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The quarterly magazine for decision makers No.54 • October/December 2014



Committed to Transforming the Economy of Antigua & Barbuda

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No. 54


DECEMBER 2010 JANUARY 2011 • Issue No. 35

Oct / Dec 2014

CONTENTS FEATURE ABLP: Committed to Transforming the Economy of Antigua & Barbuda 35.


63 American University Of Antigua: Celebrating 10 Years Of Academic Excellence


Editor’s Focus


Business Briefs

Business Tech 10. LIME Pushes for Deeper



Broadband Penetration

12. Bitcon: Whats the big deal? 14. From Data to Dollars 16. New approach to US gaming dispute settlement

18. Digicel turns major content provider following cable TV acquisitions

20. Cariri and Canto to promote Mobile Apps in region

Economy & Trade Focus 78. Antiguan IRD head reports an increase in tax compliance

80. ECLAC says Caribbean Economy

Forecasted to Grow by 2%; Growth of 1.7% Forecasted for OECS 82. S&P: Wealth Gap Is Slowing US Economic Growth

58. Business Spotlight

Money Matters 26. BRICS Bank Established 28. “OECS Needs Injection of

Aeropost Board of Education The Environmental Division

‘Serious Hard’ Cash

31. A&B to get over EC$10.5 million from EU

Environmental Focus 54. Antigua Needs New E-Waste Laws 56. CARICOM and the German Government Team up to Find Solutions to Climate Change

Youth in Focus 90. Joel Beazer Tops Cape 91. Top CSEC student says hard work is key

Tourism Focus 92. More Cruise Ships To Call In Antigua And Barbudas

94. In The Know 58. the benefits of finding meaning in 98. your work 60. Antigua’s High Commissioner to the UK to be conferred Honorary Doctorate

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec


Book Reviews


Health & Wealth Major Moves

100. Events 2014 102. New Company Registrations






Change with Hope and Opportunity. With the advent of General Elections in Antigua & Barbuda in June 2014 the populace voted for Change in electing a new ABLP Government by a landslide. In the process we saw the Hon Gaston Browne assuming office as the country’s fourth and youngest ever Prime Minister. His stated mission as outlined in his Party’s election campaign was “to Rebuild Antigua & Barbuda”. New leadership comes with fresh ideas and evidently many changes. The people voted for change and we need to support the efforts of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet by giving them the necessary support to deliver on their promises. Lokesh Singh Publisher/Managing Editor

Over the past 100 days in office, our new Prime Minister has been busy with his leadership agenda in identifying his Cabinet and outlining his plans for governing Antigua & Barbuda and to reposition the country as an “economic powerhouse in the region”. We have noted the tireless and passionate efforts of the Prime Minister in leading the charge to stimulate the economy and increase foreign direct investments. His frequent travels and meetings with Leaders of friendly Governments and Investors have resulted in many new major projects being unveiled. His leadership style has been refreshing and engaging, giving us hope that he and his Government will deliver on their promise to create opportunities for sustainable economic growth. The Prime Minister’s efforts at engaging the private sector at the recent Business Forum needs to be commended. He was extremely convincing in his presentation and spoke with authority on the state of the nation’s financial position and the way forward for positive economic growth. The local business community is now very excited with the opportunities on the horizon and the confirmation that they will be offered the same incentives and concessions as those offered to international investors.

We also present a Special Feature on The American University of Antigua as it celebrates its tenth anniversary of operations in Antigua and what a success story this has been. We wish them many more years of continued growth and a successful partnership with the people of Antigua & Barbuda. Business Focus is also pleased to welcome Martina Johnson as Editor to our Team. Together we hope to deliver many more interesting and informative issues of Business Focus as we also look forward to the many Government and Private Sector initiatives which will create the opportunities needed for our economy to flourish.

Publisher / Managing Editor: Lokesh Singh Editor: Martina Johnson Graphic Designer: Deri Benjamin Advertising Sales: Gilda Alexander • Ann-Maria Marshall Evol Desouza • Shari Dickenson Cover Photography: Johnny Jno Baptiste Photography: Johnny Jno-Baptise Editorial Contributors: Martina Johnson • Dr. Chris Bart Brian Ramsey • Bevil Wooding • Yves Ephraim Dr. Linroy D. Christian • Pilaiye Cenac Dr Harvey Millar • Lyndell Halliday American University of Antigua • Government of Antigua & Barbuda • Antigua Observer • CMC PC World • Associated Press American Psychological Association Regional Publications Ltd Bryson’s Office Complex, Friars Hill Road, P.O. Box 180, Suite #5A,St.John’s, Antigua

+ 1 -268- 462- 7680

 mail: E Website: Business Focus welcomes contributions from professionals or writers in specialised fields or areas of interest. Reproduction of any material contained herein without written approval, constitutes a violation of copyright. Business Focus reserves the right to determine the content of the publication. On the Cover: GASTON BROWNE Prime Minister and Minister of Finance The quarterly magazine for decision makers July /September 201 4 | BUSINESS FOCUS • The bi-monthly magazine for decision-makers |

Business Focus was elated at being granted the opportunity to present in this issue of our Magazine this Special Feature on the new Government including an exclusive interview with the Prime Minister.

Business Focus magazine is published every two months by Regional Publications Ltd (RPL) in Antigua and Barbuda.

No.54 • October/December 2014



Committed to Transforming the Economy of Antigua & Barbuda

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Happy Reading! BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



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BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



Business Briefs Personal trainers, Nutritionists, Physiotherapists, Barbers, Life coaches, Cosmetologists, Austiopaths and Chiropractors. Meetings are normally held at the Office of the NAO located on the first floor of the John Henry Building on Dickenson Bay Street on Thursdays commencing at 12:00 noon through to 2:00 pm.

According to the TATT, the determination takes effect on the day that it is published. The determination was signed by TATT chairman Selby Wilson on July 31.

Beauty, Spa and Wellness association to be formed The Office of the National Authorizing Officer (NAO) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Implementation within the Ministry of Trade are collaborating to help with the establishment of a Beauty, SPA and Wellness Association of Antigua and Barbuda. This is to be done under the Caribbean Aid for Trade and Regional Integration Trust Fund (CARTfund) project managed by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). This project, which falls within the scope of implementing the services component of the European Partnership Agreement (EPA), started in July 2014 with the establishment of a working group comprising of industry practitioners. The effort is geared towards organising and developing the sector and will see the establishment of the national association,and formulation and implementation of a Strategic Action Plan for the sector. Project Officer at NAO, Ideka Dowe, indicated that the development of specialised tourism markets have been recognised by the governments of CARIFORUM as a means to economic diversification. It is for this reason the Spa and Wellness sector has been identified as a regional priority area for development. Similar initiatives have been undertaken in Dominica and St. Lucia. The consultations on the establishment of the Beauty Spa and Wellness Association will be open to all persons operating in the sector, extending to Yoga Instructors, BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



Number portability coming to T&T The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago also announced last week that mobile to mobile number portability would start in T&T on February 26, 2015 and that fixed to mobile number portability would start on May 1, 2015. Number portability is the ability of a customer to retain the same telephone number when they change their telephone provider. The telecom regulator said the interconnection regulations require concessionaires to configure their network to facilitate number portability between similar networks, as and when directed by the authority. TATT said the it published a policy document on the issue on September 30, 2012 and on January 15, 2013 it started meeting all operators who are required to implement number portability. The operators are Colombus Communications, Digicel, Lisa Communications, Open Telecom, TSTT and Three Sixty Communications. “The authority required that each said operator conduct an assessment of its state of readiness so as to deduce the most appropriate date of commencement for the implementation of mobile to mobile number portability and fixed to mobile number portability,” the authority said. The notice on number portability came in a “determination that is binding upon all operators so required by the authority to implement number portability.”

eHealth initiatives take off in the Caribbean The PanAmerican Health Organization (PAHO) said new eHealth initiatives are springing up in countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, in parallel to the increasing use of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the region. PAHO however indicated while these initiatives have the potential to improve access to and quality of health care, few countries have policies in place to guide their development or exploit their full potential. These were among the findings presented in the current issue of the Pan American Journal of Public Health (PAJPH), PAHO’s scientific journal. Devoted entirely to eHealth, the special issue highlights the wide range of efforts currently underway in the region and presents emerging evidence about key factors that determine their success. “Wisely used and widely applied, eHealth can be a strategic tool for improving access, expanding coverage, and increasing the financial efficiency of health care systems,” PAHO’s Domincanborn director, Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, wrote in the editorial. “ICTs are already revolutionizing access to quality comprehensive care; bridging many difficulties and enabling primary care to resolve more health issues,” she added.

Business Briefs

No. 40

The authors said only seven countries in the region have adopted national policies on eHealth, although 19 countries have general policies on ICTs.

The tourism minister and CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin James also discussed marketing partnerships with the airline, and reviewed marketing proposals to aid in putting Antigua and Barbuda in good stead for the upcoming winter season. Member of Parliament Paul Chet Green, who serves as minister with responsibility for heritage sites, also attended the meetings with British Airways. The minister addressed efforts to enhance the overall tourism product, and of the ongoing review of Antigua and Barbuda’s heritage sites.

British Airways increases flights into Antigua & Barbuda Antigua and Barbuda will benefit from an additional flight with British Airways (BA) for summer 2015.

The meeting achieved its overall objective of improving airlift and cooperation between Antigua and Barbuda and British Airways.

This increase comes, following a meeting held with British Airways officials late September at the BA headquarters in England, but also on the back of the airline’s growing confidence in the destination. The additional flight will take BA airlift into Antigua from six to seven daily, with a 20 per cent increase in seats, thus making way for additional UK tourism arrivals. Tourism Minister Asot Michael updated airline executives on the government’s long-term development plan to boost tourism. He discussed the government’s commitment to increasing the current rooms on island to 5,000 by 2016 and the near completion of the new state of the art airport, the largest in the Easter Caribbean, which would be ready to receive the increased arrivals this coming summer. Michael added that the government has come to an agreement with PetroCaribe/ Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) which will allow fuel costs to the airline to become 10 per cent to 12 per cent cheaper. This news was wellreceived by British Airways.

Sir Viv honoured Antigua and Barbuda’s cricketing legend and only living National Hero Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards took centre stage on the night of September 24 at Lords, the hollowed home of International cricket during a celebrity studded fund raising dinner held in his honour.

All funds raised from the dinner would be split between two charities, with the Lord’s Taverners receiving 75 per cent and with 25 per cent going to the St. John’s Cathedral Antigua Restoration Project. Sir Viv, as he’s now fondly called, graciously accepted a cheque for a minimum agreed donation of £25,000. This cause was chosen by Sir Vivian as one that is close to his heart. Asot Michael, Minister of Tourism, Economic Development Investment & Energy and Paul Chet Greene, Minister of Sports, Trade, Industry, Commerce, Culture & National Festivals delivered congratulatory remarks on behalf of the government. Minister Michael stated, “I stand here this evening, overjoyed that Sir Isaac Vivian Richards is being honoured by the Lords’ Taverners. Antigua and Barbuda is a small country. Our population is less than a hundred thousand people and, yet we have produced some of the world’s most outstanding cricketers.” He continued, “Each of them has been special, but all of them will readily acknowledge – as I do this evening – that Viv Richards is pre-eminent among them. It is a pre-eminence that he enjoys, as well, among cricketers from every cricketing nation in the world…Sir Vivian is a proud Antiguan who played cricket for the honour of the West Indies and for his country.”

The event was organized by Lord’s Taverners and the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority. The Lord’s Taverners is one of the UK’s leading youth sports and disability charities that donates over £3 million per year to programmes that give young people, particularly those with special needs, the opportunity to engage in cricket and other sports.

Dr. Didacus Jules Director-General OECS

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



The 3 “C’s” That Make a GREAT Corporate Director


t’s not easy being a good corporate director these days. Sure the perks and prestige are still there. But the amount of Regulations, Responsibilities and Risks directors face are also at an all-time high and represent real ‘spoilers’ in what used to be a fun job. As a result, the word is out that you should NOT consider becoming a director unless you are prepared to accept the challenges that now come with the position. So what does it take to be – or become – not just a good director, but a great one? Having met over 2000 directors in the 10 years since I founded The Directors College of Canada, I have come to the view that there are three essential qualifications – or tests – that all directors must meet if they are to properly do their job as ‘governors’ or ‘uber supervisors’ of their organisations and especially their most senior manager, the CEO. I call them the 3C’s of great governance.

‘C’ #1: Competence. To be sure, all

Directors intuitively know that they need to understand: the business model of the organisations on whose boards they sit; the complexity and intricacies of the industries in which their companies compete; and, the stakeholders upon whose support their organisations depend BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



for sustainability and growth. That’s tough enough. BUT, Directors today also need to know what they should be doing as board members and how their job is different from Management. They especially need to know how to effectively execute the basic ‘fundamentals’ associated with their position as ‘directors.’ These fundamentals include: their two major roles (as organisational ‘stewards’ and ‘sounding boards’ for Management’s ideas); their 5 major responsibilities (for CEO supervision; strategy setting; establishing their organisation’s risk appetite and risk tolerance; assuring financial statement reporting integrity; and legal compliance); and their 3 legal duties (i.e. fiduciary duty, duty of care and duty of loyalty). These fundamentals are distinct to the job of being a director. However, acquiring the competence needed to effectively execute them, does not come naturally to most board members since they typically only come to their boards as ‘trained managers’ and not as ‘trained directors.’ It therefore would help today’s board members a LOT if they were to register in some sort of formal director education programme which covers the new basics of their job (See, for example, the CGTI

Dr. Chris Bart, FCPA is a recognised governance a u t h o r i t y, the author of two best sellers, and Co-Founder of the Caribbean Governance Training Institute. The Institute is currently providing a six part corporate governance programme offered one night per week over six weeks and a major conference on Governance of the Family Owned Caribbean Enterprise is being planned for Dec 1 and 2. For more information visit CGTI’s website: http://www. caribbeangovernancetraininginstitute. com/ or phone Lisa at 758 451 2500

‘Governance Fundamentals Programme’ which was launched in the Caribbean this past February to rave reviews!). Such programmes help diligent directors better understand their job and, most importantly, give them the confidence needed to perform their essential roles and responsibilities, especially in the face of sometimes considerable resistance – whether that resistance comes from management or from their fellow board members! Accordingly, director education is an essential qualification for anyone interested in becoming not just a good, but a really great, corporate director. It just might be the ticket that keeps you from being sued!

‘C’ #2: Curiosity. As the ultimate overseer

of their organisation’s activities, one of the board’s most important functions is to review and evaluate the quality of the decisions and recommendations brought to them for approval by the CEO. Such decisions/recommendations should generally only be the REALLY BIG ONES which are typically referred to as the ‘strategic’ or ‘major capital spending’ decisions. In contrast, the ‘operating,’ ‘tactical’ or ‘day-to-day’ decisions and activities are usually left totally up to management. After all, that’s what they’re paid to do. So how should a group of directors go about determining the quality and soundness of management’s thinking on the big recommendations put forward by management for them to approve – or not? The way to do this is by performing their #1 behaviour…that is, by asking questions. The goal of this inquisitiveness is a simple one: to gain reasonable assurance that what management is proposing is actually plausible…that it really ‘makes sense’ in the current circumstances in which the organisation finds itself and that the directors cannot identify any risk, threat, weakness or superior alternative which would cause them to reject what management has put in front of them. Interestingly, in the past, boards have been criticised for being asleep at the switch, and for not providing sufficient diligent (i.e., careful) oversight of management’s activities by sufficiently probing management’s recommendations and proposals. Even more amazing, however, is that when quizzed about this, long serving and experienced directors have actually confessed privately to me that their reasons for this is that they did not know what questions to ask….moreover, they were afraid of asking a dumb question.

To counteract this fear, the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants has produced a series of monographs under the banner ‘20 Questions Should Ask.’ Each monograph provides a list of 20 questions related to an area where directors need to give diligent oversight – e.g., strategy, risk, crisis, internal audit, etc. I’ve written the one on the role of the Board in STRATEGY. See: questions_directors_should_ask_about_ strategy But even without the help of the monographs, let me say for the record: where board oversight is concerned, there is no such thing as a dumb question, except one…which is, the question for which the answer was in your board pre-reading package. That’s THE dumb question for sure because it shows everyone in the boardroom that you did not diligently prepare for the meeting. Other than that, all questions from directors are fair game. And if you really do diligently prepare by reading all of the advance material, it should be IMPOSSIBLE for you to NOT have some questions about what management has written – even if it’s simply to seek clarification about some of the terms and phrases contained in the documents. So at your next board meeting, LET THE QUESTIONS BEGIN!...hopefully they will confirm the wisdom of management’s recommendations or just maybe even save the company from disaster!

‘C’ #3: Courage. Apart from the fear of asking dumb questions, there is yet another even more insidious fear that often paralyses directors and holds them back from doing their job, asking the tough questions and challenging the views of both management and their fellow directors. That fear concerns being ostracised at board meetings and social events (“Sorry we forgot to invite you to the dinner at the Chair’s beach house in Italy, Fred!”) or worse, not being asked to stand for re-election when a director is seen as ‘rocking the boat’ – especially the status quo or cultural ‘pecking order.’

Boards are social organisations in which a high level of collegiality – even camaraderie – is often seen as a hallmark of a good board. But such practices also have a dark side leading to ‘group think’ and ‘sycophantry.’ Good directors therefore need to be on guard against them and choose instead to be courageous, doing their job even in the face of possible negative consequences. Indeed, the job of being a director should not be so important to one’s own selfworth and social standing that a director

is prepared to compromise his/her own character and personal ethics just to keep the job or impress friends at the country club. Unfortunately, higher director’s fees only makes matters worse, increasing the pressure on directors to keep their mouths shut (and just keep cashing the cheques). After all, who wants to lose a part-time job that might pay up to $100,000 and where the work is not just pretty light but also extremely interesting. Nevertheless, a good director has to have the personal courage, character and conviction to ask the really tough questions (e.g. “When are we going to see some of the performance benefits promised in the strategic plan?” Why do we need to pay the CEO so much in the face of lackluster performance?” Why is there not a CEO or Board Chair succession plan in place?” “Why are there not more women and minorities represented on the Board?” “Why do we not have director evaluations that mean anything?”) and to not back down in the face of directors and managers who may feel uncomfortable with them. The key, however, is that intellectual conflict should not mean interpersonal conflict. The questions must therefore be asked in an ‘inoffensively contentious manner and tone of voice’ that does not promote domineering self-aggrandisement or cruelly demean others. When done in this manner, I have found that asking the tough questions are more often appreciated and admired than castigated and criticised. Moreover, oftentimes the questions are the ones that everyone else in the room has been waiting and wanting to be asked but lacked the courage to do so. To be sure there is an art and skill to doing this. But it is a skill worth acquiring and practicing in the boardroom. In conclusion, the way to build better boards is by having better directors. So here’s the big, uncomfortable question for Caribbean directors: to what extent does your board have the competence, curiosity and courage required to give effective oversight of your organisation and its management? And if you think that there is room for improvement in the way they carry out their governance oversight function, you might also want to consider sending them to one of the corporate governance training programmes currently available in the region – like the one currently being offered by The Caribbean Governance Training Institute. After all, it’s not education which is expensive, but rather ignorance. ¤ BusinessFocus Oct / Dec




Pushes for Deeper Broadband Penetration Region’s Telecoms Providers, Ministers Fail to Agree on VOIP Issue


IME said it wants to see deeper broadband penetration in the Caribbean. CEO of LIME Caribbean, Martin Roos, reckons that greater consumption of data service will lead to increased indigenous regional content, which can be exported to the rest of the world. "The Caribbean is behind in relation to smartphone penetration and usage," said the CEO. "You must be able to consume in order to create. "Together we must enable entrepreneurs to tap into this global ecosystem." These remarks were made to representatives of governments in the region, and LIME's competition across the telecommucations markets, at his address to the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organisations' (CANTO). The CANTO Ministerial Breakfast is a flagship event on the calendar of the annual conference which is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary under the theme, “Strategic Alliances for Sustainable Broadband Development.” More specifically, Roos suggested that governments remove taxes and import duties on smartphone devices as part of their market liberalisation programme to better facilitate content creation and entrepreneurship, especially among young people. He believes that mobile data will increase by a factor of 10 over the next five years, and appealed for urgency in regional action so that the Caribbean is not left behind. LIME is currently undertaking a US$1.05-billion investment in its telecommunications network across the Caribbean. In a later roundtable discussion at CANTO, Caribbean telecommunication ministers and service providers failed to agree on how best to deal with Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) platforms such as Viber, with the providers complaining that they were losing a significant amount of money due to illegal practices.

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



The providers, such as Jamaica's Digicel, said VOIPs users use their data resources without paying and in some markets, access to these VOIP through cellular data has been blocked. Digicel Group Board Director, Patrick James Mara told the roundtable discussion that "illegal' voice bi-pass service avoid paying taxes and licenses fees that other providers must pay. "Put simply, this is an unsustainable situation, one that a number of industry players have been trying to address for some time now, and one that no one has been able to successfully overcome, and one that we are tackling head on," Mara said. "Not only are we happy to take it head on, but a number of operators in the region will be tackling this issue in the coming months, because this is not something that can be sustained," he told the gathering. He compared the situation to drilling an oil well, "and some hobo came along and say I am going to pipe into this tank, take your oil, pay you no money, because I have got customers that I want to sell that oil". ¤ He said the situation results in a significant loss of revenue for telecommunications providers, and by extension the government of countries where they operate. Officials estimate that the losses are in the vicinity of US$500 million indicating that Caribbean governments stand to lose as much as US$150 million in the near future. St Lucia's Science and Technology, Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr James Fletcher, added that telecommunications providers are being affected in much the same way as stores in Castries given the fact that more St. Lucians are shopping online and taking advantage of the country's duty free barrels provision at Christmas. "Unfortunately, VOIP has done the same

thing for the service providers. There is a demand there that is not being met. And, like my colleague from Jamaica, I would be a lot happier if it were a Caribbean VOIP solution. But the solution cannot be to get rid of VOIP, because there is a very significant demand that these people are providing," he said. Dr Fletcher added that in the same way that Ministries of Agriculture across the Caribbean encourage persons to buy local produce, there must be a local solution to the VOIP issue. "...People are not just using those VOIPS for frivolous matters. They are using them to communicate with family members who before they could not communicate with; businesses are using them," Fletcher said, and called on stakeholders to "agree on a way in which we can come up with an option that works for all concerned". He said Caribbean nationals want to be able to call their relatives overseas and not pay “an arm and a leg”, to the point that they have to schedule these calls once every two months. "That (cheap/free frequent calls) is what they are used to. So, to tell them that they cannot use Skype, Vonage and Magic Jack and not provide them with an alternative is really asking a government, which is made up of politicians, who every five years have to face an electorate for re-election, to commit suicide. It does not make any sense," Fletcher concluded. ¤

LIME Group CEO Phil Bentley, right, shakes hands with Prime Minister Hon. Gaston Browne.



