Page 1

THE STAR BUSINESSWEEK MARCH 24, 2018

WWW.STLUCIASTAR.COM

US bans trade in Venezuela’s digital currency

The US added another weapon to its armoury of sanctions against Venezuela on Monday by prohibiting all US trade in the petro, a digital currency launched by the government of Nicolás Maduro this year in a bid to skirt earlier US measures. Page 3

BECOMING BUSINESS-FRIENDLY CARIBBEAN STATES MUST LOOK TO WIDESPREAD REFORMS TO CLIMB THE ‘EASE OF DOING BUSINESS’ RANKINGS AND ATTRACT VITAL INVESTMENT BY CATHERINE MORRIS, STAR BUSINESSWEEK CORRESPONDENT

The role of the private sector in encouraging economic growth cannot be overstated. Generating jobs, investing in infrastructure, driving innovation and creating entrepreneurial opportunities are all vital components of a healthy economy, driven in large part by private investors. But attracting those investors isn’t easy. Especially in the Caribbean where the business climate has remained stagnant for many years and Ease of Doing Business markers are notoriously weak. Continued on page 4

US-Taiwan relations warm in face of Beijing protests New US legislation promoting increased engagement with Taiwan is set to become law, in the latest sign of support for the Taipei government in the face of mounting Chinese pressure. Page 7


2

THE STAR BUSINESSWEEK

MARCH 24, 2018

WWW.STLUCIASTAR.COM

WHAT IS THE VALUE OF CARICOM TO CURACAO AND SINT MAARTEN (AND TO ALL CARIBBEAN NATIONS)? BY ED KENNEDY, STAR BUSINESSWEEK CORRESPONDENT

This contributed to why many Britons felt the EU lost focus on preventing continental war and growing economies, and instead obsessed over nanny state policy that would ultimately see a humble jug of oil outlawed in British restaurants. But Britain has long flirted with isolationism from Europe. Similarly, nobody could fairly say that US politics is a leading example of bipartisan consensus right now. It certainly is high octane in the era of Donald Trump but no state governors are to lead a secession movement. The declaration that big institutions are at an end may grab a headline but has little substance below the surface, even if turbulence lies ahead.

The STAR Businessweek BY CHRISTIAN WAYNE – EDITOR AT LARGE

The government of Saint Lucia, in a matter of days, is expected to begin debating the nation’s proposed budget for the 2018/2019 cycle. I say ‘expected’ with an air of caution because although the agenda may call for a hearty discussion on the sitting-government’s proposed fiscal initiatives, it won’t necessarily discourage the characteristically frivolous outbursts which have become ‘expected’ from this day’s opposition cabinet, and while past events aren’t always predictors of future ones, we do tend to move rather circularly in this country. I recall last year several opportunities that were absolutely squandered by the leader of the opposition when instead of attempting to debunk the Prime Minister’s inherent and unrealistically peachy-peachy forecasts (known retroactively, of course, as ‘misspeaks’ and definitely not ‘overexaggerations’), he chose instead to bemoan the V-word while whining that one politician told another politician that he was going to make another politician ‘cry’. And while the V-word certainly wields great power in many houses beyond those strictly parliamentarian, my advice to the leader of the opposition would be to query how it is that the very man who proclaimed that he will ‘run the government like a business’ saw Saint Lucia drop an entire 5 places in this year’s Ease of Doing Business ranking measured during the second year of his term. The World Bank’s famous international ranking is used for many purposes and by many parties but its true intention has been lost along the way. The Ease of Doing Business ranking, contrary to popular belief, is not a measure of how easy it is to do business in a foreign country; it’s a ranking based on how easy it is to do business in YOUR country. While it is certainly weighed in the investment decision-making of foreign investors, the ranking is designed to show how easy (or how difficult, if you live in Saint Lucia) it is to do business as a local. For more on Saint Lucia’s shameful, year-over-year declining performance, read our lead story beginning on the cover. All this and more in this weekend’s edition of The STAR Businessweek.

