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    Welcome to OECS Business Focus Weekly Issue No.4

    Regional Business News for informed decision-making.

     

    Moody’s Changes Outlook On Digicel’s B2 Rating To Negative; Affirms Ratings

    Moody’s Investors Service (“Moody’s”) on June 28 changed to negative from stable the outlook on the ratings of Digicel Group Limited (“Digicel”, “DGL” or the “company”) and Digicel Limited (“DL”) and assigned a negative outlook to Digicel International Finance Limited (“DIFL”).

    At the same time, Moody’s has affirmed DGL’s B2 corporate family rating (CFR) and B2-PD probability of default rating (PDR), as well as the B1 rating on the unsecured notes of DL and the Ba2 rating on the secured bank credit facilities of DIFL.
    The change in outlook to negative reflects the company’s ongoing high leverage and the reduced runway available to the company to simultaneously improve its fundamental credit profile and address its large looming debt maturities with anticipation.

    Read more..

     
     

     

    ECCB Governor Appointed Chairman of Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF)

    CCRIF SPC has announced the appointment of Timothy Antoine, Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), as chairman of Caribbean catastrophe risk insurance facility, effective July 1, for a three-year term.

    Antoine succeeds Milo Pearson who chaired CCRIF’s board from its inception in 2007 and has now retired.

    Read more..

     

     

    The UWI Welcomes Alumni, Friends Around The World For 70th Anniversary Week of Celebrations

    For one week in July, thousands of alumni, students, staff and guests from across the Caribbean and the wider globe are expected to converge at The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Mona Campus for a week of activities hosted by Chancellor Robert Bermudez.

    Chancellor’s Week, from July 23-29, 2018, is set to be one of the highlights of a year-long celebration of the University’s legacy of “70 years of service, 70 years of leadership”. 

    Read more..

     

     

    St. Kitts and Nevis Agrees To Land Administration Information System (LAIS) Project

    The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis in partnership with the Republic of China (Taiwan) recently engaged in a brief but meaningful signing ceremony for the Land Administration Information System Project (LAIS), a system aimed at propelling the Federation from the analog era to the digital age insofar as land administration is concerned.

    Read more..

     

    LIAT Reintroduces Flights To St. Thomas

    In response to appeals from passengers, LIAT has reinstated its Antigua to St. Thomas service that the company discontinued on March 14, 2017.
    As of Monday, July 2, and every Monday, Wednesday and Friday thereafter, the company will operate one flight out of V.C. Bird International Airport to the United States Virgin Island of St. Thomas.

    Read more..

     

    New Grenadian Parliament Building Officially Opens

    St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, and European Union (EU) Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribban, Daniela Tramacere, on June 25 opened the Montreal Greenhouse Park which was financed at a cost of EC$4.7 million under the EU’s Banana Accompanying Measures Programme.

    Read more..

     

    Leewind Paints Closes

    Leewind Paints (1980) Ltd. has temporarily closed its doors in Antigua and Barbuda, leaving an unknown number of staff jobless after two months without pay.
    In a letter to staff dated June 29, managing director, Hugh Marshall Sr., said the company was unable to meet salary commitments for the months of May and June.

    Read more..

     

    Finance Minister Says Economic Citizenship Is No Magic Wand

    Seven months after being appointed Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves, has sent a clear message that he will maintain the policy of the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) not to introduce a Citizenship By Investment (CBI) programme in the country.
    St. Vincent and the Grenadines remains the only one of the five independent Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) member nations without a CBI programme, which is also referred to economic citizenship.

    Read more..

     

    Foreign Direct Investment for Latin America and Caribbean Drops for Third Straight Year

    Despite an international context characterized by stronger growth in the global economy, abundant international liquidity, high corporate returns and optimism in financial markets, the flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Latin America and the Caribbean fell for the third year in a row in 2017.
    The United Nations’ Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) reported on Thursday they dipped 3.6% from the previous year to US$161.7 billion. The amount was 20% below the level reached in 2011.
     

    Read more..

