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The b i - m o n t h l y m a gazine f or decision maker s

No.50 • November/December 2013

ebrating O Cel

ur

ISSUE

Visit Us Online - www.businessfocusantigua.com


BF No. 50

Contents

DECEMBER 2010 JANUARY 2011 • Issue No. 35

96 FEATURE

Cover Story: Regional Publications Ltd Budget Marine Antigua

REGULARS

12 EXTRAS

70

Environmental Focus

32

The ACS & Disaster Risk Reduction In The

Greater Caribbean

34

Human Influence On Climate Clear

36

CDB Regional Water Study Shows Challenges

38

Call for Speedy Climate Change Strategies to Reduce Losses

4

Editor’s Focus

6

Business Briefs

In The Know

Business Tech

56

Embarking on A New Era of Tourism

08

Local Cellular Phone Providers Launch YoUth Targeted Blackberry® Q5

59

Ten Ways To Transform Your Small Business

64

World Bank Releases GDP per Capita Ranking

10

Digicel gets Cisco Gold Star for Excellence

in CARICOM

12

Telecoms Ministry Spearheads Mobile App Development Workshop

Youth Focus

Money Matters

88

Mapping A Journey To Success

16

EU to Invest One Billion Euros in Grant Aid for the Caribbean

90

Overview of Regional Intergration

92

Mccoy Wins Live Talent Pitch as Black

20

Eccu Working Group On Fatca Works Towards Meeting Revised Deadlines

Career Fair

24

Debt Management Simplified

Health & Wellness

96

Health Leaders From The Americas Support

Universal Health Coverage

Se

Economy & Trade Focus

26

ACS in the Greater Caribbean

28

Business Visas for Business Persons and Investors

in the Greater Caribbean

30

Oecs Officials Seek To Put Into Practice An Action

Plan To Facilitate Ease Of Travel

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BusinessFocus • November/December2013

94 100 101 104

Tourism Focus Events Page Major Moves New Company Registration


BUSINESSFOCUS EDITOR’S FOCUS

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

‘Tis the season of celebrations! We are thrilled to end the year on a high note of elation as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Budget Marine, Antigua, and Regional Publications Ltd’s 50th issue of Business Focus Magazine. It is no small feat in this era to celebrate the end of one fiscal year and the start of another – something that cannot be taken for granted given the uncertainty of the economic tide. So we raise our glasses to both companies as they continue to provide professional services and quality products within their respective industries. It is indeed a milestone to celebrate 20 years of continued business, consistency with product quality, customer service, and growth. For with their anniversary celebrations also comes not just the transition to a new and larger building at their Jolly Harbour Branch, but also the opening of the 13th branch of Budget Marine, located in English Harbour. Business Focus was pleased to meet with and interview founder Sir Robbie Ferron, who is also the founder of the renowned St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. You can read his interview as well as his opinion on the yachting industry’s impact on the economy in the feature section of this issue. In addition to maintaining a high level of work ethic and customer service, both Budget Marine and Regional Publications Ltd also share the same approach to teamwork – a fundamental component to the success and growth of the company. Sir Robbie Ferron and RPL Managing Director Lokesh Singh commend the team they have built to ensure the progression of their businesses, as they have selected team players who share in their respective visions of success. Business Focus in and of itself strives to be a publication of celebrations, highlighting the hardworking, instrumental and dedicated entrepreneurs and businesspersons within Antigua and Barbuda. With each publication we spotlight persons and companies who are making strides within varying industries, contributing to the economic growth of the country and development of its people, while also celebrating good corporate citizens who continue to develop social growth. We even applaud individual growth, as seen in every issue with our Major Moves section.

Editor: Zahra Airall Graphic Designer: Deri Benjamin Advertising Sales: Gilda Alexander • Ann-Maria Marshall Evol Desouza • Shari Dickenson Cover Photography: byZIA photography Photography: byZIA photography Mattadeen Media Events & Consultants Editorial Contributors: Zahra Airall • Carel E. Hodge Colin Jenkins • Fayola Jardine Bevil Wooding • Dr. Alfonso Múnera Albert Duran • George Nicholson Dr. Jose Humphreys • Floree Williams

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: sales@regionalpub.com E Website: www.businessfocusantigua.com Business Focus welcomes contributions from professionals or writers in specialised fields or areas of interest.

In this, our 50th issue, we are happy to introduce a new section, “Youth Focus”. Regional Publications Ltd is cognisant that young people will soon take their place as the movers and shifters in the business community, with some already paving their own path and being entrepreneurs. We look forward to highlighting the accomplishments and opinions of this younger generation, providing a forum where excellence, perseverance and ambition are celebrated.

Reproduction of any material contained herein without written approval, constitutes a violation of copyright.

As the Christmas and New Year season draw near, we wish you the very best in all your endeavours. May you reflect on 2013 with insight for further development in the New Year, and may 2014 be a year of growth in all your ventures. On behalf of Regional Publications Ltd., we extend heartfelt appreciation to our contributors, clients and readers for your continued patronage.

On the Cover: MANAGEMENT AND STAFF OF REGIONAL PUBLICATIONS LTD

We invite you to turn the pages of our 50th issue, and look forward to your continued patronage and feedback. Do remember that the magazine is also available online at www.businessfocusantigua.com.

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BusinessFocus • November/December2013

Business Focus reserves the right to determine the content of the publication.


BusinessFocus • November/December 2013

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BUSINESS BRIEFS CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT UNIT OPENS FOR BUSINESS

“Many countries across the globe, including our neighbour St. Kitts and Nevis, in testament to the importance of attracting investment, offer residency status in exchange for a sizeable financial contribution. In all cases, investors are offered the privilege of expedited residency with qualifying investments,” PM Spencer said.

EPA IMPLEMENTATION SUPPORT, PRIORITIES IN SPOTLIGHT

The Citizenship by Investment Unit was officially launched in October after opening its offices in August. Prior to its opening Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer announced in Parliament that the country had secured the services of Canadian Don Myatt to head the Unit on an initial year’s contract. The Unit is the Government authority responsible for processing all applications for Agent’s Licenses, and all applications for Citizenship by Investment by applicants and their families. With an emphasis on job creation, the CIP is said to be of great value to the economic development of the country. At the official launch of the Unit, PM Spencer expressed gratitude and commendation to the members of the CIP Task Force, “who, two years ago took up the challenge, contributed considerable time and energy and examined the best strategic options available to support investment and residential tourism, examine the business benefits which can come with economic citizenship, identify risks and necessary safeguards that should be in place to maintain the integrity of the Antigua and Barbuda passport and among other things, establish an institutional framework to manage the programme”. He said that for those two years, the UPP Administration worked on ensuring that the Citizenship by Investment Programme could maintain its integrity and stand up to scrutiny. 6|

BusinessFocus • November/December2013

The Meeting was held against the backdrop of efforts by the CARIFORUM Directorate to ensure that regional partner institutions and CARIFORUM States scale up collaboration, as the regional bloc seeks to confront the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities associated with EPA implementation. The Meeting addressed issues in relation to Services, in particular cultural and creative industries, and endorsed the support being provided in this regard to build the capacity of the private sector. It also emphasized the importance of support in the areas of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT). Rules of Origin (RoO) related capacity-building and training was also the focus of attention. The fifteen signatory CARIFORUM States to the EPA are the independent CARICOM Member States and the Dominican Republic.

A recently convened meeting of CARIFORUM States and regional partner institutions has been lauded as a significant step forward in deepening partnerships, in relation to the implementation of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

CARIBBEAN AND LATIN AMERICAN ECONOMIES GROWING - IMF

The Second Meeting of National EPA Coordinators and Heads of National EPA Implementation Units and Like Entities, convened in St George’s, Grenada on 1718 October, provided insight into matching resources allocated to regional partner Director of the International Monetary institutions with EPA implementation priorities Fund’s (IMF) Western Hemisphere Division, Alejandro Werner, says Caribbean and Latin and needs of regional States. American economies are well placed to once The Meeting, organized by the CARIFORUM again sustain relatively high growth rates. Directorate based in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, was made possible “Overall, we are expecting positive growth, through funding from the European Union a stable financial environment,” said Werner who attended a forum on Western (EU). Hemisphere Affairs, organized by the MiamiThe broad aim of the Meeting was to provide based Latin Trade Group. for an exchange of views on how partnerships could be deepened at the strategic and Werner said that the region is on its way programmatic levels between CARIFORUM to a slow economic comeback and warned States and regional partner institutions governments of the importance of remaining that, under the 10th European Development prudent. Fund (EDF) Caribbean Regional Indicative Programme (CRIP), are supporting the “The region is kind of slowing down to more normal and sustainable rates of growth,” he implementation of the EPA in CARIFORUM.


BUSINESS BRIEFS

No. 40

said. “But this has to be handled prudently. The policy framework should recognize that this is a new reality and not try to push through policy, fiscal or monetary, to achieve growth rates that are not aligned with potential growth,” Werner said. The IMF official cautioned that slowdown of the Chinese economy, falling commodity prices, high fuel prices and upcoming changes in US monetary policies “could all have a negative impact on the region’s fragile economies.” He noted that Caribbean economies are growing at 1 percent, with some countries, such as Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica and Grenada, turning to the IMF for financial aid in the recent past. “The tourism dependent Caribbean faces a very difficult challenge of jump starting growth, the region is decelerating a bit as the economy goes back to a more normal sustainable growth level,” he added. The Latin Trade Group considers itself a leading provider of information and business services to companies doing business in the region.

The winner is chosen by LatinFinance editors by weighing financial data and market opinion including those of analyst and rating agencies between July 2012 and June 2013. Banks are judged in the following categories: • Financial strength, including capitalization and liquidity; • Strategy and adaptation with economic and regulatory changes in the countries where it operates; • Growth including acquisitions and capital markets activity; and • The market perception of the brand and public transparency. “In the case of Bank of the Year in the Caribbean, we recognize that the period was a challenging one for the region and its banks,” said Taimur Ahmad, Editor-inChief of LatinFinance. “Scotiabank stood out for its large regional footprint, sound risk management practices, and range of services which leaves the Bank well placed to profit under unstable economic activity. Scotiabank is also widely praised by analysts and other experts we surveyed researching this category.”

SCOTIABANK NAMED BANK OF Scotiabank has been widely recognized in THE YEAR IN THE CARIBBEAN BY 2013 for its strength and stability as well as LATINFINANCE the products and services it offers. The Bank

Scotiabank has been named Bank of the Year in the Caribbean by LatinFinance for its strength in the region. “We are pleased to be named Bank of the Year in the Caribbean by LatinFinance,” said Bruce Bowen, Scotiabank Senior Vice President for the Caribbean Region. “Scotiabank has had a presence in the Caribbean for almost 125 years and today we have the largest presence of any financial services company in the region. We have built our success by staying focused on our customers to help them ‘discover what’s possible’ while investing in our people and supporting our communities across the Caribbean.”

was named World’s Best Consumer Internet Bank in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean by Global Finance Magazine in 2013 for the second year in a row. The Bank was also recognized as Global Bank of the Year and Bank of the Year in the Americas by The Banker Magazine, a Financial Times publication.

ASSOCIATION OF CARIBBEAN MEDIA WORKERS ELECTS NEW EXECUTIVE The 7th Biennial General Assembly of the Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) was held in Port of Spain, Trinidad on 26th October 2013. This most important meeting is held every two years so that delegates can present, discuss the current state of media in the Caribbean and ensure

success by collaborating and harmonizing initiatives for the future. During the assembly a new ACM Executive was elected. Clive Bacchus, Managing Director of the West Indies News Network (WINN) FM radio in St. Kitts, succeeds Wesley Gibbings of Trinidad and Tobago as President. Gibbings will continue to serve on the new executive as General Secretary. Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) Wire Services Editor, Peter Richards is 1st VicePresident and Canute James of Jamaica is the 2nd Vice-President. Martina Johnson, a senior journalist with the Observer Media Group of Antigua & Barbuda is Assistant General Secretary. Onel Sanford-Belle of St Lucia and Jabari Fraser complete the 20132015 Executive as Floor Members. Founded in 2000, the ACM is the focal point of media associations and journalist organisations in CARICOM. It is affiliated to several international organisations that promote press freedom and free expression, including the International Press Institute (IPI), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Article 19. BusinessFocus • November/December 2013

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BUSINESS TECH

LOCAL CELLULAR PHONE PROVIDERS

LAUNCH YOUTH TARGETED BLACKBERRY® Q5 In September Digicel announced that the new BlackBerry® Q5 Smartphone is now available in the Caribbean and Panama. The BlackBerry Q5 Smartphone features a QWERTY keyboard in a stunning youthful design and comes pre-loaded with the new BlackBerry® 10 OS version 10.1 software. Every feature, every part of the BlackBerry Q5 Smartphone has been built to provide a fast, effortless experience that flows and moves with you to help you explore, create, and share while on the go. That same month following its successful launch of the BlackBerry® Z10 and BlackBerry® Q10 smartphones, telecommunications company LIME announced that the new BlackBerry® Q5 Smartphone will be available in its stores.“We are known for delivering to our customers the world’s most advanced mobile devices supported by our robust network, and as such, we are anticipating

yet again, an overwhelming response to the BlackBerry Q5 particularly among our more youthful customers,” said Shand Merchant, Manager Marketing & Corporate Communications at LIME. Digicel Group Commercial Director, Brian Finn, said, “Digicel is all about delivering style and value to its customers across the region and with the introduction of the BlackBerry Q5, we’re doing just that.” Highlights of the BlackBerry Q5 smartphone with BlackBerry 10 include the BlackBerry® Hub which lets you stay close to what’s important to you. The camera Time Shift mode helps create the perfect shot every time and with BBM™ Video with Screen Share, you can instantly switch your BBM chat to a face-to-face conversation. The BlackBerry® World™ storefront also gives you access to more than 120,000 apps and games.

Apple Launches the New iPhone 5s Apple Inc. has launched their newest cellular phone the iPhone 5s. The new product boasts cutting edge technology that many believe will forever change the cell phone business. The new iPhone is equipped with a chip with 64-bit architecture, a fingerprint identity sensor, and a better, faster camera. The operating system is built specifically for 64-bit. Apple Inc. says “any one of these features in a smartphone would make it ahead of its time. All of these features in a smartphone make it an iPhone that’s definitely ahead of its time”. It is a well-known fact that owners of smartphones check them dozens of times a day. Entering a passcode each time can be a hassle. But safety with any smartphone is important, thus with the iPhone 5s, getting into your phone is “faster, easier, and even a little futuristic”. The iPhone 5s introduces “Touch ID — a new fingerprint identity sensor,” Apple Inc. boasts. “The new M7 coprocessor is designed specifically to measure motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass — a task that would normally fall to the A7 chip. But M7 is much more efficient at it. Now fitness apps that track physical activity can access that data from the M7 coprocessor without constantly engaging the A7 chip. So they require less battery power.” 8|

BusinessFocus • November/December2013

iPhone 5s features advanced technologies custom designed for the iSight camera’s hardware and software, “so anyone anywhere can take an amazing photo at any time”. Apple Inc, says ‘It simply makes more sense to teach iPhone how to take a great picture rather than teach people how to be expert photographers”. iPhone 5s has up to 13 LTE bands. That’s more than any other single model of smartphone; which means even more iPhone users can experience fast download and upload speeds in more places around the world. Meanwhile, the number of LTE carriers supported by iPhone worldwide continues to grow. So when you’re travelling, you can take advantage of ultrafast LTE networks in more places. iOS 7 was designed with iPhone 5s in mind. Everything about it takes advantage of the advanced technologies built into iPhone 5s — like the 64-bit A7 chip, the Touch ID fingerprint identity sensor, and the new, even more remarkable iSight camera. “In addition, iOS 7 introduces great new features, such as smarter multitasking, AirDrop, and Control Centre, that make the things you do every day even easier, faster, and more enjoyable. No matter what you’re doing or which app you’re using, finding your way around is extremely intuitive. So from day one, you know how to use the most advanced mobile OS on the most advanced iPhone yet,” Apple Inc. summarises.


BusinessFocus • May/June2013

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BUSINESS TECH

gets Cisco Gold Star for Excellence Digicel Business has achieved a Customer Satisfaction Excellence Gold Star from Cisco. This designation recognises the telecommunications giant for delivering outstanding customer service to its customers across the Caribbean, Panama and El Salvador. CEO of Digicel Business, Tom Carson, said: “Corporate customers across the world demand the highest level of customer service—and exceeding their expectations is something we pride ourselves on. As such, we are delighted to be recognised by Cisco for Excellence in Customer Satisfaction—the highest distinction a partner can achieve within the Cisco Channel Partner Programme. This is a testament to the quality of our staff and the focus on excellence in training and customer experience. “We are seeing strong demand across all our markets for innovative and cost reducing communications solutions and, by bringing real value in cost reductions, we are also delivering improved levels of customer experience and helping them do the same for their end customers— a real ‘win-win’,” concluded Carson.

Cisco measures the customer satisfaction levels achieved by its Gold, Silver, and Premier Certified partners based on regional target goals, providing a weighted average of a partner’s pre- and postsales support over a rolling 12-month period. Partners that achieve outstanding customer satisfaction are awarded the Customer Satisfaction Excellence Gold Star and can be found using the advanced search menu in the Cisco Partner Locator. The Cisco Resale Channel Programme provides a framework for partners to build the sales, technical and Cisco Lifecycle Services skills required to deliver Cisco solutions to end customers. Through the programme’s specialisations and certifications, Cisco recognises a partner’s expertise in deploying solutions based on Cisco advanced technologies and services. Using a third-party audit process, the programme validates partner qualifications such as technology skills, business best practices, customer satisfaction, and presales and post-sales support capabilities—critical factors in choosing a trusted partner.

Microsoft Launches Worldwide Microsoft Corp on Thursday 17 October announced the global availability of Windows 8.1, a feature-rich update to its popular Windows 8 operating system, enabling customers to create experiences that keep pace with their lives — at work, at home or on the go. Beginning Thursday 17 October, consumers with a Windows 8 device in more than 230 markets and 37 languages could download the free update via the online Windows Store. Windows 8.1 will also be available on new devices and as boxed software starting Friday 18 October at retail locations around the world. 10 |

BusinessFocus • November/December2013

УWindows 8.1 evolves the Windows vision for highly personalised computing while showcasing Microsoft’s dedication to rapid and responsive development.Ф said Ineke Geesink, Windows Manager, LATAM Markets. УIt marks a wave of new, innovative devices coming for consumers and businesses — from the convenience and mobility of tablets and 2-in-1s to the productive experience expected from laptops, all-in-ones and specialized industry devices. Many of these new devices are touch-enabled and will deliver advancements in processing power, battery life and design, across a range of price points.Ф


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BUSINESS TECH

TELECOMS MINISTRY SPEARHEADS

MOBILE APP DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP

The Ministry of Telecommunications, Science and Technology in collaboration with the BrightPath foundation held its first mobile app development workshop in Antigua in October. The initiative was held in conjunction with the Government Assisted Technology Endeavor (GATE) programme and offered participants “a chance to discover the exciting world of mobile app development and gain skills needed for digital content creation”. “With BrightPath Foundation, we are creating a context in which technology is an enabler, allowing ordinary people, anywhere in the world, to do extraordinary things, and in the process discover their true selves, and the values necessary to change their world,” Bevil Wooding, founder, BrightPath Foundation said. The BrightPath Mobile App programme introduced participants to the growing world of mobile apps and digital media by teaching them the technology and technical skills used from conception to development. No prior experience in graphic design, digital photography or mobile apps development is necessary. Officials say the only prerequisite to sign up for the workshop is “curiosity, creativity and a desire to learn.” However basic computer literacy was necessary to be successful in the workshop. “I feel if a group of persons - committed to not just writing the next angry birds or the next most popular million dollar making app - are committed to building an industry and seeing that industry established on local content, meeting local needs and also serving global needs, then we would have laid the foundation for Antigua’s re-emergence on the global software stage,” Wooding said. 12 |

BusinessFocus • November/December2013

Minister of Telecommunications, Science and Technology Dr. Hon. Edmond Mansoor said, “This facility (ICT cadet training centre) has a primary responsibility to create content, upload it whether it be on Facebook, YouTube and so on. But we need to become competitive and we want as a government to demonstrate that we are serious about working with individuals who want to delve into this area of mobile app development.” Participants gained the knowledge needed to develop images for game, web, photography, film, editing, graphic arts and advertising industries. They also learned how to make layer-based images, merge photos, and use filters to create amazing visual effects. Beyond technical competencies, the workshop also introduced participants to important principles of business, ethics, and civic responsibility, and imparts essential values and life skills. Workshop attendees interacted with industry practitioners and realworld innovators to glean practical insights and learn lessons that can impact both their career choices and their outlook on life. Since 2011, BrightPath’s technology training programmes have reached over 500 individuals across the Caribbean. BrightPath currently facilitates technology training to Caribbean youth through hands-on workshops and seminars in digital content creation, online broadcasting and multimedia design. BrightPath also conducts iCAN Mobile, the Caribbean’s only dedicated, ongoing mobile app development initiative. Wooding said the workshop aims to help participants build capacity for the global mobile marketplace.


