interpreting and applying the RTC, which includes the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME). He stressed that the work of the Court is critical to the success and survival of the CSME, while pointing OECSBusinessFocus
He informed those present that Article 222 is of particular interest to the private sector as it gives private entities an avenue to approach the Court and to complain about the conduct of any state in the region. “Once certain requirements are met…private individuals, which include companies, are free to seek a remedy for any prejudice that they experience to their rights under the Revised Treaty,” he said. According to Justice Saunders, more people should be encouraged to use the services of the Court, particularly when issues arise in exportation around the region or the way in which some states treat businesses which choose to operate upon their shores.
‘Great expectations’ President of GMSA, Shyam Nokta, in a brief presentation, pointed out that in principle the CSME provides an important business opportunity for sectors such as manufacturing services and agriculture. “In reality, however, CSME is still evolving,” Nokta said.
Mr. Justice Saunders has been Chairman of the Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers (CAJO) since 2009...
He noted that for manufacturers in the region and in Guyana, accessing regional markets has had its “fair share of challenges” over the years. Nokta said developments in keeping with the CSME could test the legislative framework locally and at the level of the CCJ. He, however, questioned the court’s preparedness to respond to the many expectations, particularly those of the private sector. Meanwhile, Justice Saunders noted that the CCJ has particular relevance to Guyana at this time as the country is currently well poised for a “serious economic take-off.” He made mention of the country’s oil deposits, mineral wealth and fertile terrain. “All indicators suggest that the economic prospects for this country could easily make it the envy of its CARICOM sister states, including Trinidad and Tobago,” he said, before quickly pointing out that this progress can either be thwarted or can be significantly enhanced with good governance and the faithful adherence to the rule of law. The rule of law in this sense, he explained, implies legal accountability, fairness, respect for minorities, the observance of human rights, judicial independence, the separation of the powers, equality before the law and the absence of arbitrariness. Ultimately, he said the people of Guyana will look to the CCJ and the local courts to set appropriate standards in these matters and, in a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society as Guyana is, those courts will have a special responsibility to ensure “equality of treatment.” Adherence to the rule of law, he said, will increase business confidence, attract investments and ensure respect for and enforcement of property rights and freedoms. He pointed out that in constructing an independent and just society, it is in the interest of the people that the law be used as an instrument for expanding democracy and human rights, for promoting better governance, for stimulating social and economic development, for creating optimum conditions for the private sector to flourish and for securing the welfare of the citizenry.
He also submitted that it is very important to have a second tier appellate court, such as the CCJ. “Having a first tier court of appeal as a country’s final appellate court is not an ideal situation. First of all, while first tier courts of appeal normally sit in panels of 3, second tier appellate courts, like the CCJ, usually sit in panels of at least 5. It goes without saying that having five experienced judges looking at a legal dispute is always likely to produce a better result than having 3 judges examining the same issue,” he said.
‘Hopelessly inadequate’ Justice Saunders also noted the court’s role in revamping and replacing Guyana’s Civil Procedure Rules, which he said demonstrated its interest in ensuring access to justice. These rules speak to how lawyers must begin a case, what procedure must be followed, what timelines should apply, and the role of the court registry, among other things. Justice Saunders noted that since the turn of the last century, the rest of the Caribbean region had embraced modern civil procedure rules. Unfortunately, Guyana had lagged behind everyone else. To demonstrate how bad a situation Guyana was in prior to its intervention, he said that while the justice system in the rest of the region was “driving SUVs, Guyana’s was chugging along in a horse and buggy.” Making it clear that he meant no disrespect, Justice Saunders stressed that the Guyanese judges and court staff were doing the best they could. “But that is my best metaphor of the objective situation with which they were faced. Guyana’s rules had become hopelessly inadequate,” he said. He explained that inadequacy of the rules was evident in a number of situations, including the dismissal of meritorious cases on “flimsy, technical grounds” and the utilisation of antiquated procedures that were just totally unsuited. “Businessmen and women know that time is money and with those old rules they were, and rightly so, utterly frustrated at the inordinate length of time it took to hear simple disputes and the massive backlogs in the civil courts,” he stressed. He said that the CCJ responded to this situation by working with the Guyana judiciary to introduce the new Civil Procedure Rules, which are currently in place and train judges, lawyers and court staff. In the present transition, he added, there were some teething issues but the Guyana private sector and the man-on-the-street are now far better served in being able to access justice in an efficient manner. ¤ First Published on August 4, 2018, in Stabroek News, Guyana
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
Commentary: The CCJ A Court for the People By Sir Ronald Sanders less well-off than is the Privy Council, reinforcing that the CCJ is as much a people’s court as it is a final arbiter for wealthy business persons and governments.
Commentary: The CCJ A Court for the People
Throughout the 185-year history of the Judicial Committee of the British Privy Council, it has never provided access for people of little means except for a few persons on death row who got free legal service from British lawyers. This stands in stark contrast to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) where, in the three years following its inception in 2005, civil appeals outnumbered criminal appeals by almost seven to one. About 15 per cent of the civil cases filed in the CCJ were from persons too poor to pay filing costs which the Court waived, giving poor people unprecedented access to appeals. These cases have included: a property dispute between two poor tenants, a public housing agency’s contractual obligation to a signatory’s next of kin, the admissibility of a police officer’s testimony in a case of child molestation, and a civil servant’s dismissal through the statutory abolishment of his appointment. There have been others. Importantly, these cases came from only four countries that had signed up to the CCJ as their final appellate court. They would have been much more numerous if all the people of CARICOM had access to the CCJ. As a Court of final appeal in criminal and civil matters, the CCJ is truly a people’s court. An authoritative study, conducted by Andrew N. Maharajh and published by Cornell University, analyses the costs involved in appealing to the Privy Council in contrast to the CCJ. The findings show overwhelmingly that the CCJ is much more accessible to the OECSBusinessFocus
For instance, the study finds that “the cost of filing an appeal with the Privy Council is more than five times greater than filing an appeal with the CCJ. A comparison of other associated filing costs for both courts reveals a similar ratio”. Other big expenses are incurred to take a case to the Privy Council. Persons making an appeal have to buy plane tickets for themselves and their local lawyer and find and hire an English licensed solicitor to prepare the case file; in some cases, they must also retain expensive British barristers. Additionally, the cost of accommodation in London for the duration of the litigation has to be met. In any event, two sets of lawyer’s fees must be paid. According to the study, all of this produces a very expensive appeals process, estimated at an average minimum cost of US$65,000. Clearly, outside the reach of any but the wealthy. By contrast, overall costs of appeals to the CCJ are considerably cheaper. There is no need for two separate sets of lawyers, a local law firm can appear before the CCJ; costs of travel to Trinidad, the seat of the Court, is cheaper than to London; the CCJ is also a travelling Court, therefore there might be no need for lawyers to travel. Most importantly, the CCJ allows lawyers to appear from their homes or offices via its video conferencing facilities. Additionally, the CCJ operates an e-filing system to receive and process all filings electronically, eliminating the cost for lawyers’ travel and accommodation and, thereby, the overall cost to the litigants. If all CARICOM states took advantage of the CCJ as a final court of appeal, not only would wealthy persons and governments have access to the Court, but ordinary people, across the region, would enjoy considerably better access to justice than they do now. Social equality in the justice system would, at last, be served.
Sir Ronald Sanders is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the US and the OAS. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London and Massey College in the University of Toronto. He is a weekly featured columnist and an International Consultant. Visit his website: www.sirronaldsanders.com
Significantly, all CARICOM taxpayers have already paid for access to the more affordable CCJ. Every CARICOM government has contributed from its tax revenues to the Trust Fund that independently finances the Court. Therefore, currently, the people of eight CARICOM countries, particularly the less well-off, are being denied access to an affordable justice system for which they have paid – it is a people-asset from which the people are blocked. Interestingly, as an example, over the last 28 years, 1990 to 2018, only 37 appeals have been made to the Privy Council from Antigua and Barbuda, one of the countries that is still tied to the British Privy Council. Of the 37 appeals, 7 were criminal and 30 were civil. In the clear majority of civil cases, only big companies and the government were involved, precisely because only they can afford the costs involved in appeals to the Privy Council. Poor Antiguans and Barbudans, like their peers in other CARICOM countries, simply cannot afford the costs. By the same token, less well-off persons, from the four CARICOM countries that are part of the CCJ appellate process, have utilized the Court which has facilitated the applications of the poorest even in civil cases. What then of the quality of justice that the CCJ delivers? The judgments of the Court have been widely and internationally acclaimed. They are all available on the Court’s website for public scrutiny. Each of the Judges of the Court is highly respected by their peers in the global judicial system. It should be recalled that the English-speaking Caribbean has been producing lawyers, expert in many fields, for over a hundred years. Those lawyers have served in many capacities in the region and the world and have contributed enormously to international jurisprudence.
The Judges of the British Privy Council also gave great service to the development of law in Commonwealth countries and beyond for which they are commended. But they do not possess the infallibility with which they are decorated by those in our region who cling to them. Their decisions have been repeatedly overruled by both the European Court of Justice and European Court of Human Rights. The Judges of the CCJ are, at the very least, the equals of the British Privy Council. And, as the facts bear out, the CCJ is the Caribbean people’s court as much for the poor as the rich. ¤
On a public education visit in August 2018, the CCJ President, the Hon. Mr. Justice Adrian Saunders engaged members of the Board, management and staff of Invest SVG, the investment promotions agency for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He shared information about the Court, including the fact that its court management system Curia, allows for e-filing of cases and that attorneys do not have to travel to Trinidad and Tobago but can appear remotely by video-conferencing from their location. OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
Mervyn Eyre, CEO of Fujitsu (Caribbean) and Amit Kanda, VP of Oracle (Global Strategy & Product Cloud Services) Fujitsu and Oracle at the launch of a partnership to provide Cloud Service to local business in Trinidad & Tobago and the wider Caribbean. Photo by Roger Jacob
Fujitsu and Oracle Partner to Introduce Oracle Cloud at Customer to the Caribbean
responsibility we have to bring this technology to the table, to be able to build trust and confidence in public Cloud technology,” he said. “I think we need to get these barriers broken,” Eyre added, “so that we can get the benefit of economies of scale and get the benefit of scale generally, to be able to get our businesses moving into this space to become digitally relevant.” Eyre was speaking with reporters on July 19 at Hyatt Regency where Fujitsu and Oracle held a presentation about Oracle Cloud at Customer, for which Fujitsu is the sole provider in the Caribbean.
