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Thank God for Rufus Ewing: Border Control Minister wants Premier to stay on as Leader

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Providenciales, 10 Mar 2015 – Likely the most lavish public endorsement the Premier has ever had, and it came last week following the delivery of the Speech from the Throne.

“I don’t know what his plans are, but I pray to God that he would put his name forward again for the leadership of my party and for the leadership of my country. I’m not going to be doing that because I think the country is in good hands. I think at this time, Mr. Speaker, there are no better hands than the ones we have at the tiller.”

The incredible kudos came from the Border Control & Labour Minister, Donhue Gardiner, who said the country is with the best man at the helm; citing that the Turks and Caicos really needed two things after previous administrations. “In times like these we should be thanking God for the leadership of Rufus Ewing; sorry Mr. Speaker, of our Premier because Mr. Speaker, in times like these, not only do we need Jesus, in times like these we need a steady hand at the tiller,”

The Minister in defending the Throne Speech and supporting his government’s decisions gave a list of projects approved at Cabinet last week.

“Construction of the Bambarra slip extension in Middle Caicos, that is now under contract, Mr Speaker. The refurbishment of the Raymond Gardiner High School lab, that is now under contract Mr. Speaker; the Blue Hills dock repairs in Provo, that is under contract Mr. Speaker; completion of the auditorium at the HJ Robinson High school, that is under contract too; Mr. Speaker the design and construction of a brand new wellness center for Grand Turk, Mr. Speaker that is under contract. The Middle Caicos recreation park, that is under contract Mr. Speaker, phase one of that is under contract; the next phase will be provided for in this year’s budget. Mr. Speaker the construction of the Clement Howell High school canteen, Mr. Speaker that is under contract. The road development program for Three Mary’s Cay in North Caicos, that is under contract. Mr. Speaker, this week as well as you would see in this week’s Cabinet Statement refurbishment of the Sammy Been Plaza building for the Ministry of Border Control & Labour, that is under contract too,”

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TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS POST CABINET MEETING STATEMENT

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#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – Her Excellency the Acting Governor, Anya Williams, chaired the 19th meeting of Cabinet on Wednesday 22 June 2022 in Grand Turk. All other members were present.

At this meeting Cabinet:

  • Approved the terms and conditions for an application from a land surveyor for a licence.
  • Approved the making of the Revised Edition of the Laws 2021 (Commencement Order) 2022 subject to the approval of the House of Assembly; laws will be now be made available free of charge to members of the public on the Attorney General’s website. Physical reproductions will continue to be sold.
  • Discussed proposed amendments to the Insurance Ordinance as drafting instructions to the Attorney General’s Chambers and consultation with the industry.
  • Approved for the Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2022 to be introduced to the House of Assembly as soon as possible.
  • Approved the revision of the Anti-Money Laundering Committee Budget for the Financial Year 2022/2023 for office furniture and supplies; confirmed annual payments for the annual membership costs to the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Agencies (FIA) and annual costs of the FIA’s travel costs for the Egmont annual meeting.
  • Approved a three year rental lease agreement for the relocation of the Ministry of Tourism, Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Culture and Heritage, Agriculture, religious Affairs and Gaming, and the Tourist Board and Department of Culture in Providenciales.
  • Approved a lease agreement for a temporary HQ for the Turks & Caicos Islands Regiment in Providenciales.
  • Was updated on the proposed merger of NIB/NHIP Compliance and Collections. Further consideration was requested before Cabinet can take a decision.
  • Noted the award of the following contracts in line with the provisions of the Public Procurement Ordinance:
  1. PN 005600, TR 21/48, Furniture and equipment for Mental Health Facility – Grand Turk
  2. PN 005611, TR 21/30, Ballistic Vests for the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force

III. PN 005614, TR 21/37, Bellefield Landing Civilian Safety Project – Safe Boat Slips

  1. PN 005627, TR 21/53, Furniture and Equipment for Public Works Programme Management
  2. PN 005630, TR 21/08, Vehicles for Government (resubmission)
  • Approved for a request from American Airlines to waive the import customs duties and customs processing fees for replacement parts for an aircraft that had an emergency landing on Providenciales to be forwarded to the House of Assembly for consideration and approval.
  • Noted a paper from the Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority (TCIAA) for legislative amendments to be made to the TCIAA Ordinance to regulate industrial action by employees of the TCIAA. Cabinet requested further consideration. Proposed amendments will be considered by the House of Assembly for approval in due course.
  • Approved the grant of a long lease to an applicant for a funeral home and cemetery on 60003/231 PT (2.5 ACRES)

 

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Turks & Caicos Islands Government retains it BBB+ credit rating

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#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – On the 29th of March 2022, Standard and Poor’s Global (S&P) released the results of the review of the 2021 sovereign credit rating for the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). S&P has affirmed the country’s sovereign credit rating for long-term bonds, denominated in both domestic and foreign currency, of BBB+. Additionally, the agency also maintained the outlook as Stable for the TCI.

