International Trade

Portia To Join Long List of World Leaders At Mandela’s Funeral. Queen To Be Absent

Jamaica Observer Cartoon Reflecting Current Views on Portia Simpson-Miller's Frequent Flights

Macroeconomic, Trade

Since It Doesn’t Meet Their Requirements, Why Are The Goat Islands Still Being Considered?

They’re 617 acres combined and were transferred from the Commissioner of Lands on September 21, 1970 to the Urban Development Corporation. Can you guess what they are? Can you? THE GOAT ISLANDS! (Apparently there are two islands with the first being 465 acres, one rood and six perches while the 2nd island is 152 acres, two roods and 77 perches). A rood is A measure of land equal to 1/4 acre, or 40 square rods (0.10 hectare) and a perch is a linear measure equal to 5.50 yards or 16.5 feet (5.03 meters); a rod.

Sure you have heard that the government of Jamaica is having talks with the Chinese government to construct a trans-shipment port on the islands, as a part of the Jamaican government’s initiative to launch its Logistics Hub project.

But, the geography of the Goat Islands do not meet the criteria put forth by China Harbour Construction & Engineering Company for the successful construction of the port. As Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter for the Gleaner reports;

“The available acreage at Goat Islands, which China Harbour Construction and Engineering Company wants for the construction of a trans-shipment port and industrial park, is less than the desired amount of the lands the Chinese are seeking for the project.”

The archipelago, located off the coast of Old Harbour, St Catherine, which is the property of the Urban Development Corporation, has 617 acres, which is far less than the 3,000 acres which Robert Pickersgill, the minister of land, environment and climate change, said is needed for the development.

If the Goat Islands are not a befitting home for the trans-shipment port, why are they still being considered as a possible site? If you know, please enlighten us in the comments section below.

Macroeconomic, News Ticker, Trade Tagged ,

Economy or Enviroment:Jamaican Government Bamboozled?

The most popular topic in Jamaica for the last few days has been the government’s creation of a logistics hub and the sudden increased interest by a set of investors in a ‘protected’ area of the country, targeted for investment. However questions abound as to the intention of the investors and the benefit for the country. Continue Reading

Macroeconomic, News Ticker, Trade Tagged

What’s At The Heart Of All This Goat Islands, Logistics Hub Argument – J-O-B-S!

While Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Anthony Hylton is urging the public to exercise patience in making a judgement on the proposed development of Goat Islands as a trans-shipment and logistics port, it doesn’t go unnoticed that at the heart of all this argument the key issue is clear, the economy yes, but also J-O-B-S! Continue Reading

Macroeconomic, News Ticker, Trade Tagged ,

10 Basic Questions About The Logistics Hub

Not to be left out of the mix, Barry Wade, PhD, chairman of Environmental Solutions Ltd, a Jamaican Environmental company gave his take on the construction of the logistics hub (which has really come to the fore even more with the recent revelation that the Chinese are interested in a very well positioned, but protected piece of environmental property).

He brings us through a 10 step crash course on how to build a logistics hub, asking very important questions along the way.

Macroeconomic, News Ticker, Trade Tagged

Leave Goat Islands Alone: -4,000 Jobs + 4,000 Jobs = Zero Jobs!

The Goat Islands have become a topic of many discussions within the past few weeks. The location rose to fame when news surfaced that it was being considered to be one of the locations for the development of transshipment ports in Jamaica, as apart of the government’s plan to create a logistics hub to facilitate the efficiency and promotion of international trade and provide new and innovative economic opportunities for the country. Continue Reading

Macroeconomic, News Ticker, Trade Tagged ,

China’s Clearly Moving Into The Caribbean! St. Kitts & Nevis Launch Agro-Tourism Farm

St. Kitts and Nevis’ agricultural industry stand to be boosted by the interest of Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou.

The Agro-Tourism Demonstration Farm at Sir Gilles (which was a joint initiative between St. Kitts and Nevis as well as the Republic of China, [Taiwan]) has been praised by Taiwanese President His Excellency Ma Ying-jeou. He regards the venture as a manifestation of the symbiotic relationship between the two countries. Continue Reading

Macroeconomic, News Ticker, Trade Tagged

China Thinks We’re Lazy, Really…

Lazy construction worker

A former Chinese ambassador to the Caribbean is of the view that we Caribbean nationals have a ‘two-party system’; party by day, party all night. How do you feel about that?