BUSINESS TECH

GAMBLING ON CARIBBEAN TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT; LESSONS FROM ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA By Bevil Wooding

The tiny eastern Caribbean country of Antigua and Barbuda is taking a new, bold gamble on information and communications technology. Dr Edmond Mansoor, the energetic government minister with responsibility for telecommunications, science and technology, wants to build Antigua and Barbuda into a technology hub of the Caribbean and a global player in digital content creation. If he has his way, his vision may just come to pass. INITIAL ONLINE GAMBLE In the 1990s, with a population of just about 80,000, Antigua and Barbuda was a major player in the multi-billion dollar world of online gambling. The 1994 introduction of the Free Trade and Processing Act catapulted Antigua into global prominence as a base for numerous online gaming companies. By 2001 Antigua attracted more than $2.3 billion in revenue and 59 per cent of global online gambling, while employing more than 1,000 people. In the process it became a software development hub, attracting skilled and unskilled workers from around the region and across the world. A spat with the United States saw a swift unravelling of the sector. But by then, the seeds of Antigua’s technology-based development ambitions were already firmly planted. NEW DIGITAL AGENDA In 2006, the twin-island state announced an ambitious Digital Agenda. The stated objec¬tive was “to ensure that the Government and people of Antigua and Barbuda swiftly master and fully exploit the exciting potential of infor¬mation and communications technology” The plan called for the creation of a stable and regulatory framework; the introduction of additional fibre optic capacity; the removal of taxes on computers, peripherals and com¬puter supplies; the removal of taxes on internet access; and incentives for investment in infor¬mation technology and related training. The country’s focus and its success in achieving these objectives has been quite impressive. Antigua and Barbuda now has the highest rate of penetration for access to infor¬mation and communication technology (ICT) in Commonwealth small states, according to a Commonwealth Secretariat report on elec¬tronic governance in small states. 14 |

BusinessFocus • November/December2013

BUILDING THE DIGITAL ECONOMY “When our government established its tech¬nology blueprint, the goal was a computer and broadband intemet in every permanent home and permanent business by 2012’ Dr. Man¬soor said. “Now, having completed most of the targets, the Government of Antigua and Barbuda is now setting its sights higher.’ Mansoor is putting things in place for the country to become the centre of digital media training, producing people capable of creating the graphics, animation, video, music, and mobile app content demanded by the digital economy. TANGIBLE PROGRESS Mansoor’s plan is being executed in the midst of fiscally challenging times for Antigua and Barbuda. The global economic crisis has significantly affected the country’s largely tourism based economy. Unemployment fig¬ures are estimated to be 11 per cent. Still the investment in technology infra¬structure, access and education is bearing fruit. Through a number of innovative ICT projects, many done in partnership with the private sector and civil society, the country is making tangible progress. In 2004, Internet penetration was at 12 per cent and computers in every permanent home stood at just six per cent. By 2012 Internet penetration was successfully increased to 76 per cent and 70 per cent computers in homes. Mobile cellular subscriptions (MCS) per 100 now stands at 182 and the number of Internet users (IU) per 100 is 82. By comparison, T&T has 136 (MCS) and 55 (IU) per 100; Jamaica has 108 (MCS) and 32(IU) while Barbados has 127 (MCS) per 100 and 72 (IU) per 100. Antigua and Barbuda’s digital agenda key components • Accelerating the move to e-business - the Electronic Transactions Act. The Data Protection Act and the Computer Misuse Act. Marked reductions in international direct dialed-rates. • The introduction of an annual ICT LEST, part of the government’s


pro¬gramme to reduce the digital divide by providing citizens with Information about and access to ICTs; • The expansion of the government’s Information Technology (IT) Centre and wide area network (WAN) • Long-term investment in building local human resource capacity in ICT. Since the country launched its Connect Antigua and Barbuda Initiative in December 2006, it has implemented more than 20 com¬puter access centers in primary and secondary schools, seven centres in empowerment areas, and mobile IT classrooms that serve hundreds of students weekly. GATE TO THE FUTURE The newly-launched Government-Assisted Technology Endeavour, GATE, focuses on improving Internet connectivity and spurring growth in tech-related fields. The programme is already making an impact. Hundreds of secondary school students are being allocated computer tablets and 40 LTE technology for use in their education. Last June, the government also inaugurated a new ICT Cadet Training facility and with it signalled his intentions of creating a human resource factor to produce the digital media workers. The facility, which is the product of a partnership between the government and regional telecommunications firm Digicel, aims to teach Antiguans, particularly youth, new technology and digital content creation skills. A recruitment initiative, dubbed the ICT Cadet Programme, targets individuals who have completed secondary school. In the first phase of the programme, 275 people will acquire technical skills as well as gain valuable work place experience. The initiative directly address the high unemployment rate among the country’s youth; Antigua & Barbuda is ranked 59th of 129 countries for highest SUPPORT FROM THE TOP youth unemployment rate. It also helps that the minister has good sup¬port for his technology development agenda. Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, Baldwin CRITICS AND CHALLENGES Spencer, is perhaps Mansoor’s greatest advo¬cate. The prime minister The government’s programs are not without critics, however. Questions has consistently endorsed his technology minister’s initiatives, clearing remain over the true impact of its technology investments and the the way within government and at the national level for the sometimes extent to which technology has been impacting ordinary citizens. While disruptive changes to take place. several gov¬ernment agencies now have websites, trans¬acting with Spencer also seems to understand what is at stake, and more government is still largely an offline affair. importantly, what the con¬sequence of inaction is. With the advance of Tax payments, license renewals, ticket pay¬ments and customs technology and our thrust in education, we are preparing our nation and processing, for example, still involve real queues in the real world. our people for the future, and for us not to be left behind as a nation:’ The country is also still without an Internet exchange point, and Spencer said. other domestic-based critical Internet infrastructure components to safeguard its technology investments and more efficiently route the Antigua and Barbuda will certainly do well if it continues along its current trajectory. And, if its investment in technology continues to be growing levels of local Internet traffic. matched by its focus on human resource development, the country can More recently, critics have questioned the deployment of tablets hold up to the region and the world, a real, working model for creating instead of laptops in schools and the apparent preferential treatment a true information society. being given by the government to Digicel, a private company, over the Bevil Wooding is the chief knowledge office of Congress government’s own telecommunications company, APUA. WBN (www.congress¬wbn.org), a values-based Mansoor is unfazed by the criticisms. He has publicly citied his international non¬profit. He is also executive director of preference for working with organisations that can keep pace with Bright- Path Foundation, an education-technology non-profit the momentum of his technology agenda. He also openly stated (www.brightpathfoundation.org). Reach him on Twitter @ that real-world constraints necessitate that infrastructure projects bevilwooding or on facebook.com/bevilwooding or contact be coor¬dinated within government’s larger economic and social via e-mail at technologymatters@brightpath¬foundation. org. development strategy. BusinessFocus • November/December 2013

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MONEY MATTERS

EU to Invest One Billion Euros in Grant Aid for the Caribbean This was disclosed by European Commissioner for Development within the European Union (EU), Mr Andris Piebalgs, during the plenary session of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) Programming Seminar for the Caribbean Region, which was recently held at the Guyana International Convention Centre. He said, “This considerable amount demonstrates our renewed commitment to the Caribbean – a commitment reflected in a larger envelope for regional programmes and new implementation options for regional cooperation. “Furthermore, we will scale up cooperation efforts with Haiti, which is continuing its struggle towards reconstruction and against poverty.” The 11th European Development Fund (EDF) Programming Seminar for the Caribbean Region discussed the support which the EU will provide to CARIFORUM for Caribbean Regional programmes. Bilateral discussions are also being held on national programmes with individual CARIFORUM states. The 11th European Development Fund (EDF) runs from 2014 to 2020. President Donald Ramotar; Secretary General of CARICOM/ CARIFORUM, Mr. Irwin LaRoque; and Mr. Oliver Joseph, Chairman of the CARIFORUM Council of Ministers, made opening remarks at the plenary session prior to the announcement by Commissioner Piebalgs. Participants at the ongoing seminar include the National Authorizing Officers (NAOs) from the 15 member states of the Caribbean Forum of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM); namely, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. In opening remarks, President Donald Ramotar welcomed the new European Union (EU) approach of multi-country programming at the regional level for use of funds from the 11th EDF as further proof of the member states’ commitment to facilitate poverty alleviation and accelerated economic growth in Guyana and the Caribbean. He said the CARICOM/CARIFORUM/EU relationship was growing from strength to strength, and the regional programme would enable Guyana and the Caribbean countries to move forward in developing the agriculture and natural resources sector in a very beneficial way. He also observed that the EU is Guyana’s largest grant resource donor. “We have been the beneficiaries of substantial funding under the LOME Convention and now under the Cotonou Agreement, which has assisted us in our development even during the global financial crisis. “Guyana appreciates what the EU has done through the EDF at the bilateral level in support of sea defences and other aspects of the protection of our coastland; (and) in bilaterals related to energy efficiency, forestry, the support of the sugar industry, and the development of our Amerindian communities.” He said that Guyana looks forward to continue receiving EU support for accelerated economic growth, which is very vital to making the country immune from exogenous shocks, which are most times outside of its 16 |

BusinessFocus • November/December2013

control but which have a big impact on the lives of its people. He also urged the meeting to review the functioning of the Economic Partnership Agreements, to determine whether these have achieved their objectives or if they can be adjusted so that they better achieve their purpose. In his address, Commissioner Piebalgs said that although much has been achieved by the Caribbean countries, they still needed to overcome remaining development obstacles. He said major challenges are linked to the Region’s inherent vulnerability to exogenous shocks, such as the global financial crisis, which affected the key sectors of tourism and remittances, with serious implications on the level of indebtedness, the unemployment rate, and the security situation. Security, he said, is a particular concern, because it is a prerequisite for social and economic progress. In addition, climate change and its related impacts – such as rising sea levels and more frequent natural disasters –continue to cast a long shadow over global development efforts, and pose a major obstacle to sustainable development here in the Caribbean. Commissioner Piebalgs stressed: “It is with these persistent development obstacles in mind that we have to look for even more effective ways to cooperate. “Our common objective of the EU is to provide better opportunities to millions of people here in the Caribbean Region. You have your own ideas about where you want to go; we will accompany you on that journey.” The European Development Fund (EDF) is the main instrument for European Union (EU) aid for development cooperation in Africa, the Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP Group) countries, and the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT). Today’s programme includes a workshop on regional implementation modalities for focal sectors, such as security, trade, environment, and energy; as well as bilateral discussions with Guyana on its Country Strategy Paper and National Indicative Programme (NIP) for the period of the 11th EDF.


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The NIP maps out the sectors and areas that will receive EC aid, explains how the aid will fulfill its objectives, gives a timetable for its implementation, and specifies how non-state actors would be involved in the cooperation. Ambasasador La Rocque disclosed that presentations on the regional programming will provide perspectives on planning implementation and management of the regional programmes. The Regional Indicative Programmes (or RIP) provide a framework that is similar to the NIP to guide the use of resources allocated to each of the six ACP regions, namely the Caribbean, Pacific, South Africa, Central Africa, East Africa and West Africa. Ambassador La Roque disclosed that these presentations on the Caribbean regional programme would have benefited from intensive internal discussions within the institutions of the EU. Similarly, the CARIFORUM Council of Ministers has also had discussions on the overall approach to, and priorities for, the 11th EDF regional programmes.

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BusinessFocus • November/December2013

These discussions, he reported, resulted in the endorsement of a concept paper based primarily on the joint EU/CARIFORUM strategy already agreed to by CARIFORUM and the EU, which should help pave the way for what finally emerges as the agreed approach to planning, implementation and management of the Regional Indicative Programmes for the 11th EDF.


MONEY MATTERS MONEY MATTERS

ECCU WORKING GROUP ON FATCA WORKS TOWARDS MEETING REVISED DEADLINES The Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) Working Group on the United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) continues to expend significant efforts to develop the compliance framework to ensure that licensed financial institutions in the ECCU meet the revised compliance deadlines. FATCA, which the US Government enacted in March 2010, requires that Foreign Financial Institutions (FFIs) report information to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on assets held by US taxpayers, or by foreign entities in which US taxpayers hold substantial ownership interest. The original deadline for institutions to comply with this requirement was 1 January 2014. In July, the United States Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a joint notice announcing a six-month delay of the implementation of the FATCA. The ECCU Working Group on FATCA, which the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) appointed in March, has established five subcommittees to enable the realisation of its mandate. These subcommittees are responsible for: • • • • •

addressing the legal implications of FATCA; establishing the role and power of the Competent Authority; engaging in readiness assessments of the financial institutions of the ECCU; promoting public education; and assisting the negotiation teams of member territories.

All financial institutions in the ECCU will be classified as Foreign Financial Institutions (FFIs), and are required to have new account opening procedures in place by 1 July 2014 at which time certain payments by non-participating FFIs will be subject to a 30.0 per cent withholding tax. The institutions will also be required to register with the IRS through an online portal which is expected to open from 19 August 2013 to 25 April 2014. The Working Group remains committed to its mandate to make recommendations to the ECCU Governments on the appropriate compliance response to the implementation of FATCA and endeavours to implement the harmonised legislative and regulatory compliance framework by the 1 July 2014 deadline. 20 |

BusinessFocus • November/December2013

Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago

CARICOM APPEALS TO INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO SUPPORT REVIEW OF `GRADUATION’

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has appealed to the international community to support the region’s call for the immediate review of the criteria used by multilateral financial institutions (MFIs) and some development partners to graduate small highly indebted middle income countries (SHIMICS) from access to concessional resources. The appeal was issued by Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago and Chair of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM when she addressed the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar also called for an early review of the economic and financial situation of graduated SHIMICS, so that programmes could be developed for the orderly resolution of their debt overhang, without compromising their future growth prospects. The prime minister’s comments were made against the background of the debilitating debt burden and the use of per capita income to determine a country’s level of development and its need for grant and concessional financing. The Community has contended that the use of the per capita measurement does not provide the true picture. Per capita income, Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar argued, was at best an arithmetic ratio that did not address levels of poverty, distribution of income, levels of indebtedness, vulnerability and the capacity to self-generate sustainable economic and social development. “…As Chair of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), I wish to bring to the attention of this august body, a matter of significant concern to the Member States of CARICOM, that of Small Highly Indebted Middle Income Countries (SHIMICs). Almost as if we are being penalised for our relative success in getting ourselves out of the morass of poverty, the Member States of CARICOM that are categorised as middle income countries, have been graduated out of the economic space where they


were previously afforded access to concessional financing,” the prime minister told the General Assembly. She added that if the impact of natural disasters and the deleterious effect of sea-level rise and climate change were added, “the fallacy of the middle income categorization can be wiped out in an instant”.

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The Chair of the Community posited that the issue had to be considered within the context of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the Post-2015 Development Agenda. “Indeed in the preparations for our participation in that upcoming discourse, the recognition of the vulnerabilities of small island developing states is one of the guidelines that CARICOM will apply when considering its commitments to the overall Agenda. The economic vulnerability and ability of the Member States of CARICOM to build resilience are exacerbated by a debilitating debt overhang which continues to bedevil the Region’s growth and development prospects,” the Prime Minister said.

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The Community’s stock of debt stands at about US$19B. The debt to GDP ratio ranges from 60 to 144 per cent for many States. In seeking the support of the international community, Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar said: “It must be acknowledged that the debt overhang did not result from profligate spending by CARICOM Governments, but resulted from the geographical make-up of our countries; our proneness to natural catastrophes; our very small physical size which does not lessen the per capita cost of development expenditures for necessary economic infrastructure and necessary social development projects.”

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BusinessFocus • November/December 2013

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MONEY MATTERS

ST. JOHN’S CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT UNION

Financial Planning for 2013 and beyond

As we approach the final months of 2013, there are many thoughts and questions that will cross your mind. One important question is, “Have I maintained or improved my or my family’s standard of living over the past year”? If the answer is negative, then these factors should be considered • What challenges did I face in 2013? • Am I mentally and financially prepared to make a difference in 2014? • Have I discussed my situation with my financial institution? • Were they able to guide me or give me the financial counseling I needed? Financial Planning is the long-term process of wisely managing your finances so you can achieve a particular monetary goal. While setting goals it is important that you think SMART. • S pecific – Target a particular area for improvement • M easurable – Quantify or indicate how you will measure your progress and success • A ttainable – Set goals that are relevant and achievable • R ealistic – Identify goals that are in alignment with your needs and responsibilities • T ime-bound – Set a timeframe for each goal At St. John’s Co-operative Credit Union, our Members’ success is our business; therefore Financial Counseling and Money Management

consultations are part of our daily routine. We also offer our Entrepreneurs, from Vendors to Supermarket owners, empowerment sessions on topics such as “Record Keeping” and “Acquiring a Business Loan along with an opportunity to network with other business owners. These are the steps we encourage our members to take to assist them in managing their goal setting process effectively while utilizing the wide range of products and services available at little or no cost at all. • Step 1 - Establish Goals • Step 2 - Gather information on your goals and determine time frame • Step 3 - Analyze & Evaluate Your Financial Status • Step 4 - Develop a Plan • Step 5 - Implement the Plan • Step 6 - Monitor the Plan & Make Necessary Adjustments Financial Planning is critical to the success of any organization. It provides a business with the opportunity to set important objectives, helps the company heads to set financial targets for the organization, and rewards staff for meeting objectives within the budget set. So it is too, with YOUR personal finances. By identifying what is most important to you, financial planning becomes easier and peace of mind is your reward With financial security, life becomes more meaningful and although there are uncertainties, having money put aside makes a big difference. Follow your plan and budget wisely to avoid excessive spending and unmanageable debt and most importantly, achieve your life goals.

The St.John’s Co-operative Credit Union congratulates the management and staff of Regional Publication and Business Focus on their 50th issue. We wish you continued success and excellenxce


MONEYMATTERS MATTERS MONEY

DEBT MANAGEMENT Simplified Not all debt is bad. Whether your debt is good or bad depends on the type of debt, the reason you owe it, and whether you can afford to repay it. When used the right way, debt can help you manage your finances more effectively, leverage your wealth, buy things you need and handle emergencies. But if you’re not careful, debt can have a negative impact on your finances and destroy your dreams. Compare your expenses to your income The following process will help you measure your finances by figuring out how your total spending compares to your total household income. Categorise expenses into 3 groups 1. Fixed expenses: Expenses that stay the same from month to month such as rent or mortgage, car loan and insurance. 2. Variable expenses: Expenses that vary from month to month such as, groceries, gas, utilities, entertainment, etc. 3. Periodic expenses: Expenses may be fixed or variable. The difference is that you pay them just once in a while, such as quarterly, every six months, or annually. Examples include education fees, some insurance premiums, property taxes and dues. If your monthly expenses are greater than your income, if you are barely getting by financially each month or if you’re paying a minimum amount of credit card debt off, then it is definitely time to clamp down on your spending. Debt can be positive by: • Building your family’s net worth – the difference between the current value of your assets and the amount of debt you owe. A mortgage is a perfect example. Good debt is even better debt when the value of the asset you finance increases over time. 24 | BusinessFocus • November/December2013

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BusinessFocus • November/December2013

• Buying something that will save your family money for years to come, for example, investing in energy saving appliances. • Purchasing something important to your life that you could never afford to buy if you had to pay with cash, for example a car or house. • Investing in yourself in order to increase your earning potential, for example returning to college to upgrade your skills so that you can make more money in your current field of work or move into a more lucrative career. Student loans are a common example of this kind of debt. • Paying for an unexpected emergency when you don’t have the cash to cover it. For example, your car breaks down; your child gets sick and needs urgent, expensive medical attention. Debt can be negative by: • Going into debt to buy non-essential goods or services that do not increase your wealth and have no lasting value. The longer you take to repay the debt and the higher the interest rate on the debt, the worse the debt. •Securing the debt with your home or with another asset you don’t want to lose when you’re not sure that you can afford to repay the debt. • Having a high interest rate and making low monthly payments. • Borrowing money from dangerous lenders such as loan sharks. Determine the severity of your debt problems and get help. Don’t expect to pay off your debt by next week. As long as you’re serious about your finances you will see gradual improvements.


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ECONOMY & TRADE FOCUS

ACS in the Greater Caribbean The ACS was born on July 24, 1994, in Cartagena de Indias, comprising 24 Member States and four Associated States. The creation of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) is the result of the work of a group of visionaries during the decade of 1980-1990. With a deep understanding of the difficult and complex international circumstances at the time, they conceived this dialogue space for cooperation among the countries of the Greater Caribbean. The idea was enthusiastically welcomed by all the governments in this region who decisively contributed to its establishment. In the context of the contemporary world, marked by global political power decentralisation, by severe crises in several countries of the European Union, by the strengthening of the integration and cooperation processes of the nations of Latin American and the Caribbean, the ACS is today, more than ever, a powerful tool, unique under the current circumstances in which its Member States and Associate Members can freely and independently dialogue, collectively coordinate and cooperate on vital matters that affect all of us as citizens of the Greater Caribbean. Some of these matters must be addressed without delay; matters like protecting ourselves against the critical vulnerability of the Caribbean islands and coasts continuously and increasingly threatened by natural disasters, as well as safeguarding our Caribbean Sea, a significant life blood of our existence, and to work together to achieve a better sea and air connectivity to facilitate trade, communication and necessary cultural growth between the Caribbean and Latin America. In this regard, it is necessary to build upon the achievements that the ACS has been able to accomplish so far despite many difficulties. As never before, we have a cooperation platform working very well at a regional level in matters regarding disaster prevention and capable of undertaking big macro projects in that area. Additionally, we have made significant progress in coordinating efforts to develop common programmes in the area of sustainable tourism, a significant and strategic activity for all the Greater Caribbean countries. The ACS is also the most ideal hemispheric organisation in which all the actors of the region work to develop joint production, investment, and trade initiatives and formulate policies and work instruments, aimed at protecting and improving the livelihood of approximately 250 million people. We have taken important steps regarding connectivity to facilitate the dialogue among the airlines in the region. I am confident that we will be able to progress much more in cooperation programmes in the areas of education, culture, science, and technology. History has taught me that there are processes that mature at a slower pace than others especially in the midst of greater challenges. It is not an easy task at all to have nations dialogue and share common interest projects when through centuries they have been apart, and are used to regarding each other with indifference, and are separated by powerful barriers such as habits developed by a colonial past and different languages. 26 |

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But I have also learned from history that faith in ideals, patience to overcome difficulties, enthusiasm to move forward with optimism, and a good dose of pragmatism overcome all obstacles regardless of how powerful they may be. A simple testament to this is the fact and collective outcomes of the V Summit of the Heads of States and/or Governments of the ACS which met last April in PĂŠtion Ville, Haiti. In this Summit, they expressed their decision to strengthen the ACS by acknowledging that this is the space we have created for us all to facilitate more effective and productive cooperation in the Greater Caribbean in the areas of progress and general welfare of the countries within it. We have approved a Plan of Action which constitutes the guide of our daily work. In it we have contemplated six areas, which are: Cooperation in Sustainable Tourism, Trade and Investment, Disaster Risk Reduction, Transportation, Protection of the Caribbean Sea, and in Education, Culture, Science and Technology. We have established different development projects and specific activities in each area, which will be discussed in future articles. The Association of Caribbean States is the most ambitious space of dialogue and cooperation that exists in the Greater Caribbean. It comprises all the Caribbean islands, all the Central American countries, Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico. Together, we are able to join forces to solve many of our problems; the only thing we need to do is to collectively apply our skills towards mutual goals that underpin the foundations of the development of our people. Dr. Alfonso MĂşnera is the Secretary General of the Association of Caribbean States. Any correspondence or feedback may be sent to feedback@acs-aec.org


BusinessFocus • September/October 2013

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ECONOMY & TRADE FOCUS

BUSINESSVISAS for Business Persons and Investors in the Greater Caribbean: An Opportunity for Essential Trade Liberalisation By Alberto Duran

Globalisation has brought about changes in all aspects of our lives, where international trade has been one of the most strongly affected. This has inevitably involved the opening up of countries’ markets at the international level, with the consequent progressive dismantling of tariffs and obstacles that hinder the free flow of goods, services and capital. Recent data provided by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) indicates that there is an undeniable statistical link between freer trade and economic growth. Liberal trade policies — which allow the unrestricted flow of goods and services — sharpen competition, motivate innovation and breed success. They multiply the rewards that result from producing the best products, with the best design, at the best price. Moreover, and according to the recent Economic Study of Latin America and the Caribbean for the 2012-2013 biennium, provided by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), it is necessary to further open up the Greater Caribbean Region in order to benefit more extensively from foreign direct investment (FDI). This involves greater ease for the free flow of capital, especially for business persons and investors, the key players in the generation of employment and trade. FDI is crucial for the economic development of the Member States of the Greater Caribbean, not only due to its role of complementarity with domestic investment, but also because of the contribution it makes to boosting the export sector. In this regional space, FDI increased from US$25.58 billion in 2009 to US$49.3 billion in 2013. Nevertheless, in order for the Greater Caribbean Region to reap the full benefits of this flow, and in order for FDI to increase significantly, the Member States of the Greater Caribbean must continue the processes for liberalising their economies, including greater promotion of their businesses and the simplification of the entry and free movement of their nationals, especially business people and investors. Other studies have demonstrated that the liberalisation of the trade and investment regimen is measured by the lowest levels of regulation, linked significantly to FDI inflows. This international flow has obviously had its implications in the Caribbean region. Within the Greater Caribbean, for many years, the movement of business persons has played a pivotal role in the development of immigration strategies. Among those implemented separately thus far, we can highlight those agreed upon by countries in the framework of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), outlined in the Treaty of Basseterre, 28 |

BusinessFocus • November/December2013 September/October 2013

established two years ago, which allows the free movement of persons. Additionally, we should also underscore the advancements made by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), where the free movement of persons is facilitated within the context of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). In other parts of the hemisphere, we can find concrete examples recently approved and implemented by countries. Such is the case of the Pacific Alliance, a commercial bloc created in 2011 by four Latin American countries: Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, with the possible incorporation of Costa Rica before the close of 2013. This ambitious project is seeking to become an important leader in exports and foreign trade in Latin America, characterised by the pro-activity of its members. The Pacific Alliance has included among its main pillars, becoming a space for co-operation in areas such as the “free movement of persons”. Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru eliminated the requirement for nationals to present a visa for entry into said countries as visitors without a permit, to conduct remunerated activities and to stay for a period not exceeding 180 days. To that extent, this regional bloc was recorded among countries’ efforts to advance gradually toward the free flow of goods, services, capital and persons, for the purpose of promoting the economic and social development of their peoples. During the 26th Meeting of the Special Committee on Trade of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), held in 2011, the Member States agreed to create a Working Group to examine the need to issue business visas to persons in order to increase their awareness of


markets and to facilitate their interest and participation as exporters, importers, service providers or investors.

could be studied as a solution for its possible implementation in the Greater Caribbean region.

