Island Financial

Island Financial (1552)

CARIBBEAN NETHERLANDS - On November 7th, the Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (DUO) will inform the public about the repayment of student loans on (island). Former students who have studied with a student loan of DUO in the Netherlands, have been invited for an information session.

Students who have ended their education in the Netherlands in 2014, must start repaying their student loans as from January 1st, 2017. Is the income too low to pay the monthly amount? DUO can take this into account in many cases. DUO organizes for them an information session to explain what the reimbursement rules are and how payment problems can be prevented.

GEORGE TOWN, Grand Cayman – The head of Jamaica’s largest farmers’ association says the rest of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) can draw on his country’s experience as the region continues to battle with its US$5 billion annual food import bill.

Norman Grant, president of the Jamaica Agriculture Society (JAS), an umbrella association of farmers, noted that Jamaica, through its “Grow What We Eat and Eat What We Grow” Campaign has over the last decades made some progress in curbing the amount of money leaving the country to buy food overseas.

He told a session dubbed “Sustainable and Profitable Value Chains in the Caribbean” during Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA), taking place here this week, that developed countries celebrate the fact that they attained that status through agriculture.

Grant told regional stakeholders that the campaign, which was launched in 2003, appealed to Jamaica’s 2.7 million citizens and its more than 220,000 farmers.

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Barbados Culture Minister Stephen Lashley is urging local businesses to use the Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA) to be held here in 2017 as an opportunity to showcase their services and their goods to the world.

“I hope you’ve thought a lot about the creative sector. There are many opportunities, within the CARIFESTA experience…I want you to factor in how business and entrepreneurs will respond to the opportunity of CARIFESTA,” Lashley said as he addressed the media launch of the Global Entrepreneurship Week, held at the Cave Hill School of Business.

It is being held under the theme “Building Sustainable Businesses”.

Mr President Broekrs-Knol and members of the 1st Chamber, through this I draw your attention to note my previous letter dated October 18, 2016 addressed to your Chamber and the Minister on the bills 33131, 34341 Public Entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. Here we warn you that you are planning to; violating the self-determination rights, violating human rights, violating principles of rule of law and democracy of the peoples of Bonaire and St. Eustatius, who have rejected the current state structure in various referendums in 2014 and 2015.

You are expected to recognize the international recognition of the self-determination of the Bonerian peoples and that this right is not accessory to Dutch politicians and administrators and nevertheless to Bonairean politicians and administrators, but belong specifically to the people of Bonaire (and St. Eustatius).

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The Department of Statistics (STAT), is commencing this week to collect data via its Business Cycle Survey. This is the last of 2 surveys being conducted amongst business establishments this year.

While some enterprises and foundations have already received the National Accounts Survey in the past few weeks, the current Business Cycle Survey is a separate and different instrument, designed to capture estimates of business performance over the 2016 period specifically. This will help STAT to assess the economic situation of industries (within Non-financial sector) of the current year.

The target group includes all businesses with ten employees or more; and a sample of businesses with nine or less employees, the survey-period will continue through mid-December 2016.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - This month is Rotary’s economic and community development Month. The Rotary club of St. Martin Sunrise held a dialogue session with it’s members on what they think should be done to boost the club’s contribution towards our island. Some great ideas came out.

Some suggestions emanating from the conversations made the members realize that the best ways to give back to the community is through the children and young adults. One very Innovative idea was to start a version of Shark Tank program on the island. This basically means having competitions and let those who have new innovative and creative ideas and good at creating things that are not in the market to be helped and guided to make their dreams a reality. This will be done and coordinated with the help of other businesses and members of the Rotary Club of St. Martin sunrise with experiences in those fields. After all many Rotarians in the community bring a wealth of knowledge and experiences. Why don’t we apply these skills and knowledge for the benefits of the young people and start up entrepreneurs, the members questioned.

DUTCH CARIBBEAN - On October 3rd and 4th the Ministry of Economic Affairs, in cooperation with the Dutch Elasmobranch Society, organized an expert meeting on the management of sharks and rays in the Dutch Caribbean on the island of Bonaire at which more than 25 people from science, policy, fishermen, NGOs, control and enforcement participated.

The goal of the workshop was to develop innovative ways to reduce unintended mortality for sharks and rays in the recently designated Yarari shark sanctuary. The outcome will be presented as an advisory to government who will develop a management plan for sharks and rays in the Caribbean Netherlands.

Sharks are essential to a healthy marine ecosystem, being apex predators and forming an integral part of the complex marine food web. Their specific life history characteristics, which include slow growth, late age at maturity, and the production of few young, make them vulnerable to fishing pressure and loss of habitat, and they are slow to recover from population depletion.

TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands,  The Chief Executive Officer of regional bank CIBC FirstCaribbean says the bank’s ability to grow and remain profitable hangs squarely on how it responds to the needs of its customers in the BVI and across the region.

Mr. Gary Brown, who took over leadership of the bank in January this year, was speaking to bank staff during a town hall meeting where he reiterated the bank’s mission to deliver the best banking service and support for its clients. 

“Our mission to satisfy our customers and help them achieve what matters to them is dependent on our ability as individuals and as a team to perform our daily tasks with excellence and enthusiasm,” he said.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The Board of the Supervisory Council of the St. Maarten Tourism Authority (STA) has taken note of the press releases issued by the office of the Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication on the “selection and appointment” of Rolando Brison as Interim Director of the STA.

Following the placement of the advertisement for the vacancy of the Interim Director position, earlier this year, the Supervisory Council of the STA was requested, by the current Minister, to be on the selection committee. The Supervisory Council did exactly so and offered its evaluation of all candidates, following the interviews. It should be mentioned however, that not all six members of the selection committee independently scored Brison highest, as has been reported in the press releases. It was furthermore agreed, by the selection committee, that the top three candidates were to be vetted after which a final decision would be made. Nonetheless, an offer was presented to Rolando Brison by the Minister prior to any vetting process.

ST. EUSTATIUS - The Public Entity of St. Eustatius is inviting the General Public to a Town Hall Meeting on Thursday October 27th from .7.30 pm – 9.30 pm at the Ernest van Putten Youth Center (aka. Lions Den). The purpose of this meeting is to continue informing the general public of the ongoing financial developments within the government Administration.

We have presented you a few weeks ago with a preliminary view of our Finances and we promised to come back with the final document. The Government of St. Eustatius is committed to strengthening the financial and administrative aspect of the Pre-luminary supervision. It is our objective to inform you of the progress made.

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