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Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 1 Caribbean UPDATE, 116 I prefer: _ traditional hard copy via Air Mail __ Email edition Myrtle Ave., Millburn NJ 07041 USA Name_____________________________________ ____________________CU307 Tel: 973 376 2314. Email:email@example.com Company/Organization_____________________ _____________________ Dear Reader: Address______________________________Offic e/Suite No._________ Because of your interest in the Caribbean & Latin America, I am pleased to enclose this City________________________________State:_ complimentary issue of Caribbean UPDATE. ___________________ If you are not already a subscriber to Zip:___________ Caribbean UPDATE, I think you will see, upon Country__________________________________ reading it, why it is regarded as the best single _____ source of information on business and economic opportunities in the Caribbean and Central Phone:________________________Fax: America. 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If you prefer your subscription sent to you via Email, please specify. UPDATE Otherwise, we will send the hard copy via the regular Air Mail way. Including Central Sincerely, America K.W. Editor/Publisher: Kal Wagenheim, Kal Wagenheim, Editor-Publisher 116 Myrtle Ave., Millburn NJ 07041 Tel: 973-376-2314. Please process my one-year subscription to Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Caribbean UPDATE, at US$267 for 12 monthly issues. Vol. 23, No. 2 Copyright 2007 March 2007 Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS based Columbus, which acquired New World in Sept. 2005. 1 The Region 2 Country-by-country reports in alphabetical CARIBBEANTRAVEL.COM. Gold Book order Publishing, publishers of The Caribbean Gold 22 Calendar Book, will take on a new name and image: 23 Data Base CaribbeanTravel.com – The Magazine, it was reported Jan. 16. The new format that includes Caribbean UPDATE (ISSN 8756-324x) is more regional and destination editorial content, published monthly by Caribbean UPDATE Inc., 116 more than 1,300 hotel listings from 32 Caribbean Myrtle Ave., Millburn NJ 07041. "We strive to destinations and enhanced distribution to include provide you with information that you can act upon, IATA Agents. Hotel listings and editorial content by phone, fax, e-mail or packing your bags." will be replicated on CaribbeanTravel.com. Details: Subscriptions: $267 per year (12 issues either via Jill Jones, publisher. Email: email@example.com. regular mail or Email); $134 special price to 305.443.5900. Lorraine Ortiz. Email: lortiz@ academics, and for additional subscriptions to the caribbeanhotelassociation.com, 787 725 9139. same organization. Bulk quantities also available (inquire). To order, see back page, or call 973 376- CARIBBEAN TRAVEL & LIFE IS 2314. E-mail: “OFFICIAL.” The Caribbean Tourism firstname.lastname@example.org. Development Co. on Jan. 26 agreed with World Publications, LLC to declare Caribbean Travel & THE REGION Life magazine the official consumer publication of the Caribbean. Details: Richard S. Kahn. Tel: 516- CHINA-CARIBBEAN TRADE IS 594-4100. Email: R.Kahn@KTCpr.com or Johnson GROWING. The Dominican Republic had more Johnrose at 246-427-5242. Email: jjohnrose@ than twice as much trade with China in 2006 as with caribtourism.com. Sue Gilman. Tel: 407-628-4802. Taiwan, a sign of Beijing's growing influence in the Email: email@example.com. Caribbean, said Cai Wei Quan, China's chief rep in Santo Domingo, reports AP (Jan. 25, 2007). Trade ERICSSON-DIGICEL CONTRACT. Ericsson between the DR and China totaled US$490 million was awarded two contracts by Digicel Group to (euro378 million) last year, he said. Trade with provide GSM/EDGE networks in El Salvador and Taiwan totaled US$180 million (euro139 million) Guyana, it was reported Jan. 19. The contracts over the same period, Taiwanese Embassy include GSM radio & transmission equipment, spokesman Tomas Chen said. China's growing GPRS/EDGE networks, pre-paid systems, network- share of the DR market is powered by sales of management systems, services, and training. construction equipment, motorcycles and home Deployment is planned for the first quarter 2007. electronics that retailers previously bought from Ericsson supplies GSM systems in more than 22 third parties, Cai said. Foreign Minister Carlos markets to the Digicel Group, said Mario Assaad, Morales Troncoso announced tentative plans to Digicel chief technology officer. Details: Ericsson open a DR mission in Shanghai, its first on the Media Relations. Tel: +46 8 7196992. E-mail: mainland. The country already has a commercial firstname.lastname@example.org. Web: office in Hong Kong. www.ericsson.com TRINIDAD-CURACAO UNDERSEA VIKING EXPANDS DISTRIBUTION NETWORK. Columbus Communications Inc. said NETWORK. Viking Systems, Inc. Jan. 30 that its subsidiary, New World Network (OTCBB:VKSY), a designer, maker and marketer Ltd., is building an undersea fiber optic network to of laparoscopic vision systems for minimally connect Trinidad to Curacao and expand the reach invasive surgery (MIS), said Feb. 1 it added a of its ARCOS network. The Trinidad-Curacao Sub partner, Universal Care Corp. for Puerto Rico, the Sea Fibre Project includes 1,000 kms of cable, said US Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic and the Brendan Paddick, CEO of Bridgetown, Barbados- eastern Caribbean, including Trinidad, Tobago and Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 3 Barbados. Details: Kevin T. Murphy. 212-825-3210. Network (CTN) will incorporate the new brand logo Email: kmurphy@ investorrelationsgroup.com. in promotion efforts. Details: Lorraine Ortiz- Lynn Granito. 212-825-3210. Email: lgranito@ Valcárcel. Tel: 787 725 9139. Email: lortiz@ investorrelationsgroup.com caribbeanhotelassociation.com TRANSPORT MERGER. Viva International, GLOBAL IP CONNECTIVITY. Global Inc. on Feb. 12 said it issued a letter of intent to Crossing, an IP solutions provider, on Jan. 31 said it Transportation Associates, Inc. (TA) that proposes is working with Global Caribbean Network, a merging Eastern Caribbean Airlines Corp. (ECA) subsea cable operator based in Guadeloupe, to and Viva's 49% in Viva Air Dominicana S.A. enhance IP connectivity to the region. GCN will (VAD) with TA, a holding company specializing in link voice & data traffic services to Global the acquisition and management of trucking Crossing's network in St. Croix, via 10-Gigabit companies. Details: Viva International, Inc. wavelengths, enabling GCN to extend its services to Tel:(231) 932-7490 North America, Europe and Asia. Details: Becky Yeamans. + 1 973 937 0155. Email: TOURISM SCHOLARSHIPS. The Caribbean PR@globalcrossing.com. Fernanda Marques. + 55 Hotel Foundation (CHF), the non-profit subsidiary 11 2123 4712. Email: LatamPR@ of the Caribbean Hotel Association, on Jan. 26 globalcrossing.com. Adriana Huerta. 305 808 5919. announced the 2007/2008 Scholarship Program for Email: LatamPR @ globalcrossing.com. Laurinda hospitality employees, educators, and students Pang. 800 836 0342. Email: wishing to pursue studies or professional email@example.com. Web: www. development courses. Application forms are globalcrossing. com available at www.caribbeanhotelfoundation.org, and from the national hotel association in each “VIRTUAL GAY CRUISE.” Atlantis Events, Caribbean country. In 2006 the CHF reached a Inc., a specialist in gay and lesbian cruises and record US$144,500 for 39 scholarships granted to resort vacations, is partnering with Cruise Critic to students and professionals from 19 Caribbean launch the world's first virtual gay cruise. Atlantis nations. chartered Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas) for a cruise departing Miami on Jan. 28. Writers and FOX GETS RIGHTS FOR WORLD SERIES. photographers will document events and ports as Fox Sports en Espanol said Jan. 31 it has again the 160,000 ton vessel tours the Caribbean over acquired the U.S. Spanish-language TV rights to the seven days with 3,700 guests aboard. Their writings 58th Caribbean World Series of baseball. Taking and photos will be posted to the CruiseCritic.com place in Carolina, Puerto Rico, the four-team, six- website, with has 160,000 members, said Rich day tournament will be televised for the ninth Campbell, CEO of Atlantis, which is offering 7 consecutive year on Fox Sports en Espanol, other gay cruises in 2007, and 3 gay resort weeks. beginning Feb. 2, said David Sternberg, Exec.VP and Gen. Mgr. Details: Jennifer Serna, 310-444- SMART ONLINE PARTNERSHIP. Smart 8736. Email: Jennifer.Serna@ fox.com or H&M Online Inc. (based in Research Triangle Park NC), a Communications. Etienne Hernandez-Medina, 310- provider of Software-as-a-Service for small 849-3663. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web: businesses, on Jan. 20 announced a partnership with foxsportsla.msn.com. Segurex, S.A., which provides IT services to financial service companies. They are offering a AMEX PARTNERS WITH CHA-CTO. Spanish version of Smart Online's applications, American Express has signed on as a private sector which will be offered as a private labeled site to Charter Partner of the joint venture launched by the their small business customers, said Michael Nouri, Caribbean Hotel Association and the Caribbean president & CEO, Smart Online, Inc. Details: Smart Tourism Organization to market the Caribbean Online, Inc.Thomas Furr, 919-765-5000. Email: brand worldwide under the Caribbean Tourism tfurr@ smartonline.com or Lippert/Heilshorn & Development Co. (CTDC) umbrella, it was reported Associates. Jody Burfening, 212-838-3777. Email: Feb. 1. American Express’ Consumer Travel email@example.com. Web: www.smartonline.com. Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 4 controlling doping, applying sports medicine and NEW CRUISE STOPS. Half Moon Cay, Grand collaborating in physical education. Turk and Nassau are featured on a new 3-port, 5- day itinerary operated by Carnival Cruise Lines' BAHAMAS 2,052-passenger Imagination out of Miami, starting Aug. 13, said Carnival President/CEO Bob TOURISM REVENUE LOSSES Dickinson. Details: 1-800-CARNIVAL or PROJECTED. The Ministry of Tourism of the www.carnival.com. Bahamas, the leading destination for US visitors to the Caribbean, projects it will lose 233,000 visitors, NEW FROMMER’S TRAVEL GUIDE. 1.37 million visitor nights and US$278 million in Frommer’s reports it has just published a 204-page visitor revenues this year, reports Caribbean guide to St. Maarten/ St.Martin, Anguilla and St. Investor (Feb.9, 2007). Most hotels here are already Barts ―in response to the growing popularity of the feeling the impact of the US Western Hemisphere islands.‖ Cost: US$11.99. Details: Adrienne Travel Initiative which kicked in Jan. 23 and Fontaine. Tel: 201-748-5625. Email: requires US citizens returning from Canada, Mexico firstname.lastname@example.org and the Caribbean to possess US passports to reenter the US. Americans visiting Puerto Rico and ANTIGUA & BARBUDA the US Virgin Islands are not subject to the passport requirement. 15% SALES TAX IMPOSED. Antigua & Barbuda implemented a 15% sales tax, becoming NEW US$2 BILLION RESORT. Casino the latest Caribbean nation to seek a more operator Harrah's is finalizing plans for a US$2 streamlined tax scheme, reports AP (Jan. 29, 2007). billion-plus resort here with Starwood Hotels & The start of the value-added levy coincided with the Resorts Worldwide, reports Caribbean Investor repeal of several other taxes to avoid drastic price (Jan. 23, 2006). Baha Mar will be a mixed use hikes. Doug Doug McLaren administrator in charge project on 1,000 acres in Nassau. Baha Mar Resorts, of applying the new system, said ―This was needed a Nassau-based resort owner and operator, and a for harmonization of taxes in the region,‖ referring Harrah's subsidiary, have formed a joint venture, to the Caribbean Single Market and Economy, while Starwood has agreed to manage four hotels which groups 6 million people in 12 Eastern under the St. Regis, Westin and Sheraton brands. Caribbean nations. ―All the Caribbean nations will The joint venture will be 57% owned by Baha Mar be using a VAT system within the next two or three Resorts and 43% by the Harrah's subsidiary. Baha years,‖ he said. Mar is projected to have 3,000 rooms with Harrah's operating a Caesar's Resort with 1,000-plus rooms CARIBBEAN STAR CUTS 40% OF STAFF. and a 10,000-sq ft casino. The W, St. Regis and Caribbean Star airline cut 40% of its staff and will Westin hotels are expected to be included in the close all four of its ticket offices across the region to complex. Construction is scheduled to start this year cut costs, reports AP (Jan. 31, 2007). The dismissal with an anticipated opening in 2011. of 188 of the Antigua-based company's 470 employees came two weeks after the carrier DELTA ADDS FLIGHTS. Delta Air Lines said trimmed its fleet by four aircraft - leaving it with it will add two new routes from its Atlanta hub to seven planes. Caribbean Star has begun joint flight The Bahamas with nonstop service to George operations with Antigua-based LIAT, which has Town, Exuma (1) and North Eleuthera (1) on June been struggling for years, and repositioned itself as 16. The flights will be operated by Delta a budget carrier in late 2005. Connections Atlantic Southeast Airlines, said Joanne Smith, VP, Marketing. Details: (404) 715- SPORTS AGREEMENT WITH CUBA. Cuba 2554 and Antigua & Barbuda signed a five-year sports cooperation accord, reports ACN (Jan. 29, 2007). It BARBADOS includes developing human resources, building sports facilities, exchanging teams and delegations, Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 5 NEW WIRELESS BROADBAND SERVICE. TOURISM UPDATE. The BVI on Jan. 25 Fidelity Wireless announced plans to offer ―triple provided an update on developments in tourist play‖ Internet, phone and IPTV/ Video on Demand accommodations here: Biras Creek Resort has services over a new wireless broadband network been acquired by Victor International and is here in 2Q 2007, reports Caribbean Net News (Jan. undergoing renovations; Mainsail Resort, Marina & 29, 2007). The tele-economy of Barbados is now Spa, to open in late 2007 on Scrub Island, is the first more than US$250 million annually and growing, new property here in more than 15 years; Mango said Fidelity’s Head of Corporate Affairs Zoe Bay and Paradise Beach Resort has been renovated DeHavilland. by new owners Paola Moretti-Flax and Dwight Flax. Details: BVI Press Office: 866.491.8155. SAGE SOFTWARE. Sage Software (based in Web: www.bvipressoffice.com. Pleasanton, Cal.) on Feb. 6 said it has deployed of Sage Accpac ERP (enterprise resource planning) at SEABORNE HOPES TO ADD VIRGIN SBI Distribution of St. Michael, Barbados, a GORDA. Seaborne Airlines hopes to add a supplier of brands such as Nestle, commercial seaplane route to Virgin Gorda by Conagra, Lever Brothers, Frito Lay, Revlon, and April, reports AP (Jan. 30, 2007). It needs the Colgate to retail outlets here. Details: Mark consent of a British regulatory agency, Air Safety Priscaro. Director, Public Relations. Sage Support International, said Omer ErSelcuk, Software. (925) 931-7048. Email: mark.priscaro@ president of the U.S. Virgin Islands-based airline. sage.com. Web: www. sageaccpac.com. A round-trip ticket from St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands to North Sound, Virgin Gorda, will BELIZE cost about US$150 (euro116). Details: www.seaborneairlines.com. MOST BONDHOLDERS ACCEPT RESTRUCTURING. Holders of 93% of Belize's COSTA RICA debt agreed to exchange their bonds for securities that mature in 2029, said National Development US, CHINA DRIVE EXPORT BOOM. Trade Minister Mark Espat, reports Bloomberg News officials celebrated Costa Rica’s growing (Feb. 6, 2007). Belize said on Aug. 2 it would seek commercial success as they announced a record to restructure its US$960 million of international US$8.2 billion in exports in 2006, reports The Tico bonds. Belize spends more than 27% of government Times (Jan. 19-25, 2007): revenue on servicing its debt, says Standard & Poor's. On Dec. 7, Belize's foreign currency rating News of the boom came as Costa Rica prepares was lowered to selective default by S&P after the to begin trade talks with the European Union this government proposed the bond exchange. S&P year and Asian countries in 2008 and beyond. Costa lowered Belize's long-term foreign currency rating Rica doesn’t maintain diplomatic relations with to SD from CC and reduced the rating on the bonds China, but traded US$1.1 billion last year, and to D from CC because the exchange would cease China emerged as its fastest-growing, second- interest payments on the bonds. biggest trade partner behind the US. Costa Rica sent US$3.4 billion worth of products to the US last BRITISH VIRGIN I. year; HOSPITAL CONTRACT SIGNED. Chief The two economic powerhouses accounting for Minister Dr Orlando Smith and Health Minister 54.3% of Costa Rica’s total export market in 2006. Ronnie Skelton signed the $63.9 million contract Microprocessor parts, bananas, medical equipment, with reps of Mirsand-Carimex-Quantum for the pineapples and medications drove 16.6% export start of construction work for the new Peebles growth. Hospital, reports Caribbean Net News (Jan. 24, 2007). *** SPIRIT FLIES TO SAN JOSE. Spirit Airlines on Jan. 24 announced nonstop Mon-Thurs-Sat. Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 6 service between its Ft Lauderdale hub and San Jose, The embargo means companies such as Irving, beginning April 5, increasing to daily service by Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp. can't bid on Cuban May 23. Details: Rebecca Rivera, 954-628-4827. offshore oil tracts, agribusiness giants such as Email: Rebecca. rivera @spiritair.com Decatur, Illinois-based Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. face restrictions on wheat sales, and Miami-based Used/refurbished ice making and ice-cream Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd can't send their cruise machines are sought by a company here. ships to Havana; Particularly Scotman brand, models MC45 and MC15, and ice cream machines, particularly Taylor Analysts predict that the demise of Fidel Castro brand, models 161 and 754. Machines can also be in could lead to a move in Congress to weaken the bad/used conditions since the company has the embargo. "I don't expect the end of the embargo for capability of repairing and refurbishing them. some time, but there could be easing in some areas," Quantity: US$25,0000$50,000. End User: said Wayne Smith, director for the Cuba program at Restaurants of various sizes. Details: Gustavo the Center for International Policy and the former Campos Cordoba. Admin. Mgr. Phone: 506-229- chief of mission at the US Interests Section in 5676 / 506-849-8585. Email: Havana. So far, the Bush administration has moved email@example.com in the opposite direction, tightening a 2000 law that allowed agricultural sales, making it tougher to send CUBA money to family members in Cuba and clamping down on travel visas. US WON’T EASE EMBARGO. US Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, has ruled out easing of *** the trade and travel embargo on Cuba until after all SATELLITE ACCESS FROM VENEZUELA. remnants of the Fidel Castro regime are removed Venezuela will grant Cuba access to its first-ever from power, reports Bloomberg News (Jan. 25, satellite, to be launched in September, as ties 2007): between the states deepen and the health of Cuban President Fidel Castro grows more uncertain, Gutierrez, who came to the US in 1960 as his reports Bloomberg News (Jan. 25, 2007). family fled Cuba, said Castro's frail health and the Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chavez and Cuban VP prospect for political change make this the wrong Carlos Lage signed accords on telecommunications, time to adjust restrictions on trade, investment or steel and agriculture, calling for Venezuela to share travel. At stake is a potential US$1 billion-a-year use of its new "Simon Bolivar Satellite" and to export market for US farm and other goods, the spend up to 1.1 trillion bolivars (US$512 million) to rebirth of a tourist haven for Americans and the end create of joint ventures. of almost five-decades of diplomatic isolation between countries separated by a 112-mile NO ROOMS FOR CUBANS AT HILTON waterway. President George W. Bush will resist HOTELS. As part of the US economic blockade of efforts by lawmakers to allow more visits or Cuba, the American Hilton Hotel chain has commerce with Cuba, he said; announced a denial of bookings to Cuban delegations in all its facilities around the world, Castro, 80, ceded power to his brother Raul on reports ACN (Feb. 6, 2007). A Cuban trade mission July 31, 2006 as he underwent surgery. Gutierrez, to a recent travel fair in Oslo, Norway, was denied a 53, called Raul Castro Fidel's "most loyal disciple," booking at a local Hilton hotel due to the US and said he won't change the socialist economy or embargo. Hilton is barring Cuban delegations from political system in Cuba. Gutierrez has stumped for all of its hotels elsewhere in the world, as are other opening markets with socialist countries such as US hotel companies. Hilton spokesperson in China, arguing that commercial ties have led to London Linda Bain said, ―If we took a booking economic development, adult literacy and reduced from a Cuban delegation, we would be subject to poverty. Cuba is a different case, he said; fines or prison." Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 7 TV MINGLES EDUCATION AND NY COPS. Rhadames Segura, a Cabinet secretary and VP of State-run TV here prides itself on its educational the state energy company; programs and the social values of its homegrown soap operas but does not shy away from hits like The lawsuit was filed in the Vienna-based United ―Law & Order‖ and ―CSI‖, reports AFP (Jan. 25, Nations Commission on International Trade Law 2007). The US series and the soap operas, known as and in the Paris-based International Chamber of "telenovelas", draw a faithful audience. But the Commerce. The claim dates back to 2004, when education-oriented programs also have their fans in TCW bought half the distribution company that a country that boasts powers six southeastern provinces and much of the a 98% literacy rate. capital of Santo Domingo. The other half is owned DOMINICA by the state-run electricity company. It was not immediately clear why Societe Generale is a party CHINESE DELEGATION VISITS. Chinese to the suit. aid officials agreed to help speed up construction of a highway linking the capital. Roseau, with *** Dominica’s second biggest city, Portsmouth, DR TO OPEN US TRADE OFFICES. Industry reports AP (Feb. 7, 2007). Prime Minister Roosevelt & Commerce Minister Francisco Javier Garcia said Skerrit said Chinese engineers will arrive in late the DR plans to open trade offices in 50 US states to February to begin preliminary work on the highway promote opportunities for US investors arising from project. Dominica cut ties with Taiwan in March DR-CAFTA, and to promote exports, reports Listin 2004 in exchange for a six-year, US$262 million Diario (Jan. 19, 2007). Chinese aid program. NEW AIRPORT. The Juan Bosch International ENERGY SAVING BULBS. Cuba is helping to Airport in El Catey, Samana, built for US$80 cut the cost of power via replacement of light bulbs million, which has been receiving flights since Nov. in households, reports Caribbean Net News (Feb. 1, 2006, was formally inaugurated, reports Listin 2007). Energy Minister Reginald Austrie says that Diario (Feb. 8, 2007). President Fernandez said 280,000 energy saving bulbs are being placed by US$115 million more will be invested to extend the Cuban social workers. If the bulbs are not sufficient Santo Domingo-Rincon de Molenillo highway in to cover every household, Cuba will provide more, Samana to the town of Nagua. The airport, built by he said. A team of French consultants was Aerodom, will serve the northeast, which has 2,400 scheduled to arrive on Feb. 9, to explore hotel rooms. A plan is in the works to build 5,400 geothermal energy resources, he added. additional rooms in the next five years. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC FARM PRODUCTION UP. Farm items contributed 14% to GDP in 2006, vs. 7.3% in 2005, INVESTMENT FIRMS SUE. Los Angeles- reports DR Daily News (Jan. 22, 2007). Farming based TCW Group Inc. and France's Societe was assisted by financing from public and private Generale have sued the Dominican Republic for sources. Some items in strong demand (garlic, US$680 million (euro520 million) in electricity avocado and plantains) saw increases of between revenues they claim were lost to fraud and 46% and 183%, the latter in the case of garlic. mismanagement, reports AP (Feb. 7, 2007): Banana exports to the European Community grew by 10,000 tons. Poultry and pork yields increased The action is another blow to a crippled by 12% and 52% each. Rice grew moderately, aided electrical sector that government seeks to rescue by the new process of "crop mortgages". from a decades-old cycle of blackouts and bankruptcies. The lawsuit alleges the DR violated a RURAL PROJECTS PLEDGED. President deal by failing to crack down on rampant electricity Leonel Fernandez said he will build highways and theft, distributing too much power and not bridges in rural areas of the DR, apparently collecting enough money from customers, said responding to criticism that he has neglected those areas as the presidential campaign Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 8 season begins, reports AP (Feb. 1, 2007). Listin Diario (Jan. 31,2007). New contracts include Fernandez, expected to seek a third term in 2008, construction of airplane turbine parts, computerized pledged US$232 million to complete more than 100 architectural design for New York City Hall, projects this year, including a highway connecting patterns for clothing, test drive car dummies, towns along the Haitian border. pacemakers, software, printer ink cartridges, American Airlines tickets, even breaded eggplant. NICKEL ZONE DISCOVERY. Toronto-based The DR is only a 90-minute plane flight from the GlobeStar Mining Corp. on Feb. 9 announced the US market; ships from China take seven weeks. discovery of nickel bearing laterites at Loma Mala, Luisa Fernandez, director of the National Council of located 1.5 kms southwest of its Cumpié Hill nickel Free Zones (CNZFE) said the DR attracted a laterite discovery and 8.5 kms from Xstrata's company that produces baby music carousels that Falcondo nickel smelter. On Feb. 2 GlobeStar said were made in China. Apparel factories now it is focusing on three core activities here: comprise just 41% of the sector. Of the 83 firms construction of the Cerro de Maimón copper/gold that sought authorization to operate in the DR last mine, copper/gold exploration of the surrounding year, only 14.5% were apparel companies. In 2006, massive sulphide belt and nickel exploration of the free zone exports totaled US$4.49 billion, vs. Falcondo nickel belt. Details: Dale Paruk, Coal US$4.73 billion in 2005. Harbor Communications. Email: dale@coal- harbor.com ROKI KI RESORT COMMUNITY UNFOLDS. Phase I of the Roco Ki luxury resort BEAR STEARNS SEES LOW INFLATION. and residential development in Punta Cana is being Bear Stearns analyst Franco Ucceli says the low readied for opening in winter 2007/2008, it was inflation rate, just 5% as reported by the Dominican reported Jan. 25. Sarasota-based Michael Saunders Central Bank, is an example of the DR's prevailing & Co. is exclusive broker for the new 2,700-acre monetary stability, reports Diario Libre (Jan. 22, oceanfront property. A U.S. $85-million loan was 2007). The "0.7% inflation rate for December approved to finance the development. Phase I will closed 2006 at 5%, less than the 7.4% reported for include: The Westin Roco Ki Beach & Golf Resort, 2005. This was the lowest rate since 2001, when it a Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. Hotel, was reported at 4.4%", he said. with 327 rooms and 130 Westin-branded condo residences, a conference center for up to 500 SHIP PROHIBITION LIFTED. Washington persons, 7 restaurants, several bars, and an 18,000- has lifted a ban on Dominican commercial ship sq ft spa. Details: YPB&R,Orlando,Fla. Kathy travel to US ports that had been in effect since Hernandez. Tel: 407-838-1828. Email: 2003, reports DR1 Daily News (Jan. 23, 2007). US Kathy.Hernandez@ypbr.com Coast Guard Rear Admiral D.W. Kunkel commended Specialized Port Security Corps CHEAP POULTRY. The Ministry of (CESEP) efforts that lead to the lifting of the ban Agriculture (SEA) is selling poultry cheaply due to that benefits 6 of 12 DR ports. Rear Adm. Hector A. massive over-production,, reports DR1 Daily News Lizardo said ships from Haina (Oriental and (Jan. 17, 2007). Several government organizations Occidental), La Romana, Cayo Levantado are contributing to the program that set up hundreds (Samana), Multimodal Caucedo and Molinos of sales points to provide inexpensive poultry to Modernos (Santo Domingo) are now cleared to consumers. Prices start at RD$11.00 per pound at depart to the US without crew or cargo needing a the farm. RD$60.00 should purchase a frozen three- previous inspection by US authorities. The pound or more broiler chicken. Agriculture Minister restrictions were imposed on the DR and many Salvador Jimenez said the low prices should last other nations after the 9/11 attacks on the US. during the January and February. DIVERSIFYING IN FREE ZONES. FINANCIAL SECTOR TECHNICAL Manufacturing at free zones continues to diversify ASSISTANCE. The DR has received a World as the DR moves away from traditional apparel Bank loan for Financial Sector Technical Assistance operations due to competition from China, reports (No.7216-DO; Proyecto No. P078838). Part of the Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 9 funds will be used for Real Time Gross Liquidation resort, named Buccaneer's Creek, reopened in Dec. System and Related Applications. Deadline: March 2005 after undergoing a US$60 million (euro46.1 15, 2007. Refer to: LPI No. SP02-2006. Details: million) renovation. Banco Central de la República Dominicana. Atn: Lic. Fabiola Herrera, Directora Depto Sistemas de GRENADA Pagos. Av. Pedro Henríquez Ureña, esq. Leopoldo Navarro. Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional. Tel: TAIWAN SUES. Taiwan’s Export-Import Bank (809) 221-9111 Ext.3409/ 3416. Fax: (809) 688- is suing the Grenada government in the 3065. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web: U.S. Southern District Court of New York, for loans www.bancentral.gov.do Grenada made before it switched diplomatic relations to the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), SCRAP EXPORTS PUSH MINING. Exports of reports Caribbean Investor (Feb. 7, 2007). Taiwan "scrap" metal are pushing out mining for leadership seeks to recover US$21.6 million from the Grenada in the industry, reports Diario Libre (Jan. 17, plus interest for loans taken by the government of 2007). Iron, copper and steel scrap are exported in Prime Minister Keith Mitchell for construction of quantities close to exceeding the ferro-nickel ingots the sports stadium at Queen's Park, the ministerial from the Falconbridge mine in Bonao. In 2006, complex in the Botanical Gardens, the agricultural "scrap" exports of steel and iron totaled 93,540 tons. sector and for road construction projects on 980 tons of zinc and nickel was exported, along Grenada and in the sister island of Carriacou. with 1300 tons of copper. These metals are shipped Taiwan is represented by the firm of Sullivan & overseas, mostly to China where construction of the Worchester. world's largest hydroelectric dam project is leading to a huge increase in the demand for metals. FIBER OPTIC TECHNOLOGY Demand is also part of the push to steal metals from INTRODUCED. The latest fiber-optic submarine power transmission lines, phone lines, manhole cable technology in the Caribbean, intended to link covers and iron park benches. During the first eight the OECS countries, was introduced to Grenada, months of 2006, exports of "scrap" iron and steel reports Caribbean Net News (Jan. 25, 2007). The totaled over US$18 million. link will start from the north in Puerto Rico, moving south to Trinidad. The cable will make available MAMAJUANA LOVE DRINK LAUNCHES all services currently provided by the telecom giant IN US. Herbal liqueur mix maker Don Ramon Cable & Wireless, including internet and land line Mamajuana, Corp. announced the US launch of its telephone connections. Don Ramon Mamajuan, on Feb. 27. Described as a natural aphrodisiac, this blend of 20 roots, herbs, GUATEMALA and spices native to the Dominican Republic has been used for centuries as a powerful vitality drink. RURAL ROADS & MAIN ROADS PROGRAM. Guatemala has received financing FRENCH WEST INDIES from The World Bank for Phase II of its Rural Roads and Main Highways Program. (Préstamo WORKERS STRIKE AT CLUB MED. A strike No. 7169-GU; Proyecto ID: P055085). Part of the at the Club Med resort in Martinique prompted funds will be used for rehab of rural roads in several hundreds of guests to leave while management and communities. Deadline: March 9, 2007. Refer to: employees negotiate, reports AP (Jan. 25, 2007). LPI01A-2007. Details: Instituto de Fomento The strike began due to a dispute over Municipal –INFOM. Unidad Coordinadora de how the workers would split up the 35-hour work Caminos Rurales INFOM – Banco Mundial. 