The STAR Businessweek Nothing Personal. It’s Just Business. Stay connected with us at: Web: www.stluciastar.com Social: www.facebook.com/stluciastar Email: starbusinessweek@stluciastar.com

THE VALUE OF CARICOM

Earlier in March news broke that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was officially assessing the application of Curacao and Sint Maarten for associate membership. These two islands are separated by 900 km of water but they share a cultural heritage, central bank, and a view that within CARICOM a brighter future awaits them. It also represents an important moment in their history, This done in an era when Trumpist protectionism in Washington, Britain departing the EU, and geopolitical upheaval via revisionist leaders like Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, has seen many people come to question the value of regional institutions. So, what do Curacao and Sint Maarten stand to gain from CARICOM membership? And how valuable is CARICOM membership to regional countries in a world where more and more nations flirt with the idea of ‘going it alone’?

APPLICATION STATUS

All CARICOM nations set out to follow the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas. Enacted in 1971, the Treaty is a cornerstone of higher regional integration via CARICOM. It provides the path for a clear and cohesive growth of regional trade via the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) established via a reform of the Treaty in the early 2000s. While all CSME participating nations are members of CARICOM‚ not

all CARICOM members participate in the CSME. At the outset it is apparent that the structure of CARICOM is somewhat complex. Curacao and Sint Maarten have applied to join as associate members (with Martinique‚ Guadeloupe and French Guiana behind them in the queue). For Curacao and Sint Maarten‚ membership of CARICOM would bookend a chapter of local diplomacy that first began with the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles in 2010‚ and saw those islands seek to engage and grow new partnerships in the region. But for all the publicity surrounding the application of two new members to CARICOM‚ is this the right organisation? And the right time?

CARICOM, THE EU AND THE US

Critics of CARICOM often point to the recent turbulence seen in the European Union, and even the domestic discord across the US’s fifty states, as evidence that growing ties between states in this time and era is ill-advised. This criticism does warrant reflection but also needs to to be considered in context. The European Union was dealt a swift blow by Brexit. And it’s true that Brussels did itself no favours in maintaining regional integration by allowing obscene scandals, like the olive oil fiasco of 2013, to unfold.

At its core, CARICOM holds an ambition to grow economies and boost development, and share approaches to foreign policy and security. As a region where many nations remain on a journey through development, and the relatively small population of our region is scattered across a sizeable body of sea, the goals of growth and security are something all people of the Caribbean family can identify with, and find value in. By no means does this suggest that CARICOM is now, or will in future be, wholly absent of tensions, but the shared story so many nations hold here of a struggle for independence, an ongoing journey to growth, and a great optimism for the future of regional integration, means comparisons made by critics from afar fail to recognize CARICOM’s distinctive history and unique future. And there are also issues that represent a strong call to arms for regional nations. The EU’s December 2017 publication of ‘non-cooperative tax jurisdictions’ that singled out numerous Caribbean nations was a lighting rod for criticism. Here, as around the world, the notion of tax minimisation via offshore banking remains controversial. Continued on page 5


THE STAR BUSINESSWEEK

MARCH 24, 2018

WWW.STLUCIASTAR.COM

© The Financial Times Limited [2018]. All Rights Reserved. Not to be redistributed, copied or modified in anyway. Star Publishing Company is solely responsible for providing this translated content and the Financial Times Limited does not accept any liability for the accuracy or quality of the translation

US BANS TRADE IN VENEZUELA’S DIGITAL CURRENCY

President Nicolás Maduro launched the petro to skirt Washington’s sanctions BY FT CORRESPONDENT

In an executive order that takes immediate effect, President Donald Trump banned “all transactions related to, provision of financing for, and other dealings in, by a United States person or within the United States, any digital currency, digital coin, or digital token [issued by the Venezuelan government since January 9]” Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro. His regime launched the petro last month and said it planned to issue 100m tokens, potentially raising about $6bn

The US added another weapon to its armoury of sanctions against Venezuela on Monday by prohibiting all US trade in the petro, a digital currency launched by the government of Nicolás Maduro this year in a bid to skirt earlier US measures. In an executive order that takes immediate effect, President Donald Trump banned “all transactions related to, provision of financing for, and other dealings in, by a United States person or within the United States, any digital currency, digital coin, or digital token [issued by the Venezuelan government since January 9]”.The White House noted that Venezuela’s own democratically elected parliament had already declared the petro unlawful.