On this premise, he chose to state that we prefer to party than to work, and that is the reason for their (the Chinese) advancement in our region where construction projects and the like are concerned; that, and the fact that Caribbean governments pressure the Chinese officials to deliver projects quickly. Continue Reading

Macroeconomic, Trade

Trinidad Hosting Trade Talks With China and Costa Rica

Globalization? Think fast. Act faster. And Trinidad knows that.

Last week they continued talks with Chinese officials who paid a visit to their country to the country. The Guardian reports that “Trade Minister Vasant Bharath hosted a visiting Chinese delegation, led by Shan Zhong, International Trade Representative (Ministerial Level) and Vice Minister of Commerce.” Continue Reading

Macroeconomic, Trade

Panama Canal Handles 5% of World Trade. Revising Fees and Routes For 2015

Boats waiting at the Panama Canal. Photo by zachstern

As Bloomberg reports, ‘The Panama Canal, handling 5 percent of world trade, may change how it calculates tolls for ships carrying energy cargoes to boost traffic once a US$5.25 billion expansion is complete in 2015.’ Continue Reading

Macroeconomic, Trade Tagged

Jamaica as a Logistics Hub, Now National Priority. What is involved?

Jamaica as a Logistics Hub. Big Business!

Jamaica as a Logistics Hub. Big Business!

Macroeconomic, Trade Tagged

Ooh La La. Cuba Courting French Investors

We generally think of Cuba as the reclusive, insular and totally self sufficient Caribbean nation who does everything by itself, for itself. Its own market for its own goods. Well, its time to widen your view.

Within the last 2 weeks Cuba’s government met with representatives of the Movement of French Enterprises (MEDEF), as the nation seeks to increase the numbers and presence of French businesses operating in the island. Continue Reading

Macroeconomic, Trade

Nice! Guyana and China Sign US$7.2M Trade Agreement

Here is some great news for the Guyana and the region. China has committed US$7.2 million to boosting trade and general relations between itself and Guyana.

China has been doing a number of great deeds in the Caribbean nation and this new deal will no doubt strengthen its ties. (We are still wondering why China is so interested in the Caribbean, not that we mind – but that’s another story). Continue Reading

Macroeconomic, Trade

Virgin Atlantic Throws Caribbean An Amazing Life Preserver!

Somebody deserves a hug at Virgin Atlantic! The company has announced that it will absorb the cost of the ridiculous Air Passenger Duty (APD) imposed by the British government, which Caribbean leaders was certain would damage their countries’ tourism sectors.

The APD has been a most troubling issue since its announcement and it is clear now that Caribbean governments were not the only ones  concerned. Virgin’s CEO Steve Ridgway called the tax an “unfair retrospective” increase to passengers, as he communicated the company’s plan to absorb it.

“We have been placed in the invidious position of either being forced to go back and ask those passengers for more passenger interests or absorb the costs ourselves,” he wrote. “We pride ourselves on defending and championing passenger interests, so we have taken the costly decision to shield our affected passengers from a tax surcharge.”

In case you don’t know how big a deal this is, just consider the fact that “As of April 1, the APD means British travelers to the Caribbean will pay approximately $257 extra per ticket, up from $238.”

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has called the tax discriminatory because they charge that many Caribbean countries, which are the same distance to London as many US states, are charged higher duties because they are in a different “band.”

According CTO statistics, the region saw a decline in British travelers for the third year in a row.

Macroeconomic, Trade

US Act May Cause Big Blow to Jamaican Small Farmers

Oh noooo!

There is wide spread panic and pandemonium serious concern across Jamaica over the expected effects of the United States’ Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA). Industry insiders have stated that the Act will cause a major blow to the operations of small farmers.

The most damaging requirement of the act for Jamaica appears to surround the traceability of goods. Uncle Sam doesn’t want to know simply about the manufacturer any more, the US is now concerned about the raw materials used in creating products. Continue Reading