PAULWELL READIES TO FIGHT CARICOM OVER TARIFF—05/16/15
CARICOM states have blocked a bid by Jamaica to remove the Common External Tariff (CET) from solar water heaters. The Jamaican efforts have been consistently blocked by Barbados and St. Lucia. Jamaicans pay more for solar water heaters than is necessary due to the CET. Phillip Paulwell, Jamaica’s Minister of Energy is demanding that the situation be changed in light of Jamaicans being encouraged by the government to reduce their carbon footprint by offsetting gas usage with solar systems.
COFFEE LOSSES FROM FIRE ESTIMATED AT $180 MILLION—05/17/15
According to the Jamaica Coffee Industry Board, the industry is estimated to experience losses of some $180 million over the next three years as a result of the bush fire in east rural St. Andrew. Delano Franklyn, chairman of the Coffee Board, provided the estimate while touring the Stoneleigh Coffee Factor in Mavis Bank.
ROBINSON CONCERNED ABOUT JAMAICA’S TOURISM RANKING—05/20/15
Shahine Robinson, the Opposition spokesperson for Tourism and Cruise Shipping, is concerned about the “worst ever” ranking of Jamaica in the Global Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report for 2015. The report is published yearly by the World Economic Forum. Robinson acknowledges that tourism growth rates lag behind Jamaica’s Caribbean competitors, the fact that Jamaican fell nine places in the ranking, to 76 of 141 nations, is worrying. The report ranks countries on the basis of travel and tourism policies, enabling environment, infrastructure, and cultural and natural resources.
EXXON MOBILE FINDS OFFSHORE OIL IN CARIBBEAN—05/21/15
Exxon Mobil Corporation, a major oil and gas producer, announced that it has found a “significant” amount of oil in the Caribbean off the coast of Guyana. The discovery is located in the Starbroek Block, 120 miles offshore of the country. A well drilled by affiliate firm Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd. found over 295 feet of oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs holding high-quality oil. The company will not determine the commercial potential of the discovery.