The Rating Agency advised that the stable outlook takes into account that the country’s economy will continue to recover given the strong performance of tourism and will improve in 2022. Furthermore, S&P believes the TCI will continue to adhere to prudent financial management and limit borrowing, and that fiscal reserve balances will increase during the next two years. Additionally, the rating agency also expects continuity in TCI’s institutional relationship with the U.K.

In its report, the rating agency advised that the rationale for the rating was a result of the Country’s institutional and economic profile. That is, the economic recovery led by resurgence in tourism and continued institutional stability. S&P indicated that despite the short-term pressures of the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the TCI Government’s prudent actions, aided by the U.K.’s swift transfer of vaccines, allowed international travel to resume as early as the first quarter of 2021. The combination of the Government’s swift response, coupled with pent-up demand in key source markets, led to a strong recovery in tourism, which in turn, has led to a better-than anticipated economic recovery. S&P estimates GDP per capita to be $23,674 in 2021, up from $20,757 in 2020 – a 14% year over year increase. Tourism remains the core pillar of the economy, indirectly accounting for about 65% of GDP.

S&P indicated that the ratings could be revised upwards if better-than-expected GDP increases and continued favorable growth prospects were to substantially boost economic resilience. Additionally, the rating agency also stated that they could also raise the ratings if better availability of timely data, especially on external flows and stocks, were to boost transparency and indicated that TCI enjoyed a significantly stronger economic or external position.

However, if the rebound in tourism is interrupted or turns out to be weaker than expected, leading to prolonged stress on revenues, this may cause the TCI Government to run persistent fiscal deficits that could materially worsen public finances. This could lead to a down grading of the rating.

Commenting on the rating, Minister of Finance, Investment & Trade, Hon. E. Jay Saunders, stated that “I am happy and extremely proud that S&P saw fit to maintain our country’s credit rating at BBB+, particularly at a time when many countries had theirs downgraded – mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a testament to the strength of our economy, and particularly, our government’s prudent handling of it. We have taken particular note of S&P’s comment that they could raise the ratings on better availability of timely data, and we are working towards achieving that.”

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Patricia Scotland narrowly wins to hold onto Commonwealth Secretary-General over Jamaica’s Johnson-Smith

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By Deandrea Hamilton

Editor

 

#Rwanda, June 25, 2022 – Narrowly edging out her contender, Rt Hon Patricia Scotland managed to hold onto the post of Secretary General of the Commonwealth; the vote was had on Friday, at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2022 in Kigali Rwanda.  It is there leaders made their decision to support the Dominican-born Scotland in the completion of the balance of her period in office.

In a bold move, which by some CARICOM country members was frowned upon, Minister of Foreign Affairs to Jamaica, Hon Kamina Johnson-Smith, announced that she would bid for the job of Secretary-General. It caused a split and drew criticism.  Nonetheless, the Jamaican campaigned and for her effort secured 24 votes including backing from Belize, the Maldives, Trinidad & Tobago, the UK, India, Singapore and Australia to name some.

However, it would not be enough as the current Secretary-General drew 27 votes to retain the role.

The vote was only necessary due to the challenge by Johnson-Smith, who was supported by Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica.

Speaking after her reappointment Secretary-General The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC said: “It is deeply humbling to have been reappointed as Secretary-General of this great Commonwealth. To continue to serve our family of nations is a true honour and a privilege and I will do so to the best of my ability. We will face the world’s challenge with unity and purpose.

“To seek high office is a profound act of service and I want to commend my colleagues who also sought to serve. The Commonwealth is richer for the breadth and depth of talented leaders who dedicate themselves to our family of nations.”

Kamina Johnson-Smith tweeted on the loss, gave congratulations and surmised that ‘if she did not win, it meant God was not yet ready for her to leave Jamaica.’

The Secretary-General first took office in 2016 with her initial term extended due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Having already served six years she will now serve for a further two years to complete the balance of her period in office, said a statement from The Commonwealth.

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