IDB REPORTS CARIBBEAN ECONOMIES IMPROVED IN 2013—01/04/14
According to a report from the Inter American Development Bank (IDB), the Caribbean region has shown a slight increase in the growth of national economies during 2013. The growth was attributed to greater productivity. Loans, grants, and guarantees amounted to some $14 billion in 2013.
CARIBBEAN AIRLINES OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2014—01/05/14
The interim chairman of Caribbean Airlines (CAL), Phillip Marshall, feels optimistic about the airline’s prospects in 2014. He told shareholders of the airline that new performance objectives will continue to be emphasized according to its business plan. The airline will proceed on a sustainable program of cost efficiency, viability, and profitability, with the long term in view.
MURDER RATE DROPS IN BELIZE—01/06/14
The murder rate in Belize fell from 145 to 99 in 2013. While the number of murders remains high, it does represent a decrease of 48 murders over the previous year. Comparatively, in Jamaica, there were 1,241 murders in 2013, an increase of 15 percent from 2012.
FIRST SPORTS TOURISM CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN MARTINIQUE—01/07/14
The Caribbean region’s first conference on sports tourism will be held at the end of January 2014 in Martinique. The Caribbean Sport Tourism Conference will last two days and include workshops, discussions, and presentations to provide clear picture of the growing trend toward sports tourism in the region. The conference is being organized by CSport Magazine.
VENEZUELAN EMBASSY IN ST.KITTS DESTROYED BY ARSON—01/08/14
An arson fire claimed the Venezuelan Embassy in St. Kitts, along with offices utilized by the Organization of American States (OAS). The fires started before dawn in Bassettere, with authorities responding to the fire at the offices near midnight and called to the neighboring embassy several hours later. Nothing was left of the Embassy but rubble, but the OAS building saw only minor damages. No one was injured in either one of the fires. Two men have been taken into custody in connection with the incident.
DISCUSSIONS BEGIN BETWEEN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND HAITI—01/09/14
Officials from Haiti and the Dominican Republic have begun in an effort to resolve growing tensions between the neighboring countries that share the island of Hispaniola. The conflict is reflected in a court ruling in the Dominican Republic that could eliminate the citizenship of individuals of Haitian descent, in spite of being born in the country. The main topic to be addressed in the discussions is the threatened revocation of citizenship for these people.
GOVERNMENT URGES USE OF LED BULBS TO REDUCE ENERGY COSTS—01/08/14
Jamaica’s government is promoting a new kind of light bulb to consumers in an effort to reduce electricity costs. LED bulbs (light-emitting diode) offer an alternative energy-saving bulb, producing more light with less energy. According to Phillip Paulwell, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, the government is committed to providing thousands of these bulbs to consumers in 2014.
MONTEGO BAY HOSTS DELEGATES TO TOURISM CONFERENCE—01/09/14
The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s first tourism marketing event will take place in Montego Bay and offer an opportunity to showcase Jamaica’s tourism potential. According to Wykeham McNeill, Minister of Tourism, the Caribbean Travel Marketplace 2014 is the biggest and most consequential business-to-business marketing event in the Caribbean hospitality industry. It is estimated that 1,200 delegates from over 28 nations will attend the event.
NEW ASSOCIATION LAUNCHED FOR GANJA GROWERS—01/10/14
Supports of the decriminalization of ganja are set to launch a cannabis growers’ association as part of the introduction of a formal ganja industry on the island. The Cannabis Future Growers and Producers Association has been influenced by the legalization of the product in several states in the U.S. and believe growing and selling ganja will bring billions of dollars to Jamaica’s economy.
LAWYERS GROUP SAYS COURTS NEED MORE FUNDING—01/10/14
Ian Wilkinson, the president of the Jamaican Bar Association, is worried that there will not be a significant reduction in crime on the island unless authorities give adequate support to the courts. Justice cannot be the chief goal of the courts, however, when less than five percent of the government’s budget is provided to the justice department, said Wilkinson. He noted that when criminals wee that justice is not valued by the country, they feel they can disrespect the system.