Caribbean Business And Finance Report

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By NAN Business Editor

INVEST-CARIBBEAN

News
Americas, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Fri. Sept. 27, 2019:
Here
are the top business stories making news from the Caribbean for this week of Sept.
 27, 2019:

REGIONAL

Corruption Perception

A majority of Caribbean
and Latin American citizens’ think corruption in their country’s governments increased
in past year, while only 16 percent think it declined. That’s according to a
2019 report from Transparency International, released this week.

The Dominican Republic
topped the Caribbean as the nation where nationals, or 93 percent, felt
corruption in government is a big problem followed by Trinidad and Tobago at
second with 85 percent. The Bahamas ranked at third at 80 percent. Most people
in these three also felt their governments were doing badly in tackling
corruption.

Phantom Investments

A new report from the
International Monetary Fund, (IMF), says three Caribbean islands are among 10
economies in the world that are home to “phantom investments.”

The British Virgin
Islands, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands made the list. The BVI, according to
the report, is one of the 10 economies in the world that together host more
than 85 percent of an estimated $15 trillion in “phantom investments” annually.

The report defines
“phantom investments” as foreign direct investment that brings no “capital in
service of productivity gains.”

India-CARICOM Ties

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the leaders of CARICOM, (the Caribbean Community and Common Market), during the first-ever India-Caricom leaders’ summit in NYC. The aim was on fighting climate change and increasing India’s participation with the group. Modi announced a USD 14-million grant for community development projects in the Caricom and another 150 million line of credit for solar, renewable energy and climate- change related projects. He also announced the setting up of a regional centre for excellence in information technology in Georgetown, Guyana, and a vocational training centre in Belize by upgrading the existing India-funded centres in these countries.

Caribbean Passports

The prime ministers of Antigua & Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis were among the speakers this week in a panel discussion at the 2019 Concordia Annual Summit in New York that focused on global mobility and economic development particularly within the framework of citizenship by investment (CBI).

“We do not have the luxury of size and space,” PM Harris explained, and so “we look to our own ingenuity,” PM Harris said. “Today’s concept of ‘citizenship by investment’ originates from St Kitts and Nevis, who decided a year after gaining independence to allow carefully selected individuals to obtain its citizenship in exchange for an economic contribution.”

Antigua & Barbuda

Prime Minister of Antigua
& Barbuda, Gaston Browne, has dubbed Indian fugitive Mehul Choksi who
secured citizenship there, a “crook.”

While speaking to ANI on
the issue of extradition of Choksi who is absconding from India and residing in
Antigua & Barbuda, Browne said Choksi will be deported ultimately after he
exhausts all his options.

Choksi and his nephew are
wanted in Indian for the Punjab National Bank, (PNB), bank scam.

Bahamas

Some 2,500 tourism jobs,
which supported more than 10,000 family members, were blown away by Hurricane
Dorian following its devastation of the northwestern Bahamas islands.

The category five storm’s
impact on employment levels in The Bahamas’ largest private sector industry was
exposed by Bahamian and regional tourism associations as they unveiled an
initiative to find work for hospitality workers displaced by the storm. The
Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, (CHTA), and the Bahamas Hotel and
Tourism Association, (BHTA), have announced their Tourism Jobs for Bahamians
initiative, which aims to secure temporary employment for impacted workers.
They are working with public and private sector tourism partners in the
Caribbean, The Bahamas and South Florida.

To identify these
temporary positions, the CHTA is deploying its Caribbean Tourism Job Bank, set
up in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, to connect job seekers
with opportunities in the 80 percent of The Bahamas that the hurricane missed.
The Job Bank will also seek openings in the Caribbean, the US and Canada.

Guyana

The Bank of Guyana has
blocked a plan by Republic Bank Financial Holdings (RBFH) to take over the
operations of Scotiabank in the South American country, according to the Guyana
Chronicle. Guyana Central Bank Governor Doctor Gobind Ganga told the newspaper
that the denial of the application for takeover by RBFH branded as Republic
Bank was due largely to the high level of concentration of the banking system.
Ganga said it would lead to “systemic issues” which would have affected the
health of the financial system in Guyana.

Bermuda

Several Bermuda insurance
companies says they begun to pay out after receiving hundreds of claims for
damage caused by Hurricane Humberto, Royal Gazette reports indicate.

The Category 3 storm
hammered Bermuda last Wednesday evening and into Thursday morning, causing
widespread power outages and property damage. Collectively, three companies
reported yesterday that they had received nearly 600 claims related to
Humberto.

Dominica

Investors seeking second
citizenship from the Commonwealth of Dominica will soon have another option
available under the island’s world-leading Citizenship by Investment, (CBI)
Programme. In his latest budget address presentation, Prime Minister Roosevelt
Skerrit revealed that another hotel will be making its way to Dominica,
alongside the six luxury CBI hotels that are either already open, ready for
launch or under progressing construction.

The new resort, whose
name and associated hospitality brand have not been announced yet, is reported
to boast 130 rooms, conference facilities, bars and restaurants. PM Skerrit
shared that the project will be located on the Public Works site along the
west-coast Leblanc Highway. It would complement the cruise village and new port
while diversifying hotel locations so that different communities in Dominica
can directly benefit from it.

Cuba

A lawsuit has been filed
in Miami on behalf of a Cuban-American – who claims to be the rightful owner of
Havana’s international airport – against American Airlines and the Latam
Airlines Group for “trafficking” in the property that he claims was stolen by
the Cuban government.

This is one of several
suits that have been filed since the Trump administration implemented Title III
of the 1996 Helms Burton Act. The law allows U.S. citizens to sue foreign firms
and Cuban entities over their use of properties expropriated after Cuba’s 1959
revolution.

In the lawsuit filed on
Wednesday, Miami-based law firm Rivero Mestre argues that José Martí
International Airport was expropriated from the father of Jose Ramon Lopez
Regueiro in 1959.

The post Caribbean Business And Finance Report appeared first on Caribbean and Latin America Daily News.

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