The Maduro regime launched the petro last month amid great fanfare, saying each token would be backed by one barrel of oil from the country’s vast reserves. It said it planned to issue 100m tokens, potentially raising about $6bn. A month ago it started a presale of the currency at a reference price of $60 per token, claiming to have raised $735m on the first day. According to a white paper, it was due to begin an initial public offering on Tuesday at the same reference price. Economists and opponents of the regime have dismissed the petro as a farce, designed to divert attention away from Venezuela’s real problems. The country is suffering one of the biggest economic crises in Latin American

history. Its economy has shrunk by about a third over the past five years and the International Monetary Fund expects gross domestic product to contract by 15 per cent this year. The IMF expects inflation to hit 13,000 per cent in 2018, by far the highest anywhere in the world. Price rises are so bad that one Venezuelan city recently announced it would start issuing its own currency, complete with the image of a local independence leader on its bank notes. Late last year the US Treasury barred US financial institutions from dealing with Venezuelan debt. The White House has also imposed individual sanctions on about two dozen officials from

the Maduro regime, including the president himself, but has stopped short of imposing an embargo on Venezuelan exports of oil. The EU has also imposed sanctions on the country. Since November, Venezuela has been in “selective default” on some of its obligations to bondholders. It has missed some interest repayments and has been late with others. Monday’s announcement comes two months before Venezuela is due to hold presidential elections in which Mr Maduro is standing for re-election. The opposition is largely boycotting the vote, saying it will be neither free nor fair.

3


4

THE STAR BUSINESSWEEK

MARCH 24, 2018

WWW.STLUCIASTAR.COM

BECOMING BUSINESS-FRIENDLY Caribbean states must look to widespread reforms to climb the Ease of Doing Business rankings and attract vital investment Continued from page 1

Saint Lucia’s ranking has been steadily dropping for several years and dipped further in 2018 from 86 to 91

“It is still too difficult and costly to do business in the region, and the Caribbean is still uncompetitive in many indicators,” said Dr Justin Ram, Director of Economics with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) during the bank’s annual news conference held in Barbados last month. Following a lacklustre year where the region saw average GDP growth of 0.6%, the CDB is urging Caribbean states to focus on business reform to foster diversification and greater levels of growth. It wants to see the region move up the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings and improve upon its average score of 110 (out of 190 economies surveyed worldwide).

SETTING THE STANDARD

The Ease of Doing Business rankings are compiled each year by the World Bank and considered the standard benchmark for global economies. When the Bank published its first report in 2003, it examined 133 economies, testing each across five categories. The 2018 report looks at 190 economies, and eleven categories or indicators. These indicators cover a lot of ground. Researchers look at how easy it is to start a business, resolve insolvency, enforce contracts, trade across borders, get electricity, pay taxes, secure credit, register property and other issues that any average investor may encounter. While the list of issues may be long and intimidating, Dr Ram says small changes can make a big difference - just one positive reform in one area can improve a country’s GDP by as much as 0.15%. Hampered by onerous bureaucracy, lack of resources, inefficient services and inadequate infrastructure, Caribbean states face many obstacles when it comes to building a better business environment. This has been reflected in their rankings. Jamaica is the best performer in the region, with a ranking of 70 while Haiti is the worst at 181. Saint Lucia’s ranking has been steadily dropping for several years and dipped further in 2018 from 86 to 91.

SAINT LUCIA’S PERFORMANCE Saint Lucia’s sliding rankings are mainly due to consistently low scores in the areas

COMING SOON SATURDAY MARCH 31ST, 2018

THE STAR BUSINESSWEEK

STAR Businessweek

Nothing Personal. It’s Just Business.

RENAISSANCE 2.0:

ICT AND THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION In this Special Edition of The STAR Businessweek, we’re taking a broad look at the massive disruptions that are taking place in the ICT industry and what they mean for business in Caribbean nations like Saint Lucia and our digital futures!

For advertising please call sales at: 758.450.7827


THE STAR BUSINESSWEEK

of getting credit, resolving insolvency and registering property. These were the three most poorly performing indicators in the World Bank’s assessment for the country. When it comes to accessing credit, the World Bank looked at the strength of credit reporting systems and the effectiveness of collateral and bankruptcy laws - Saint Lucia came up short in both areas with insufficient credit information and inadequate legal rights for both creditors and debtors. Another offputting factor for would-be investors is the time, cost and uncertain outcome of insolvency proceedings in a country where it can take up to two years for proceedings to close, and carry costs of 9% of the total estate. Registering property in Saint Lucia is also a lengthy process, taking around 17 days, involving nine separate procedures and costing 7.6% of the property value. From its three worst areas, to its best: Saint Lucia scored highest in electricity supply, starting a business, and dealing with construction permits, all of which should give new investors some measure of comfort. In the latter area, Saint Lucia ranked 34th, well ahead of the 63.59 regional average, thanks to responsive government agencies and strong quality control regulation.