IME, one of the region’s biggest investors and employers, has continued its network upgrade investment thrust across the region under a major US$1.05billion capital investment programme, called Project Marlin. The company will be investing an additional US$14milion on network upgrade to advance the economic development of Antigua and Barbuda, help change the lives of people and the fortunes of businesses. LIME plans to use this money to roll out state-of-the-art Long Term Evolution (LTE) services, HSPA+ (4G) technology; improve wireless broadband services to homes across the island; and double the speed currently available. “As the company that first connected Antigua and Barbuda to the rest of the world, we embrace our responsibility to bring further innovation in technology to your islands,” Phil Bentley, Group CEO said. He also added, “Our network is the platform for the solutions of the future and an enabler to social and economic development.” In addition to this major network upgrade investment LIME has given back to Antigua and Barbuda through sponsorship and various forms of community development. Our contributions to education, entertainment and other areas of national life amount to over US$400 thousand so far this year. LIME has also collaborated with the government on a number of initiatives, the most recent being the Human Entrepreneurship and Assistive Resource Technologies (HEART) project in which LIME offers iPad Air tablets to all day care and pre-school educators for use in the classroom. HEART is a multi-faceted, revolutionary ICT project that is designed to positively impact thousands of Antiguans and Barbudans. Over the course of the last 29 years, LIME has also been the proud sponsor of the LIME CXC Awards. LIME has also been a long-standing sponsor of the Inter-Secondary School Debate Series since 1986. In the area of entertainment, LIME is currently the platinum sponsor of Antigua and Barbuda’s Carnival, the region’s greatest summer festival. Like its numerous sponsorship commitments to the communities it serves, the latest multi-million dollar Marlin project is another tangible demonstration of LIME’s commitment to the socio-economic development of the wider Caribbean and to Antigua and Barbuda in particular.¤ BusinessFocus Oct / Dec





By Yves R. Ephraim

what’s the big deal?


itcoin is what we call digital money. It is a store of value and can be exchanged among users within the bitcoin network. It exist only in electronic form, therefore there is no physical coin or paper that you can hold. You might ask, how can I pay for my groceries with money that I cannot hand over to the cashier? How practical is Bitcoin? I daresay that the proliferation of smart phones has made it a very practical proposition even now. Making a payment is easy as using your smart phone to scan a code that the cashier gives you at the end of tallying your grocery bill. The transaction is immediate. I could talk about the technology of Bitcoin, but for now I would rather focus on what I consider, by far the most significant appeal of Bitcoin: • Anonymity • Low transaction fees • Decentralized network and authority


Some of the early adopters of Bitcoin were Libertarians. Libertarians feel that government (US) should leave citizens to pursue their own interests without interference. With government being so intrusive, under the guise of national security, Libertarians believe that Bitcoin BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



promises to score a winning goal for the cause of individual privacy. Libertarians are wary of the ever present threat of corrupt and unscrupulous minions of government seeking exploit ordinary citizens through the abuse of their privileged position and knowledge. For the Libertarians, Bitcoin restores privacy to the citizen by making it difficult for the government to determine the identity of the parties that are involved in any bitcoin transaction.

Low transaction fees

Any person or business who has a bank account could testify to the creative methods banks are using to relieve us of our savings. Most local banks are now charging you $15.00 minimum per month for the distinct privilege of having a checking account with them. The fees for sending money both from the banks and the money transfer businesses, makes it infeasible to send amounts less than $200.00, since the attendant fees are way larger than the money you want to send. By contrast, Bitcoin transaction fees are very small and are determined by the bitcoin algorithm itself. At last, there is a borderless currency where it is now feasible to send very small amounts of money without exorbitant fees.

Decentralized Network and Authority

The Bitcoin network is what we call a distributed, peer to peer network. This design makes it almost impossible to bring down the bitcoin network by either seizing a computer or effecting a denial of service attack (DoS). Each node in the Bitcoin network tracks every transaction. With this design there is no need for a third party (the bank) to be involved in transactions that happen between individuals. The network now takes care of those traditional functions that were once performed by a central authority (the bank), while giving the same level of confidence. When you take all of the above into consideration, Bitcoin is poised to be the next major paradigm shift ofthis century. ¤

About the Author: Yves R. Ephraim is the Owner/ Manager of Pegasus Technologies Inc, A Computer services provider operating in St.John’s, Antigua

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BusinessFocus Oct / Dec




From Data to Dollars How Open Data Initiatives Can Support Business Innovation and Transparency in the Caribbean By Bevil Wooding

Data is more accessible today than anyone could have imagined only a few decades ago. From corporate databases to Internet connected repositories is the lifeblood of the digital economy. With growth projected at 40 per cent a year into the next decade, it is unleashing a new wave of innovative services and opportunities.

Open Data World As more of the world goes online, there are increasing opportunities for businesses, governments and people to use data in new ways. For example, data allows us to to learn about customers, optimise business processes, better customise products and services. Add the Internet to the mix and you have a world of data possibilities that can be built upon the foundation of cloud computing, mobility, social networks. But for those possibilities to be realised, the data has to be accessible. The more accessible it is, the more opportunities there are for everyone. That’s where open data comes in. Open data is information that is available for anyone to use, for any purpose, at no cost. For example, the UK Department for Education publishes open data about the performance of schools in England, so that companies can create league tables and citizens can find the best-performing schools in their area. Open data applications can be as simple as mobile phone apps identifying gas station you will encounter on a trip to a different town, or as intricate as analysing taxation BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



data translating it into transparency programs and public policy. Governments worldwide are working to open up more of their data. The number of countries with open data programs has grown rapidly over the last few years. More than 40 countries have now open government data sites. However, only one Caribbean nation scores above 35 percent in the International Budget Partnership Open Budget Index, which monitors budget transparency across the world, and few Caribbean nations currently publish data in open formats online.

Billions in Opportunities Open-data advocates, such as US President Obama’s former chief information officer Vivek Kundra, estimate that raw government data from sectors such as weather, population, energy, housing, commerce or transportation can spawn a multibillion-dollar industry by turning that data into products and applications for the public to consume or other industries to pay for. Waldo Jaquith, director of the nonprofit U.S. Open Data Institute, created to help governments release and promote their data, said the idea of turning government data from all levels of government into a multibillion-dollar industry isn’t farfetched. He points to The Climate Corporation, which offers farmers software and crop insurance policies. The company, founded by two Google engineers using 30 years of government weather, soil and crop data, was sold to agricultural multinational corporation Monsanto for $930 million.

In the UK, a range of start-ups are working with the UK’s Open Data Institute (ODI) to build businesses using open data, and have already unlocked a total of £2.5 million worth of investments and contracts. This economic promise is the main reason why businesses are also starting to pay attention to open data. But there is a real investment that must be made. Maximising the opportunities of the data-driven economy requires certain imperatives for IT organisations. Information security, for example, next- generation analytics, and data access tools and processes.

Bevil Wooding is the Executive Director of BrightPath Foundation, an international technology education non-profit organization. Reach him on Twitter @bevilwooding or on or contact via email at technologymatters@

Caribbean Connections


Tapping the potential of data in the Caribbean will take determination and a skilled workforce to find and put to use. The process has already started.

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A new regional open data project to support business innovation and transparency in the Caribbean has recently been launched. The open data initiative is supported by a grant from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the World Bank and its Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity Building. The project will also partner with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union and other regional organizations working in the Open Data area. St Lucia recently started an Open Data Readiness Assessment (ODRA). A pilot assessment in Antigua and Barbuda was completed in July 2013 and discussions are ongoing with several countries in the region to roll out the initiative. Civil society and the private sector are doing their part as well. Jamaicabased ConnectiMass and Trinidad and Tobago-based Teleios Systems are supporting “hackathons,” like Digital Jam and challenges like Code Jam, inviting businesspeople, software developers, entrepreneurs or anyone with appetite for manipulating data and building applications to take part. This year’s DigitalJAM, an initiative by the World Bank and Government of Jamaica, featured the development of the first Open Data Sports Hackathon in the World. The goals of these events vary. Some, like BrightPath Foundation’s App Master mobile app programs, solicit ideas for how government can present its data more effectively. Others, Like Teleios’ Code Jam target college students and software enthusiasts, seeking their ideas for mining open data repositories . Kevin Khelawan, Teleios’ chief operating officer, said many governments and firms want advice on how to use the data to make their organisations more responsive to the needs of citizens and customers. The appeal of open data is obvious, he says, “We live in an information hungry world. To feed that, you need the data. Governments have by far the largest amount of data from which real economic value can be created. They have a key role to play in activating open data in the region. However, so too does the private sector.”

Tel: 562-0093 Fax: 460-9707 w w w. a b i r e a l t o r s . c o m

Unlocking Economic Value He is correct. Although the open-data phenomenon is in its early days, its potential to unlock significant economic value is already significant. A recent McKinsey Global Institute Report found that it is already giving rise to hundreds of entrepreneurial businesses and helping established companies to segment markets; define new products and services; and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operations. For the region to realize these same benefits much work has to be done by governments, companies, and consumers. Policies have to be crafted to open up datasets; protect privacy and intellectual property; encourage access; and invest in technology and expertise needed to use the data effectively. For open data to gain traction in the region, deliberate steps must be taken in the public and private sectors to cultivate a vibrant open-data ecosystem that promotes openness, innovation and transparency. To achieve this consumers have to be educated; governments have to match words with action; and businesses have to step up and invest in the development of the human resource talent and tech needed to turn data into dollars. ¤ BusinessFocus Oct / Dec






ntigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne has held talks with senior United States officials in a move aimed at ending their long standing Internet gaming dispute.

The meeting followed Browne’s criticism of Washington during his address to the United nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September. A statement by the Antigua and Barbuda government indicated Prime Minister Browne met US Trade Representative, Michael Froman, “where both men sat down to open dialogue about the stalled trade dispute and discussed practical ways in which the matter could be brought to a conclusion”. “Both sides agreed to put a team together to work out the details of their discussion, and PM Browne undertook to name his team within a week,” the statement said. Prime Minister Browne later said he was “encouraged” that his administration has been able to secure a meeting with Ambassador Froman “so early”. He said that the US official is a Cabinet-level officer and that “this should facilitate decision-making on policy matters”. In his meeting with Froman, Prime Minister Browne outlined the economic losses suffered by Antigua and Barbuda as a result of US non-compliance with the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling, according to the statement. BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



It said both parties are expected to resume discussions in the coming weeks. Earlier this month, Antigua and Barbuda said it was seeking US$100 million to settle the dispute. Prime Minister Browne told a news conference then that while the figure represents a reduction on what St. John’s had originally been demanding, it is negotiable and could be a mixture of cash and kind. Antigua and Barbuda has submitted new proposals to Washington to end the dispute. St. John’s has criticised the United States since 1998 of breaching its commitments to members of the WTO under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) by enacting laws that prevented foreign-based operators from offering gambling and betting services to its citizens. In 2005, the WTO ruled that Washington had violated international trade agreements by prohibiting operation of offshore Internet gambling sites. Antigua claimed that it lost US$3.4 billion a year due to the US action, but the WTO awarded the island US$21 million. But in its final ruling, the Geneva-based WTO has allowed Antigua and Barbuda to suspend certain concessions and obligations it has under international law to the United States in respect of intellectual property rights.¤


DIGICEL TURNS MAJOR CONTENT PROVIDER FOLLOWING CABLE TV ACQUISITIONS Also Aquires Majority Control in broadband and VoIP services, currently services sections of St. Andrew and St. Catherine. Operations will have to expand to a further 12 parishes across the country. The cable and broadband infrastructure also forms a critical part of Digicel’s plan to aggressively target fixed-line customers once the government approves local number portability (LNM), according to O’Brien, Digicel will face stiff competition from Columbus Communications, which trades as Flow in Jamaica.


IGICEL has bought a majority stake in the parent company of regional sports broadcaster, SportsMax. The deal to purchase controlling interest in St Lucia-based International Media Content (IMC), also gives the regional telecommunications firm a toehold in the North American market through CEEN-TV, which targets the diaspora in The US Tri-State area and in Canada. SportsMax is currently available in 23 countries in the Caribbean while Digicel operates in 32 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific, but not in The Bahamas, St Marteen, US Virgin Islands or Dominican Republic where IMC’s sports content is currently offered. Last year, SportsMax launched its 24-hour Spanish language channel; CDN SportsMax in the Dominican Republic where it provides similar content to SportsMax; plus Major League Baseball. The move to acquire IMC comes on the heels of Digicel’s entry into the cable TV market with recent acquisitions in Anguilla, Dominica, Jamaica, Montserrat, Nevis and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Digicel plans to build out an island wide digital cable and home broadband network within three years. The acquisition of Telstar and the island wide expansion of its cable footprint is a strategic move to position the telecommunications firm to enter the subscriber TV market; push its broadband Internet business; and eventually offer fixed-line services, Digicel Jamaica CEO, Barry O’Brien said. In Jamaica, mobile telecommunications is already at high levels of saturation with a mobile phone penetration rate of over 110 per cent. The latest subscriber TV service to be bought by the telecommunications firm is Telstar. Telstar, a licensed subscription television (STV) company which also provides BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



Columbus holds the lion’s share of the subscriber TV market in the island. Its network passes approximately 310,000 homes, according to the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR). There are an estimated 850,000 dwellings island wide. Flow also holds an estimated 48 per cent of fixed line broadband subscriptions across the island, with LIME claiming the remaining 52 per cent. But the acquisition of a major regional content provider might give Digicel an edge in Jamaica and in the other regional markets, where it will compete with Columbus in cable and broadband. IMC content includes Barclays Premier League, UEFA Champions League, West Indies cricket, the Indian Premier League and the IAAF Grand Prix. It has also been responsible for the broadcast of major international events such as the FIFA World Cup tournaments since 2006, including this summer’s event, and the 2012 London Olympics. “As a complete communications solutions provider, it’s all about ensuring our customers enjoy access to the best multimedia content on the best devices via the very best network and that we meet all of their communication, entertainment and networking needs,” said Digicel Group CEO, Colm Delves. “SportsMax represents the perfect blend of sports entertainment and infotainment with a Caribbean flavour and I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the team to the Digicel family.” The founder and a number of the lead principals from IMC will stay on board to run the day-to-day operations of the content provider, while maintaining equity positions in business. Meanwhile, over in Trinidad and Togabo, Digicel has applied for a subscription broadcasting service via a telecommunications network, which is believed to be a cable licence, according to a Telecommunications Authority of T&T (TATT) notice dated August 18. In subscription TV, Flow, the market leader, already has competition from TSTT (bmobile’s parent), DirecTV, Green Dot, smaller rural providers like MayaroCableTV, and even some offthe-grid pirates. Digicel is no newcomer to cable TV. Digicel already owns cable television assets across the Caribbean. On July 17, 2014, Digicel had made an announcement that it was rolling out fibre in several markets through its sub-sea fibre optic acquisition that, at the time, was said to be “nearing completion.”¤







CARIRI AND CANTO TO PROMOTE MOBILE APPS IN REGION The Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (Cariri) and Canto have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together to strengthen the region’s ability to develop, promote and commercialise mobile applications. Both institutions have a shared interest to increase awareness on global and regional Internet related challenges and governance; promote regional mobile app development; build regional technical expertise through mentoring and training and share knowledge and data on best practices to assist in the development

of mobile apps programming. The MOU commits the two institutions to sharing knowledge and expertise related to mobile application development across the region. Cariri CEO Liaquat Ali Shah and Secretary General of Canto Regenie Fraser signed the MOU for this new and innovative relationship which will benefit the region significantly. At Freeport, Cariri has the Centre for Enterprise Development which houses its own mCentre, a mobile applications

has been recognised as the leader in the field of consultancy, innovation and testing for over 44 years.

is recognised as the leading trade association of the ICT sector for shaping information and communication in the Caribbean. ¤



ropbox will continue beefing up the business version of its cloud storage and file sharing service, adding security features to shared links, full-text search capabilities and new tools for enterprise developers.

can now be turned on by Dropbox admins for their end users. In the coming months, Dropbox for Business will also gain a fulltext search engine, an upgrade over the current search feature that is limited to querying file names.

Dropbox, which has about 300 million end users, is immensely popular among consumers, but is now trying to elbow its way into the fiercely competitive enterprise market for cloud storage, file sync and sharing services.

Dropbox is also extending its improved Microsoft Office document preview capabilities to its Android application, so that users can check out a file without necessarily downloading it.

“We’re taking the simplicity and ease of use of our core product and marrying it with IT admin controls in Dropbox for Business,” said Ilya Fushman, Head of Product for Dropbox for Business. For Dropbox content shared via links, it will now be possible for users to require a password for access to the content and set an expiration date for the link. This feature BusinessFocus Oct / Dec

lab that offers testing services to app developers to ensure their apps are optimised and ready for commercialisation. Canto has held a mobile app competition for the last three years called iCreate and with this partnership, can now take the developers forward to reach their full commercialisation potential.



For developers, Dropbox is releasing two new APIs Application Programming interfaces. The Shared Folder API makes the core functions of shared folders available to third-party apps and tools. Meanwhile, the Document Preview API lets developers embed this feature into their applications. About 80,000 businesses pay for Dropbox for Business, which costs $15 per user/

month, for a minimum of 5 users, and features unlimited storage capacity. It came out of its beta testing period in April. The company declined to say how many people use Dropbox for Business. Other Dropbox for Business IT administration controls include the ability to remotely wipe Dropbox files from employee devices, to track how and with whom users share files via audit logs, and to transfer control of employee accounts. Meanwhile, with a free Google account, people get 15GB of storage for files in Drive, Gmail messages and Google+ photos, and can purchase 100GB of additional storage for $1.99 per month. ¤

Source: PCWorld


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The prime minister has already promised that the country’s tax structure will be restructured to favour investments.

Huawei of the People’s Republic of China made its position known during talks with Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne, when he visited the Asian country late August.

While officials from LIME telecommunications have expressed concern that the partnership would create an uneven playing field, Digicel said it is not worried about the potential competition.

elecommunications giants Digicel and LIME may soon face competition in Antigua and Barbuda from one of the world’s largest telecommunications company, Huawei, which has expressed interest in investing in the twin island.

During the meeting, managers of the multimillion dollar telecoms company promised to send a team of experts to Antigua by mid-September to explore the possible collaboration with state-owned Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) PCS for the establishment of mobile, Internet and cable television services.

Right now, both Digicel and LIME are required to pay fees to APUA for network use so they could deliver mobile and broadband services. In addition to being the largest telecommunications company in Europe and providing people across all geographic

areas with ease of access to highquality voice communications services, Huawei focuses on bridging the digital divide through broadband, talent, and applications. The company promotes broadband availability everywhere and leverages future-oriented ICT technologies to address global challenges. ¤



ndian entrepreneur Rajat Khare has been named as Antigua and Barbuda’s brand ambassador to promote tourism, investment and homeland security solutions within the twin island state. Khare, one of the new breed of entrepreneurs lending their expertise to a wide range of governments globally, is the promoter of ACSG, a homeland security firm helping governments secure their sensitive information and data. The main areas of collaboration with government agencies include developing new technologies, cyber security,

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



emergency preparedness and firefighting, as well as conducting joint research and development in homeland security technology. Reacting to his appointment, Khare said: “Our partnership with government agencies, both at home and especially abroad, gives us an opportunity to show the growing influence of Indian firms in the IT and homeland security sectors.” ¤




he combined team of People Employment Programme (PEP) graphic designers and marketers, and Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) programmers and researchers has won the St. Kitts-Nevis leg of AgriHack Talent Caribbean competition. Three teams participated in the local challenge named CODE SKN Sustainable Challenge 2014, two of which were made up of PEP Graphic Design trainees. The winning group had four members from the CFBC and two members from PEP, and travelled to Suriname for the regional finals held October 6-10. CODESKN Sustainable Challenge 2014 is part of a much broader regional activity under the umbrella of AgriHack Talent Caribbean, which is an initiative funded and supported by the Technical Centre for Rural and Agriculture Development that is an ACP/EU institution based out of the Netherlands. AgriHack Talent Caribbean initiative, which was launched in July 2014, is an ICT and social innovation and youth entrepreneurship programme that has a mission to advance food and nutritional security; increase prosperity and encourage sound natural resource management in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. Organiser, Telly Onu, Managing Director of Quintessence Consulting, said the event started on Monday September 15 with a two-day training with assistance of Microsoft, and final presentations were done in front of a panel of judges on Saturday September 20. There were six challenges and each of the three teams worked on one. ¤

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



pple and Samsung Electronics said they had agreed to drop patent litigation against each other in countries outside the United States, including Germany, Australia and Japan. But they said they were not done fighting.

