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Old March 19th, 2013, 01:25 AM   #481
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Puerto Rico doctors to deliver healthcare to BVI residents
Written by Michelle Kantrow // March 18, 2013 // General Biz News // No comments



Armando Rodríguez, executive vice president of Grupo HIMA San Pablo

The Puerto Rican medical community will be delivering medical services and care to British Virgin Islands residents through a collaboration agreement struck last week between the HIMA Health group and the BVI’s Health Services Authority, and with the support of the Puerto Rico State Department.

“These are the kinds of agreements that we want signed,” said Secretary of State David Bernier. “Those with immediate effect and benefit to both countries. Our health services, for their quality and high technology, represent an asset that can open many doors in the region.”

Through the agreement, doctors affiliated with the HIMA system will be frequently visiting and providing on-site services to patients in the BVI, in coordination with the Caribbean nation’s medical staff, Bernier said.

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Old March 19th, 2013, 02:54 PM   #482
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USVI urges Caribbean unity amid rum war
By CB Online Staff
[email protected]; [email protected]



Reaching out to regional leaders, U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. John de Jongh is calling for pan-Caribbean unity as he seeks to cool a simmering rum war in the Caribbean and head off a potential World Trade Organization challenge of the U.S. government’s cover-over program.
De Jongh urged “continued and sustained unity” in letters this month the prime ministers of the Caribbean nations of Antigua, Saint Vincent, Grenada, Saint Kitts & Nevis, Dominica and Saint Lucia.

“This is especially important as we confront public policies that can hurt our collective economies,” de Jongh said, pointing to a growing movement among Caribbean Community (Caricom) against the federal rum rebates to the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the USVI.

Officials from the 15-member Caricom have been complaining to U.S. officials about the subsidies since last spring and some countries are now considering making formal complaints about the issue before the WTO.

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Old March 20th, 2013, 05:55 PM   #483
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Barbados Targets 1,000 Jobs With New $600m Stimulus

Published: Wednesday | March 20, 2013

The Barbados government it intends to invest BDS$600 million as part of a new stimulus to improve the local economy and create at least 1,000 new jobs.

"Together, when the BDS$355 million taken from this new stimulus package and the BDS$300 million from traditional estimates, we anticipate an injection of BDS$600 million in capital works spending.

"This new stimulus to the Barbados economy will forge additional economic activity and contribute to the reinvigoration of the construction sector, creating new jobs and growing the Barbados economy," Finance and Economic Minister Chris Sinckler told Parliament as it debated the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the financial year 2013 to 2014.

The new financial year starts on April 1.

Sinckler told legislators on Monday that work is ready to begin on phase one of the new cruise pier at the Bridgetown Port, with full financing by July and providing for another BDS$70 million in civil works over the next 12 months.
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Old March 25th, 2013, 09:42 PM   #484
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Construction on Trinidad-Barbados Gas Pipeline Could Begin Next Year

March 25, 2013 | 10:32 am


Construction on a pipeline that will bring natural gas from Trinidad and Tobago to islands of the Eastern Caribbean will begin next year, according to the Eastern Caribbean Gas Pipeline company.

The pipeline will begin at the Cove Eco Business and Industrial Park in southwestern Tobago, with the first phase of the $300 million project to end in Barbados.

Gas will be pumped to Barbados in 2016, according to Greg Rich, the company’s CEO.

The news was announced following a meeting between Tobago Chief Secretary Orville London, Beowful Energy Principal Andy Lindholm and Clyde Williams, technical coordinator for the ECGPC.

Gas will be delivered from the BHP Billiton field east of Trinidad to the Cove, which is a $1 billion processing plant.
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Old April 1st, 2013, 11:58 PM   #485
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Caribbean nations search for oil amid spill fears
By : The Associated Press
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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The turquoise waters that have long brought treasure seekers to the Caribbean now are drawing a new kind of explorer as countries across the region increasingly open their seas to oil exploration.
From the Bahamas and Cuba down to Aruba and Suriname, international oil companies are lining up to locate potentially rich offshore deposits in the Caribbean. The countries hope drilling could lead to a black-gold bonanza, easing demand for imported oil and diversifying their economies.

It’s a longstanding dream for many. As the Dominican songwriter Juan Luis Guerra once sang, “If petroleum sprang from here, oh but there would be light and hope.”

So far, the twin-island nation of Trinidad & Tobago is the only major hydrocarbons producer in the Caribbean, and its waters are crowded with offshore platforms. The country sits just about seven miles (11 kilometers) off the coast of Venezuela, which has the world’s largest proven oil reserves. It’s pushing hard into deep-water drilling and has signed production-sharing contracts with British oil company BP for new exploration blocks.

A growing number of other Caribbean nations are also authorizing or at least aggressively pursuing offshore exploration.

The Bahamas recently announced it would try offshore exploratory drilling and said it should have enough information by late 2014 to decide whether it can move forward with production. A voter referendum would first have to decide the matter. Bahamas Petroleum Company CEO Simon Potter said a rig will drill to subsea depths of roughly 22,000 feet (6,705 meters) in some 1,600 feet (488 meters) of water adjacent to Cuba’s offshore territory.