8ª week required under French law, said Kate Moeller, Calle 1-66 Zona 9, 4to. Nivel, Edif. INFOM. Ciudad a spokeswoman for Club Mediterranee SA's North de Guatemala, 01009, Guatemala. Tel: (502) 2422- American and Caribbean operations. Many of the 6900 Ext. 1251, 1215, 1407 y 1409. Fax: (502) 525 guests from Canada, Europe and the US flew 2334-1074. Correo electrónico: home or opted to stay at other hotels in Martinique email@example.com offered by Club Med after the strike began. The Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 10 PROCUREMENT VIA UN FUNDS. Guatemala the press, reports AP (Feb. 7, 2007). The has received funds from the UN Development withdrawal of notices by Guyana's tax department Program (UNDP) to Strengthen the Ministry of and the national sugar company was ―politically Communications, Infrastructure and Housing motivated‖ and followed verbal attacks by (GUA/04/041). Part of the funds will be used to government officials, said editor in chief David procure computers, printers and photocopiers. DeCaires. Deadline: March 15, 2007. Refer to GUA/04/041- 378/07 Also sought will be excavators with capacity TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE REHAB. of 19,000 to 22,000 kgs. Deadline: March 8, 2007. Guyana has received US$24.3 million from the Refer to: GUA/04/041-369/07. Details: Programa Inter-American Development Bank for Rehab of de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo. Sección Transport Infrastructure (No. 1803/SF-GY). Funds de Adquisición de Bienes y Servicios.. Edif Euro will be used for general procurement, including Plaza World Business Center. 5ª Avda 5-55, Zona including consultants. No bid deadline announced. 14, Torre IV, Nivel 10. Ciudad Guatemala, 01014, Details: Rickford Lowe. Coordinator. Works Guatemala. Tel: (502) 2384-3238. Fax: (502) 2384- Services Group. Ministry of Public Works and 3202. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web site: Communications. Fort St., Kingston. Georgetown, www.pnudguatemala.org. Guatecompras: Guyana. Tel: (592) 226-0650. Fax: (592) 225-2689. www.guatecompras.gt E-mail: email@example.com Plastic film for food packaging is sought by a IDB FUNDS TO HELP REFORM POLICE. firm here, but especially for food and meat. Foam The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has trays, bag-in-box, film to palletize, food pouches, made available US$22 million to help Guyana thermo-shrink bags and film. Also interested in reform its police force, reports Caribbean Net News machinery to process the packaging of food and (Feb. 2, 2007). The citizens’ security program will meat. Firm is a distributor of machinery and raw target poor neighborhoods in Demerara and materials for the food industry and sells to plants. Berbice, two of the country’s more heavily Details: Inter-Americana.Ing. Ricardo Munguia. populated areas. Training will establish a special Gen. Mgr. Phone: (502) 2366-5803. Fax: (502) crime-fighting unit. More than 100 police stations 2366-5824. Email: info_inter-americana.com will be upgraded while 72 new stations will be erected. Since 2002, Guyana has seen sporadic GUYANA bursts of criminal activity, involving narcotics and gangs. VENEZUELA TO SUPPLY HALF OF OIL NEEDS. Venezuela's said it will supply half of HOTEL GAMBLING BILL APPROVED. Guyana's oil needs after signing an accord with its Parliament has approved limited casino gambling in neighbor, reports AFP(Jan. 25, 2007). The deal is some hotels scheduled to open ahead of this year's the latest by Petrocaribe, launched by Venezuelan cricket World Cup, reports AP (Jan. 23, 2007). The Pres. Hugo Chavez in June 2005 to expand his proposal prompted street marches by the political nation's political clout in the region. State-owned opposition and religious groups who argue it will Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) will supply encourage vice and organized crime. The ruling 5,200 barrels of oil per day to Guyana (population party said the bill, backed by President Bharrat of 700,000). Venezuela also agreed to accept Jagdeo, was necessary to help hoteliers recoup commodities, notably agricultural products, as investments made ahead of the World Cup. Up to payment and would lend Guyana up to 40% of the 100,000 visitors are expected in the region for the cost to buy its oil, at 1%, if petrol prices top US$40. tournament, which runs from March 13-April 28, with matches here and eight other Caribbean GOVT. WITHDRAWS ADS FROM countries. The legislation provides for up to 30 LEADING PAPER. Government has withdrawn gambling licenses. No hotels here would meet the all ads from the Stabroek News, the country's conditions for a license – which include having a leading daily, a move criticized by international minimum 250 rooms - but two high-end hotels media watchdog groups as an attempt to intimidate under construction near a new cricket stadium Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 11 would be eligible. Only foreigners would be Market Overview permitted to wager. U.S. exporters enjoy an enviable position in the HAITI Honduran market, and will see this position improve after the implementation of the Central HIGHWAY REHAB. Haiti has received a loan American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). from the Inter-American Development Bank for The US, joined by Honduras, El Salvador, Rehabilitation of the Transport Sector (Prêt Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and the 1638/SF-HA). Part of the funds will be used for Dominican Republic, signed the Central American rehab of Highway Nationale No. 1. Deadline: Free Trade March 9, 2007. Refer to: Appel d’offres Agreement (CAFTA) in August 2004: international No. AOI 008/06/1638. Details: Ministère des travaux publics, transports et CAFTA-DR will lower tariffs on US goods communications. Attn: Unité centrale d’exécution destined for the Central American market. In the (UCE). Palais des Ministères. Port-au-Prince, past decade, US exports have increased in dollar Haïti. Tel: (509) 245-5377, 510-0316, 222-3230, value and market share. Strong prospects for 228-2530, 222-0714. Fax: (509) 223-4519. E-mail: exports: franchising; food processing; auto parts & firstname.lastname@example.org service equipment; safety & security equipment; computers & peripherals; computer services; CANADIAN AID TO QUELL VIOLENCE. textiles & equipment; telecommunications; electric Canada will donate Can$10 million (US$8.45 power generation equipment; million) to help reform Haiti's police and curb violence, said Foreign Affairs Minister Peter The US supplies over half of Honduras’ imports MacKay, reports, AFP (Feb. 6, 2007). Funds will be and buys 65% of its exports. US exports to used to build a new police headquarters, equip Honduras were US$3.1 billion, up 8.9% from the police officers, improve security in communities previous year (2004). Honduras’ tariffs on most most affected by gangs, counsel victims of violence goods from outside the Central American Common and launch social programs to address poverty. The Market (CACM) are within the zero to 15% range. monies are part of a Can$15 million (US$12.7 Once the CAFTA-DR goes into effect, about 80% million) contribution announced in June 2006 to of US goods will enter the region duty-free, with the support efforts through the Global Peace and remaining tariffs phased out over 10 years. Nearly Security Fund. all textile and apparel goods that meet the Agreement’s rules of origin will be duty-free and SPIRIT FLIES TO HAITI. Spirit Airlines on quota-free immediately, promoting new Jan. 18 announced new nonstop service from its Ft opportunities for US fiber, yarn, fabric, and apparel Lauderdale hub to Port-au-Prince, beginning March manufacturing. Honduras is the third largest 22, 2007. Spirit will offer service three times exporter of apparel and textile products to the US weekly to Port-au-Prince increasing to daily service market behind Mexico and China, and the first on May 1, 2007. Details: Rebecca Rivera, 954-628- among Central American and Caribbean countries; 4827. Email: Rebecca.email@example.com. US companies invested US$122.5 million in HONDURAS Honduras in 2004, which was 26% of all new foreign direct investment (FDI) here. The DOING BUSINESS IN HONDURAS. The U.S. government is generally open to foreign investment, Dept. of Commerce has produced a 125-page although some investors have experienced long Country Commercial Guide which offers helpful waiting periods for environmental permits and information on doing business in or with Honduras. concessions. Excerpts follow. If you wish to read the complete report, Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I’ll Market Challenges Email it to you as a file attachment. Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 12 Local, congressional, and presidential elections in project that could generate potential harm to the Nov. 2005 were deemed fair and free by domestic environment, natural resources, or national cultural and international observers, and the opposition and historical sites, is an Environmental Impact Liberal party candidate Mel Zelaya won a close Assessment, to be obtained through the Ministry of presidential race. The new government took office Natural Resources and the Environment (SERNA). in 2006. Historically, Honduras has experienced Details: http://www.sic.gob.hn. reduced GDP growth in each post-election year. Franchising Personal security is a major concern, with theft, pick pockets, and armed robberies occurring About 60 foreign firms now operate here under frequently in urban areas. Honduras has a very high franchising agreements. Most are US fast-food and incidence of murder and other violent crimes, casual restaurants, such as: T.G.I. Friday's, although tourists and business people are not Applebee's, Tony Roma's, Ruby Tuesdays, Pizza generally targets. The lack of judicial security, a Hut, McDonald's, Wendy's, Subway, Burger King, deteriorating security environment, and endemic Church's Chicken, Sbarro, Cinnabon, Pretzels, corruption pose real risks, making business disputes Popeye's, Domino's Pizza, Quiznos, Dunkin difficult to resolve. Donuts/ Baskin-Robbins, Little Caesar's and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC); Market Entry Strategy Other foreign franchises are auto aftermarket The country can be thought of as divided into two services, clothing, movies & entertainment, regions: the North Coast, including San Pedro Sula, cleaning & pest control, health & fitness, the country’s commercial and industrial capital; and electronics, cosmetics & toiletries, business the Central region, where Tegucigalpa, the political services, convenience stores, dry-cleaners, car capital and largest city, is located. A single rentals, mailing, and fast-printing. Several major distributor or representative can cover all of hotel chains are building new facilities or acquiring Honduras. Representatives and distributors tend to existing properties, such as Holiday Inn, Real Inter- carry rather broad lines on a non-exclusive basis. Continental, Clarion Hotels, Best Western, Microtel Inn and Marriott International. Honduras has no Foreigners exporting to Honduras are not locally developed franchises. required to sell through an agent or distributor, except when selling to the government. But Direct Marketing appointing a local agent, representative, or legal advisor is strongly recommended to help with Telecom and mail delivery infrastructures are not import procedures, sales promotion and after-sales well developed. Obtaining reliable addresses is service. problematic, as the use of ―reference‖ addresses (and not street names and numbers) is the common Exporters are required to register certain practice. Mail advertising of products and services products before they can be sold here. is generally conducted through credit card Pharmaceuticals, food items and medicine-related companies, limiting the target market only to their products must be registered with the Ministry of respective credit card holders. Local company Public Health. Agro-chemicals and animal feeds listings and mailing information can be obtained must be registered with the Ministry of Natural through local chambers of commerce and industry Resources. associations. Establishing an Office Growth in Cable TV and internet subscriber markets is creating increased opportunities for The steps for launching a business in Honduras direct TV sales and e-mail-based promotional have been reduced from up to 6 months to an campaigns. Among the companies that utilize non- average of 42 days. An important requirement for conventional distribution channels are TV Offer, operating a business here, in connection to any Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 13 Ofertel (direct response TV), Avon Oriflame and Internet connectivity is rapidly developing. Most Rommanel (catalog and door-to-door sales). government agencies use web-based infrastructure to facilitate information and electronic processing of *** documents, promote investment, and improve general services to the public. Joint Ventures/Licensing An increasing number of private sector With few exceptions, there are no limits on the companies also use e-commerce. Several consumer percentage of capital that can be owned by a trade sites and gateways market products and foreigner. The greatest opportunities can be found services via the internet, especially in in the industrial, mining, agricultural, tourism, grocery/foods, consumer household products, and power generation, forestry, construction, and tourism services. Among the most popular sites are: service sectors. www.mallcredomatic.com; www.honduras.net; w.hondumall.com; The Foundation for Investment and www.aeropost.com; www.floresenlaweb.com; Development of Exports (FIDE), a private www.lacuracaonet.com; institution, works with local businesses to www.ladylee.com; www.invitrohonduras.com; strengthen their capacity to attract foreign joint www.honduflowers.com; venture partners, and locates facilities for investors. www.phoneservehn.com; Details: www.hondurasinfo.hn. www.catracholandia.com; www.atelierdelamoda.com; Majority Honduran ownership is required in www.ahoracompro.com; www.equipos.hn; certain types of industries. There are also limits on www.hondurasweb.com the amount of land a single corporation may own. Trade Promotion & Advertising Selling to the Government Most advertising is conducted through newspaper, TV, and radio. Billboards are also a strong Foreign firms are required to act through a local medium, especially as vehicle traffic increases in agent. By law, local agency firms must be at least the main urban areas. Several advertising agencies 51% Honduran-owned, unless the procurement is guide companies through the process of developing classified as a national emergency. (Once CAFTA promotional activities. enters into force, this provision will be eliminated.) Government has tried to improve transparency and Honduran Newspapers fairness hiring the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to manage procurement for an Diario El Heraldo Diario La Tribuna. increasing number of ministries and state-owned Spanish/Daily Spanish/Daily. Sub-Director: Maria entities. US companies have alleged bid Antonia Martinez Manager: Manuel Acosta requirements were written so narrowly that they Medina. P.O. Box 1938 P.O. Box 1501. favored a particular company from the outset and Tegucigalpa, M.D.C., Honduras Comayaguela, that UNDP management of invitation-only, limited- M.D.C., Honduras. Tel: (504) 236-6000 Tel: (504) bid process was not transparent. 