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Jamaica Invites Investment by Indian Pharmaceutical Companies

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#Jamaica, June 14, 2022 – Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill, is inviting investment by Indian companies, particularly those involved in pharmaceuticals, in the Caymanas Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) in St. Catherine.

Speaking with JIS News, the Minister said the approximately 1,000-acre campus, which will be developed under the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA regime, is an opportunity to further strengthen the commercial collaboration between Jamaica and India.

“I am inviting Indian pharmaceutical companies [and] Indian investors to come to Jamaica and invest in our logistics centre at Caymanas and to make sure that collaboration between Jamaica and India will strengthen commercially,” he said.

The Minister noted that due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, “long supply chains from… Russia to Egypt are now problematic”.

He pointed out that “Jamaica is ideally situated next to the largest economy in the world (United States of America) and Canada is right there and then we have Latin America and the Caribbean”.

He noted that with the changing times, “we have to look for new trading partners”.

“India is an excellent [trading partner] with a legal system that we know and with a collaboration that we’ve had for a long time,” he added.

Minister Hill was part of the Jamaican delegation at the Office of the Prime Minister for Monday’s (May 16) courtesy call on Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, by President of the Republic of India, His Excellency Hon. Ram Nath Kovind.

The courtesy call formed part of a four-day State visit to the island by the Indian President that began on Sunday (May 15).

The meeting included the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will provide for training through Jamaica’s Foreign Service Institute.

Other members of the Jamaican delegation for the courtesy call and the signing ceremony included Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith; Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte; Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie; Minister without Portfolio, Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Matthew Samuda; Minister without Portfolio, Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Floyd Green; High Commissioner for Jamaica to the Republic of India, Jason Hall.

President Kovind’s visit to Jamaica is a first for an Indian President over the 60 years of relations between the two countries.  He is scheduled to depart the island on Wednesday, May 18.

 

Contact: Mickella Anderson

Release: JIS

 

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Jamaica Rum Festival Endorsed

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#Jamaica, June 27, 2022 – Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, endorsed this year’s fourth staging of the Jamaica Rum Festival at the Aqueduct in Rose Hall, St. James, on Saturday (June 25).

Ms. Grange, who officially opened the event, noted that rum, and spirits in general, has deep cultural significance in Jamaica, spanning centuries.

“From the cane fields, where our enslaved ancestors worked, through to today, where we have the best rum in the world… we have a lot to be proud of,” she added.

For his part, Tourism Director, Donovan White, commended the organisers of the festival, which attracted a significant number of patrons, including visitors from overseas.  He said the Ministry of Tourism, through the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), was pleased to be a partner in the event that showcased top quality products by local rum purveyors.

Minister Grange, representatives from the Tourism Ministry’s agencies, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, were presented with limited edition Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum.

 

Contact; Okoye Henry

Release: JIS

 

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Education Ministry Recommits to Expanding Uniformed Groups in Schools

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#Jamaica, June 27, 2022 – The Ministry of Education and Youth remains committed to increasing the number of uniformed groups in schools.  This is in keeping with its thrust to fulfill this mission under the Safety and Security in Schools Programme, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Fayval Williams, has said.  She further noted that “it is a part of our series of measures to improve discipline among students.”

Mrs. Williams was speaking during the Council of Voluntary Social Services’ (CVSS) uniformed groups church service on Sunday (June 26).  The service was held at St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Cross Roads, Kingston.

Mrs. Williams remarks came against the background of what she said were “heightened concerns” in recent months over incidents of violence in schools across Jamaica and calls for a more concerted effort to provide civic and character education for students.  She noted that several initiatives within the Ministry to address these concerns were being expanded, among them support for uniformed groups in schools.

“The Ministry has been supporting uniformed youth groups in the development of a Three-Year Strategic Plan and [Memoranda of Understanding] with individual groups which will, at one and the same time, advance the missions of the groups and the mandate of the Ministry to these groups,” Mrs. Williams added.