While reforms are a top-down process, the involvement of grassroots players is crucial if they are to succeed. All participants in the business climate must have a voice so that any resulting regulation, policy prescriptions and legislation is thoughtful, pragmatic and effective

A STRATEGY FOR REFORM

Any discussion around ease of doing business is often skewed towards foreign investment. But taking such a narrow approach overlooks the far-reaching benefits business reform can have on the domestic private sector. All investors, whether foreign or homegrown, want security. Clarity and consistency bring in business from all fronts, as financiers seek to put their money somewhere stable. In his 2017/2018 budget, Prime Minister Chastanet said his government would tackle two of the country’s biggest problem areas - insolvency and credit - and announced he would move on introducing a credit bureau, a registry of moveable assets and a secured transactions system. This will significantly alter the business climate by making it easier for firms to get credit. Currently only immovable assets, such as property, are accepted as collateral for loans but the Security Interests in Moveable Property bill (being drafted by government) will allow companies to use their immovable assets, such as equipment and inventory, to obtain loans. The Department of Finance is also working on developing a clear insolvency framework that will reduce the time frame for resolving insolvency, and streamline the

bankruptcy process. While reforms are a top-down process, the involvement of grassroots players is crucial if they are to succeed. All participants in the business climate must have a voice so that any resulting regulation, policy prescriptions and legislation is thoughtful, pragmatic and effective. The National Competitiveness and Productivity Council of Saint Lucia (NCPC) recognises this and regularly hosts meetings with the private sector, in collaboration with Compete Caribbean, on how best to move forward. At the end of 2017, Compete Caribbean earmarked around US$400,000 to help implement a competitiveness agenda and bring about further business reforms. These form part of the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility’s regional strategic plan, which NCPC will be helping to implement in Saint Lucia. This 2017-2020 roadmap will focus on enhancing the business and innovation climate through capacity assessment, sector level reform, strengthening national institutions that support development and identifying barriers to productivity.

MARCH 24, 2018

WWW.STLUCIASTAR.COM

WHAT IS THE VALUE OF CARICOM TO CURACAO AND SINT MAARTEN (AND TO ALL CARIBBEAN NATIONS)? Continued from page 2

For Curacao and Sint Maarten‚ membership of CARICOM would bookend a chapter of local diplomacy that first began with the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles in 2010

But the ample representation of regional nations, and the total absence of some closer to Europe’s shores, led to claims that the list “smacks of imperialism”. In areas like this, CARICOM can be a powerful voice for regional parity. The future of CARICOM is compelling. And especially so as we shift to a truly digital, and global economy. With 60% of CARICOM membernations’ citizens being under 30 years of age, the organisation is not only a regional body but also a youth movement. For many years the people of the Caribbean shared a feeling of kinship as New World nations, but less in the way of ongoing dialogue and socialisation among citizens of the wider region. But Generation Y, AKA Millennials, will take leadership in the years ahead, having grown up in a world where the Saint Lucia STAR is only a click and a few keyboard strokes away, no matter whether you are in Saint Lucia or many miles from it.

Jamaica will always be better positioned to trade with Northern America, just as Grenada is optimally positioned to trade with South America. Then there’s the risk of natural disasters, and the impact of climate change. Keeping present CARICOM members content, and enticing new ones, is complicated by these realites.

