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131 Jamaican companies operating in Special Economic Zones, SEZs

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Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Jamaica Special Economic Zones Authority (JSEZA), Dr. Eric Deans (right), greets JSEZA’s Senior Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, Chantal Bennett (left), following a sensitisation session hosted by the Authority, on February 21, at the S Hotel in Montego Bay, St. James. Sharing in the moment is Director, Regulations, Policy, Enforcement and Monitoring, JSEZA, Ainsley Brown.

#MONTEGO BAY, Feb. 24 (JIS): The Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA) is reporting that there are 131 entities operating in the country’s Special Economic Zones (SEZs), with a total investment of more than US$1 billion.

           The Authority says since the SEZ Act was passed in 2016, it has successfully transitioned more than 106 entities from free zones to SEZs, and has added a number of new companies.

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           Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the JSEZA, Dr. Eric Deans, told JIS News that the Authority continues the push to heighten stakeholder interest in the SEZ to catalyse further economic development.

          “So, by any measure, this is quite a substantial economic space. We expect that all these numbers will grow substantially. It is quite a diverse industry and our intention is to have further diversification in the sector,” he said.

          Dr. Deans was speaking at a JSEZA sensitisation session on February 21, held at the S Hotel in Montego Bay, St. James.

          The session focused on the importance of regulation and monitoring by JSEZA and the roles of Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) and Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) in the operation of free zones, now referred to as ‘zones’.

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          “The goal of the SEZ regime is not to have a big stick over entities seeking to conduct their business. Like Singapore, the purpose of the regulations is to create a regime that will facilitate business, while fostering economic growth,” Dr. Deans pointed out.

           He stressed that regulations are important when monitoring developers and occupants, because SEZ incentives are primarily tax benefits.

           “A Special Economic Zone is a preferential tax agreement. As such, it provides considerable fiscal incentives to the entities… and as such, getting those benefits comes with certain responsibilities,” he said.

          “We want to ensure that, going forward, every entity that was in this space that became a part of this family had a proper gazette, had proper operating procedures and had proper safety and security procedures and would feel secure in their operating certificate,” Dr. Deans added.


Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Jamaica Special Economic Zones Authority (JSEZA), Dr. Eric Deans (third left), with (from left) JSEZA Senior Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, Chantal Bennett; Director, Regulations, Policy, Enforcement and Monitoring, JSEZA, Ainsley Brown; and Operations Manager, Jamaica Customs Agency Freezone, Bridgette Pinnock, following a sensitisation session hosted by the Authority, on February 21, at the S Hotel in Montego Bay, St. James.

          He said the Authority will continue to facilitate opportunities for value-added industries within the SEZ.

          “Having put in place this new Act, our job is to facilitate developers and occupants to build world-class facilities. We are moving towards larger zones, based on the interest that we have been seeing. The intention for the regime is to facilitate heavy and light industry, the global services sector (GSS) and other commercial activities and ensuring that where these sites are selected, that the proper offsite infrastructure is supported,” Dr. Deans highlighted.

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Bahamas News

Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.

The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.

The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.

Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.

In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.

The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.

Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.

Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.

 

Photo Caption:  Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG

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Caribbean News

Dunn’s River Offers Special Summer Package

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#Jamaica, August 5, 2022 – Persons looking for an adventurous activity to do this summer are being encouraged to take advantage of the ‘Summa Thrills’ promotion, being offered by the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls and Park.

The promotion, which ends September 15, includes paying one cost to climb the Falls, ‘Tek-A-Hike’ and Zip over the Falls via the Chukka Falls Flyer. In addition, persons will also have access to the beach, splash pad, and other amenities.

The cost for residents is $5,000 per person and US$75 per person for non-residents. A photo identification is required to access the resident rate.

“We have partnered with CHUKKA to create this five-star experience,” Marketing Manager, Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Kereen Cole-Ivey, told JIS News.

She further informed that ‘Tek-A-Hike’ is the newest product offering at Dunn’s River Falls and Park and that the promotion provides an opportunity to build awareness and renew interest in the falls and park.

‘Tek-a-Hike’ is a guided, one-hour-and-a-half hike that starts at the Tranquility Gardens and ends in the Dunn’s River Falls & Park Nursery. Here guests can purchase plants or adopt a tree as part of the park’s Reforestation and Conservation Programme.

The hike is approximately two miles and is an experience that the entire family can enjoy. Along the trail, guests will learn about the flora and fauna on the entire property, which is called the Belmont property, as well as the general history of Dunn’s River Falls and Park. They will also get a chance to visit the Belmont Great House ruins.

“Coming out of COVID-19, we thought that this (Summa Thrills) would have been a very great adventure for the family and for everyone to enjoy and have a good time,” said Mrs. Cole-Ivey, adding that the UDC has other plans in place for Dunn’s River.

Dunn’s River Falls and Park is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Persons are being encouraged to book ahead via the Dunn’s River website at www.dunnsriverfallsja.com, otherwise tickets can be purchased on location.

You may also visit @dunnsriver.jamaica and @udcjamaica on Instagram or call 876 618-6052 for additional information.

The Dunn’s River Falls and Park is managed and operated by St. Ann Development Corporation (SADCO), a subsidiary of the UDC.

 

Contact: Shanna K. Salmon

Release: JIS

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Caribbean News

Carnival Cruise ordered to pay $10.2 million for passenger claiming rape by staff

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 5, 2022 – A Miami-based Federal Court returned a more than $10.2 million verdict against Carnival Cruise Line in favour of a passenger who claims a former crew member raped her in a storage closet aboard the Carnival Miracle in 2018.

A jury issued the verdict recently in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida finding Carnival liable for damages to the plaintiff, for false imprisonment and sexual assault by a crew member, in December 2018.

The jury separately found that Carnival was not negligent and that the former crew member did not intentionally inflict emotional distress on Plaintiff.

According to a statement issued last week Tuesday, Carnival Cruise Line said the incident between the plaintiff and the former crew member was consensual and plans to appeal the court’s decision.

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