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Antigua

The Antigua-based regional airline LIAT plans to introduce an airport passenger facilitation fee for international flights from the Eugene F Correia International Airport from next month.

In a statement, the airline said that its newly-appointed CEO, Julie Reifer-Jones led a delegation to Guyana for talks with the Director General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, Lieutenant Colonel Egbert Field and representatives of Ogle Airport Inc. “to discuss concerns relating to the airport passenger facilitation fee which LIAT passengers are required to pay for the use of facilities at the Eugene F. Correia International Airport.”

The statement said that the fee (which was not disclosed) “is being charged to LIAT” and the parties “agreed that an airport passenger facilitation fee is normal and legitimate airport charge to the passenger and that, IATA’s (International Air Transport Association) approval, effective Sept. 1, 2017, this fee will be included in the LIAT ticket price.”

The statement said the fee “will appear on the LIAT ticket for any booking on LIAT international flights departing Guyana from the Eugene F Correia International Airport.”

Grenada

The Grenada government is looking to develop a new national export strategy that it hopes will provide new markets for existing exports, maintaining the focus on sustainability while expanding exports.

Trade Minister Oliver Joseph said that the strategy, which will cover the period 2017-2021, is aimed at establishing a competitive export sector focused on a mixed of quality high value goods and service for the sustainable development of the island.

He said the strategy is expected to improve Grenada’s trade balance and its ranking in export, despite the country’s small scale production.

The minister also hopes that the island’s import bill would be reduce significantly by the time the strategy is reviewed.

In 2016, Grenada’s total export of goods and services amounted to US$650.5 million while total imports were estimated at US$1.145 billion.

Guyana

Guyana’s gold production is booming so far for this year and the South American country is well on track to meeting its target for 2017, according to industry experts.

Officials of the Guyana Gold Board (GGB) say just in seven months in the year, more than 360,000 ounces of gold have been produced, earning more than US$450 million in revenue.

Figures released show that as of July 31, 2017, a total of 367,861 ounces had been declared.

This, officials say puts the country well on track to meeting its target of 700,000 ounces of gold and already surpasses last year’s output of 600,000 ounces.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and the GGB have attributed the strong performance to recent measures implemented by the government to boost production and export levels.

Haiti

Haitian legislators have banned same-sex marriages as well as all forms of public demonstrations in support of homosexuality.

The Senate recently approved the measures that include sanctions and specifies that perpetrators, accomplices of homosexual marriages face a penalty of three years imprisonment and a fine of US$5,000.

The bill, in addition to prohibiting marriage, or attempted marriage between two persons, also includes foreigners on Haitian territory to solicit the celebration in Haiti of a marriage between two persons of the same sex.

The bill must now go to the Lower House for debate before being sent to the executive for publication in the official newspaper.

Jamaica

Jamaica’s Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton has urged members of the Diaspora to support a new $46 million medical facility to be built on the compound of the Cornwall Regional Hospital in the western city of Montego Bay.

Speaking to delegates attending the recent Diaspora 55 conference, he said the 220-bed medical facility will provide specialist services for children and adolescent.

The minister also called on them to support the expansion of the Bustamante Hospital for Children in the Corporate Area to include a cardio-care facility aimed at increasing the number of surgeries administered to youngsters up to the age of 12, from 50 to 250 per year.

Dr. Tufton said the development of the hospital in Montego Bay is being supported by the government of China, which has signed off on the project in tandem with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.

He said the Chinese government has also promised it will provide some of the center’s equipment.

St. Lucia

The St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment Board has appointed Nestor Alfred to the post of chief executive officer of the Citizenship by Investment Unit, as of Monday, Aug. 8, 2017.

Alfred brings to the Citizenship program his vast experience as a regulator within the financial services and his expertise in the areas of anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism.

Prior to his appointment, his former roles include executive director of the Gaming Authority; financial management consultant; senior executive with the Eastern Caribbean Financial Holding Group and assistant comptroller of Inland Revenue St. Lucia.

Trinidad

Five Trinidad and Tobago nationals have been awarded scholarships to study medicine in Cuba courtesy the Cuban government.

Among those present at the signing ceremony at the Ministry of Education in Port Spain, Trinidad last week were Education Minister Anthony Garcia, Dr. Gaynelle Holdip, manager of the Scholarships and Advanced Training Division and Cuban Ambassador Guillermo Vasquez Moreno.

Dr. Holdip said that the government of Cuba will pay accommodation and tuition and “we will pay for their flight to and from Cuba and a stipend of US$200 per month for each student.”

From September, the five young students will begin studies in medicine.

The late Dr. Fidel Castro conceived the project of the Latin American School of Medicine which was created in November 1999, has graduated from 2005 to date more than 28,500 doctors from l03 countries.

-Compiled by Azad Ali

Updated 3:05 am, July 10, 2018
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