Fujitsu and Oracle Partner to Introduce Oracle Cloud at Customer to the Caribbean Cloud Computing is transforming the way companies work, allowing them to efficiently and cost-effectively scale up or scale down services as needed. Cloud computing is defined as the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer. Describing this as a “transformational technology”, President and CEO of Fujitsu Caribbean, Mervyn Eyre believes Caribbean businesses cannot afford to get left behind when the global trend is towards Cloud storage. “As a Caribbean citizen, I have deep concerns about where we are in Cloud adoption. I think we’re far behind and a lot of it has to do with a number of things. I think one is governance issues, at the level of IT (information technology) maturity – concerns about not wanting to let go of our own environment – but that time has passed. “There’s no question that this (Cloud adoption) has to happen if we’re going to be able to get the benefits of surviving in a digital society. That’s one of the reasons why Oracle and Fujitsu are here, because we want to make that journey safer. We feel there’s a OECSBusinessFocus
This new agreement allows Fujitsu to directly provide Oracle Cloud Services to customers as part of any hybrid IT or modernisation project.
Fujitsu said under the agreement, it will deliver Oracle Cloud at Customer to public and private sector companies in TT and the wider Caribbean from its Trinidad Data Centre, with local companies having the option to install the services at their premises.
This, it added, will enable “the rapid build out of multiple Cloud environments and high quality multi-Cloud operations” while its strategic alliance with Oracle “provides robust Cloud offering to customers in the Caribbean to support digital transformation.” On its website, Oracle explained the benefits of this particular service. “Rather than procuring hardware, installing software and managing the system, you easily consume the same Cloud Services on your premises, just like you do in Oracle Cloud. Oracle Cloud Machine includes a wide range of Oracle Cloud Services - Oracle Platform as a Service (PaaS), Oracle Compute Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and Oracle Software as a Service (SaaS). You can use these Cloud Services as building blocks to accelerate the development of your innovative applications while maintaining complete control of your data and systems. “Operated by Oracle in your data centre for your convenience and available as a subscription, Oracle Cloud at Customer delivers the benefit of aligning spending with the revenue realised from www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
applications. Oracle supplies the hardware, installs the software, and handles the day-to-day operations,” Oracle stated. Another aspect of Cloud at Customer, highlighted during the recent presentation, is its flexible subscription pricing, also known as Pay As You Go. VP of Product Management at Oracle, Amit Kanda advised, “When the customer builds their own environment, they have to buy the memory and the processors and the storage for their peak load, which may only happen one day of the year. When we offer it as a service, there is an initial cost the customer has to pay but beyond that, it’s all Pay As You Go.” Pointing out that Pay As You Go is an integral part of the Cloud offering, Kanda said, “It’s available both in our Public Cloud and Cloud at Customer. We are bringing Cloud behind a customer’s firewall. We are giving them the same flexibility of payments as we offer them in the Public Cloud.” Asked by Business Day if Oracle added flexible subscription pricing because of customer demand, Kanda said yes, explaining there were two reasons for doing so. “One is that the Cloud offers the capability to the customer to pay for the service on an (as-needed) basis – they don’t have to spend all the money up front. The second part, which customers expect with Cloud, is flexibility of payment. Just like electricity at home, you pay as you use. Customers expect to pay only for their actual usage of Cloud Services.”
Cloud at Customer may be fairly new to the Caribbean, but since its introduction in 2016 it has experienced what Oracle described as “unprecedented growth, with leading global organisations across six continents and more than 30 countries adopting the solution, including AT&T and Bank of America.” Kanda said public sector bodies are among the leaders in adoption of Cloud at Customer, including in Colombia and Brazil. “The Colombian Federation of Municipalities is adopting Cloud at Customer to modernise their municipalities. Similarly, we have customers in Brazil who are in the public sector. So we do see a good adoption of Cloud at Customer with the public sector (because of) security. They are carrying lots of citizen data and they want to ensure that, that data is maintained within the constraints of public sector data centres.” Adding to Kanda’s point about security, Eyre said Fujitsu has heard a lot about Cloud security concerns, which is one reason why the company decided to bring Oracle Cloud at Customer into the regional market. “You can actually put your Cloud platforms now behind your own firewall. This is one of the reasons why this technology is very important. You can have it on your premises or in Fujitsu’s data centre, closer to you, with your own security policies, your own security, along with some of the Oracle security technology to be able to support it. That’s one of the reasons we’re actually doing this, to actually be able to give our customers a feeling of a safer route towards the Public Cloud,” Eyre said. ¤
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OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
Flow Jamaica Shines In C&W Q2 Report
Flow Jamaica Shines In C&W Q2 Report Flow Jamaica managed to offset losses for parent company Cable & Wireless Communications Limited (C&W) from its upgrades and product enhancements such as ‘Flow Evo’ for the second quarter of C&W’s 2018 financial year. C&W, which touts itself as the leading telecommunications operator in its consumer markets — the Caribbean and Latin America — posted losses of US$45 million for the 2018 second quarter, led by higher network-related expenses primarily associated with sub-sea fibre cut repairs and ongoing repair costs in hurricane-impacted markets. Despite its losses, the telecommunications operator praised Jamaica, among other Caribbean countries, for significantly higher performance over the prior period. In fact, the company recognised Flow for its network expansion, upgrades and product enhancements in creating the best second-quarter performance the parent company has seen in video revenue generating units (RGUs) since 2016. “Jamaica had a particularly strong quarter, adding 5,000 video RGUs. Following the launch of Flow Evo in January and other platform improvements, we have seen gains across C&W’s largest video markets, including Trinidad, Jamaica and Barbados,” C&W told shareholders in its recently released financial report. The company also said that fixed-line telephony RGU additions of 10,000 were driven by its successful bundling strategy. C&W closed the quarter with revenues of US$589 million, largely driven by residential fixed revenue which grew two per cent yearover-year. Residential growth was mainly driven by increased organic subscribers over the last 12 months, particularly in Jamaica (79,000), Trinidad (20,000), and Panama (7,000). Revenue also came from C&W’s rolling out of enhanced in-home connectivity for subscribers through its WiFi connect box, which it reported is now installed across over 20 per cent of broadband subscribers. Broadband RGU additions of the company totalled OECSBusinessFocus
11,000; while C&W’s business division, B2B, posted revenue increase of 0.5 per cent year over year. According to C&W, revenue was significantly higher than the prioryear period and driven by improved performance in Jamaica, where the company added 4,000 RGUs through increased penetration in its upgraded network, and Panama, where the company continued to promote its Mast3r packages supporting 4,000 additions. Still, competitive factors and a more targeted approach to promotional activities resulted in a decline of mobile subscribers by 89,000 and overall net losses of US$45 million for the second quarter 2018, compared to US$18 million for the corresponding period of the prior year. C&W blamed the decline on prepaid losses of 51,000 in Panama and 16,000 in Jamaica. In The Bahamas competitive intensity continued to drive subscriber declines, totalling 10,000 in the second quarter, compared to a loss of 24,000 over the comparative period of 2017. New build and upgrade initiatives delivered over 40,000 premises in the second quarter and over 80,000 year-to-date. C&W delivers video, broadband, telephony and mobile services to consumers in 18 countries. Through its business division, the company provides data centre hosting, domestic and international managed network services, and customised IT service solutions — utilising cloud technology to serve business and government customers. To date, C&W provides entertainment, information and communication services to 3.3 million mobile, 0.6 million Internet, 0.6 million fixed-line telephony, and 0.4 million video subscribers. In addition, C&W delivers B2B and wholesale services over its sub-sea and terrestrial networks that connect over 40 markets across the region. ¤ www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
she said, the page still makes no mention of another setting called “Web & App Activity.” Turning that setting off that would, in fact, stop recording location data. Huge tech companies are under increasing scrutiny over their data practices, following a series of privacy scandals at Facebook and new data-privacy rules recently adopted by the European Union. Last year, the business news site Quartz found that Google was tracking Android users by collecting the addresses of nearby cell phone towers even if all location services were off. Google changed the practice and insisted it never recorded the data anyway.
Google Clarifies Location-Tracking Policy Google Clarifies Location-Tracking Policy
Google has revised an erroneous description on its website of how its “Location History” setting works, clarifying that it continues to track users even if they’ve disabled the setting. The change came three days after an Associated Press investigation revealed that several Google apps and websites store user location even if users have turned off Location History. Google has not changed its location-tracking practice in that regard. But its help page for the Location History setting now states: “This setting does not affect other location services on your device.” It also acknowledges that “some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps.” Previously, the page stated: “With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored.” The AP investigation found that even with Location History turned off, Google stores user location when, for instance, the Google Maps app is opened, or when users conduct Google searches that aren’t related to location. Automated searches of the local weather on some Android phones also store the phone’s whereabouts. In a recent statement to the AP, Google said: “We have been updating the explanatory language about Location History to make it more consistent and clear across our platforms and help centres.” The statement contrasted with a statement Google sent to the AP several days ago that said in part, “We provide clear descriptions of these tools.” Jonathan Mayer, a Princeton computer scientist and former chief technologist for the Federal Communications Commission’s enforcement bureau, said the wording change was a step in the right direction. But it doesn’t fix the underlying confusion Google created by storing location information in multiple ways, he said. “The notion of having two distinct ways in which you control how your location data is stored is inherently confusing,” he said. “I can’t think off the top of my head of any major online service that architected their location privacy settings in a similar way.”
