THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
NEW LAW TO REVEAL TRUE OWNERS OF LOCAL COMPANIES
Judith Ramlogan, Registrar of Companies, said that the new Companies (Amendment) Act 2017 is meant to reveal the names of the true owners of offshore registered companies. According to Ramlogan, the law should take immediate effect to ensure that Jamaica will avoid being sanctioned. Any delay could result in the country being blacklisted by The Global Forum and the European Union. This would mean a significant decrease in international funding. The law is awaiting the signature of the Governor General after its passage in the House and Senate. It was amended to bring Jamaica into conformance with international obligations concerning transparency, accountability and good governance, said Ramlogan. It requires local and foreign firms to provide information on beneficial owners, prohibit issuing share warrants, and mandate that companies retain their records, including data on legal and beneficial owners, for seven years.
HUNDREDS OF YOUNG PEOPLE REGISTER FOR NEW TRAINING PROGRAM
Many young Jamaicans arrived at Jamaica College in St. Andrew to register in the government’s HOPE training program. About 1,500 young people were on hand at the orientation session on June 20, 2017. The program is a training and apprenticeship initiative designed to target young people from 18 to 24 years of age who are not In school or who do not currently have jobs. The HOPE program – its name stands for Housing, Opportunity, Production, and Employment – is coordinated by Lieutenant Colonel Martin Rickman, who was encouraged by the response. Through the program, young Jamaicans are given the chance to take positions where they can become responsible and productive members of society. Starting with the first 500 people to be placed, the program seeks to expand to between 10,000 and 15,000 to receiving job positions in the 2017 financial year.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
JAMAICA, GUATEMALA EXPAND VISA ABOLITION AGREEMENT
Jamaica and Guatemala have taken action to expand their visa abolition agreement by allowing individuals who hold diplomatic and official passports to receive visa exemptions. Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, signed the agreement with Carlos Raul Morales Moscoso, Guatemala’’ Foreign Minister, while they attended the Organization of American States General Assembly in Cancun, Mexico. The two nations already have a visa abolishment agreement in place for citizens traveling between the countries for tourism.
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THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICANS LIVING ABROAD WILL SOON HAVE GLOBAL IMMIGRATION CARDS
According to Under-Secretary for Diaspora Protocol and Consular Affairs, Ambassador Sharon Saunders, Jamaicans with foreign passports will soon be allowed to join the line with residents when they travel through local airports as a benefit of the new global immigration card. A feasibility student showing how the card will be implemented is in preparation for discussion at the Biennial Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference scheduled for July 23-26, 2017, in Kingston. The Foreign Ministry is cooperating with the Ministry of National Security and a Diaspora Task Force in the Economic Growth Council for the development of the card, Saunders said.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS SUMMARY
NEW BREED OF CHICKEN TO REDUCE COST OF EGG PRODUCTION
A new breed of chicken, the Barred Rock, is being introduced to the market by Jamaica Broilers Group (JBG). It is expected that the new bird will prompt a reduction in the price of table eggs. It is being targeted for what the JGB calls the “backyard” portion of the layer market. According to Dayne Patterson, the business development manager of the Hi-Pro Division of JBG, this backyard hen is being introduced to encourage the consumption of eggs in the home. By increasing consumption, the layer market will see growth and generate additional revenue for the agricultural sector. Currently, 174 million eggs are produced each year in Jamaica with a value of $4 billion. The backyard hens are produced by Wincorp International, also a division of JBG, and start laying 18 weeks with a laying life of 18 months,
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
JASMINE THOMAS-GIRVAN FEATURED AT NATIONAL GALLERY
Jasmine Thomas-Girvan, recipient of the Aaron Matalon Award at the 2017 Jamaica Biennial, had two installations at Devon House in Kingston during the event and will now be featured at the National Gallery of Jamaica. The artist is best known as a jeweler, but her more recent work involves larger, mixed media sculpture and installations. Her work has been exhibited in the United States, Jamaica, Trinidad, Venezuela and Mexico. Among her awards are the Tiffany Award for Excellence at Parsons, the Prime Minister of Jamaica’s Certificate of Recognition, the Commonwealth Foundation Arts award in 1996, the Aaron Matalon Award for her contribution to the 2012 National Biennial at the National Gallery, and the 2014 Silver Musgrave Medal of the Institute of Jamaica. She currently resides in Maraval, Trinidad.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
USAIN BOLT TO RACE IN MONACO IN ADVANCE OF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Jamaican Usain Bolt, eight-time Olympic champion, plans to run the 100 meters at he Diamond League meet in Monaco on July 21, 2017. Bolt is competing in his final season before retiring and views the Monaco event as preparation for the World Championships in London, scheduled to begin on August 5, 2017. Bolt, who holds the world record in the 100 meters with a time of 9.58 seconds, won his first race of 2017 in Kingston in June with a time of 10.03 in the 100 meters. He is also scheduled to race in Ostrava on June 28. Bolt, 30, will compete only in the 100 meter distance at the World Championships.