233-1283. Fax: (504) 221-0778 Fax: (504) 234- 2755. E-mail: email@example.com E-mail: Distribution channels: New investments in the firstname.lastname@example.org. Http:// www. heraldo.com construction of large shopping malls and other Http://www.latribuna.com mixed-use commercial centers in strategic urban Semanario Tiempos del Mundo Honduras This areas, as well as big retail stores such as PriceSmart Week. Spanish/Weekly English/Weekly. Director: and HyperPaiz, are a good indicator of increased William Cook Manager: Mario Gutiérrez. No P.O. opportunities in the retail distribution sector. Box available P.O. Box 1323. San Pedro, de Ferretería El Mar Tegucigalpa M.D.C. Honduras. Electronic Commerce 100 Sur, San José Costa Rica Tel: (504) 239-0285 Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 14 Tel: (506) 280-2332 Fax: (504) 232-2300. Http:// The government controls prices for coffee and www. tdm.com E-mail: email@example.com. medicines, and regulates prices of gasoline, diesel, Http:// www. hondurasthisweek.com and liquid propane gas. It also keeps an informal control over certain staple products, such as milk San Pedro Sula Based Newspapers and sugar, by pressuring producers and retailers to keep prices as low as possible. The local sales tax is Diario La Prensa Diario El Tiempo. 12% for most goods. Products exempted from the Spanish/Daily Spanish/Daily. Director: Nelson tax include staple foods; purified water; fuels; Fernández Manager: Carlos Rosenthal. P.O. Box medicines and pharmaceuticals; agrochemicals; 143 P.O. Box 450. San Pedro Sula, Honduras San educational materials; electrical power generation Pedro Sula, Honduras. Tel: (504) 553-3101 Tel: machinery & equipment; agricultural machinery & (504) 553-3388. Fax: (504) 553-4020 Fax: (504) tools; handicrafts; trucks, tractors, cranes, 553-4590 computers, and maquiladora industry equipment. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org E-mail: email@example.com A 15% sales tax is also assessed on new cars, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org E-mail: alcohol, cigarettes and tobacco products. Exempt email@example.com services include utilities (electrical power and Http://www.laprensahn.com Http://www.tiempo.hn potable water), educational services, professional fees (legal, accounting, engineering, etc.), clinical & Honduran Business Journals medical services, land transportation services, banking, insurance & financial services. Tourism Estrategia & Negocios. Spanish/Monthly. Silvia services are subject to a 4% tax; air transportation is de Angulo,Manager. Barrio Rio de Piedras 7th subject to a 10% tax. Calle entre 19-20 Ave. S.O. Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Tel. (504) 553-5157. Fax. (504) 553-5157. E-mail: Due Diligence firstname.lastname@example.org Hablemos Claro Financiero. Regina Wong Ayl, Performing due diligence here can be time- Manager Ed. Torrelibertad Blv. Suyapa Col. consuming and difficult. There are few sources of Florencia Sur, Entre Ed. Leme y Escuela Antares. independently verifiable information. There are no Tel. (504) 239-4350 / 239-3916 Fax. (504) 239- publicly listed Honduran companies and rarely do 7008. E-mail: email@example.com they publish information about their officers, sales http://www.hablemosclaro.com or financial information. Most companies are sole proprietorships and partnerships, and business Trade Promotion: generally is conducted based upon personal reputation and contacts. Companies should request Most local trade exhibits are organized by the bank and trade references from potential agents and Foundation for Investment and Development of customers, and also consult with their own banks Exports (FIDE), as well as by the Chambers of for information on Honduran banks. Another source Commerce of Cortés (CCIC) and the Chamber of is the International Company Profile (ICP), which Commerce of Tegucigalpa (CCIC). can be ordered through any US office of the US & Foreign Commercial Service (US Export Assistance Expocentro, in San Pedro Sula, the biggest local Centers). trade exhibit center, holds about 12 trade shows a year. Details: Expocentro. P.O. Box 14, San Pedro Local Professional Services Sula, Cortés, Honduras Tel: (504) 566-0345 up to 48; Fax: (504) 566-0344. Lilia Urrutia de Selecting a competent and reliable local attorney Hernandez, Mgr. is an important first step. A list of attorneys that have experience assisting US firms is posted on the Pricing US Embassy's website at http://honduras.usembassy.gov/ attorneylistjune05.pdf Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 15 will need to invest about US$125 million. Leading Sectors for Export & Investment Modernization investments are also foreseen in fiber optics; PCS; microwave network; fixed Telecom equipment & services. Market size: wireless band width access; and expansion of the US$200 million (2006). The sector is evolving telephone operating-center, submarine cable towards competitive markets led by the private network, and trunking system. sector. Entrance of new players through the ―Telephony for All (TpT)‖ project, launched in Resources: National Telecommunications 2003, generated profound changes in market Commission http://www.conatel.hn structure, stimulating growth and modernization. Telecom Utility Company (Hondutel) The market opened to competition on Dec. 25, http://www.hondutel.hn 2005, when Hondutel, lost its exclusivity for long distance services. Future passage of the new Security and Safety Equipment Telecom Framework Law, under legislative review, is expected to stimulate competition and Market Size: US$11 million, all imported (2006). investment, simplify licensing procedures, and Elevated crime rates have increased demand for strengthen the sector’s regulatory entity (Conatel); safety and security equipment. The market will grow by an estimated 17% for the next three years, Access to telecom service remains well below the as security clients look to replace guards with Latin American average. The number of fixed lines technology. The US supplies 86% of imports, in service by year-end 2005 was 492,000 (6.85 lines followed by Canada, Taiwan, France and Japan; per 100 inhabitants). Estimated telephony demand for 2006 is 752,605 lines. New private housing projects contemplate installation of home security systems. Demand for Best Products/Services: Promising sub-sectors electronic alarm systems is also on the rise for include wireless telephone systems and equipment; commerce and banks. The Ministry of Security has data transmission equipment; fiber-optic equipment, been authorized to make direct purchases of modern internet, VoIP, and broadband integrated solutions. technology for safety and security purposes. Mobile telephony expansion and internet access have been the highest growth areas. Opportunities Best Prospects: Electronic surveillance exist for value added and triple-play services, such equipment, Biometric systems, Alarm systems as those including telephony, broadband internet (fire/burglar), TV closed circuits, Security Cameras, access, and video. New hand-off mobile Electric residential fences, Armored Vehicles, technologies (WiMax and protocol 802.16e) also Protective Clothing, X-ray Inspection Equipment, look promising. Safes and Strong Boxes, Sprinkler Systems, Smoke Detectors, Fire Extinguishers, Vehicle Alarm Opportunities: Central Americ and Mexico plan Systems, to develop a US$60 million fiber optic broadband Airport and sea port safety & security equipment telecom network project, the Mesoamerican (including terminal X-ray equipment, closed circuit Information Highway. To be completed by early cameras, customs & baggage inspection 2008 and supported by the IADB and CABEI, it equipment). will utilize the region’s existing electricity transmission infrastructure; Opportunities: In compliance with the US Customs Service’s Container Security Initiative, the Increased liberalization is expected to stimulate National Port Authority has obtained maritime the new telecom services. Further expansion is also certification, encompassing the acquisition of anticipated, as the various new operators compete to technology to pre-screen cargo containers before service the current unsatisfied demand for fixed they arrive at US ports. Equipment needed includes telephony. As Hondutel enters into the mobile x-ray inspection equipment, security cameras and telephony market as the third cellular operator here, other electronic security devices. The four airports through the recently awarded Band B concession, it are also undergoing urgent improvements. Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 16 automotive aftermarket trade event in the US. Resources: Honduras Trade Portal http://www. Details: www.aaiwshow.com. hondurastradeportal.com Resources: Honduran Association of Automotive Parts / Service Equipment Automotive Dealers and Distributors of Automotive Parts & Accessories http://www.ahdiva.com Market Size: US$125.6 million, all imported Franchising (2006). Growth of 10% is estimated over the next 3 years. An aging car population fuels demand for Overview: Honduras’ population is estimated at auto parts & accessories. About 70% of vehicles are 6.9 million (Dec. 2005). Tegucigalpa (the capital, at at least 5 years old. The US is a major supplier, 1.2 million); San Pedro Sula (the main business along with Japan, Taiwan, Korea, China, Brazil, center, at 850,000). Honduras has over 60 Mexico, Germany and the UK. international franchises concentrated in these two main cities. Public service transport units are major end- users of auto parts and accessories. Most urban The market is expected to grow 10% yearly transport fleets use buses which are 80% obsolete. during the next 3 years. Great interest exists to open The replacement needs for urban buses alone is new franchises, as can be observed during the estimated at US$60 million. International Franchise Expo (IFE). Honduras participates annually, with a delegation of local More than 300 retailers buy directly from businesspeople recruited by the Commercial overseas or through local distributors. Japanese cars Service through the International Buyer Program and light trucks dominate the market but parts are (IBP). often purchased through the US. US-made pickups, SUVs, heavy trucks and buses have strong market Best Prospects/Services: In addition to the shares. Recent tariff changes for autos include a food/beverage and casual dining sub-sector, demand reduction in tariffs, elimination of the disadvantage for convenience, hotels/ motels & resorts, and to US vehicles vs. Japanese models as Honduras entertainment services is growing rapidly. These rescinded the tariff based on engine size, and include dry cleaning, pest control, day care learning implementation of a ban on imports of used vehicles centers, security, advertising, real estate, discount more than 7 years old. stores, convenience store/pharmacy, cosmetics and toiletries, casual clothing, and video rentals. Best Prospects: All types of engine spare parts; Electrical & brake system components; Opportunities: Strong efforts to promote transmission & suspension parts; tires; wheels; Honduras as a tourism destination resulted in 78% bumpers; spoilers; tail lights; mobile electronics; increase in visitors for the period 2002-2005. alarms; sound systems; repair shop, paint, tools & Government is encouraging investments in large equipment; emission control equipment; batteries; projects, such as the Tela Bay tourism complex, auto accessories; which will bring franchise concept opportunities in connection to the establishment of hotels, Opportunities: All passenger motor vehicles restaurants, and beach resorts. Urban modernization must be fitted with an emissions control system or and a consumer-oriented society are attracting catalytic converter. This, coupled with the growing investments in large shopping malls and retail demand for effective emissions control devices, outlets. should generate demand for parts. Resources: International Franchise Expo The US Commercial Service Office in http://www.franchiseexpo.com Tegucigalpa annually recruits and leads a delegation of Honduran automotive aftermarket leaders to the Textile Machinery, Equipment and fabrics AAIW (Sema/AAPEX) show in Las Vegas, Nevada, the most important retail and specialty Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 17 Overview: Total Market Size: US$30 million Quick Frost fruit and vegetables; Milk cooling (2006). Honduras is the third largest exporter of tanks. apparel and textile products to the US market. With private construction of modern industrial parks, Computers and Peripherals Honduras hosts some of the region’s most successful textile manufacturers. Over 40% of the Market Size: US$64.4 million (2006). Most companies in export processing zones are of US imports are from the US, but many Asian countries origin. The Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act have large distribution centers in Miami; trans- (CBTPA) has made the country more attractive to shipment data is not reflected in local import drawback factory investment, construction and statistics. Increased IT modernization needs new expansion of industrial parks, and dyes to products. E-Government initiatives, and increasing manufacture and process textile products. Average interest in Internet access have fueled demand. annual growth rate for the industry is 5-7% for the Small businesses, medium-sized enterprises, and next three years. households are emerging as important customers as a result of Internet popularity and expansion. Best Prospects/Services: Full Package Programs; Although still low compared to other Latin Fabric producers starting from the Spinning American countries, with a penetration of 0.32% process; Opening of woven textile companies; per 100 inhabitants, average annual growth rate for Accessories to be produced in order to supply the internet coverage is 41.3%. Leading computer full package companies: trims, zippers, buttons, brands are Dell, Compaq, Hewlett-Packard, IBM. yarn, boxes, plastic bags, hangers, thread, etc. Honduras does not apply import duties to computer equipment and most software. Estimated average Opportunities: Honduras owns the most growth rate is 10-15% for 2006-2008. Honduras is important Port in the region, Puerto Cortes. It plans the fourth largest market for computer equipment in to be the textile hub of the region in the next 2 the CAFTA region. years. It is the No. 1 importer of Yarn in the region, importing more than 170 million kg. per year; Best Products/Services: Computer systems, parts and peripheral equipment, including: storage Resources: Honduran Manufacturers Association: devices and digitizers; Hard disks; Keyboard units; www.ahm-honduras.com monitors; Server Systems; Modems; CD-Rom Drives; Single and Multifunction Printer Units; Food Processing and Packaging Memory modules and parts for printers; PCs; Software/Multimedia: Specialized software Market Size: US$13.2 million (2006). The US applications (accounting, financial); General continues to be the largest supplier of this Business Application solutions for Windows; equipment. Systems supporting software; Software development/programming tools; Software games. Best Products/Services: Industrial Machinery, equipment for food and beverage production; Can Opportunities: A government priority for 2006- Sealing machines; Packaging & wrapping 2010 is provision of computer equipment for the machinery; Machinery parts; Machinery for public educational network. Development of digital processing of fruits, nuts & vegetables; Machinery libraries and virtual laboratories are also important for the preparation of manufactured foods, drinks. initiatives underway between the Honduras National University and private colleges. Under the Opportunities: Exporters plans to increase Plan Puebla Panama initiative, Central American production and improve quality, particularly non- countries have agreed to develop a ―Mesoamerican traditional agricultural products such as melons, Information Society‖ and strengthen IT cooperation watermelons, mangoes, winter vegetables, fruits and efforts to establish Internet ―telecenters‖ throughout flowers. Companies are strengthening the offer of rural areas. processed products: tortillas; processed wheat, soy or oats; dehydrated fruits and vegetables; Individual Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 18 The clone equipment market assembled with hydroelectric project). Cost: US$250 million. Rural Asian, US, European and Latin American parts is electrification is another key component. Under well established. Imported clone components ENEE’s Strategic Plan for National Electrification, include motherboards, keyboards, mouses and coverage is expected to increase from 62% to 75% cases. Asian parts and components generally by the year 2008. comprise 60% to 75% of the finished product. 