Critics say Google’s insistence on tracking its users’ locations stems from its drive to boost advertising revenue. It can charge advertisers more if they want to narrow ad delivery to people who’ve visited certain locations. Several observers also noted that Google is still bound by a 20year agreement it struck with the Federal Trade Commission in 2011. That consent decree requires Google to not misrepresent to consumers how they can protect their privacy. Google agreed to that order in response to an FTC investigation of its now-defunct social networking service Google Buzz, which the agency accused of publicly revealing users’ most frequent Gmail contacts. A year later, Google was fined $22.5 million for breaking the agreement after it served some users of Apple’s Safari browser so-called tracking cookies in violation of settings that were meant to prevent that. The FTC has declined to say whether it had begun investigating Google for how it has described Location History. ¤
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K. Shankari, a UC Berkeley graduate researcher whose findings initially alerted the AP to the issue, said the change was a “good step forward,” but added: “they can make it better.” For one thing, OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
Samsung Launches Note 9 With Boast of Ultimate Performance Samsung Launches Note 9 With Boast of Ultimate Performance
DJ Koh, president and CEO of IT & Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics, introduces the Samsung Note 9 at the launch in New York recently. Samsung Electronics Company recently launched the latest addition to its premium Note series — Galaxy Note 9 — boasting that the device “delivers the ultimate in performance, a new S Pen with connectivity for the first time ever, and Samsung’s most intelligent camera yet”. “The Note has always been our showcase for premium technology and industry-defining innovation, and Galaxy Note 9 is no exception. It’s designed for a level of performance, power and intelligence that today’s power users want and need,” DJ Koh, President and CEO of IT & Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics, said at the launch in New York. “Note fans are Samsung’s most loyal; we know they want it all, to get the most out of work and play, and Galaxy Note 9 is the only phone that can keep up with their busy lives,” Koh added. Pointing out that people rely on their smartphones for almost everything they do, Samsung said that the Note 9 delivers all-day battery to talk, text, play games, and watch movies; two internal storage options — 128 GB or 512 GB. And, with the ability to insert a micro-SD card, Galaxy Note 9 provides 1 TB of space for photos, videos and apps. The phone also has a 10nm processor and support for the fastest network speeds available in the market (up to 1.2 gigabits per second) to stream and download without slowing down. Samsung also said that the Note 9 includes an industry-leading and Samsung-developed water carbon cooling system and ondevice AI-based performance-adjusting algorithm to deliver the powerful yet stable performance. “The new S Pen delivers an entirely new way to use the Note. With just a click, it’s now possible to take selfies and group pictures, present slides, pause and play video, and more,” the company said, adding that developers can even integrate the S Pen’s new, advanced BLE functionalities into their apps later this year. OECSBusinessFocus
Samsung also said that the intelligent camera builds on its already industry-leading camera technologies with new capabilities that take the work out of getting the perfect picture. The camera is fitted with a ‘Scene Optimiser’ that “uses intelligence to identify elements of a photo, such as scene and subject, to automatically classify it into one of 20 categories and instantly optimise it based on the category. The result is a stunning, lifelike image with bold colours and dynamic definition”. A ‘Flaw Detection’ feature lets users know if there’s something wrong with the photo so they can take another picture without losing the moment. “An immediate notification will appear if the image is blurry, the subject blinked, there is a smudge on the lens, or there’s backlight impacting the quality of the image,” Samsung explained. The camera also comes with “advanced noise-reduction technology, and a dual aperture lens which adjusts to light just like the human eye”. The company also pointed out that the Note 9’s 6.4-inch Super AMOLED Infinity Display is the largest edge-to-edge display ever on a Note handset. It is complemented by stereo speakers, which are tuned by AKG, and ability to deliver Dolby Atmos immersive audio for a lifelike experience. “YouTube named Galaxy Note 9 as a signature device able to deliver a best-in-class YouTube experience,” Samsung said. The Galaxy Note 9 also delivers a PC-like experience with Samsung DeX, the company explained. “Users can work on presentations, edit photos, and watch their favourite show, all powered by their phone... When connected to a monitor, Galaxy Note 9 can power a virtualised desktop and even serve as a fully functional second screen.” In the area of security, the company said the Note 9 features Samsung’s defence-grade Knox security platform and biometric security options including fingerprint scanning, iris scanning, and facial recognition capabilities to keep important information safe. Samsung also announced that, with the launch of the Note 9, the company has forged a long-term partnership with music streaming service Spotify. “The partnership makes Spotify easily accessible to seamlessly sync and transfer music, playlists and podcasts across Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy Watch and Smart TV products,” the company explained. Galaxy Note 9 was made available starting August 24, 2018 in select markets and will be offered in midnight black, lavender purple, metallic copper with matching S Pen, and ocean blue with a yellow S Pen. ¤
China’s Huawei Eyes Smartphone Taiwan ICT Experts Visit SVG to ComSummit After Passing Apple plete E-Governance Project
Taiwan ICT Experts Visit SVG to Complete E-Governance Project
Two Taiwanese ICT experts, director Tsu-Wei Kao and senior engineer Yu-Che Huang of the Institute for Information Industry, in Taiwan, visited St. Vincent and Grenadines from July 26 to August 23 to complete the installation, testing and training of the Electronic Document and Records Management System (EDRMS) of the Government of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). In 2016, the governments of Taiwan and SVG signed an agreement to launch the EDRMS project. It aims to develop mechanisms and IT infrastructure to improve the efficiency of processing information among different ministries of the Government of SVG. David Fu, project manager of the EDRMS dispatched by the TaiwanICDF, said that after two years of efforts, with the full support of the Information Technology Services Division of the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning, Sustainable Development and Information Technology, the electronic document (e-document) system and e-archiving system within seven different ministries of SVG have been initially installed. Fu added that Kao and Huang’s visit is part of the EDRMS project. They not only assisted in setting up and testing the systems, but also provided the 69-hour training courses to more than 400 governmental officials who will be the users of the EDRMS later this year. Fu indicated that the project of EDRMS between Taiwan and SVG is a comprehensive plan for SVG. Apart from the installation of e-document and e-archiving systems, the EDRMS project also established the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to secure the system. Most importantly, Fu emphasized that capacity-building is the core component of the EDRMS project. To date, more than 30 Taiwanese ICT experts have visited SVG to hold 45 training programmes and 70 workshops for more than 1,200 staff members from different ministries of SVG. Fu said that the EDRMS is scheduled to be completed and handed over to the Government of SVG at the end of 2018. He expressed gratitude for the assistance and support provided by the staff of the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning, Sustainable Development and Information Technology; Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Commerce; Service Commission Department; Treasury; Inland Revenue; Customs and Excise; and Information Technology Services Division.
China’s Huawei Eyes Smartphone Summit After Passing Apple Huawei is now the world’s second largest smartphone maker. China’s Huawei in August said it could replace Samsung as the world’s top smartphone maker by late next year, just days after data showed it surpassed Apple for the number-two spot despite being essentially barred from the key US market. The chief of Huawei’s consumer division, Richard Yu, made the remark at the release of business results for the first half of 2018, during which unlisted Huawei said it shipped more than 95 million smartphones, an increase of about 30 per cent. “It’s no question that we become the number two next year. In Q4 next year it’s possible we become number one,” Yu said in Shenzhen, the southern Chinese city where Huawei is based. He added that “the past six months have been incredible”. Huawei took second place from Apple in a tightening global smartphone market during the second quarter, according to figures released Tuesday by tech-industry trackers International Data Corporation (IDC). South Korean titan Samsung remained on top in April-June, shipping 71.5 million handsets for a 20.9 per cent market share, IDC said. But Huawei sold 54.2 million phones for a 15.8 per cent market share, followed by Apple’s 41.3 million iPhones that gave it 12.1 per cent of the market. It was the first time since early 2010 that Apple was not in the top two. IDC said 342 million smartphones were shipped during the second quarter, down 1.8 per cent from the same period of 2017 and the third-consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines. Market saturation and rising prices are among factors blamed for cooling growth rates. The leader in global telecommunications equipment, Huawei is essentially blocked from selling phones in the United States on security grounds owing to suspicions of the company’s links to the Chinese Government. Huawei has long disputed any such links. Frozen out of the US phone market, Huawei has made inroads worldwide largely by shipping high volumes of its cheaper handsets in Europe, Africa and Asia. Mo Jia, a Shanghai-based smartphone market analyst with Canalys, said achieving Yu’s end-2019 goal would be “very challenging” given the market doldrums and competition.
“Without them, the EDRMS project could not be implemented,” Fu said. ¤
“After all, it does not have the ability to enter the world’s thirdlargest market — the US. This is an obvious shortcoming,” Mo said.
Project Manager David Fu, standing left, Senior Engineer Yu-Che Huang, standing right, Director Tsu-Wei Kao, sitting left, in discussion with a Vincentian official.
“For Huawei to surpass Samsung, it depends on whether it can continue to carry out its current strategy of pursuing low-end product volume.” ¤ OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
Caribbean Hoteliers Develop Disaster Preparedness Manual
TOURISM IN FOCUS
Kingston Hosts Earn Caribbean Hoteliers US$2.4m From Airbnb Develop Disaster Service In 2017 Preparedness Manual Prime Minister Andrew Holness says there is scope for greater expansion of the Airbnb service in Jamaica, which earned hosts in the capital city of Kingston US$2.4 million in 2017.