In a joint statement, the companies said they will continue to pursue existing legal cases in the United States. They also clarified that they had not agreed to license technologies from each other. Still, the truce outside the United States suggests that tension may be cooling down between the two electronics giants. Over the past few years, Apple and Samsung have been engaged in some of the most high-profile patent disputes in courtrooms. After Apple sued Samsung in 2011, accusing it of copying some features of the iPhone, Samsung fired back with lawsuits in seven countries, including Italy, the Netherlands, Britain and France. Many of those overseas lawsuits revolved around so-called standard essential patents, which cover basic technologies that companies must use in their products to comply with industry standards. In 2012, the European Union started an antitrust investigation against Samsung over its use of standard essential patents in its legal fights with Apple. Earlier this year, Samsung reached a settlement with the (E.U.) in which it agreed that it would not seek injunctions in Europe over standard-essential patents for five years. The biggest fights between Apple and Samsung have taken place in the United States, and the companies have not suggested that this would change. Apple won its first big patent fight against Samsung in a California courtroom in 2012, and Samsung still owes $930 million in damages. The case is under appeal. But Apple’s victory was less decisive in a second big patent trial earlier this year. Jurors concluded that Samsung owed Apple $119.6 million in damages for violating three patents, far below the $2 billion it had demanded in total. They also decided that Apple owed Samsung $158,400 for violating two patents.¤




ussia, China, South Africa, India and Brazil, all part of a group of emerging economies, signed the long-anticipated document to create the $100 billion BRICS Development Bank and a reserve currency pool worth over another $100 billion in early July 2014. Both will counter the influence of Westernbased lending institutions and the dollar. The new bank will provide money for infrastructure and development projects in BRICS countries, and unlike the IMF or World Bank, each nation will have equal say, regardless of GDP size. Each BRICS member is expected to put an equal share into establishing the startup capital of $50 billion with a goal to reach $100 billion. The BRICS bank will be headquartered in Shanghai; India will preside as president the first year, and Russia will be the chairman of the representatives. “BRICS Bank will be one of the major multilateral development finance institutions in this world,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said recently at the 6th BRICS summit in Fortaleza, Brazil. The big launch of the BRICS bank is seen as a first step to break the dominance of the US dollar in global trade, as well as dollarbacked institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, both US-based institutions BRICS countries have little influence within. “In terms of escalating international competition the task of activating the trade and investment cooperation between BRICS member states becomes important,” Putin said. Russia, Brazil, India, China and South Africa account for 11 percent of global capital investment, and trade turnover almost doubled in the last 5 years, the president reminded. Each country will send either their finance minister or Central Bank chair to the bank’s representative board. Membership may not just be limited to just BRICS nations, either. Future members BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



could include countries in other emerging markets blocs, such as Mexico, Indonesia, or Argentina, once it sorts out its debt burden. BRICS represents 42 percent of the world’s population and roughly 20 percent of the world’s economy based on GDP, and 30 percent of the world’s GDP based on PPP, a more accurate reading of the real economy. Total trade between the countries is $6.14 trillion, or nearly 17 percent of the world’s total. The $100 billion crisis lending fund, called the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA), was also established. China will contribute the lion’s share, about $41 billion, Russia, Brazil and India will chip in $18 billion, and South Africa, the newest member of the economic bloc, will contribute $5 billion. The idea is that the creation of the bank will lessen dependence on the West and create a more multi-polar world, at least financially. “This mechanism creates the foundation for an effective protection of our national economies from a crisis in financial markets," Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

The group has already created the BRICS Stock Alliance an initiative to cross list derivatives to smooth the path for international investors interested in emerging markets. Russia has also proposed the countries come together under an energy alliance that will include a fuel reserve, as well as an institute for energy policy. "We propose the establishment of the Energy Association of BRICS. Under this ‘umbrella,’ a Fuel Reserve Bank and BRICS Energy Policy Institute could be set up,” Putin said. Documents on cooperation between BRICS export credit agencies and an agreement of cooperation on innovation was also inked. Bringing emerging economies closer has become vital at a time when the world is guttered by the financial crisis and BRICS countries can’t remain above international problems, said Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff. She cautioned the world not to see BRICS deals as a desire to dominate. “We want justice and equal rights,” she said. “The IMF should urgently revise distribution of voting rights to reflect the importance of emerging economies globally.” ¤

DEFENDS ITS POLICIES AFTER CRITICISM FROM ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA’S PM A senior official of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) defended its policies towards Antigua and Barbuda after the island’s new government launched a scathing attack on the Washington-based financial institution in August. IMF Deputy Director of the Western Hemisphere Department Adrienne Cheasty was forced to abandoned her prepared speech as to respond to remarks by Prime Minister Gaston Browne that the IMF was responsible for the economic situation now facing the island. “I think that presentation would be kind of silly in light of the prime minister’s frank and direct discussion,” she said, adding that the IMF programme had helped avert a financial crisis in Antigua and Barbuda. ‘We stand very firmly behind all the difficult measures Antigua and Barbuda has taken since the global crisis started. Antigua has an IMF programme, it met the targets under the programme, it achieved success, it averted the crisis which was so messy, so deep, so costly, that thank goodness these difficult decisions were taken,” she said. The IMF official acknowledged that the island took “difficult steps to retain stability and not maybe spiral down into financial crisis”. Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne was addressing the Economic Business Forum and Book Launch hosted by the Antigua and Barbuda Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ltd. and IMF Western Hemisphere Department, also indicated

that his administration would not be seeking to enter into a new agreement with the Washington-based financial institution. The former Baldwin Spencer government had entered into a 36-month Stand By Agreement (SBA) with the IMF in 2010 for an original amount of US$121.9 million with the Washingtonbased financial institution indicating in June that the aims of the programme were “largely achieved despite considerable challenges”. It said the fiscal deficit dropped from 18 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009 to just over one per cent last year. But Browne, whose Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) came to power in the June 12 general elections, said that programme failed to improve the economic situation and is partly to blame for stagnating the economy. He said the IMF had damaged the investment climate and slowed the inflow of foreign direct investment and that the lending agency had worsened the cash crisis that it was meant to solve. Browne said he was not happy with the repayment terms of the IMF loan. He told delegates that his new administration was already in talks with Venezuela for a loan to pay off the IMF “in short order” and that he was seeking a US$150 million from China, a move he said he was certain the IMF would not approve. ¤

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec




“OECS Needs Injection of ‘Serious Hard’ Cash to Address Challenges” says Chairman of the OECS Honourable Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Mnister of St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Monetary Council of the ECCB Elects New Chairman


he Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) must mobilise large sums of money if it is to address the challenges confronting its nine member countries. “And that is where we call on our development partners to appreciate the challenges with which we are confronted,” Chairman of the OECS, Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit, told the opening ceremony of the 59th meeting of the OECS Authority. “The challenge which we have, with the issue of debt, the issues of our banking system, our financial system, strengthening those institutions, we are going to need an injection of serious hard financial resources to address these challenges,” he said. Skerrit said OECS leaders came to that conclusion during the 79th meeting of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Monetary Council where they received the ECCB Governor’s Report on Money and Credit Conditions in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union.

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



“As time goes by, with the global [financial] crisis not abating, it is placing greater stress on our resources,” he said, adding that none of the OECS countries has the fiscal space in which to maneuver. “What we are doing as governments, whether it is in St. Vincent, or St. Lucia or Grenada, or Antigua, can almost be described as marginal,” Skerrit said. “Because of the enormity of the challenge, unavailability of resources; it is amazing that these countries continue to provide almost adequately to our citizens,” said Skerrit, who is also Dominica’s Minister of Finance. “Our citizens must appreciate those things, because when demands are made on our governments, our governments must also find resources, and I know nobody in the OECS wants to pay any form of taxation; and, therefore, we have to be measured with our request of our citizens.” “Prime Minister [Ralph Gonsalves] here in St. Vincent is building an international airport using extraordinary means and strategies – an international airport during the most difficult financial crisis in our

lifetime. And I think these are the sort of things that we need to appreciate as citizens of our countries,” Skerrit said. As a precursor to the aforementioned meetings, Chairmanship of the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) was transferred to Dr. the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves, Council Member for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, during the official Handing Over Ceremony held at the Buccament Bay Resort, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Prime Minister Gonsalves succeeded the Outgoing Chairman, the Honourable Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, Council Member for St. Lucia. The Monetary Council is the highest decision making authority of the ECCB and comprises the eight Ministers for Finance of the ECCB member governments. Chairmanship of the Council is rotated alphabetically each year among the eight ECCB member countries: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. ¤



Are your customers showroomers or webroomers? By Pilaiye Cenac E-commerce (better known as Amazon) has not yet demolished brick and mortar retailers. Says who? Well, the latest webrooming trend appears to provide hope to traditional businesses. Apparently the much-despised showrooming is giving way to the reverse. Let’s define those buzzwords before we go on.

headache and additional cost of shipping items whence they came.

Showrooming: Customer goes to store to view product but does not purchase there. Customer then sneaks back to that smartphone, tablet or computer to make that purchase online. Some retailers abroad fought against this by instituting a ‘just looking’ fee —a move guaranteed to alienate customers.

• The human touch: knowledgeable, and hopefully friendly, human attendants make a difference to many people.

• Ensure that customer expectations are met or exceeded by examining drivers for in-store purchasing

• Security: Many consumers still feel safer purchasing in store rather than providing their payment information online. Also, persons purchasing very expensive items tend to prefer purchasing in store.

• Offer online coupons for in-store purchases

What drives a consumer to purchase online?

• Employ knowledgeable and dynamic sales staff to convert showroomers into customers

Webrooming: Customer spends time online researching a product, becomes an ‘expert’ in a matter of hours, then heads to a store to test, assess and buy. Research shows that persons from all age groups webroom; men tend to do so a little more than women. Persons looking to purchase items such as electronics and shoes are keen webroomers. Forget the clever marketing jargon, consumers WILL take advantage of all reasonable channels available to them; retailers expecting them to do otherwise will be disappointed. It’s best to find ways of satisfying consumers across the different channels, and to do so retailers will need to understand consumers’ motivations. What drives a consumer to purchase in store? • The opportunity to touch the product, test it, try it out, try it on, twirl in front of the mirror, try another… • No shipping cost and no risk of items being damaged en route • Instant gratification: no long wait for the product to be delivered • Less hassle to return the item to the store if the need arises. No one wants the BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



• In-store ambiance: Some consumers enjoy the look and feel of the store. A friend of mine describes the sound of hangers sliding across racks as “music to her ears”.

• Variety, variety, variety: online, consumers can access a lot more than a physical location can hold. Online shopping offers the world at a click… or a few hundred clicks. • Convenience: they can literally shop till they max out their card (s) in pajamas, or less, in the comfort of their home, at any hour of the day/night. It provides the opportunity to save gas money, bus fare, time and energy. No walking from store to store, no bags to tote around, no unfriendly human attendants… • Better price: Online shoppers love the deals and the opportunity to compare prices easily • Reviews from product users: to consumers this feedback is more powerful than advertising and, in many cases, information from sales staff. • Discreet shopping opportunity: it allows privacy so buyers are spared the embarrassment when purchasing particular items.

Consumers want a hassle-free, safe and consistent retail experience. Retailers will need to continue to monitor the trend, keep talking to their customers to appreciate their preferences. Few St. Lucian businesses offer consumers the option to purchase online but organizations can:

• Keep in store inventory up to date with what is available on their website

• Evaluate online competitors • Explore offering online purchasing option Offering some of the features traditionally found in online shopping is sure to position you ahead of other retailers and increases customer purchases. ¤

About the Author Pilaiye Cenac is an entrepreneur. Her qualifications include a BSc. in Psychology and Sociology and an MSc. in Marketing. She is also a PMP and a published writer. One of her companies, In Tandem, focuses on low cost approaches to enriching the customer experience. She can be contacted at



ntigua and Barbuda is to receive three million euros, the equivalent of more than EC$10.6 million, in grants from the European Union.

Antigua and Barbuda was among 10 Caribbean countries and 11 African and Pacific (ACP) countries, which participated in the ceremony, sealing their various national funding commitments.

The money comes through the Antigua and Barbuda National Indicative Programme under the 11th European Development Fund.

In addressing the gathering, Commissioner Piebalgs noted that: “For the European Union it is essential that our programmes are drawn up in close cooperation with our partner countries, based on governments’ own policies and strategies and reflecting their stated needs. This is how we ensure that programming documents really support areas where the EU can add value.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Charles ‘Max’ Fernandez signed the agreement at a meeting held on the margins of the SIDS conference in Samoa. European Commissioner for Development, Adris Piebalgs cosigned the document. Out of that sum US2.4 million euros would be allocated to develop Public Financial Management systems and 600 thousand euros for the focal sector, including civil society support. No further details were given on the grants from the EU in a government statement, which announced the agreement.

Speaking after the signing, Fernandez welcomed the new resources and indicated that it demonstrates the EU’s commitment towards the further integration of Antigua and Barbuda into the global economy. A government statement said in the coming months, Antigua and Barbuda, through the Office of the National Authorising Officer will continue its engagement with the EU and local stakeholders towards implementation of this tranche of funding. ¤

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



The Culture of Discipline: The Essential Ingredient for Excellence in Corporate Governance

By Harvey Millar Ph.D., P. Eng.

Dr. Millar is a full professor in the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University in Canada. He is the principal consultant with Management Technologies specialising in organisational improvement interventions, which include among others: strategic planning, strategy execution, performance management, and governance evaluations. He can be reached at

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



I recently completed a governance retreat with a client where a rather interesting question was raised by one of the participants: “Why do Boards do the things they do?” he asked. The question gave much pause for thought among those present. The first response was a follow up question seeking further clarification, “what do you mean by the things they do?” Boards govern, or at least they are supposed to. Boards do many things: plan strategy, hire the CEO, develop succession plans, develop corporate policies, ensure integrity of the financial records, etc. But the original question was really not about why boards govern, but rather about a more disturbing question of “why boards govern so poorly?” The geographical context for this question, if I am not mistaken was not North America and Europe, but rather the Caribbean. This begs several questions. “How do Caribbean boards govern?” Is the Caribbean governance landscape riffed with success stories or colossal failures that we are simply not aware of?” The dearth of publications on Caribbean corporate governance practices makes it difficult to answer these questions.

The governance failures of the past decade or more have led to a heightened focus on corporate governance while simultaneously fueling an appetite for governance success stories. While corporate governance is not new to the Caribbean, it lacks the level of scrutiny, research, publication, etc. that characterizes corporate governance in OECD countries. Hence, we are hardpressed to offer with great certainty, commentary on the level of maturity, the level of success, and the extent of failure among Caribbean corporate boards. Based on my experience with local and regional boards, many if not all, use the classic structural model that is made up of a mix of executive and independent directors and possess standing committees each with their terms of reference or charter. The Board has responsibility for running the corporation and will do so by delegating roles and responsibilities to the Board Committees, CEO, and executive management team. The Board speaks as one voice and the Chair is usually deemed the “voice of the Board.” Suffice to say that this model is also prevalent in North America and Europe.

As such, it is reasonable to assume that many of the issues that plague corporate boards in OECD countries would also plague Caribbean corporate Boards. The difference between the extent and nature of successes and/or failures for the two groups (OECD countries and the Caribbean) may be influenced by cultural factors that impact how governance is executed. In my search for answers to “why do Boards do what they do?” I had to begin by acknowledging some likely truths: for example, most boards have a well-defined and documented structure or framework for governing; most directors understand the structure of their boards and have a sense of their roles and responsibilities; most directors come to a board with the intention of doing some good; and that most directors do their best with the knowledge that they have. We can question whether the board structure is optimised for the type of organisation, or whether a director’s knowledge is adequate and relevant for the task. But many of the factors that give rise to governance failures has less to do with the governance framework and more to do with the execution of governance. An analysis of corporate governance failure in the financial industry highlighted several contributing factors which include among others: management incompetence; nonobservance of the procedures stipulated in internal regulations; insufficient attention paid to risk management; inconsistent distribution of duties and responsibilities; inefficiency of internal audit; ignorance showed to the signals provided by external audit; influencing the external auditors to express an audit opinion inconsistent with reality. All of these factors point to one crucial ingredient: organisational culture, and in particular the culture of discipline and ethical behavior. Discipline and ethical behavior speaks directly to governance execution, and while I’ve said that the governance failure has more to do with execution than structure, it is possible that a weak governance structure or framework can provide fertile ground for ill-discipline and unethical behavior. The book “From Good to Great” emphasizes the importance of selfdiscipline as a critical factor in modern corporate culture. What then are some essential types of discipline that can have a positive impact on governance practice? For the purpose of this article, I will discuss

5 essential disciplines for excellence in code. Unfortunately many boards lack a corporate governance. spiritual ethos, which makes it possible for unethical and unspiritual directors to The Discipline of Self-Awareness: thrive unchecked. Many boards don’t even start with a simple prayer. The 42 Directors must have an acute sense of principles of Ma’at (the ancient Egyptian who they are; their likes, dislikes, skills philosophy) offer a fantastic starting point and abilities; their beliefs and values; for ethical self-reflection. The principles what drives them; and their sense of are embodied in confessions such as: I loyalty. Directors must park their egos have not done iniquity; I have not stolen; and honestly self-assess whether they are I have not caused pain; I have not judged a good fit for the organisation. This is the hastily; I have not stirred up strife; I have starting point of personal integrity in the not acted with insolence; I have not fouled context of the role as director. the water. These are powerful principles that can guide both individual and group The Discipline of Self-Improvement: ethical behavior. It is one thing to know one’s make up. It is another thing to act upon one’s weaknesses in pursuit of self-improvement. Directors must be willing to take the necessary steps to improve their contextual skills, knowledge and understanding, and reflect on their spiritual ethos. Self-improvement can be a challenge. But directors must find the time to close critical skills and knowledge gaps if they are to add value to the governance of the corporation. The Discipline of Thought and Analysis: It is crucial that each director sharpen their analytical sword. Effective decision-making requires an evidence-based disposition and hence great analytical skills, the ability to reason, the ability to think both shortterm and long-term, and the ability to ask the right questions cannot be overstated. Asking good questions is both an art and a science. Good questions often emanate from a location of healthy cognition. Directors must have the discipline to ask the right questions, the hard questions, and the discipline to work through the fuzzy data or scenarios before making decisions that will have serious consequences for the company. There must be the discipline to resist the temptation of expedience over due diligence.

The Discipline of Ethical Praxis: All directors must check their moral and professional compass and act in a manner that respects universal principles of right and wrong. Directors must be willing to act in accordance with a set of core principles and values that are defensible in the court of morality and the court of public opinion. Directors must have the resolve to walk away when asked to make decisions that are in direct conflict with their moral and spiritual

The Discipline of Action: Governing is an act and as such, directors must therefore take action before the benefits of good governance can be realised. What actions are taken and how these actions are executed will determine the outcomes that follow. Directors must have the discipline to act timely; act with confidence; act forthrightly; act in good faith; act with knowledge; act with a sense of purpose; act in the best interest of the sustainability of the corporation; act morally and ethically; and act with skill and agility. Directors, individually and collectively must have the fortitude to act on both the hard painful decisions as well as the fun and pleasurable ones; for procrastination of tough decisions or an over-emphasis on easy pleasurable decisions will both lead to failure. Finally disciplined action is required for both planned and emergent events. The latter is particularly hard; as emergent issues, crises, market collapses, economic decline, social unrests, etc., often carry with them the seeds that can germinate into chaos. Achieving excellence in corporate governance is by no means an easy feat. Given a corporation submerged in the complexity of its internal and external environments, the interests of its shareholders and stakeholders, the skills and capabilities of its managerial assets, optimising governance practice is indeed difficult. Having an efficient governance infrastructure is immensely important and is the natural starting point. But even more important is the culture of governance and in particular, the culture of discipline that is needed to fuel the successes of this engine called the Board.¤ BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



Special Feature

Prime Minister The Honorable


Committed to Transforming the Economy of Antigua & Barbuda



THE POWER OF CHANGE On 12 June 2014 the people of Antigua & Barbuda voted for change and gave an overwhelming popular vote to the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party to form the new Government with a resounding victory at the polls. With this victory came many changes, some controversial, in the immediate period, with many more to follow during the life of this new ABLP Government. The reality however is that the people gave the party a mandate to effect change for the better of the country and all its people. Change is inevitable. Change is good - it invigorates, it excites, it helps move us forward. But, change requires courage and an open mind. However, let’s face it, change can also be painful, uncomfortable, and anxiety-producing. The political winds of change has brought us what many describe as a new, youthful and energetic Prime Minister in Gaston Browne and a new team of Ministers of Government. September 20th saw the new Government completing its 100th day in office. During this period, the changes effected and new projects unveiled have dominated the conversations among the people, creating positive and some negative expectations given the current challenging economic times. Antigua and Barbuda has taken the leadership of CARICOM, with our Prime Minister serving as Chairman and asserting himself as a gracious host and confirming our solidarity with the grouping. Bold initiatives have been explored on several fronts, with the confirmation of major foreign direct investments and many new projects on the horizon. Clearly the new Government intends to be proactive and employ change management strategies, which they project will make them successful in this period of change. We all hope that these changes will bear fruit and dispel the fear of the unknown for the sake of our nation and its people. The current state of Antigua and Barbuda’s economy is challenging. Our Prime Minister, Gaston Browne, has promised positive change and we all look forward to him and his ABLP Government fullfilling the promise to turn Antigua and Barbuda into an economic powerhouse. 36 |

BusinessFocus • July/September 2014

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec




Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Constituency: St. John’s City West Browne’s political career began around 1998 when he was in his very early 30s. Prior to becoming Prime Minister, he served continuously as a legislator for 15 years, five of which he served as the country’s Minister of Planning & Trade. Previously, he managed a banking group comprising a domestic bank, an offshore bank and a trust company. During those years, Browne owned and operated a number of successful private businesses, while also serving on the boards of several private and publicly owned corporations to include LIAT (1974 Ltd). He is a Professional in Banking and has a Masters Degree in Business Administration, specializing in Finance.


Minister of Utilities,Civil Aviation and Transportation Constituency: St. Philip’s North Robin Yearwood has served as a representative for St Phillip’s North in Antigua and Barbuda’s Parliament since 1978. During his time as a representative, Yearwood served as Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Minister of Public Utilities and Minister of Public Utilities, Public Works and Energy. He also served as Minister of Finance, Public Utilities, Housing and Aviation and once held the position of Deputy Prime Minister. He’s the region’s longest serving parliamentarian.



Attorney General, Minister of Legal Affairs, Labour, Immigration and Police

Minister of Trade, Industry, Commerce, National Festivals, Culture & Sports

Constituency: St. John’s City South

Constituency: St. Paul

Benjamin, an attorney, became involved in Antigua and Barbuda’s government more than 30 years ago. He was first appointed to the Senate on November 1, 1981 and served two terms, before being elected to the Lower House to represent St John’s City East.

He has been a key figure in Antigua and Barbuda’s national sports administration, serving as Commissioner of Sports in the Ministry of Sports, President of the Antigua and Barbuda Olympic Association, and an International Football Official Administrator.

He has held on to that seat since 1994, and was eventually elected Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives. Benjamin also served as the Minister of Labour, Home Affairs, Ecclesiastical Affairs, Public Safety and Co-operatives. He also acted as Attorney General, Ministry of Legal Affairs, an Adviser on National Security and performed the functions of Minister of Public Works.

Greene received a degree in Sports Administration from the Université de Poitiers in France, which he immediately put to use upon his return to Antigua. He served as the President of the Liberta Sports Club, and was Captain of the Liberta Parish Cricket League team, where he holds the record for most wins.



Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy

Minister of Social Transformation and Human Resource Development

Constituency: St. Peter After an extensive period abroad studying to obtain among other things, an MBA from the University of Miami, Michael returned to Antigua to work in the family business, Asot’s Arcade, named after his late grandfather. In 1997 Michael was appointed by Lester Bird, then-Prime Minister, as his Chief of Staff. He was then appointed a Government Senator, as well as Minister of State, responsible for Public Works, Communications, Insurance, Energy and St. John’s Development Corporation. He continued in this role until 2001, when he was appointed Junior Minister of Finance and Leader of Government Business in the Senate.

Constituency: St. Mary’s South A member of the Bar Association in Antigua and Barbuda, Ms. Marshall owns her own law firm, Stapleton Chambers in St John’s. She has established a reputation as one of the island’s leading attorneys in the criminal and civil divisions. She is the only female in Cabinet. She’s passionate about education, gender equality and empowerment and youth development. In 2008, she joined with other women and formed the group “Women Against Rape” to fulfil the role of a support entity and an awareness group to help the victims and families cope with such traumatic incidents. BusinessFocus Oct / Dec





Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Minister of Public Works and Housing.

Constituency: St. John’s Rural North He holds a Business Management Degree at the University of the West Indies. Fernandez joined the Antigua Labour Party in 1984, and was appointed to the Senate in 1995 by then Prime Minister Lester Bird. He served as a Senator until 2004. During his time in the Senate, Fernandez also served as Chairman of the Board of The Free Trade and Processing Zone from 1995 to 2002, and Chairman of the Board of The Medical Benefits Scheme from 2002 to 2004. He’s an entrepreneur who manages and directs The Deluxe Theatre Ltd. in Antigua.

Constituency: St. John’s Rural South Lake has been a member of Antigua and Barbuda’s legislature since 2009. Apart from a political career, he has served as the Chairman of the Caribbean Commonwealth Human Rights Group, an organisation that works closely with international and regional groups to protect the rights of all humans. He has participated in conferences on human rights around the world and presented a position paper in Geneva entitled “The Role of Parliamentarians in the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.” Lake studied at Antigua State College and Saint John Fisher College, where he earned a Bachelors of Arts in Economics.



Minister of Health & Environment, Planning

Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs

Constituency: St. Mary’s North In 1985 he entered into politics as Junior Minister in the Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism and Energy under the leadership of Lester Bird. Seven years later, Joseph became Minister of Finance and Trade and later served as Minister for Planning, Implementation and Environment, Minister of Health and Social Improvement, and Minister of Tourism. As a climate change activist and an international Antiguan Ambassador, he led a delegation to the Heads of Government meeting in Grenada in 1985, spoke on behalf of the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States in Bangkok, Thailand and in 1995 addressed the United Nations General Assembly on the issue of climate change on behalf of Antigua and Barbuda. BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



Constituency: Barbuda

Arthur Nibbs first contested a seat on the Barbuda Council in 1977 but lost. He ran again two years later, and was elected to the council and eventually served 10 years.