Since this first meeting, ACS countries raised awareness of the need to commence discussions to address the issue of facilitating the movement of business persons and investors in the Greater Caribbean Region, identifying in particular, the obstacles existing in the bureaucratic process regarding the acquisition of information and subsequent approval of visas, which would ultimately allow the business community in the Greater Caribbean to move legally, during a specific period of time.

The Convention for the Creation of the Single Central American Visa for the Free Movement of Foreigners among the Republics of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, (referred to as the Group of 4), makes it easy for a foreigner to apply to the immigration department, in any of the territories of the parties, for the single visa and allows the free movement of foreigners in the territory of the parties. Toward that end, the parties agree to standardise the classification regarding visa exemption and mandatory visas, requirements and procedures for their acquisition and free movement.

Among the other important conclusions reached, the Member States agreed to commence discussions toward merging immigration and trade policies, in such a manner that the administrative procedures would be consistent with the amount of time used by business persons and investors to conduct their operations. On the 4th September of this year, the 2nd Working Group of ACS countries met in Port of Spain to continue the discussion process launched at the start of 2013, with a view to presenting concrete recommendations to improve the movement of business persons and/ or investors in the ACS region. In the presentations delivered during said meeting of the Working Group, emphasis was placed on private sector participation through the interventions of the major exporter associations of the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago, who agreed on the call being made to Member States to establish instruments to facilitate the issuing of business visas. Mention was made of the Central American model referred to as CA 4, as a potential successful example, which

The single visa does not involve temporary or permanent residence in the territory of the Parties. Consequently, foreigners wishing to enjoy a status other than that of entry, must meet the requirements established by the legislation of each of the Parties. The ACS will continue the dialogue and consultation process with its Member States, with the best intention of being able to determine whether or not this first development of consensus, (the CA4 model), could be potentially applicable and extended to the rest of the Greater Caribbean region, always in observance of the legislation and relevant provisions in each Member State. Alberto Duran is the Director of Trade at the Association of Caribbean States. Send correspondence or feedback to: feedback@acs-aec.org

OECS EXPORT DEVELOPMENT UNIT CONDUCTS TRAINING IN PRINCIPLES OF WORLD CLASS MANUFACTURING The OECS export development unit to be renamed the Competitiveness Business Unit has coordinated a series of a one-day sensitisation seminars in Principles of Quality Assurance and World Class Manufacturing for its client firms across the Manufacturing/Agri-Business sector. One of such seminars took place in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Tuesday, October 1st 2013. Sessions are also scheduled for Grenada, St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and St. Kitts/Nevis. The seminars are towards improving the Quality Management capacity and Business Processes of the unit’s client firms. These one-day sessions will also discuss valuable principles of business operations that are pertinent for successful market and product development initiatives. In support of the on-going work programme of the pending Competitiveness Business Unit, a range of key subject matters in the area of Quality Assurance and World Class Manufacturing will be presented and proposed for adoption at the firm level. This intervention is linked to the broader objective of establishing

client companies that are compliant to production and marketing requirements as well as standards which in effect position them to become more competitive in the framework of global trade. It is expected that this programme will provide participating firms with the relevant tools and information for decisive action towards a qualitydriven culture all aimed at enhancing competitiveness and profitability within the market place. This training activity is being facilitated by recognised experts in the field of Total Quality Management and World Class Manufacturing. The workshop targets CEOs, company executives, quality professionals, operation managers; people designated by their companies to give leadership to quality assurance departments/units, quality control labs or quality management teams. The Export Development Unit (EDU) is the primary institution of the OECS Member States for the development, promotion, and expansion of exports through the mobilisation of technical and financial support for the agriculture and manufacturing private sector, as well as the provision of advice and assistance to member governments and public sector agencies. BusinessFocus • November/December 2013

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ECONOMY & TRADE FOCUS

OECS OFFICIALS SEEK TO PUT INTO PRACTICE AN ACTION PLAN TO FACILITATE EASE OF TRAVEL

Chief Immigration Officers and Comptrollers of Customs from across the OECS met in St Vincent and the Grenadines in September for a working session geared towards implementing an Action Plan developed in January 2013 to facilitate ease of travel not only for OECS citizens but also for visitors to the OECS region. Since the January meeting, the OECS Council of Tourism Ministers approved the action areas proposed at the first workshop, to facilitate ease of travel within the OECS, which include: full clearance of travellers only at the initial port of entry; harmonisation of procedures to collect departure taxes; enhanced compatibility of software for information 30 |

BusinessFocus • November/December2013

sharing; and harmonisation of standard operating procedures and improvements to service quality at OECS borders. Upon request by Ministers of Tourism, the OECS Secretariat submitted a brief on the decisions to Ministers, for consideration of their respective national Cabinets. So far, the ministers of Tourism in St. Kitts and Nevis and Grenada have reported that Cabinets in these two Member States had approved the decisions and actions related to ease of travel in the OECS region. Dr. Loraine Nicholas, programme officer in the OECS Secretariat’s Economic Affairs Division says the workshop in St Vincent and the Grenadines focused on providing definitive advice to the relevant Ministerial Councils, on any changes necessary, whether in respect of legislation, regulations, administrative practice, infrastructure or otherwise, to operationalise the actions that have been agreed at the technical level or political level. Speaking with the OECS News Link Nichols discussed some of the changes proposed at the workshop including the reconfiguration of infrastructure and facilities at airports. Some of the changes proposed at the workshop include the reconfiguration of infrastructure and facilities at airports. In addition to immigration checkpoints there should also be separate gates or channels for intra-regional travellers to distinguish them from other categories of visitors. It was also suggested that the regulations for Immigration and Customs should be harmonised due to variations that currently exist across the region relating to areas such as accompanied baggage allowances and maximum currency allowances. The OECS Secretariat also committed to coordinating a regional training programme for border control officers in the final quarter of this year. The training will cover areas such as customer service, good practices and standard operating procedures. It is intended that this training would provide a basis for the development of a training manual for border control officers in the OECS. Support from the European Union in facilitating ease of travel across OECS Member States is being provided under the project - Economic Integration and Trade of the OECS Region. That project, administered by the OECS Secretariat, is financed out of resources from the 10th EDF regional programme, and seeks to contribute to the establishment of the OECS Economic Union as a single economic and financial space through the development of a harmonized policy, legislative, regulatory and administrative framework, as well as the enhancement of the institutional capacity and export competitiveness of OECS economies.


ENVIRONMENTAL FOCUS

THE ACS

AND DISASTER RISK REDUCTION IN THE GREATER CARIBBEAN by George Nicholson

The Member States of the Association of Caribbean States, which include both island economies and countries bordering the Caribbean Sea, are considered highly vulnerable to disasters. Caribbean Island States suffer risk from hydro-climatic events, such as tropical cyclones and flooding resulting from heavy downpours. The modality of risk of damage occurring in countries on the Central and South American landmass is similar, but with a greater risk of landslides. This risk is aggravated by the combination of effects of the region lying on active tectonic plates, several active volcanoes, relatively short distances between mountain and coast, and the development of infrastructure in vulnerable and hazardous areas, giving the wider region a very high risk profile. The statistics on disasters within the Greater Caribbean over the last 20 years tell a grim tale; it is estimated that during this period over 30 per cent of the 240 million people who call the Latin American and Caribbean region home, have been affected by disasters. Between 1980 and 2010, disasters in the region have led to the loss of thousands of lives, while directly affecting millions of people and crippling the economies of countries, as losses from disasters are estimated to be in the region of 16% of regional GDP. Hurricane Mitch, which in 1998 struck the countries of Central America wiped out more than 30 per cent of the assets of the poorest quarter of the population of Honduras, and killed 2000 persons in a single village in Nicaragua. The other Central American nations, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Panama, were also affected by the hurricane, although the death toll in these locations were significantly lower than in Honduras and Nicaragua. The hurricane eventually killed 11,000 persons across the region and left almost as many reported missing. The value of the damage caused, the majority of it occurring largely between Nicaragua and Honduras, totalled over US$ 5 billion. Jamaica has fared no better with natural disasters costing the country more than US$1 billion in direct costs over the last 20 years. Cuba has similarly suffered, with Hurricane Gustav causing losses of between US$ 3 to 4 billion to the Cuban economy, and the loss of more than

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320,000 homes, and the destruction of more than half of the annual crop of sugar cane, the country’s primary export crop. Direct losses due to tropical cyclones in the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season across the region exceeded US$2 billion, while the earthquake which struck Haiti in the same year, resulted in US$ 2.3 billion in damages and the loss of over 200,000 lives in the already impoverished country. It is estimated that the cost of recovery from the earthquake and the tropical storms which also hit will exceed US$ 14 billion in Haiti alone. Significant disaster risk is also evident within the larger economies within the region with Colombia considered as one of the most vulnerable countries to natural disaster in Latin America, with over eight out of ten persons located in high risk areas and more than 85 per cent of the country’s GDP considered to be at risk from disaster events. Mexico and Venezuela have not been spared with Mexico experiencing over 90 earthquakes per year with a magnitude of 4.0 or more on the Richter Magnitude Scale, and Venezuela suffering loss of life of approximately 997 people per year and an annual economic damage of over US$1 billion. It is against this backdrop, with the region’s history of catastrophes and giving consideration to the vulnerability of the Member States and the costs associated with recovery, that disaster risk recovery becomes a critical issue to the work of the Association of Caribbean States. In April 1999 during the 2nd Summit of Heads of States and Government of ACS, all ACS Member States signed an Agreement for Regional Cooperation in the area of Natural Disasters. The objective of the agreement, which is to be binding on all Member States, is to promote co-operation for prevention, mitigation and management of natural disasters, through the collaboration of the Members among themselves and with organisations which work in the field of natural disasters in the region. ACS Member States also agreed to incorporate


disaster risk reduction plans into national development policies.

4.

Reducing the underlying risk factors.

It was acknowledged that many countries in the region are small and have insufficient resources to carry out disaster relief and disaster mitigation activities on an individual basis, and accordingly, emphasis was especially placed on working jointly with relevant sub-regional specialized agencies such as CDERA (Caribbean Disasters Emergency Response Agency) now the CDEMA(Caribbean Disaster Management Agency), the Coordination Centre for Natural Disaster Prevention in Central America (CEPREDENAC), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and national agencies with more experience.

5.

Strengthening disaster preparedness for effective response at all levels.

A global shift in focus from responding to disasters to one of preparedness before an event saw the change of the name of the special committee from the Special Committee on Natural Disasters to the Special Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction. This change was not cosmetic but reflected the tenets of comprehensive disaster management and placed the focus of the association on mitigating the effects of disasters of all forms by reducing the risk before the event. The association’s work programme is also guided by the five priorities of the Hyogo Framework for Action. These five priority areas are: 1. 2. 3.

From its initial establishment as the Special Committee on Natural Disasters through its change of name to the Special Committee of Disaster Risk Reduction, the ACS has initiated several projects across the region in this focal area. These projects are directly aligned with the Hyogo Framework and include projects which have sought to develop a culture of disaster prevention and awareness among the population, improve the technical capacity of the meteorological agencies in the region and train public sector officials in disaster response mechanisms. The ACS, through the work of the Special Committee of Disaster Risk Reduction, is currently developing other projects, which are considered important to our regional mechanisms of disaster response. Two of these key projects are: • International Disaster Recovery Law, which seeks to establish a legal framework for how countries in the region interact with each other and international relief agencies, to allow access to the affected country and rapid provision of disaster relief to persons affected and

Ensuring that disaster risk reduction is a national and a local • Green Response to Disasters, which recognises that recovery efforts priority with a strong institutional basis for implementation. go on long after the event has passed, and must be done in a manner that recognises sustainability and vulnerability of the environment. Identifying, assessing and monitoring disaster risks and enhancing early warning. Contributed by George Nicholson, Director of Disaster Risk Using knowledge, innovation and education to build a culture Reduction and Mathieu Fontanaud Special Advisor Disaster of safety and resilience at all levels. Risk Reduction. Any correspondence or feedback may be sent to feedback@acs-aec.org

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ENVIRONMENTAL FOCUS

HUMAN INFLUENCE ON CLIMATE CLEAR

IPCC REPORT SAYS

Human influence on the climate system is clear. This is evident in most regions of the globe, a new assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes. It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. The evidence for this has grown, thanks to more and better observations, an improved understanding of the climate system response and improved climate models. Warming in the climate system is unequivocal and since 1950 many changes have been observed throughout the climate systems that are unprecedented over decades to millennia. Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850, reports the Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC Working Group I assessment report, Climate Change 2013: the Physical Science Basis, approved on Friday by member governments of the IPCC in Stockholm, Sweden. “Observations of changes in the climate system are based on multiple lines of independent evidence. Our assessment of the science finds that the atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amount of snow and ice has diminished, the global mean sea level has risen and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased,” said Qin Dahe, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group I. Thomas Stocker, the other co-chair of Working Group I said: “Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in all components of the climate system. Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.” “Global surface temperature change for the end of the 21st century is projected to be likely to exceed 1.5°C relative to 1850 to 1900 in all but the lowest scenario considered, and likely to exceed 2°C for the two high scenarios,” said Co-Chair Thomas Stocker. “Heat waves are very likely to occur more frequently and last longer. As the Earth warms, we expect to see currently wet regions receiving more rainfall, and dry regions receiving less, although there will be exceptions,” he added. Projections of climate change are based on a new set of four scenarios of future greenhouse gas concentrations and aerosols, spanning a wide range of possible futures. The Working Group I report assessed global and regional-scale climate change for the early, mid-, and later 21st century. “As the ocean warms, and glaciers and ice sheets reduce, global mean sea level will continue to rise, but at a faster rate than we have experienced over the past 40 years,” said Qin Dahe. 34 |

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The report finds with high confidence that ocean warming dominates the increase in energy stored in the climate system, accounting for more than 90 per cent of the energy accumulated between 1971 and 2010. Co-Chair Thomas Stocker concluded: “As a result of our past, present and expected future emissions of CO2, we are committed to climate change, and effects will persist for many centuries even if emissions of CO2 stop.” Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the IPCC, said: “This Working Group I Summary for Policymakers provides important insights into the scientific basis of climate change. It provides a firm foundation for considerations of the impacts of climate change on human and natural systems and ways to meet the challenge of climate change.” These are among the aspects assessed in the contributions of Working Group II and Working Group III to be released in March and April 2014. The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report cycle concludes with the publication of its Synthesis Report in October 2014. “I would like to thank the co-chairs of Working Group I and the hundreds of scientists and experts who served as authors and review editors for producing a comprehensive and scientifically robust summary. I also express my thanks to the more than one thousand expert reviewers worldwide for contributing their expertise in preparation of this assessment,” said IPCC Chair Pachauri. The Summary for Policymakers of the Working Group I contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (WGI AR5) is available at www.climatechange2013.org or www.ipcc.ch.


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ENVIRONMENTAL FOCUS

CDB Regional Water Study Shows Challenges Expresses Concern on Long Term Sustainability

President of the CDB, William Warren Smith. (Picture by Ricardo Leacock.)

Initial data from an assessment of the water supply and wastewater management in the region has revealed a number of problems facing Caribbean islands. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) commissioned study was carried out in 2012. President of the CDB, William Warren Smith, said that during the initial assessments, conducted by consultants, the role of regional institutions and funding agencies were evaluated. УThe draft final report is currently undergoing internal review at our bank,Ф said Smith. He was speaking during the official opening of the 22nd annual Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) Conference and Exhibition hosted recently at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Bridgetown, Barbados. Smith said the bank had pumped an estimated US$120 million in the islands for water related projects over the last four decades but there were still a number of technical issues. He was speaking on the topic УWater And Wastewater In The Caribbean: The Role Of The Caribbean Development BankФ. He said inefficient water supply networks and inadequate access in rural communities, as well as inadequate wastewater management systems coverage, weak data management capacity, high per capita usage and 36 |

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a shortage of capacity, especially in the areas of planning and risk management, were some of the challenges facing some territories. Sharing six of the key findings of the report, Smith said: УRainfall data for the last four decades point to a decline in freshwater availability. We note this trend especially in the northern Caribbean where the decline was as much as 50 per cent in some of our countries. Secondly, we compared per capita consumption in the Caribbean with that of similar regions of the world. It was 50 per cent higher than expected. Thirdly, unaccounted for water across this region ranged from 17 per cent to 66 per cent. УFourthly, the percentage of population with connected sewerage systems varied from zero per cent to 30 per cent. Fifth, access to pipe water is less than 90 per cent in four of our borrowing member countries. Finally, in ten of the utilities in all 18 borrowing member countries operational costs exceed revenues being generated by the services provided. That is not a good indicator of sustainability.Ф Smith said: УIf we accept that water is a key driver of economic and social development then we cannot afford to ignore the signals that these findings are sending to us. Clearly, effective water management must be almost at the top, if not at the top of the list of development priorities of every country in our Caribbean region.Ф He said the CDB was currently working with Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, St Kitts and Nevis and St Lucia to correct some of the issues.


ENVIRONMENTAL FOCUS

Call for Speedy Climate Change Strategies to Reduce Losses The region has been called to speed up preparations for the onslaught of climate change or face continued damage and consequent revenue losses to their main economic drivers. The call was made by climate experts presenting at the just concluded OECS climate change seminar which was held in Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia. Although individual experts presented on varying climate change issues, either relating to agriculture or tourism, they mooted that one thing was clear: “climate change issues must be placed within a wider developmental context and within the regional integration agenda”. Otherwise we will continue to face “losses in our tourism product, in fisheries, in natural eco-systems, in lives and livelihoods, in crops and to infrastructure”, the experts concluded. With potential impacts on climate change to CARICOM countries estimated at US 9.9 billion dollars per year or 11.3 per cent of GDP, experts also agreed that a multi-disciplinary approach was needed to deal with the phenomenon, as impacts were wide-ranging. As for the main economic sectors of agriculture and tourism, which were the focus of the two-day meeting, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance in Dominica, Mr Samuel Carette told a media conference at the close of the seminar: “...natural disasters and severe weather variability are flooding our farms, blocking access roads, destroying green houses, forcing rescheduling of tourism activities;

cateleya

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BusinessFocus • November/December2013

thereby hampering development in Dominica, stretching already limited resources and increasing the country’s debt.” To this end, agencies such as IICA were working with Member States in a climate-proofing initiative with the agricultural sector: “We have to plan better for climate change adaptation and resilience.” Ignatius Jean of IICCA postulated, adding: “we must plant trees, keep the forest intact and use drains on the contours to reduce impacts”. Experts also demonstrated that the tourism sector across the region was taking a beating from climate change with loss of reefs, loss of beaches, loss of biodiversity, and coastal erosion. And, according to discussions in the seminar, these impacts are causing reduced attractiveness, degrading scenic areas, reduced arrivals, reduced jobs and reduced revenues. Some 80 participants attended this year’s seminar, making it the largest one so far in the annual OECS climate change seminar series, which was first held in 2011. In closing this year’s event, the senior director of Economic Affairs at the OECS Secretariat said: “...the issue of climate change is an issue of time. If we don’t take fast adaptive measures to deal with climate change, we will run out of time. And given our limited resources, and expanding populations, we already have space challenges to relocate people in times of natural disasters.” The United States Government through its funding agency, USAID, is assisting the OECS with climate change adaptation and resilience building under the RRACC Project.


PESTICIDES Safety Tips

This year Pesticides Awareness Week took place under the theme “Pesticides – Store Wise, Save Lives”.

ventilated location that children and pets cannot access, preferably with a latch or lock.

The theme was aimed at sensitising vendors, farmers and the public at large, to the fact that, while pesticides are an important part of our everyday life, they are poisons, and, therefore, potentially harmful to human health, animals, and the environment.

• Dispose of unwanted pesticides properly rather than storing them.

The theme draws attention to the importance of storing pesticides properly and hence the need to educate all pesticide applicators and users across Antigua and Barbuda and indeed the wider Caribbean about the correct way for storing pesticides. For efficient storage, the following tips should always be kept in mind. • Always store pesticides in their original containers, which give application and disposal directions, ingredient names and emergency first aid measures in case of accidental poisoning. The original container is also designed to protect the product and it is made of materials that will withstand the chemicals in the product. It also has the appropriate lid/ cap to protect kids and pets. • Never transfer pesticides to soft drink bottles or other containers. Children or others may mistake them for something to eat or drink. • Designate a place that is only used for pesticide storage. Pick a well-

• Do not store pesticides in places where flooding is possible or in places where they might spill or leak into wells, drains, ground water, or surface water. • Use child-resistant packaging correctly - close the container tightly after using the product. Child-resistant does not mean child-proof, so you still must be extra careful to store properly - out of children’s reach those products that are sold in child-resistant packaging. • Don’t stockpile. Reduce storage needs by buying only the amount of pesticide that you will need in the near future or during the current season when the pest is active. • Follow all storage instructions on the pesticide label. • Store pesticides high enough so that they are out of reach of children and pets. If possible, keep all pesticides in a locked cabinet in a wellventilated utility area or garden shed. • Never store pesticides in cabinets with or near food, animal feed or medical supplies.

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FEATURE

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BusinessFocus • November/December2013


r

rating O b e l u Ce

ISSUE ANTIGUA

BARBUDA

The b i - m o n t h l y magazine f or decision maker s BusinessFocus • November/December 2013

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FEATURE

A Congratulatory Message From

Honourable Dr. W. Baldwin Spencer Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda It is my great pleasure to congratulate the Regional Publications Ltd. Team and the Publisher of the Business Focus Magazine, Lokesh Singh on the 50th issue of its flagship publication. The Business Focus Magazine has through its preceding 49 issues managed to positively impact and change the business climate here in Antigua and indeed the Eastern Caribbean region. Business Focus has been a vehicle for new and innovative ideas. It has helped to promote and highlight essential businesses and business techniques. But what impresses me, is that Business Focus Magazine has highlighted our local, home grown business leaders; men and women who have excelled in business and commerce. The Regional Publications Ltd. team has through this vital element of the Antiguan business climate, recognised the hard work of companies that have “stood the test of time” and continue to be catalysts for change. The Business Focus Magazine has an undeniable element of human interest that draws readers. Many of our esteemed community and

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business leaders have graced the cover and have been featured in the magazine. They have been able to “tell their stories”; stories that have inspired and encouraged others in the business community. The magazine has touched on every topic and issue that has had relevance in an ever changing world of economic highs and lows. Every cross section of our small society has benefited from the practical and extremely timely information carried in each issue. Students, entrepreneurs, politicians, economists and the entire business community look forward to the bi-monthly publication, as I do. I have had the honour of gracing the coveted cover of the Business Focus magazine, a year ago when the Antigua and Barbuda Department of Marine and Merchant Services (ADOMS), which falls under my ministry as prime minister, was featured. I commend the Regional Publications Team by saying, “a job well done”. Continue to inspire, continue to publish what is a very important aspect of the Antiguan business climate. I wish you continued success and beyond 50 more issues in the future.