Kingston Hosts Earn US$2.4m From Airbnb Service In 2017
Based in San Francisco, California in the United States, Airbnb is an online community marketplace for people to list, discover and book unique accommodations around the world, whether an apartment for a night or week, or a villa for a month. Edmund Bartlett Minister of Tourism
Holness informed that Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has been working with the executives of Airbnb to streamline the service in Jamaica to make it seamless, thereby resulting in its continued growth locally. The prime minister was speaking at a quarterly press briefing recently at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kingston. The Tourism Minister has said that more and more Jamaicans have been buying into the Airbnb concept, opening up their homes to visitors and earning money as a result. “This is all a part of Brand Jamaica, and the beauty of the Airbnb solution is that it allows the average Jamaican to participate in the hospitality industry and use Brand Jamaica,” Holness said. According to data from Airbnb, there are now 3,100 hosts in Jamaica, up from 2,300 in December 2016. Listings also saw an increase from 4,000 in 2016 to 5,900 in 2017. Visitor usage saw the most significant increase from 32,000 in 2016 to 59,500 in the last 12 months. In the meantime, the Prime Minister said the tourism sector continues to experience unprecedented growth. He informed that overall, the country recorded a growth of 5.4 per cent for the first six months of 2018. “That’s significant, with stopover visitor arrivals increasing by 5.9 per cent and cruise visitors by 4.8 per cent. We expect that this level of growth will continue for the next six months of the year,” the Prime Minister said. ¤ OECSBusinessFocus
The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) has announced that it has created a Disaster Preparedness Manual, which will be distributed to industry stakeholders as peak hurricane season for 2018 approaches. “The purpose of the guide, financed by both the Caribbean Tourism Recovery Fund and Expedia, is to supplement local efforts to develop communications preparedness and the response and recovery process for CHTA members, national tourism organisations, and public and private sector industry stakeholders before, during and after a potential disaster,” the CHTA said in a statement. In 2017, Hurricanes Irma and Maria passed through the Lesser Antilles, severely damaging a number of hotel properties and the CHTA said that it has continued the rebuilding exercise, participating in the second formal meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery held recently. “As part of CHTA’s multi-pronged and ongoing efforts to help islands recover from last year’s devastating hurricane season, the Association’s representatives contributed to many executive sessions which focused on continuing preparations for this year’s storm activity and on addressing long-term recovery needs.” Patricia Affonso-Dass, President of CHTA said, “this second meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative was extremely beneficial and we were pleased to engage with diverse partners as CHTA continues to actively participate in the recovery of hurricanehit Caribbean destinations. “We are now assessing potential opportunities for collaboration to support our strategic focus areas and member needs and, over the coming months, CHTA looks forward to further outreaches to connections made during this important event.” The CHTA said its involvement in CGI’s deliberations followed closely on the heels of its announcement with non-profit organisation, Tourism Cares, that their joint initiative – the Caribbean Tourism Recovery Fund – has raised more than US$275,000 in charitable donations to build long-term recovery and enhance the ability of hurricane-impacted destinations to rebound as quickly as possible. “Donors’ generosity has facilitated assistance to Caribbean nationals for training and education, restoring destination capacity, the physical restoration of tourism-related infrastructure, social enterprise development, job creation, hotel training, volunteerism, marketing and public relations support, and the environment,” it said. ¤ www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
Antigua’s New Historic Restoration Push
Antigua’s New Historic Restoration Push While Antigua and Barbuda has long been home to one of the Caribbean’s most magnificent historical sites, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Nelson’s Dockyard, it isn’t resting on its laurels.
Adds Second Daily Miami to Saint Lucia Flight American Airlines Adds Second Daily Miami to Saint Lucia Flight
The country’s Ministry of Tourism is now planning a major push to restore, clean and beautify a host of historic properties across the island. Work already begun at Fort Barrington, also known as Goat Hill, located on the western end of Antigua in the Deep Bay Area. According to Jesse Thomas, acting director of the AgriTourism and Beautification Unit, the new project will be done in three phrases. The first phase, comprising of clearing debris, including Manchaneel and Acacia trees that make the hiking trail inaccessible, has already begun. The second phase will be to establish a stone garden along the peninsula and incorporate more species of plants, such as the Frangipani that is already growing in the environment and is drought-tolerant. Thomas said because the area is mostly rocky, there is not much soil for plants to naturally establish themselves. However, measures will be put in place to have plant boxes built to accommodate other species of plants that are drought-tolerant for the garden. Additionally, as part of phase two, the unit is hoping to restore the cistern at the back of the fort using the original setup which was once used as part of the water catchment system. Phase three of the restoration effort will be to re-establish the use of the original entrance to Fort Barrington which will make accessing the fort easier for tourists, as well as locals visiting the attraction. The fort, which was once used a protection point for the St. John’s Harbour, also served as an important signal station to alert forces throughout the island of impending attacks during the colonial era. ¤
The Pitons, the rum, the drive-in volcano, the three-walled rooms at Ladera. There’s a reason Saint Lucia has always been one of the Caribbean’s most romantic, sought-after destinations. And now it’s getting even easier to get there. American Airlines has announced plans to add another daily flight to Saint Lucia from Miami, with the new service set to begin December 19. That service will leave Miami at 7:15 p.m. likely with an eye toward easier connections from the rest of the country, with the return flight departing Saint Lucia at 8:30 a.m. the following morning. “The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority recognizes the importance of airlift to grow the tourism sector, and we have been working hard to get more flights into Saint Lucia,” said Tiffany Howard, acting CEO of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority. Indeed, Saint Lucia is poised for even more airlift growth in January, with United Airlines planning a launch of Saint Lucia flights out of the Chicago market. “We are continuing to negotiate additional airlift into Saint Lucia because it is paramount to our success,” Howard said. “We will leverage Saint Lucia’s desirability among potential visitors to attract increased air traffic from both our traditional and nontraditional airline partners, especially out of our major source markets, so we can satisfy the growing demand for destination Saint Lucia.” The new flights are part of a wider Caribbean expansion for American, as more and more of its competitors like Southwest and JetBlue continue to broaden their flight networks in the Caribbean. ¤ OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
BMR EnergyBMR Acquires Solar Power Plant in St Croix, USVI Energy Acquires Solar Power Plant in St Croix, USVI Hurricane Damaged Facility Currently Being Restored Hurricane-Damaged Facility Currently Being Restored In 2016, the Sir Richard Branson-owned Virgin Investments purchased BMR Energy. The British billionaire has long been an advocate for clean energy, and in 2009 he co-founded Carbon War Room, a global non-profit organisation that aims to strengthen and expand economic efforts not reliant on fossil fuels. Branson has also been credited for championing a “green energy revolution” to make Caribbean economies more sustainable by replacing obsolete fossil-fuel power grids with renewable energy systems that can withstand extreme weather and boost economic development in the Caribbean. “BMR Energy is an expert in developing clean energy — the team also acts as a long-term partner and is working to make a huge difference in the region,” Branson is quoted in the release. “The world needs to find ways to introduce more resilient clean energy. The Caribbean has an abundance of clean energy sources, and BMR [is] taking great strides towards helping create zero-carbon energy supplies for years to come.” Sir Richard Branson BMR Energy Ltd, parent company to BMR Jamaica Ltd, announced recently that it has purchased the four-megawatt, fixed groundmount solar facility from NRG Energy, Inc in St Croix, US Virgin Islands, which was damaged during Hurricane Maria in September 2017. According to a release from the energy company, BMR will take over the power purchase agreement that NRG currently has with The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (VIWAPA), as well as restoration efforts of the St Croix solar farm that sustained significant damage during last year’s hurricane.
In the meantime, BMR Energy is aiming to complete restoration of the St Croix solar plant by October 2018, and has already employed locals and contracted domiciled companies to accomplish this goal. When finished, the plant will generate power for some 1,600 homes. Along with the physical damage inflicted on the Caribbean region by last year’s powerful hurricanes, Hurricane Maria curbed renewable energy supply in the US Virgin Islands. Since then the St Croix solar plant has been running at less than 45 per cent, which puts a strain on VIWAPA, the local power and utility company, to plan the supply of the island’s energy needs and meet its cleanenergy goals. BMR has been assisting VIWAPA with recovery from the impact of the 2017 hurricane season, as well as preparation for the current season.
“Restoring the solar facility in Spanish Town, St Croix, to full capacity generation is core to our mission of supporting clean energy infrastructure in the Caribbean and Latin America,” said Bruce Levy, CEO of BMR Energy. “This acquisition is an opportunity to show how to build for stronger hurricane resiliency and offer greater value to the region. As the prolonged restoration in these hurricane-devastated areas highlights — with Puerto Rico being the most extreme example — we must remain committed to rebuilding our infrastructure right and successfully maintaining projects through long-term ownership.”
“BMR’s goals with the restoration process are to get the site restored for the most competitive price and as quickly as possible to accommodate VIWAPA’s planning needs. BMR is set to receive approval from the utility to purchase another hurricane-damaged USVI solar project in the coming weeks,” the company states in the release.
The acquisition of the solar plant in St Croix will be BMR’s third market through which the company has a presence in the Latin American and Caribbean region, after Guatemala and Jamaica. In the latter the company operates a wind farm in Malvern, St Elizabeth, which serves about 15,000 customers with 11 wind turbines and has the potential to generate 1,200,000 megawatts per year or about three per cent of Jamaica’s energy demand.
Lawrence J Kupfer, executive director and CEO of VIWAPA, commented, “For jurisdictions in the Caribbean looking to meet clean-energy goals, building hurricane-resilient renewable energy infrastructure is crucial to long-term success. We look to these resiliency-focused projects and our work with BMR Energy as a critical part in our goal to reach 60 per cent fossil fuel reduction by 2025.” ¤
Probiotic Animal Feed Now Being Introduced in Dominica
Probiotic Animal Feed Now Being Introduced in Dominica Dominican livestock Farmers now have a healthier, more consistent, more natural animal feed choice for their livestock.
business men and women, a few staff from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and some local consumers.
CariFeed Inc., a Dominican registered animal feed company, is now making their research-proven, probiotic feed, available in Dominica.
At the conference, Chief Microbiologist Marianne Bellot delivered a lecture and presentation on the importance of good farming practices, good management practice and good book-keeping practices.
The feed contains Direct Feed Microbials (DFMs), which are probiotics that are fed to animals. These DFMs are researched and chosen due to their many benefits, including to enhance the immune system of the animal, decrease pathogens in the environment and the gut of the animal, and help with overall health of the animal.
CariFeed is hopeful to help get the livestock Industry in Dominica to a robust and growing state to allow Dominica to be selfsufficient in providing all the pork and poultry products needed on island.
Farmers of the Nature Isle who use CariFeed will see significant improvements in overall production which leads to a more profitable farm.