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

The future of Curacao and Sint Maarten in CARICOM is significant. It is commonly agreed that there are 28 nations of the Caribbean and, if you count Bermuda and Belize, it’s 30. By either measure, the joining of Curacao and Sint Maarten will take the present group of 15 permanent members, and 5 associate members up to a total of 22. Simply having some 50% of the region as permanent members, and potentially 7 as associate members, is not a sign that full and total CARICOM integration is inevitable. But CHALLENGES in a time when other political To suggest that CARICOM institutions (notwithstanding is without challenges their different characters) have would not be true. While been tested like never before, CARICOM’s structure the expansion of CARICOM commendably seeks to not only grows further a ensure nations have an shared regional conversation, equal voice, the ambition but bucks the trend globally. to see that the benefits of Sure, swimming against integration are equitably the tide may be harder, but shared, and nations progress the strongest fish will do equally, looks good on paper so without hesitation. And but is harder to apply in with the potential addition of practice. Curacao and Sint Maarten to While the digital economy CARICOM, comes a clear will help address this in sign that our region is growing part, enduring challenges, stronger. And that’s something like geographical distance, all people of the Caribbean can will not simply disappear. celebrate. There is always the need to guard against the ongoing risk that ‘future potential’ is ultimately realised as a certain date. This means the promise of greater integration in future can only be realised with practical actions today that enable it. Initiatives like the Government Islandwide Network (GINet) programme is a key example of how such an ethos can be borne out simply by upgrading the internet.

Caribbean Information & Credit Rating Services Limited

2-DAY CREDIT RISK WORKSHOP ‘ANALYSING BANKS, CORPORATES & SMES’ MARCH 27 & 28, 2018 BAY GARDENS INN, RODNEY BAY VILLAGE, SAINT LUCIA

5

BENEFITS

COST

• • • •

• USD1,000 per participant • Group discounts available and cost covers all course material, refreshments and lunch over the 2 days

Develop a deep understanding of the fundamentals of credit ratings and credit risk analysis Understand the frameworks and methodologies used to evaluate the credit risk of (i) banks, (ii) manufacturing, service, retail and distribution-type companies, and (iii) SMEs Learn to apply these frameworks by participating in case studies involving the credit risk analysis of actual Caribbean entities Gain from one-on-one interaction with industry peers and workshop facilitators with extensive credit risk knowledge and experience

TO REGISTER CALL OR EMAIL • Ms. Prudence Charles: 868-627-8879 Ext 242 (pcharles@caricris.com) or • Ms. Sita Sonnyram: 868- 627-8879 Ext 221 (ssonnyram@caricris.com)

Caribbean Information & Credit Rating Services Limited, 3rd Floor, Furness House, 90 Independence Square, Port of Spain, Trinidad Developing and Integrating the Caribbean’s capital markets with Integrity, Independence and Analytical Rigour


6

THE STAR BUSINESSWEEK

MARCH 24, 2018

CORPORATE

WWW.STLUCIASTAR.COM

HANDS

CABLE & WIRELESS CHARITABLE FOUNDATION TO GIVE GRANTS TOTALLING OVER US$290,000 TO IMPROVE THE LIVES OF CHILDREN IN THE CARIBBEAN Five grants to be made to a variety of education projects in the Caribbean

C&W Foundation doing work in Dominica

The Cable & Wireless Charitable Foundation has announced that it will provide additional funding to projects that will improve the lives of children in areas of the Caribbean impacted by last year’s hurricanes. This follows the Foundation’s initial US$100,000 donation to ShelterBox for relief efforts after the hurricanes, as well as a clean-up of the CHANCES children’s home in Dominica as part of C&W Communications’ annual Mission Day. The new funding – made up of five individual grants – is a continuation of the Foundation’s plans to restore and rebuild affected countries. The grants will be used to support critical education services in some of the most badly impacted countries including the British Virgin Islands

(BVI), Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), Dominica and Anguilla. Specifically, the Foundation’s funding will be used as follows:

lab of Roseau Primary School, providing essential equipment like computers, projectors, flat screens and printers.

• In BVI US$100,000 will be used towards replacing the roof at the sole secondary school, Bregado Flax Secondary School.

• In Anguilla US$22,500 will be used to provide supplies and repair the doors, windows and roof of Bethel Pre-School, working in partnership with Rotary District 7020.

• On Virgin Gorda US$25,000 will be used towards repairs for the Eslyn Richiez Henly School for Disabled Children. • In TCI US$100,000 will be used to provide computers, printers, desks and chairs for children in the Osetta Jolly Primary School. • In Dominica US$45,000 will be used towards refurnishing the computer

The Board of the Cable & Wireless Charitable Foundation chose these projects as it believed they would have a long-lasting positive impact on a great number of children and their families. The projects chosen also align with the Foundation’s strategic aims of educating and empowering communities.