25- 40% of US parts are used for computer clone Imports of electric power systems, equipment manufacturing: hard drives (Seagate) and and materials for the region are being determined by microprocessors (Intel and AMD). the Central American Electric Interconnection System (SIEPAC). The US$320 million project has Resources: received approval (about US$240 million) from the IT Governmental Committee http://www.it.gob.hn Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). This is Government Procurement part of the Plan Puebla Panamá (PPP), which http://www.honducompras.gob.hn requires construction of 230 kilovolt power lines Honduran Science and Technology Council and substations to create a 1,800 km new backbone http://www.cohcit.gob.hn extending from Panama to Guatemala (passing through the southern part of Honduras); Electrical Power Systems and components Another important initiative is the Market Size: US$190 million, all imported, Mesoamerican Energy Integration Plan (PIEM), led including US$125 million from the US (2006). by Mexico. Some proposals include construction of Energy demand is growing by 7.3% a year. The a refinery and a natural gas pipeline. Both IADB National Electrical Energy Co. (ENNE) forecasts and CABEI are providing financing support. needs of 856.5 MW generating capacity for the 2006-2008. Current installed capacity is 1,375.5 Resources: Ministry of Natural Resources & MW (474.9 hydro; 871.8 thermoelectric; 28.8 the Environment http://www.serna.gob.hn biomass). About 36% of fuel imports are used for National Electric Co. http://www.enee.gob.hn thermoelectric generation. Expansion of renewable National Energy Commission energy technologies is a priority. Electric power http://www.cne.gob.hn coverage is 62%; about 2.5 million citizens (mainly Plan Puebla Panama Initiative in rural areas) lack access to electricity. ENEE is http://www.sre.gob.mex expanding efforts to extend its grid to rural areas, and expand distribution in high growth areas. Hotel and Restaurant Equipment Best Products/Services: Electrical Power The hotel industry is rapidly expanding. Many Generators; Parts of panels, boards, consoles and new projects include bungalow-type resorts, apart- transformers; Hydroelectric Turbines; Circuit hotels, cabins, hostels and inns. Convention traffic Breakers; Switch Gear; Conducting Cable; Parts of is also increasing. The restaurant industry is Steam and other Turbines. growing at an even faster rate. First-class restaurants, fast-food chains and franchises are Opportunities: Most promising projects are in opening ice cream parlors, Internet cafes. hydro, biomass, co-generation, wind, and geothermal sources. Renewable energy generation Best Products/Services: Hotel & Institutional is expected to increase by 27% (about 350.4 MW of Catering Equipment; Commercial Kitchen installed capacity). The potential for hydro Equipment; Fast Food Equipment; Food Preparation generation is significant (around 3,200 MW). Equipment; Restaurant Equipment; Vending Financing support is led by the Central American Machines; Commercial Laundry Equipment; Resort Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI). Among Furnishing/Equipment; Refrigeration/ Freezing the 2006 international public bidding projects Equipment; Cooking appliances: ovens, ranges, CABEI will support are Patuca II and Patuca III broilers, grills, fryers, baking and pasta machines; (aka known as the ―Piedras Amarillas‖ Refrigeration compressors and air conditioning; Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 19 Dishwashers and laundry machines; Catering their plants running. However, milled rice is also equipment and vending machines; Kitchen sundries, imported. glassware, china, tableware and flatware; Franchise opportunities for restaurants and hotels. Opportunities: Import demand is expected to remain strong. Honduras is ranked 11th among the Opportunities: Many hotels and restaurants are leading 35 country US franchises; these seek high quality supplies and markets for US rice imports. Once CAFTA-DR equipment. goes into effect rice tariff will be eliminated in 18 years. Tariff cuts will be backloaded, with out-of- The Tela Bay project covers 107 hectares of quota imports subject to a safeguard. There will be a Caribbean coastline, including 3 kms of beach. It is base quota of 90,000 MT for rough rice, growing by owned by the Honduran Institute of Tourism. The 2% per year. A base quota of 8,500 MT will be for project has a capacity of 1,013 hotel rooms, 454 milled rice, growing by 5% per year. condo/rentals, 124 residential units and 3,068 square meters of commercial space. Areas have also Wheat: Market Size, US$30 million, all been set aside for recreational activities, imported from the US (2005). Honduras’s land and administration and public services. Future plans call climate are unsuitable for commercial wheat for a marina in the village of Miami, a golf course farming. in Tela city, 8 kms from the project site. Best Prospects/Services: Industry needs of wheat Resources: Honduran Institute of Tourism average per year 202,000 MT. www.letsgohonduras.com Opportunities: The US should remain Honduras’ Agricultural Sectors main source of wheat. Honduras ranks 33th among the leading 35 country markets for US wheat Coarse Grains: Market size: US$106 million. imports. Local production US$77 million. Imports: US$39.9 million (2006). White corn, the grain produced on Soybean meal: Market size, US$31.3 million, all the largest scale, is utilized mainly for human from the US (2005). Domestic production is consumption. Production does not satisfy demand. negligible. Lack of affordable credit, poor seed quality, several consecutive years of weather anomalies, have Best Prospects/Services: The growing poultry prevented Honduras from becoming self sufficient. and shrimp sectors have triggered increasing demand for soybean meal. Best Products/Services: About 65% of yellow corn is imported. Imports of from the US are in Opportunities: Continued expansion in the feed demand to manufacture feed for the poultry, shrimp, industry, particularly for poultry production, should livestock and swine industries. continue to fuel the demand for US soybean meal. Opportunities: The poultry, livestock, US tariffs on Honduras imports are zero. Honduras aquaculture and swine sector will continue to grow. ranks 12th among the leading 35 country markets Honduras ranks 25th among country markets for US for US soybean meal exports. coarse grains imports. Red Meats: Local production US$4.6 million. Rice: Market Size, US$38.6 million. Local Total imports: US$14 million. Imports from US are production, US$5.7 million. Imports from US, US$13.0 million (2005). Honduras was a beef US$30.8 million (2005). Chronic production exporter to the US, but due to a drop in prices problems have not allowed domestic rice farmers to production declined in 2002 and 2003. increase output and keep up with the demand. Best Products/Services: CAFTA-DR will bring Best Prospects/Services: Local rice millers prefer immediate tariff elimination on prime and choice to import paddy rice for price reasons and to keep pork and beef cuts. Current demand on beef cuts, Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 20 prime pork, beef variety meats, liver, tongue, advantage of the Agrarian Reform Law, engage in bellies, trimmings and pork foot. commercial fishing, forestry, or local transportation activities, serve as representatives, agents, or Opportunities: From 1999 to 2003 total visitors distributors for foreign companies, or operate radio grew by 107%; food and drink establishments and television stations must be majority-owned by increased by 86%; hotels increased by 52%. Hotels Hondurans. and fine restaurants need a consistent supply of quality meat products such as US beef and pork. The 1992 Investment Law does not limit foreign There is competition from Canada and Nicaragua. ownership of businesses, except for those specifically reserved for Honduran investors, i.e., Processed Fruits and Vegetables: Market size: small firms with capital less than 150,000 Lempiras US$38 million. Imports: US$22 million. Imports (approx. US$8,000). At least 90% of the labor force from US: US$8.4 million (2006). Processed fruits must be Honduran, and at least 85% of the payroll and vegetables growth has increased every year. must be paid to Hondurans. Canned goods with familiar US brands are well known. Management of the 4 international airports was turned over to a consortium with majority US Best Products/Services: Popular products that investment in Oct. 2000, the only major under CAFTA-DR will bring immediate tariff privatization effort in recent years. A dispute over elimination are: canned sweet corn, tomato paste, financing soon developed, and the agreement was canned pears, canned peaches and mixed canned re-negotiated in 2003. There continues to be fruit. controversy over the terms, and US investors divested from in 2005. Opportunities: US franchises and restaurants import French fries from Canada. The U.S. could Government opened the telecom market for introduce its products after CAFTA-DR with joint ventures with Hondutel, the state-owned immediate tariff elimination. The import duty will telephone monopoly, in Sept. 2003. Foreign and lower from 15% to 0%. domestic carriers can register as sub-contractors for fixed telephony services. Full privatization took Investment Climate place on Dec. 25. The process through which foreign companies can obtain licenses to provide The government is generally open to foreign long distance and international dialing has not yet investment. Restrictions and performance been established. All sub-operators must obtain requirements are fairly limited. Foreign companies approval from Congress. Cellular telephony tend to encounter problems investing in services are open to full private ownership. infrastructure and a few visible large projects such as the airport, telecom, housing and energy sectors, The National Electric Co. (ENEE) has turned as domestic companies seek ways to keep the over most of its thermal energy generation to the competition out. private sector but retains responsibility for electricity transmission and distribution, and almost Relatively low labor costs, proximity to the US all hydroelectric energy generation and distribution market, and Central America’s best Caribbean port throughout. The GOH is working on a project to (Puerto Cortés) have made Honduras attractive to break up ENEE distribution and is working towards investors. The climate is hampered by high levels of privatization, though there is no firm timeline set. crime, a weak judicial system, corruption, low educational levels among the population, a troubled Dispute Settlement financial sector, and limited infrastructure. The government has a poor record of handling The Constitution requires that all foreign investment disputes, due to the outdated investment complement, but not substitute for, commercial code and the weak judicial system. national investment. Companies that wish to take Most investment and property disputes are long Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 21 lasting and arduous. US claimants frequently Labor laws are generally good. The maquila complain about the lack of transparency and the sector has made great strides in eliminating the slow administration of justice in the courts. There worst forms of labor violations. Union officials are also complaints that the judicial system caters to remain critical of what they perceive as inadequate favoritism, and bribes. While some US firms have enforcement by the Ministry of Labor (MOL) of resolved their cases through the courts, the majority workers' rights, particularly the right to form a have difficulty navigating the legal system. Many union and bargain collectively, and the US citizens have also complained about the quality reinstatement of workers unjustly fired for union of legal representation they receive from Honduran organizing activities. Through cooperation within attorneys. the bipartite and tripartite commissions (unions, MOL, private sector) and other venues, MOL Political Violence inspectors' access to maquila plants to enforce the labor code has improved, and MOL has continued Honduras has not experienced major problems to work to increase its effectiveness in enforcing with political violence. Sporadic demonstrations are worker rights and child labor laws. usually peaceful. Most major demonstrations occur in downtown Tegucigalpa. However, levels of Foreign-Trade Zones/Free Ports crime and violence are high. In a 2002 World Bank survey of both Honduran and foreign firms The Temporary Import Law (RIT) allows operating here, one in three reported having exporters to introduce raw materials, parts and suffered a criminal attack in the previous year. capital equipment (except vehicles) exempt from These led to a loss of 0.9% of annual sales, and surcharges and customs duties if the input is to be expenses devoted to security measures (hiring incorporated into a product for export (up to 5% can security guards, installing alarms, etc.) represented be sold locally). Export processing zones can be another 3.6% of annual sales. Total losses (4.5% of established anywhere, and companies operating in sales) were second in the region only to Guatemala. export processing zones are exempt from paying import duties and other charges on goods and Corruption capital equipment. The production and sale of goods within export zones are exempt from state and In a 2002 World Bank survey of both Honduran municipal income taxes for the first 10 years of and foreign firms operating here, corruption was operation. Companies operating in an export zone identified as the single largest constraint to are permitted unrestricted repatriation of profits and economic growth. In its 2004 perception capital and have access to onsite customs facilities. survey of business persons, Transparency However, companies are required to purchase the International named Honduras as one of the five Lempiras needed for their local operations from most corrupt countries in the Western Hemisphere. Honduran commercial banks or from foreign Corruption appears to be most pervasive in exchange trading houses registered with the Central government procurement, government permits, and Bank. in the buying and selling of real estate (land titling). The government is seeking to reform the judicial Foreign Direct Investment Statistics (FDI) system, though serious problems remain. FDI has registered sustained growth since 2002, Labor reflecting increased governmental efforts for attracting investors’ confidence. FDI flows in 2004 Honduras has plentiful available labor for totaled US$324.6 million (up 31.3% from 2003), an industries with a demand for relatively low skilled historical high, according to the Central Bank. (The workers. There is a limited supply of skilled US continues to be a dominant source with 60.1% workers in all technological fields, as well as in of all FDI in 2003). Other countries with high medical and high technology industries. levels of investment include: U.K. (telecommunications); Canada (mining); Mexico (ICT, telecom, consumer trade); Central America Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 22 (mainly Panama & El Salvador, in the financial Country Trade Associations /Chambers of services sector and development of commercial Commerce projects); Switzerland (food, beverage, construction industry); and Germany (agro-industry). This is a partial list. The complete list is available in the full report, available from FDI by country of origin in 2004 (in millions of firstname.lastname@example.org. US$) was: US, 68.6; Canada, 40.8; Mexico, 35.9; El Salvador, 17.7; Guatemala, 9.0; Nicaragua, 5.7; Honduran American Chamber of Commerce Costa Rica, 6.6; Panama, 21.7; Bahamas, 4.8; (AMCHAM). Spain, 0.1; England, 61.0; Holland, 3.6; Germany, Roberto Alvarez, Pres. Lic. Patricia Lopez, Exec. 14.4; Switzerland, 23.7; Italy, 6.0; France, 0.0; Dir. P.O. Box # 1838. Tegucigalpa M.D.C. Tel: Japan, 0.1; Others, 4.9; Total, 324.6. Source: (504) 235-9959, 231-1379, 232-6035. Fax: (504) Central Bank of Honduras. 