“In order to make this happen, we need all hands on deck,” said CariFeed President, Jeff Bellot, who believes this is something that can be achieved very easily if the Ministry of Agriculture takes this seriously and invests in the livestock farmers.
The goal of many probiotics is to eliminate antibiotics in our food stream which has an ill effect on livestock, humans, and the environment. People do not even realize the overuse of antibiotics in conventional livestock rearing, which in the end is in our food and is consumed by every one of us. The overuse of antibiotics leads to a higher incidence of antibiotic resistance in animals and humans.
Furthermore, there must be law in place to protect the local livestock farmers from imported products, which can be a winwin situation for everyone. If we can get our farmers to take this seriously and the Government can support this initiative, we can have a blooming livestock business in Dominica and even look at growing our export market. This growing industry can easily bring some 2,000 new jobs to the island.
By consuming foods laced with antibiotics, we are putting ourselves and our family’s health at risk. Very poor-quality feed that contains very high levels of antibiotics can cause some serious damage to the food industry and our health.
CariFeed will provide technical support to farmers free of charge and will give a best farmer award yearly. The winner of the best farmer award will be based on farm performance, good farming practices, good management practices and good book-keeping. The winner will get a free trip to the USA to attend the World Pork Expo and/or the International Poultry Association Conference. ¤
In July of this year, CariFeed held an educational conference in Dominica which was well attended by livestock farmers, some
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
Hurricane-Resistant Modular Homes Coming To Antigua
Hurricane-resistant Modular Homes Coming To Antigua Antigua is set to roll out its first Bauhu homes soon, according to a post on social media by Bauhu. However, no specific date has been given as to when the hurricane-resistant homes will enter that market. Bauhu homes are manufactured and pre-assembled at factory level to ensure an engineered finished product and an accurate component supply. All parts of the building envelope and interior decoration items are assembled together as a ‘kit’ to provide a complete building package ready for assembly on site. Also known as the Palmetto Plus Cottage, the structure is an attractive ‘Caribbean Colonial’ cottage design offering open plan living accommodation, a master bedroom with en suite bath/ shower room, a compact kitchen/dining area and shady covered terraces. This home is supplied with a mezzanine ‘room in the roof’ accessed from the open plan living area creating a second bedroom, office or den. This home is supplied as a prefabricated kit complete with all of the structural elements, components and equipment required to assemble the building to a fully water and airtight condition. Below is a non-exhaustive scope of supply: • Lightweight galvanized steel structure for external walls and internal partition walls (frames) according to structural calculations for the building type. The external wall frame composition is engineered according to structural calculations. These calculations take into account typical usage loadings and conditions specific to the build location. Assessment of suitability for specific construction locations should be carried out by competent local engineers instructed by the buyer. OECSBusinessFocus
• External wall fibercement sheathing, waterproofing membrane, Rockwool wall insulation, fibre cement plank external siding and decorative fibre cement corner boards, window frames and sills. The light steel frame of the building is wrapped in a constructive coating of cement board and a rain screening membrane. The final finish is a provided by textured render finish or ‘Hardie’ type siding/cladding planks. Opening trims, window sills, fascia panels, soffits and corner boards are supplied in smooth finish cement board pre-cut for final finishing and assembly on site. • Galvanised steel roof structure, trusses and purlins with fibre cement constructive cladding and waterproofing membrane. Fibre cement soffit and facsia boards, rain gutter and downpipes. Suspended ceiling hanger system, plasterboard ceiling, glasswool ceiling insulation. Pitched roof buildings are supplied with light steel roof frames and trusses, a vapour control membrane and a cement board constructive coating, leaving a watertight finish in preparation for a final roof covering in polymer resin or galvanized steel roof sheets. • Interior wall Rockwool insulation, fire-resistant gyproc dry lining, water-resistant gyproc dry lining. Rockwool insulation matting is used to fill internal wall cavities providing thermal insulation and soundproofing. Exterior and interior paint, decorating materials and equipment. Gyproc panels are applied to both sides of internal walls and inside outer walls. Water resistant gyproc is used in wet areas. Decorating equipment is supplied as part of the building package. ¤
USAID/OFDA Provides Plastic Dominica to Ban Styrofoam, Plastic Dinnerware in 2019
Sheeting Training in Caribbean
USAID/OFDA Provides Plastic Sheeting Training in Caribbean Dominica to Ban Styrofoam, Plastic Dinnerware in 2019 Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said the country will be imposing a ban on Styrofoam cups and containers as well as plastic plates, cups, cutlery and straws.
As part of hurricane and general disaster preparedness efforts in the Caribbean, the United States Agency of International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) is training national disaster managers in the effective use of the Agency’s reinforced plastic sheeting for temporary roofs and shelters.
In his Budget presentation in July, Skerrit said that the adverse effects of climate change can no longer be ignored.
On August 24, USAID/OFDA, in collaboration with the Barbados Department of Emergency Management, supported a one-day workshop for regional disaster managers and partners. It was held at the Barbados Fire and Rescue Services Academy.
“We have long had a tradition for respecting and preserving the environment. It is the citizens of our country who litter... keeping our country clean and beautiful must start with each and every one of us. Effective January 1st, 2019, a number of items considered inimical to the environment will be banned. This will include plastic straws, plastic plates, plastic forks, plastic knives, Styrofoam cups, Styrofoam containers.”
During the workshop, attended by national disaster representatives from Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, USAID/OFDA shelter advisors demonstrated cutting edge techniques and proper application of the plastic as temporary roof cover.
He added that this was just the first of a list of items and a ‘very long list would be coming soon’.
The training also included four practical exercises — creating covered living space, proper framing to support the plastic sheeting, correct cutting and care of the plastic sheeting, and calculating overall sheeting needs.
Skerrit added that the country was able to receive its first cruise chip less than four months after Hurricane Maria due to the hard work to repair the country’s capital, while Carnival Cruise Lines has also resumed visits to the island. Skerrit said via a social media post that the measure will help in addressing the island’s waste management problem. “As I mentioned in my budget address earlier, Dominica prides itself as the “Nature Isle” and we must in every way deserve and reflect that designation. The issue of our solid waste management continues to challenge that perception, which is why I have proposed to adopt measures that will help in the preservation of our environment.” Skerrit said it is hoped that Roseau will be viewed as the environmental hub of the Caribbean. “Our relationship with our natural environment is key to building resilience because there is no planet B on which we can live. If we ignore the environment, take it for granted or treat it as though it can stand up to extraordinary and incessant abuse, we do so at our own peril.” “Natural asset valuation and investment are the kinds of out of the box approaches...our development imperatives are environmental approaches,’ he said. ¤
Best practices pertaining to warehousing, logistics, and transportation of the plastic sheeting were also covered in the workshop. “USAID plastic sheeting is some of the best in the world, and when installed correctly, it can last for years,” said USAID/ OFDA Regional Advisor, John Kimbrough, who covers the Caribbean region. “We hope this training will empower disaster management representatives from the various Caribbean countries to educate people in their home countries to use the plastic sheeting effectively the next time a disaster strikes.” USAID/OFDA has worked with field partners and manufacturers to develop the stronger and reinforced ultraviolet-resistant plastic that boasts a longer life expectancy than “off the shelf” plastic sheeting, and is working to pre-position its use in the Caribbean. “We continue to work closely with the Caribbean countries and our partners in the region to support them as they implement important disaster risk reduction work,” explained USAID/OFDA Senior Regional Advisor, Tim Callaghan. ¤ Photo: USAID/OFDA’s Senior Shelter & Settlements and Hazard Mitigation Advisor, Chuck Setchell, captures the attention of participants during the Plastic Sheeting Training workshop in Barbados. OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
IN THE KNOW
Supporting Women in STEM
Supporting women in STEM Janice Sutherland – CEO, Sutherland Coaching and Consulting
Women have made substantial in roads into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields and careers over the past few years, but there’s still a long way to go. This was evident in the recent Women in ICT Forum for CANTO, the Caribbean’s largest telecommunications and ICT event which I had the privilege of facilitating. Participants in the forum were women either mid-career within corporate organizations or entrepreneurs who had identified a gap in the industry and successfully took advantage. Their roles ran the scale, from management to policy, to marketing to HR, technology and finance. The sheer range of careers represented indicated that working in the STEM arena covers a multitude of skillsets that women could certainly succeed in. So what is best practice for employers who want to attract more women into STEM industries? Establish a Culture of Mentorship The value of mentorship figured highly with emphasis on not only finding a mentor but most importantly utilizing a mentor as a very powerful way to aid female development and contrary to popular thought, it is just as important for men to mentor women as well as the obvious women to mentor women and in order to build on knowledge and skills across the board. • For the mentee: it’s a great way to share life experiences and learn from a mentor’s challenges and achievements. It is also important for women to own their careers. By utilizing mentorship, sponsorship and coaching, weaknesses can be turned into strengths. Women owning their careers is a critical success factor. That is, in order for mentorship to be effective, it is important for women to OECSBusinessFocus
realize their ambitions, weaknesses, and strengths. Learn how to promote themselves in the work environment and understand their skill gaps and learn how to correct them. Mentorship offers the possibility of exposure to different experiences to aid personal growth. For women concerned that they wouldn’t be able to source their ideal mentor, then the creation of a composite mentor - where you take 3-4 persons with different qualities to provide the required support was cited. Janice Sutherland is the Caribbean’s top women’s leadership expert, executive coach and podcast host. She mentors women around the world to live bolder in their life and career with clarity, confidence and drive. Through her leadership training, elitelevel mentorship, international keynotes, Janice works with organizations to support their emerging female leaders to develop the confidence, presence and influence they need to they need to drive through the leadership barriers and confidently navigate the Board room. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://janicesutherland.com www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
• For the mentor: it’s an opportunity to expand professional networks and make a difference to the career development of another person. • For organizations: There is an up-side for organizations as a mentorship program indicates that an employer has a culture of continuous learning and knowledge transfer as well as a diverse workforce that stimulates, innovates and cultivates creativity. Additionally, it sends a signal that the well-being and success of your employees is important and valued and that you are willing to go the extra mile in helping them achieve their personal and professional development. It aids employee retention in turn improving your workforce planning and succession planning strategy further guaranteeing that your valuable organizational knowledge is not lost. Reverse mentoring can ensure senior executives stay current with new business practices and technology.
o What evidence do I have? • Encourage inclusive meeting practices, o Meeting organizers should solicit feedback from all participants not just those who are more vocal or visible. Remembering not to always draw upon the same people’s opinions consistently but equally not discount opinions on this basis. o Limit interruptions, including the checking of emails or phone usage, allowing all persons to be heard. o Support constructive rather than negative responses that may stop persons from voicing their opinion again. o Ensure final decisions are balanced and not influenced by the power a single individual may hold. o Openess to challenges from all parties by asking for counter opinions and examples. o Create a supportive dialogue, proactively encourage others to speak up.