History

of the BF Magazines By: Lokesh Singh – Managing Director

Business Focus as a “Brand” was originally created and launched in St Lucia as a dedicated Business Magazine ”About People in Business, for those in Business and those who wish to get into Business“ with the content being focused on highlighting success stories of people in business where they shared their experiences and leadership approaches in the marketplace as a testimony of what is possible if we have a vision and apply ourselves to realizing our true potential. In St Lucia we are currently delivering our 72nd Issue making us the longest existing Business Magazine in the entire Caribbean and are equally pleased to be releasing our 50th Issue of Business Focus Antigua & Barbuda confirming our belief in the philosophy and longevity of the brand. The original vision was to create a Business Focus Magazine and roll out this template across the region with the ultimate aim being to create a true Caribbean Business Magazine. With our success in St Lucia we then turned our focus to Antigua & Barbuda which presented itself as a natural opportunity to replicate the project and create Business Focus Antigua & Barbuda. This opportunity became a reality through the collaboration and strategic partnership established with a former business colleague from our earlier days in the Telephone Directory and Yellow Pages industry who coordinated the required on island activity.

maintained our philosophy of focusing on “Business Only” as content and set a very high standard for graphic design and print quality. Business Focus Antigua and Barbuda continues to be published as a bi-monthly magazine that keeps its finger on the pulse of the local corporate community. It provides broad-based coverage of the issues that matter, and the trendsetting personalities making waves among their peers. Business Focus provides practical, relevant and timely content, in an attractive package geared toward decision makers and young entrepreneurs. It is the only magazine which concentrates on the growth and diversity of the local business product, and the personalities within it. Business Focus features the people you know, doing what they know and love best. It is required reading for business leaders seeking to stay informed, as well as for the professionals charting the nation’s economic course. The Magazine has improved as we progressed over the years where we have experienced high demand for copies and have increased the printed quantity to ensure a very wide distribution across Antigua and Barbuda as at today with its targeted distribution ensuring that Business Focus reaches those who make a difference and want to stay informed.

All material collected was then delivered to St Lucia where our office here coordinated the design of the entire Magazine and its print production. Originally all work was executed using contracted services as the revenues could not sustain an office and full time staff.

With the opening of a permanent office and fully employed local staff, this gave Business Focus Antigua & Barbuda the added impetus it needed to grow and position itself as “the Official Business Magazine” in Antigua & Barbuda.

The first edition of Business Focus Antigua & Barbuda was published under the name of Advertising & Marketing Services and was delivered in November 2002. The premier edition featured Mr Ken Hurst on the Front Cover. He was selected as the Front Cover story being the Managing Director of a modern Windows and Doors Factory using modern technology being opened at Crabbs Peninsula. The Magazine was actually launched on the very day that the Factory was officially opened and was well received then and has grown in popularity across the business community and wider population.

We wish to recognize the hard work and dedication of the entire Team of editorial, photography, graphics, sales, administration and distribution personnel who have all contributed to making us realize the delivery of this 50th edition of Business Focus Antigua.

Since the first issue we have had our challenges in many different ways at keeping the Magazine alive and published with frequency. We

Business Focus is just one of the many products of Regional Publications Ltd., the Antiguan Company which also produces the Antigua and Barbuda Telephone Directory & Yellow Pages since 2007. They also produce the Paradise Antigua and Barbuda Magazine & Map - a tourist publication. In addition the company has been responsible for publishing a number of other publications to include Paratus - the Antigua & Barbuda Defence Force Magazine and several Annual Reports.

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FEATURE

Staff Satisfaction and Development...

A Business Standard at RPL Any member of the Regional Publications Ltd (RPL) team will be quick to tell you that they’ve blossomed during their time at the company. They speak openly of the opportunities to grow and explore as a part of a team. The dedicated sales, marketing and office staff at RPL often tell you they’re not just co-workers; they’re an extension of the RPL family. Gilda Alexander is currently the Sales Manager at RPL. Over the seven plus years with Regional Publications, her career path has taken her from Senior Sales Executive to Sales Manager. With a small team of six permanent staff in Antigua, Gilda says, “The company’s atmosphere has always encouraged individuals to take ownership of accounts and duties assigned to them and manage them as if it was their own businesses, within set limits and guidelines. That approach has given me the freedom over the years to grow and understand our business, and through experiences and staff I learn something new every day“. 46 | BusinessFocus • November/December2013 46 | BusinessFocus • November/December2013

Senior Advertising Sales Executive, Ann-Maria Marshall says, “As the business grew quite a bit, multitasking became a skill. Being able to balance four or five different projects all at the same time was an act that I had to quickly grasp.” Having started to work with RPL in 2006 Ann-Maria says: “The first three years at RPL was goal achieving for me, I took great pleasure in doing my job effectively; convincing my customers and feeling accomplished afterwards”. She continues to set those goals and maintain the high standard she’s set realising that working in sales has a lot to do with the individual who is often called upon to be advisor and even counsellor to some clients.


“Being a part of this familyoriented company has allowed me to enhance my professional skills since everyone is willing to share their knowledge. It is this knowledge which I have acquired along with courses I have attended that has increased my dedication to the company, but more so my passion to my field of work,” says Jacqueline Charles, Senior Accounts Clerk. Evol Desouza one of the Advertising Sales Executive has worked with at RPL for over three years. He notes that working at RPL has been an experience that has impacted his life positively and one he will have many fond lasting memories of. “It gave me the opportunity to meet all types of people in various areas of business. It allowed me to be well rounded in various types of functions, such as driver, collector, sales specialist and at times even graphic consultant,” he says laughing. Shari Dickenson is the newest addition to the RPL family in Antigua. She admits that when she joined the team, she had “no marketing skills”, but could relate to customers and was approachable. “Working here has assisted me greatly with time management and approaching a situation at several different angles,” Shari says. “I learnt that the occupation is not as easy as a person may think. There is a lot of brainstorming and preparation required before and after you sit with a customer,” she added.

She continues to set those goals and maintain the high standard she’s set realising that working in sales has a lot to do with the individual who is often called upon to be advisor and even counsellor to some clients. Shari agrees that working at RPL does prepare you for many work experiences and tasks, equipping you with skills and since joining the RPL family, she’s “moved through many phases”. “I moved from data entry to telemarketing – to now sales executive and data base management. I learnt about graphics and the details required to executing a ‘high resolution’ finished product.” “It allowed me the opportunity never to give up and in sales you need to understand the different types of customers with challenges, just like our everyday life. This thought me patience and determination. Working in this environment transcends into your personal life and you end up with the drive to press on and never give up,” Evol says. Shari adds that with more to learn, she would have also “received in-house training for the database management of the directory which is a very dynamic part of our business. I have learnt from my colleagues and managing directors about their experiences in this ever changing market and it makes me want to excel as well. My network has grown since I joined RPL and working here has proven to me that opportunities are endless once you have a passion for the work you do. And I am excited to learn more”. Job satisfaction and camaraderie among co-workers is often reflected in the quality of work that a person produces. From all accounts RPL is second to none in engaging and developing its staff. As the company moves to maintain its high standard of quality and service, Gilda quips that the “team spirit is enormous, thus no mountain is ever too big!”

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FEATURE

Self Expression Through The World of Graphics He sits leaning at an angle into the computer, fingers clicking away at the mouse; as his fingers move, colours change and pictures take on a totally different identity. Deri Benjamin is the creative mind behind the graphics and general layout of the Business Focus magazine, and many other publications produced by Regional Publications Ltd (RPL). Young and talented, Deri shows great dedication to his craft. He’s precise and doesn’t mind taking that extra few minutes or hour to make sure he gets the colour “just right” or that advertisement to “match the client’s vision”. Deri has been a part of the Regional Publications Ltd staff for the last six years, having started in 2007. Before joining the dynamic team at RPL, he worked within the production department at the Sun Printing and Publishing Ltd. He’s been a professional graphic designer since 2005, but says, “I have always had a love for graphics and art in general since I got out of high school.” He added, “As you get better as a designer your training and natural talent continues with you.” 48 |

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Like many young designers, Deri pursued his dream and sought training both at the Antigua and Barbuda International Institute of Technology (ABIIT) and at the South Thames College in the United Kingdom. Those qualifications and his passion for “all things graphics” make him the suitable person to occupy the position of Senior Creative Designer. Deri loves his job, and it shows not only in the quality of the graphics he produces, but also in the way he deals with clients who often come in to discuss an advertisement or a full booklet such as an annual report. “I love the fact that my job is to be creative and I actually get paid doing what I love,” he says with a wide smile. Deri’s disposition and great rapport with clients has not gone unnoticed and many have expressed their appreciation at his patience and creative direction. He does however acknowledge that being a graphic designer is “not all fun and games”. “Designing is hard work that takes dedication, focus and attention to detail,” Deri says. Deri’s work has not only been recognised by the clients and staff of RPL but he has the honour of contributing the winning design logo for Antigua’s highest peak, Mount Obama.


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FEATURE

Q and A with Lokesh Singh Not often do we get to sit down with the driving force behind Regional Publications Ltd and ask questions specific to the company we all know and love.For the 50th issue of the Business Focus Magazine however, Managing Director Lokesh Singh shares some of the thoughts and ideas that lead to the milestone we celebrate in this issue.

What is the origin of Business Focus Antigua & Barbuda? I originally started Advertising & Marketing Services Ltd in St Lucia where we began publishing St Lucia Business Focus Magazine. Based on its success in St Lucia and Antigua & Barbuda being the second largest economy in the OECS coupled with a strategic partnership in Antigua who brought local support on the ground we then set up AMS and launched Business Focus Antigua & Barbuda. Where did the idea for RPL come from? After a few years of publishing Business Focus Antigua & Barbuda and growing a business base we won an opportunity to publish the local Telephone Directory for APUA having had years of experience prior in the Telephone Directory industry and hence Regional Publications Ltd was established with a vision to expand business beyond Antigua & Barbuda. AMS Antigua was then wound up and the business projects were integrated into RPL. How long did it take from idea to reality? This took a very short period to execute having had the experience of publishing Business Focus in St Lucia it meant modifying the business plan relative to Antigua & Barbuda. In this regard we brainstormed the cycle of publishing and then projected the Editorial approach for each issue going forward. Thereafter we generated Advertising Sales, Editorial and Photography in Antigua and then coordinated the graphic design and print production from St Lucia. 50 |

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What were some of the obstacles you had to overcome to make the RPL dream a reality? In every project financing and cash flow were the major challenges. Initially we were self financing with support from St Lucia, advance deposits and credit from the printers. The launching of RPL required significant expansion and financial support and we wish to express our thanks to our bankers RBC for believing in our business plan and giving us the required support to advance to today. What was the first product offering of RPL? The first official project for RPL was the successful execution and delivery of the 2007 Antigua & Barbuda Telephone Directory for APUA. How did you go about developing the business and brand to what it is today? The launching of RPL and the opportunity to publish the Antigua & Barbuda Telephone Directory required that we establish a fully outfitted office with the relevant full time staff to execute this project. This allowed us to maximize on these resources resulting in catapulting Business Focus Antigua & Barbuda into a new phase of growth as we had the staff on site in Antigua to execute all aspects of putting together the Business Focus Magazine. In addition we now had the depth of skills and resources to execute other projects which presented themselves as additional opportunities to be launched in Antigua. Hence we launched the Antigua & Barbuda Tourist Map, Paradise Antigua & Barbuda – a


Lokesh Singh – Managing Director and Victoria Singh – Finance Director

Tourist Magazine. In addition based on our quality of work the corporate community were contacting us to execute additional publishing projects to include specialty magazines and annual reports. Why Antigua? In 2005 – 7 the region was on an economic boom which projected significant economic growth in Antigua and the wider region. With this growth and our success in St Lucia, Antigua was the next natural market for further growth being one hour away from St Lucia and opportunity for expansion to neighboring islands. . This also allowed for ease and frequency of visits to support the business operations. In addition, the products and services we brought to the market were attractive and had a history of success.

Lokesh Singh at Work

has been the hardest hit by the many global, regional and local business and economic fallout to include BAICO, CLICO and Stanford. This has resulted in the closure of many small to medium sized businesses, right sizing and downsizing by companies. Sales have declined and with it cash flow has become difficult and requires the best in management skills to keep ahead. We believe that the worst is behind us and that the market has stabilized and hence are hopeful that the economy will now move on a new growth trajectory. Final comments?

How have you found the business climate in Antigua compared to other islands where you’ve established businesses?

I wish to express our sincere thanks to the Antiguan business community for their support to RPL in the publishing and development of our projects and in particular the Business Focus Magazine which has now delivered 50 issues.

Between 2006 to today we have seen dramatic changes from buoyancy to stagnation and decline across the region due to a number of factors. Antigua has been more demanding in recent times to do business as it

I also wish to salute our dedicated staff and strategic partners who have played their part in making all of this a reality. It is truly a team effort and they deserve to share in all of the accolades.

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FEATURE

Fifty Issues:

from the desks of...

Zahra Airall - Current Editor

Susan Noyce - Former Editor

Carel Hodge - Former Editor

Many of Antigua’s leading writers and communicators have at some point been a part of the editorial team of the Business Focus Magazine. Whether in the capacity as editors or contributing writers Regional Publications Ltd can likely be seen on the resumes of Gisele IsaacArrindell, Susan Noyce-Dixon, Joanne Hillhouse, Mickel Brann, Jermilla Kirwan-Henriques, Marcella Andre-Georges and Brenda Lee Brown and in more recent times to today Carel Hodge and Zahra Airall. They in addition to many others have contributed to the milestone of the 50th issue of the Business Focus Magazine.

Many prominent businessmen and women, as well as other notable members of the society have graced the covers of the magazine. Entrepreneurs like Philbert Mason, Rosie McMaster, Wilbur Purcell, George Ryan and many more.

Such quality of professional writers has helped to shape, build and maintain the standard of a magazine that persons within and without the business community have come to look forward to.

The editorial team at Regional Publications have always found it a privilege to sit and interview these persons, and to be able to share their stories with the readers of the magazine.

Editorial content of the Business Focus Magazine has covered issues such as women in leadership, agriculture, sports, education, corporate responsibility and security.

On this the 50th issue of the Business focus Magazine, Regional Publications tips its hat to all those persons who would have in some way contributed to the editorial content of the magazine over the years and issues. To you we say a heartfelt thank you.

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Landmark entities such as Big Banana Holding Company, ABI Financial Group, Community First Cooperative Credit Union and the Antigua Distillery have all at some point been featured within the covers of this flagship magazine.


Other RPL Projects

Antigua & Barbuda Telephone Directory

Official Tourist Map of Antigua

Promotional Products

Design and Printing Projects 22ND OECS

9th – 11th November, 2012 • Antigua Athletic Club

Antigua & Barbuda Welcomes the Teams from St. Lucia,Grenada, St. Vincent & The Grenadines,British Virgin Islands

PARATUS MAGAZINE • A PUBLICATION OF THE ANTIGUA & BARBUDA DEFENCE FORCE • 2008

Hosted by: The Antigua & Barbuda Swimming Federation

www.swimantiguabarbuda.com

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Customer Testimonials

Tropical Landscaping I’ve been with Regional Publications Ltd pretty much since their inception. During that time not only have I advertised regularly with the company, but a feature article was written in the Business Focus Magazine featuring the company, Tropical Landscaping. I’ve chosen to continue to advertise with Regional over the years because it works; they are effective and the business has benefited from the advertising. The staff at Regional is great, I like interacting with them, they are friendly, often work within your budgets, giving you reasonable and easy financing terms. My sales representative Gilda Alexander makes you feel special whenever we’ve done business. I’d like to take this opportunity on behalf of the management and staff of Tropical Landscaping to congratulate the Regional Publications Team on achieving the milestone of its 50th issue of the Business Focus Magazine.

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State Insurance Corporation State Insurance Corporation has been doing business with Regional Publications for over five years and we have found the service to be excellent. Our sales representative Ann-Maria Marshall has been only a phone call away which is fantastic. We have an Ad in the yellow pages along with a year’s contract for advertising in the Business Focus Magazine. On our 35th anniversary we were featured in the magazine and our General Manager Mrs Lyndell Francis- Butler graced the cover. We were very pleased with the outcome and our overall relationship with the company. Indeed, the Corporation is very pleased with the service we receive. As a result, the magazine is distributed to customers who visit our offices. State Insurance Corporation takes this opportunity to congratulate the management and staff of Business Focus Magazine and Regional Publications Ltd on its 50th issue - a great publication.


Customer Testimonials

Community First Cooperative Credit Union Community First Co-operative Credit Union has been doing business and advertising with Regional Publications Ltd for many years. Over the years we’ve also contributed articles on areas of savings and finance to the Business Focus Magazine. The magazine has always been very professional and timely, one of the publications that you can depend on. In 2009 we celebrated our 50th anniversary and were the cover feature of the magazine, which we deemed a great honour. We loved the way it was put together and we got great feedback about it.

Exel Engineering Exel Engineering has been advertising within the Business Focus Magazine and the Antigua Yellow Pages for over five years. The service has been excellent and the staff friendly and personable; I couldn’t ask for better. I’ve had the pleasure of working with all of the sales representatives, Gilda, Shari and Ann-Maria and they’ve all been easy to work with and always accommodating. Great job Business Focus on the 50th issue of the magazine, keep up the good work.

In recent times we’ve established new relations with the company, having ordered promotional material as well as calendars from them. The company has printed our AGM booklet, and our annual report was delivered the earliest we’ve ever had them ready for distribution. The relationship continues to grow and we’d like to commend Ann-Maria Marshall, who has worked exceptionally well with us and always ensures she keeps in contact with us. We’re made aware of promotions and upcoming events and she’s just great to work with.

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IN THE KNOW

“Embarking on a

New Era of Tourism” By Julio Orozco

The Caribbean is physically blessed with a plenitude of natural resources ranging from beautifully nestled tropical rainforests to brilliant sun cast, white sandy coastlines surrounded by serene waters. It is no surprise that this region has been one of the world’s leading tourism destinations. Tourism is without question, the foremost export sector in the Caribbean and possesses the inherent ability to diversify the Caribbean economy, stimulate entrepreneurship, catalyse investment, create large numbers of sustainable jobs and help social development in local communities. Throughout the English-speaking Caribbean, the tourism industry provides the main source of revenue for these small-island developing states (SIDS). For this reason it is considered as ‘the engine of economic growth’ in the region. Currently, tourism accounts for 14.8 per cent of the gross domestic product and 15.5 per cent of employment (WTTC, 2012). Given the statistical data, it is evident that tourism plays a vital role in sustaining the development of Caribbean islands. Tourism not only generates income for the countries and their peoples, but it also leads to the development of other sectors within these economies because of its multi-sector nature in terms of the numerous forward and backward linkages with other income generating sectors of these countries’ economies. The development and sustenance of the Caribbean tourism product is a combined effort of not only the most obvious tourism components like tour operators, travel agencies and lodging, but also involving other sectors such as agriculture, financial services, transportation, food, culture and other technical services and material products (machinery, equipment, instruments) required to support travel activities and tourism attractions. It means that tourism generally generates revenue in the form of foreign exchange earnings, increased income, employment and development of infrastructures. Bearing in mind the aforementioned importance that the tourism industry serves to the region, Caribbean leaders are directing their 56 | BusinessFocus • November/December2013 56 | BusinessFocus • November/December2013

countries towards developing sustainable tourism initiatives and practices in order to safeguard the future survival of their economies and natural treasures. In an effort to preserve the region’s prime income generating sector, the Association of Caribbean States’ (ACS) Directorate of Sustainable Tourism has developed several projects that can yield immense proportions of benefits for the region and guarantee its longevity as one of the world’s leading tourism players. One of the most notable proposed initiatives is the Sustainable Tourism Zone of the Greater Caribbean (STZC). The STZC seeks to deal with three further challenges affecting tourism in the Greater Caribbean Region, which are: the premature ageing of tourist destinations, changes in consumer preference for the tourism product, and the major factors negatively affecting the atmosphere on land and in the sea due to inevitable and catalysed climatic changes. The STZC is a viable response to these challenges, and therefore aims to: • Maintain the competitiveness and sustainability of destinations by the generation of foreign exchange-jobs-products (GDP) by tourism, which is the driving force for our economies. • Guarantee community participation in tourism planning and the benefits of this activity. Tourism transforms societies and spaces, and citizens must accept this and help to define and control tourist areas through mechanisms introduced by the state and those generated by civil society itself. • Conserve the environment and culture, which are the fundamental patrimony of the Caribbean countries and which play an important role in the development of tourism.


The ACS is advocating through the Member Countries of the region, to achieve the ratification of this instrument under the terms of sustainable tourism, as this would be establishing the first Sustainable Tourism declared Zone in the world, allowing the Greater Caribbean region to develop marketing strategies, that would give the region a competitive advantage in order to more effectively compete with other destinations and regions. The establishment of the Sustainable Tourism Zone can become a powerful tool for the mobilisation of funds for the development of new sustainable tourism projects in the region, and for the strengthening of human resource capacity, in order to achieve the conservation of natural and cultural resources for future generations through the implementation of tourism sustainability indicators.

former sun, sea and sand tourism model. With careful planning and source market diversification such as tapping into new markets throughout Latin America, the aforementioned can yield high profits for the region; the added benefits being that properly developed and managed niche tourism segments can enhance countries tourism product offerings, while also increasing their competitiveness as locations to live, visit, work and invest in. The efforts of the ACS in this regard are to increase dialogue and co-operation to enhance the opportunity for countries to benefit from these new and emerging market segments.

On another note, the ACS is supportive of the diversification of the traditional tourism product offered by the Caribbean. Tourism product diversification for the region can be accomplished by the establishment of niche markets which complement the sustainable development of the industry.

It is important at this juncture that the region adopts a collective approach and that tourism actors align their activities to a common goal and understanding of the concept and practice of sustainable tourism. For that reason, the leadership and active engagement of the public and private sector to include, regional tourism authorities, tourism businesses, the NGO community and Regional and International stakeholders related to the development and promotion of Tourism are needed to propel and enhance the sustainability of the sector.

The ‘experimental’ or niche tourism market incorporates equal parts of natural and cultural resources and community involvement, and is the fastest growing tourism market segment. Niche markets such as eco-tourism, adventure tourism and cultural-heritage tourism, offer an opportunity for market diversification and have created opportunities for countries in the Greater Caribbean outside of the

The implementation of sustainable tourism practices will no doubt lead to this region being declared as the first official Sustainable Tourism Zone in the world; thus positioning the Greater Caribbean as a premium destination in the new era of tourism. Countries can then rest assured that their tourism industries and products will long extend into the future for generations to come.

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IN THE KNOW

OECS Heads to Elect new OECS Director General Dr Len Ishmael to Demit Office Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer and OECS Director General Dr. Len Ishmael Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer says he intends convening a special caucus of the leaders of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to discuss the appointment of a successor to outgoing OECS Director General Dr. Len Ishmael. A government statement issued following recent talks between Prime Minister Spencer and Ishmael, noted that applications are being considered for the post as Ishmael would be “demitting office shortly”. “Mr. Spencer pointed out that he intended to convene a special caucus of his colleague Heads of Government in order to settle the question of who will be appointed to lead the organization,” the statement said. ‘I intend during my term as Chairman to ensure a smooth transition to a new Director-General and to reinvigorate this important organization to take forward the challenge of implementing OECS Economic Union,” Prime Minister Spencer said.

Ishmael, who has been at the post for a decade, in June described her tenure as “this journey of which I have been so proud to be a part of has been extraordinarily exhilarating and pioneering in both spirit and practice. “I am more honoured than I can say to have been given the opportunity to serve our region and to lead the work of this organization in arguably one of the most exciting periods of change in its history”. The OECS groups the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts-Nevis, Montserrat, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands. The statement said that the meeting also “looked at the scheduling and other arrangements relating to the inaugural meeting of the OECS Economic Affairs Council”. It said matters relating to further sittings of the OECS Assembly were also discussed and Prime Minister indicating that he would want the OECS Authority to mandate another session of the Assembly at its seat in Antigua in order to debate the Eight-Point Stabilization and Growth Programme developed by the Monetary Council.