As a young council member, Nibbs was a part of the effort to secure political independence from Britain for Antigua and Barbuda. He served as a member of the Barbuda delegation in talks with Sir Stanley Arthur, the British Government Representative in the Caribbean and represented Barbuda at the British Foreign Office in London.



Minister of Education, Science and Technology

Senior Minister Minister of Education, Science and Technology

Constituency: All Saints West

Constituency: St. John’s Rural East

Browne completed a dual Bachelors Degree at The University of the West Indies, Mona. On graduating from UWI, he postponed further studies to return home to assist his mother. He later pursued graduate studies in the Science of Teaching and Education Administration and Supervision, at Pace University and then International Educational Development at Teachers College ,Columbia University. He subsequently began pursuing a Doctorate in Education Leadership and Policy and a Juris Doctorate of Laws at Howard University. He was once a Senior Sub-Editor at the Antigua Sun and then The Daily Observer newspaper. He also served as a Public Relations Manager at Ribbit, and then at Sandals Resort and Spa. He taught at the Princess Margaret Secondary School where he founded an Etiquette and Modeling Club to help students develop leadership skills.

The Bird family has been one of the most influential political dynasties in the history of Antigua and Barbuda. Lester Bird’s political career began in 1970 with his election to Parliament. He was re-elected several times and later became Deputy Prime Minister to Sir Vere Bird, his father. In 1994 he succeeded his late father as Prime Minister, a role he would continue to hold for the next 10 years. In 2004 the political tides changed and Lester Bird and the Antigua Labour Party lost at the polls. He returned in 2009 as a Parliamentary Representative and Opposition Leader. A few years later, he lost the leadership of the ALP to Gaston Browne. His success on the field earned him an athletic scholarship to the University of Michigan. He then went on to study Law in England and returned to Antigua to practice and enter the political arena.



Minister of Broadcasting, Telecommunications, and Information.

Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives

Constituency: St. John’s City East Nicholas has led a successful and distinguished career in the private sector, where he spent approximately 25 years in the Telecommunications Industry and amassed a wealth of experience in industrial relations and various business disciplines. He last held the position of Chief Operations Officer at Cable & Wireless Antigua Business Unit and Vice President of Sales and Business Development for the OECS Territory.

Constituency: St. Georges Jonas has been instrumental in the opening and equipping of volunteer learning resource centers that offer tutoring in CXC Math, English A and computer literacy for younger students, as well as adult instruction courses for his constituents. He also runs a private school with kindergarten, primary and secondary divisions. He has a keen interest in sports and has sponsored many youth teams for football, cricket, basketball and netball.

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec






ntigua and Barbuda swore in its fourth Governor General, Dr Rodney Williams, in August 2014.

After taking the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Office, Sir Rodney told Parliament and the nation that he accepted his duties with humility and measured pride. He reminisced on his achievements, emphasising a penchant for service, which led him to a medical career. “In truth, my decision to pursue a career in medicine was primarily based on the notion that the field of medicine provided me with an excellent opportunity to serve mankind,” the new GG said. Sir Rodney spoke fondly of his father, the late Ernest Emanuel Williams, who was one of the longest serving members of Parliament in the history of Antigua & Barbuda. Sir Rodney was elected to represent the St Paul constituency in Parliament and as a Minister of Government after his father’s death in 1984. He served as a Cabinet Minister between 1992 and 2004 in the portfolios of Education, Culture, Technology, Economic Development, Tourism, and Environment.

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec





ir Clare Roberts was sworn in as the Governor General’s Deputy, replacing Sir Eustace Francis who held the post since 2004 under the former United Progressive Party (UPP) administration. Sir Clare, who has been described by many as a wellrespected son of the soil, is a prominent Lawer; he is also a former Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs. Other positions of prestige include his standing as a past President of the Inter American Commission on Human Rights. Sir Clare was admitted to the Bar in 1975 and mainly practices in the areas of Human Rights, Maritime Law, Taxation, Labour and Employment Law. On the occasion of Antigua and Barbuda’s 25th anniversary of political independence – in 2006 – Sir Clare was awarded one of the country’s highest honours, that of Knight Commander of The Most Distinguished Order of the Nation (KCN), for his contribution to the legal profession, human rights and the youth. As to how he expects to use his new position, the newly appointed Governor General’s Deputy pledged his support to Governor General, Dr Rodney Williams for national development.

Antigua and Barbuda names a new slate of Diplomats

Newly Appointed Diplomats: L to R: Johann Lebrecht Hesse - Ambassador to the African Union, Gilbert Antoine Boustany Ambassador at Large/Consul General of Antigua and Barbuda in Miami, Governor General Dr Rodney Williams, Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Ernell Casroy James - Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Brian Stuart-Young - Non-Resident Ambassador to China & Hon Charles Max Fernandez - Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Trade

Antigua and Barbuda’s Governor General Dr Rodney Williams announced the appointments, which include Brian StuartYoung as Non-Resident Ambassador to China; Gilbert Antoine Boustany as Ambassador at Large/Consul General of Antigua and Barbuda in Miami; Johann Lebrecht Hesse as Ambassador to the African Union and Ernell Casroy James as Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates. “Our vision is to transform this country into an economic powerhouse in the Caribbean and we have to make sure that we have the right people in the right places and make sure that we have square pegs in square holes and I am confident that these individuals have the capacity to help move the country forward,” Prime Minister Gaston Browne said following the announcement.

Earlier, career diplomat Sir Ronald Sanders was appointed the post of Antigua and Barbuda’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. Sir Ronald, who held the post twice before under the Antigua Labour Party, replaced Dr Carl Roberts, who like other ambassadors, demitted office on June 30 – two weeks after Antigua and Barbuda elected a new government. Meanwhile, Antigua and Barbuda’s only Rhodes Scholar to date, is to be named Ambassador to the United States and Organisation of American States – OAS. Karen-Mae Hill, currently the Managing Director of Trium Bank & Trust, will take up the posting in Washington DC. Hill, a former student of the Foundation Mixed and Antigua Girls’ High schools, is an attorney. ¤

Browne said the country also planned to appoint a number of “economic envoys” around the world and to have a Consul General soon in China. BusinessFocus Oct / Dec




An Exclusive Interview With Prime Minister Gaston Browne The Mission: Rebuilding Antigua & Barbuda MEET OUR PRIME MINISTER

He was born on February 9, 1967 and baptised Gaston Browne. He grew up impoverished as one of two children being raised by a single mother who was often unemployed. From age nine, Gaston had to learn to fend for himself when his mother became mentally ill, and never recovered. But these harsh circumstances didn’t break his spirit. In fact, he pushed harder and today, he’s thankful for the lessons learned during his years attending government schools, Villa Primary and Princess Margaret Secondary. Those lessons, and the people around him, served as the fuel that got him through graduate studies at the University of Manchester, England, where he also earned his Masters in Business Administration. In a candid conversation with Business Focus, the father of four said the same “ghetto” upbringing continues to motivate him as Prime Minister to strive to improve the lives of others. BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



Business Focus: First of all, congratulations on your victory at the 2014 polls and becoming the youngest Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda and now Chairman of CARICOM. Before we get down to talking business and governance, tell us a bit about more about yourself. GB: I’m just an ordinary Antiguan and Barbudan. I’m the product of a low income family where I lived poor, among the poorest of the poor. I lived in very deprived circumstances in terms of my nurturing. Business Focus: Did your background motivate you to get into business and politics? GB: My entry politics was by accident. In so far as business is concerned, given my past, I was always motivated to earn. I like to do things. I don’t like to be idle. So while working at the bank, I first of all diversified into a car business. I actually was part owner of the Subaru car company on Old Parham Road. I was the largest shareholder

in that particular entity and served as Chairman of that company until we had a falling out among the shareholders. Business Focus: How long did it last before the fall out? GB: We had that company for, I believe about two years. But it had grown very quickly and we had to bring in additional shareholders in order to raise the capital. And we sold the majority of the shares back in 1991. But the problem was, there was no synergy between the old shareholders and the new ones. Because of the hostility that had started I decided to step out and I started trading used and new vehicles and then ventured into housing. The primary business I’ve been involved in is housing development, primarily residential housing in particular. Business Focus: You mentioned working at the bank earlier, which bank and in what position?

GB: I worked with Swiss American Banking group which comprised a domestic bank, an offshore bank and a trust company and I rose to the level of Commercial Banking Manager and Deputy General Manager of that group. I had actually started as a Teller back in 1986 after I left ‘A’ levels and they gave me a scholarship to go to the United Kingdom to study banking, then promoted me into management. Actually they promoted me into management in lieu of me going to the University of Exeter to complete my Masters degree at the time. In fact they had even agreed to fund my post graduate degree. I had gotten accepted to do a one year post graduate degree at University of Exeter. But for some reason they thought my services were very important. Business Focus: So how long did you serve the bank? GB: I was there for about 13 years, I left December 31, 1998. But I was a consultant with the bank for a few months into 1999. At that time I was transitioning into electoral politics. Business Focus: You said you got into politics by accident, tell us how that happened. GB: Back in 1997/98 I was approached by some very prominent individuals in my community, including Mr Martin of Brownie’s Bakery and I think Petra Williams was one of them as well. They encouraged me to contest the primary for the Antigua Labour Party to replace Henderson Simon. He had gotten defeated in the previous election and the Labour Party was apparently looking for a new candidate. When I was first approached I decided not to proceed because I was in very comfortable circumstances at the time. I was making $16,000 at Swiss American and I really didn’t have any plans for a political career. Business Focus: Or to trade $16,000 for less? GB: That too! You’re absolutely right. So, initially I actually declined the offer (chuckles). And then after constant pressures and individuals insisting it’s a great opportunity to serve at the national level, I decided to take a shot at it. I didn’t start too strongly in the sense that I remember my first two weeks at the branch level I got defeated by Len Mussington for control of the branch. But I was a total rookie at the time. The truth

is, he was more politically savvy than I was involved in the last three and a half years and he was able to defeat me. but they have not been able to introduce any form of sustainable growth into the Business Focus: How old were you when country’s economy and the reason for that is, you transitioned into politics? there has not been any significant increase in investments. Our plans are to increase trade GB: About 30/31. We then had a primary, and to attract new investments. and during the primary I defeated Mussington. I actually got about 70 per Business Focus: Well, that’s why we want cent of the votes. So that will tell you to know your plans on how to turn things how organised and how competitive I was around? at the time. From an early age, for some reason I always had a very positive outlook GB: There isn’t a textbook solution…the and a very competitive spirit. focus of our government will be on attracting more investments and bringing more tourists to the country. I can assure you we have sown some very positive seeds so far that should result in increases in investments and tourist arrivals in 2015. My Minister of Tourism is trying to attract Copa Airlines here. I will actually meet with officials of Jet Blue, myself and Mr Gordon Butch Stewart of Sandals. So, we’re not just sitting back and waiting for opportunities to come. That’s the difference between the former government and our administration. They were comfortable telling the people of Antigua and Barbuda there was a global crisis and that global growth is sluggish and there’s Business Focus: How much did you trade nothing they could do. We’ve taken the your $16,000 for? position that notwithstanding the difficulties, there are opportunities to be exploited. Our GB: At the time, I think the ministerial pay mantra is that it can be done and it will be was $10,000 and allowances would have done. taken it up to $12,000 which is basically the same now. It has not increased. But Business Focus: Antigua and Barbuda is I was always doing business. I never known as one of the heavily indebted believed in one income. I don’t like to feel countries and the pay-back history is/was vulnerable. I value my independence and I dark, two of the things your administration never wanted to in a position to be totally would have to do are boost investor vulnerable to my employer, so I always confidence and also reduce the national made sure I was in a position to earn debt. How do you plan doing that? additional income. GB: Well I don’t know about minimizing the Business Focus: Sixteen years on from national debt in the short term and I want to your departure from Swiss American and tell you the IMF will not dictate our policies, taking on politics, you’ve been given an certainly not under my leadership. The overwhelming vote of confidence by the investor confidence Antigua and Barbuda has people of Antigua and Barbuda. Now, in enjoyed during the last three months is the addition to being Prime Minister, you’re strongest it has been for the last two or three Minister of Finance. What are your decades and that is no over-exaggeration. immediate plans for improving Antigua and Barbuda’s economy? Business Focus: Where’s the evidence to back up that statement and what do you GB: In essence we have to attract fresh think is the reason for this confidence? monies into the country’s economy. As it stands right now the capital formation is GB: One of the projects that has created a not sufficient to fuel any strong growth lot of excitement for investors globally, is in the economy. And that is why we were the Yida investment project. In fact, that has stagnated over the years. I know the IMF literally sent shockwaves throughout the (International Monetary Fund) has been Caribbean and even extra regionally. BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



FEATURE and that is one of the areas we believe in which we can attract investment. You can literally walk off a plane and walk right into the Prime Minister’s office; cut out all the bureaucracy. Our toursim product will be integrated with our diplomacy and investment. Business Focus: Many people would consider this a dangerous or reckless way of doing things, what have you to say with regards to such a view? GB: My Cabinet members and I are well trained. We can analyse risks. We are not going to give away the shop but we can make quick decisions that are prudent, that are rational. A mere one day on the job we hammered out a US$2 billion agreement with the Yida Investment Group. And, let me confirm he has paid off for the Guiana Islands land. He has paid US$67 million so you know he’s a serious investor, and he’s not here to speculate and he has the resources. So the early successes we’ve had in terms of attracting investors to the country have been well received. After we signed that investment deal with Yida, the following week we had a group of investors that flew to Antigua on a private jet, the Kylin group…they are still seeking to raise the funds to pursue a major development in Antigua. That group and others who came subsequently, came because they realise the Antigua government is very serious about conducting business. Business Focus: The private sector is said to be the engine of growth for the national economy, but there’s a lot being extended to investors outside Antigua, what’s there for that sector? GB: Well, we’ve made it abundantly clear that all concessions that are available to foreign investors are available to local investors, so that any excuse that any potential local investor may make, that they cannot invest because the government is not supporting them, that is not so. All proposals that have been presented to our government for supporting concessions for locals have been approved and that will continue. In fact, you don’t even have to go to the Investment Authority, you just come to Cabinet and we will approve it, obviously if it makes sense and is within the guidelines of the laws. We are willing to go further and enter into public/private 44 BusinessFocus | BusinessFocusOct • July/September / Dec | 2014 44

I can assure you, there’s no government sector partnerships. We are willing to that has that kind of turnaround ability partner with local Antiguans & Barbudans, that we have. With our tourism we want to offer a more integrated product. We practically in any sector of the economy. want to integrate our culture. I’ll give an Let me also make another point about our idea for instance: the project we intend local investors. They have to become less to embark upon to develop the coastline risk averse. Many of our large investors in from Deep Water Harbour to Heritage this country make their wealth by aligning Quay, it will see the establishment of a themselves to the government, taking museum, one in which tourists who come no risks. It cannot continue like that. We to the island will share in the history need real entrepreneurs who will take on of the country. In addition, the area of risks, prudent risks. The whole idea to line shopping is going to be a critical area. up for a government contract as far as I’m We believe visitors who come to the concerned, that is not investment…Some island should have the capacity for a good of them even have large tracks of land shopping experience. When they come to and for decades they do nothing with it. Heritage Quay presently there are only a I’m even suggesting we need to put on a few shops. We need more shops and we little higher property tax in there, not that need some of those international shops they will lose their land, but to spur them too and we want to make sure when the into action. I feel the private sector can do tourists come to the country they can spend more. The cruise tourism span in more. Antigua and Barbuda is one of the lowest Business Focus: On the issue of in the Caribbean. We want to create more tourism, what’s government’s plan to opportunities for attractions, for leisure, make Antigua and Barbuda’s product for entertainment at Heritage Quay. distinguishable from what everyone has Business Focus: What about the Business to offer, which is: sand, sea and sun? Park that’s supposed to be established on GB: You’re right. In terms of tourism it lands near the national stadium? cannot just be about sand,sea, and sun. In fact many countries in the Caribbean GB: We’re trying to develop two business have sun, sea and sand and you cannot parks, one for locals and one for offshore differentiate our service based on that. companies. At some point we’re going So, what we’re doing at this point is to have to look at the legal framework trying to differentiate our service, even and perhaps provide a lower, let’s say, investments. One of the things we’re corporation tax rate. Or, we are toying doing for investments is make sure the with the idea that we could probably have investment climate is one where we have a specific free trade business zone at the a very rapid turnaround time. And, the stadium in which you operate there but for energy that our government has, no other all intents and purposes you’re offshore government in the Caribbean can turn any but you will not attract any corporation investment quicker than our government taxes. It has not been fully developed as

yet, in terms of putting the necessary legal framework in place but that is where the thinking is. So far, we have allocated nine acres of land to the West Indies Cricket Board to set up a corporate headquarters there, as well as other facilities including training facilities for the cricketers. We are approaching other organizations to establish businesses within that particular zone and we also want to set up a business park for locals. We had looked at the area around Heroes Park…so these are things that we’re looking at. What we’ll do, we’ll identify the land, develop the land, put in the infrastructure, the roads and businesses could set up in there. Business Focus: The Labour Party manifesto projected some ambitious initiatives for moving the economy forward. The public is very expectant that these initiatives would generate extra income and economic activities. What about the removal of Personal Income Tax and the construction of 500 homes in 500 days? GB: We gave a commitment that we will eliminate Personal Income Tax and we stand by that commitment. If you notice, the manifesto was silent on the date of implementation and that is not a coincidence. We had some indication the country was in dire straits prior to taking office. I have to admit we did underestimate it to some extent. If we were to eliminate personal income tax immediately it will make our cash flow challenges more acute. It would be irresponsible for us to eliminate it in a crisis. However, we maintain the country ultimately would be better

off without income tax. We have taken a philosophical position that we are better off taxing consumption rather than income. If we tax consumption, then we are not taxing the ability of locals to invest. This issue really has been proven in a sense that for over 28 years the country did not have Personal Income Tax. When you look at the rates of growth, the country grew by an average of four and a half per cent annually. Now with PIT and all the interventions the government would have made within the last five years, we have literally seen a contraction of the economy on average by about three per cent over the last five years. Business Focus: Usually any such contraction is followed by unemployment and we’ve heard complaints there’s a high rate of youth unemployment in Antigua and Barbuda. We believe investments in training and higher education are critical to creating a more skilled workforce and addressing this issue. Can you share some of government’s approaches and initiatives in these areas? GB: We accept there’s a need for increased training. I think the former administration had actually increased the amount of scholarships and tertiary trained individuals and we have now built on their successes and have taken it to the next level. I’ll give an example, whereas

we may have gotten a certain amount of scholarships from the Cuban Government for the present school year, we actually went back to them and got it increased. We got four more scholarships for Medicine, we got two for Agronomy…So I think in so far as educating our people at a tertiary level we have seen an improvement in the last 20 years, there’s no doubt about that. I think where we need to perhaps concentrate some efforts, is to provide some job proficiency training to increase productivity within the public sector. Sometime in the medium term we will look at the possibility of putting together a training institute that will provide training for individuals within the public sector as well as the private sector. Now in so far as tertiary education is concerned we are going even further. Our objective is to ensure that within the next, hopefully, decade, that one out of every five Antiguans and Barbudans would be University trained, or at least tertiary trained. And, what we are seeking to do right now is to advance the establishment of a University here in Antigua and Barbuda. Our preference so far would be a College of the University of the West Indies. I expect it to be completed before the end of our term for sure. Business Focus: Let’s go back to the issue of the 500 homes in 500 days, where is that project? GB: Well, we have more than $25 million for that project and development has started in Villa. We approached the government of 45 | | 45

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FEATURE address and with urgency. Employees too have an obligation to, as employees of LIAT, ensure its viability. It cannot be exclusively for the governments to take responsibility for the viability of LIAT. I’m hoping going forward we’ll see a more professional LIAT in the delivery of its service to Caribbean people.

Mexico for a US$40 million loan and also a grant I think for US$5 million so we are committed to getting it done. In fact, I can tell you, we’re looking at building more than the 500 homes.