Mitigate Unconscious Bias Being the only woman in the room can also bring challenges, even more so when the bias is so ingrained that it happens unconsciously. Unconscious bias refers to the attitudes, preferences, approaches or stereotypes that affect our understanding, decisions and actions in an unconscious manner. These biases — involuntary and activated without intentional awareness — can include both favorable and unfavorable evaluations. Unconscious preferences influence the way we engage with others. It can be displayed in recruitment practices such as;
• Create a culture of supportive dialogue – everyone has unconscious biases and can display micro-behaviors as a result. It can still be difficult to have and manage conversations without the giving or receiving of these micro-behaviors. Coach employees in the use of supportive phrases when they are approaching subjects and ensure a constructive outcome such as: o Acknowledge (feelings) - “I understand you have a belief that a single mother will not be right for this role” o Clarify (avoid assumptions) - “Am I missing something as I am still unclear as to how this has come about?” o Explore (evidence) - “When you say, you feel clients would be unhappy, help me understand what you mean by that?” o Solve (moving forward) - “What would a better situation look like for you?”
• Gender bias – the assumption that women can’t be engineers because they’re a woman totally ignoring qualifications, achievements or experience. • Likeness bias - hiring only those people that are like them and again would be more prevalent if a man were recruiting for what would be considered a male role • Confirmation bias – unconsciously looking for information or evidence to back up a prior-held belief or a judgement made about someone e.g. women are poor at math and therefore cannot be good scientists. This is because there is an inherent wish to believe that we’re right. Anecdotally we hear of the experiences of females in male dominated environs; difficulty in securing work without golfing, sailing, hockey experience, being the only woman in a board room, not being expected to return to work after maternity leave.
By consciously practicing the above, persons can take the first steps towards supporting others to question bias and encourage women’s voices to be heard. Ultimately, STEM presents a wide range of opportunities for women and by encouraging women into the industries, it widens the recruitment pool for organizations seeking the best employees. With some adaptation of company cultures and systems, it’s a win-win situation for all stakeholders. ¤
Whilst there are many more examples of unconscious bias (research indicates over 150 types), the first step as an employer is to be actively conscious of its existence and how it can impact others in order to reduce. For organizations, there are obvious places to check that unconscious bias isn’t being displayed such as; • Being proactively cognizant of what it is and how it can affect employees. This awareness begins to move the unconscious into the conscious where organizations can be completely aware and begin to manage the bias and its effects. Individuals within companies have subconscious preferences for certain people and objects, which unintentionally influence decision making. • To reduce the effects of unconscious bias, encourage your people managers (and yourself) to question personal biases and raise awareness in others by asking the following questions: o Is my opinion factually true? o Is it always factually true? OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
IN THE KNOW
Pamela Coke-Hamilton Moves on After 8 Years at Carib-Export Agency Launches 2018 Caribbean Exporter of the Year Awards (CEYA)
Pamela Coke-Hamilton Moves on After 8 Years at Carib-Export Agency Launches 2018 Caribbean Exporter of the Year Awards (CEYA) The Caribbean Export Development Agency officially said farewell to its longest standing Executive Director, Pamela Coke-Hamilton on Friday 27th July 2018 and announced the 2018 Caribbean Exporter of the Year Awards (CEYA) to be held this year in November. Pamela-Coke Hamilton joined the Agency at the start of the 10th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP) back in 2010 and under her leadership the Agency has become one of the most important regional agencies supporting Caribbean private sector development At the reception, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, the OECS, CARIFORUM and CARICOM H.E. Daniella Tramacere commended Coke-Hamilton for the work that she has done commenting that “If Caribbean Export has a real chance now to become an institution that is self-sustainable it is because of you.” Under Coke-Hamilton’s leadership the Agency has implemented a number of initiatives that directly contribute towards the sustainability of the Agency such as the Caribbean Export OUTLOOK publication and the Caribbean Exporter of the Year Awards. Mr. Percival Marie, Director General of the CARIFORUM Directorate highlighted that Coke-Hamilton had transformed Caribbean Export into a credible sought-after implementing Agency. Further although the region was “losing an asset” Marie pointed out it is “gaining an international advocate and friend” as she embarks on a new role with UNCTAD as the Director of International Trade on Goods, Commodities and Services based in Geneva.
As the outgoing Executive Director, Pamela Coke-Hamilton thanked the Board and CARIFORUM for giving her the opportunity and trusting her to lead the Agency over the past 8 years. CokeHamilton shared that it has been her strongest desire “to add value to human kind, to bring dignity and make the world a better place. Caribbean Export has been an incredible launching pad for that dream to be realized.” Coke-Hamilton also thanked the European Union for their commitment and invaluable partnership as the Agency continues to grow and transform to meet the demands of the changing international economic landscape. Highlighting the incredible work ethic of the management and staff of Caribbean Export, Coke-Hamilton gave a heartfelt tribute sharing that “the power and success of any team is based on integrity, commitment and sacrifice of all its members and you evinced those characteristics in spades.” The Caribbean Exporter of the Year Awards (CEYA) was just one of the initiatives conceptualised under her tenure to support the creation of an export culture across the region by encouraging CARIFORUM firms to begin exporting or to expand their exports through a programme that acknowledges and rewards exporters. Now on its 3rd staging, the CEYA 2018 categories will include the Emerging Exporter of the Year; the Female Exporter of the Year; the Green Exporter of the Year; the Special Award – Excellence in Services Exports, the Caribbean Export Choice Award and the Caribbean Exporter of the Year. Interested companies are encouraged to apply via the Agency’s website. ¤
6. 7. 8.
Best Health Journalism Category Sponsor: PAHO Jamaica Office Special Mention: Celiac Disease (Child Health & Nutrition) Caribbean Communications Network – Trinidad & Tobago Best Commercial Spot Award Winner: Talking Prints ATV Telesur – Suriname Disaster Resilience Category Sponsor: UNESCO Caribbean Award Winner: The Impact of Hurricane Earl One Year Later Great Belize Productions Ltd. – Belize 9. Responsible Coverage of Children’s Issues Category Sponsor: UNICEF Eastern Caribbean Office Award Winner: Inclusive Education System (Children With Disabilities) Caribbean Communications Network – Trinidad & Tobago 10. Climate Change Category Sponsor: Public Media Alliance (PMA) Award Winner: Monkey River & Punta Negra Tourism The award for Best Investigative Report in Television on the Great Belize Productions Ltd. – Belize Moravian Scandal went to the RJR/Gleaner Communications Group. Image via Cana News, 15 August 2018. 11. Golden Conch Shell Award Category Sponsor: Island Media Marketing Jamaica and Belize sweptBelize most Caribbean BroadcastingMedia Union Awards Special Mention: Coverage of Hurricane Maria Jamaica, Sweep Caribbean (CBU) Awards that were presented during a ceremony as part Great Belize Productions Ltd. – Belize of its 49th Annual General Assembly that was recently hosted in 12. People’s Choice Award Jamaica. Award Winner: Triple Joy Great Belize Productions Ltd. – Belize CBU said that for the first time, this year’s awards included prizes for material published in print and on digital platforms and not RADIO AWARDS just on traditional radio, television and cable services. 1. Best Documentary Programme The CBU said it had also partnered with sponsors to inaugurate Award Winner: Bullying: The Unchecked Monster three new categories for the 2017 Awards, namely the Golden RJR Gleaner Communications Group – Jamaica Conch Shell Award sponsored by Island Media, Disaster Resilience 2. Best Magazine Programme supported by UNESCO, and Coverage of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Award Winner: Hablemos De “La Radio” Treatment, Care and Support, sponsored by the Caribbean Instituto Cubano De Radio Y Television – Cuba Vulnerable Communities Coalition. 3. Best Drama Programme According to the CBU, 169 entries were received from across 30 Award Winner: La Muerte Y Doncella platforms from nine countries. Instituto Cubano De Radio Y Television – Cuba 4. Best News Item The following is the list of Awards presented. Award Winner: Gas Leak Instituto Cubano De Radio Y Television – Cuba TELEVISION AWARDS 5. Best Investigative Report 1. Best Documentary Programme Award Winner: Moravian Scandal Deepening Award Winner: Peace: The Story of August Town RJR Gleaner Communications Group – Jamaica RJR Gleaner Communications Group – Jamaica 6. Climate Change 2. Best Magazine Programme Category Sponsor: Public Media Alliance (PMA) Award Winner: Veranda Tales: Episode 1 (Honeyguide Award Winner: Clarendon Rain & Climate Change Bird/Monkey’s Heart) RJR Gleaner Communications Group – Jamaica Great Belize Productions Ltd. – Belize 3. Best News Item PRINT/DIGITAL PUBLICATION AWARDS Award Winner: Terror Taxis 1. Disaster Resilience RJR Gleaner Communications Group – Jamaica Category Sponsor: UNESCO Caribbean 4. Best Investigative Report Tourism Industry Sees Urgency in Climate Change Award Winner: Huge Cell Phone Bill Prepwork RJR Gleaner Communications Group – Jamaica RJR Gleaner Communications Group – Jamaica 5. Category Sponsor: Caribbean Vulnerable Communities 2. Golden Conch Shell Award Coalition (CVC) Category Sponsor: Island Media Marketing Award Winner: Why Men Get Tested Award Winner: Plight of the Children Great Belize Productions Ltd. – Belize RJR Gleaner Communications Group – Jamaica ¤
Jamaica, Belize Sweep Caribbean Media Awards
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
IN THE KNOW
Work Continues in Antigua to Establish Local Nursing Degree
Work Continues in Antigua to Establish Local Nursing Degree
China Granted Observer Status In IICA The People’s Republic of China became the latest observer country of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), which will allow the Asian giant to participate in meetings of the hemispheric organisation’s governing China In Latin IICAAmerica bodies and Granted to further Observer expand its Status ties with and the Caribbean (LAC), by generating opportunities for agricultural development. The status was made official during a visit by Chinese Ambassador to Costa Rica, Tang Heng, to IICA Headquarters. The Ambassador said: “IICA is an essential platform to promote the development of countries in the region. We look forward to collaborating with the Institute and to use this platform to strengthen our cooperation. Agriculture is an extremely important sector to us, food security being one of the priorities.” Heng further said: “There are many opportunities for cooperation in the trade of agricultural products with China, given the immense size of its market. We will need to import a large number of products from the region and there is tremendous potential for cooperation and mutual progress in the area of research in technologies for agricultural development.” China’s observer status in IICA will also foster joint action in the areas of trade, agricultural health, research, innovation and technology transfer, as well as experience-sharing for the benefit of agriculture in the Americas.