Lok Jack GSB signs MoU with Caribbean Shipping Association The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business (Lok Jack GSB) and the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA) was one of the hallmark agenda items of the 43rd Annual General Meeting and Conference of CSA. The signing of the MoU took place on October 7, 2013 at the 2013 CSA Conference at the Sheraton Hotel in Panama. Both institutions signed the MoU that brings to the CSA the online Master of Port and Maritime Management Programme offered by the Lok Jack GSB. Professor Clement Sankat, Pro Vice Chancellor and Campus Principal, UWI, St Augustine and Chairman of Board of Directors Lok Jack GSB along with Nirmala Maharaj, Director Internationalisation and Institutional Relations, Lok Jack GSB and Grantley Stephenson, President of the CSA signed the MoU in the presence of 300-plus delegates. CSA as an association is recognised as the voice of the region’s shipping industry and a major regional forum in which matters are discussed relevant to the growth and development of the Caribbean shipping. УCSA considers the online Master of Port and Maritime Management Programme to be beneficial to the development of the human resource professionals for the port and maritime industry. CSA 58 | BusinessFocus • November/December2013 58 | BusinessFocus • November/December2013

through the signing of this MoU agrees to endorse and promote this programme amongst its members,Ф said CSA President Stephenson. PVC and Campus Principal and Chairman Board of Directors Lok Jack GSB Professor Clement Sankat commented, УThis symbolic signing represents UWI’s commitment to provide relevant programmes for the region. At the UWI - Lok Jack GSB, we recognised the urgent need to have a post graduate programme for the Port and Maritime Industry. CSA membership including its 12 national shipping associations and over 100 individual member entities across the entire Caribbean area as well as South, Central and North American ports can now benefit from a quality online Master of Port and Maritime Programme.Ф The programme was carefully customised for the region through a stakeholder approach for instance in academia and the port and maritime industry.


TEN WAYS To Transform Your Small Business, Now!

The global economic grind threatens small businesses and therefore increases the need for sound guidance in order to sustain and grow their profits. It is critical to employ methods of shaping the future of our finances by the way we conduct business, now. Here are some effective tips:

1. Expand Existing Market

Targeting existing customers is far more cost effective than attracting new ones. It will be easier to get persons who are already buying from you to increase their purchases than trying to persuade new customers to try your products. So, work with what you’ve got!

2. Pursue Referrals

Satisfied customers are the best tools to grow your customer base and the bottom line. Put your customers’ goodwill to good use by actively pursuing referrals. When your customer expresses satisfaction, ask that person to refer - anyone who would be interested in the service you offer. Don’t leave it to chance, pursue referrals.

3. Be Innovative

Spice up your business! Customers crave new products, new uses and new services. Promoting these will stimulate more business from existing customers and attract new ones. Caution: As you innovate, always stay ‘Customer Friendly’.

4. Expand Your Market

Extend the business to new groups of customers, e.g. new locations or new business hours. Technology facilitates virtual locations and so websites/social networks provide accessibility to a wider customer base.

5. Trade Shows Participation

Trade shows provide a dynamic way to grow your business. Select 59 |

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them carefully for your product or service. Trade shows are noted for drawing people who are already interested in the type of product or service you offer. The right match equals benefits!

6. Be the ‘Big Fish in the Small Pond’

Ten per cent of your customer base could contribute to 80 per cent of your gross profit if this principle is applied. Become specialised in an area of your service or product to satisfy the specific needs of a narrowly defined group of your customer base, e.g. selling clothes and specialising in “name brand” products.

7. Minimise Expenses

Growing your business is synonymous with growing the profits. Take care to control what takes place on the ’Income Statement’ after pretaxes; these are critical to the bottom line. Getting rid of ‘low turnovers’ while improving ‘inventory turnover’ will boost profit.

8. Diversify

The most effective strategy of growing the business through variety is maintaining similarity. It will be critical to focus on related needs of your already established market or on market segments with similar needs and characteristics. For example, selling fruit and vegetables could lead to developing a related demand for fruit baskets.

9. Capitalise on Workshops

Staying current with the demands of the market and handling of your finances are key to business growth. Search out workshops that will provide stimulating ideas for your business growth.

10. Be Energised

The best business booster is the energy you can infuse. Be Energised. Be Passionate. Enhance creative and proactive thinking! Think growth, pursue growth.. Shape your future finances from within. Start now!!!

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IN THE KNOW

MBS distributes new Smart Card The re-registration exercise that transitions customers of the Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) to a new state of the art “Smart Card” was officially rolled out on Monday, 7th October, 2013 via an appointment system after a short testing phase. Persons in receipt of their new MBS smart card are encouraged to immediately share the new MBS number with their employer, as doing so will ensure that contributions are credited to the individual’s account. Further, the card should be kept safe and the embedded microchip protected at all times. The card should not be placed or stored close to a magnet as it may corrupt the information. Each individual must collect his/her own card, except in the case of a minor, where the person collecting must produce documentation indicating that they are authorised to act accordingly. Persons collecting their smart card are required to produce their ‘old’ MBS card, the slip issued during the re-registration process and a government issued photo id. The MBS smart card can be 60 | BusinessFocus • November/December2013 60 | BusinessFocus • November/December2013

collected at the Customer Service Department, ground floor of the Administrative Building on Nevis Street, between the hours of 8:00 am and 3:30 pm. For now, the new MBS smart card will serve as an identification card to access services at the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre, benefits at MBS such as medication from the network of pharmacies, and to make re-imbursement claims for monies spent conducting diagnostic test at private laboratories. When the member reregistration exercise is completed other aspects of the card’s utility will be activated including the storage of the holder’s medical history and prescriptions as well as records of visits and services rendered at private laboratories. The testing phase for the re-registration process was successful and MBS wishes to thank participants for their favourable reviews as well as the recommendations geared at enhancing the serviceability of the smart card.


Register now for your new MBS SmartCard Fast, secure and reliable information at your fingertips.

Register for your appointment via:

a

Our website at www.mbs.gov.ag and follow the prompts

b c

By filling the member’s re-registration form†; or

By calling 481-6393

Collect your smart card 5 days following your appointment at the Customer Service Department, Main Administrative Building, Nevis Street.

Available at any MBS Office or MBS Pharmacy. While MBS members, and persons who are to be duly registered under MBS, are eligible to participate in the re-registration program, the appointment date maybe affected by the requirement to regularize their beneficiary status in accordance with the MBS Act and Regulations.

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WORKING TOGETHER ANTIGUA & BARBUDA EMPLOYERS’FEDERATION

President - Dr.Vanetta Rodgers

Vice President – Mr. Leslie Salmon

The Antigua & Barbuda Employers’ Federation has been providing employers with all their industrial relations needs since 1950 and was duly registered under the Trade Union Act in January 1951. The Organization was formed out of the need to have balanced representation on both sides of Industry, namely Management and Workers. The Objectives to our valued membership are: o To generally inform members of prevailing Labour Laws and practices in Antigua and Barbuda, as outlined in Labour Code or as established by precedent through Collective Agreements, judicial decisions or other authority. o To advise members of course of action in particular circumstances, having regard to the accepted interpretation of

Executive Secretary – Ms. J. Arlene Martin

these laws and decisions, and consistent with the current trend in the affected industry or the economy. o To organize employers of Labour in the island of Antigua & Barbuda. o To advise on the relationship between such employers and their employees. o To negotiate on behalf of the members of the Federation with Government and/or representatives of Labour in matters affecting Trade, Agriculture, Industry and General Business including the conditions of Labour generally. o To negotiate, arbitrate, or settle where possible by friendly advice and negotiations, disputes and differences between its members and between employers and employees.

The Antigua & Barbuda Employers Federation Extends Heartiest Congratulations to Business Focus Antigua On their 50th Edition of serving the people of Antigua & Barbuda Located in the Brysons Business Complex, Friars Hill Road, Suite # 2 Secretariat Tele: - 462-0449/ 462-6279/ 4620247 • E- mail – aempfed@candw.ag Website – abef-anu.org 62 |

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World Bank Releases GDP per Capita Ranking in CARICOM

LIAT AT 57 - A NEWER, BETTER LIAT TAKES TO SKIES

Antigua & Barbuda Gets Good Rating

The acting head of the Caribbean airline, LIAT, in a message to staff, declared the comfort and well-being of passengers will be her overriding priority. “At the new LIAT, we are working to build an airline which places the customer, our loyal passengers, at the center of our focus,” stated Julie Reifer-Jones, who was recently appointed Acting Chief Executive Officer by the airline’s Board of Directors.

Guyana has secured the lowest ranking in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) by GDP per capita in the recently released World Bank World Development Report 2014 with a GDP per capita of US$3,410, while the Bahamas is the richest country in the Caribbean Community, ranked by GDP per capita of $21,280. The Bahamas is followed by Puerto Rico, which has a GDP per capita of around $18,000. Trinidad and Tobago is next at $14,400, followed by St Kitts and Nevis, which, despite being the smallest country in the region, has a per capita GDP of about $13,330, according to the data. According to the Caribbean Journal, these numbers are not necessarily a reflection of development or a lack of poverty — a reason why a number of Caribbean countries have urged multilateral lenders to cease classifying many Caribbean countries middle-to-high income — which can prevent access to much international development funding. The report did not include specific data for the region’s other countries, including Cuba, Dominican Republic, Barbados and Haiti, along with overseas territories and departments in the Caribbean was not included in the World Bank’s report. It did, however, place them in bands based on estimated GDP per capita. Barbados is ranked as “high income,” meaning a GDP per capita of at least $12,616. Cuba is ranked as upper middle income (between $ 4,086 and $12,615). Aruba, Curacao, the Cayman Islands, St Maarten, St Martin, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the US Virgin Islands are ranked as high income. No data was released on the Dominican Republic or Haiti in the report. Courtesy: Caribbean Journal 64 || BusinessFocus BusinessFocus •• November/December2013 November/December2013 64

Reifer-Jones underscored the importance of the airline’s focus on the security of its passengers: “Today marks another significant milestone for LIAT - 57 years of continuous service to the peoples and countries of the region. We can also proudly say that these have been 57 years of safely serving the Caribbean.” Pointing out that for many destinations LIAT remains the major carrier, transporting more passengers than any other airline, she added: “LIAT continues to contribute to the economic and social development of our region, providing important linkages for inter-regional travel as well as for connections to international, particularly trans-Atlantic, travel.” Recalling LIAT has evolved from a single Piper Apache to its present fleet of 14 aircraft, she asked for patience, “As we go through change once again, we promise to serve our region better and in more efficient ways.” She thanked customers and stakeholders for their patience and support as LIAT transitions from its Dash-8 fleet to new ATR aircraft, “This change of fleet is a major investment for the company with a cost of US $107 million.” She was pleased to note, however, that on several routes, “our passengers are already experiencing the comfort of our new ATR 72s.” In addition to the introduction of new aircraft into the fleet, the airline has been able to stabilize its flight schedules throughout the Caribbean. “By the end of this year, we will have six new aircraft and this should improve our operational performance considerably,” she reported. The LIAT acting CEO proclaimed the fleet modernisation which continues into 2014 will improve schedules. “By the end of next year we expect to have a completely new fleet. In addition, we are actively working to improve on-time-performance and our customer service.” On its 57th year of service to the Caribbean, Reifer-Jones saluted all LIAT employees “who, throughout the years, have helped to build this outstanding Caribbean institution. As we move forward, we encourage everyone to keep the LIAT flag flying high.” LIAT is one of the leading Caribbean airlines. It is owned by regional shareholders, with major shareholders being the Governments of Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.


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IN THE KNOW

The Art of

NEGOTIATING in a Nutshell

By Colin John Jenkins

At some point in time in most individual’s lives they would have observed or have heard of disputes taking place either from a local, regional and international business or political standpoint.

point for the negotiation and aims to generate win-win conditions for the parties involved rather than the win-lose conditions in the positional approach.

Take for instance the most recent United States’ Congress Democrats /Republican stalemate played out in the media over modifying President Barack Obama’s Health Insurance policy (Obamacare), leading to the partial government shutdown, with federal workers being sent home. Or yet closer to home, the World Trade Organization’s ruling for settlement of a dispute between The United States and Antigua and Barbuda.

Interestingly though, Lax & Sebnius in their work ‘Ethical and Unethical Bargining Tactics: An Empirical Study’, published in the Journal of Business Ethics, opined that there isn’t an absolute methodology. Instead they propose that negotiators should use the principled approach in order to create value and a positional approach may then be used so that each negotiating party benefits.

Why are there such difficulties finding common solutions one might ask? The problem is according to authors Lewicki and Robinson, competitive negotiators often frequently use tactics or tricky bargaining which others view as unethical such as: cherry picking, the red herring, bribery manoeuvre, escalation or the deliberate conclusion. For instance I am sure positional pressure tactics such as: refusal to negotiate, having extreme demands, escalating demands, hardhearted partner, a calculated delay or take it or leave it scenario isn’t an unfamiliar occurrence. What then can be considered as a successful negotiation where two or more parties involved since most of these “tactics” are normally used? According to the thoughts of Kendrick in his book The project management toolkit, “‘obtaining a formal agreement in a way that leaves all involved parties better off than they would be without the agreement” can be considered successful from a being either positional or principally focused. Positional approach (also called the ‘competitive approach’) is based on the assumption that the parties involved in negotiations are rivals and that if one party gains, the other loses. In this approach, each party hides its real needs, requirements, and limits from other parties as much as possible.

Whether in agreement or disagreement with the aforementioned one thing is certain; the lack of an “agreement” can be disastrous! Negotiations are so important that failed ones and their repercussions have resulted; case in point, countries battling over territories resulting in years of bloodshed and human suffering. Despite the reason, differences or situation, almost every day in our social lives we will be faced with circumstances negotiating for what we consider to be best for our personal and or collective interests. However it’s the way we approach negotiations that make all the difference with the outcome, i.e. if we leave the room with a smile on our faces or a frown on our foreheads. It is for this reason that authors such as Bazeman et al in Negotiation postulated that the outcome reached through negotiation is often decided not by the best interest of the parties involved, but by the skills of the negotiators. Such “skills” hinge on a combination of cumulated views by personal thoughts and some of the authors mentioned here, into what I consider to be the ten pillars that support negotiating success: 1. Separate the people from the problem (don’t attack their position, look behind it – why, to what end, goal). 2. Focus on interests, not positions 3. Invent options for mutual gain

The principled approach on the other hand (also called the ‘integrative’ or ‘cooperative’ approach) differs from the positional approach in that it takes interests — rather than positions — as the starting 66 |

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4. Insist on objective criteria. In other words the more you bring standards of fairness, efficiency, or scientific merit to bear on your


particular problem, the more likely you are to produce a final package that is wise and fair.

GLENETTE’S Beauty Centre

5. Establish in advance the so-called ’bottom line’—i.e., the worst acceptable outcome of the negotiation—might be a good way to avoid entering a disadvantageous agreement (meaning BATNA- best alternative to a negotiated agreement (Fisher et al, 2011). 6. Reduce ambiguity and therefore reduce egocentrism! 7. Emotions play a part in negotiations. Keep them under control. 8. Understand that negotiation is a psychological game and should be approached in such a manner. 9. Face to face bargaining is best. 10. Cross cultural issues affects negotiations; determine whether you’re dealing with an individualist (egocentric or positional) or a collectivist and what language would be best suited. Colin John Jenkins is the Principal of CJC Jenkins Design a Building Design and Development Company. He holds a Bachelors of Architecture (Hons), and is a Member of the Antigua and Barbuda Institute of Architects LEED Green Associate (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). He is currently completing a Masters of Science in Project Management, specializing in Construction and Infrastructure Management.

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IN THE KNOW BUSINESSSPOTLIGHT

One step into Paperclips Ltd. located at #7 Royal Palm Place on Friar’s Hill Road, and you are ushered into a bright and colourful store with well merchandised shelving. There’s a big “Welcome to Paperclips” sign mounted on an interior wall but chances are you will get a warm greeting from one of their friendly staff before you even see it. Owned and operated by Mark and Cristina Layne, Paperclips Ltd. offers a wide assortment of office and school supplies and related services. Always a family affair, Paperclips Ltd. took over Kenneth A. Gomez Stationery Department, located on High Street in St. John’s. Cristina is the granddaughter of founder Kenneth A. Gomez representing the third generation to work in the family business. Prior to becoming co-owners of Paperclips Ltd., both Mark and Cristina worked at Kenneth A. Gomez & Sons. In early 2010, the opportunity arose to take over the stationery department as their own and on June 1st 2010, Paperclips Ltd. opened its doors on High St. and their flagship store in Royal Palm Place opened a few months later on 10th August. 68 |

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They both agree that this would simply not have been possible without the support of their families, close friends and lots of prayers. Setting up the location in Royal Palm Place was a collaborative family effort. Cristina’s dad, Kenneth, was one of four persons including Mark and Cristina, who laid out and erected all the shelving in the new store. Other family members pitched in to help merchandise and stock the new shelves. The couple was very aware that Kenneth A. Gomez Stationery Department had been serving the Antiguan public for 40 years and wanted to honour that proud family legacy of service while updating and reinventing the offering. As Cristina recalls, “It was crucial to open a store away from the traffic and congestion of St. John’s. It was simply impossible to provide the level of customer service we envisioned without doing so.” The Royal Palm Place location afforded convenient parking for customers and a bigger space with which to showcase their offerings. Having their warehouse also located at Royal Palm Place meant that the Company was much better prepared logistically


to react to customers demands. They immediately became more accessible to both personal and corporate clients and expanded their product offerings with a focus on becoming a premier provider for office supplies, printer inks and toners. Mark does not only credit a good location or product lines as being the sole driving forces for any success they hope to have. “Our strength really is our team,” he states matter-of-factly, “The product and pricing are similar to other offerings on the island and there is nothing wildly exciting about office supplies or school supplies! The differentiating factor is the service and the commitment we strive to demonstrate to the customer and I am very proud of our team. Each member represents an important part of Team Paperclips.” This differentiation transcends a friendly atmosphere. Having the right stock at the right price, and being able to deliver it in a timely are all crucial factors to providing a positive customer experience. Communication is also crucial. “It is not easy juggling adequate stock levels with cash flow and other financial constraints and sometimes we fall short,” explains Mark. “When this happens we try to be as forthcoming with our customers as possible, to alert them of any delays or to suggest alternatives. We strive to partner with our customers.” Customer feedback, whether positive or negative, is shared and discussed with the team and this is important to the owners. As Mark explains, “Thankfully, customer response has been largely positive

however, we are always grateful for the customer who takes the time to complain because, for every one who does, several do not. They simply do not come back and you don’t even know you have lost them. With the customer who complains, at least you have the opportunity to create a positive outcome out of a negative one.” The owners have faced tough decisions in the three years that Paperclips has been in operation. One of the most difficult being their decision to close the High St. location in March 2011. “That was a very tough decision for us,” recalls Mark, “but it was critical for the survival of the Company. In a difficult economy, by intentionally staying small and efficient, minimizing our expenses, and reacting to our customers, we’ve been able to meet our customer’s needs and compete with other providers.”

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IN THE KNOW BUSINESSSPOTLIGHT

MR.

THERMINATOR much more than just a car wash

(From the left) Michael Pierre, Alexander Simpson, Nathan James (Proprietor), Dudley Simpson and Sean Camacho

Mr. Therminator is a name that has become synonymous with quality cleaning, professionalism and exceptional customer service. When the business was started 20 years ago, however, many persons mistakenly thought that we were an extermination company (such as Terminix), and as such a number of calls were misdirected. Today however, mention the name Mr. Therminator and automatically persons will tell you, “That’s the car wash that cleans carpets and upholstery and automobile interiors.” The business was started by Nathan James, son of the late Conrad James of James Service Station. As a boy Nathan grew up around cars. This fascination soon led him to washing cars as a service to his father’s customers. Before long the customers appreciated his service so much that they encouraged him to add new services, such as cleaning their dirty and stained seats. With determination, he soon built up a clientele that included well-known Antiguans. Once, while on a business trip, his father Conrad James, came across a company that built special steam cleaning machines. He decided to buy one as a gift to help his son carry out his work. The rest is history as the saying goes, but that certainly was the catalyst for the young entrepreneur to take his business to the next level. Previously located on the premises of Thrifty Car Rentals for 17 years, Mr. Therminator is currently situated opposite Sammy’s Concrete right next to Utopia on Airport Road, a choice site since there was not even one day of service interruption to the loyal customers. There is also second location on Cross and Tanner Streets, just down from country pond. 70 || BusinessFocus BusinessFocus •• November/December2013 November/December2013 70


Even in these difficult economic times, Mr. Therminator is determined to forge ahead with new ideas to enhance the experience of customers. In line with this, efforts are being made to improve customer waiting areas; launch a new line of generic cleaning products for car and home; as well as the reintroduction of accessories such as car mats, seat covers, air fresheners in a wider variety, and other items which complement the business. Also a premium brand of oil is being sought (e.g. Shell or Castrol) to be used in its servicing of vehicles.

Mr. Therminator, wanting to carve out his own niche in a growing field, decided to specialize in automobile interiors. Always aiming to please the customer, efforts were made to train staff to carry out this arduous task of dissembling and reassembling the various interiors. As such Mr. Therminator now employs five staff who are all highly trained, and as a team can handle any task - large or small. Today the company has certainly grown to become one of the leaders in automobile, boat, home and office care. With a wide array of services such as car wash, under wash, penetrate, engine wash, polishing, buffing, carpet cleaning, chair set cleaning pressure washing of homes and offices just to name a few, it is little wonder why Mr. Therminator has become one of the most respected names in the cleaning industry. As a result its services have been sought after by such recognizable companies as Harney Motors, ACE Enterprises, Hadeed Motors, Antigua Motors , CPR Motors (now CPM Motors) various Hotels, APUA, the Government and its various entities and a host of other companies and individuals too numerous to mention.

The management and staff at Mr. Therminator would like to thank all their loyal customers and patrons for their support over the past 20 years, and sincerely hope that you will continue to receive the same quality cleaning, professionalism and exceptional customer service that has made Mr. Therminator a household name.

To mark this anniversary a

20% discount

will be given on all services for the month of December 2013.

COME JOIN THE FAMILY!!!

MR. THERMINATOR Car Wash & Cleaners Tel: 1-268-460-8775 / 729-7275 e-mail: nathansjames@hotmail.com

Detailing / Shampoo Pressure Washing Oil Change / Servicing

Detailing / Shampoo Pressure Washing Oil Change / Servicing

The Total Cleaning Service

Cars For Sale And For Rent

Tel: 732-8687Locations: Airport and Cross & Tanner Street BusinessFocus BusinessFocus• •November/December November/December 2013 2013|

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REAL ESTATE AGENCY Property Management Property Rentals Property Sales Maintenance Services House Keeping Services Village Walk Commercial Centre,Unit #6c Friar’s Hill Rd, Antigua P.O. Box W1419 Woods Centre Phone: (268) 562-7830 Fax: 562-7831 Email: info@antiguahotproperties.com Website: www.antiguahotproperties.com

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BusinessFocus • November/December 2013

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FEATURE

Budget Marine - Stocking What Sailors Want!