The Saint Lucia Government Gazette Company Registration Name: Gold Chalk Education Consultants (GCEC) Inc.

Name: Misty Mountain Ltd.

Description: ( a ) Educational events planning

Description: Vacation property development

( b ) Education reform consultancy

Directors: J. Wendell Skeete; Marise Skeete

( c ) Textbook writing/design

Date Incorporated: 12-Mar-18

Directors: Ruffina Charles

Chamber: PKF Corporate Servcies Ltd.,

Date Incorporated: 7-Mar-18

Saint Lucia

Chamber: SEDU, Saint Lucia Name: Alfred’s Security and Consultancy Name: Sun & Fun Tours Inc. Description: Event management Directors: Taija Adjodha; Julian Adjodha Date Incorporated: 12-Mar-18 Chamber: Jennifer Remy & Associates, Saint Lucia Name: International Supermarkets Inc. Description: General merchandising Directors: Joseph Ballah

Services Ltd. Description: To offer general security services Directors: Rosaline Alfred; Crescentiana Alfred; Dajr Alfred Date Incorporated: 13-Mar-18 Chamber: Cosmos Lafevillee Chambers, Saint Lucia

Date Incorporated: 12-Mar-18 Chamber: Chong & Co., Saint Lucia

Name: Canada Import Distribution Inc. Description: Import and export of merchandise

Name: Tropical Sun Tours Inc.

Directors: Jerome Alexander;

Description: Tourist excursions

Michel Namroud; Lerry Eugene

Directors: Innocent Pierre-Louis

Date Incorporated: 14-Mar-18

Date Incorporated: 12-Mar-18

Chamber: Sylma Finisterre Chambers,

Chamber: SEDU, Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia


THE STAR BUSINESSWEEK

MARCH 24, 2018

WWW.STLUCIASTAR.COM

© The Financial Times Limited [2018]. All Rights Reserved. Not to be redistributed, copied or modified in anyway. Star Publishing Company is solely responsible for providing this translated content and the Financial Times Limited does not accept any liability for the accuracy or quality of the translation

US-TAIWAN RELATIONS WARM IN FACE OF BEIJING PROTESTS

New law passed by Congress sets stage for high-level visits and increased arms sales BY FT CORRESPONDENT

A newspaper in Taiwan. The new law promoting closer ties between Washington and Taipei will come into effect unless it is vetoed by President Donald Trump.

New US legislation promoting increased engagement with Taiwan is set to become law, in the latest sign of support for the Taipei government in the face of mounting Chinese pressure. The US gave up formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan decades ago — instead recognising Beijing — and has since restricted senior officials from meeting their Taiwanese counterparts. But amid upheaval in the White House, the US is expected to break from precedent and potentially further destabilise its relationship with China. The Taiwan Travel Act, passed unanimously by Congress, describes Taiwan as a “beacon of democracy” and says it should be US policy to allow officials from “all levels” to travel to the island and permit highlevel Taiwanese officials to enter the US. Beijing, which has formally protested against the legislation, regards Taiwan as part of China. It has not ruled out using force to take the island and has ramped up military activity in nearby waters. Beijing’s foreign ministry urged the White House to “stop official contacts with Taiwan” and avoid “damage to China-US ties”, Chinese state media reported. The law, which will come into effect

unless it is vetoed by President Donald Trump, marks a further warming in ties between Taipei and Washington. The US will later this year open a new unofficial embassy in Taiwan and is considering more frequent arms sales to the self-ruled island. “Higher level state visits, port visits and regular, normalised arms sales are all consistent with [the] one China policy as the US defines it,” said Rachael Burton, deputy director at the Project 2049 Institute, a US think-tank. A new $250m US compound in Taipei “is a demonstration of our . . . enduring friendship with the people of Taiwan and is a reflection of the importance of the US-Taiwan partnership”, said Kin Moy, director of the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto embassy. Mike Pompeo, who will replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, is seen as a China hawk and was a critic of the Obama administration for delaying the sale of weapons to Taiwan. Although fears that Taiwan could be used by Mr Trump to obtain concessions from Beijing have eased, experts remain wary. “Trump and his tweeting habits will always provide uncertainty, and as we saw after the 2016 phone call [between Mr Trump and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen], Beijing will probably punish Taiwan for any US