The Antigua and Barbuda Government has progressed in its effort to establish a Bachelor of Science degree in the study of Nursing locally. Margaret Smith, the Principal Nursing Officer in the Ministry of Health has disclosed that the Government is close to being able to offer nursing students a Bachelor’s Degree at the Antigua State College. “We are close to offering a Bachelor of Science Degree which is what is required to be the entry point for nurses so that our nurses can be on equal standing with other nurses within the region,” she said while giving an update on the 45th annual Regional Nurses Board Meeting, which was recently held in Guyana. Antigua and Barbuda remains among the few Caribbean territories that do not offer nursing degrees locally. Currently an Associate Degree in nursing is obtainable from the Antigua State College. “So, when we are ready to move towards attaining Bachelor’s Degrees, it will be through the Antigua State College,” Smith said, adding that an agreement to transfer credits with a University will have to be formed before any announcement is made. “Of course, there will have to be some form of articulation arrangement with the University of the West Indies Mona and the Antigua and Barbuda Institute of Information Technology. Those are the two options we are looking at right now,” she said. ¤ OECSBusinessFocus
“IICA is a bridge that can facilitate this rapprochement between the Americas and China, as well as strengthen relationships and contribute to agricultural development in our region,” said Director General of IICA, Manuel Otero. Otero said agriculture is one of the priorities in negotiations between China and Latin America and pointed out that the Institute can assume an important technical role in this process. IICA’s Deputy Director General, Lloyd Day, gave his assurance that the new relationship with China represents a great opportunity for the Institute’s member countries. He said: “This is a nation that is investing in Latin America and looking to it as a food supplier for its well-being. China will use the regional platform offered by IICA to work with the Ministries of Agriculture to further develop trade, and we will focus on matters such as health, the contribution of agriculture and research to development, and also to establish a closer relationship with research centres, universities and other entities.” Latin America and the Caribbean provides almost 30 per cent of the agricultural products imported by China, and the Asian country accounts for more than 13 per cent of LAC’s agricultural exports. IICA’s other observer countries are Germany, Austria, Belgium, Russia, France, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Holland, Egypt, the Czech Republic, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of Poland, Romania, the European Union and Spain (associate country). IICA is the specialised agency for agriculture in the InterAmerican system, with a mission to encourage, promote and support its 34 member states in their efforts to achieve agricultural development and rural well-being through international technical cooperation of excellence. ¤ www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
St. Kitts Defence Force Taiwan Funds EC$500,000 Gets Policing Powers Upgrade of St Vincent Government Printery
St. Kitts Defence Force Gets Policing Powers Taiwan Funds EC$500,000 Upgrade of St Vincent Government Printery
Officers of the St Kitts and Nevis Defence Force and Royal St Christopher and Nevis Police Force carry out joint patrol. (SKNIS) Officers of the St Kitts and Nevis Defence Force (SKNDF) are now empowered with policing powers effective Friday, August 24, 2018. The Governor General Sir S. W. Tapley Seaton acted on the advice of the Cabinet to enhance the crime-fighting capabilities in the country by extending police powers to the Defence Force for a period of six months.
With the aim of delivering high-quality public service to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Government Printery in that country upgraded its printing equipment by installing some advanced machines in late August. The new printing equipment includes an industrial high-speed colour printer, industrial black and white/colour printers, commercial colour printer/copier, industrial twin-head stapling machine and other items.
The proclamation by the Governor General to grant enhanced powers to the Defence Force is in accordance with Section 7 of the Saint Christopher and Nevis Defence Force Act. Section 7(1) of the Act states: “The Governor-General may, acting in accordance with the advice of Cabinet, call out the Defence Force for service in aid of the civil powers for a period not exceeding six months, with their arms and ammunition, where it is deemed that the resources of the civil powers need to be augmented.”
The Government Printery plays a central role in the efficient operation of the SVG Government service. It is responsible for supplying all government departments and ministries with high-quality documents, sometimes within a very strict timeframe.
The recommendation to the Cabinet was made following a lengthy meeting between Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr Timothy Harris; Cabinet Secretary Josephine Huggins; Permanent Secretaries Osmond Petty and Andrew Skerritt and the High Command of the Royal St Christopher and Nevis Police Force and Defence Force.
Therefore, in order to improve the services, the government launched a phased upgrade project of the Government Printery under the Civic Development Programme – the annually bilateral cooperation programme between the Governments of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Taiwan.
During that meeting Police Commissioner Ian Queeley and Defence Force Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Comrie proposed that the Government consider the initiative.
In recognising the importance of the upgraded project, Taiwan allocated EC$500,000 to fund project and its embassy in Kingstown said Taiwan is very pleased that the project has been successfully implemented.
The High Command of the law enforcement agencies also included Deputy Commissioner Hilroy Brandy, Assistant Commissioner of Police Andre Mitchell and Captain Bass of the Defence Force. A range of new initiatives will also be implemented throughout the remainder of the year, as law enforcement agencies step up their mandate to protect and serve. Prime Minister Harris was quoted as saying, “My Cabinet will use every resource at our country’s disposal to ensure that the peace, stability and prosperity that our people deserve are always available. There will be setbacks on the journey, but our commitment to make St Kitts and Nevis the safest democratic state in the world will never be shaken.” (SKNIS) ¤
The Republic of China (Taiwan) and St. Vincent and the Grenadines established diplomatic ties in 1981. “The people and government of Taiwan deeply appreciate the staunch support lent by the people and government of SVG in various international arenas and look forward to strengthening the bonds,” the Taiwanese embassy said in a press release. ¤ Photo: Government Printer, Richard Ollivierre demonstrates the quality of the printing by the newly-installed industrial high-speed colour printer.
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
Contact: Contact: MAJOR MOVES Rendra Gopee | Assurance Rendra Gopee | Assurance Mobile: | Email: email@example.com Mobile: +1 +1 758758 722722 81498149 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Regional financial services institution, CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, has announced the appointment of Colette Delaney as its new Chief Executive Officer. Her appointment becomes effective on November 1, and she succeeds Gary Brown, who retires on October 31. Delaney is a banking professional of more than thirty years’ experience, having started her career with CIBC in 1987, and prior to that with National Westminster Bank plc. She joined CIBC FirstCaribbean in 2013, and has served as the bank’s Chief Risk and Administrative Officer. She was subsequently appointed Chief Operating Officer, and is a member of the board of CIBC FirstCaribbean. In her recent role, she has had responsibility for the performance of the bank’s functional regional business lines − Retail and Business Banking, Cards and Customer Relationship Management, Corporate and Investment Banking, and Wealth Management
Anguilla Appoints New Attorney General
Dwight Horsford has been appointed Attorney General
Formerly the Solicitor General in Grenada, Horsford brings a wealth of experience in international, civil and commercial law and a strong background in legal affairs across the Caribbean. Horsford formally took up his post in midSeptember. OECSBusinessFocus
Oct / Dec
Quinta Charles, former Chief Financial Controller at the Digicel Group, is now Grenada’s Accountant General. She took up the post as of July 2, 2018.
After two years, he went on to study for his Master’s degree in finance at the London Business School, and returned to Trinidad, where he returned to the ministry briefly, before moving to the private sector. He spent the bulk of his career at the Ansa McAl Group, working at the Ansa Merchant Bank, and then at Tatil, before moving back to the public service, to the UTC. He says the company’s focus over the next few years will be growing funds under management and evolving its products.
Charles, a qualified chartered accountant, has served in various capacities at the Digicel Group, namely Finance Assistant (in Grenada), Finance Manager (Dominica and Antigua), and Financial Accountant OECS North (Antigua, Anguilla, BVI and St. Kitts). She was also Financial Controller of Sugar Ridge Resorts Ltd. (Antigua), Financial Controller of Archer Daniels Midland Company (Grenada). Charles was Financial Controller FP&A, Digicel Group, prior to taking up her new post.
Nigel Edwards Appointed Executive Director of UTC in T&T Nigel Edwards was recently appointed E xe c u t i ve Director of the Unit Trust Corporation (UTC) in Trinidad and Tobago. Before taking over the top job, he was the Chief Financial Officer for five years, since August 2013. A former national scholarship winner, Edwards, 47, graduated from the University of the West Indies in 1993 with a Bachelor’s degree in management. His first job was at the Ministry of Finance.