B

udget Marine was started in 1982 in St. Maarten and has since become the leading retailer and wholesaler of pleasure boat marine equipment in the Caribbean, experiencing sales close to USD$24 million per year. The Group’s 13 locations are situated in Antigua (two locations), Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao (two locations), Grenada, St. Croix, St. Maarten, St. Martin, St. Thomas, Tortola and Trinidad. The headquarters facility in Cole Bay, St. Maarten serves as administrative center, warehouse and wholesale/retail outlet. Also located in St. Maarten is their marine lifestyle boutique, Budget Nautique, and French-customer oriented L’ile Marine, near Marigot. In Antigua, Budget Marine is located in the Jolly Harbor Marina boatyard as well as on Dockyard Drive in Falmouth /English Harbour. The Trinidad store, second largest in the Group, is situated in the heart of the busy Chaguaramas yachting area. In St. Thomas they are located within the Independent Boatyard on the East End. In Grenada, Budget Marine is located in the Spice Island Marina Services boatyard on the True Blue side of beautiful Prickly Bay. In Bonaire Budget Marine is located in the centre of Kralendijk adjacent to the NAPA outlet and Budget Marine Curacao can be found on Caracasbaaiweg, between town and the main watersports area of Spanish Water.In Aruba Budget Marine is to be found across from the energy company WEB near the Aruba Yacht Club and Varadero Boat Yard and Marina . The market area targeted by Budget Marine includes the entire Eastern Caribbean Island chain from Puerto Rico in the north to Trinidad in the south. The marine leisure market is particularly strong with ocean-going sailing yachts, although the number of motor yachts has grown over the last few years. The area is well known for its charter boat industry and the majority of both private boat owners and large charter boat companies are important customers. An extensive, over 650- page colour catalogue, packed with technical information is maintained in printed book form, digital format (CDRom) and on-line and used to promote mail-order business for the Group. Export sales are handled mainly from St Maarten and Trinidad. To further promote Budget Marine, advertisements are placed in many popular cruising guides, yachting newspapers, directories and magazines. Promotional activities and sponsorships support events such as the Heineken Regatta in St. Maarten, the Great Race from Trinidad to Tobago, the St. Lucia ARC and major 74 74 || BusinessFocus BusinessFocus •• November/December2013 November/December2013

Caribbean trade shows such as the Antigua Nicholson’s Charter Boat Show. Assistance with environmental projects and a strong focus on youth sail training programmes further enhance Budget Marine’s presence in the Caribbean. Budget Marine imports products from countries in over five continents, including the US, Canada, UK, Holland, France, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Venezuela and Taiwan. Company buyers visit major international marine trade shows to ensure the latest in product coverage. The mix of products carried by the company reflects the wide variety of demand created by after-market needs that have been built all over the world. Budget Marine has established a reputation for product variety and quality at competitive pricing, which is the basis for the slogan, “We Stock What Sailor’s Want”.

Mission Statement Those who sail and go boating in the Caribbean are looking to enjoy the best boating conditions in the world. Those same people tend to have high demands on their equipment. Budget Marine’s mission is to make sure the equipment is available for them to optimize the superb conditions. The boats are from around the world and have highly varied equipment. Budget Marine’s challenge is to supply a wide variety of equipment from a very wide range of suppliers, providing as much under one roof as is possible and consequently the greatest convenience for customers. The tropical environment is tough on marine equipment. Budget Marine focuses on supplying equipment and supplies that stand up to the onslaught from heat and salt air. The customers range from small boat owners and boating companies to mega yacht owners and major marine business operators. Budget Marine is committed to providing the best service across the spectrum and meeting the particular needs of all in the boating community. Furthermore, employees are the most important key in making this happen. Therefore creating a working environment which achieves effective management of the complex inventory handled is not only paramount, but also provides a pleasant customer service in a convivial environment, is a priority.


History Timeline Budget Marine Group 2013

Budget Marine commits to a new software program that will facilitate operations in a wide range of areas.

2013

Budget Marine Antigua opens location in Falmouth English Harbour to service the booming yacht industry in that area.

2013

St Croix store moves from East End premises to Gallows Bay and immediately traffic numbers increase.

2013

Budget Marine Antigua moves to a new custom built building in Jolly Harbour.

2012

Budget Marine St Croix is sold to new owners Steve Haupert and Jeni Love.

2010

Budget Marine Aruba opens. Tony Waldron is appointed manager and the company is affiliated with Varadero boatyard. The company starts trading to begin one of the most consistent growth paths experienced in the Budget Marine Group.

2010

Budget Marine Sint Maarten adds a third floor to the building and gains 11,000 square foot in storage space making it easily the largest distribution facility in it’s category in the Caribbean

2010

Budget Marine St Croix opens near the East end of St Croix . Focus on service and sales

2009

Budget Marine sponsors another innovative event, the inaugural Match Racing event as part of the Heineken Regatta, making history in the Caribbean. This event extends the St. Maarten Heineken regatta to almost a full week of sailing fun. Peter Holmberg, previous skipper on Alinghi when he won first prize at the America’s cup. Participants included teams from Russia, Brazil, the UK and the United States.

2008

Compulutions, a Dutch company is selected to automate the process of producing the annual Budget Marine 500 page full-color catalog.

2007

Budget Marine sponsors the inaugural Commodores’ Cup, as part of the Heineken Regatta. The ABN Amro One, skippered by Mike Sanderson, winner of the Volvo Ocean Race 2006, wins first prize.

2007

Nautique moves from its Simpson Bay Yacht Club location to the St. Maarten main store sales floor, where a special marine style area is created to feature Nautique stock.

2007

Further expansion of the Budget Marine St. Maarten facility adds 4,300 square feet warehouse space in the next door building, linked by a bridge to the main store and a large covered area for dinghy storage. Group office area and conference room are improved.

2007

Hard and software upgrades substantially improve the efficiency of the IT system.

2007

Budget Marine Curacao, Parera, introduces a rigging service, swaging wire up to 10mm.

2006

Budget Marine St. Thomas moves to its new, custom built chandlery.

2006

In St Maarten Budget Marine’s Marketing and Group Services expand, adding office space and a new Conference Center for meetings and customer service training. The dinghy dock is upgraded.

2006

Budget Marine Curacao opens a second store in the Curacao Marine facility.

2006

Budget Marine publishes first colour catalogue with over 400 pages.

2005

Budget Marine Curacao introduces Free Shuttle that takes boaters from the marina to the chandlery daily.

2005

Budget Marine VI moves from Vitraco Park into an expanded store in the independent Boatyard St Thomas location.

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FEATURE

2005

Robbie Ferron is honoured by the Queen of the Netherlands with a knighthood for his exceptional pioneer work in the yachting business and personal service to the sport of sailing on St Maarten and throughout the Caribbean.

2004

Budget Marine Curacao opens in Caracasbaaiweg.

2004

Budget Marine St Maarten expands the sales floor and warehouse space by 1/3 and the building is painted in bright Budget Marine colours, clearly visible across the entire Simpson Bay Lagoon.

2003

Budget Marine Grenada store moves to its new building, ideally situated in the Spice Island Marine Services boatyard on the True Blue side of Prickly Bay.

2002

The Trinidad store moves to a bigger, custom-built facility and expands it’s wholesale and export business. The Independent Boatyard store in St Thomas is fully upgraded.

2001

Bigger dinghy dockage facilities constructed in Cole Bay, St. Maarten. Continue with opening of new locations in Bonaire, Kralendijk and in Grenada, Spice Island Boatyard.

2000

3 new locations open. In St. Thomas Budget Marine takes over the chandlery ‘Marine Warehouse’ in Vitraco Park, which is now called Budget Marine V.I. and operates the Boatyard Store in the Independent Boatyard.

2000

Budget Marine switches to new software and away from the DOS programme

1999

New main store premises built in Cole Bay, St Maarten and Budget Marine Rigging started in Trinidad.

1998

Decision made to build new St Maarten store and do away with 28 storage containers.

1996

Budget Marine opens up in Trinidad in the old “Glastron” factory which was a wooden structure built by the US Armed Forces in the second world war.

1995

Budget Nautique opens its doors in the Simpson Bay Yacht Club

1994

L’ile Marine opens up in Sandy Ground in French St. Martin.

1993

Jolly Harbour Antigua Budget Marine opens to public just as the massive Jolly Harbour development with 500 waterside homes opens for the first time .

1991

Alfred Koolen joins Budget Marine and includes windsurshop in the offering (A and A windsurfing). Budget Marine opens new facility upstairs in Priest Building in Philipsburg.

1990

More containers added...to Robbie’s collection.

1988

David de Vries joins Budget Marine.

1987

Budget Marine opens store in Lenny’s Building in Philipsburg.

1983

Robbie opens stockroom, and Helene, his wife at the time, works fulltime for the next 9 years helping to establish Budget Marine.

1981

Robbie buys first container as workshop.

1979

Robbie Ferron arrives in St. Maarten.

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FEATURE

Building a legacy on a passion

Sir Robbie Ferron I

t’s a laugh of sorts among the staff, when a customer enters the Budget Marine seeking someone in management or the owner himself. You won’t be greeted by suits or ties, as they are every bit as involved in the day-to-day running of the business. Following his passion for sailing, Sir Robbie Ferron has certainly lived the adage of finding a job he loves, so most days he does not feel like he is working, but rather enjoying himself. Celebrating 20 years of operation in Antigua at the Jolly Harbour marina, Business Focus took the opportunity to grab a quick minute with the man behind not only the Caribbean’s leading ship chandlery, but also the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. As the 13th branch of Budget Marine opens in English Harbour, his passion remains strong as does his drive behind the business, which fuels their slogan, “We stock what sailors want.”

Business Focus: What attracted you to the Caribbean? Sir Robbie Ferron: I always had a love for the sea … I can’t say that there was any defining influence or experience to it … my parents did a bit of sailing, but it was just something in me that drew me to the sea. I was born in South Africa to Dutch parents, and I was a part of the anti-apartheid movement in the 70s. Some of my friends were arrested for their involvement, while others were fleeing. A friend of mine had a boat, and I decided it was just time for a change… so I was working on his boat. … We sailed with the wind and ended up in Grenada. That was 1975. I spent quite a bit of time in Trinidad after that, that’s where I wrote my master’s thesis, on development studies in Tobago, for awarding by the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague , Holland.. … Moving to St. Maarten in 1979 … I was 78 | BusinessFocus • November/December2013 78 | BusinessFocus • November/December2013

always involved in fixing boats, doing repairs and sailing them, so that’s what I did when I moved there.

BF: Being so passionate about sailing and the yachting industry, what influenced your decision to start a marine equipment business? SRF: The obvious gap in available products for the increasing number of yachts stood out clearly … the yachting industry was really starting to take off in the Caribbean around that time, and I realised that many of the things we needed to make repairs and stock the boats with, was just not readily available on the island. So I started buying and selling parts … and I’ve been having a great time since.

BF: Why did you deem Antigua favourable for your second branch? SRF: I first arrived in Antigua in 1981 for Sailing Week and did many of those great events. What’s unique about Antigua is its two yachting centres divided per vessel size. There’s no other place in the Caribbean where you have a country with two yachting centres – one for smaller yachts and one for super yachts – that’s what Antigua is, Jolly Harbour and English Harbour. And that’s why we first came to Jolly, we understood the smaller yacht business and didn’t want to expand to some place where we did not have a proper knowledge base . We have brushed up on our superyacht product knowledge in the interim!


We still have the situation where most stock and supplies are sourced from warehouses not based in Antigua, which was a disadvantage as no one in Antigua was benefitting from such an arrangement… and you’ll find that sailors tend to visit destinations where they can get supplies or material for repairs … this also allows the business to contribute to the industry, rather than supporting overseas businesses. When the tax structure switches to incentivizing investment in Antigua the industry is going to boom even more. Antigua has also excelled in yachting events which have helped to drive the industry and there has been tremendous collaboration in the country to facilitate their growth. I would like to see the same success attached to the Valentine’s Day Regatta at Jolly Harbour, which we started 20 years ago and belongs on the stellar calendar of Antigua.

BF: Married to Cary Lee Byerley of Antigua, would you say romance in any way influenced your decision to open a branch here? SRF: (laughing) I suppose you could say it all worked out in the grand scheme of things. …I met my wife in 1991 when I raced against her first in St. Lucia and then again in Trinidad. … Let’s just say, she’s better in light winds – she has that gentle touch – and I’m better in heavy winds. … She’s the daughter of Jol Byerley, who moved to Antigua in the 50s to captain Vernon Nicholson’s schooner Mollihawk; most people would know him as the voice behind English Harbour Radio and the “animator” of the old race weeks. …So Cary Lee and I do share that passion for sailing … we both still enjoy sailing … and have raced together a few times … it is an all-consuming affair that the entire family is involved in. Our son Jol is developing sailing skills rapidly as my daughter Stephane.

BF: It’s been 20 years since you opened the branch in Antigua, but 30 years overall since beginning this venture. What have been some of the major changes in the industry? SRF: It’s been turned completely upside down. The technology, especially, has gone from one extreme to another. The things that are happening today would have been inconceivable 35 years ago. Back then you would not have imagined having so much power … four knots would have been the fastest you could sail against the wind … and it happened recently in the Americas Cup that boats were sailing as much as 32 knots towards the wind. … The engineering of boats has improved drastically … when you consider the navigation systems, they’re a bit like cell phones – there’s a new one every month. If someone falls overboard, you can track where they are … or if someone steals your boat, you can track it on your cell phone. … The expectations of consumers, generally, have changed over the years. If you take the consumers of the 70s

for example, some people were happy just getting some basic items … and parts … at some point in the Caribbean. Today, there is a huge stock of exotic items that can be purchased, and right here in the Caribbean as well. So the expectations of the consumers have increased considerably. At Budget Marine we try to match that demand as much as possible with what we supply. … When we first began, we stocked about 2000 items … today, we offer a 650-page catalogue with over 18,000 items. … Even when you look at luxury … yes there was some luxury in super boats over 30 years ago, but nothing compared to high technical standards and complexity we see in super yachts today.

BF: You remain actively involved in all 12 branches across the Caribbean. What is your strategy for effective management? SRF: Just like the boats, advances in technology have certainly made the task more manageable. We invest heavily in computer and retail software, which to date, has been instrumental in ensuring the business runs smoothly and efficiently and creates the availability for customers. … In addition to that, the role of staff is imperative. We work hard at getting everyone trained … and each store may have someone who is specialised in an area where they can offer proficient advice to clients with specific needs which can be shared in the group. We remain abreast of the marine industry so that we can continue to meet and anticipate the growing demands of clients.

BF: Many persons think of the marine industry as an elite market. Do you find that the industry is growing or will it see a plateau and eventual decrease of interest? SRF: Yes, that belief does exist, especially as the people in the Caribbean saw the early industry dominated by expatriates. But it has changed in so many ways dramatically… and we have seen more young people getting involved in different areas within the industry and taking up the opportunities that will not be filled by expatriates even if that were the choice of the industry. The marine industry has such a wide range of areas of interest with opportunities to specialise … that would take more than a day to talk about it. … But I can tell you, that in St. Maarten, the marine industry contributes 15 per cent to the economy (calculated by the Central Bank) … and I don’t think it’s likely to be any less here in Antigua. When the hotel industry took off in Antigua, several businesses were sparked off from that … and the population understood hotels … but the marine industry is not as clearly understood … so people may not be aware of the long term sustainable job opportunities available. For one, it attracts a different type of tourist to the island, and they may have different needs unlike those in a hotel, but the market is there. We hope that the yachting sector will increasingly be seen as an integral part and contributor to the national economy. But it is a complex industry and it requires skilled people. The rewards are clearly there, not just in hard financial terms but also in terms of job satisfaction.

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FEATURE

Greeted with a Smile

June Stevens-Benjamin 20 years of unbroken service

A

s you enter the doors of the Budget Marine in Jolly Harbour, it is neither the comfort of the spacious environment nor the overwhelming feel at the vast variety of products offered that first strikes you. It is the warmth of that bright smile from June Stevens-Benjamin that welcomes you. Confessing that she’d never learned to swim, June has always been drawn to the sea. In fact her first job was within the yachting industry. “I’ve just always loved working near to the sea … I love being around boats, and I do enjoy going sailing every now and then … I once worked in town for about six months, and it made me so uncomfortable. I hated the commute … and it was just not for me. I’ve always wanted to be in the yachting business somehow,” she shares. June’s dream was granted when she was offered a job as a cashier, by then manager Vanroy “Festus” Isaac, when Budget Marine opened their doors. She remembers being asked for her opinions on matters within the store, and being made to feel a part of the team right away. Laughing, she recounts being left alone in the store after just three weeks. “It was a small area when I started. I was left to run the business by myself when my boss had to take a business trip to St. Maarten. …After he returned, he, along with the head officer, was happy to know that everything ran smoothly.” Staying involved and making herself busy where necessary, in addition to customer services, June also assists with accounts receivable and any other area she can be of service within the daily operation of the company. But with the opening of the new branch, June will take up the mantle once again, overseeing the daily operations at the English Harbour branch. Already, some clients have expressed

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their disappointment with not seeing her smile at the Jolly Harbour branch, while others look forward to having her closer to them. “With my personality, I just love meeting and greeting people … and when you’re the first person to interact with the client, it’s important to give a good impression,” June explains. “After a while you even build a relationship with clients where you can assist better with their needs, or even anticipate their needs before they know themselves. “But then there are the irritable clients, who just cannot be calmed. Even with the most disagreeable one, you have to remain calm for them … you can’t afford to lose your temper with the client … even if they may be in the wrong.” Recounting an uncomfortable situation, June explains, “I once had a client become quite irate when he discovered that his account had been put on hold. He’d not kept it up to date and I could not allow him to make any further purchases. Oh he went to town on me with that, but I remained calm, and tried to explain the situation with him. I wanted to help him, but I had to remain strong, but polite … this was my job after all.” Commenting on the company’s policy to train its staff, June acknowledges the vast depth of knowledge she’s acquired while working at Budget Marine – all deepening her love of boats and the ocean. “Training can be intense … but it’s worth it and so important … and I’ve learned so much directly from Mr Isaac and Mr Ferron.” Enjoying 20 years of unbroken service, June laughs as she adds, “If I wasn’t comfortable or happy here, I would not have even stayed 10 years, but if I could get 20 more years, there’s no place I’d rather spend them than right here at Budget Marine.”


Louisa Norris-Fordyce

Building upon teamwork

Louisa Norris-Fordyce country manager

J

oining the Budget Marine team at Jolly Harbour on 15 November, 2005, as a part-time bookkeeper, today Louisa Norris-Fordyce can be counted on as the Country Manager, although it’s a title she shies away from. Noting the tremendous teamwork that has accounted for the years of success of the company, while she may wear an administrative hat, she acknowledges the motivation and cooperation of the hardworking team that has been built. Admitting that she’s never really been a seafaring person, working two days a week as a bookkeeper had fit perfectly into her schedule at the time she joined the Budget Marine team. “While I had an extensive background in management and business, I felt it was time to acquire the academic qualifications to match my skills.” Pursuing her associate’s degree at the time, today Louisa holds a Bachelor Degree of Business Administration (Latin honours) in Business Management from Monroe College. “Working here has allowed me to put my skills into practice, but more so, it has certainly opened my eyes to the marine industry and I’ve grown to deeply appreciate it as a business and a passion,” Louisa shares, between emails and answering phone calls requiring her attention. To say that Budget Marine keeps her busy would be an understatement, but she enjoys the daily operations of the business, and has become indispensable to its efficiency... Discussing her journey within the company, Louisa shares, “I did start under the then manager Ulrica Lindstrom-Warner, who prior to vacation leave in 2006 presented me with a handbook … it was filled with information of sorts, such as numbers for contact persons in services we use, like the contact at LIME if the internet went down. … Now, no one was left ‘in charge’ per se, we, actually five of us operated as a team to run the business in her absence. … During that time, I stayed more than two days a week …

everyone had their role. Soon after we employed William Huffman, known as “Bill”, who was already working off and on with the company … He worked here from November 2006 until May 2007. … After Bill left, senior management recognised that we could continue operating the way we were as a team. Bestowed with the title Administrative Manager, I decided, we would keep the same format, we’d use the tools provided and just build on that … and that is how we are going to grow not only the company but ourselves as a team… gradually a cross functional team was formed to create stability, improve efficiencies and excitement in our jobs.” Now in their new building which affords Louisa an office, she maintains an open door policy. “Working as a team, we do have a mutual understanding and respect for the growth of the business ... so everyone within the team is empowered to make decisions within their limits.” Notably, the company’s drive for efficiency is modelled from owner Sir Robbie Ferron, who also commends Louisa’s role within the company as instrumental to its smooth operations. “Louisa can be described as indefatigable,” he states. And while some may find his meticulous nature challenging at times, Louisa notes that it is because of this that the business has been so successful and can today celebrate 21 years in Antigua and Barbuda. In fact, his personality reminds her very much of her own fathers, which allows her the ability to anticipate particular concerns and requests he may make. “It’s wonderful working with Robbie,” she states, “because he reminds me of my father, it’s easy to work along with him ... and I’ve learned so much from him over the last six years ... I would say that that was one of the things that makes working here so interesting ... no matter your position, you are constantly learning and more importantly understanding the importance of reducing risks.”

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FEATURE Having worked in Jolly Harbour for several years I’m no stranger to boats. However, it wasn’t until I started to work at Budget Marine that I became aware of the components involved in keeping a boat seaworthy. A cruising yacht has everything that’s in a home and more, but in a third of the space. Budget Marine is a good place to work; the atmosphere is friendly and it has gotten better since we moved into our new building. In the two plus years I have worked here I have gained a wealth of knowledge from my co-workers and customers, who come from all over the world. In the process new friends are made. Budget Marine products are of the highest quality and as a result there are constant new innovations and gadgets which you have to be aware of so there is always something new to be excited about. With Budget Marine having several locations across the Caribbean, I have had the opportunity to visit other locations and have come to realized that the marine industry is a vast yet closely knitted community, and Budget Marine provides a much needed service to that community.

Darius Defoe - Sales Floor Supervisor

The marine industry contributes significantly to the economy of Antigua and Barbuda, and the Caribbean as a whole and with Budget Marine being an intricate part of that industry. I feel as an employee of Budget Marine I’m doing my part to ensure the growth and success of the industry.

Nelsida Arias – Keeping it clean for 18 years

Louisa Norris-Fordyce Country Manager 82 || BusinessFocus BusinessFocus •• November/December2013 November/December2013 82

Very kind and a caring person, she has done much more than keep the store clean. Always on time, Nelsida has completed 18 years with Budget Marine. She starts her daily chores after ensuring all staff have their cup of tea. Nelsida can be depended on to keep the stock on shelves neatly packed and dusted creating a well merchandised appearance for customers.


Jolly Harbour team

Iaisha Dodds - Customer Service/ Accounts Receivable

Jerrod Warner Customer Service

Yanira Lopez Inventory Control

English Harbour team

Stephen Hector - Customer Service / Accounts Receivable

Shakeil Norris Inventory Control Assistant

June Stevens-Benjamin Senior Customer Service Representative BusinessFocus BusinessFocus • November/December • November/December 2013 2013 | 83 | 83


BUDGET MARINE, ANTIGUA

Inside the Budget Marine

English Harbour branch

Enjoying two harbours, a unique feature to Antigua’s growing yachting industry, Sir Robbie Ferron recognised the need for a ship chandlery and opened the doors to Budget Marine Antigua 20 years ago. Selecting Jolly Harbour, which docks the smaller yachts, the company has grown over the years, providing a much needed service, not only to the yachting industry, but in turn the island’s tourism industry as well. Budget Marine also financed the first travel lift in Jolly Harbour, which is still in operation. Notably, while exploration of new and exotic territories offer their own allure, those venturing to Antigua and Barbuda via boats also take one important factor into consideration the accessibility to items needed to restock and repair their boats. Beginning with just about 2000 items in stock 30 years ago when the first Budget Marine was opened in St Maarten, today, the Budget Marine boasts a 750-page catalogue with over 20,000 items covering a range of supplies for various sizes and needs of yachts. Budget Marine has since made strides in developing capacities in the super-yacht and larger yacht market, particularly with certain product categories, and so now in 2013, it is the perfect and logical time to venture into English Harbour where the larger yachts dominate the market. Additionally, one of the conveniences afforded to clients of Budget Marine is the promptness that items in stock at other branches can be shipped to Antigua for anyone docking in either harbour. Standing behind their selected brands, Country Manager Louisa Norris-Fordyce adds 84 |

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20 years of ‘Stocking what Sailors Want’ that both branches have already entered into a friendly wager to see which branch will do better. Recognising the importance of good communication within their network, which plays an important role in the high level of customer service they afford their clients, Budget Marine shares commendations to the LIAT services for urgent deliveries, along with the Dockside Brokerage;

that Budget Marine is cognisant of the fact that owning a boat is indeed a costly investment, and as such, their priority is not only to provide their clients with sound advice, but quality products. “The fact that you’re floating on water for weeks, even months with brief stops at a time … you cannot afford to be shy … as any repair is important … and this is where Budget Marine comes in … we are aware of this and strive to supply all needs to our clients … from basic items like rope and screws, to more exotic and luxury items. …It’s important to stay abreast of trends in the industry.” Having just opened the 13th branch in English Harbour, many clients are already expressing their excitement of having Budget Marine so close to them in that area of the island. Noting the projected increase in super-yachts to that harbour as well, Sir Ferron and his team are confident that this branch will not only uphold the mandate of the company, but better service a wider range of sailors. Laughing, Louisa adds

now known as Four Ltd., for their prompt and professional services to the company. “These companies understand the importance of the yachting industry … so you find that they exert


a level of expediency that allows us to maintain a high level of efficiency in the business and customer satisfaction.” Louisa also commends the support from the Customs department for the measures and directives implemented to allow the “quick release” of goods. “These approaches complement the other services and stimulate growth in an economy.” She adds.