Concerns in Washington that the 2016 election of Ms Tsai and her independenceleaning Democratic Progressive party would fuel instability and risk drawing the US into a military conflict have also dissipated, experts say

misconduct,” said Maeve WhelanWuest, senior researcher at the Brookings Institution, a think-tank. However, it is “increasingly unlikely” the US will use Taiwan as a bargaining chip, said Taiwan defence expert Elizabeth Freund Larus, a politicalscience professor at the University of Mary Washington. “Trump appears to be disappointed not to have more cooperation from Xi Jinping after their Mar-a-Lago meeting,” she said. Concerns in Washington that the 2016 election of Ms Tsai and her independence-leaning Democratic Progressive party would fuel instability and risk drawing the US into a military conflict have also dissipated, experts say. Ms Tsai learned from the first time she ran for president in 2012 when she “did not have good communications with Washington”, said Bonnie Glaser, a senior adviser for Asia at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, adding that although China-Taiwan relations have worsened, “there is a sense that Beijing should share a bigger portion of the blame”. Still, analysts expect China to pursue a tougher policy on Taiwan, putting pressure on countries dealing with the island.

7


8

THE STAR BUSINESSWEEK

MARCH 24, 2018

REGIONAL PUBLIC NOTICES

WWW.STLUCIASTAR.COM

REQUEST FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST part of the proceeds for consultancy services to Prepare Final Designs for the Pedestrianization of the William Peter Boulevard and Option Designs for the Façade Improvement Programme.

OECS Regional Tourism Competitiveness Project Consultancy to Prepare Final Designs for the Pedestrianization of the William Peter Boulevard and Option Designs for the Façade Improvement Programme Saint Lucia has received financing from the World Bank towards the cost of the OECS Regional Tourism Competitiveness Project (ORTCP) and intends to apply

The consulting services (“the Services”) include carrying out a diagnostic assessment which would require working in consultation and collaboration with the Castries Constituency Council (CCC) to ensure consistency in the approach and inclusion of the broad plans of the CCC for the area, analyses of the functional and architectural requirements for an enhanced William Peter Boulevard (façade and pedestrianization), developing and presentation of four design options for pedestrianization of the Boulevard area based on functional and architectural requirements and identification of the associated involuntary resettlement impacts, elaboration of the selected design option and preparation of final designs for the purposes of execution of the works for the pedestrianization of the Boulevard; preparation of a prototype of the preferred

design option should be for visual display. The duration of the assignment is thirteen (13) man months over a period of eight (8) calendar months (the Terms of Reference may be obtained on the website of the Department of Finance: www.finance.gov.lc and www.govt.lc/ consultancy).

method set out in the World Bank’s guidelines: Selection and Employment of Consultants under IBRD Loans and IDA Credits & Grants by World Bank Borrowers dated January 2011, revised July 2014 (“Consultant Guidelines”). Further information can be obtained at the address below during office hours 8:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m. (0800 to 1600 hours).

Consultants may associate with other firms in the form of a joint venture or a subconsultancy to enhance their qualifications.

Expressions of interest must be delivered in a written form to the address below (in person, or by mail, or by e-mail) by March 24, 2018.

The associations should clearly indicate the form of the association (joint venture or subconsultancy; member in charge; other member(s) and/or subconsultants). Joint ventures shall submit letters of intent indicating their intent to form a joint venture if awarded the contract and shall provide the above mentioned information for each member of the joint venture. A Consultant will be selected in accordance with the Selection Based on the Consultants Qualifications (CQS)

Project Coordination Unit Department of Economic Development, Transport and Civil Aviation Attn: Project Coordinator, Second Floor, Finance Administrative Centre, Trou Garnier, Pointe Seraphine, Castries, Saint Lucia Tel: 758 468-2413 E-mail: slupcu@gosl.gov.lc Website: www.finance.gov.lc

FINANCIALLY SPEAKING Financial Literacy 101 presented by Bank of Saint Lucia

THE INVESTMENT COMMANDMENTS: The concept of investing for many is taboo. Often times the individual’s perception is that either they possess insufficient capital funds to invest or the prospect of investing seems scary or too complex. Investing not only helps to make dollars, it also makes sense. To help beginners navigate and understand this new world of investing the following investment commandments have been compiled.