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Old April 8th, 2013, 05:39 PM   #486
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Business Monday: ECONOMIC VIEWPOINT: Barbados’ economic outlook
4/8/2013

IN what is shaping up to be another challenging year for the economy, Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, Dr. Delisle Worrell will be having his say on what to expect for the rest of 2013.

In two days’ time he will be reviewing the economy following the details on the 2013 first quarter performance to be released tomorrow. That first quarter performance will show whether there was growth or further economic contraction on account of the performance of tourism, and which could set in store the likely course of events for the remainder of calendar 2013.

A year ago (the 2012) the first quarter position showed the Barbados economy expanding 1.5 per cent led by a five per cent growth in tourism value added. Net foreign reserves were marginally higher by about $4 million, inflation was 8.4 per cent, and while there was an 11 per cent in renewals of licenses in the international business and financial services sector, new licenses granted were down 37 per cent.

For the most part that position did not carry through for the full year (2012) with the end of year results being zero growth, and a decline in tourism. However, inflation was not as high as the first quarter had shown, and net international reserves bolstered by the sale of Government remaining shares in the former Barbados National Bank helped to bolster reserves to the end of year amount of $1.5 billion.
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Old April 13th, 2013, 04:59 AM   #487
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St Kitts presents stimulus budget

Published: Thursday, April 11, 2013

BASSETERRE, St Kitts— Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas Tuesday presented an EC$528.1 million budget to Parliament outlining a reduction in corporate taxes as well as extending several incentive packages that his administration had earlier implemented in a bid to stimulate the economy of the twin-island federation.

Prime Minister Douglas told Parliament, which had been boycotted by the six opposition legislators, that there would be a reduction in corporate taxes 35 to 33 per cent, an extension of the Building Materials Incentive Programme that provides for duty-free concessions on imports on building materials for home construction as well as pursue the expansion of FREESH—a soft loan arrangement for first time home builders.

In addition, the Douglas administration hopes during the fiscal year to increase land distribution and accelerate infrastructure development in land distribution areas. He said that six investment projects had been approved valued at EC$300 million as a further stimulus for the local economy over the next five to seven years.

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Old May 17th, 2013, 01:54 AM   #488
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IMF: St Kitts and Nevis Economy to Recover in 2013 After Contraction in 2012

May 16, 2013 | 12:49 pm

By the Caribbean Journal staff

While St Kitts and Nevis’ economy contracted by 1.3 percent in 2012, the country is projected to see a recovery in 2013 with 2 percent growth, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Last year’s contraction reflected “sluggish construction and tourism sectors,” according to the IMF, which recently completed its fifth and sixth reviews of the country’s programme under its Stand-By Arrangement.

This year’s projected recovery will be buoyed by an expected uptick in tourism and “several large construction projects becoming operational.”

The IMF’s Executive Board will discuss a draft memorandum of policies for 2013 in July.

The IMF mission held talks with St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas, Nevis Premier Vance Amory and other officials.
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Old May 17th, 2013, 01:56 AM   #489
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Jamaica’s Economy Contracted in First Quarter of 2013: Report

May 16, 2013 | 1:18 pm

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Jamaica’s economy contracted by between 0.2 and 1.2 percent in the first quarter of 2013, according to estimates from the Bank of Jamaica.

For the 2012/2013 fiscal year, the economy is estimated to have contracted in the range of between 1 percent and 0 percent, according to Central Bank Governor Brian Wynter, who was speaking this week during the Bank’s quarterly media briefing.

“The estimated outturn for this quarter reflected the impact of drought conditions as well as weak domestic and external demand. In addition, continued uncertainty about prospects for the economy had a debilitating impact on investments and economic activity in general,” Wynter said.

For the 2013/2014 fiscal year, Jamaica’s GDP is projected to grow by between 0.5 and 1.5 percent, Wynter said. The International Monetary Fund’s most recent projection came in at 0.5 percent for 2013.

The Governor said the projected positive growth would come in part due to an “expected boost” in investor confidence thanks to the government’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund.
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Old May 18th, 2013, 12:05 AM   #490
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Monthly Bulletin of December 2012, State of the Aruban Economy

May 8 2013

By: The Central Bank of Aruba


Central Bank of Aruba

During the month of December 2012, money supply rose by Afl. 87.6 million to Afl. 3,419.2 million, resulting from an Afl. 94.2 million rise in net domestic assets. The growth in the net domestic assets was associated mostly with increases in domestic credit and non‐credit related balance sheet items of, respectively, Afl. 71.6 million and Afl. 22.6 million. Domestic credit grew largely as a result of an increase of Afl. 80.4 million in the net liability of the public sector to the banking sector. This was attributed mainly to an Afl. 78.5 million contraction in government deposits related to the repayment of matured bonds and an increase of Afl. 26.8 million in gross claims of the banking sector on the public sector, which were partially offset by a rise in development funds of Afl. 24.9 million, due mainly to a transfer by the Government of Aruba related to its contributions. The surge in the non‐credit related balance sheet items was caused by clearing transactions.

