GraceKennedy VP Urges Region to Focus On Global Crisis Opportunities

first_imgAdvertisements FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail The urgent need for Jamaica, and the rest of the English-speaking Caribbean, to start focusing on how to benefit from opportunities arising from the current global economic crisis, has been emphasized by Vice-President of GraceKennedy Money Services, Noel Greenland, Monday (October 11).UNI Americas, global trade union organization, representative, Joanne De Freitas, speaking to regional trade union leaders at a workshop/seminar on trade unionism in the financial sector hosted by UNI and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) at the Alhambra Inn, Tucker Avenue, Kingston on Monday (October 11). The workshop ends on Thursday (October 14).Speaking to regional trade unionists at the opening of a seminar/workshop at the Alhambra Inn, Tucker Avenue, Kingston, Mr. Greenland suggested that it was time for the region’s leadership to recognize the need to focus on how to maximize the benefits that will arise.“Let us ask ourselves this fundamental question: What if the crisis was to end tomorrow? What would be our lesson from that? What would we take as a people, as a coming out of this crisis: ‘Here is the opportunity that I have identified and this is what I am going to do’.what is it that is going to take us through that?” Mr. Greenland raised the issue.“I put it to you, my friends, that maybe the single most important thing that we can do to get us on that path to recognizing our opportunities, is for us to focus to on them, and there are so many good things that we have as a region and as a people we need to focus on them now,” he stated.He called on the leadership within the region to recognize that things need to be done, and while a few opportunities have been identified, there was optimism that there are many unrecognized opportunities out there.“Our roots are here, but our branches spread far and wide, right across the world,” he said as he proposed the Caribbean Diaspora as one area still be to be fully exploited.He suggested that the region ask itself the question: “What will be my legacy, or our legacy be from this crisis?” Other speakers at the opening ceremony included: global trade union organization, UNI Americas’ representatives Joanne de Freitas and Marcio Monzane; FES Director, Judith Wedderburn; BITU President, Kavan Gayle; and UAWU President, Lambert Brown.The Seminar/Workshop is being hosted by UNI Americas, of which local trade unions – the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU), the University and Allied Workers Union (UAWU) and the Union of Technical, Administrative and Supervisory Personnel (UTASP) are members, and the Friederich Ebert Stiftung (FES) which focuses on issues such as trade liberalization and integration within the region.The workshop has as its theme, “Building Union Power and Global Framework Agreements In (Regional) Multinational Enterprises” and concludes on Thursday, October 14. Issues being tackled include: Implications of CSME and Financial Regulation on the Caribbean Finance sector; Challenges Facing Caribbean Women and Youth in the Financial Services Sector; Strategic Organising for Caribbean Finance Sector; and Strategic Collective Bargaining for Caribbean Finance Sector. GraceKennedy VP Urges Region to Focus On Global Crisis Opportunities LabourOctober 11, 2010 RelatedGraceKennedy VP Urges Region to Focus On Global Crisis Opportunitiescenter_img RelatedGraceKennedy VP Urges Region to Focus On Global Crisis Opportunities RelatedGraceKennedy VP Urges Region to Focus On Global Crisis Opportunitieslast_img read more

Fifteen years of failure in the Balkans

first_imgThe situation is not much better with regard to enlargement. It is impossible to measure progress in this process if the political framework of the candidates is endemically unclear, as is the case with both Bosnia and Kosovo. Apparently aware of this basic hurdle and either unwilling or incapable of resolving it, the EU has chosen to follow a parallel universe of arrangements and deadlines largely imposed by the US. So it was decided last year that the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia would be closed by June and that the state would transit into self-rule – except that the state was not ready and Christian Schwarz-Schilling, the man chosen to be the final high representative, was unsuited for the job. The current incumbent is therefore a stop gap while arrangements are reconsidered – and in the interim the three ethnic groups in Bosnia have reverted to extreme rhetoric not heard since the end of the war in 1995, making the state an even less viable candidate for EU membership.In Kosovo the December deadline looms, not least because the June deadline failed. And that is because there has been no progress since the NATO bombings of 1999 on the core issue of either reconciling Kosovo’s Albanian majority with the province’s Serb minority and with Serbia, or finding a durable separation agreement that recognises the rights of both. The idea of internationally imposed conditional independence currently on the table does not resolve the problem and creates a dangerous international precedent of promoting self-determination over territorial integrity and state sovereignty. Aware of this, several EU member states have indicated that they would not support any unagreed move to independence, while others have said that they would recognise Kosovo if it declared unilateral independence. In the meantime preparations continue for a mission to replace the current UN administration – as if all were proceeding according to plan rather than deteriorating further into a dangerous mess.11 December could mark the start of the next phase of disaster in EU foreign policy in the Balkans – unless some drastic measures are taken rapidly. In Bosnia these must focus on proper political negotiations between the sides to replace all international interim arrangements. In Kosovo imposed independence must be replaced by negotiated partition as a proposed solution. Above all, the EU must appear united and determined on both outcomes if there is not to be another Balkan war.Ilana Bet-El is an academic, author and policy adviser based in Brussels. Unfortunately, the prize is more of the same – and worse. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, this already appears to be the case, with a major crisis over police reform, and in Kosovo the issue of independence looks far from being able to be resolved by the 10 December deadline. While the two issues appear to be separate, they stem from the core problem that originally set fire to the region: the unwillingness of the different ethnicities, especially the Serbs, to live together with any other ethnic group – or to be ruled by another. All the wars that emanated from this basic confrontation and the agreements and arrangements that have been devised in response to them have at best contained this issue. But until it is properly resolved there can be no hope for any proper advancement, regardless of any framework or deadline. Conventional wisdom on the region has in past years usually been optimistic, owing to the Dayton accords and EU enlargement, which appeared to be ‘progressing’. Since Dayton is basically a cease-fire agreement, it can be deemed an unqualified success given that the opposing sides in Bosnia have not gone back to war – but it has nowhere else to progress. The only real progress on Dayton would be for it to be replaced by a peace agreement between the sides that resolved their political differences, which has not been the case.last_img read more