Business Focus: On another issue of regional companies, a LIME telecommunications official recently said government’s support of the state owned telecommunications Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) PCS is negatively impacting similar private sector businesses. What is your view on this matter, particularly in light of your government’s announcement that Huawei telecommunications company has expressed interest in investing in APUA PCS?

the availability of women themselves because many of them are capable but for various reasons refuse to make themselves available. The Senate, for the first time in the history of our country has actually achieved what I consider to have been gender equality. Business Focus: Now we’ve got the I think it’s nine to eight (man to woman) or GB: The private sector businesses are answer to that, let’s turn attention to 10 to seven now. And that had to do with the concerned about their profitability and gender equality. We note there’s only one fact the Labour Party nominated about five. in so far as APUA telecommunications is woman in your Cabinet. Many countries concerned, the government of Antigua and have taken the bold step to change their Business Focus: What’s your administration’s Barbuda invested significant sums in the laws to establish gender balance and position on regional integration? development of infrastructure over many equal opportunity, can you speak to GB: We are committed to the movement years. And, whereas we must ensure we the evolution and role of our women in of Caribbean people. We’re all part of a provide a level playing field, we make no leadership and politics in Antigua and common civilisation. I think we are better off apologies about our investment, it is the Barbuda? as an integrated society than as individual people’s asset and we have to make sure the nations and we continue to adhere to our people get a return on that asset. I believe GB: First of all let me state my personal Treaty obligations, the requirements of the too there’s a need for some legislative commitment in terms of gender equality, Treaty of Chaguaramas and the OECS Treaty. changes which we intend to prioritise. I and I think I would have demonstrated I believe there are still some outstanding believe before the end of the year we should wherever I had the opportunity to make issues which we are committed to addressing have a new Telecommunications Act which those interventions, that I am definitely very shortly. In so far as the six months stay will set the framework for all the operators serious about gender equality. When I is concerned, when they come to the island and ensure there’s a level playing field. Now, contested for leadership of the party I they get the six months. The whole idea is for we are not opposed to partnering with other had three men and three women as part us to live in harmony and we operate as one entities to make the entity more viable, but of my leadership team and it was not nation, one people with a common destiny. any idea that anyone could just take it over a coincidence. In so far as legislation for their own benefit and to the detriment is concerned, it’s unlikely we’ll go that Business Focus: When we talk about of the people, then that is unlikely. Certain far. The truth is, we are beginning to see movement and tourism, we cannot escape interventions will be made to reduce the some transformation in the thinking of the issue of travel. What is government’s costs of Internet and telecommunications. our people, or maturity and you’re seeing vision for intra-regional travel where LIAT is more women getting involved and more concerned and what role can Antigua and Business Focus: What’s the future of APUA women getting elected. We’re now up to Barbuda play? with regards to electricity generation? two. Ideally, we’d like to see a nine-eight GB: LIAT is important. I would like to see situation. But that is not something we broader ownership of LIAT, practically by all GB: We are looking at the opportunity to really have control over. It’s really dictated governments taking small equity shares. diversify into green energy, that’s definitely by the populace and the truth is, a male I don’t like the idea of any single country the way to go, ultimately it will be cheaper. candidate continues to be the more having a majority position in LIAT. I believe Our energy cost is exceptionally high right attractive candidate of the two sexes. I we may get the support of more of our now - it’s about US$0.45 per kilowatt hour, believe that is really cultural. I believe in colleagues. I have spoken to colleagues in the highest in the Caribbean. That in itself so far as public education is concerned we the region about taking equity in LIAT. They is affecting competitiveness in the various need to continue to sensitise our people have found many reasons not to support sectors, even the hotel sector which is the about ensuring we support our female LIAT but one of the major issues with LIAT driver of the country’s economy. So we counterparts to play more significant is inefficiency which is real and something intend to diversify into alternative energy leadership roles. The other issue is about the directors, management and staff must by about 20 per cent, hopefully by the

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



end of our first term in office. That in itself will help reduce the cost to consumers and bring cost to industries lower so they can compete more effectively. We’re even looking at the possibility of putting together a National Energy Council that will deal with energy issues in a holistic way. Our overall aim is to reduce energy costs to facilitate increased competitiveness. Business Focus: What about healthcare services? Many of our nurses are being recruited to work in the US and in the region, particularly Trinidad, what is being done to address that? GB: We have a nursing school and, even the proposed University of Antigua & Barbuda, one of the recommendations is to specialise in healthcare services to include nursing which is in strong demand. So, if for instance we have an internationally accredited nursing school here in Antigua and Barbuda, not only would we be able to train more nurses, but we’ll be able to satisfy the demand of nursing within the region. You can be assured we will build upon what pertains now in terms of the number of nurses we are graduating. In fact we will be speaking to the scholarship board…and, where there is a shortfall locally, we will import it…We’re also in discussion with AUA about reintroducing their nursing programme. Business Focus: When we started this discussion, we talked about Gaston Browne the child, let’s look at the man now. As Antigua and Barbuda’s youngest Prime Minister, and particularly looking at where you came from and where you are now, what advice do you have for the youth and people generally. GB: (smiles) I just want people to be positive in their outlook. No matter your circumstances, once you are prepared to work hard and be positive in your outlook, there will be opportunities to be exploited and whenever the opportunities present themselves, seize them. People should always be doing something. If you become lethargic, you will not be exposed to opportunities. Always use the opportunities for self development and to make sure you produce. There are some people who believe once they are qualified, that’s it. But I believe that as far as is practicable, people should become multi-faceted and engage in different disciplines rather than limiting themselves to maybe a single routine. Business Focus: Is it your desire to have a second term as prime minister? GB: I don’t believe in long terms in office, so I’d say ideally two terms. I believe that otherwise I can enjoy my life. I’m prepared to use the next 10 years to work like a dog for the people (laughs). Business Focus: Are you hinting here an intention to introduce laws to set term limits? GB: Yes, that is the intention, to have term limits. After consultations, the question is whether it should be two or three terms. I think after a while when people govern for too long they become insensitive, numb and attached to the government; they become infected with the Hubris syndrome and believe they own the government and the country. Business Focus: What sort of legacy are you working to leave as Prime Minister? GB: I just want to be remembered as the Prime Minister who worked relentlessly for the development of the people of Antigua & Barbuda. I don’t want anything else (laughs and clasps hands). ¤

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec




China offers Antigua and Barbuda over $200 million RMB assistance package Prime Minister Gaston Browne & Premier Li in China


rime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Browne in late August successfully negotiated an assistance package for Antigua and Barbuda for over $200 million RMB from the People’s Republic of China. In a frank and detailed discussion with Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Li Keqiang, the country’s leader spoke of the close relationship that exists between Antigua and Barbuda and the People’s Republic of China and outlined a programme for development assistance in the interest of all Antiguans and Barbudans. After an hour of talks, Primer Li agreed to the following development assistance for the twin island: 1. The provision of a $70 million RMB grant for the implementation of projects to be agreed upon between the two governments; 2. The provision of a $30 million RMB interest-free loan for projects to be agreed upon between the two governments. The loan has a 10-year moratorium with repayments to be made between October 2024 and September 2034; 3. The provision of goods worth $20 million RMB for enhancing Antigua and Barbuda’s capacity in addressing the effects of climate change. The project will also include the installation of equipment, training of staff and technical support; 4. The provision of an eight-member ophthalmologist medical team to carry out a Cataract Surgery Clinic called Bright Journey. The team will be in Antigua for one month carrying our surgical procedures at the Mount St John’s Medical Centre during the first half of 2015. Upon completion of the clinic, the team will donate all surgical equipment, lenses and other supplies to the medical centre. 5. Provide financing for the Deep Water Harbour Development Project upon completion and approval of designs. The Deep

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Water Harbour development will include container and cruise ship sections, a logistics area, a hotel, museum and marina and boulevard with connected facilities. 6. The provision of additional educational scholarships for qualified Antiguan and Barbudan students to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate studies along with technical training in selected areas. 7. Provide assistance in the establishment of the University of Antigua and Barbuda and a Chinese Language teaching programme in secondary schools. Commenting on the outcome of the talks with Premier Li, Prime Minister Browne said that Antigua and Barbuda and China have enjoyed warm and friendly relations since their inception in 1983, and each year we seek to strengthen our friendship and expand our cooperation. “The People’s Republic of China has been generous to Antigua and Barbuda over the years and has provided critical support to the development efforts of the Government. We are very grateful for this.” ¤

OTHER MAJOR PROJECTS SINCE BEING ELECTED Since the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) was elected as the new Government on June 13 2014 with a majority of 14 seats to 3 seats for the Opposition, it has signed several Memoranda of Understanding and Agreement (MOU and MOA) with a number of Governments and Investors.


and conference centre, a 27 hole golf course, marina and landing facilities and a commercial, retail and sports facility.


The first deal, signed a day after the polls, was the $2 billion MOA with Yida International Investment Antigua Inc, a large Chinese Investment Group. According to Prime Minister Browne, with this new deal local contractors will be responsible for the construction of the project, as no approval has been given for Chinese contractors. He said, “Unlike when you have the bilateral agreement between the Government of China and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, this is a private investment group. And it is expected that the actual construction will take place by Antiguans and Barbudans; they may have to import expertise. But in terms of having Chinese come here en masse to construct that particular development that will not be the case.” Prime Minister Browne explained that Yida International Investment Antigua Inc., is out of China and it is valued in excess of three billion US dollars. Yida is involved in a number of undertakings worldwide, inclusive of Citizenship by Investment Programmes (CIPs). The MOA will result in the transformation of Guiana Island and surrounding lands with the construction of five five-star hotels, 1300 residential units, a casino

Another MOA signed in July, was the US$120 million luxury hotel project to be done by investor Sheik Tari Faisal Aldassemi of Dubai. The project would include a Five Star Branded Luxury Resort at Morris Bay. It would occupy 36 aces of prime beachfront lands and five acres for a National Park facility. It was said the first phase of the project should start six months from the date signed.


The government signed the MOU in July with two St Kitts Companies – Technology, Development & Investment ltd and Devcon Ltd. The MOU, which is a statement of mutual intent and desire of the parties, is for the setting up of a hotel development project and high-priced housing construction project, both to commence within 18 months of signing. Signing was done by Vitaly V Kryuchkov on behalf of the firms, and Prime Minister Gaston Browne on behalf of the Government of Antigua & Barbuda.


This project, according to Port Manager Darwin Telemaque, should cost about US$200 million and should, along with other efforts, improve the cruise tourism industry for locals and visitors – those who deliver services and those who come to receive. In September, a team of technicians and Port staff travelled to China to meet with officials of the China Civil Engineering Construction Company, with the aim of sealing a deal where the group would help finance the redevelopment. Other ABLP initiatives embarked upon, some of which were campaign promises, are the waiver of penalty fees and interest accrued on the accounts of delinquent tax payers and the waiver of work permit fees for Caricom workers who work in Antigua & Barbuda. Both waivers are in place from about mid-year 2014 to December 31, 2014.

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FEATURE AFFORDABLE HOUSING Another “fresh start” initiative was the amnesty for nonnationals who were unlawfully residing in Antigua and Barbuda and the debt forgiveness and reconnection of services to customers who owed the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) for either water, electricity, phone or Internet use. The latter was opened in June and ended in August. There’s also a pledge to waive visa requirements for Chinese nationals and South Americans, as the Government said this is expected to help open new tourism opportunities for Antigua and Barbuda.

BARBUDA PRESERVE The MOU discussed between the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and Barbuda Preserve, is for a US$ 1 billion development project to be done in Barbuda. The MOU was announced in August in the Throne Speech delivered by Governor General Dr Rodney Williams. The project is expected to include a resort with an 18-hole golf course and residential villas on over 300 acres of land. Barbuda Preserve is a group of investors who are in the process of setting up a similar type of investment in St Kitts. Investor John Turbidy is one of its major members. ¤

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“The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has created the bold target of building no less than 500 new homes in 500 days. It is projects like these that need the support of those who have enjoyed the islands hospitality,” according to long-term local resident Calvin Ayre who has again pledged to help the country he now calls home. Canadian-born Ayre will add US $2,000,000 to help make this brilliant project a reality. The project is designed to increase home ownership and will be aimed at public sector organisations in an attempt to help satisfy the housing shortage among their members. The new ABLP administrationsaid it wants to empower local builders with specific incentives to make it easier for them to develop housing projects. ¤


First ever Antigua & Barbuda University could boost regional integration Students from across the Caribbean and beyond the region seeking to pursue university studies, may soon have the option of doing so in Antigua and Barbuda. Government, in a recent announcement, said it entered into a US$18 million agreement with the People’s Republic of China towards the establishment of such an institution, which would be the first for Antigua and Barbuda. The University is to be built in the Five Islands community. Prime Minister Browne told Business Focus, “As you are aware, there’s a secondary school being built at Five islands. When we looked at the demographics in that area, we don’t think that school will be adequately or optimally utilised as a secondary school and we believe that by transforming it into a University Campus we will get more optimal utilisation of the facility.” At the time he spoke, PM Browne had just returned from China which provided the funds in the form of a grant and soft loans. He said, “The plan is to invest those funds into the Five Islands school to get it to the level of the University with additional facilities and additional lecture facilities. Perhaps some dorms as well, because we believe there’s scope to attract individuals from the neighbouring islands to come here and to get a degree and that in itself could be a profit centre for the University.” Browne said the new proposal would include student dorms, an expanded library and ICT facility, an Olympic-size swimming pool and tennis courts. Final arrangements on the areas of study to be offered cannot however, be made immediately. “We have not made a final determination as yet with regards to size. I had a discussion with the Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies…We have a team we are putting together and the University of the West Indies, they already have their team together…There are several areas where we are looking at specialisation. It could be in IT, Business, Health Care, Nursing.” “We want to have a University where other Caribbean nationals can come here and train because in order to sustain it and have

good quality Faculty, you may well need that cadre of people coming,” the Prime Minister said. The establishment of a University, could mean a drop in cost to study for the student paying his own way, and for the Board of Education where scholarships are provided, Browne indicated. “We’d be able to train more people, it would be cheaper. Already I believe we are spending $10 million supporting scholarships abroad. Those are funds we could utilise to train our people locally, they’ll still get a degree,” he stated. Each year, the Board of Education spends close to $1.5 million to $1.7 million on new scholarships and another $6 million to $8 million is allocated to continuing scholarships. It’s not the first time residents are hearing such a promise to build a University, but the country’s new leader is confident the project will be done under his watch, and through the multimillion dollar arrangement with China. The principals of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, CCECC will continue to spearhead the construction work. Currently, Antigua and Barbuda has what is called a State College where Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) subjects are offered in addition to Diploma and Associate Degree programmes. There’s also the Antigua & Barbuda International Institute of Technology (ABIIT) which offers Diploma and Associate Degree qualifications. UWI also has an Open Campus but the branch here does not offer Full Degree programmes on site. There’s also a School for Nursing while teacher training is done at the State College. ¤

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ABIB to get $340 Million Government Boost


overnment is planning to pump $340 million into the Antigua and Barbuda Investment (ABI) Bank Ltd.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne, who made the announcement at his first official press conference in September, said his Government was going to “bite the bullet.” The ABI Bank, which has been having financial challenges for some time, was bailed out by the previous government in 2011. Browne said the initiative might seem to run counter to Government’s mantra of fiscal prudence. “Now you may argue that that is contradictory, because we are going to increase our debts by another $340 million, but what’s the alternative?” Browne queried rhetorically. “So we have found ourselves in a situation between a rock and a hard place.” ¤

OECS Cancer Centre Nearing Completion


he man at the helm of the multimillion-dollar Cancer Centre of the Eastern Caribbean said contractors are working “strenuously and arduously” to ensure the Cancer component of the facility being built in Antigua, becomes operational before year end. Chairman Dr Conville Brown said, “We want to be able to have that completed before the end of the year and be in a position to be able to treat patients within the unit; the cardiac component will follow next year.” Work resumed on the multi-purpose facility months ago after a prolonged delay. Dr Brown said construction on the 15,000 square foot facility is at an advanced stage with the construction of most of the main structure and the installation of the roof should follow soon. He said the facility would now reflect accommodation of not only radiation oncology but will also house medical oncology, chemotherapy and cardiology services which will provide many of the services needed in Antigua and Barbuda and other OECS countries. ¤

BusinessFocus BusinessFocus Oct Oct//Dec Dec | | 52 52

Gov’t reveals US Gaming Dispute Offer


he Gaston Browne – led administration has shifted tactics in the approach to bring an end to the longstanding gaming dispute with the United States (US).

Prime Minister Browne said instead of trying to get cash only, he’s asking for the settlement to be in cash and kind. “We have reduced the amount of the claim. In fact, we are now asking for US$100 million, negotiable, of course,” Browne said. The former United Progressive Party (UPP) administration was initially trying to settle the dispute, but never fully disclosed the demands it placed on the US during negotiations, while it admitted to being ignored by the US. Browne said that’s why his administration is trying a new approach. “They (the US) refused to speak to them (UPP), they thought that the proposal was outlandish, it was outrageous and there was no way that the UPP would have gotten a settlement,” Browne said.

The Prime Minister also revealed that the gaming companies backing the fight against the US are set to benefit more than the Government from any potential settlement. The Prime Minister said the former administration entered into a deal in which the gaming industry fronts the legal fees and gets those back from any settlement, plus 75 per cent of whatever is remaining. “So far they have incurred between 10 and 15 million dollars in legal fees and the deal is whatever the settlement is, those legal fees come off the top. So, if your settlement is US$20 million you know at least half of it is gone to legal fees, but out of the remaining $10 or $5 million, we the Government, only get 25 per cent of it,” Browne said. ¤

This year the Antigua & Barbuda Trades and Labour Union celebrated its 75th Anniversary of “Dedicated Service to Workers in Antigua and Barbuda”. The AT&LU is the longest-serving workers’ organization in Antigua & Barbuda, with an unbroken record of excellence. During its seventy-five years of existence, the AT&LU has had several overlapping phases in its development and growth, which testify to its ability to make the instrument fit the ever-changing task. One of the catalyzing events of the defiant AT&LU was the 1951 Labour Day celebration which marked a historic contribution to Antigua & Barbuda. In recent times, the Antigua & Barbuda Trades and Labour Union has successfully organised a new AT&LU Section of Domestic Workers in 2013. Notwithstanding its 5000 and over membership, the AT&LU boasts it regional and international affiliation with the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Association, International Labour Organisation, Caribbean Domestic Workers Network, and Caribbean Congress of Labour. History has shown that the AT&LU is a transformative institution for generations of people-born before and after 1939 praised. Our commitment and earnest dedication has kept us moulded to our motto “The Unity of Labour is the Salvation of our Country”. The Antigua & Barbuda Trades and Labour Union wishes to congratulate the Hon. Gaston Browne and The Antigua & Barbuda Labour Party on a successful victory in the 2014 General Elections! Visit or contact us: 46 North Street | P.O. Box 3 | St. John’s | Antigua Tel: (268) 562-2501 or 462-0090 | E-mail:

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he government of Antigua and Barbuda has been advised to review existing, outdated waste disposal laws to allow for better processing of electronic waste or e-waste. Dr Malvern Spencer, former Chairman of the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Board, made the recommendation, saying it is in light of how hazardous some of the materials are and because threats to the environment are becoming greater. “We have the National Solid Waste legislation and we look at e-waste as solid waste, but since it’s now a special waste that needs special attention, we need regulations that would allow for the management of the e-waste. In addition to that, we have signed on to the Basel convention. This deals with the movement of hazardous waste and part of that hazardous waste is e-waste,” he said. Dr Spencer said despite the country signing on to the Basel convention, not much has been done to ensure it is adhered to. Waste diversion manager in National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) Morrison Burns said based on what has been dumped at Cooks Landfill, Antigua and Barbuda generates an estimated 20 tonnes of e-waste. He said “pickers” often go to the landfill and rummage through to find material to recycle or sell and very often they put themselves and the environment at risk. On that issue, Dr Spencer said, “it is not sanitary and it is global problem and it is something the United Nations now is trying to address. Apart from the chemical hazards, there are physical hazards associated with e-waste. At the landfill, those physical hazards are very present and it is becoming bigger in Antigua and Barbuda.” ¤

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec




he crippling effects of Natural Disasters on Small Island Development States (SIDS) has increased the need for Disaster Risk Reduction strategies as it becomes an important asset in the future of Sustainable Development. The Association of Caribbean States (ACS) in its overall aim of promoting Sustainable Development for the Greater Caribbean, through its Directorate of Disaster Risk Reduction, continues to improve and increase its initiatives in the area of Disaster Risk Reduction. In his opening remarks at the 22nd Meeting of the Special Committee for Disaster Risk Reduction in September, Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development of Trinidad and Tobago, Bhoendradatt Tewarie, identified Caribbean SIDS as the most vulnerable in relation to the intensity and frequency of natural hazards. As a result, disaster risk reduction becomes “a powerful tool for development as it allows communities to continue their progress in spite of hazards.” Alfonso Múnera, Secretary General of the ACS reiterated the importance of Disaster Risk Reduction but also highlighted the importance of the meeting as an instrument through which a large group of countries can gather “to find solutions to problems that are beyond the capacity of individual countries.” Therefore, the great merit of the ACS as the Secretary General pointed out, is that it has created a forum for dialogue which had not existed in the past. He concluded his introductory remarks appealing to the human imagination, as it is “only through human imagination that Disaster Risk Reduction projects can be constructed.” George Nicholson, Director of Disaster Risk Reduction, informed that the ACS ACS is now in Phase II of its project on Strengthening Hydro Meteorological Operations and Services in the Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SHOCS II). This project seeks to strengthen the capacity of National Meteorological and Hydrological Institutions and Disaster Management Agencies in ACS Member States, in the provision of early warning services and preparedness to mitigate impacts of natural hazards. ¤

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec




CARICOM and the German Government Team up to Find Solutions to Climate Change

Partnership Sees the Formulation of the Caribbean Aqua-Terrestrial Solutions (CATS)


he Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the German government are supporting the efforts of eight CARICOM member states to adapt the management of their natural resources and economies to the ever-pressing and farreaching socio-economic and environmental impacts of climate change. In an effort to strengthen the national capacities to mitigate the adverse effects of a changing climate, which inevitably impacts small islands and low-lying coastal states the most, the key objectives of the joint CARICOM-German government support are two-fold: (i) to conserve the unique marine biodiversity of the Caribbean Sea, and (ii) to foster the development and adoption of good practices and adaptive measures in agriculture, forestry, and water/wastewater management. The main target groups include governmental and nongovernmental organisations, national farmers and fisherfolk organisations, the tourism industry, water utilities and small and medium sized businesses. To deliver on the CARICOM-German government partnership, the regional development programme titled Caribbean AquaTerrestrial Solutions (CATS) was formulated. The CATS Programme, headed by Dr. Horst Vogel operates through a marine component, namely CATS-2, which focuses on the conservation of the marine biodiversity and coastal protection, and a terrestrial component, BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



CATS-1, which leads all projects related to adaptive measures in agriculture, forestry, and water/wastewater management. The CATS programme is executed by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fßr Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and by the Environmental Health and Sustainable Development Department of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) on behalf of CARICOM. CATS adopts a 'ridge-to-reef' approach that follows many of the lessons learnt and approaches from the GEF-funded integrating watershed and coastal areas management (GEF-IWCAM) project – guided by a deep understanding that agricultural, forestry and water/wastewater management operations upstream exert a direct influence on coastal and marine ecosystems. CATS-2 focuses on marine protected areas (MPAs) in five Eastern Caribbean countries, namely, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Hence, in keeping with the integrated watershed and coastal areas management 'ridge-to-reef' approach, CATS-1 centres its activities on the watersheds upstream, adjacent to the respective MPAs. Additionally, CATS-1 supports adaptive measures in agriculture, forestry, and water management in Jamaica, Belize and Guyana. Between April and June 2014, CATS-1's principal advisor, Eva Maria

Näher (GIZ), organised and conducted two-day planning workshops with various stakeholders from the agricultural, water and forestry sectors in the five CARICOM member states of Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The aim was to identify priorities with regard to adaptation measures to climate change in agriculture and forestry and to formulate an operational plan for each country. As part of the two-day workshops, the stakeholders participated in field visits to the MPAs and adjacent watersheds for on-the-spot discussions on the linkages between agricultural and other land use activities, and the adverse effects of land degradation and water pollution into the coastal areas. The main activities identified by stakeholders in the countries include (i) training to improve capacities and the development of demonstration plots for good agricultural practices, (ii) establishment of agroforestrysystems, (iii) reforestation of degraded areas, (iv) implementation of water conservation measures (including rainwater harvesting and storage techniques), (v) land capability assessments to inform land use optimisation and (vi) investments in alternative livelihood solutions. To complement the national planning workshops and foster collaboration among key regional agencies concerned with agriculture, forestry, water and rural development, a focus-group regional agency meeting was held on July 10 at CARPHA's headquarters in Trinidad. Participating agencies included the Caribbean Farmers Network (CAFAN), the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), the Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the Inter- American Institute for the Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), and the University of the West Indies (UWI). The objective of this focus-group meeting was to exchange experiences and expertise in the field and to assess prospective partnership opportunities with the CATS Programme. CATS-1 is aiming to foster strong partnerships and generate valuable synergies between stakeholders whose livelihoods depend on the conservation and sustainable use of fragile and vulnerable marine and terrestrial resources and ecosystems, and the organisations both at the national and regional level that provide support in this regard. In short, it is a joint endeavour to develop, implement, and share best practices to support agricultural diversification and improved management of forests and water resources to support sustainable and prosperous agricultural and rural development, while conserving the Caribbean's precious natural resources by maintaining healthy environments and healthy peoples. ¤

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MORE THAN JOB SATISFACTIONthe benefits of finding meaning in your work New research shows that positively perceiving what we do has benefits for the employee and company


hat do you do? That’s often one of the first questions people ask when they meet someone new — not surprising given that most adults spend most of their waking hours at work and that our jobs can influence our lives even outside the workplace. Our work can be a big part of our identity and offer insights into what is important to us, making it a rich area of psychological study. Several recent studies have concentrated on a particular aspect of work: finding meaning in it. Through their research, experts have gleaned new insights, showing that meaningful work is good for the worker and for the company — and that even employees in tiresome jobs can find ways to make their duties more meaningful. Building cathedrals In a 2010 review, Brent D. Rosso, PhD, and colleagues noted that finding meaning in one’s work has been shown to increase motivation, engagement, empowerment, career development, job satisfaction, individual performance and personal fulfillment, and to decrease absenteeism and stress (Research in Organisational Behavior, 2010). Unfortunately, meaningful work may not be the norm. According to State of the BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



American Workplace, a new report by Gallup Inc., only 30 percent of the U.S. workforce is engaged in their work — in other words, they’re passionate about their work and feel strongly committed to their companies. The remaining 70 percent of American workers are either “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” in their work (Gallup, 2013). Gallup defines unengaged workers as those who are “checked out,” putting in time but without much energy or passion. Actively disengaged workers, meanwhile, act out on their unhappiness, taking up more of their managers’ time and undermining what their co-workers accomplish.

could say what he’s done is meaningful,” Pratt says. “Meaningfulness is about the why, not just about what.”