More than Yachts Although sailors continue to patronise Budget Marine for their quality products, so too do other persons. Unknown to many, but certainly gaining its exposure, more and more fishermen, recreational boat owners and homeowners are flocking to the store to purchase some of these products. Offering a range from the affordable to exuberant pocket, more and more persons are realising that Budget Marine is not exclusive to yachts. They’ve also noticed an increase in homeowners and builders who source stainless steel materials from the store, including nails that can be used in galvanize sheets for roofs. Another popular purchase amongst homeowners and marine finishers is the cleaning agents in stock.

Poker winner: Budget Marine makes a presentation to the winners of the 2007 Poker Run Challenge.

Valentine regatta: BM Manager Louisa NorrisFordyce with Tanner Jones from the vessel Blue Peter

Popularly known for establishing the Heineken Regatta 33 years ago, Sir Robbie Ferron’s passion for sailing has become characteristic of the Budget Marine business. While they remain the Caribbean’s leading chandlery, their support can also be felt within the yachting industry today. Budget Marine has always focused its community outreach on marine related activities. For many years, they’ve sponsored several yachting events around the island. Organised about 20 years ago, Budget Marine continues to be the major force behind the Jolly Harbour Valentine’s Regatta. With efforts increased, this year’s regatta was a major success, and planning has long begun for the 2014 event, which should welcome even more participants and international recognition.

Sailing Along in High Spirits career opportunities within, Budget Marine has been a proud sponsor of the Antigua National Sailing Academy, directed by former Olympian Karl James, who is also the head coach at Antigua Yacht Club. Sir Robbie Ferron spoke highly of James’ passion of the sport and dedication to teaching the younger ones, also igniting their passion in the sport. In fact, a few students of the Academy have even gone on to coach teams in other islands. This past summer, Team Antigua, which James coached, sailed into victory at the 15th BVI Premier’s Cup International Youth Regatta. While Budget Marine continues to be an active and proud sponsor of marine activities and tournaments, the team is adamant about being good corporate citizens and are making plans to make their presence more known as they become more involved in community projects.

Recognising the growing interest in the yachting industry and the realisation of

Indeed, the local market has grown, and will continue to do so as more persons realise that Budget Marine caters for a wide range of clients. Happy to receive feedback, Budget Marine continues to cater to everyone from the highend to the pockets on a budget and in between. Always striving to satisfy their clients, they remain abreast of new trends offering varying brands of quality. BusinessFocus • November/December 2013 | 85 BusinessFocus • November/December 2013 | 85


Opportunities in the Yachting Sector for the Antigua Economy by Sir Robbie Ferron, Founder Budget Marine Group

The Antigua Yachting Industry is a natural fit for the country as a result of the very favourable geography the island is blessed with. As with every natural resource, however, effective management, investment and taxation management is essential to ensure these natural resources are utilized in a manner that provides the greatest economic benefits. The measurement of economic benefits incorporates all economic benefits and costs including employment, skill development, retention of value in the domestic economy and damage to the environment.

the indirect taxes to be waived - a regulation that is based on international agreements on the taxation of equipment and supplies to carriers.

In Antigua the yachting industry originated in English Harbour and has consistently catered in that part of the country to the most prestigious yachts that visited the Caribbean. In Jolly Harbour, a more modest clientele has helped capture a very different part of the same industry.

This structure has been an incentive for traders servicing the yachting industry to avoid keeping stock in the country and maximizing the trade through imports on demand for yachts. This structure has therefore incentivized traders who do not invest in buildings, employees etc in the domestic economy and disadvantaged those who do. The result has been that in respect of the supply of goods to the yachting industry, Antigua has ended up with much lower inventories on island than neighbouring islands. This has reduced the level of convenience to yachts and led to shorter stays in the country than would otherwise have been the case as they travel to neighbouring islands to benefit from the stock of goods on those islands.

The clientele that has been attracted to English Harbour has generally had high spending power and a high level prestigious aura that has benefitted the branding of Antigua. This clientele has had high expectations in respect of the service level and connected Antigua with some cutting edge marine technology and standards. This clientele has however been very seasonal. The clientele in Jolly Harbour, on the other hand, is generally a smaller boat size, but this boat size is generally less independent when requiring services. It is also less seasonal. It does not bring to Antigua the reputation delivered by the English Harbour clientele. Antigua has scored well in respect of delivering services to both categories of the yachting industry. 86 |

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The combination of the high level of indirect taxation and the opportunity for vessels travelling between jurisdictions to evade this tax has led to the country selling goods in inventory, stocked by local traders at high cost; whilst goods being imported on the “Yacht in Transit” basis have evaded taxation by Antiguan tax collectors.

The skill of varnishing,in particular, is a prominent one that has gained Antigua much notice and respect, but it is not the only skill that is of a high standard. Service industries, additionally, have matched their offering to the demands and developed the necessary skills to meet the demand of the world’s most luxury yachts and some lesser vessels . It is in the field of delivering goods that Antigua has limited itself particularly. Given that public funds are collected by indirect taxation rather than direct taxation has meant that the visiting yachts have been required to pay a relatively high cost of goods purchased in the country. As a result of this, competing destinations, that either had their taxation split between direct and indirect or mostly direct, tend to attract more business to the detriment of Antigua. The exception to this is when goods are imported into the country on the basis of “Ship/Yacht in transit” regulations that cause

It is in the interest of Antigua to make its offering to visitors more complete and competitive . This will immediately stimulate the business volume and will result in significantly increased investment in construction and extension of employment.


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Mapping a journey to success

to study in a language not my own, but rather the absence of my family and friends.” Having designed a “literal road map” of his life since age 10, Rich’s goal has always been to be “a double doctor by the age of 30... double doctor meaning holding both an MD and a PhD. I enjoy medicine at the community level, and my goals are firstly to obtain a masters degree in Public Health, and then a PhD in Health Policy and Management or International and Global Health.” With his excellent academic standing, Rich has been awarded the opportunity to study at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, England in January, where he’ll pursue his public health degree. “I hope to one day create a proper healthcare policy for the nation of Antigua and Barbuda or work for an NGO such as the UN or WHO.”

With an impressive portfolio, including being a trained pianist and violinist, and a former member of the National Youth Choir and National Youth Symphony Orchestra, as well as a former member of the Pathfinder Club, speaking fluent Spanish and conversational German, Rich Warner graduated from the Matanzas Faculty of Health Sciences in Cuba with a GPA of 4.62 in July, arguably becoming our nation’s currently youngest doctor at age 23. Receiving his scholarship to Cuba after his first year at the Antigua State College, although he admits there was some hesitancy, Rich grasped the opportunity to embark on a journey that would not only lead him to his professional career, but expose him to a different culture altogether. He shares, “Cuba was extremely different from Antigua with regards to freedom of expression and the lack of certain comforts in Antigua which we take for granted. However, I was fortunate to be in one of the more developed provinces. ...The lack of internet and technology was also an eye opener for me, going weeks without Facebook, twitter etc., and the absence of simple things such as Whatsapp.” Being young and studying in a foreign country does come with its challenges, as Rich discloses, “The hardest part about studying in Cuba wasn’t the tremendous task of studying medicine without up to date information or the fact that I had 88 || BusinessFocus BusinessFocus •• November/December2013 November/December2013 88

So does this aspiring public health care professional already have a few targets of change in mind for his beloved country? Indeed. Rich shares, “Without touching the issues facing that beautiful edifice at Michael’s Mount, our community clinics aren’t functioning the way they should. For instance, I think some of these clinics could be utilized on a 24-hour basis offering ‘free’ medical care to our populace rather than everyone flocking to MSJMC. “As the second most obese nation in the Caribbean, we have a lot of work to do with regards to promoting a healthy lifestyle. I would like to see more community based programmes geared to words the prevention of diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. Why should our healthcare system be based on curative medicine instead of a preventative approach?” Going a step further in his vision to combat such an issue, he adds, “Some will laugh when I give my opinion that government should not give anymore fast food franchises the right to ‘set up shop’ in our nation until we have tackled this issue of obesity. “There are so many other issues which need to be improved; and our country needs persons who are capable and willing to get the job done.”


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ECONOMY & TRADE FOCUS YOUTH FOCUS

Overview of

Regional Integration Integration in the Caribbean. In 1965 he penned, “These Islands did not start on the federal road in a fit of idleness. They started because it was clear that a Federation is the only possible solution of their problems.” Where resources are limited, regional integration provides an economic and political support to small states on development issues. Incidentally, there has been a demonstrated attempt to address development, as a whole, through the establishment of the Treaty of Chaguaramas. This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Treaty of Chaguaramas, a treaty with the aim of establishing a regional framework where goods, services, and people are allowed to move freely between member states to foster deeper integration. However, the aspiration of achieving a Caribbean Single Market and Economy has been a slow work-in-progress because the aim of regional integration involves some compromise by member states that should result in an improvement of standard of living for its citizens.

The inevitability of globalization, where there is a presence of increased interconnectivity and interdependence of sovereign states, has moved from a mere concept to an impactful reality in the global economic system. Globalization promotes International Cooperation, where states are dependent on each other for mutually benefitting outcomes. The aim to ‘level the playing field’, means that every state has equal competitive opportunities in their capacity. However, not every state has equal opportunities to reap desired benefits in the global village. Each state differs in size and natural resources which often determine their productive capacities. For example, a single Caribbean state does not have an equal impact in the global economy in comparison to the United States. For this reason, it is important for the region to collaborate, pool their resources together to increase its bargaining power and its general impact in global economy. With this in mind, pioneer in Caribbean Development, Sir Arthur Lewis, has constructed the usefulness of Regional 90 |

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As a student at the University of the West Indies, I have a greater understanding for the need of deeper regional integration in the Caribbean, but I often observe the inertia to achieve this goal because there is great concern of erosion of state sovereignty. Although true, the erosion of state sovereignty should not distort the significant meanings of Regional Integration. Regional integration is defined as the reduction of any elements that would limit the free flow of goods, services, and people across the region. This process is an effective means of facilitating trade between the islands which will ultimately foster co-operation and dependency. For instance, a single Caribbean state cannot provide all the resources it needs for sustainable development and as such, each member state specializes in its most efficient sector. In this case, at quid pro quo, there is a mutual exchange of goods and services between states. For the private sector, full integration gives rise to an enlarged market which produces goods and services beyond the confines of a single state to a market of at least 14 million people. On one hand, this will encourage firms to enhance production capacity for export and on the other, consumers will benefit from an improved quality of goods and services.


Regional Integration also has a mandate of the free movement of people, which would address high unemployment rates in one state. For example, the liberalized framework would increase job opportunities for people across the region; a qualified national from one state has an equal opportunity to work in another member state without a technical barrier such as acquiring a work permit . Furthermore, regional integration gives small economies a sense of security and stability in the dynamic global economy. Tantamount in importance is the overarching governing structure and support Regionalism would create. Where states are unable to resolve issues that are complex due to limited resources and capacity, there is direct support from regional institutions for greater clarity and predictability. For example, Dr. Mitchel, The Honorable Prime Minister of Grenada, quipped that the hurricane devastation in his country has made regional integration a religion for Grenada in 2004. The region extends its support through its principle organ, Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency. These are some of the most prominent benefits of Regional Integration however the benefits are man. The movement towards an Economic Union has been a glacial process due to a plethora of challenges. One major challenge is the reluctance of nation states to compromise and sufficiently contribute to the bigger picture of regional integration. Erosion of sovereignty continues to over shadow the long term benefits of integration and promotes the misconception that key industries will wither from the authority of the state. Alternatively, Regional Integration should be viewed as an avenue for economic and social development. It facilitates trade in goods and services that provides an increased access to commodities for nation states. As a student of International Trade Policy, I have made it my personal commitment to advocate the positive views of Regional Integration by highlighting and educating people that the Single Market and Economy is indispensable to sustainable growth and development. Javier D. M. Spencer is a present student at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, currently pursuing a Master of Science in International Trade Policy. He is passionate about the Regional Integration and Development, hence his present choice of study; with hopes of contributing the further development of CARICOM. He aspires to become a Trade Negotiator or Diplomat for his country and also the region. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Management (International Business) at Cave Hill and graduated in October with Honours. Javier has always had a complementary balance with work and leisure. During his Undergraduate years at Cave Hill, He serves as a Liaison Officer for the Combined Territories Students Association and the Public Relations Officer of the Rotaract Club of Cave Hill. In 2010, he graduated from the Antigua State College with the prestigious Principals Award. At ASC He also served as the President of the Antigua State College Club. In 2008, he graduated for Antigua Grammar School. Javier ‘s hobbies include playing tennis, playing the piano and Latin dancing.

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ECONOMY & TRADE FOCUS YOUTH FOCUS

McCoy wins Live Talent Pitch at Black Career Fair next creative hire during a three-minute on-stage “elevator pitch.” A student at the Atlanta Campus of Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) majoring in advertising, with minors in Motion Media Design and Book Arts, Danielle was selected for this challenge. “My friend ... convinced me to audition for the Live Talent Pitch competition. I was really nervous about doing it but I think in the back of my mind I really wanted people, specifically all these industry folks to know that I’m really passionate about wanting to be in the advertising industry and genuinely communicating/ connecting with people. ...I auditioned via Skype and made it to the final pitch. Then, in front of an audience and a panel of about 15 judges from a variety of agencies, I pitched myself in four minutes,” she shares. With 15 finalists, of whom the judges would unanimously choose four winners, Danielle admits that she did not expect to win. “Feels like there’s hope for me,” she laughs. “I know it’s cheesy but it’s hard to break into the advertising industry. And I hate to say it, but I’m black and I’m a female. I’m just going to continue to work hard and be honest and stay curious and humble. Heard a great quote from one of the speakers, ‘You’re only as good as the last great thing you’ve done.’ That’s motivation for me.”

Held September 23rd, 2013 in New York City, graduate and past head girl of the Antigua Girls’ High School Danielle McCoy joined hundreds of other college students and professionals looking for a career change to the advertising industry. The One Club’s Multicultural Career Fair called “(w)Here Are All The Black People”, created the opportunity for career hopefuls to meet with present industry creatives looking to give back and meet, engage with and hire new, diverse talent. The fair included portfolio reviews, elevator pitches, mentoring sessions and networking. The one-day event included testimonials from top creatives of multicultural backgrounds, workshops on how to best position yourself for the job market, portfolio reviews, and sessions with agency recruiters. Creating a forum to provide concrete, real world solutions to the lack of diversity in advertising creative departments, specially chosen participants were given the opportunity to tell a panel of some of the industry’s top recruiters and creative directors why they should be their 92 |

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Excited about her win, she explains that she had to convince the judges why she’d be a good hire. “The point I really tried to make was that the biggest reason I love advertising and art is because with every project, I’m always challenged to see things with ‘new eyes’, and I always try to bring that to the table. That way I get to be excited over and over again. And that fuels my passion. So I started my pitch by saying, ‘Sometimes our preconceptions limit our perceptions but if we readjust our gaze, we’ll see that there is possibility in the mundane.’ I took out a garbage bag and said, ‘a normal garbage bag transformed can be a poncho.’ Then I made a hole for my head and two for my arms then wore it for the rest of the pitch ... I ended by saying that I really strive to have the skills of an expert some day but I always want the outlook of a beginner because beginners have ‘new eyes’ and tend to see the possibility in things.” The winners received prizes from The One Club, in addition to coveted opportunities to be interviewed by the agencies represented by the judges. Agencies represented at the fair included Publicis Kaplan Thaler, Draftfcb, Amusement Park, Leo Burnett, Burrell and DDB. With plans to eventually return to Antigua and Barbuda to revolutionise the advertising industry, Danielle shared the opinion that “Antigua, and the Caribbean in general, can be such a force to be reckoned with in the ad industry. We just don’t have the resources. And so many of my friends and peers in Antigua are pursuing really creative careers, I think it’s time that we really try to develop the industry.”


Greenaway chosen for UGROW programme Damali Greenaway, a 21-year-old junior at the Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, currently majoring in Biology and Chemistry, was presented with the opportunity to do research a few months ago during the summer. Every year, a few students are chosen to do research through a programme known as UGROW (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Workshop), where they get to work along with various professors on potentially ground breaking research. Paired with fellow student Anne Lam, Damali was mentored by two very distinguished chemistry professors, Dr. Chris Hansen and Jinguo Shao. Not underetaking any small task, Damali explains that their “project dealt with synthesizing and characterizing tetraarylazadipyrromethene complexes which are basically complexes that could potentially destroy cancer cells when ingested into the body and activated by particular wavelengths of light.

“We managed to accomplish a lot during the five weeks of the programme, but because it was such a short time, we were not able to accomplish our goal. Presently, I am continuing my project with hopes of a near cancer breakthrough.” Landing her on the cover of her university’s magazine, although her ultimate goal is to do research in the discipline of genetics, cancer related research has now become a dream that, “in really optimistic spirits, feels accomplishable again in the future. I always wanted to do research but after actually doing [this programme], I can truly say that I have fallen in love with it. “I learnt how to be a ‘true’ scientist, being extremely meticulous and scrutinizing observations. It really is rare to be exposed to such great opportunities at small schools, like mine and I am quite grateful to Dr. Rincon, the miraculous female scientist behind the UGROW programme.”

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TOURISM FOCUS

Greater Awareness Needed to Combat the Effects of Climate Change on the Tourism Industry “Antigua and Barbuda needs to place more emphasis on awareness and the inculcation of best practices into the minds of the population with regards to Climate Change and its likely effects on tourism dependant nations such as ours.” These are the thoughts of Mr. Yendi Jackson on returning to Antigua and Barbuda after participating in the OECS/USAID Climate Change Project dubbed ‘Rallying the Region to action on climate change’. Topics that were discussed ranged from climate change impacts on the tourism sector, the economic contribution of small island resources to the tourism sector, sustainable land management and agriculture, adaptation measures for farming, maximising business benefits through building resilience and reducing risks to the tourism sector from climate change. According to Jackson, “We here at the Ministry of Tourism… we understand the importance of sustainable tourism and (the importance) of taking measures and steps to go about combating the climate change phenomenon; likewise our stakeholders. But the broader population may not fully grasp the concept and all of the difficulties and potential hazards that can be caused by climate change as well as the mitigation procedures that can be undertaken in order to combat these occurrences”. The sustainable tourism officer is of the belief that social media use would be the most effective vehicle for such an awareness campaign as a larger proportion of society would benefit because it is youth driven. “We need to focus more on our youth and not just at the tertiary and secondary level but at the primary and kindergarten age. If we get that engraved into their minds from an early age then we could influence the mindset of the new and upcoming generation,” he concluded. Based on reports coming out of the seminar, the region may produce less than 1 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions; however we are most vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change. Because of their geographical location, the islands in the Caribbean have low-lying coastal areas, steep slopes, fragile marine eco-systems and are in directly within the hurricane belt. Best practices that could be enforced are inclusive of the introduction of alternative energy solutions, enacting and enforcing stricter laws relating to land use and development, and a greater regional collaboration in an effort to combat the negative effects of the phenomenon which threatens small island economies. 94 |

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Sustainable Tourism Officer Mr. Yendi Jackson

Antigua participates in pilot exchange programme with Guadeloupe A six-member team from the tourism industry travelled to Guadeloupe on a two-week pilot exchange programme in October. The delegation was led by Anthea Watkins of the Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association (AHTA) with the other members being Vellie Rayne and Dajah Roberts of Jolly Beach Resort and Spa, Alana Michael of Jumby Bay, a Rosewood Resort and Shequela James and Latisha Edwards of the Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute (ABHTI). During the two-week exercise, the six were taught French by professors from the renowned university of La Sorbonne in Paris, France and will tour the territory in addition to interacting with local students. Watkins said simulations were be conducted as part of the intensive training that had been tailored to suit those taking part in the initiative. “We are receiving a lot of French guests from Martinique, Guadeloupe and now that the Canadian market is booming we expect a lot of French-Canadians to be coming to hotels so it’s always nice to have persons at the front desk or even in Food and Beverage who have a basic knowledge of speaking French,” the AHTA representative said. The programme is organised by the Institut de Cooperation Franco


Caraїbe (ICFC) managed by Madame Patricia Terriere, Le Club France and the AHTA. ICFC representative in Antigua Christiane Hansen said the course will be offered yearly with consideration being given to the introduction of “a programme in 2014 to train hotel employees in Antigua and Barbuda”. That initiative will be channelled though the ABHTI. The team from Guadeloupe is tentatively scheduled to visit the state in January next year. The exchange programme aims to strengthen cooperation, not only between Antigua and Barbuda and Guadeloupe but with Caricom as well.

Antigua and Barbuda represented at the World Airline Routes Development Forum 2013. Antigua and Barbuda tourism and airport officials combined their marketing efforts to attend the world’s largest aviation conference at the 19th World Routes Aviation Forum, hosted by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority. The country’s delegation included CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin C. James, Chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Airport Authority, Patrick Ryan, and General Manager of the Antigua and Barbuda Hotel and Tourist Association, Neil Forrester. The destination collaborated with the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) to ensure that it had a more formidable presence and representation of its interests at the forum.

prospective Airline partners in anticipation of an increased demand for the country’s tourism product. Each Airline was given a detailed presentation of the destination with particular emphasis on the new Airport terminal, which will be fully operational in 2014. The country’s International Airport, which handled over 800,000 passengers in 2012, will be able to facilitate two and a half times more that number of passengers upon completion. In addition to meetings with existing Airlines, such as United Airlines and British Airways, several new airlines were courted. These included Latin American carriers such as, GOL and COPA, who have already begun to service the region with direct flights from Brazil and Panama. The team also used the opportunity to meet with Airline officials from Jet Blue, Air France, Alitalia, and Sun Country Airlines to initiate business contacts and to ensure that Antigua and Barbuda remains firmly fixed on their radar as they look to expand airline routes throughout the region. Minister of Tourism, Hon. John H. Maginley indicated, “There has been a marked increase in demand for the destination following the recent major PR initiatives - The Bachelorette and The X-Factor. These popular Primetime TV programmes showcased the country to millions of television viewers in two of the islands’ largest source markets. The airlines which the country is currently engaging with would have already seen the spike in enquiries and demand for our product.” CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority confirmed that all the airlines executives who were engaged were keenly interested in the destination and the opportunities that it presented in light of the new terminal with its state- of-the-art facilities. “The tripartite approach with the Tourism and Airport Authorities, working in conjunction with the private sector Hotel Association, was the best way to engage new carriers. This sends the right message that all local stakeholders are in sync with regards to growing the nation’s vital tourism industry,” said James. For the upcoming winter season the destination has now secured additional airlift with daily flights on American Airlines from JFK New York, in addition to Miami. Virgin Atlantic will also increase its flights to four direct flights per week to Antigua. British Airways also returns to a daily schedule for the upcoming winter season and will increase its summer flights next year from five to six. The destination will also, for the first time, see Thomas Cook operate a once-weekly service out of Manchester. This boost in UK flights will return the country to pre-crisis airlift seat numbers from the vital UK market, which traditionally yields a longer stay-over visitor. From December 2013, Antigua will also receive two flights per week from Guadeloupe via Air Antilles Express on Mondays and Thursdays. This code share agreement between Corsair and Air Antilles Express will open up the opportunity for more French tour operators to sell packages to the destination.