232-2031. E-mail: email@example.com FDI by Economic Activity (in millions of US$ Foundation for Investment and Development of and percentages for 2004): Agriculture; Fishing, Exports (FIDE). Lic. Vilma Sierra Exec. Pres. 11.1, 3.4%; Mining, 40.9, 12.6%; Manufacturing, Antonio Young, VP. 106.7, 32.9%; Electricity, gas,water, 7.2, 2.2%; P.O. Box # 2029. Tegucigalpa M.D.C. Tel: (504) Construction, 0.8, 0.2%; Consumer Trade, 235-3471, 235-3472. Fax: (504) 235-7484. E-mail: Hotels/Restaurants, 23.3, 7.2%; Transportation, firstname.lastname@example.org Storage, Communications, 81.1, 25.0%; Financial, Http://www.hondurasinfo.hn Insurance, Services, 53.4, 16.5%. Total, 324.6. Federation of Agricultural Producers and 100.0%. Source: Central Bank of Honduras Exporters (FPX). FDI Maquiladora Industry by Sector, 2004 (in Medardo Galindo, Gen. Mgr., P.O. Box # 236. San millions of US$ and percentages): Textile Industry, Pedro Sula, Cortés. Tel: (504) 566-0139, 566-3794, 57.5, 41.0; Electric components and car parts, 28.7, 566-2368, Fax: (504) 566-3852. E-mail: 20.5; Tobacco, 22.4, 16.0; Service to corporations, email@example.com 20.7, 14.7; Agriculture, hunting and fishing, 7.7, Honduran Council for Private Enterprise 5.5; Cardboard Products, 3.8, 2.7; Watch assembly (COHEP). Ing. Mario Cnahuati, Pres. Benjamin & electronic products, 2.2, 1.6; Furniture production Bogran, Exec. Dir. P.O. Box 3240. Tegucigalpa & wood products, 0.5, 0.3; Chemical products, 0.0, M.D.C. Tel: (504) 235-3336. Fax: (504) 235- 0.0; Trade, -3.3, -2.3. Total: US$140 million, 100%. 3345/44. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: quarterly surveys applied to industrial park National Honduran Assn of Exporters companies. (ANEXHON). Lic. Roberto Panayotti, Pres. Local de la C.C.I.C. San Pedro Sula, Cortes. Tel: (504) Selected Foreign Investments 553-3626. Fax: (504) 553-3777. Construction Industry Association (CHICO) A list of dozens of foreign firms and franchises International Chamber of Commerce operating here, with a description of the type of (INTERCHAM). Hector Diaz, Pres. Ave investment and country of origin is available in the Circunvalación, 17 Ave., 9-10 Calle, S.O. Edificio complete version of this report, which you can CCIC. P.O. Box # 4548. San Pedro Sula, Cortés request by Emailing email@example.com. Tel: (504) 557-4994. Fax: (504) 557-4994. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org US Banks and Local Correspondent Banks National Industry Association (ANDI). Ing. Adolfo Facussé, Pres. Guermo Matamoros, Exec. A list of these banks, with addresses and contact Dir. Tel: (504) 232-2221, 239-1239. Fax: (504) information can be obtained in the complete report, 221-5199. P.O. Box # 3447. Tegucigalpa M.D.C. E- which you can request via Email: mail: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org. Honduran Apparel Manufacturers Assoc. Jesus Canahuati, Pres. Henry Fransen, Exec. Dir. P.O. Box # 2658. San Pedro Sula, Cortés. Tel: (504) 556- Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 23 5526. Fax: (504) 556-5525. E-mail: director@ahm- honduras.com; www.ahm-honduras.com Embassy of Honduras. Amb. Norman Garcia. Honduran Assn of Banking Institutions (AHIBA). 3007 Tilden Street, NW. Washington, DC 20008. Roque Rivera, Pres. P.O. Box #1344. Tegucigalpa, Tel: (202) 966-7702. Fax: (202) 966-9751. Email: M.D.C. Tel: (504) 235-6770. Fax: (504) 239-0191. email@example.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Honduras Institute of Tourism. 299 Alhambra Honduran Mining Assn (ANAMINH). Miriam Circle Suite 226. Coral Gables, FL 33134. P.O.Box Bueso, Pres. 140458. Coral Gables, FL 33114-0458. Toll Free:1- Edif. Plaza Millennium 2ndo Nivel Cubi B Guel 3, 800-410-9608. Tel (305) 461-0600. Fax (305) 461- Comaguela, Honduras. Tel: (504) 225-3733. Fax: 0602. Email: email@example.com (504) 225-3733. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Honduran Chamber of Tourism (CAMTURH). Trade Events Raul Welches, Pres. Lourds Benedett, Dir. Col Los Girasoles, Hotel Escuela Madrid 4to Piso. P.O. Box Check the links below for upcoming trade events. # 5804. Tegucigalpa, M.D.C. Tel: (504) 236-8836. www. export.gov/tradeevents.html, Fax: (504) 236-9702. E-mail: email@example.com www.buyusa.gov/honduras Country Market Research Firms *** COMPUTER, COMMUNICATIONS KMPG Peat, Marwick y Asociados. Armando EQUIPMENT. A loan from the World Bank’s Barnica, Gen Mgr. P.O. Box # 3398. Tegucigalpa International Development Assn (IDA) is for M.D.C. Tel: (504) 232-5907; Fax: (504) 232-5925. Technical Assistance to Support Poverty Reduction E-mail: kpmgtgu@ david.intertel.hn (No. 3939-HO; Project: P083851). Part of the funds Morales Group. Roberto Morales. Exec. P.O. Box will be used to procure computer and 2232 San Pedro Sula, Cortés, Honduras. Tel: (504) communications equipment for the Civil Service 553-1176; Fax: (504) 557-6722; 553-3723. Office. Deadline: March 12, 2007. Refer to: SEFIN Mercaplan. Jorge Martin Frech, Gen. Mgr. Col. 005-2006. Details: Ivonne Ramírez Coordinadora Moderna 20 y 21 Ave Blvd Los Proceres. San Pedro de la Unidad Administradora de Proyectos Sula, Cortés. Tel: (504) 550-1992, 550-1092 Fax: (UAP)/Secretaría de Estado en el Despacho de (504) 550-1996. http:// www.mercaplan.hn. E-mail: Finanzas. Av. Cervantes, Edif. Principal de la firstname.lastname@example.org Secretaría de Finanzas. 7mo. Piso. Tegucigalpa, C.I.D. Consultoría Interdisciplinaria en M.D.C. Honduras. Tel: (504) 222-6120. Email: Desarrollo, S.A. (Gallup de Centroamérica). email@example.com. Web: www.sefin.gob.hn Xiomara Muñoz Deras, Gen. Mgr., P.O. Box # 3390. Tegucigalpa M.D.C. Tel: (504) 232-0637, INSURANCE PROGRAM FOR HONDUTEL. 239-0993; Fax: (504) 239-0899. E-mail: cidhon@ Funds from the UN Development Program will help cidgallup.com pay for developing an Insurance Program for the Martinez Calvo. Ricardo Martinez, Gen. Mgr. government’s Hondutel Telecom Co. in 2007-2008. Hotel Clarion, Edificio Corporativo. Tegucigalpa Deadline: March 7, 2007. Refer to: Proceso No. M.D.C. Tel: (504) 232-3951, Fax: (504) 232-5005. IAL/00031327/00357-2007. Details: Programa de E-mail: martinezcalvo@ hondutel.hn las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo. Atn: Unidad de Adquisiciones. Casa de las Naciones U.S. Embassy Economic Personnel Unidas, Primer Nivel. Col. Palmira, Av. República Washington - Based U.S. Government, Country de Panamá. Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Tel: (504) Contacts 231-0102, 220-1100. Fax: (504) 232-3268. E- mail: U.S. Department of State licitaciones. firstname.lastname@example.org. Web site: www.undp.un.hn Request complete report with these details from email@example.com. DESIGN, EXECUTION OF R&D. Funds from the World Bank are for Trade Facilitation & Other U.S.-Based Offices Productivity Improvement (3826-HO; Proyecto Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 24 P070038). Part of funds will be used for design, EFFECTIVE RECORDS MANAGEMENT. research and development. Deadline to prequalify: Consultants are invited to submit proposals by April March 8, 2007. Refer to: No. PFCIP-FIDE-SBCC- 11 to provide technical assistance to develop & 724/06. Details: Proyecto Facilitación Comercio e implement an Effective Records Management Incremento de la Productividad. Expresiones de Program (RFP No. 2006/004). Details: Public Interés Consultoría “Diseño e Implementación de Sector Reform Unit. Cabinet Office. 2a Devon Rd., Campaña de Comunicación para Posicionar a Rm 219. Kingston 10 Jamaica. Fax: (876) 960- Honduras como Destino de Inversiones entre 6443. E-mail: psru.proc@ abinet.gov.jm. Web: Potenciales Inversionistas Internacionales”. Atn: www.cabinet.gov.jm/psru Oficial de Adquisiciones de Firmas Consultoras/Proyecto Banco Mundial. Edif. FIDE, SOCIAL SAFETY NET. A World Bank loan Inversiones y Exportaciones, 2ndo Piso. Col. La will help finance reform of Jamaica's Social Safety Estancia, final del Blvd. Morazán. Esq. opuesta del Net (SSN) (Loan 7076-JM; Project ID No. Centro Comercial Plaza Marte. Tegucigalpa, P067774). Some funds will pay for consultants to M.D.C., Honduras. Tel: (504) 221-6303 al 10. recertify households enrolled under PATH up to Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web: www. Dec. 31,2002 who have since been receiving hondurascompite.com benefits. Deadline to prequalify: March 9, 2007. Refer to:Contract No. SSN-CON.-QCBS-2007/04. JAMAICA Details: Ministry of Labour & Social Security, Social Safety Net Project. P.A.T.H.. Attn: OIL DOLLARS TO HELP SUGAR. The Procurement Officer 14 National Heroes Circle. government is using US$44 million earned from its Kingston 4, Jamaica W.I. Tel: (876) 967-0420. oil deal with Venezuela to help its struggling state- Fax: (876) 967-7250. E-mail: owned sugar company, said Agriculture Minister email@example.com, Roger Clarke, reports AP (Feb. 8, 2007). A firstname.lastname@example.org portion of the money was also used to refurbish factories for the 2007 sugar crop, he said. The PUBLIC SECTOR REFORM. Bids are sought company consists of six farms that produce 65% of by March 20 for two projects: a Human Resource sugar exports. It was put up for divestment two Information System at its National Public Health years ago after accumulating US$180.5 million in Lab, Immunology Lab and Blood Bank (RFP debt. Under the 2005 Petrocaribe deal, Jamaica pays 2007/002, 2007/003) and Assessment of Impact of market price for Venezuelan fuel must hand over Devolution of Health Service Delivery (RFP no. only part of the cost and can finance the rest over 25 2007/004). Details: Public Sector Reform Unit. See years at low interest. Five companies are in the contact info at bottom of previous paragraph. running to purchase the sugar company, including local companies Wray and Nephew and Gibson MOBILE TV LAUNCHED. Dublin-based Energy Ltd., Coimex from Brazil, Angostura from Vimio, a provider of media distribution solutions Trinidad and Dhampur from India. and content to Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), on Jan. 29 said that its Live TV solution has been INTERNET SPECIALIST. Jamaica secured a incorporated in a new Mobile TV service, launched loan from the Inter-American Development Bank here by Digicel Group. Details: Padraic Marren, for the Primary Education Support Project (PESP) VP Bus. Dev. Tel: +353-1-865-2400 / +353-87- #1264/OC-JA. Part of the proceeds will pay for an 6980943. Pelham Public Rel. Tel: +44-(0)20-7743- intranet specialist to provide web-based portal and 6670. Archie Berens, John East & Partners Ltd. content management systems. Deadline: March 7, Tel: +44-(0)20-7628-2200. 2007. Details: The Project Manager, PESP. Ministry of Education & Youth. Bldg 1, 5th Fl, Rm Roofing material is sought by A. G. Lowe & 500. National Heroes Circle. Kingston 4. Tel: (876) Associates Ltd., a Jamaican architectural firm that 502-5884/5888. Fax: (876) 967-4066. E-mail: has been involved in several developments here email@example.com (hotels, residential developments and industrial complexes). The firm is now part of a partnership Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 25 that will build 1,000 3-bedroom housing units in U.S. backed insurgency. He now says he seeks good Richmond, St. Ann, on the north coast. Preference relations with Washington. will be given to "Maxi-Shakes" material (synthetic, oil with fiber); Aluminum shakes. Will purchase in MILLENIUM CHALLENGE. The US future (6 months or more). Details: Arthur G. Lowe. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC) Tel: (876) 924-5800. Fax: (876) 969-3217. Email: approved a US$175 million, five-year compact with firstname.lastname@example.org Nicaragua to promote economic development in Chinandega and Leon departments, and fund: (i) Wholesale carpeting for motor vehicles is Road Rehabilitation; (ii) Property Regularization; sought by a company here. Quantity: half a 20 ft. iii) Value-added rural business development. (Bid container. Details: Power Steering Speciality Ltd. No: MCA-N # QCBS – 2007 – 01). Consultants are Cecil Beharry, Manager. Phone: (876) 906-1637, invited to apply for ―Data Quality Reviewer of the 1640. Fax: (876) 926-9906. Email: MCA – Nicaragua Program‖. Deadline: March 23, email@example.com 2007. Details: Mr. John Bowlin. Fundación Reto del Milenio (MCA-Nicaragua). Procurement Agent NETHERLANDS ANTILLES Mgr. Villa Fontana No. 26, Annex A, frente al costado norte del Club Terraza. Managua, NEW WESTIN ST. MAARTEN RESORT. The Nicaragua. Tel/Fax: (505) 255-0501/0508/0520, Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort & Spa, 277-0043, 277-1272, (1-202) 470-1390. E-mail: opened Jan. 22, includes 317 rooms, 99 condos and jbowlin @ louisberger.com Web: www.mcc.gov and 6 suites, a spa, fitness room, casino, 20,000 sq ft of www. cuentadelmilenio.org.ni. function space, shops, restaurants, water sports. It is built on the former site of the Dawn Beach Hotel, EFFORT TO RESOLVE OIL LEGAL leveled by Hurricanes Luis and Marilyn in 1995. DISPUTE. Government said it will try to negotiate Westin is owned, managed and operated by US a resolution to a legal dispute over oil exploration entrepreneur William Yung. Rooms range from concessions granted to two U.S. companies, reports US$403 (euro311) to US$586 (euro452) per night, AP (Jan. 24, 2007). Foreign Minister Samuel Santos said Gen. Mgr. Carlos Sanchez. Details: Tel: 011- said he met with members of the remote (599)-543-6700. Web: www.westin.com\ stmaarten. autonomous region who have taken legal action Kathrina Calbes. Email: kcalbes@ BlazePR.com. against the concessions. They argue the government Karen Gee-McAuley. Email: kgee.mcauley of former President Enrique Bolanos, who left @blazepr.com. Tel: (310) 395-5050. office on Jan. 10, did not take into account the impact the exploration would have on fishing and SPIRIT FLIES TO ST. MAARTEN. Spirit tourism. Last year, Bolanos granted a 1.4 million- Airlines on Jan. 17 announced non-stop Fri., Sat., acre concession to Denver-based Infinity Energy Sun. service between its Ft Lauderdale hub and St. Resources, Inc., and a 988,000-acre concession to Maarten, beginning April 20. , 2007. Details: MKJ Xploration, based in Metairie, Louisiana. Rebecca Rivera, 954-628-4827. Email: Infinity says it will begin this year ―analyzing Rebecca.firstname.lastname@example.org existing seismic data for the concessions and plans future exploration and development.‖ Santos said he NICARAGUA wants to ―look for appropriate mechanisms to diffuse the problem in the best interests of everyone PRESIDENT ORTEGA SLASHES SALARY. involved.