That disengagement takes a toll. Actively disengaged workers, the report states, are more likely to steal from their organisations, negatively influence co-workers, miss workdays and drive customers away.

A higher calling Researchers have found that workers who feel a higher calling to their jobs are among the most content.

To illustrate this, he points to the old tale of three bricklayers hard at work. When asked what they’re doing, the first bricklayer responds, “I’m putting one brick on top of another.” The second replies, “I’m making six pence an hour.” And the third says, “I’m building a cathedral — a house of God.” “All of them have created meaning out of what they’ve done, but the last person

As one might imagine, meaningful work and job satisfaction are linked, says Steger. In his 2012 paper, he found that having meaningful work predicts job satisfaction. But meaningful work was actually better than job satisfaction at predicting absenteeism – people who found their work more meaningful were less likely to miss work than people who merely reported being satisfied with their jobs. Meaningful work was also correlated with life satisfaction and less depression.

People who feel called to their careers are likely to find their work deeply meaningful, he says. Their personal connection with the job makes even the most trivial tasks feel significant. Often the experience of a calling comes with social benefits as well. Make your own meaning Fortunately, you don’t have to always identify your higher calling, rather, you can redefine your job in personally meaningful ways through a process she and her

colleagues describe as “job crafting” (Purpose and Meaning in the Workplace, 2013). “Meaning doesn’t take money,” she says. “At any rank, people can make different meanings of their work, and also of themselves at work.”

meaning from the most gratifying jobs. But just a few moments spent collaborating with a valued colleague can be reinvigorating. “Even if you talk to someone for five minutes, if it’s someone you have a high-quality connection with, it’s like taking a vitamin,” she says.

Employees can shape their work experiences in three broad ways, Dutton says. The first is by altering the tasks they perform. Every job has elements that make it feel like, well, work. But most employees do have some leeway to tweak their duties. “You can be an architect of the tasks,” Dutton says. Employees might choose to spend more energy on existing tasks they find particularly gratifying, for example.

Finally, a person can use cognitive restructuring to reframe the way he or she thinks about work. Steger mentions an accountant who worked at a community college. She found her work very meaningful not because she kept the accounts balanced, but because she felt her work allowed others to advance themselves through education. “For all these things in our jobs that we just don’t like, we can take a step back and link it to the things that really matter,” he says.

Second, Dutton says, employees can change relationships in the workplace. “We never make meaning in a vacuum. Work is very social,” she says. Spending time with toxic co-workers can drain

“The more you look for the benefits of what you’re doing, the more it feeds you psychologically,” Dutton says. Job crafting can pay off for employees and

employers. As Steger has shown, finding one’s work meaningful is associated with life satisfaction and overall well-being. Organisations, too, benefit from workers who are invested in their jobs. The Gallup report found that engaged workers are most likely to build new products and services, attract new customers and drive innovation. Dutton says she’s seen firsthand how small changes can make a big difference for individuals, especially those at lower ranks. “These are people who were happy to have a job, but the work stunk. I could see the power of helping them have hope,” she says. “It shouldn’t change the push for organisations to be fairer and better. But at the same time, I want more self-empowerment for workers to craft their work in ways that will make it less depleting and more enriching.” ¤ Source: American Association


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he 2014 graduation ceremonies at The University of the West Indies (The UWI) will see the conferral of 20 honorary degrees: four at the Cave Hill Campus, six at the Mona Campus, two at the Open Campus, and eight at the St. Augustine Campus. The awardees will receive honorary doctorates in recognition of their stellar contributions to Caribbean development including Guyanese native and current High Commissioner to the UK, Sir Ronald Sanders. Sir Ronald Sanders has had an outstanding career in the media as a broadcaster, presenter and manager, and has exemplified excellence in the field of broadcasting and communications in the Caribbean. For a number of years, Sir Ronald has written on a vast variety of subjects for publication by Caribbean and international outlets He was, for some years, also a diplomat and high commissioner. As a High Commissioner he represented his country and the Caribbean with dignity and honour, with a clear understanding of the standards required of Caribbean diplomats. He gained recognition for his work at the Commonwealth level, and was named one of the Commonwealth’s Eminent Persons. ¤

ROMEO’S PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT ROMPS HOME IN MONTSERRAT ELECTIONS he People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) has won a convincing victory in the general elections held in Monstserrat on sept 11,2014


agree on everything that is important to making Montserrat a prosperous and self sustaining nation it will happen,” he added.

The party, headed by businessman Donaldson Romeo, trounced the incumbent Movement for Change and Prosperity (MCAP) of outgoing premier Reuben T Meade, winning seven of the nine seats in the Legislative Assembly. Romeo, who polled 1,695 votes, thanked the electorate for the”clear and convincing” victory, saying he was confident the promises outlined in the party’s manifesto would be met.

Meade who polled 1,140, conceded defeat, extending congratulations to the PDM for a “very clear election victory. ”Both parties have worked hard. I would like to thank all the persons who supported both PDM and MCAP and also the independents. It was an interesting election campaign and clearly one team had to win and PDM won and again my heartiest congratulations to the entire team,” he said.

“I believe that once Montserratians are united, on island, off island, there is nothing in that manifesto that we cannot do. I expect us to do even more,” he said, adding that he would continue to “put people first.

Among those suffering defeat were former government ministers Colin Riley and Charles Kirnon. They received 866 and 1,070 votes respectively.

“It is just a matter of leading a team and encouraging our nation to be of that mentality and I don’t think that is going to be difficult because they (population) have already spoken and responded to the agenda. “Once we put people first, once we BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



Preliminary figures released by the Montserrat Election Commission show the PDM winning about 50.1 per cent of the votes to MCAP’s 35.3 per cent. Each voter on Montserrat can vote for all candidates on the ballot paper in the island’s single-constituency system. There were 3,866 registered voters with 2,750

exercising their mandate, a turnout of 71 per cent. The Electoral Commission said 31 candidates contested the nine seats, including the newly formed threecandidate group called the Alliance of Independent Candidates (AIC) led by former chief minister Dr Lowell Lewis. The group received just 4.1 per cent of the votes cast. The 10 other candidates ran as standalone independents and collectively garnered 10.4 per cent of the votes cast. ¤

LIFE & MEDICAL Other Policies




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ince its inception, American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine’s cofounder and president, Neal Simon, has always believed it is important to aid the Antiguan community. AUA recognizes that to be considered a member of the community, AUA has to be involved in it. AUA has provided unprecedented economic opportunities to the Antiguan community. As tourism dollars fell, AUA stepped in to provide steady employment and relief to a struggling economy. Most of AUA’s administrative and support staff on the island are Antiguans; in fact, the university currently employs more than 155 Antiguan citizens. During construction of its US$60 million campus and US$20 million expansion, jobs were created for more than 350 local residents. As part of the university’s mission, AUA provides the same opportunities to Antiguans as it does to U.S. students. AUA offers the Antiguan Tuition Grant to Antiguan citizens enrolled at AUA, covering tuition for the entire MD program. AUA has created scholarships totaling more than US$6.7 million for Antiguan students. BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



Excluding tuition, students spend nearly US$32 million each year on living expenses, which includes, but is not limited to, shopping and dining at Antiguan establishments, entertainment, and renting automobiles and apartments from Antiguans. AUA leases 500 beds from Antiguan building owners, with monthly rental payments exceeding

US$300,000. Antiguans are as much the backbone of the university as the students and faculty. AUA has also invested heavily in the health of the Antiguan community in a variety of ways. Substantial grants have been donated to St. John’s Hospice, the Antigua and Barbuda HIV/AIDS Network, and many more local charitable

organizations. Last year, AUA presented a substantial grant to the Antigua and Barbuda Sickle Cell Association and was a major contributor to the Antigua and Barbuda National Conference on Sickle Cell. The grant covers free testing for high-risk individuals (e.g., those with family members known to have sickle cell disease (SCD)) and helps build a database of people with SCD in Antigua and Barbuda. As enrollment has increased, AUA students have become more involved in making a difference on the island through AUA-sponsored student organizations

Antigua & Barbuda Aids Secretariat to promote World Aids Day and to raise awareness of the importance of HIV testing. Confidential HIV testing and counseling were offered on-site. Female members of AMSA’s executive board participated in a breast cancer screening day organized by the Antigua Lions Club and Breast Friends. Approximately 200 people participated and learned that awareness and prevention are the first steps to defend against breast cancer. A number of breast cancer survivors were in attendance to tell their stories.

and cholesterol exams. EKG and PSA testing were offered as and when requested. Anyone with abnormal results was referred to a physician for further consultation. Staff also provided participants with preventive health advice. Mr. Solomon also conducts classes at the American Heart Association International Training Center, located on campus, to teach students and local health professionals, including policemen, firemen, and government officials, about the critical components of Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) for adult and pediatric patients. the training center was formally established with the assistance of the Mayo Clinic Medical Transport’s Gold Cross Training Center and is approved by the American Heart Association. Recently, AUA opened a health clinic on campus that is equipped to handle medical emergencies and stabilize patients prior to their transfer to a larger facility. Services provided by the AUA Clinic include, but are not limited to, routine medical care, vaccinations, blood and urine tests, medication, screenings, and electrocardiograms. AUA students, faculty, and staff can use the on-campus health clinic for their medical needs. The clinic demonstrates the institution’s commitment to the welfare of the AUA community by providing convenient access to medical care.

such as the American Medical Student Association Association (AMSA) and the Emergency Medicine Interest Group (EMIG).Under the direction of their AUA Faculty Advisor, these student groups have been able to provide Antiguans with free annual health screenings on AUA’s campus. Many people took advantage of screenings for blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), vision, and blood sugar levels. Patients were able to consult with doctors about the results of these tests, their overall health, and the role of diet and exercise in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and obtain any follow-up advice. The health fair also partnered with the

As a result of efforts to improve men’s health, Men’s Health Day was conceived by Vernon Solomon, Director of the AUA Emergency Training Center and Clinical Simulations. AUA Men’s Health Day promotes awareness of preventable health issues and encourages early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. More than 300 people attended this year’s Men’s Health Day on campus, and attendees were provided with free health screenings that ranged from diabetes testing to prostate exams. Attendees were matched with medical students who administered free blood pressure, heart rate, glucose,

In 2013, the AUA student organization Emergency Medicine Interest Group (EMIG) launched its Emergency Response Team. The team comprises of 30 student volunteers certified in basic first aid, and some of these students have previously served as paramedics, EMTs, firefighters, nurses, and lifeguards. The Emergency Response Team assists anyone near campus in need of assistance, including students and locals. AUA’s 1,500 students, its world-renowned faculty, and the institution as a whole have supported Antigua and Barbuda’s economy and, just as importantly, its well-being. As the university continues to expand, AUA will continue to contribute to the growth of Antigua and Barbuda for years to come. ¤

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



Dr. Jacqueline Choi Class of 2010 Pathology Resident at the University of Illinois



merican University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine is at the forefront of technology and medical research in the Caribbean. AUA’s campus was built with the latest advances in medical school technology. Universal high-speed Wi-Fi allows students to work from their laptops, tablets, or smartphones throughout campus. The library has a vast collection of electronic resources, including thousands of articles, research papers, and best-practice guidelines. Any of these can be accessed from dozens of computer terminals exclusively for student use. Each classroom has HD televisions that allow students to follow their professor’s presentations from anywhere in the room. At AUA, students can take the classroom anywhere with Blackboard Learn™, which gives students access to lecture notes and additional materials to extend their lessons. Echo360 lecture capture service allows students to re-experience their classroom sessions. When studying for their exams, for example, they can replay the lectures to see if they missed anything. AUA’s campus includes a suite of hightech laboratories that make students feel as if they are already participating BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



in their clinical rotations. The Center for Simulated Learning is equipped with the most sophisticated training simulators for students and physicians, including SimMan® 3G, SimBaby™, Harvey®, and Noelle®. These simulators include the latest interactive software incorporating challenging clinical scenarios and are used by medical professionals throughout the United States. The Anatomy Lab includes computer stations and video systems that provide instant access to Adams Atlas, V.H.Dissector™, and prerecorded prosection demos. These systems can also project lectures and live demos on HD monitors. Named after the father of modern medicine, the Osler Suites are designed to take our students out of the lecture hall and place them in a simulated ward. Medical students have the opportunity to see standardized and professional patients and refine their bedside manner and history-taking and diagnostic skills, which are important for the United States Medical Liscensing Exam STEP 2 CS. AUA is also proud to be affiliated with one of the most modern hospitals in the Caribbean: Mount St. John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC). MSJMC is a US$100 million development that incorporates state-of-the-art diagnostic and operating room equipment. It has served the Antiguan community since 2009 and

features 185 beds, five operating theaters, an electronic records system, a 16-slice CT scanner, and a full endoscopy suite. AUA students receive early clinical training from MSJMC that allows them to be more fully prepared for clinical rotations when they move to the United States. Beyond Antigua, AUA is the only Caribbean medical school to secure a landmark agreement with Florida International University (FIU) allowing qualified clinical students to complete all their core rotations back-to-back at clinical sites affiliated with FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (FIU HWCOM). Under this groundbreaking agreement, AUA students are taught and evaluated by FIU faculty who developed the curriculum. They are also exposed to top national and international faculty and guest speakers. Students who complete the Clinical Clerkship Program will receive a transcript sponsored by HWCOM and a Certificate of Completion, which indicates they have completed their rotations at sites approved by FIU HWCOM, a U.S. medical school. Between classes and rotations, students and faculty have been leading a number of different research initiatives in the United States and elsewhere. In the past two years, students presented their

research at distinguished conferences across the United States, including the New York Osteopathic Medical Society Eastern Regional Conference, the Biomedical Engineering Society Annual National Meeting, the American College of Physicians Regional Conference in Baltimore, and many others. Not only have students participated in these conferences, but they have also had their research published in the Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives, Pediatric Clinics of North America, and The Neurologist. Recent AUA graduate Dr. Ryan Singhi won first place for his research at the 2013 American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP) Scientific Assembly and the 2013 American College of Physicians (ACP) conference. At the AAFP conference, he was one of the few recipients of the First-Time Student Attendee Scholarship. The research presentation, entitled “ApoE 4/4 Genotype and Associated Risk with Acute Coronary Syndrome in Young Adults,” also won second place at the 2013 South Carolina Medical Association conference. At the ACP conference, he shared his award with fellow AUA student Namrata Kohli for their research presentation “Rare Cardiac Arrest Observed in Patient with Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy (Broken Heart Syndrome).” AUA student Prathap Jayaram was the first author of research on hemodynamics (blood movement) and the effects of an anomaly of the vertebral artery, a major artery in the neck. The project was presented at two international conferences: the American Association of Anatomists annual meeting in San Diego and the American Association of Clinical Anatomists annual meeting in Toronto. Other projects by AUA students have included research on topics such as anesthesiology and emergency medicine (both in cooperation with the Mayo Clinic) and the cellular basis of diseases (in cooperation with Tulane University).

AUA provost Dr. Seymour Schwartz has published extensively. He is probably best known for his textbook Principles of Surgery, which is considered by many academics to be the definitive textbook on the practice of surgery and is still used in most U.S. medical schools. In 2012, he coauthored the book Holystic Medicine: The Patron Saints of Medicine, an insightful examination of the patron saints of medicine and why they are associated with certain diseases or conditions. AUA faculty members have long established themselves in the international medical community through their groundbreaking research and publications. Dr. Darrick E. Antell, an AUA clinical faculty member, currently has his work on display at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. Since 2012, faculty members have presented at the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, DC, and the BbWorld Conference in New Orleans. Professor James Rice presented “Examination Challenges in a Caribbean Medical School and the Study of ‘Decision Fatigue’ in Examinations.” Chair and professor of pharmacology Dr. Hani Morcos completed a research paper on “The Effects of Simvastatin (Zocor) on the Memory of Alzheimer’s Disease [Patients],” which made headlines in The Washington Post, as well as on several health-news sites in the United States and around the world. He found that nNOS (neuronal nitric oxide synthase) levels were significantly higher in the hippocampus and cortex statin, which is the result of high cholesterol. As AUA expands its campus, it continues to encourage innovation in its technology, faculty, and students. AUA can expect only further greatness. ¤

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec




“Eighth Annual Commencement Ceremony. With nearly 300 graduates, the Class of 2014 is the largest graduating class to date



merican University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine graduates have secured coveted residency positions at prestigious teaching hospitals across the U.S. and Canada through the National Residency Matching Program (NRMP) and the Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMS). Alumni are now in private practice and on staff at top hospitals throughout the United States and Canada, such as the Mayo Clinic, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, Brown University– Rhode Island Hospital, Case Western Reserve University at MetroHealth, Massachusetts General Hospital, University of Toronto, University of Ottawa–Urban, and University of Chicago Medical Center–Northshore. A majority of graduates have secured placement in primary care practices, including internal medicine, family practice, and obstetrics/gynecology. As the Affordable Care Act expands health insurance to 30 million Americans and more baby boomers turn 65, there is a greater need than ever for primary care physicians. AUA is proud that it has given Antiguans the opportunity to become licensed physicians. The Antiguan Tuition Grant BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



provides tuition for the duration of the four-year MD program. Eighty Antiguan students are currently enrolled at AUA, which has provided more than US$6.7 million through scholarships for Antiguan students. The valedictorian of the Class of 2011, Dr. Jasmine Riviere Marcelin, a recipient of the Antiguan Tuition Grant, is now an Internal Medicine Resident at the worldrenowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Before she graduated she received a perfect score on her United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 and was actively involved with clubs on campus, such as student government and the student newspaper AUA Pulse. In January, she was the primary author of a manuscript published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings titled “41-Year-Old Woman with Fever, Neutropenia, and Elevated Transaminase Levels.” Dr. Marcelin is one of the many distinguished Antiguan graduates now completing their residencies in the United States. Two of the valedictorians of the Class of 2014 were Antiguan citizens: Dr. Gaden Osborne and Dr. Samantha Thomas. Dr. Osborne is a Neurology Resident at Albany Medical Center in New York. When he completes his residency, he plans to return to Antigua as a licensed neurologist. Dr. Thomas elected not to participate in the Match this year in

order to focus on research. Ultimately, she also wants to practice in Antigua. Both of these graduates were inspired by Antiguan graduates before them, particularly Dr. Marcelin. Dr. Marcelin joins Dr. Raaj Ruparel (Class of 2011) at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Ruparel was a General Surgery Resident at the Mayo Clinic but recently began a two-year research fellowship in Simulation and Surgical Education. During his fellowship he has had two abstracts published and has presented at numerous national meetings. Many AUA graduates have distinguished themselves as chief residents, fellows, award winners, and researchers. Dr. Sanjiv Gray (Class of 2009) was recognized as Intern of the Year for 2009-2010 during his General Surgery Residency at Columbia University at Harlem Hospital Center in New York, NY. Dr. Adam Isacoff (Class of 2008) is a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellow at Kosair Children’s Hospital, the only freestanding children’s hospital in Kentucky. Dr. Christopher Cortes (Class of 2010) was recognized as New York Methodist Hospital’s Resident of the Year; in July 2012 he began an infectious disease fellowship. In addition, graduates have matched in some of the most demanding specialties such as neurology, ophthalmology, pathology, and neurosurgery. ¤

Dr. Radbeh Torabi (Class of 2010) is an Integrated Plastic Surgery Resident at Louisiana State University, one of the only Caribbean medical school graduates to earn this highly competitive residency. Before securing this residency in 2014, he was a General Surgery Resident at Massachusetts General Hospital, which is affiliated with Harvard University. He was on duty during the Boston Marathon bombings and treated burn victims. Valedictorian of the Class of 2012, Dr. Whitney Boling, is currently an Ophthalmology Resident at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, IN. In 2012, Dr. Boling was the only Caribbean medical school graduate to match into an ophthalmology residency in the United States. Dr. Jesse Gill (Class of 2009) is currently an Emergency Medicine Fellow at the University of Toronto, which is a coveted fellowship in Canada. Another notable AUA graduate is Dr. Radmehr Torabi (Class of 2008), a Neurosurgery Resident at Brown University– Rhode Island Hospital and brother to Dr. Radbeh Torabi. Prior to matching, he served as a research associate in

functional neurosurgery at Rhode Island Hospital where he investigated the effectiveness of deep brain stimulation in treating Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia, major depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. While he attended AUA, he maintained a 4.0 GPA, the highest in his class, and earned a perfect score on his USMLE Step 1. After completing their residencies, AUA graduates entered practices in competitive specialties. Dr. Ehsan Esmaeili (Class of 2007) is a Hand and Microvascular Surgeon at the South Florida Hand and Orthopedic Center in Boca Raton, FL. His wife and fellow AUA graduate, Dr. Allyson Bagenholm (Class of 2007), is working at a family medicine practice in South Florida. Antiguan citizen Dr. Alberto Marcelin is currently a family medicine physician at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. The lessons learned at AUA are carried on long after its students graduate. AUA teaches its students more than the medical knowledge necessary to become exceptional physicians. AUA believes its students should become compassionate, wellrounded physicians to meet the health needs of today’s global society. ¤

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec






merican University of Antigua’s (AUA) investment in the Antiguan community has increased Antigua’s global visibility. AUA has hosted diplomats, conferences, and students from U.S. and international colleges in various capacities to learn about the opportunities available in Antigua and Barbuda. In 2012, the then Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, W. Baldwin Spencer, visited AUA’s New York offices with U.S. Representatives Donald Payne Jr., Eliot Engel, Yvette Clarke, and Gregory Meeks, and Senator Bob Menendez. Prime Minister Spencer was in New York to attend the 67th General Assembly of the United Nations, where he discussed the impact of the global economy and climate change on Antigua and Barbuda. The discussions at AUA focused on the relations among the U.S., Antigua, and Barbuda, and other Caribbean nations. Topics included the Peace Corps, national security, the World Trade Organization, and the status of offshore

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



medical schools. They also discussed the positives of Caribbean medical schools and the contributions they are making in the region and the United States. Congressman Engel pledged his full support of foreign medical schools, noting that the U.S. needs more physicians. On its Antigua campus, AUA hosted international conferences such as the 7th Annual International Stillbirth Alliance (ISA) Conference to attract experts from abroad. AUA’s annual Research Day brought acclaimed international health care professionals to share their research with local colleagues and AUA students and faculty. In 2012, Dr. Michael Lumpkin from Georgetown University gave the keynote address “From Acute Stress to Chronic Stress to Chronic Diseases: Connecting the Dots in Mind-Body Medicine Research.” Three epidemiologists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also provided presentations on food-borne illnesses and disease. Historically, AUA’s Research Day has helped foster a deeper

connection among AUA students and faculty, Antiguan health professionals, and the international medical community. Additionally, professors and invited international guests have stimulated the local economy while visiting the island. AUA’s cricket pitch is approved for practice matches by the International Cricket Association, which also supplements the economy. AUA draws attention to the idyllic island of Antigua and is eternally grateful to the Antiguan government and its people for granting permission to create a medical school on the island less than 10 years ago. In return, AUA has given back to the community by working within it to make Antigua one of the most prosperous islands in the Eastern Caribbean. In less than a decade, AUA has established one of the top Caribbean medical schools. In the coming decade, AUA will further its commitment to helping Antigua become the premier international destination for medical education. ¤

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec






merican University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine was founded in 2004 by AUA President Neal Simon and a group of American physicians and medical education professionals, with participation from Dr. Ramdas Pai of the world-renowned Manipal Education Group. Their vision was to establish a comprehensive, cutting-edge university that would train the next generation of physicians to meet the health care needs of diverse communities in the United States and globally. That is why AUA is committed to breaking down the barriers that have prevented underrepresented minorities from obtaining the medical education required for physician licensure in the U.S. and Canada. AUA admits talented students from diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds. President Simon believes that the diverse student body makes for a better medical education experience. Moving to a new US$60 million campus in 2009 represented a major step forward for the university. In 2012, the build-out

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continued with two new lecture halls, 20 breakout study rooms, and a new studen lounge. In 2014, a US$20 million expansion will add more than 17,000 sq. ft. for two new academic buildings, recreational facilities, and a vendor mall. AUA believes that medical education is a partnership between the institution and its students. Classrooms have been built to foster an open dialogue between students and professors. Classes are accompanied by small breakout sessions to develop learner-teacher connections. Currently, the campus incorporates the latest digital learning technology, sophisticated simulation labs, and custom-designed laboratory facilities that give instant access to a vast array of medical resources. Simulators such as SimMan® 3G, SimBaby™, Harvey®, and Noelle® help prepare students for their clinical rotations. The classrooms’ integrated learning systems, such as Echo360 lecture capture and Blackboard Learn™, allow highdefinition immersion instruction on or off campus. As enrollment steadily increases, AUA’s campus is currently expanding to include two new academic buildings and enhanced recreational facilities. The buildings will also include a student union and a large study hall. Expansion brings the total campus size to more than 27 acres. While our school continues to grow, all our new buildings will continue to provide students with the individualized learning they have become accustomed to at AUA. The next phase includes the development of land that has been set aside and architectural plans registered for student housing to be built on campus property. There are more projects on the horizon that will help benefit Antiguan businesses. There will be a vendor mall on campus with space exclusively reserved for local businesses, giving them greater access to the AUA community and providing AUA students the opportunity to get a taste of what Antigua has to offer. AUA is proud of its achievements. The recent additions to the campus reflect its continued commitment to exceeding the educational needs of its students and continuing to further enrich the Antiguan community. ¤

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Q&A with AUA President and co- Founder, Neal Simon












recent campus

reflect its continued commitment to exceeding the educational needs of its students and continuing to further enrich the Antiguan community. Neal Simon is President and coFounder of American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine. He is the former President of Ross University College of Medicine and cofounded AUA College of Medicine with a group of physicians and medical education professionals. He took some time out of his busy schedule to sit down and answer some frequently asked questions about AUA and its connection to the Indian community. What are the basics of AUA’s four-year MD program? The basics of AUA’s four-year MD program are to provide medical students with the requisite medical education so they can obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to become residents and caring, competent physicians. The first two years of medical education take place at our state-ofthe-art campus in Antigua. Although these years are primarily didactic, AUA follows the United States Medical School model by incorporating clinical experience into the Basic Sciences curriculum.

