DAVIES SAYS TRANSFER OF LANDS TO CHINESE WILL BOOST ECONOMY—05/23/15
While the Jamaican government has been presented with an online petition asking it to save the Roaring River lands in St. Ann and not transfer these lands to China harbor Engineering Company (CHEC), Transport, Works and Housing Minister Dr. Omar Davies believes the move will provide a major economic benefit to the country. Davies says that one of the reasons he is attracted to the 150 acres in question is that an investment of US$500 million is involved. The government is considering a request for lands west of Ocho Rios, near Drax Hall, although the area has not been named as Roaring River. The Chinese have a concession agreement with Jamaica, providing 1,200 acres of lands.
JAMAICA TAKES LEADERSHIP OF CDB BOARD OF GOVERNORS—05/26/15
Jamaica has taken the chairmanship of the Board of Governors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) at the end of the 45th Annual Meeting of the Bank’s Board. Next year’s meeting is scheduled for May of 2015 in Jamaica. Dr. Peter Phillips, Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and Planning, will represent the nation at the meeting. Phillips noted that Caribbean countries have been classified as middle-income countries, and as such, are unlikely to receive significant debt relief. Without external economic support, however, these countries will be overwhelmed, and that solutions must be found.
TENTH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATED BY TOURISM ENHANCEMENT FUND—05/28/15
Jamaica’s Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) was launched in May 2005, to promote the growth and development of the island’s tourism sector. Under the Tourism Enhancement Act, a fee of US$20.00 may be imposed on incoming airline passengers, with a US$2.00 fee imposed on cruise ship passengers. These monies then go into a dedicated Tourism Enhancement Fund. As arrivals have increased, the amount available in the TEF has also grown, allowing the fund to do more projects, said Dr. Wykeham McNeil, Minister of Tourism and Entertainment.
JAMAICA BROILERS GROUP LEAVES ETHANOL MARKET—05/29/15
Having not yet recovered the UN$42 million invested into its ethanol plant over the past eight years, Jamaica Broilers Group has decided to stop producing the biofuel and leave the market. The firm is looking for a partner to operate its facility under a contract. Until arrangements are made, it costs the company some US$100,000 per month to maintain the facility. The company is looking at offers from local and international sources.