1. IT ALL STARTS WITH YOU Once the decision is made to invest, it is important to know what you want or expect from your investment. As an investor, you need to think about how long you plan to invest, assess your financial situation and know your risk tolerance. This will determine what return you are willing to accept for the level risk you will be assuming. 2. SPEAK TO A BROKER OR FINANCIAL ADVISOR. As a first time swimmer, the support of an experienced swimmer to guide you is critical. The same applies to investing. The investment landscape consists of a myriad of products and selecting an investment that suits your needs

can seem a bit intimidating at first. A qualified financial advisor can assist in putting your investment fears to rest by explaining the products available and help to determine the one which best suits your needs.

3. CONDUCT SOME OF YOUR OWN RESEARCH. In making crucial decisions regarding your finances, it is always advisable to do your own research. We live in an information age where everything is readily available. Read up on the products you are interested in investing in; find out how it works and if in doubt, speak to your financial advisor. It is your money and the best decision is a well-informed one. 4. DIVERSIFICATION IS IMPORTANT Always be prepared for any eventuality. Consider diversification to help reduce the risk in your investment portfolio. Spreading your risk across different asset classes will help minimize your risk especially if they are not correlated. Think of it as not putting all your eggs in one basket. Faster, safer, more convenient

5. INVEST WITHIN YOUR MEANS A typical pitfall to avoid in investing is buying investment instruments and selling them soon after, perhaps due to liquidity needs. Investments especially sounds ones are best left to grow. Invest what is in your means and see through to maturity. 6. BELIEVE IN WHAT YOU ARE BUYING Once you have done your research and you believe in the investment; then and only then is the time to invest funds.

• Use credit and debit cards where it

previously was impossible Faster, safer, more Use credit and debit cards where cardconvenient transactions with•wireless • Small, and portable it previously waslightweight, impossible card transactions with point of wireless sale systems from Bank • No second phone needed Small, andline portable of Saint Lucia mean •you can lightweight, point of sale systems from Bank • Increased reduce the amount SWIPE • No second phonesecurity line -needed of Saint Lucia mean youand canGo! Convenient of cash you handle wireless point-of-sale •solution Increased security - reduce SWIPE and Go! Convenient from Bank of Saint Lucia. Accept the amount oforcash youtohandle wireless point-of-sale solution Call visit us today find out more card payments wherever you about this liberating convenience service from Bank of Saint Lucia. Accept from Bank of Saint Lucia! are, whenever you need: card payments wherever you are, whenever you need:

Faster, safer, more convenient

• Use credit and debit cards where it previously was impossible

card transactionsStreet, with wireless PO Box 1862 1 Bridge point of sale systems from Bank of Saint Lucia mean you can Castries, Lucia SWIPE and Go!St. Convenient • Small, lightweight, and portable • No second phone line needed

wireless point-of-sale solution from Bank of Saint Lucia. Accept card payments wherever you are, whenever you need:

• Increased security - reduce the amount of cash you handle

TEL: 1 758 456 6000 FAX: 1 758 456 6720

EMAIL: cardservices@bankofsaintlucia.com WEB: www.bankofsaintlucia.com

Ask Ask for it!for it!

A SUBSIDIARY OF

cardservices@bankofsaintlucia.com LIKE US ON: FACEBOOK.COM/BANKOFSAINTLUCIA WWW.BANKOFSAINTLUCIA.COM

PRINTED & PUBLISHED BY THE STAR PUBLISHING CO, (1987) LTD. RODNEY BAY INDUSTRIAL ESTATE, MASSADE , P.O. BOX 1146, CASTRIES, ST LUCIA, TEL (758) 450 7827 . WEBSITE WWW.STLUCIASTAR.COM ALL RIGHTS RESERVED A SUBSIDIARY OF

cardservices@bankofsaintlucia.com

STAR Businessweek - March 24 2018  

The government of Saint Lucia, in a matter of days, is expected to begin debating the nation’s proposed budget for the 2018/2019 cycle. I sa...

STAR Businessweek - March 24 2018  

The government of Saint Lucia, in a matter of days, is expected to begin debating the nation’s proposed budget for the 2018/2019 cycle. I sa...

Advertisement