CUSTOMS DEPARTMENT TO REVAMP ITS IT SYSTEM—06/15/13
Jamaica’s Customs Department plans to implement a total restructuring of its information technology (IT) system. The old system will be replaced by technology capable of interfacing with those that oversee border trade in foreign markets. The new IT will involve a database that permits real-time updating of new tax regulations. This will reduce the number of errors and delays associated with computing port taxes. The new system is called Automated System for Customs Data, or ASYCUDA, and it will cost about US$2 million. The Inter-American Development Bank is backing the plan, disbursing funds over a three-year period.
NEW ANTI-THEFT SYSTEM PROVIDES CAR CONTROL VIA CELL PHONE—06/16/13
Auto-Don Trading Company Ltd., a supplier of motor vehicle parts and accessories in Jamaica, is moving into the vehicle security space with a product that allows consumers to contact their cars through their mobile phones. In case of theft, users can click a button and disable the vehicle. Donahue Martin, managing director at Auto-Don, says the firm acquired the technology from unnamed sources overseas for the Jamaican market.
ALL ELECTRICITY NEEDS IN CARIBBEAN COULD BE MET VIA ENERGY RENEWABLES—06/18/13
A report from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDE) determined that the Caribbean region and Latin America has sufficient energy resources to cover projected electricity needs through 2050, 22 times over. “Rethinking Our Energy Future,” as the report is known, states that lower prices and new technology make renewable sources of energy a viable alternative for the region. These include solar, geothermal, wave, wind and biomass energy sources, which could produce as much as 80 petawatt hours per year.
KINGSTON SCHOOL MOVES FORWARD WITH INSTALLATION OF SOLAR POWER—06/19/13
The American International School of Kingston (AISK) is installing a solar photovoltaic (PV) system. The system will convert sunlight into electricity. The system uses 400 250-watt solar panels that cover 7,000 square feet. The school is the first in Jamaica to have a system this large, which will significantly reduce the facility’s carbon footprint and save about 48 percent of its current electricity requirements. These savings represent about US$60,000 per year.