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The final two years take place in teaching hospitals throughout the United States. AUA has clinical sites in a number of states, including New York, California, Maryland, Illinois, and Florida, to name a few. AUA is approved by the New York State Education Department and recognized by the Medical Board of California, which allows students to participate in clinical training and eligible graduates to participate in residency training in these states. It should be noted that students of international schools that do not have New York and California approval are barred from participating in residency training there. What is AUA’s relationship with Florida International University’s (FIU) medical school? AUA College of Medicine has an affiliation agreement with Florida International University’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (FIU HWCOM), which allows qualified AUA clinical students to enroll in the FIU Core Clerkship Certificate Program. AUA students are able to complete all their core rotations at FIU-affiliated hospitals in the greater Miami area. Students follow FIU’s curriculum with classes taught by FIU faculty and receive evaluations from them. Once students complete the program, they obtain a transcript sponsored by HWCOM and a Certificate of Completion, which indicated that they have completed their rotations at sites that have been approved by FIU HWCOM, a U.S. medical school. Has AUA been endorsed by any Indian organizations? The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) recognizes AUA as a leader in international medical education based on the strength of AUA’s curriculum, resources, and faculty as well as the success of its graduates. Who are some of the faculty members at AUA? AUA’s faculty and administration include renowned physicians and health care professionals. Professor of Surgery and provost Dr. Seymour Schwartz is best known for the Principles of Surgery, which is considered the definitive textbook in the field and is used in nearly every U.S. medical school. Executive Dean Dr. Jagbir Singh Nagra served as the director of health services of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and was the founding dean and director of Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Nepal. Dr. Robert Mallin, our dean of medical education, was the director of family practice at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Dr. Majid Pathan, the vice president of international affairs and dean of library services and academic support, has worked as a medical librarian for major medical schools worldwide and is the first recipient of the Eileen Cunningham International Fellowship of the Medical Library Association.

What distinguishes AUA is the quality of its faculty; however, what cannot be overlooked is our campus, which was designed with our students in mind. Of course we have anatomy and research labs – but what really sets us apart is our suite of cutting-edge simulation labs equipped with groundbreaking training simulators such as SimMan 3G®, SimBaby™, Harvey®, and Noelle®. These simulators utilize the latest interactive software and are so sophisticated even physicians use them! For example, SimMan 3G® and SimBaby™ can be programmed to incorporate challenging clinical scenarios, while Harvey® is the most advanced cardiac assessment simulator available. Noelle® is a birthing simulator that provides the complete birthing experience before, during, and after delivery. We also have a clinical skills lab and the Osler Suites, simulated doctors’ offices that allow students to interact with professional patients and refine their bedside manner, history-taking, and diagnostic skills. Here, students are able to augment what they’ve learned in the classroom with early hands-on experience, giving them a significant advantage when they begin clinical rotations. Where have AUA graduates secured residencies? Alumni have matched at prestigious residencies in the finest teaching hospitals throughout the United States and Canada, such as the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Brown University–Rhode Island Hospital, Case Western Reserve University at MetroHealth, Massachusetts General Hospital, University of Toronto, University of Ottawa– Urban, and University of Chicago Medical Center–Northshore. Where are AUA graduates eligible to practice ? Qualified graduates are eligible to practice in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and India. What has AUA achieved thus far, and what do you see for its future? In less than 10 years, we have accomplished what has taken many medical schools decades to achieve. AUA was the youngest school to obtain approval from both California and New York and to be approved by the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM-HP). With Manipal’s support, I believe we have bettered the landscape of global medical education. We are extremely proud of our graduates, many having become award-winning residents and physicians because of the training they received here. Our goals are to continue improving the next generation of physicians and to encourage those who share these aspirations to apply. ¤

What is AUA’s connection with Manipal University? Dr. Ramdas Pai, chancellor of Manipal University, assisted in the creation of AUA. We have a unique relationship with Manipal, giving our students many opportunities to expand their medical education around the world. Together, AUA and Manipal are proud members of the Manipal Education Americas family. What are some of the distinguishing features of AUA’s campus

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endorsements of two such m o d e r n business icons is highly notable.


Volume 10

Business Tales

“Study the past if you would define the future.”- Confucius by Lyndell Halliday

Following this counsel of the ancient Chinese philosopher, this edition of Must Reads features two non-traditional business books, both of which consist of collections of real life business stories. The value of these books is that they offer practical lessons of business executives in action dealing with real issues. The two books are: How I Did it: Lessons from the Front Line of Business edited by Daniel McGinn (Harvard Business Review, 2014) and Business Adventures – Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street by John Brooks (Open Road Media, 2014). How I Did It: Lessons from the Front Lines of Business – Daniel McGinn (Editor) How I Did It is a compilation of 34 first person stories of CEO’s of leading American corporations who tell of real business challenges they encountered and how they dealt with them. Originally written as a series of articles for the Harvard Business Review, the stories have now been complied into a single 336 page book divided into six sections: Picking the Right People, Building the Right Culture, Telling the Right Story, Growing around the World, Doing Smart Deals and Finding a Strategy that Works. Each section consists of four to seven stories with unique lessons grouped under the respective general theme. The CEO’s represent a wide cross section of corporate America - including wellknown names such as Jeffrey Immelt of General Electric, Bill Marriott of Marriott International, Tony Hsieh of Zappos and Eric Schmidt of Google. Other familiar companies represented include Xerox, HoneyWell, Office Depot, Encyclopaedia BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



Britannica and IMAX. Even though the companies represented are large, the issues dealt with are typical of those faced by business executives at all sizes of companies such as hiring the right persons, dealing with declining sales, finding and executing the right strategy and negotiating deals. Each of the CEO’s writes about critical business issues they faced, their thought processes and deliberations, and how they ultimately made key decisions in order to resolve the pertinent issues. The stories are mostly written in a succinct and to the point manner and are all quick digestible reads. Moreover, the personal tone of the contributors adds tremendous value to this collection. Some of the executives speak very candidly, often talking openly about their trepidations, and admitting their mistakes, making them appear very human. How I Did It is a highly enjoyable and insightful book and is the closest most persons will ever get to having a personal armchair chat with a major CEO.   Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street – John Brooks Originally published in 1969, Business Adventures was out of print for many years, until its republication earlier this year. Clearly, the business environment has evolved significantly since the original publication of this book. Yet Warren Buffett has referred to it as one of his favourite books, famously recommending it to Bill Gates, who in turn called it “the best business book I’ve ever read.” The

John Brooks (1920 to 1933) was a contributor to the New Y o r k e r magazine. The twelve c a s e s selected for this book are quite diverse – each with unique lessons. They cover many iconic American companies such as Ford Motors, Xerox and GE as well as other lesser known companies. Some articles also cover government policy such as income tax and the stock market. In each case, Brooks writes in vivid detail with rich prose and a dry wit that makes each tale as entertaining as it is instructive. Many of the tales are stories of failure, such as Ford’s disastrous roll out of the Edsel mid-range luxury car in 1958 and an insider trading scandal at a leading minerals company of the day – Texas Gulf Sulphur. Brooks does not pretend to have all the answers, but instead provides the reader with enough detail and perspectives to allow the reader to draw his/her own lessons. In a sense, John Brooks might best be described as an investigative business journalist. The relevance of the business tales in Business Adventures varies significantly and the reader will not find all of them applicable to modern business. But there are enough timeless lessons in the pages of this classic 464 page book to make it a valuable addition to the book shelves of anyone interested in business. ¤ About The Author: Lyndell A. Halliday BSc., DipFM, MBA Lyndell Halliday is a business executive who has served in a range of leadership roles across the Caribbean. He is currently employed as the General Manager of Automotive Art (St Lucia) Ltd. Mr Halliday is also a part time facilitator at the National Research and Development Foundation where he teaches Leadership and Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility for the Australia Institute of Business MBA and BBA programmes.

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ommissioner at the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), Ralph Warner, said the department has managed to increase taxpayer compliance by over 50 per cent due to reformed procedures. “Prior to 2010, the compliance rate was basically below 30 per cent,” Warner said. He noted, “because of the concentrated effort in the department the compliance rate among the large tax payers is around 88 per cent at this moment,” the IRD boss said. Warner said there is a department within the IRD that focuses specifically on taxpayer compliance, which is part of the same reform programme that began in 2010.

“It’s a structured programme, where every day we look at how taxpayers are behaving … We will engage the taxpayers and let them know if they haven’t filed,” he said. “I think the whole idea is to stimulate economic activity within the country and to ease individuals in being compliant.” Responding to Prime Minister Gaston Browne’s promise to grant amnesty on property tax, the commissioner said this is not a done deal. He said the IRD has not yet decided to give the green light for a property tax waiver, but has plans to discuss and consider granting it in the future. ¤ Source: The Daily Observer

New Program to Create Pathways for Trade Between Caribbean and the USA Indies, Cave Hill campus in Barbados, U.S. Ambassador to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and the OECS, Dr. Larry Palmer urged the audience to give full support to the TFP, while making reference to the strength of AACCLA.


he U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown is pleased to support the America Chamber of Commerce for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean (AmCham BEC) in the launch of its trade facilitation program (TFP), in conjunction with the Inter-American Development Bank and the Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin America and the Caribbean (AACCLA). Speaking at the ceremony for the TFP launch held at the University of the West BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



“AACCLA has become the premier advocate in facilitating business in the Americas. AACCLA’s mission is to promote trade and investment between the United States and the countries of the region through free trade, free markets, and free enterprise. For nearly a century, American Chambers of Commerce (AmChams) have been the most influential voice of U.S. business across the world. AmCham BEC is not only the newest AmCham in the world, but it also has the distinct status of being the only multijurisdictional AmCham in the world covering the seven countries of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica,

Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” noted Ambassador Palmer. The TFP will be based on a regional company survey, which will assess the region’s priorities for trade facilitation. Using the results from that assessment, a unified customs approach will be developed to improve the flow of goods in the region. The final TFP will be implemented in three phases. President of AmCham BEC Dustin Delany noted, “It is predicted that the project will significantly contribute towards building an active consensus among the private sectors of the region, support efforts to improve the competitiveness of the Caribbean economies, provide impetus to regional integration, and influence local policymakers and businesses to support policies to facilitate international trade.” ¤

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Forecast Is Down From Earlier 2.7% Growth Estimate; China Demand Called Region's Main Risk


he Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) said Caribbean economies are expected to recover in 2014, while lowering the growth forecast for the entire region to 2.2 per cent. ECLAC recently unveiled its report, ‘Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2014,’ indicating that Caribbean economies will grow to two per cent “which implies a recovery from the 1.2 percent registered in 2013”. Overall, ECLAC revised its projections for Latin American and Caribbean economies, which it said will experience average growth of 2.2 per cent in 2014, “affected by the weakness in external demand, less dynamic domestic demand, insufficient investment and limited room for implementing policies to spur an upturn. Economic activity in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) territories is expected to expand by 1.7% in 2014, as the recovery in all six economies gathers momentum, albeit at varying levels. A rally in the construction sector, coupled with sustained growth in the tourism BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



industry, will continue to have positive spillovers on the transportation and communications sectors. Wholesale and retail trade activities are expected to grow exponentially as a consequence of these drivers. Positive impacts are also expected in the agricultural sector. However, continued fiscal consolidation strategies should limit government spending while weak economic activity in some member States ought to keep inflation in check, with a rate of the order of 1.8% expected in 2014. The primary risks to economic growth will continue to be weak public finances, high levels of public debt and the prohibitive cost of borrowing in international financial markets. “These elements have a differentiated impact on Latin American and Caribbean countries and sub-regions, confirming a high degree of heterogeneity in growth dynamics,” said ECLAC in cutting the regional growth forecast for 2014 that was issued last April when it predicted a 2.7 per cent growth. The ECLAC report said that the main risk to growth this year comes from China, as commodity-exporting nations could

be harmed if growth in that Asian nation doesn't stay above 7.0%. The study indicates that the economic slowdown observed in the last quarter of 2013 persisted during the first months of 2014, meaning that the region will grow less than the 2.5 per cent recorded last year. Nevertheless, the report signals that a gradual improvement in some of the world's major economies should enable the trend to change towards the end of 2014. “Macroeconomic policies have to take into account each country's specific vulnerabilities,” said Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary. “Without a doubt, it is important in all cases to increase investment and productivity to guarantee structural change with equality in the medium term. Both factors are key challenges for the economic sustainability of development, especially in the current context.” ¤

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BusinessFocus Oct / Dec






conomists have long argued that a rising wealth gap has complicated the United States rebound from the Great Recession.

Now, an analysis by the rating agency Standard & Poor's lends its weight to the argument: The widening gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else has made the economy more prone to boom-bust cycles and slowed the five-year-old recovery from the recession. Economic disparities appear to be reaching extremes that "need to be watched because they're damaging to growth," said Beth Ann Bovino, chief US economist at S&P. The rising concentration of income among the top one per cent of earners has contributed to S&P's cutting its growth estimates for the economy. In part because of the disparity, it estimates that the economy will grow at a 2.5 per cent annual pace in the next decade, down from a forecast five years ago of a 2.8 per cent rate. The S&P report advises against using the tax code to try to narrow the gap. Instead, it suggests that greater access to education would help ease wealth disparities. Part of the problem is that educational achievement has stalled in recent decades. More schooling usually translates into higher wages. S&P estimates that the US economy would grow annually by an additional half a percentage point - or US$105 billion - over the next five years, if the average American worker had completed just one more year of school.

reduce inequality could remove incentives for people to work, and cause businesses to hire fewer employees because of the costs involved. The report builds on data from the Congressional Budget Office, the International Monetary Fund and academic economists to explain how income disparities can hurt growth. Many consumers tend to become more dependent on debt to continue spending, thereby worsening the boom-bust cycle. Or they curb their spending, and growth improves only modestly, as it has during the current recovery. Tax data tracked as part of the World Top Incomes Database project reveal just how much the economic chasm has expanded. An American in the top one per cent of earners had an average income of US$1.3 million in 2012, the most recent year for which data are available. Average income jumps to US$30.8 million for the top 0.01 per cent. Adjusted for inflation, the top 0.01 per cent's average earnings have jumped by a factor of seven since 1913. For the bottom 90 per cent of Americans, average incomes, after inflation, have grown by a factor of just three since 1917 and have declined for the past 13 years. ¤ Source: Associated Press

By contrast, S&P concludes, heavy taxes that would be meant to



he Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has rated St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, and Anguilla as “Partially Compliant” with international standards on tax transparency. But it noted that the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat and St. Kitts-Nevis were “largely compliant”. In reviewing the exchange of information practices through Phase 2 peer review reports in 10 jurisdictions, the OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes said it allocated ratings for compliance with the individual elements of the international standard, as well as an overall rating. It said five jurisdictions — Andora, Anguilla, Antigua, Indonesia and St. Lucia - received an overall rating of “Partially Compliant”. BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



The Global Forum also said that four others - Chile, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montserrat and St. KittsNevis - received an overall rating of “largely compliant”, while Mexico was rated as “compliant” with Global Forum standards. While there are legal obligations for most entities to maintain ownership information, the report notes that compliance with ownership obligations was “not sufficiently monitored” by the St. Lucian authorities over the review period. With the release of the latest batch of reviews, the OECD said the Global Forum has now completed 143 peer reviews and assigned compliance ratings to 64 jurisdictions that have undergone Phase 2 reviews. Additional peer reviews will be completed by the next plenary meeting of the Global Forum, in Germany in late October 2014. ¤

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EROPOST was founded by James Fendell 28 years ago and as we celebrate the successful delivery of services to consumers in Latin America and the Caribbean, we’re proud to also say we have achieved what the big companies could not develop. We offer a concierge-like service that: allows shoppers access to better, price-sensitive products from among hundreds of thousands of options; and which gives them the ability to purchase those products risk-free at prices that are 30-60 per cent and even 100 per cent more economical than the some of the same products imported and sold in stores here in Antigua. The best part is that we offer a 100 per cent guarantee on your purchase. We have represented multinational Courier businesses such as FedEx and UPS, then we decided to develop the e-Commerce product, a product designed to meet the individual needs of our customers. One of the biggest fallacies about the e-commerce business is the payment fulfillment – more specifically, the claim that US stores do not accept our credit cards. In fact, our clients do make purchases using our own credit cards. We provide clients with a US based e-Shopping card that can be used transaction-by-transaction, using their own predetermined balance. Another fallacy is the information transparency. For too long, only Courier businesses had the ability to track and trace packages, but this was too costly for low value e-shopping purchases. This left shoppers at the mercy of high transportation prices; or buying overpriced products in their countries; or the worst

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



problem of all - utilising low-priced transportation companies that would not offer any guarantees. At AEROPOST, we have changed that. We have developed a unique state-of-the-art e-commerce system that does not only track and trace shipments, but is built-in with applications and gadgets that are exclusive to e-Shopping. Some of these applications and gadgets are the e-Calculator and the Pre-Alert. Using the first one, shoppers could find out the overall cost for the service even before making a purchase. While, the second one is an invoice feature that allows customers to advise us of their purchases at time of receiving their tracking information. This allows speedy treatment during the transit and the clearing of the shipment; plus clicks-in the aeroprotect program that covers the guaranty of each product. We as shoppers become frustrated over the idea of our purchases being damaged or lost. But, with the aeroprotect program, that’s one problem you don’t have to worry about. The aeroprotect service is provided at a minimal cost of $1 US dollar with a 100 per cent coverage against lost, damaged and missing items. It also covers the cost to return and reship items that have malfunctioned or in instances when the store may have sent the wrong product. At AEROPOST, this offer is available to our customers without further cost, for up to one year. Our base is in MIAMI and we serve 40 countries both in Latin America and throughout the Caribbean and we offer 24-hour customer support.

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wenty years ago,the cost of primary and secondaryeducation in Antigua and Barbuda, was borne largely by parents and guardians. Unfortunately, for many, it was an uphill battle that seemed insurmountable at times. However, relief came with the introduction of the Education Levy Act in October 1994 when the Government of the day decided to assist with the provision of text books and scholarships to its citizens as well as improve the educational system overall. As with any change, the new Act met with resistance, since the public was uncertain as to how they would benefit.Nevertheless, the Government, in keeping with its vision to ease the burden on all parents and guardians, implemented the Education Levy Act and deductions began in October 1994. The organization was created to improve the educational system of Antigua and Barbuda through its supply of text books to all school children, furniture to public schools and school supplies and equipment to all private and public schools. The Board of Education has sole responsibility for the supply of computers, copiers, risographs, toners and their accessories, as well as everything (all materials utilized by the schools) from the disinfectant to the register, for all private and public primary and secondary schools within the twin-island state of Antigua and Barbuda. The Board also maintains the school buildings and grounds as it is responsible for the general upkeep of the public schools’ plants. In addition, we provide critical financial support toall the curriculum areas including, but not limited to, music, arts and craft, sciences and sports. The Board also provides support to several educational institutions such as the Antigua State College, Antigua and Barbuda Institute of Continuing Education (ABICE) and is responsible for BusinessFocus Oct / Dec | 86 BusinessFocus Oct / Dec | 86

Government’s contributions to the University of the West Indies (UWI) and Caribbean Examination Council (CXC). During the last 6 years, the Board was asked to assist with the completion of the National Public Library which is today open to the public. Throughout its existence, the Board has provided in excess of 3300 scholarships and bursaries at a cost of over EC$85 million dollars. We are proud to have funded 23 Island Scholars and over 70 Excellence Awardees. During summer 2014 under the direction of the new Minister Michael Browne, the Board changed the face of many schools with Villa, Golden Grove and T. N. Kirnon Primary Schools receiving a completely new vibrant look. Extensive work, both internal and external was also done on the Ottos Comprehensive School with the aim of improving the atmosphere and creating a childfriendly environment conducive to learning. This was in keeping with the new vision thrust that the Board has now embarked on.