The team conducted a series of back-to-back The improved airlift into Antigua and Barbuda for the upcoming winter season demonstrates meetings with existing Airline partners that now a renewed confidence in the islands as a premier tourist destination from its long-standing service the twin-island state, as well as new, and new airline partners. BusinessFocus • November/December 2013

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HEALTH & WELLNESS

HEALTH LEADERS

From The Americas Support Universal Health Coverage Health leaders from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and PAHO/WHO Member States expressed support for universal health coverage, on the opening day of the 52nd session of the PAHO Directing Council at the end of September. In her welcoming remarks, PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne told delegates from throughout the Americas that health is central to economic development, peace and security and that universal health coverage provides the best overarching framework for efforts by PAHO and its member countries to advance health. “Our Member States are showing that universal health coverage is not only for the wealthiest countries. They are showing that it is within reach of countries throughout the Americas. Each country will take its own path to advance this goal, but we can all aspire to achieve it,” she said. The guidance and support from representatives of PAHO member countries at this week’s meeting will be critical to health progress going forward, Etienne noted, adding that deliberations at the meeting “will direct development priorities and the flow of resources for decades to come. And how those resources flow will affect how the lives of people in our region will be shaped.” Also present for the opening session was WHO’s Director-General Margaret Chan. She praised the countries of the Americas for 96 |

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their global leadership in public health and urged delegates to the Directing Council to ensure that the region continues to exercise such leadership as it advances toward universal health coverage. “The Region of the Americas has long led the world in primary health care, and we expect the same leadership as countries of the world— at all levels of development—make the commitment to universal health coverage,” said Chan. This includes ensuring protection for “the poorest of the poor,” she said. Chan also praised PAHO and its member countries for their leadership in fighting noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and in advancing tobacco control, which she termed “the most effective intervention— the best buy” against NCDs. She called on the delegates to stand with countries such as Uruguay, which are under attack by the tobacco industry for trying to implement tobacco control measures. “No country where their leaders are standing up and taking action to protect their people’s health should be stopped and sued. Do you agree with me,” Chan said to a round of applause. Nils Daulaire, assistant secretary for global affairs of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), said that universal health coverage is a “shared priority throughout the Americas.” “Here in the United States, President Obama’s health-care law has put us on the cusp of reaching a major milestone in progressing toward that goal,” he said. He noted that the new health insurance “exchanges” that become available this week under the law “will put


health coverage within reach of millions of American citizens who do not have coverage.” Daulaire welcomed the region-wide consensus on universal health coverage as a shared priority. “Each nation will take its own path,” he said, “but we have come together to promote equitable access to quality health care.” Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Social Sector Manager Héctor Salazar-Sánchez said the IDB would support the countries of the Americas in advancing universal health coverage as a framework for reducing health inequities, tackling NCDs, and addressing the persisting challenge of neglected tropical diseases. “To overcome these pending challenges, the IDB will support countries in their commitment to advance toward universal access to health services and promote integrated strengthening of health systems, multi-sectoral work, and approaches based on the social and environmental determinants of health, while stimulating innovation and efficiency in the use of financial resources,” said Salazar-Sánchez. José Miguel Insulza, secretary-general of the Organization of American States (OAS), noted that the Region of the Americas is

on track to meet the majority of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. “This is due, among other things, to the coordinated joint action of national, regional and international organisations,” he said. He cited the role of PAHO and the OAS in helping Haiti confront cholera and in the area of institutional strengthening. He also thanked PAHO for its contributions to the joint report on the drug problem in the Americas, which concludes, among other things, that reducing drug consumption requires a public health approach. Insulza called on PAHO to continue working with the OAS in this area. The PAHO Directing Council meets once a year, except in those years when the Pan American Sanitary Conference (PAHO’s supreme governing authority) meets, to discuss regional health issues and to set PAHO’s policies and priorities. Delegates to the meeting include the health authorities of PAHO’s 35 Member States as well as representatives of its four Associate Members and two Observer States. PAHO is the world’s oldest international public health organisation. It works with all the countries of the Americas to improve the health and quality of life of their peoples.

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HEALTH & WELLNESS

The Caribbean College of Family Physicians -Who we are and what we doBy Dr. J. Humphreys MD

As far back as I can recall, I have always wanted to be a doctor. It was not an easy read for me being the first in my family to have this ambition. The lack of financial support and the reduced expectations of many who improperly muddle along with the notion that only certain classes and groups could attain the title “Doctor” were all mounting deterrents. Nevertheless, I forged along with my dreams and here I am today: an established physician making my contribution to country; not without challenges however, but challenges are at best motivators. Through the guidance and support of senior doctors like Dr. Eumel Samuel, Dr. Sonia Roache and Dr. Glenville Liburd, my resolved was strengthened. The “Primary Care/Family Doctor” is the patient’s advocate; who forges that impenetrable lifelong relationship with the patient, and who in essence becomes that trusted doctor who is like family. The Family Doctor is an integral and vital part of the healthcare system and becomes that individual who the other specialists rely upon for primary diagnoses and direction in the management of a patient. In other words, the Family Doctor institutes that foundation upon which other specialist care is established. Like any viable infrastructure, if the foundation is not properly secured then the entire structure is weak. So, the Family Doctor is a useful entity in the management of patients. According to the Australian body, Family Doctors/General Practitioners; being the single largest specialty in medicine: -Are key figures in the community and have a responsibility to provide care to all peoples; regardless of age, gender, race, affiliation or socioeconomic standing -Are essential in delivering truly holistic, community-based medicine -Play a crucial role in preventative health and chronic disease management, and -Play an integral part in providing health education in their communities. Family Doctors and General Practitioners are the cornerstones of all modern health care systems. They are an integral component in both the provision and the delivery of patient primary care and the coordination of other health services. Notwithstanding this, their importance in modern day health care has been poorly defined and understood. One of the bodies that has led the bandwagon in promoting the interest of family physicians is the Caribbean College of Family Physicians (CCFP); the regional Family Practitioners representative body which was founded in November of 1987 in Jamaica where the head office and central secretariat are still located. CCFP was accepted into CARICOM in June 1992 as a Liaison Organization and was granted Observer Status on the Council of Regional Ministers of Health and Social Services Delivery. Later in October of 2007, CCFP became a Full Member of The Council of

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the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) which is recognized by the World Health Organization as the international organization for family doctors. This entitles CCFP and its membership to reciprocity with sister organizations worldwide. True to its mandate, CCFP promotes/protects the interest of Family Practitioners across the Caribbean while stressing a united approach in promoting educational activities and public awareness regarding the important role they play within the health care system. This is reaffirmed in its motto, “Cooperating For Excellence”. CCFP’s passion for education is seen in its devotion to planning and implementing CME (Continuing Medical Education) events, where family physicians can upgrade their knowledge and skills. This charge is ably led by Dr. Colin Alert (CCFP’s CME coordinator). Completing a set amount of CMEs yearly is required to maintain membership within CCFP. On May 19, 2013, Family Medicine Practitioners around the globe, for the third time, celebrated World Family Doctors Day. This commemorative day was pioneered through a collaborative effort by the General Practice Student Network (GPSN) and the General Practice Registrars Australia (GPRA); to celebrate the critical role Family Medicine and Family Doctors/General Practitioners play within the healthcare sector. WONCA unanimously approved the creation of “World Family Doctor Day” and it was officially launched on 19 May 2010 by the World President, Professor Chris van Weil in the opening session of the 19th World Conference in Cancun. Mexico. WONCA names a day each year as World Family Doctor Day and encourages its regions and member organisations to acknowledge this day in their own special way. In so doing, it is hoped that the role and importance of Family Medicine is clearly defined and recognised and as such the value of Family Doctors/ General Practitioners within the structure of medicine is a major focus. With mounting awareness campaigns perhaps the landscape of misconception can be changed and the Family Doctor can be truly empowered in his/her field of “specialised” healthcare. More information on the CCFP can be found at www.caribgp.org. Family Doctors are encouraged to join CCFP. Dr. Humphreys can be reached at 268-561-2124 or email: drjhumphreys@gmail.com. Dr. J. Humphreys is an Antiguan physician with an office at the Belmont Medical and Surgical Complex. He is completed postgraduate training with the University Of Edinburgh College of Medicine/Royal College Of Physicians of Edinburgh and was the WONCA Featured Family Doctor of the Month in September 2012. Dr. Humphreys is the Young Doctor Representative for CCFP Antigua Chapter.


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events 2013 CCAA’S 37TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE ON THE CARIBBEAN & CENTRAL AMERICA CARIBBEAN MEETING & INCENTIVE TRAVEL EXCHANGE

(CMITE)

20 – 22 November, 2013 ,Washington, D.C THE event for buyers and sellers ofAnnual incentive travel. on the Caribbean and Central Caribbean-Central American Action’s Conference September 15-18, 2013 at The Cove Atlantis in Bahamas.for those working toAmerica continues to be the premier internationalthe conference Caribbean Meeting & Incentive Travel Exchange (CMITE) brings together buyers wards the economic development of the Caribbean Basin. and suppliers servicing the Caribbean meeting and incentive market. For further information: http://www.c-caa.org/ CMITE is an invitation-only, appointment-based event. Apply online. For further information visit their website: WINESTOCK AS PART OF THE FOOD & WINE MONTH www.caribbean.incentivetravelexchange.com

FCCA CRUISE CONFERENCE 24th November, 2013 Nonsuch Bay Resort & TRADESHOW ForSeptember further information: www.nonsuchbayresort.com 30 - October 4, 2013, Cartagena de Indias Convention Center, Cartagena, Colombia. For many cruise executives, destinations, suppliers and tour operators, the annual ANTIGUA CHARTER YACHT FCCA Cruise Conference & TradeSHOW Show is the premier industry event of the year to meet with key industry players, analyze trends and discuss current issues. It is 6 – because 12 December, Dockyard,byEnglish Harbour that nearly 1,200 cruise of the 2013, uniqueNelson’s forum provided the Conference Forindustry further Info: www.antiguayachtshow.com partners, including approximately 100 cruise executives, attend each year. For further information visit their website: www.f-cca.com GUYEXPOTOURISM: 2013 – Guyana’s PremierFORUM Trade Fair & Exposition CARIBBEAN THE ENERGY PUNTA CANA October 3 – 6, 2013 at the National Exhibition Site, Sophia Georgetown, Guyana Dominican Republic 10 – the 11 December, 2013 Being hosted under Theme: “Advancing Productivity through Innovation, TheModernisation Energy Forumand (CTEF) is the first to gather with the hospitality, and finance Expansion” andevent in partnership the Guyanaenergy Manufacturing & sectors to explore in concrete howtheir Caribbean resorts and hotels can lower their Services Association as theyterms celebrate 50th Anniversary. electricity billslargest throughTrade the implementation world-class energyinand Guyana’s and Investment ofExposition – renewable GuyExpo began 1995. energy CTEF, which is co-hosted by the IDB locally and theproduced IFC, will provide Thissavings public/programs. private partnership event which showcases goods unprecedented to an actionable hotel case-studies to financing and sustained technoand services,access became annual activity in 2004 andand is now the longest logical solutions. exhibition in the Caribbean. ForFor further Info: www.caritourismenergyforum.com further information contact the GUYEXPO Secretariat at www.guexpo.net WORLD TRAVEL MARKET 2013 4 – 7 November 2013,ExCel, London, UK CARIBBEAN TRAVEL MARKETPLACE This leading global event for the travel industry is a vibrant must attend business – to event2014 presenting a diverse range of destinations and industry sectors to UK 12 –business 14 January, and international travel Centre, professionals. It is a unique opportunity for the for the whole Montego Bay Convention Jamaica to meet, network, negotiate and conduct business under one roof. Forglobal furthertravel Info:trade www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com For further information : www.wtmlondon.com

CARIBBEAN ASSOCIATION OF BANKS INC – 40th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING CONFERENCE CANTO’S 30TH ANNUALand GENERAL MEETING (AGM 13 – 16 November 2013, Sandals Grande St Lucian Spa & Beach Resort, Pigeon 12 –Island 14 January, 2014Gros Islet, Saint Lucia. Causeway, Montego BayAnnual Convention Centre, Jamaica The 40th General Meeting and Conference will be hosted Under the Theme For“Redefining further Info:Strategy www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com – The Leadership Challenge”. The Conference will address

issues that will influence regional and global financial policies impacting member states. For further information visit their website: www.cab-inc.com

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MAJOR MOVES Richard Pybus appointed West Indies’ Director of Cricket Richard Pybus, the former Pakistan and Bangladesh coach, has been appointed West Indies’ director of cricket. Pybus will provide cricketing expertise to help develop West Indies’ regional and international cricketers, over a three-year period starting 1 November 2013. WICB Chief Executive Michael Muirhead said Pybus was chosen after reviewing several applicants. “Securing the services of Richard is a major coup for the WICB,” Muirhead said. “I look forward to Richard joining us in Antigua and enhancing the work which we are doing, so as to ensure that all the necessary structures are in place to allow West Indian cricketers to develop and flourish. He has extensive knowledge in designing and managing successful cricket development systems both at the grassroots and elite levels, and we look forward to him building on the work we have already done.” Pybus said he was keyed up for the job. “I am particularly looking forward to working with the West Indies teams, the first-class sides, the High Performance Programme and the educational structures, to ensure a rigorous, competitive system that feeds through elite players to international level.” Apart from two stints with Pakistan, and most recently a very short one with Bangladesh. Pybus has coached extensively in South Africa, at the franchise level. In the West Indies, he will be based at the WICB secretariat in Antigua.

The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association ( C H T A ) has named hospitality industry leader Jeff Vasser to the position of Director Ge ne r a l/ CEO of the organization. Vasser joins the CHTA after serving since 2002 as the President of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority (ACCVA). While there he oversaw the day-to-day operation of the authority’s management/administration, convention sales, marketing, media relations, and tourism divisions, as well as its approximately 60 employees, the 14,000-seat Boardwalk Hall and the 500,000-square-foot Atlantic City Convention Center. In his new position, Vasser will be responsible for helping to manage and grow CHTA’s role as the voice of the Caribbean hospitality industry for the development of the region in the highly competitive environment of international tourism. He replaces Alec Sanguinetti who retired at the end of January after 19 years with the organisation, nine of which were as Director General/CEO. According to Richard J. Doumeng, CHTA’s President, Vasser was chosen after a comprehensive search that saw interest from more than 100 wellqualified candidates. During his tenure in Atlantic City, Vasser helped oversee consistent conventions sales production growth and implement several initiatives that impacted the development of the city as a tourism destination. These included sports activities that brought the A-10 college basketball tournament, ECAC Men’s College Hockey championship, American Hockey League All-Star and

regular season games, and an NBA preseason game to historic Boardwalk Hall. Vasser was also a proponent of sustainability in the seaside destination and oversaw the Atlantic City Convention Center’s installation of the largest single roof solar panel array, which generates 26 per cent of the building’s energy. Prior to joining the ACCVA, Vasser held positions with major hospitality companies, including Choice Hotels International, Laventhol & Horwath and Four Seasons Hotels. Vasser also served as Chief Financial Officer for Cipriani International, SA, in New York City and was a Senior Consultant for the Public Sector/Gaming and Entertainment Group for Deloitte & Touche Consulting Group.

under the age of 30.

T o u r i s m Officer within the Antigua and Barbuda T o u r i s m Authority’s UK Office, Joel Henry has been recognised as one of the UK Travel Industry’s 30 high fliers

The “30 under 30 scheme” launched by Travel Trade Gazette, the industry’s leading travel trade magazine, shines the spotlight on the industry’s most inspiring young people who have made an outstanding contribution to their business. Henry was nominated alongside other young people across the travel industry, including tour operators, travel

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MAJOR MOVES agencies, and young entrepreneurs. Henry, started his travel career within the aviation industry aged 16. He joined the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s UK team in 2009. UK Director of Tourism Hilary Modeste said: “Joel has grown into a real professional in the travel industry. I am not surprised Travel Trade Gazette has recognised Joel among the top 30 young professionals in the travel industry in the UK.” With responsibility for marketing and business development within the UK office, Henry works with trade partners to create strategic and tactical initiatives to increase the number of UK and Ireland visitors to the islands. In addition to his duties within the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s UK Office, Henry sits on the Board of Directors for the Caribbean Tourism Organisation UK Chapter.

Dr. Alok Kumar of Barbados received the 2013 Fred L. Soper Award for Excellence in Public Health Literature as lead author for the paper

“Epidemiological trends and clinical manifestations of dengue among children in one of the Englishspeaking Caribbean countries.” The paper describes the epidemiology and disease characterisation of dengue—a rapidly emerging Caribbean public health problem—in Barbados for the first time ever. The paper quantified dengue’s mortality and morbidity rates

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among children. Dr. Kumar teaches and conducts research at the University of the West Indies in Barbados. The fifth annual Awards for Excellence in Inter-American Public Health, sponsored by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF), were presented on September 30 during a special event held at the Organization of American States (OAS). The awards are presented yearly to recognise individuals and organisations that have made major contributions to public health in areas including health leadership, health literature, veterinary public health, and universal health care in the Americas. In presenting the awards, PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne said the honorees “truly provide inspiration for us to continue our work and for the new generation of public health leaders of the future.” Joining Etienne to present the awards were acting U.S. Surgeon General Boris Lushniak and acting PAHEF CEO Eleanor Brtva. Mr. Dereck A n t h o n y Springer has been appointed as the new D i r e c t o r of the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP). Mr. Springer, a public health practitioner, behavioural scientist and strategic manager brings to the position 20 years of experience in the health

sector, focusing on HIV and mental health. His extensive experience in policy, management and programme implementation at the national and regional levels has been facilitated by his work with civil society, government, regional and international technical assistance agencies. Prior to this appointment Mr Springer served as Strategy and Resourcing Officer, in the PANCAP Coordinating Unit, CARICOM Secretariat, providing broad-based leadership to PANCAP’s resource mobilisation and strategic planning platform. He also had responsibility for the management of the PANCAP Coordinating Unit’s component of the Global Fund Round 9 Grant. He previously served as a regional consultant in several health and development programmes, and as the national coordinator of Voluntary Counselling and Testing for the Ministry of Health Guyana and as UNAIDS’ Focal Point in Guyana. He was also the senior advisor at the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Global AIDS Program. Mr. Springer who began his public health career as a volunteer counsellor at the Genito-Urinary Medicine Clinic, Guyana, has a deep understanding of, and sensitivity to the current issues that PANCAP is grappling with and is deeply committed to a partnership which translates evidence to real change for people on the ground. In addition to the Master of Public Health degree Mr. Springer earned from the University of Nottingham, England, he also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Drug and Alcohol Policy and Intervention from the University of London, England. PANCAP was set up by regional governments in 2001 to coordinate the Caribbean response to HIV and AIDS.


MAJOR MOVES Sir Hilary Beckles, Principal and Pro ViceChancellor of the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI), has been appointed a Special Adviser to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. The UN’s top official wrote to Beckles late last month inviting him to be a member of the recently-established Scientific Advisory Board which will advise the Secretary General and executive heads of other UN organisations on science, technology and innovation for sustainable development. He said of his appointment: УThis is a great personal honour and a signal recognition for the university. УI have worked for many UN organisations over the years but to be an adviser to the Secretary General, in this new way, on sustainable development is special. Beckles will join with internationallyrenowned scientists from the fields of natural, social and human sciences on the board, which has been mandated to Уstrengthen the linkages between science and policy and to ensure the latest scientific findings are reflected in high-level policy discussions within the UN systems.

(Rio+20) in Brazil in June 2012. The board will function under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Beckles was previously appointed in March to the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sports which advises the Commonwealth Secretariat and Commonwealth governments on sport policy.

Cable and W i r e l e s s Appoints New CEO as of January 2014 Cable & Wireless Communications Plc (CWC), the parent company of LIME, recently announced the appointment of Phil Bentley as Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Tony Rice, with effect from January 1, 2014. Bentley was previously Managing Director at British Gas, the UK’s leading energy and services provider between 2007 and 2013. Prior to this he was Managing Director, Europe and Group Finance Director at Centrica plc and served on its Board since 2000. Rice has decided to step down as CEO, ahead of the establishment of CWC’s new executive office in Miami, Florida, and will leave the Board at the end of 2013.

His appointment is for two years with the possibility of renewal for a further two years. It comes when he is heading a science and technology drive at Cave Hill as it transitions towards becoming a research-oriented university.

Bentley will take the Company’s strategy of establishing CWC as the leading provider of mobile, fixed line and broadband communications services in Latin America and the Caribbean region forward, the release also said.

The advisory board was one of the recommendations coming out of a highlevel panel on global sustainability, co-chaired by the former president of Finland, Tarja Kaarina Halonen, and South African President Jacob Zuma, which was formed in the lead-up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development

CWC is investing in its operations in the region, particularly in mobile data, highspeed broadband and customer experience systems, as well as considering strategic acquisition opportunities. It has also committed to reducing operating costs by US$100 million over the next two years.

Mr. Karim Edwards holds a BSc Accounting and Finance f r o m University of Cienfuegos, Cuba. He joined the Anjo Group of Companies in January 2008 as Assistant to the Finance Director and continues to serve in that capacity. As part the company’s succession plan, Mr. Edwards works directly under the Finance Director handling all accounting matters of the Anjo Group of Companies. He is committed to the sustenance and continuity of the group’s legacy of excellence. Mr. Edwards previously served at KPMG Eastern Caribbean, in the capacity of an auditor. Socially, he is a founding member of the non-profit organisation Cuban Universities Alumni Inc (CUA Inc) where he serves as a director and treasurer. This organisation’s main objective is to provide students with the requisite information linked to what their priorities ought to be in an effort to build a solid foundation and achieve success at University level. CUA Inc., in fulfilling its mandate, has held numerous career exposure sessions at secondary schools across the island, where Mr. Edwards has facilitated forums on finance and accounting.

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To provide a range of quality customized, personal and business management goods and services to meet the clients need Marketing & publication, project implementation, management and coordination, wholesale& retail importation of goods and quick book service provider Marketing and retail service Property Holding

Manna Trading Ltd

Trendciti Antigua Ltd Marceliot Holding Company Ltd Macy Limited Island Living Investment Services Ltd. Gaps Construction Yida International Investment Antigua Limited Blue Pearl Real Estate Ltd Antigua Hot Properties Limited A.J. Eco Friendly Building Products Corporation RPJP Antigua Investment Inc. PMP Eastside Ltd

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BusinessFocus • November/December2013

Real estate marketing, construction & property development Investment services, Real Estate sales, marketing & concierge services Construction Real Estate, Marketing, Construction and Property Development Real Estate Real Estate Manufacture, distribution and sale of construction aggregates and products Vehicle rental management Management and construction of property. Importers and general

Directors Fausto Fattarelli Derrick Brenczewski Jesus Smith John Lewis Hinzman Rhory D. McNamara Daniel J. O’connell Damien A. O’Donahoe Samuel Spencer

Lydia Francine Lewis Graig Lewis

Taryn St. Louis Craig Christopher Gavin Christopher Amos Pradelli Susanna Miglioli P. Ita Gaye Hechme Paul Papadopoulos Gina Papadopoulos Cid Wade Yida Zhang Patricia Lake Loreana Giov Lorena DeDe Giovanini Addison Cornelius Fitzroy Caesor Ronald T. Patterson Charles Peter Rippon Charles Paul Rippon Merlene Rippon


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Business Focus Antigua Issue 50  

‘Tis the season of celebrations! We are thrilled to end the year on a high note of elation as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Budget Ma...

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