On the other hand, claims on the private sector dropped by Afl. 8.8 million (‐0.3 percent), reflecting decreases in consumer credit and commercial loans of, respectively, Afl. 11.3 million (‐2.1 percent) and Afl. 0.6 million, while housing mortgages picked up by Afl. 3.7 million (+0.4 percent).

The consumer price index (CPI) for December 2012 registered a 3.7 percent decrease, compared to the same month of 2011. The main contributors to this drop were housing, clothing & footwear, household operation, and recreation & culture. Excluding the effect of food and energy (which partly affects the housing and transport components), the core CPI showed a 0.3 percent decrease compared to December 2011, brought about mostly by declines in the index categories of women’s clothing, furniture, household textiles, and audio visual equipment. The pace of the 12‐month average inflation rate fell to 0.6 percent in December 2012, down from 1.4 percent in November 2012.

In December 2012, the number of stay‐over visitors totaled 90,071, which is 11.1 percent (+8,963 visitors) higher than in December 2011. This growth was caused mainly by increases in the number of visitors from Latin America and North America of, respectively, 21.9 percent (+5,127 visitors) and 6.8 percent (+3,283 visitors). The Latin American market continued to expand, attributed mostly to an increase in visitors from Venezuela of 30.8 percent (+5,231 visitors). In the North American market, arrivals from the U.S.A. and Canada grew by, respectively, 4.4 percent (+1,906 visitors) and 25.9 percent (+1,377 visitors). The European market also noted an overall growth of 371 visitors (+6.0 percent) in December 2012, compared to December 2011. The largest surges were registered in arrivals from Sweden (+510 visitors) and Norway (+259 visitors). The number of average nights stayed in Aruba dropped marginally from 8.4 in December 2011 to 8.2 in December 2012.

The number of cruise visitors fell by 6,758 or 6.5 percent to 96,510 in the month of December 2012 compared to the same month of the previous year. The number of ship calls remained at 49 in December 2012, compared to the corresponding month a year earlier.

In December 2012, total tax revenue registered Afl. 90.0 million, an increase of Afl. 8.1 million or 9.9 percent, compared to the same month of the previous year. This rise was associated mostly with a growth in revenue from wage tax and income tax of, respectively, Afl. 7.3 million and Afl. 4.3 million. These surges were partially offset by lower revenue from transfer tax, import duties, and excises on tobacco of, respectively, Afl. 1.8 million, Afl. 1.3 million, and Afl. 1.1 million. Turnover tax (B.B.O.) also noted a minor decline in revenue of Afl. 0.1 million. Non‐tax receipts recorded a fall of Afl. 0.5 million in December 2012, compared to the same month of last year.

Centrale Bank van Aruba May 8, 2013
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Old May 18th, 2013, 12:37 AM   #491
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Update of the estimation of Aruba’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2011, 2012 and 2013

April 25th 2013.

By: Central Bank of Aruba



The Centrale Bank van Aruba (CBA) recently reviewed its estimates for economic growth for 2011‐2013, considering the most current information at hand. Revised data indicate, among others, delays in project execution in 2013. Consequently, the CBA adjusted its outlook and currently projects a lower growth in real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2013, i.e., +2.6 percent versus the November 2012 projection (+5.1 percent).

Developments in 2011 and 2012

The economic growth in 2011 generally reflected the resumed activities of the refinery, following its re‐opening in January 2011 and further gains in tourism activities. Whereas the CBA estimated the real economic growth at 5.6 percent in November 2012, the projection was adjusted downwards to 3.7 percent, due to more accurate data becoming available to the CBA.

The suspension of refinery activities as of March 2012 heavily influenced economic growth in 2012. Furthermore, in 2012, the CBA noted that some planned investment projects incurred significant delays, shifting some of these investments to 2013. The positive performance of the tourism sector compensated to some extent for the investment delays, but still the estimated GDP for 2012 contracted

Projection for 2013

The CBA foresees a growth in real GDP of 2.6 percent for 2013, which is 2.5 percentage points lower than the projection made in November 2012. While the tourism sector is still expected to drive output in 2013, the CBA anticipates some further delays in the execution of several investment projects, which will likely cause a decline in private investment activities in 2013.

However, there are still a number of sizable investment projects envisaged in 2013, including the Green Corridor, the completion of the Ritz Carlton, the new container port, and the renovation and expansion of the hospital. Furthermore, the CBA foresees that the significant reductions in the water tariffs (as of August 2012) and the electricity tariffs (as of November 2012) will cause a decrease in the general price level (inflation) in 2013, which could have a positive impact on the purchasing power of consumers, and, subsequently, on real output. Despite the projected growth, the real GDP level in 2013 will probably remain below the levels achieved before 2008.

Downside risks to the presented outlook remain, including possible further setbacks in the actual implementation of the planned investment projects in 2013 and a worsening international environment. Alternatively, better than expected improvements in the world economy and a re‐ opening of the oil refinery could improve the GDP‐outcome.
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