The Minister pointed out that these cohorts, including Girl Guides, Brownies, Boys Brigade, Cub Scouts, Cadets and Pathfinders, “have played an invaluable role in shaping the character and awakening the social conscience of our young people for decades.”

“It has been well-established that students who participate in clubs are more out-going as they are engaged in activities that support socialisation with their peers. These students tend to be more comfortable in group settings where communication and team-work are necessary. This is a valuable asset as it will also benefit these students outside of the school setting,” she stated.

Mrs. Williams said the activities engaged in at meetings also complement classroom learning and emphasise social, emotional, and physical development.

Additionally, she said they provide opportunities for informal learning and life experiences.

“Uniformed youth groups represent a cohort of the nation’s youth that is organised around a set of core values, such as honour, discipline, service, loyalty, commitment, integrity, perseverance, industry and spiritual fortitude,” the Minister emphasised.

She noted that while most are based in schools, units may also be organised at church and community levels.

“Indeed, we know that the church has been a main source through which many new members are recruited. There is a challenge, however, and that is, over the past few years, there has not been as robust an interest in these groups as in previous decades,” Mrs. Williams indicated.

She said it was acknowledged that the society’s youth now have many more interests and distractions, “but we should still try to encourage them to see the value in participating in groups such as these”, while citing an “urgent need” for volunteer adult leaders.

The Minister also noted that older and more traditional groups, such as Boys Scouts and Girl Guides, are international in scope and maintain linkages with the worldwide movements.

“Support from these fraternal organisations has, however, diminished over the years, and local organisations must find the resources to sustain operations and pay the required affiliation fees. So once again, it is important that we, in the local community, pitch in to provide the needed support,” she added.

In this regard, the Minister commended members of the uniformed groups and CVSS for ongoing efforts to forge long-term alliances that facilitate mutual support and joint action.

Further, she said, for representing the concerns of the social sector, including disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, at the regional and international levels.

“We, as a collective, continue to dedicate ourselves to creating a supportive and safe environment for our students to learn and experience as much as possible to become productive members of society,” Mrs. Williams stated.

 

Contact: Douglas McIntosh

Release: JIS

 

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Anguilla Economic Affairs Minister Quits; calling it a conscience move

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By Shanieka Smith

Features Writer

 

#Anquilla, June 27, 2022 – After penning a three-page resignation letter to Premier Ellis Lorenzo Webster, the Minister of Economic Development, Commerce, Information Technology and Natural Resources, Kyle Hodge has officially resigned from the Anguilla Progressive Movement (APM).

“I am submitting this letter of resignation because my conscience and commitments to the people of Anguilla no longer permit me to serve as a member of the Anguilla Progressive Movement and minister of government in your administration,” he wrote.

Included in his letter are his reasons for resigning and that entails his concerns on Goods and Services Tax (GST) which is scheduled to come into Force on July 1, the lack of organised leadership, and the lack of party structure.

“I believe that my dissenting vote on the Good and Services Tax (GST) marked the initial fraying of our relationship; since then we have not been on the same page. There is a mutual lack of trust and understanding and most importantly, our goals for the Anguillan people have fully diverged and there is little common ground,” said the resigned minister.

He also shared his concern regarding the approach and tone of the government towards Anguillans.

“Politics in Anguilla must change and it actually started when the people demanded more of use and I am very comfortable with that demand. You deserve nothing less,” said Hodge in a Facebook post. He also thanked the people who have supported him in his decision to resign.

Hodge added that he will continue to serve the people who elected him since he will still be a member of the House of Assembly.

He said, “my resignation today does not mean GST disappears, so let us continue to unite our efforts to either make it more palatable or find other ways to collect the revenue that is needed to run the country. I wish the entire government a healthy and prosperous term in office. I also take this time to commend you for the relief package granted to the people of Anguilla as we deal with hyperinflation in Anguilla.

Thank you for allowing me to serve as Minister of Economic Development, Investment, Commerce, Natural Resources and Information Technology. I wish you the very best politically and otherwise.”

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