J.J. Ugland’s Bulk Carrier LIVANITA Sold

first_imgJ.J. Ugland Companies said that in line with the ongoing company strategy to renew the bulk carrier fleet the LIVANITA, as the oldest vessel in the bulker fleet, has been sold and recently delivered.The bulker fleet will be further renewed late 2014 and early 2015 when two supramax newbuildings will be delivered, as announced last year.Namely, UM BULK AS, a joint venture between J.J. Ugland and Mitsubishi Corporation signed an agreement with Tsuneishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd, Japan, in January 2013,  to buy 2 bulk carriers of TESS-58 type with the delivery scheduled for 2014 and 2015.[mappress]World Maritime News Staff, March 7, 2014; Image: J.J. Ugland Companieslast_img read more

Trump’s changes to Cuba policy could make travel more difficult

first_imgiStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump’s changes to U.S. policy on Cuba could have a chilling effect on some travel to the Caribbean nation, some experts say.Americans can no longer travel to Cuba with a simple “honor pledge,” Trump announced Friday. Instead, most Americans must now travel with a tour group and are required to keep all receipts and itemized itineraries from their stay for five years.U.S. travelers could also be forced to pay a fine if they are found to be in violation of the law.Previously, individuals could come up with their own itineraries and arrange their own accommodations rather than having to use a tour group or travel company to make the arrangements.Friday’s move essentially returns travel restrictions to what they were before President Obama eased relations in 2014.James Williams, the president of Engage Cuba, a coalition of private sector companies advocating for engagement in Cuba, told ABC News that Trump’s changes are “going to make travel more expensive” and therefore lead to “a major decrease in the number of travelers.”Now, “you have to now go by a government approved certified large group tour,” Williams said. “What this is going to do in practice is restrict the number of Americans who are going to Cuba.”Trump also restricted transactions with the Cuban military by expanding the definition of entities benefiting from payments. The government controls many of the hotels that operate in the country, so the policy change makes it illegal for all Americans to stay at many Cuban hotels.Peggy Goldman is the founder of Friendly Planet Travel and has been organizing tours to Cuba since 2011. She told ABC News that the restrictions relating to the military will make operating tours in the company particularly difficult.“The majority of the tour bus fleet vehicles are owned by the tourism arm of the army, and they also own hotels,” Goldman said.“In order to move people around, the ability to handle American visitors — the people that are coming on these people-to-people programs — you need buses and hotels,” she said.Goodman also believes the cost for Americans to travel to Cuba will go up. Her company charges between $3,500 and $4,500 for a week-long trip to Cuba.“There’s bureaucracy in every direction, especially in Cuba. It makes it almost impossible,” Goodman said. “It’s tough to do this.”According to Airbnb, it has hosted more than 560,000 visitors in Cuba since April 2015. There are 22,000 listings in the country, the company said.“Over the last two years, thousands of Airbnb guests from around the world have traveled to Cuba to share ideas, experiences, and cultures. Airbnb has helped individual Cuban people earn extra income and we have seen how travel can break down barriers and promote understanding,” Airbnb said in a statement.“Travel from the U.S. to Cuba is an important way to encourage people-to-people diplomacy. While we are reviewing what this policy could mean for this type of travel, we appreciate that the policy appears to allow us to continue to support Airbnb hosts in Cuba who have welcomed travelers from around the world,” the statement said.Airbnb also caters to non-Americans. The company said 65 percent of the people who booked Airbnb stays in Cuba were from outside the U.S. Airbnb is also available to tour groups.“We look forward to reviewing the details of the policy and speaking with the administration and Congress about this issue in the weeks and months ahead,” the Airbnb statement said.JetBlue launched service from New York to Havana in November 2016 and the airline said Friday it was “committed to continuing air service between the U.S. and Cuba.”“We plan to operate in full compliance of the new president’s new policy. We will review the policy and the specific regulations once they are available to determine any impact to our operations or to our customers,” the airline said in a statement.Certain travel will still be allowed, including cruises from the U.S. Carnival Cruises said it “will review the extent of the tightening of the travel rules, but our guests have already been traveling under the 12 approved forms of travel to Cuba since we undertook our historic first cruise to Cuba more than a year ago.”“Our experience in Cuba this past year has been extremely positive. We look forward to the new cruises being planned for Cuba with Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America Line. We also have requested approval for our other brands to travel to Cuba,” the cruise line said in a statement released Thursday ahead of Trump’s official announcement.Goodman said while she expects the changes will “make handling travelers more difficult,” her company’s tours will continue.“The takeaway is that this type of travel won’t stop and the only thing that [Trump] will accomplish is to cause a lot of damage to the nascent Cuban entrepreneur who has invested, in some cases, life savings to create a restaurant in his house, to create other types of businesses,” Goodman said.She added, “It’s so ironic and so paradoxical that this person who is the prince of private enterprise is squashing the aspirations of this burgeoning Cuban entrepreneur sector of society.”Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMatico Relatedlast_img read more