     

    Contents

     

     

    ECCB Reconstitutes Eastern Caribbean Payments Council

    The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has reconstituted the Eastern Caribbean Payments Council as part of its mandate to provide general oversight of the payment and settlements system.
    The Payments Council was first established in 2006 to provide advice on and oversight of the operations and developments of the payments system.

    Read more..

     

    CARICOM Targets Year’s End For Regional Biodiversity Strategy

    The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat has resolved to present to the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) by year’s end a CARICOM Biodiversity Strategy (CBS) that will guide the protection and sustainable use the Community’s natural resources.

    Read more..

     

    SVG Becomes The First Caribbean Nation To Establish a Consulate General in Northern Ireland

    St. Vincent and the Grenadines has become the first Caribbean nation to establish a Consulate General in Northern Ireland.
     
    The full resident diplomatic presence is located in Comber, Co Down, a town with historical links to the West Indies and close to Stormont Parliament.

    Read more..

     

    Bluefin Tuna Farming To Be Explored In Grenada

    “The premature start to the 2018 hurricane season on May 25 when subtropical storm Alberto formed East of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula serves as a stark reminder of last year’s devastating season,” said Garry Sinclair, C&W’s Caribbean President.

    Read more..

     

    Modern Medical Complex Now Officially Open St. Vincent

    The Modern Medical and Diagnostic Centre is just one part of the Medical Complex in Georgetown that is expected to improve healthcare delivery to the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines. The official opening ceremony for the centre was held on the grounds of the complex on July 2 in Georgetown.
     
    Read more..

     

     

    Sandals Not Fazed by New Tourism Taxes in Barbados

    One of the Barbados’s major hotel chains says it’s not fazed by the new taxes imposed on the tourism industry by the Mia Mottley-led Barbados Labour Party (BLP) administration.
    In fact, Deputy Chairman of Sandals Resorts International (SRI), Adam Stewart, has made it clear that the Jamaica-headquartered hotel chain was ready to play its part in rebuilding the Barbados economy.

    Read more..

     

    UNDP’s Barbuda Recovery Projects To Benefit National Economy

    Rebuilding Barbuda after Hurricane Irma will significantly stimulate the national economy with recovery projects generating ongoing financial benefit for suppliers and local employment gains.
    This is according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the government of Antigua and Barbuda.

    Read more..

     

    Invest Caribbean Now Offering Medical Marijuana Real Estate Loans

    As Caribbean nations continue to focus on legalizing medical marijuana in the region, financing for loans to grow and funding for commercial buildings has become a top priority. To cater to this need, Invest Caribbean Now, the global private sector investment agency of the Caribbean, is now offering the option of loans on land deals and commercial real estate properties to qualified medical marijuana entrepreneurs in countries where the herb is legal.

    Read more..

     

    Find more OECS Business information in
    the OECS Business Focus Issue #9.
    Contact Your Local Chambers of Commerce a Free Printed Copy.
    www.oecsbusinessfocus.com

     
     

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    The Thirty-Ninth Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) was held at Montego Bay, Jamaica, 4-6 July, 2018.  The Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, chaired the proceedings. 

    Other Members of the Conference in attendance were: Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Honourable Gaston Browne; Prime Minister of The Bahamas, Honourable Dr. Hubert Minnis; Prime Minister of Barbados, Honourable Mia Mottley; Prime Minister of Belize, Honourable Dean Barrow; Prime Minister of Dominica, Honourable Roosevelt Skerritt; Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. the Rt. Honourable Keith Mitchell; President of Guyana, His Excellency David Granger (Brigadier Ret); President of Haiti, His Excellency Jovenel Moïse; Premier of Montserrat, Honourable Donaldson Romeo; Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Dr the Honourable Timothy Harris; Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Honourable Allen Chastanet; Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. the Honourable Ralph Gonsalves; President of Suriname, His Excellency Desire Bouterse; and Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley.

    Associate Members in attendance were: Premier of Bermuda, Honourable David Burt; Premier of the British Virgin Islands, Honourable. Dr. Orlando Smith; Premier of the Cayman Islands, Honourable Aiden McLaughlin; Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Honourable Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson.

     

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