Further, in an effort to allay the crippling effects of the drought situation, cisterns were cleaned and refilled and spouting and tanks were installed at various schools. The summer programme was successfully executed with spending exceeding EC$1.6 Million From inception, provision of text books have always been a priority and this year was no exception. The Board spent nearly EC$4.5 million on texts and though some challenges were experienced, the Board remains committed. In that regard, the Board is issuing an extra appeal to parents to exercise more vigilance in the covering and care of the texts. This is necessary to prevent having to pay additional monies to replace the texts when they are lost or damaged. Over the last 20 years, the organization has grown from strength to strength and today looks forward to a bright future with the vision of the new Government, Minister of Education and Board of Directors. Further, as good stewards of the public’s funds, we are committed to the development of our nation’s youth and will continue to do our part in providing them with the necessary tools to ensure their academic and general success. We are, however, dependent upon the contributions which are mandated by law and would like to thank the public for its invaluable support and encourage you to continue making the required contributions as it will aid in our sustained efforts to advance education in the nation of Antigua and Barbuda. BusinessFocus BusinessFocus Oct Oct // Dec Dec | | 87 87



MANAGEMENT IN THE REGION: Not an issue in only Antigua and Barbuda Previous Regional Policy Development on Wastewater Management


ntigua and Barbuda has benefited from several regional and national projects which, during their execution have addressed wastewater management. The Sustainable Island Resource Management Mechanism (SIRMM), Component 4, focused specifically on the best practices in wastewater disposal and water conservation in the Northwestern tourism BusinessFocus Oct Oct//Dec Dec | | 88 88 BusinessFocus

zone in Antigua. Areas surrounding McKinnons and Yorks were focused upon. In 1986 Antigua and Barbuda signed the Protocol Concerning Pollution from LandBased Sources and Activities, commonly referred to as the LBS Protocol. This was developed to respond to the need to protect the marine environment and human health from land-based point and

non-point sources of marine pollution such as wastewater. The Protocol formally entered into force in 2010 following its ratification by ten countries. It can be considered perhaps the most significant development in the Caribbean to address wastewater management. Under the Global Environment Facilityfunded Integrating Watershed and

Coastal Areas Management Project (GEFIWCAM) in 2008,a toolkit was published to provide guidance to legislative drafters in the amendment and drafting of appropriate legislation in their respective countries in support of the objectives of the LBS protocol. Existing domestic legislation was consulted in each country and analyzed in terms of what was needed in each island to bring it into compliance with the LBS protocol. The star of this article is another GEF project that is currently being implemented and in which Antigua and Barbuda is involved called GEF CReW - the Caribbean Regional Fund for Wastewater Management. The cornerstones of CReW are sustainable financing, policy and legislative reform, capacity building and, fostering regional dialogue and knowledge sharing throughout the region. In addition to testing pilot financing mechanisms in four of the thirteen participating countries, CReW aims to help with reforms for better wastewater management. This includes improving skills and knowledge needed for policy formulation, planning and financing

in water, sanitation and wastewater management. Increasing public awareness of wastewater and related issues is also an important part of the project’s work.

The implications for businesses The question you may be asking yourself at this point is, “How does the problem of ineffective wastewater management affect my business?” The ways that we contribute to wastewater were outlined in our previous installment but as a recap: - Using toilet facilities; - Washing clothes and dishes; - Cooking; - Gardening; - Ineffective sewage treatment systems within homes and businesses which do not meet the demands placed upon them;

These are all ways that we create wastewater. While a business such as an insurance company, bank, or even a government

office might not be directly affected, however it is the people who are employed at and utilize the services of these businesses that may feel the effects. There are many harmful microorganisms in untreated wastewater that can cause diseases. These microorganisms are then transported via the water into drains, waterways and eventually the sea, and can cause serious illnesses in people exposed to them, therefore exacerbating present health issues. The IWCAM project, under which Antigua and Barbuda had a demonstration project, made note of high population densities, which, combined with population growth, increased development, has led to the contamination of underground water sources and the deterioration of coastal water quality in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). This has lead to several public health issues, which critically affect the overall health of the population as well as nutritional security. To wrap up, the GEF CReW Project hopes to improve the capacity of participating countries to manage their wastewater more effectively and safeguard the Caribbean Sea. BusinessFocus BusinessFocus Oct Oct / / Dec Dec | | 89 89


JOEL BEAZER TOPS CAPE he had internal exams, applying to universities, financial aid application, the Leeward Islands Debating Competition, plus his usual responsibilities. Now, Beazer will focus on pursuing a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Physics for the next four years at Harvard University, with hopes of continuing his education at Massachusetts Institute of Technology or one of the other universities that accepted him this year. The former Antigua Grammar School student sat 14 subjects at CSEC level gaining grade one passes in biology, building technology, principles of business and accounts, information technology, technical drawing, physics, English language and literature, Spanish, social studies, mathematics, chemistry and French. Additionally, Beazer registered privately with the Ministry of Education for history for which he also attained a grade one.


t is a place he has been before, but top student Joel Beazer said being this year’s Island Scholar required hard work, determination and dedication.

In 2012, at the age of 16, the St Johnston’s Village resident was Antigua’s top student attaining a total of 15 CSEC grade ones in the May/June examinations. Beazer graduated this year from the Advanced Level Department at the Antigua State College (ASC) having achieved the highest Grade Point Average (GPA) of 4.29, with distinctions in Applied Mathematics Unit 1 and 2, Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Pure Mathematics units 2. He said the right attitude is the key to success. “I think the attitude towards anything that you are doing is the most important. If you see anything as a difficulty, something you don’t want to be doing or something you refuse to give your best at, then whatever you read is going to be subpar,” Beazer said. The Island Scholar applied to 16 universities worldwide; 11 in the United States; six Ivy League universities, four in the United Kingdom and the University of the West Indies. Beazer who scored 2,230 on his Scholastic Aptitude Test(SAT) was accepted to all 16 and was granted full scholarship to Harvard University in Massachusetts to pursue studies in Physics. He said his journey to such an achievement was filled with practice. “I remember spending a lot of days at ASC in the back room doing those practice tests, while a lot of my friends were enjoying their free periods. And, so, it took a lot of dedication and hard work. I remember going over vocabulary and carrying around the book and come (last) November I did the SAT subject test,” the former ASC student said. Beazer recalled the last year as being the most hectic compared to secondary school. In addition to preparing for SATs, he said BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education sai there were eight candidates contending for the honour of Island Scholar. The students were Beazer, Tara Spencer, Amicha Robertson, Abiel Spencer, Quincer Samuel, Saeed Graham, Jenée Joseph and Jadon Thomas, all from the Advanced Level Department at Antigua State College. ¤

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ttaining the nation’s top Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) spot was difficult, but obviously attainable and worth it, the 2014 top CSEC student said.

Marissa Michael of the St Anthony’s Secondary School said the feat required tremendous organisation and determination. “I feel excited to know that my hard work and determination paid off. It took a lot of preparation and time management; it’s always good to make the schedule and stick to it,” she said. “…Even though I didn’t stick to it exactly, it still had great benefit.” The 17 year old, who undertook 17 CSEC general proficiency subjects, acquired grade ones in biology, Caribbean history, chemistry, English A, English B, French, geography, Information Technology, office administration, physical education, physics, principles of accounts, principles of business, social studies, Spanish and additional mathematics, while she received a grade two for technical drawing. Michael advises students planning to undertake CSEC exams next academic year to make “practice” a habit ahead of their examinations.

“Do well throughout the whole fourth and fifth form, because it’s not a study-the-night-before type of exam …. you have to pay attention in class, do all of your assignments, do your SBAs and do them well,” she noted. “Whenever you have a problem, go to the teacher and ask questions. I would advise them to make a study schedule as I did and to stick to it and work on past papers.” Michael first came to prominence for academic excellence in 2009 when she copped the top Common Entrance Exam spot, after her schooling at the St Nicolas Primary. Her aspiration is to become a surgeon. Michael left Antgua in August in preparation for studies in medicine at Tufts University in the United States. The second place student is Zubin Deyal of the St Joseph Academy with 16 subjects, while Danique Jordan of Baptist Academy of Antigua is third, with 15 subjects. ¤

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec





“we look forward to the strengthening and deepening of our close collaboration to unlock the vast potential of heritage tourism and we view Spain as a valued serious partner which understands the significance of this enterprise to the survival of a small nation as ours.” He added, “We intend to have a cultural policy in which the protection of heritage sites and artifacts are included along with the mapping of the different sites”.

CTO ELECTS NEW CHAIRMAN “I am very impressed with the wealth of heritage sites on Antigua and Barbuda and upon my return to Spain I will submit my report for a determination of the scope of assistance we will be providing this country”.


ntigua and Barbuda is poised to see a 20 per cent increase in cruise tourism calls for the upcoming 2014/2015 winter season which officially commences on October 15. President of Antigua & Barbuda Cruise Tourism Association Nathan Dundas who divulged the information, said the increase is linked to renewed efforts by officials from the Ministry of Tourism, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and the St John’s Development Corporation. To support the statement about a projected increase, Dundas said a total of 297 cruise ships are booked to stop in Antigua this season, while last year there were 253 calls to the twin island. With the projected increase in the number of calls, Dundas said it is expected the number of passengers will also increase significantly. One of the season’s highlights is the return of Disney Magic of the Disney Cruise Lines that last stopped in Antigua in 2008. That ship usually brings about 4,000 passengers. Over in Barbuda where cruise tourism is new, eight small cruise vessels are scheduled to stop there. Among the vessels are the Europa Cruises, the Sea Dreams, Club Med and Wind Star Cruises.

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



Those are the words of Irene Seco - Heritage Director of the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AECID) who visited Antigua in September to undertake a formal assessment as to an approach for heritage restoration in Antigua and Barbuda. Her visit came as a result of bilateral discussions involving Prime Minister Gaston Browne and Minister of Culture Paul “Chet” Greene and the Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy Brey on the margins of the 35th Regular Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community, CARICOM on July 2, 2014. The archeologist’s work was organised by the Office of the National Authorising Officer, (NAO) within the Ministry of Trade whose head, Ambassador Dr Clarence Henry expressed appreciation for the manner in which Seco undertook her assignment. He noted “the assistance will enhance restoration activities and hopefully provide much needed expert training to our trades people.” The Anglican Cathedral, Fort James, Government House, the Museum, Monk’s Hill and surrounding sites were among those visited. Seco expressed an expectation of a “quick turnaround” time in the selection of the priority intention from Spain. Addressing the government’s interest in placing the restoration and protection of cultural heritage and its value to our tourism product, the Minister of Culture reaffirmed


arbados Tourism Minister Richard Sealy has been elected the new chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO). Sealy’s election was announced at the opening of the CTO’s State of the Industry conference on September 17. He was chosen during the CTO’s Annual General Meeting at the conference, held at the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Star resort. “I look forward to putting my very best foot forward and working along with all of the other entities in the region to deal with some of the vexing problems that we have right now with tourism,” Sealy said following the announcement. “And of course to continue the good work that has been done by this organization recently.” Sealy succeeds outgoing CTO Chairman Beverly Nicholson-Doty, who is the Tourism Commissioner of this year’s conference host, the US Virgin Islands. He will serve a two-year term.



egotiations are underway for Antigua and Barbuda to host a major international yachting competition in 2015. Commodore of the Antigua Yacht Club, John Duffy said as part of its plans to boost the country’s yachting industry, the club is in talks with several international bodies in hopes that Antigua will be their destination of choice for future race meets. Chief on the list of international regattas, anticipated to be held in the nation’s waters, is the International Optimist Dinghy Association’s (IODA) North American Championships. “At the moment, we are in the process of trying to encourage the Optimist to host their North American championships at the yacht club for 2015,” Duffy noted. “We are working on a couple of other big events to come to Antigua for 2016 and 2017. So at the moment, we are very much looking to push sailing to bring people into the island.” The IODA organises dingy races across the word, mainly geared at youth up to the age of 18.

Duffy said talks are underway with the Minister of Sports, Paul “Chet” Greene, on the way forward with plans for the event. “Speaking with the Minister of Sport, Mr Greene, and some others on the island, we decided to see if we can get hold of 150 to 200 dinghies to have an event in 2015,” he said. The yacht club is hoping to source the small boats from a US company, through a lease arrangement. The club head anticipates by the end of this week a final decision would be made on the country’s ability to host the race meet. Meantime, the nation has won big at the Etchells Invitational race in Cowes, Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom. Jeremy Thorpe led the Antigua team in the July 26th to 31st biennial event. Duffy said a combination of skill and good fortune was responsible for the win. “This was an open invitation to any sailors who wanted to compete … and one of our members decided to get a crew together and race on behalf of Antigua Yacht Club, and should we say that, skills and luck and everything else that goes into sailing, he came first,” Duffy added.

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec




Juicing – Is it worth the while?

The Risks and Benefits of Juicing


uicing seems to be the latest health craze. First, there was the cabbage soup diet, followed by the Atkins diet, gluten-free diets, the South Beach diet, the Paleo diet, and so on. Proponents of juicing claim it can help with a number of things, from weight loss to cleansing your system. Juicing has really taken off, but before you spend a fortune on a fancy juicing machine, make sure you're aware of the potential health risks and benefits.

vitamins and minerals are housed, and if you discard these parts, you're throwing out the most beneficial portions of the produce. •

The Pros •

Juicing is a great way to squeeze fruits and vegetables into your diet if you typically don't like them.

When making juice, you can add fruits and vegetables that are about to spoil. That way, you don't waste produce (the food we waste the most money on each year).

The Cons •

People think juice is a nutritionallyequivalent replacement for whole fruits and vegetables, which isn't true. There are certain nutrients that whole produce will give you that you can't get from the juice, including fiber. The skin and the pulp of fruits and veggies are where the fiber and most of the BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



Juicers are expensive. They can range in cost from $50 to as much as $400. That's a lot of money to spend on one piece of kitchen equipment, especially when it serves only one purpose. A blender, on the other hand, can be used for a variety of foods but costs much less. Juice, no matter where it comes from, is a concentrated source of calories. This is especially true if you use more fruits than vegetables in your juices. The juice isn't pasteurised, which could be a food-safety hazard. Wash your hands and all produce before preparing juice. Drink juice within one week, preferably on the same day that you make it. Also, wash the juicer with hot, soapy water after each use.

Juicing for Weight Loss or "Cleansing" Purposes Juicing to lose weight or ‘cleanse’ is not only unsuccessful, it can be downright dangerous. If you're drinking juices in place of real food, you'll fall short on a number

of nutrients your body needs, namely fiber and protein. Fiber keeps us full for longer, preventing overeating. Protein also keeps us full and helps us build and maintain lean muscle mass, which burns calories even at rest. If you cut your calories too low because you're just drinking juice all day, your metabolism may slow down. Then, once you start eating solid foods again, you'll likely put on weight in the form of fat cells. Your body has two wonderful organs to do any cleansing you need--your liver and your kidneys.

The Bottom Line Freshly-prepared juice can certainly be incorporated into a healthy diet, but it's not a miracle food that's going to make you instantly skinny or cure whatever ails you. Additionally, be sure to talk to your doctor before starting juicing in order to prevent potential drug and nutrient interactions. This is because a lot of people use dark, leafy greens such as kale and spinach in their juice concoctions, and these greens are high in vitamin K, which could interfere with how certain blood thinners work. ¤

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec




SIDS outline vulnerabilities at UN conference


he 3rd United Nations International Conference on Small-island Developing States (SIDS) held in Samoa in September, ended with a plan of action pertinent to the future development of Caribbean countries. Called the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway, the draft document includes several issues raised by Caribbean leaders, along with a proposed multi-disciplinary approach in tackling the many ailments faced by SIDS in the Caribbean and the Pacific arena. In what appeared to be coordinated presentations by OECS Heads of Government, issues of health, energy, disaster mitigation, capacity building and finance were pitched as some of the major factors impeding developmental progress in “vulnerable” Small Island Developing States. In early July this year, the Brussels based Joint Embassy of the Eastern Caribbean States representing Dominica, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines, had brought together

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



stakeholders from the Caribbean and across the European Union to address the future of Small Island Developing States. At that meeting Ambassador Dr Len Ishmael, Head of Mission to the European Union, said, “The SIDS agenda should not be one that is presented once every five years at Summits for the sake of doing so, but it should be functionally incorporated into all multilateral fora, policy prescriptions and supporting policy frameworks.” Three months later, St Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas told the Somoa Conference that “along with climate change, extreme weather events and flailing economies, there are a myriad of other issues that require urgent and focused attention, among them, noncommunicable and emerging diseases that place a strain on health systems”. Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell emphasized the need “to consider the trillion-dollar renewable energy market, which could resuscitate the struggling economies of the region that currently spend significantly on fossil fuels”, further explaining that the high cost of fossil fueled electricity makes the island states “ideal for introducing renewable energies”.

And St Lucia’s Minister for Sustainable Development Dr James Fletcher, opined that the move to “prematurely graduate” some Small Island Developing States to middle income status was “based on outmoded criteria that are out of step with empirical studies on vulnerability and resilience”. He said further that delayed progress in dealing with challenges confronting SIDS were “liked to other factors, including prolonged economic recession; dwindling support and the failure of key partners to fulfill pledges to scale up climate finance”. In recognizing the host of impediments to SIDS, the draft Samoa Pathway identifies issues and actions required by SIDS and the international community of nations. The Pathway sets 2015 to 2025 as the period needed “to reverse the spread and severity of non-communicable diseases”, during which national programs and policies should strengthen health systems. It suggests goals of universal coverage of health services and the distribution of medical and drug supplies, with the assistance of the United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Population Fund, along with key development partners and other stakeholders. ¤



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Dickenson Bay, Antigua: Sandals Grande Antigua Resort and Spa has welcomed a new Hotel ManagerChristopher Elliott. Elliott, who is from St. Lucia, has been in the hotel industry for over 15 years but started his career with Sandals Resorts International (SRI) in 2006. He began his Sandals experience as Hotel Manager for Sandals La Toc Golf Resort and Spa in St. Lucia and then went on to serve at Sandals Halcyon. Before coming to Antigua, Elliott held the position of General Manager at Sandals Carlyle Montego Bay in Jamaica. His ultimate goal is to see the hotel’s performance in Antigua, in terms of scores and occupancy, remain consistently high during the winter season and usually slow summer months.

In a recent letter to Secretary General then I am satisfied.” Elliott described his experience at Sandals of the United Nations, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said the Dr. Webson Grande Anttigua as better than expected. described Dr. Webson as an outstanding And, to him, working in Antigua and Jamaica citizen of Antigua and Barbuda who is very much the same where the staff and has made significant contributions to people of the country are both hospitable the social development of people with disabilities around the world. and kind. “As a visually impaired individual, Dr. Webson has worked extensively in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa, helping to shape educational services for children with disabilities. He has also supported governments and social workers in policy development. I am Andre Dhanpaul confident that he is very suitable for the Regional Director, Sandals Resorts responsibilities entrusted to him,” PM International – Eastern Browne said. Caribbean He also introduced Dr. Webson to Sandals Resorts Antiguans and Barbudans living in New International – Eastern York during a town hall meeting on Caribbean welcomes September 26, in the Bronx. He told the the innovative mind of over 300 nationals in attendance that Dr. Andre Dhanpaul to the office of Regional Webson will be the Head of the Antigua Director with responsibility for Sandals in and Barbuda Office in New York with the Saint Lucia, Barbados, Grenada and Antigua. various department heads reporting to him under a new arrangement which Dhanpaul officially took up the new office sees the Tourist Office, the Consulate and in July 2014 following a successful career as the Mission to the UN being merged as a single unit. General for Sandals Negril in Jamaica. “Coming from Jamaica and St. Lucia, before Jamaica, the cultures are very similar. I love soca music and it is refreshing to hear more soca on the radio now as in Jamaica this is rare,” he said.

This, he believes, can only be achieved by having consistent high service levels and feedback. In his words “Consistency is key and being a part of helping the Dhanpaul has a strong financial background Antigua team get to that level is a and over 25 years career experience in challenge that I am looking forward to.” St. Lucia, with 15 of those years in senior management at the company. ¤ Elliott has a very strong team of managers and other staff to work alongside. He noted they understand the importance of the industry to the economy of this island, hence, moving forward, he does not foresee challenges that cannot be overcome. The new hotel manager sees himself as a caring, calm and responsible individual who loves to interact and encourage people on a daily basis. “I truly believe that most people are inherently good and they want to do good at all times and I try to tap into that trait whenever I interact with people. I am a driven individual and believe that if I can make the lives of the people around me better, BusinessFocus Oct / Dec



Prime Minister Browne with Dr. Webson and Foreign Affairs Minister Charles Fernandez following his presentation of the National Address at the UN General Assembly

Dr. Walton Alfonso “Aubrey” Webson has been appointed as Antigua and Barbuda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.

During the town hall meeting Browne also announced that Dr. Dave Ray is now the Diaspora Liaison Officer creating a link between the Diaspora and the government. He said the move is designed to strengthen the relations with Antiguans and Barbudans in the Diaspora and to have them play and active role in the development of their homeland. He said the aim is to have Dr. Dave Ray, as Diaspora Liaison Officer, capture the issues of Antiguans and Barbudans in the Diaspora and he will then liaise with the Antigua Office in New York headed by Dr. Webson

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events 2014 29th Biennial Conference of the Caribbean Nurses Organization October 25th – November 1st, 2014 - Rodney Bay, St Lucia Saint Lucia has been identified as the host country for the 2014 Biennial Conference with the St. Lucia Nurses’ Association having responsibility for the planning and organization of the prestigious event. This Conference is expected to attract over 300 participants throughout the Caribbean, including the USA and Canada. This Conference is expected to attract over 300 participants throughout the Caribbean, including the USA and Canada. The theme for the conference is “Nursing and Midwifery: Integrating Knowledge, Skills and Attitude for Delivery of Safe Quality Patient Care.” The Biennial Conference of the Caribbean Nurses’ Organization (CNO) provides a forum for nurses from member countries to meet, discuss and conduct the business of the organization every two years. For more information visit:

URISA’s 7th Caribbean GIS Conference October 26-30th, 2014 - Curacao The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) is pleased to announce its Seventh Caribbean Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Conference. The conference, themed “Spatial Technologies: Fueling Economic Growth and Development” features important regional conversations, preconference courses and workshops, comprehensive education, and opportunities to connect with experts, peers and private sector sponsors. The conference will be held at the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort. For more information visit

World Travel Market 2014 November 3rd – 6th, 2014 – London, UK World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend fourday business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. More than 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL - London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM. For more information visit:

2nd Caribbean Regional Conference Psychology November 11-14th, 2014 - Paramaribo, Suriname CRCP2014 is held under the auspices of CANPA, the Caribbean Alliance of National Psychological Associations. The conference is being held under the theme, “Caribbean Psychology: Unmasking the Past and Claiming Our Future,” and reflects an acknowledgement of psychology as a product of time and place. The conference will be held at the Toriarca Hotel and Casino. For more information visit:

11th Annual Conference of the Caribbean Area Network for Quality Assurance in Tertiary Education (CANQATE) November 12 – 14th, 2014 - Belize City, Belize The CANQATE Pre-Conference Workshop and Conference will provide an interactive platform for practitioners, researchers, policy makers, educators, quality assurance professionals, and industry personnel to share experiences, best practices, practical strategies, case studies, literature reviews, research findings, and disseminate information on developments in quality assurance in tertiary education. For more information contact:

BusinessFocus Oct / Dec




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BusinessFocus Oct / Dec





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Business Focus Antigua 54  

With the advent of General Elections in Antigua & Barbuda in June 2014 the populace voted for Change in electing a new ABLP Government by a...