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T&T companies tap into Cuban market at Expo Caribe 2019

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From Trinidad Government Information Services

#Trinidad, July 3, 2019 — The Trinidad and Tobago flag was flown high by twenty three (23) local companies at the recently held 16th Expo Caribe in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba during June 19 – 21, 2019. The delegation, comprising businesses seeking to expand into the Cuban market, was led by Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry. The delegation also comprised Mr. Shomari Hector, Assistant Secretary for Community Development, Enterprise Development and Labour of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) and other THA officials.

The delegation expressed great optimism as a result of the 200 plus B2B meetings and collaborations with Cuban State companies. These meetings allowed local companies, based in both Tobago and Trinidad, to showcase their goods and services to the Cuban market.

Minister Gopee-Scoon held discussions with His Excellency Ricardo Cabrisas Ruiz, Vice President of the Council of Ministers on greater collaboration between Trinidad and Tobago and Cuba in the areas of investment, trade, transportation and multi-destination tourism among other areas of interest. Meetings were also held with Mr.  Antonio Luis Carricarte Corona, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment of Cuba, and Mr. Ruben Ramos Arrieta, Vice President of the Cuban Chamber of Commerce. Minister Gopee-Scoon thanked Cuba for accepting Trinidad and Tobago’s products  and reiterated Trinidad and Tobago’s keen interest in furthering trade and investment relations with Cuba.

Trinidad and Tobago copped three awards at Expo Caribe 2019. ExporTT Limited was awarded the Modular Stand Prize for its booth, which included all 23 companies. The trade promotion agency was also awarded the Social Communication Prize for Marketing of products and services and the Social Communication Prize for Public Relations for the positioning of its products, services, cultural values and identities of its companies and country in exhibition events to achieve the commercial integration of the Caribbean region. 

Trinidad and Tobago’s booth was the largest and most popular in Expo Caribe, featuring samples of Carib beer, sausages with condiments from Vemco Ltd, snacks from Mr. Topper’s, teas from TeaBago Teas, among others.

Trinidad and Tobago’s participation in Expo Caribe 2019 exceeded its objectives to increase the visibility of Trinidad and Tobago and its products in the Cuban market and the Caribbean at large; strengthen and maintain previous collaborative relationships developed between local exporters and importers within the Cuban market; and increase export sales through market presence and recognition by Cuban and Regional buyers, importers and distributors.

Between January 2018 and May 2019, twenty (20) non-energy companies exported to Cuba, including Trinidad Tissues Ltd (Grand Bay Paper Products), Ansa Coatings Ltd, and Caribbean Development Co. Ltd (Carib Brewery). Two (2) energy companies – Phoenix Park Gas Processors Ltd and Trinidad Nitrogen Company Ltd – also exported to Cuba. These companies have registered to trade within the Cuban market. With the assistance of exporTT’s Trade Facilitation Office in Cuba, twenty-three (23) other companies are registered and awaiting orders and thirteen (13) companies are in the final stages of registration.

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Caribbean News

CHTA President calls for “Dynamic Tax” to address high cost of air travel

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#CaymanIslands, September 26, 2022 – The President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is recommending a tiered “dynamic taxation system” as a novel and potential solution to address ongoing concerns about the high cost of air travel within and to and from the region.

Calling for a flexible approach to levying airline taxes, CHTA’s President Nicola Madden-Greig said one of the major constraints facing Caribbean travel is the heavy burden of taxation, and governments could well consider successful revenue management tactics employed within the tourism and aviation sector.

Understanding that the full removal of taxes may be challenging, the CHTA president suggested a tax policy that is responsive to international travel demand seasonality. “For example, governments can affix a higher airline ticket tax in the peak winter season and lower taxes in the summer when demand is weak,” she said, adding that giving consumers better prices to drive visitation during the slow season could boost tourism, commerce and intra-regional VFR (Visiting Friends and Relatives) travel.

Speaking recently at IATA Caribbean Aviation Day in Grand Cayman, the successful Jamaican hotelier said the economics of such a variable policy may in fact result in a net gain in tax revenue to Caribbean governments. “As travel becomes more affordable and we stimulate more travel, this will result in more local spending, and consequently an increase in local tax collections,” she said, underscoring there will be an overall net benefit to the consumer thanks to lower ticket prices.

“I think it’s a concept that should be explored,” said Madden-Greig, who argued that a well-developed strategy could address diverse perspectives on taxation. “There’s a way to do it that allows for flexibility so you still have taxation on the front end, but when you need to drive demand, you can reduce those taxes and make up the difference on the tail end,” she said. The taxation details however must be transparent, she warned.

Madden-Greig, the Jamaica-based Group Director of Marketing & Sales at The Courtleigh Hospitality Group, said she hopes to explore the “dynamic taxation strategy” at the upcoming Caribbean Travel Forum, taking place at CHTA’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace in San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 3 to 5, 2022.

“This could definitely answer the call for reduction in taxes, but not a reduction necessarily all year-round,” the CHTA president explained, suggesting that policy makers could consider alternate tax regimes for regional and international flights in order to drive multi-destination and intra-regional travel.

She admitted that research is required on the technological options to implement the system: “It may not be an immediate solution, but it’s a solution we can work towards.”

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Caribbean News

WHO rejects report, claims it managed Cornavirus Pandemic well

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

September 18, 2022 – The World Health Organization is rejecting suggestions that it moved too slowly to contain the COVID19 pandemic.

In a press release on Thursday, the WHO says there were ‘omissions and misinterpretations’ made by the Lancet Commission in its report ‘Lessons for the future from the COVID-19 pandemic’ which criticized the organization as ‘delayed and vague’ in its reaction.

Lancet had claimed The WHO was too slow in its response time in the early weeks leading to swift global spread of the coronavirus. In reply the entity said “the Commission does not convey the full arc of WHO’s immediate, multi-year, life-saving response”.

The agency detailed its response in the first weeks of the pandemic saying that behind closed doors they were meeting with member countries and creating information packages on how to test for and treat the unknown virus.

It also defended the timing of its announcement of the pandemic (which the Lancet Commission said was too slow) noting that the first meeting of the emergency committee occurred only after only nine international cases and no deaths outside of China and while it was not declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) it was noted that it could become one quickly.

It was declared a PHEIC seven days later.

The WHO also says not only did it repeatedly warn of the possibility of human to human transmission it warned countries to start screening at entry points and provided early access to personal protective gear.

At the same time there were agreements between the entities. Lancet maintained that with strengthening the WHO should still be in charge of worldwide pandemic response.

Additionally the WHO did say it agreed with some of the commission’s observations including chronic underfunding of the UN and some of its recommendations including the importance of multilateralism, solidarity and cooperation when facing pandemics.

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Caribbean News

TCI’s Faion Hicks on roster for Denver Broncos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, September 18, 2022 – Faion Hicks made history as the first TCI American player to be drafted into the NFL when he got hitched to the Denver Broncos several months ago.

Despite being drafted to the practice squad and not the main game night roster, Faion, we had hoped would see some game time in the team’s Monday Night Football debut for the season.  Denver Broncos were on September 12, up against the Seattle Seahawks.

Practice squad players who are assigned to a team and practice with the team but do not play any games unless they are elevated.

Practice squad players are eligible to be elevated and play official games three times per season.

If Faion is elevated to the roster more than three times this season he will be signed to the main roster officially. Many successful and all-star NFL players started out on the practice squad.

Once the regular season ends practice squad players are usually signed to reserve or future contracts by their team.

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