Don-Holman Phillip was appointed to the Board of Directors of the George F. Huggins & Company (Grenada) Limited at the company’s Annual General Meeting held on July 20, 2018 Formerly a Certified Level 1 High School Teacher in Information Technology, Mathematics and Physics, Phillip furthered his technical qualifications by completing the Sean Flanagan Computer Repair and Maintenance Course, as well as two certificate programmes in computer programming from the University of the West Indies. In June, 2000, he became a Certified COMPTIA A+ Computer Technician. In May, 2001, Phillip joined Huggins as the Sales and Marketing Representative for its SwiftAir Cargo Handlers Operation. A year later, he was recruited by the Information Systems Department as Technical Support Engineer, working his way up to supervisory status. In August, 2007, he was appointed Manager of the Information Systems Department, a position he still holds. He is the recipient of the Huggins Top Performer Award for Service Excellence, amongst other accolades www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
MAJOR MOVES Rendra Gopee | Assurance Mobile: +1 758 722 8149 | Email: email@example.com
Rendra Gopee | Assurance Mobile: +1 758 722 8149 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Vincent Boland has been appointed the new Managing Director of the Saint Lucia Development Bank (SLDB), effective May 1, 2018. Vincent Boland brings a wealth of experience to the SLDB, with over 20 years’ in corporate and commercial banking having served in several senior management capacities at financial institutions both locally and regionally. Vincent also worked as an auditor with Coopers and Lybrand for 6 years. He is an affiliate of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and is an Associate of the Institute of Canadian Bankers (AICB) – Financial Services. He also served on the Nova Committee of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Commerce.
Timothy Antoine Appointed Chair of CCRIF SPC The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) Segregated P o r t f o l i o Company (SPC) has appointed Timothy Antoine as Chairman of CCRIF SPC, 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. Antoine is the Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB). Prior to his current position, Antoine was the Permanent Secretary in Grenada’s Finance Ministry for 14 years. From 2005 to 2007, Antoine served as an Advisor to the Executive Director for
Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean at the World Bank, working on behalf of the Caribbean, and played a significant role in the establishment of CCRIF in 2007. He has been a CARICOM appointed member of the CCRIF Board since 2014. During the new chairman’s tenure, CCRIF will place a strong focus on scaling up the Facility.
Former National Security Minister is new T&T Top Cop Trinidad and Tobago’s former National Security Minister, Gary Griffith, in mid-August began his tenure as that nation’s police commissioner, promising to reduce crime and rebuild the respect of the local police service.
Anthony Pierre, a Council Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of T&T (ICATT), has been re-elected as head of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC). At ICAC’s 30th Annual General Meeting in the Bahamas last month, Pierre was elected unopposed to serve a second term as president of the regional accountancy body. He served previously as ICATT’s director on the board of ICAC and as secretary for two consecutive terms from 2011 to 2013. He has chaired several committees of the regional body, and in 2015, was appointed VicePresident. A Fellow of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants of the United Kingdom (FCCA), Pierre is a member in practice of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of T&T (CA), an associate of the Institute of Certified Financial Consultants of the USA (CFC) and a Certified Internal Control and Risks Analyst (CICRA). He is Principal and Chief Executive Officer of Anthony P. Pierre & Co. Chartered Accountants, a member firm of Santa Fe Associates International. As he looks towards his continuing term in office, Pierre plans to drive reform measures emanating from a study which examined the status of public financial management in the Caribbean. He believes with the support of regional governments, the ICAC will promote improved public sector accounting and public financial reporting reforms successfully for the public good.
Griffith, who was given the nod for the top post within the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) by Parliament in July, said in order to do this, he must secure the public trust and confidence. Griffith will have responsibility for directing the strategic activities of the TTPS to promote and achieve higher levels of safety and security for the nation.
Guyana Appoints New Police Commissioner As of August 30, Leslie Albert James will serve as Guyana’s Commissioner of Police. James will be supported by four deputy commissioners: Lyndon Alves, Maxine Graham, Nigel Hoppie, and Paul Williams. These appointments will also take immediate effect as of August 30, 2018. Guyana’s President, David Granger, said the four deputies will be responsible for four areas of the Force: Operations, Administration, Law Enforcement, and Special Branch/Intelligence.
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
MAJOR MOVES A look at Corporate Transitions
elected Clayton Blackman as its first male president. During his two-year term, Blackman intends to increase the public’s awareness of NAAP, formerly known as the National Secretaries Association (nSa).
AFETT’s New President On Empowering Women S u p p o r t , mentorship, empowerment, fun, and sisterhood are the hallmarks of the Association of Female Executives of Trinidad and Tobago (AFETT) and the goals of its newly-installed president, Yolande Agard-Simmons, who joined AFETT in 2008. Ten years after beginning her career as marketing and communications officer at the Employers Consultative Association (ECA), Agard-Simmons was appointed director of communications at the Ministry of Agriculture.
Blackman – a senior lecturer in management and entrepreneurship at the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of TT (COSTAATT) since August 2009 – is not only the first man to lead NAAP, he’s also its only male member. He joined the association in 2013 but was associated with it long before, thanks to his wife – Eileen Blackman – having been a member since the 1980s. While Blackman wants to see more men both working as admins and joining NAAP, he doesn’t want that to be the sole focus of his time in office. The association turns 50 next year and as part of its celebrations, Blackman intends to re-introduce and re-brand the secretary of the year award.
Verla De Peiza is the New President of Barbados’ Democratic Labour Party
Attorney-at-law and defeated Christ Church West candidate, Verla De Peiza, is the new president of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in Barbados. She took up the reins, on August 11, almost three months after defeated former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart announced he was stepping down from the post in the aftermath of the 63-yearold party’s whopping defeat in the May 24 general elections.
In June 2012, when the then minister Vasant Bharath, was moved to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment. AgardSimmons agreed to Bharath’s request to head the communications department at that ministry, a post she continued to hold even after a change in government when Paula Gopee-Scoon became Trade and Industry Minister. From 2009 to late 2015, Agard-Simmons said she wasn’t very active in AFETT due to her expanded duties. That all changed when a fellow AFETT member contacted the ministry requesting the new minister, Gopee-Scoon, speak at one of the association’s events.
National Association of Administrative Professionals (NAAP) NAAP Elects First Male President The National Association of Administrative Professionals (NAAP) in Trinidad and Tobago recently OECSBusinessFocus
Oct / Dec
the private sector and the country on a whole. New DAIC Board of Directors Appointed The Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce (DAIC) elected a new Board of Directors to serve for the 20182019 year at its Annual General Meeting which took place on July 12, 2018. Kenny Green has been selected as the new President to lead the organization for new term. Green said it is important for the DAIC to be increasingly relevant to its member companies at a crucial time for
The 2018/2019 DAIC Board of Directors are: • Kenneth Green – President • Stephen Lander – Vice-President • Sheldon Casimir – Public Relations Officer • Kira Thompson-Aird – Immediate Past President • Eliud Williams – Director • Damien Sorhaindo – Director • Dave Stamp – Director • Jeffrey Baptiste – Director • Nathalie Sampson – Director • Nikima Royer Jno-Baptiste – Director • Yvonne Armour-Hill – Director www.oecsbusinessfocus.com
EVENTS 2018/9 regional entertainment, trade shows and conferences
Everything Vincy Expo 2018 The Geest Terminal, Kingstown, St. Vincent – october 23-28, 2018 The second annual expo was designed to increase the visibility of local businesses as well as being a call-to-action for Vincentian innovators. For more information, contact: email@example.com
CAribbean renewable energy forum Miami, Fl – November 7-9, 2018 The discussion around resiliency isn’t a trend; it’s real and it’s not going away. This year’s CREF will be sharply focused on what resiliency in the energy sector looks like – and who’s going to fund it. For more info visit: http://newenergyevents.com/cref/
Startup huddle st. Lucia St. Lucia – November 14 - 9, 2018 Startup Huddle St. Lucia is a free, monthly programme designed to educate, engage and connect entrepreneurs. Every month, entrepreneurs come together to pitch their startup, reveal challenges and crowd-source solutions. From local founders, innovators, educators, and investors, to a global network of entrepreneurial leaders, Startup Huddle St. Lucia provides a unique platform to strengthen the startup community. For more information visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/startup-huddle-st-lucia-registration41067144936?aff=es2
tech beach retreat 2018 montego bay, jamaica – nov 29 - Dec 1, 2018 Tech Beach is a platform designed to attract global wealth, innovation, leadership and media to connect with the Caribbean business ecosystem on a mission to help elevate the image of the Caribbean as a business destination, driving entrepreneurship, investments, partnerships and innovation in the market. For more information visit: https://techbeach.net/
5th Biennial conference kingston, jamaica – dec 13-15, 2018 The 5th Biennial Conference will continue as planned, during the period 13-15 December 2018, in Kingston, Jamaica. For the second time, the Conference will be hosted in partnership with the General Legal Council of Jamaica (GLC) and the Conference will have a strategic focus on Caribbean legal practice and procedure, legal issues pertaining to intellectual property, the modernizing of justice delivery, and much more. For more info visit: http://www.ccjacademy.org/2018-5th-biennial-conference/
Caribbean travel marketplace 2019 montego bay, jamaica – jan 29-31, 2019 The Caribbean's largest marketing event! Caribbean Travel Marketplace affords tourism suppliers the opportunity to meet face-to-face with wholesalers from around the world selling Caribbean vacation travel over the course of two days of business meetings. For more info visit: https://www.chtamarketplace.com/
OECSBusinessFocus Oct / Dec
ADVERTISERS’ INDEX Advertiser’s Index
Argyle International Airport Inc.
Discover Dominica Authority
Saint Lucia Trade Export Promotion Agency (TEPA)
Grenada Tourism Authority
Henderson 2004 Ltd.
Invest SVG (St. Vincent & the Grenadines)
Qualite Sports Lighting
State Insurance Corporation
St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency St. Lucia Development Bank
BANK OF ST. LUCIA
Oct / Dec
TAILOR-MADE FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS INVESTMENT BANKING SERVICES
Capital Market Services Merchant Banking Services Custody Services Research and Advisory Services
2nd Floor, Financial Centre, 1 Bridge Street P.O. Box 1860, Castries LC04 101 St. Lucia Telephone: 1 (758) 457.7231 | 456.6884 | 457.7256 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.bankofsaintlucia.com