‖ New President Daniel Ortega, said he is slashing his salary to US$3,200 and those of Cabinet members FAMILY MINISTRY STRENGTHENING. to US$3,000, reports AP (Jan. 22, 2006). Former Nicaragua has received US$3 million from the President Enrique Bolanos earned about Inter-American Development Bank for a Project to US$10,000; some Cabinet members earned more Strengthen the Family Ministry (N° 1576 SF/NI). than US$5,000. Ortega headed a Soviet allied Funds will be used for general procurement, government in the 1980s that fought a war against a including hiring consultants. No deadline specified. Details: Ministerio de la Familia, Dirección de Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 26 Fortalecimiento Institucional. Atn: Lic. Marcia prison as soon as he arrived. Noriega has received Ramírez. De donde fue Unión FENOSA Central 100 two 20-year sentences in Panama for the 1985 m al Sur. Managua, Nicaragua. Tel: (505) 277- decapitation of dissident leader Hugo Spadafora and 4294. Fax: (505) 278-1836. E-mail: mramirez@ the 1989 slaying of Maj. Moises Giroldi, who tried mifamilia.gob.ni to overthrow him. CEMEX TO EXPAND BAYANO PLANT. HYDRO GENERATION EQUIPMENT. Mexico’s Cemex S.A. said Jan. 26 it will invest Nicaragua has received funding from the United US$200 million to build a new kiln at its Bayano Nations System for Small-Scale Hydroelectric Plant in Panama, with completion expected in 2009. Development in Areas Outside the Network Current production, 450,000 tons of clinker per (FONDOS DE CONTRIBUCION COSUDE-GTZ- year, will increase to 1.6 million tons, said Juan PNUD-GEF/NIC10-000-14045). Part of the funds Romero, President of Cemex’s South America & will be to supply and install generating equipment Caribbean Region. Details: Media: Jorge Perez, for the small El Naranjo Hydro Project. Deadline: (52-81) 8888-4334. Investor Relations. Eduardo March 14, 2007. Refer to: LPINIC10-14045-001- Rendon, (52-81)8888-4256. Analyst 2007. Details: Ing. Emilio Rappaccioli Baltodano. Relations.Ricardo Sales, 212-317-6008 Presidente CNE. Comisión Nacional de Energía (CNE). Del Hospital Bautista 1 cuadra abajo, 120 HOLIDAY INN PANAMA CANAL. IHG varas al Lago Managua, Nicaragua. No other InterContinental Hotels Group) on Feb. 1 contact info, such as phone, fax or Email, was announced groundbreaking of the 115-room provided, which raises doubts upon the Holiday Inn Panama Canal, in the City of transparency of this project. Knowledge complex for education and research. It will be the fourth IHG hotel in Panama through its Used school buses from a US supplier are sought. affiliation with Panama City-based Bern Hotels & Preferred Brands: International, GMC, Ford, Resorts, the tourism division of Empresas Bern. Chevrolet. Body: Blue Bird, Thomas, Ward, Details: Miami Kreps. DeMaria Veronica Villegas, Carpenter. Year: 1997-1998. Quantity: US$50,000 305-663-3543. Email: vvillegas@ krepspr.com or initially. Details: Jorge Montoya. Finance Cristina Planas, 305-663-3543. Email: cplanas Manager, Phone: 505-265-2189. Fax: 505-265- @krepspr.com. Web: www.ihgplc.com/media 2189. Email: email@example.com NEW GOVT. PROCUREMENT LAW. A law PANAMA entered into effect on Dec. 28, 2006 which regulates government procurement is intended to streamline NORIEGA PRISON RELEASE SET FOR and modernize Panama’s contracting system. An SEPT. 9. Former dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega internet-based procurement system: Panamacompra hopes to board a plane for Panama when he is portal (www. panamacompra.gob.pa) requires all released from prison on Sept. 9, and plans to fight purchases to be announced in this system, thus his conviction in the slayings of two political allowing for more transparency and speed in opponents, said his attorney Frank Rubino, reports government purchases. The law also regulates use AP (Jan. 24, 2007). Noriega's eight-year rule ended of performance bonds, creates an office to monitor after the US invaded the county on Dec. 20, 1989, public tenders (National Directorate for Public to force him from power. He is being held in the Tenders), and provides for more expedited Federal Correctional Institution in Miami on drug information access. Source: US Dept. of Commerce. trafficking and money laundering charges. Noriega was sentenced to a 30-year term for protecting DRINKING WATER PROGRAM. A loan from Colombian cocaine shipments through Panama in the Inter-American Development Bank is for the 1980s but received deductions in his punishment Sustainable Development Program in Darien. (Nº for good behavior. Noriega, 70, had unsuccessful 1160/OC-PN) Part of the funds will be for a parole hearings in 2002 and 2004 to try to cut short Drinking Water Systems for Communities Along his 30-year sentence. Panama's justice minister, the Pan-American Highway in Darien (Arimae- Olga Golcher, said Noriega would be taken to Yaviza). Deadline: March 12, 2007. Refer to: N° Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 27 PD-370-SB-06. Details: Ministerio de la SHRINKING AUTO SALES. New vehicle sales Presidencia. Consejo Nacional para el Desarrollo in Puerto Rico last year totaled 117,838 units, down Sostenible. Atn: Ing. Orlando sorio. Edif 764, 16.1% from 2005, when 140,400 vehicles were Balboa, Ciudad de Panamá. Tel/Fax: (507) 314– sold, according to Plaza Motors Corp., reports 0922/1030. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Atn: Lic. Caribbean Business (Jan. 26, 2007). The local auto Euldarin Asprilla. Tel: (507) 314–1036/0288. Tel: industry generates US$3.5 billion a year in sales of (507) 299-6796 (Darién). E-mail: vehicles and spare parts and employs about 15,000 email@example.com people, not counting used car dealerships. Banks and other financial institutions manage an auto CANAL FINANCIAL ADVISOR. The Panama market portfolio of US$8.7 billion. The central Canal Authority on Feb. 8 said it awarded the government in 2005 raked in US$606 million in financial advisor contract for the Panama Canal taxes on car sales. Plaza Motors President & CEO expansion to Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd.,which Hiroshi Nakagawa said that ―in terms of raw sales won out over 14 firms from the US, Japan, France, numbers, 2007 may be even more difficult than the England and Spain. Details: www.pancanal.com. previous year.‖ STRENGTHENING OF MARITIME HOTEL REDEVELOPMENT. The AUTHORITY. Panama has received US$5 million transformation of Condado’s Ashford Ave. from the Inter-American Dev. Bank to Strengthen continues as Grupo Cacho takes the lead with two Capacity of the Maritime Authority for Coastal projects valued at US$150 million, reports Management (No. 1724/OC-PN, Proyecto PN- Caribbean Business (Jan. 19, 2007). The Laguna 0152). No deadline specified. Details: Autoridad de del Mar Plaza and Regency Condado Center los Recursos Acuáticos de Panamá. George F. projects will add 1,500 parking spots, and 130 Novey. Diablo Height, Ancon, Edif 5534. 8062 apartments to the growing list of upscale condos Panamá 7 Panamá. Tel/Fax: (507) 232-7510, 232- due to soon flood Condado. Developer Roberto 6477. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Cacho, president & owner of the shuttered Regency Hotel and the 4,600-square-meter parking lot where DIGITAL MAPPING. Panama received a loan Laguna del Mar Plaza will be built, said he has from the Inter-Amer. Dev. Bank for a Land Admin. partnered with the Blackstone Group, the stateside Prog. that involves aerial digital mapping (No. private equity group, to redevelop the Regency as 1427/OC-PN). Consultants required. Deadline: an all-suite boutique condo-hotel. In addition to March 19, 2007. Details: Programa Nacional de converting guest rooms into 75 condo suites, an Admin. Tierras. Lic. Abraham Herrera. Edif 868 adjacent new structure will include 8 floors for Albrook, Correg. de Ancón. Ciudad de Panamá. parking and an 8-floor tower rising above it that Tel: (507)315-1955. Fax: (507) 315-9660. E-mail: will house 68 apartments. email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org *** FORMER NPP OFFICIALS GET 5 YEARS. PUERTO RICO Two leading figures of the pro-statehood New Progressive Party (NPP), Rene Vazquez-Botet and PUBLIC SECTOR JOBS UP 8% IN 2006. The Marcos Morell-Corrada, were sentenced to 5 years Dept of Labor & Human Resources Nov. 2006 in prison for involvement in a scheme to extort Household Survey reveals public-sector jobs contractors in connection with the Superaqueduct increased 8% between Jan.-Nov. 2006, reports project, reports Caribbean Net News (Feb. 1, 2007). Caribbean Business (Jan. 23, 2007). Government In 1995, they, together with Jose Granados-Navedo- employment by Jan. 2006 reached 274,000, vs, -a member of the House of Representatives— 296,000 for Nov. 2006. Total employment grew demanded more than US$2 million from contractors from 1.248 million to 1.270 million, while who won contracts to build a U$$372 million unemployment declined from 13% in Nov. 2005 to project involving a 40-mile water pipe from 10% in Nov. 2006. Arecibo to San Juan. Vazquez-Botet, a pediatric ophthalmologist, was tapped in 1991 by the NPP to Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 28 be campaign director for a gubernatorial candidate renovating El Cantón, the downtown sector of the and was campaign manager for the candidate's re- city, reports Caribbean Business (Jan. 19, 2007). election in 1996. Morell-Corrada, an attorney, was ―Investment in the project could surpass US$100 secretary general of the NPP. Granados-Navedo million,‖ said Bayamón Mayor Ramón Luis Rivera resigned from office as the VP of the House in Cruz. 1999, and pleaded guilty before the first indictments were returned in 2004 and cooperated with the COCO BEACH RESORT A DONE DEAL. FBI's investigation and prosecution. The Fairmont Coco Beach Resort in Río Grande is a done deal, said Arturo Díaz, president of Empresas ELECTRONIC COUPON DISPENSERS. Díaz & Coco Beach Development Group (CBDG), Houston-based MBC Direct, creator-marketer of reports Caribbean Business (Feb. 8, 2007). loyalty and financial card programs for businesses, California-based, merchant-banking firm Redwood and Ponce-based Vassallo Industries, are expected Capital Partners LLC, partnered with Empresas to sign a memorandum of intention, in which the Díaz, has signed a commitment letter with Canada’s latter will manufacture from 300,000 to 500,000 Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, a subsidiary of electronic coupon dispensers, in a deal valued at Canadian Pacific. Scotiabank will handle lead between US$8-US$10 million, reports Caribbean financing. The Coco Beach Golf Course has been Business (Jan. 26, 2007). MBC Direct President lengthened to 7,587 yards to comply with PGA Alfredo Rodríguez said the dispensers will be Tour standards. Díaz said the Fairmont project, located on local supermarket store shelves, but valued at about US$125 million, will include 250 eventually in stateside stores as well. MBC Direct hotel rooms and 150 condo-hotel units. has arranged with product manufacturers to provide discounts on more than 4,500 items. Consumers CHANGES AT PLAZA DEL NORTE. CV will be able to access these discounts electronically, Entertainment Group has shut down its 6-screen at store shelves (electronic coupon dispenser), by e- multiplex in Hatillo’s Plaza del Norte, one of mail, and eventually through cable boxes. several high-profile tenants that recently exited or are about to leave the shopping center owned by PUEBLO MAY SELL NON-PERFORMING stateside Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) STORES. After indicating no interest in selling Developers Diversified Realty (DDR), reports any of its locations, supermarket chain Pueblo may Caribbean Business (Jan.26, 2007). In addition to have revised its options by paying special attention the previously reported closing of Gap, sources say to an offer from Econo Supermarkets to acquire 1-2-3 and Infinito, which has filed for Chapter 11 several Pueblo stores at an estimated US$40 bankruptcy protection along with sister stores million, reports Caribbean Business (Jan. 22, 2007). Geraldine, Jackie’s, Ranger and Fashion Bazaar, are Econo’s offer is not the only one Pueblo is said to also leaving one of Puerto Rico’s largest malls. On be considering. One of Puerto Rico’s fastest- the bright side, sources say Marshalls will soon growing chains, Grande, has also expressed interest replace Pitusa, another recent casualty at Plaza del in acquiring a handful of Pueblo’s locations, Norte. According to DDR’s website, 61,874 sq f, according to industry sources, who say Grande is almost 10%, of the mall is now vacant. Sources say also talking about an investment of some US$40 rent and common area maintenance charges soared million. Grande’s acquisition, however, will be at DDR-owned malls since the REIT purchased 15 contingent upon availability of the right locations Puerto Rico malls for US$1.15 billion in late 2004. and pricing structure in line with Grande’s long- term expansion plans. Pueblo, founded in 1955, is RETAIL STORES PURCHASE. Switzerland- owned and operated by Venezuela’s Cisneros based Dufry has agreed to buy Luis Bared’s 23 Group. retail operations for US$157 million, reports Caribbean Business (Jan. 26, 2007). The Bared DOWNTOWN BAYAMON RENOVATION. Group includes Alliance Duty Free, the duty-free The municipality of Bayamón will seek proposals concessionaire of the shops at Luis Muñoz Marin from private-sector entities interested in entering International Airport in San Juan, the Perfume into real-estate development initiatives geared to Palace chain of fragrance stores, with outlets in Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 29 Aruba, Curaçao, St. Martin and St. Thomas, as well issued thousands of illegal prescriptions for drugs as in the San Juan airport, said Lubna Haj Issa, such as Hydrocodone, Phentermine and Diazepam. Dufry’s spokeswoman. They were allegedly involved with Internet Facilitation Centers and Internet pharmacies that SCOTIABANK MAY BUY BANCORP. Bank solicited customers throughout the US. These of Nova Scotia, Canada's third-largest bank, has centers would then refer the customers to these offered to buy First BanCorp of Puerto Rico, reports physicians using numerous web sites and e-mail Bloomberg News (Jan. 30, 2007). First BanCorp, addresses. based in Santurce, PR, reportedly has a market value of US$842 million. SPIRIT FLIGHTS TO AGUADILLA. Spirit Airlines on Jan. 16 announced 5 times weekly AUTOLOGICA TO OPEN IN OFFICE. nonstop service from its Ft Lauderdale, Fla. hub to Autologica S.A., a specialist in software for auto Aguadilla, its second destination in Puerto Rico and dealers and distributors (known in the industry as 30th overall, beginning April 12, said Chief Dealer Management Systems or DMS), said Jan. 30 Marketing Officer Barry Biffle. Details: Rebecca they will open an office in San Juan next April. Rivera. Email: email@example.com ―Our goal is to become the leading DMS for medium-sized dealerships,‖ said Sales Manager ST. KITTS-NEVIS Ana Drovandi. Details: Autologica S.A., Argentina. Ana Drovandi, +54-341 411 0904. Email: SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION. A World Bank firstname.lastname@example.org. Web: loan will help pay for the OECS Education www.autologica.net Development Project (Loan No. 7125-SC; Project: P075978). Part of the funds will be used for Phase ZAP SIGNS DISTRIBUTION ACCORD. II of Construction of the The Saddlers Secondary Rising gas prices prompted a distributor of gasoline School. Deadline: March 23, 2007. Refer to: scooters, AJ Imports, to enter into a venture with Contract ID No. TD0010C/SKN/WB/ICB/06. ZAP to market its electric cars, scooters, Details: Attn: Robert V. Morris. Project Mgmt Unit. seascooters, bicycles, personal transporters and Ministry of Education. World Bank/OECS other alternative fueled vehicles, it was reported Education Development Project. PO Box 333. Jan. 19. ZAP Director of International Affairs Education Planning Division. Lockhart St. Fernando Cancela said hundreds of vehicles have Basseterre, St. Kitts. Tel: (869) 466-3766. Email: already been shipped to AJ Imports, which sells and email@example.com rents vehicles serving primarily the tourism industry. Details: Francisco Javier Rodriguez, AJ RENEWABLE ENERGY EXPLORATION. Imports. The Nevis Island Administration has given West Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Eveline Souza. Indies Power (Nevis) Ltd an 18-month license to ZAP Media Relations. (707) 525-8658 x 216. explore geothermal resources on Email: esouza@ zapworld. com. Sherri Haskell. the island, reports Caribbean Net News (Feb.9, ZAP. 707-525-8658 x 232. Email: 2007). email@example.com. Web: www.zapworld.com. ST. LUCIA 7 DOCTORS INDICTED ON DRUG CHARGES. US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) BAN ON UK POULTRY. St. Lucia has placed a officials announced the indictment of 7 doctors ban on all poultry and poultry products from the licensed here, reports Caribbean Net News (Jan. 31, United Kingdom, reports Caribbean Net News (Feb. 2007). Charges include conspiracy to distribute 13, 2007). The action followed a Jan. 27 report by controlled substances, wire fraud, and money The International Organization for Animal Health laundering. The DEA’s Operation Click 4 Drugs (OIA) of an outbreak of Avian Influenza (H5N1), targeted an organization that distributed large commonly known as the bird flu, in the United quantities of Schedule III and Schedule IV Kingdom. Other countries that import poultry and controlled substances via the internet. The doctors Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 30 poultry products from the UK have implemented plant for producing ammonia, urea ammonia nitrate similar bans. and melamine. ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES BP TO DRILL 10 WELLS. BP Trinidad & Tobago, majority owned by Britain’s BP Plc, plans HYDRO POWER PLANT REHAB, to drill 10 wells over a decade when it resumes oil UPGRADES. St. Vincent Electricity Services Ltd and gas exploration here in 2008, said Sheldon (VINLEC) is seeking to rehabilitate and upgrade Daniel, VP for Communications & External Affairs, two hydropower plants. The tender calls for civil, reports Reuters (Feb. 9, 2007). BPTT electromechanical and hydro-mechanical works on abandoned drilling last August at the Ibis Deep an engineering, procurement and construction basis well, the deepest well ever drilled in the country, (EPC). Deadline to Prequalify: April 30, 2007. after failing to find new sources of hydrocarbon. Details: CEO,St Vincent Electricity Services Ltd. Paul’s Ave. PO Box 856. St Vincent & the BUSINESSES VOICE CONCERN OVER Grenadines. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org RISING CRIME. The Chamber of Industry & Commerce, the largest private sector group MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIST. A World Bank representing businesses here, delivered a strong loan supports an HIV/AIDS Prevention & Control message to the Patrick Manning administration and Project (7251-SV; Project ID: P076799). Part of the all parliamentarians to address the spiraling crime funds will pay for a Medical Technologist in the situation, reports Caribbean Net News (Feb. 1, Pathology Lab of the Milton Cato Memorial 2007). The group wants passage of the DNA Hospital. Deadline: March 9, 2007. Details: Project legislation and Police Reform Act, both of which Coordinator. SVG Coordinating Unit. Central have long been debated. Planning Division. Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning. Bay St. Kingstown, St. Vincent *** & the Grenadines. Tel: (784) 457-1738. Fax: 784- SUGAR INDUSTRY SHUTDOWN. Trinidad & 451-2033. E-mail: email@example.com Tobago will shut down its centuries-old sugar industry, which was pushed to the brink of collapse SURINAME by cuts in subsidies from the European Union, reports AP (Jan. 24, 2007): PRODUCTION SHARING WITH IRISH OIL PRODUCER. State-owned oil company Staatsolie The nation will shutter the business after this and its subsidiary Paradise Oil signed production- year's crop is produced, said Agriculture Minister sharing contracts with Irish oil producer Tullow Jarrette Narine. Raffique Shah, chief of the Cane Oil, reports Caribbean Net News (Feb. 14, 2007). Farmers Association, said Prime Minister Patrick Paradise Oil and Tullow will jointly execute Manning accepted a proposal to end all sugar explorations on the Uitkijk Block and Coronie production in the country, which has built one of the Block, two on-shore concessions here owned by region's fastest-growing economies around Staatsolie, said John McKenna, Tullow’s Regional petroleum-based exports. Shah represents the Exploration Mgr for the Americas and Asia. majority of the 4,000 cane farmers who have been Staatsolie Mgr Marc Waaldijk said in the first stage producing since the government closed its state- Tullow will invest up to US$8.5 million. owned sugar company, Caroni Ltd., in 2003. He said the remaining farmers have proposed that TRINIDAD & TOBAGO producers be paid compensation for stopping cultivation and expect government support when US$1.1 BILLION PETROCHEMICAL switching to another crop. He estimated that more PLANT. German engineering conglomerate MAN than 22,000 acres (8,900 hectares) of cane fields said that it secured a contract worth 833 million would be freed for food production; euros (US$1.1 billion) to build a petrochemicals complex, reports AFP (Feb. 7, 2007). MAN said Since Caroni's closure, annual sugar production that its Ferrostaal unit won the contract to build a has fallen from 1.3 million metric tons (1.4 million Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 31 U.S. tons) to the 400,000 metric tons (440,900 US deal. In Dec. 2004, Palace Holdings and New York- tons) expected for 2007. Trinidad has been paying based Future Ltd, doing business as Caribbean an annual US$12 million (euro9.2 million) subsidy Shining Star, entered into a purchase agreement for to the industry, said Wayne Inniss, who headed a $18.6 million. Future Ltd never came up with the panel designed to help farmers improve production. money, but filed documents claiming its interest in The sugar industry was born under British rule in the property, which restricted Palace Holdings' the 1700s, when cane harvested with slave labor ability to sell it. To clear the title and ready the was processed into sugar and rum to be sold in resort for a new buyer, Palace Holdings went to Britain. court. In Dec. 2005, a ruling by a District Court Magistrate Judge nullified Future Ltd's claim to the Trinidad is one of several former British property. Caribbean colonies being squeezed out of the sugar industry due largely to the EU imposing a 36% cut Wyndham says it plans to convert the property in sugar subsidies for producers from the Caribbean, into its flagship Caribbean timeshare resort. It will Africa and the Pacific. undergo a US$40 million renovation including conversion of 290 hotel rooms into 143 furnished, TURKS & CAICOS condo timeshare units, said Franz Hanning, Wyndham Vacation Ownership president/CEO. RULING PARTY RE-ELECTED. The ruling Progressive National Party (PNP), led by Premier *** Dr Michael Misick, has emerged victorious in CABLE TV SALE. Bankrupt Innovative general elections here, capturing 13 of the 15 Communications Corp., the largest telecom electoral seats, reports the Govt. Information company here, to repay creditors, plans to sell Service (Feb. 10, 2007). The People’s Democratic Martinique TV Cable and Guadeloupe-based World Movement, led by Floyd Seymour, secured the Satellite Group for US$70 million (euro54.1 remaining 2 seats million), said owner Jeffrey Prosser, reports AP (Feb. 8, 2007): U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS Prosser and two of his companies - Innovative HOTEL SOLD, AGAIN. After being bought a Communications Corporation LLC and Emerging few months ago, the former Grand Beach Palace Communications - filed for bankruptcy on July 31, Hotel has changed ownership again to a subsidiary after defaulting on loans to creditors. The buyer of of Wyndham Worldwide, reports The Virgin the French Caribbean cable companies was a Islands Daily News (Jan. 24, 2007): privately held Martinique-based company, Prosser said, but declined to give its name. The two serve Wyndham bought the 25-acre Smith Bay 50,000 customers in the French Caribbean; property from Palm Resorts Holding Co. for US$31 million. In November, St. Thomas-based St. Croix-based Innovative owns all land Palm Resorts paid US$17.5 million for the 290- telephone lines in the U.S. Virgin Islands, cable TV room resort, which has been closed for more than and newspaper, The Virgin Islands Daily News. two years. Also under the Wyndham umbrella is the After a bankruptcy hearing, said he hoped to sell the Wyndham Sugar Bay Report & Spa, also located in land-line phone company to the USVI government Smith Bay. In Nov. 2003, Palace Holdings paid for US$650 million (euro502.4 million). Officials US$9.75 million for the resort - formerly known as have proposed using revenue from the network to Renaissance Grand Beach Resort - from CTF St. support the debt-ridden government pension system. Thomas Corp. In Aug. 2004, Palace Holdings closed the resort after months of low occupancy, *** low profits, and labor disputes; CARAMBOLA RESORT TO BE RE- FLAGGED. Owners of the Carambola Beach The closure laid off about 300 employees, and Resort on St. Croix, J.S. Carambola LLP, signed a the owners agreed to a US$1 million severance deal with Ocean Properties Ltd., a Marriott Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 32 franchisee, reports Caribbean Investor (Jan. 12, Guyana . 175.3 179.4 133.0 140.8 2007). It will be renamed the Renaissance Haiti 688.1 809.4 458.6 508.6 Carambola Beach Resort. The 151-unit resort and Honduras 3243.9 3693.3 3919.9 golf club, opened in the 1960s by RockResorts, 3893.03 founded by Laurence Rockefeller, is undergoing Jamaica 1687.2 2035.0 410.7 561.4 renovation of guest rooms, public areas and Martinique 34.4 32.4 24.5 44.6 landscaping. A second phase includes plans to add Montserrat 4.8 14.4 1.0 0.8 100 rooms by 2009, said Larry Vaughan, managing Netherlands Ant. 1134.8 1485.3 970.4 1163.7 partner. Guests will enjoy playing privileges at the Nicaragua 619.8 755.2 1226.6 1580.3 nearby Robert Trent Jones-designed Carambola Panama 2168.8 2706.7 349.4 404.7 Golf Course. St. Kitts & Nevis 94.0 127.2 51.9 52.9 St. Lucia 134.7 151.5 33.5 32.4 DATA BASE St. Vincent & Gren 45.3 58.3 15.8 2.1 Suriname 243.6 258.2 171.2 171.7 U.S. Trade with the Caribbean Basin Trinidad & Tobago 1439.3 1614.8 8342.4 8822.2 December 2005, 2006 Turks & Caicos I 237.9 365.7 9.6 12.2 (millions of US$) U.S. exports U.S. imports Source: U.S. Dept. of Commerce. Details: Nick (F.A.S.) (c.i.f.) Orsini (301-763-6959) or Vanessa Ware (301-763- 2005 2006 2005 2311), Foreign Trade Division. 2006 Anguilla 32.3 43.0 3.8 4.3 Tourism Stop-Over Arrivals, 2006 Antigua & Barbuda 189.9 194.2 4.6 5.9 %change Aruba 547.0 511.3 3026.1 Destination Period Arrivals vs. 2922.3 2005 Bahamas 1768.9 2288.2 726.2 Anguilla Jan-Sep 56,014 475.4 +18.7 Barbados 392.8 443.1 33.3 Antigua Jan-Oct 210,315 35.2 +3.0 Belize 216.9 238.8 104.2 Aruba Jan-Oct 573,628 155.9 -7.7 Bermuda 489.2 637.7 88.2 Bahamas Jan-Oct 1,276,377 16.6 +0.5 British Virgin I 122.7 218.7 34.1 Barbados Jan-Sep 420,962 27.5 +4.1 Cayman Islands 677.6 631.8 54.3 Belize Jan-Aug 181,717 15.6 +4.7 Costa Rica 3595.4 4132.4 3601.8 Bermuda Jan-Nov 283,258 4083.8 +10.0 Cuba 361.5 347.8 - Bonaire Jan-Jun 32,266 0.2 -5.9 Dominica 61.5 68.0 3.6 3.3 British Virgin Islands Jan-Nov 320,334 Dominican Rep. 4708.5 5347.8 4721.5 +4.2 4649.2 Cancun (Mexico) Jan-Nov 1,425,833 - El Salvador 1846.2 2156.5 2052.5 1919.1 31.4 French Guiana 26.9 33.2 0.1 0.6 Cayman Islands Jan-Nov 239,871 Grenada 82.4 75.6 6.2 4.9 +64.1 Guadeloupe 54.0 65.2 2.2 2.5 Cuba Jan-May 1,128,261 Guatemala 2813.0 3,518.3 3342.3 +4.3 3326.4 Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 33 Curacao Jan-Nov 212,417 Bermuda Jan-Nov 335,573 +5.0 +36.5 Dominican Republic* Jan-Nov 3,577,186 British Virgin Islands Jan-Nov 381,630 +8.2 +0.1 Grenada Jan-Oct 98,188 Cayman Islands Jan-Nov 1,719,889 +21.9 +7.6 Guyana Jan-Oct 90,084 - Curacao Jan-Nov 273,179 4.9 +14.8 Haiti Jan-Jul 59,800 Dominican Republic Jan-Sep 231,990 0.0 +3.0 Jamaica Jan-Nov 1,510,471 Grenada Jan-Oct 147,813 - +15.0 22.5 Martinique Jan-Oct 427,028 Jamaica Jan-Nov 1,159,448 +5.2 +15.4 Montserrat Jan-Nov 6,202 - Martinique Jan-Oct 61,181 17.5 0.0 Puerto Rico Jan-Sep 1,153,536 Puerto Rico Jan-Sep 972,901 +2.4 +2.8 Saba Jan-Sep 8,830 - St. Lucia Jan-Nov 301,248 - 0.2 10.5 St. Eustatius Jan-Jun 5,236 - St. Maarten Jan-Sep 1,027,047 - 1.2 1.2 St. Lucia Jan-Nov 275,449 - St. Vincent & Gren. Jan-Sep 63,872 5.0 +85.8 St. Maarten Jan-Sep 355,206 Trinidad & Tobago Jan-Apr 62,897 +0.7 +63.9 St. Vincent & Gren. Jan-Sep 73,742 U.S. Virgin Islands Jan-Nov 1,681,793 - +3.6 1.7 Suriname Jan-Mar 34,887 - *Non-Resident air arrivals 6.3 **Non-resident Hotel registrations only Trinidad & Tobago Jan-Jun 232,743 - Source: The Caribbean Tourism Organization,latest 1.0 data supplied by member countries, available as of U.S. Virgin Islands Jan-Oct 563,507 - Dec. 13,2006 1.4 CALENDAR Tourism Cruise Ship Arrivals, 2006 % Details and contact information for most events change listed here may be obtained on the website Destination Period Arrivals vs. www.calendar.caribseek.com. Readers are invited 2005 to submit information on relevant activities, at least Antigua & Barbuda Jan-Sep 304,659 - 45 days prior to date of your activity. Mail 2.3 to: Caribbean UPDATE, 116 Myrtle Ave., Millburn Aruba Jan-Nov 507,458 NJ 07041. U.S.A. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. +7.8 Some dates are tentative, all are subject to change; Bahamas Jan-Oct 2,509,263 - readers are urged to reconfirm prior to making 6.4 travel plans. Barbados Jan-Sep 351,574 - 11.5 Feb. 28-March 3: Rio Group Summit at the Belize Jan-Aug 440,384 - Guyana International Conference Center (GICC). 23.1 The Heads of 19 Latin American countries meet on March 3. There will be a meeting of National Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 34 Coordinators on Feb. 28 followed by the meeting of Campillos@mercer.com. Mercer Human Resource Foreign Ministers on March 1. Consulting. Stephanie L. Poe, Tel: +1 202-331- March 5-9: Pre tournament matches of cricket 5210. Email: email@example.com World Cup in Barbados, Trinidad, St. Vincent and April 28: Finals of cricket World Cup, Barbados Jamaica. April 29-May 5: Stanford International Bank March 11-12: 5th Annual Latin American sponsors the 40th Antigua Sailing Week. 5,000 Leadership Forum. Dominican Republic. Organized spectators watch as more than 1,500 participants by CG/LA. Details: Tel: 202-776-0990. Web: including Olympic, America's Cup and around-the- www.cg-la.com world sailors pit their skills in more than 200 boats. March 13-25: First round of cricket World Cup, Details: www.sailingweek .com. And: Heather in St. Kitts, Jamaica, Trinidad and St. Lucia. Keroes. YPB&R. Tel: P: 407.838.1704. F: March 15: The Dominican Republic holds a 407.875.1115. E: heather.keroes@ ypbr. com. W: summit to prepare a stronger regional plan to www. ypbr.com combat trafficking of illegal drugs. Attending will May: World Tourism Organization holds its 46th be Venezuela, Colombia, Haiti and the US, some of annual meeting, in El Salvador. Some 25 countries the countries in the region with the strongest ties to from the Americas and Spain will be represented. the illegal drug trade. May 13: Antigua & Barbuda Sport Fishing March 27: 1s Annual Doing Business in Puerto Tournament Rico Summit, Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York June 3-5: 37th General Assembly of the City. Hosted by the Puerto Rico Chamber of Organization of American States (OAS) meets in Commerce. An event to promote business Panama. The theme: ―Energy for Development.‖ investments and opportunities. Details: Tel: 787- June 21-24: 11th Annual St. Kitts Music Festival. 721-6060, Ext. 2209. Web: Among the performers will be Michael Bolton, who www.doingbusinessinpr.com. has has earned multiple honors including BMI’s March 27-April 21: Second round of cricket Songwriter of the Year, Song of the Year and World Cup in Barbados, Guyana, Grenada and Million-Air awards, ASCAP’s Writer and Publisher Antigua. Awards and a Hitmaker Award from the April 2-3: The Natural Resource Summit of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.Details: Donna Americas, focuses on mining opportunities in the Jannine/Candice Adams-Kimmel. Adams Hemisphere, at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Unlimited. (212) 956-5900. E-mail: donna@adams- Island, Bahamas, 140 exhibitors and 40 pr.com presentations by producers and explorers. Details: July 28-29: Sir Vivien Richards Heineken Golf Tel: 305 669 6873. Web: Classic, Antigua & Barbuda www.premierconferences. com. Email: Diana July 28-August 7: 50th annual Antigua Carnival Snyder, firstname.lastname@example.org. celebrations April 5-9: The 36th Annual Carifta Games (the *** Caribbean Olympics) at the new Turks & Caicos National Stadium. Details: Government Information Sept. 27-30: Caribbean Gift and Craft Show, Service. Tel: (649) 946-2801/8; Exts. 2007, Curacao. Details: Caribbean Export 40916/40917/40925. Fax: (649) 946-1311. E-mail: Development Agency. Tel: (246) 436-0578. Fax: email@example.com. Web: (246) 436-9999. Website: www.carib-export.com. www.turksandcaicosislands.gov.tc Email: firstname.lastname@example.org April 24-25: Semifinals of cricket World Cup, St. Oct. 31: "Jubilation" World Gospel Festival, Lucia and Jamaica. Antigua & Barbuda. April 25-27: Execs from firms with business interests in Latin America & the Caribbean will learn about managing human resource issues at the 10th Latin America and Caribbean HR Forum, Miami InterContinental Hotel. Details: www. mercerHR. com/ hrforum. Natalia Campillos. Tel: +44 20 7178 3184 (tel.& fax). Email: Natalia.
"Caribbean Caribbean UPDATE March 2007 1 Caribbean UPDATE"