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Antigua and Barbuda poised to embrace high tech

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, addressed a recent meeting of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) ambassadors in Brussels, Belgium.
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Antigua

The Antigua and Barbuda government says it is moving to implement legislation that would allow the island to take advantage of the new wave of global technology, including cryptocurrency.

This was revealed by Information Technology Minister Melford Nicholas who said that Antigua and Barbuda is determined to be on the cutting edge of the new system of creating wealth with the exception that the exchange will generate non-tax revenue for the treasury.

He said the cryptocurrency exchange will act as a facilitator to bring together cryptocurrency buyers and sellers for a fee.

A government statement said, “by establishing an exchange in Antigua will bring it into the game, as it were; should there be any potential economic spin-offs Antigua and Barbuda should be in the front seat.”

It said Calvin Ayre, who was appointed as an economic envoy, is the founder of online gaming platform Bodog is the government’s cryptocurrency adviser.

He recently announced that he would be building a US$100 million resort on the island, with profits gained from his digital currency investments.

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.

Barbados

CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROS&Q) is warning regional importers about attempting to bring in inferior products in the Caribbean.

CROS&Q recently held a meeting with Barbados Industry and Commerce minister to outline several guidelines for improving the quality of regional standards.

Innis told the delegates at the 32 nd meeting of the CARICOM body that stiffer penalties are needed to ensure the standards in the countries are upheld.

He suggested that all importers arm themselves with knowledge or the standards in Barbados including acceptable labels prior to placing orders.

CROS&Q is the regional center for promoting efficiency and competitive production in goods and services through the process of verification of quality.

The organizers said the meeting discussed how standardization, trade and trade facilitation and international health matters, among other issues, fit into the quality agenda of the region.

Grenada

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has expressed concern about the increasing number of rogue police officers who have found themselves in recent times disobeying the law instead of upholding and enforcing it.

According to police reports, during the first quarter of this year, several officers were charged with offenses ranging from drugs to sexually-related offences.

The latest report made was about an incident involving a policeman who is now being investigated by his colleagues.

He said the matter has since been submitted to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for advice and directives.

Dr. Mitchell said those officers are supposed to be upholding the laws of the land and if they are the ones breaking it that is troubling.

He was speaking at his first news conference since returning to office following the March, 13, 2018 general election.

Jamaica

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says Jamaica is committed to its responsibility to each state within the African, Caribbean and Pacific (AC)) Group of States council and that no state will be left behind in the process.

He stated that along with the CARIFORUM Group of states that Jamaica represents, the council is committed to promoting a process of collaboration.

Holness noted that the ACP Group has a rich history and has accomplished much through its unity, strength and solidarity, adding the Group’s major strength lies in its ability to serve as a platform for its member Countries to engage with bilateral and multilateral partners in order to secure sustainable development, inclusive of growth and poverty eradication for its. 1.1 billion people.

The prime minister further explained that the ACP must reflect and examine itself in order to remain viable.

He was at the time speaking to ACP ambassadors in Brussels ahead of the recent Commonwealth Summit in London.

St. Kitts

Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris is not in favor of decriminalization or legalizing marijuana in St. Kitts and Nevis.

Speaking at the launch of the new Forensic Laboratory in St. Kitts recently, Harris urged residents to reject crime and drugs, including marijuana.

He said in the debate that is going on about the legalizing of marijuana, a lot of reckless statements are being made adding that mothers, fathers and adults have to stand firm on a point of principle.

According to Harris, the evidence of the effects of marijuana is clear for all to see. However, he acknowledged that the time may come when legislation becomes a reality.

Trinidad

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley has stressed that Trinidad and Tobago will not be converted into a “refugee camp.”

He was responding to objections from the United Nations spokesperson and Amnesty International and other critics to Trinidad and Tobago’s deportation of 82 Venezuelans recently.

Rowley told a media conference that international organizations would not tarnish the image of Trinidad and Tobago based on “misinforma­tion.”

He announced he would write a complaint to the United Nations at its headquarters about the conduct of persons who take it upon themselves to speak about Trinidad and Tobago.

The prime minister said currently there are arrangements that allow Venezuelans to come to Trinidad and Tobago, for a short stay, obtain supplies if they have to, and return to Venezuela.

But, he noted that many of them are staying illegal in the country and want to apply for asylum. He said applying for asylum did not mean people had to be given asylum.

Furthermore, the prime minister said, Venezuelans who come to Trinidad and Tobago illegally “are exposed to a hell in this country that may be greater than in Venezuela.”

He said people who know the Venezuelans are illegal are likely to exploit them for “prostituti­on, cheap labor and all manner of evil.”

— compiled by Azad Ali

Posted 12:00 am, May 8, 2018
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