Caribbean Caribbean UPDATE September 2007 1 Caribbean UPDATE 116 Myrtle Ave by ktixcqlmc

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									                       Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                     1


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                                                         September 2007

                                                                      TABLE OF CONTENTS
                       Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                        2


                                                         Secretary General of the 15-nation Caribbean
 1  The Region                                           Community (CARICOM), Edwin Carrington said
 2  Country-by-country reports in alphabetical           high fossil fuel prices were a "drain" on up to 70%
    order                                                of foreign exchange earnings of member states,
 22 Calendar                                             because at least 93% of commercial energy
 23 Data Base                                            consumption depends on fossil fuels. CARICOM,
                                                         he added, could save US$500,000 a day if its
   Caribbean UPDATE (ISSN 8756-324x) is                  members added 10% of ethanol to their fuel.
published monthly by Caribbean UPDATE Inc., 116                                            ***
Myrtle Ave., Millburn NJ 07041. "We strive to              CHAVEZ         PLEDGES           OIL. Venezuelan
provide you with information that you can act upon,      President Hugo Chavez, addressing a Caracas
by phone, fax, e-mail or packing your bags."             summit of nations taking part in his Petrocaribe
Subscriptions: $277 per year (12 issues either via       initiative, vowed to meet their oil needs for years to
regular mail or Email); $139 special price to            come, and urged the region to seek greater
academics, and for additional subscriptions to the       independence from the US, reports AP (Aug. 11,
same organization. Bulk quantities also available        2007). Venezuela counts the US as its top oil buyer,
(inquire). To order, see back page, or call 973 376-     although Chavez has sought to diversify by selling
2314. E-mail:                                            more to Latin America, the Caribbean and China.
kalwagenheim@cs.com.                                     Since 2005, when Chavez created Petrocaribe, 14
                                                         countries have joined the pact, which lets them
                                                         finance up to half their oil bills over 25 years at low
                  THE REGION                             interest. Caribbean countries have saved US$437
                                                         million on their oil bills under Petrocaribe,
  US$300       MILLION        FOR      BIO-FUEL          Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said. The
RESEARCH. The Inter American Development                 initiative is expanding with the addition of
Bank said it has set aside US$300 million dollars to     Nicaragua, was represented at the summit by
help Caribbean nations study the viability of            President Daniel Ortega, another Chavez ally.
producing bio-fuels, reports AFP (Aug. 7, 2007):         Ramirez said Venezuela is also making progress
                                                         helping upgrade and build new refineries, including
  IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno, said the            projects in Cuba, Jamaica and Dominica.
money would be for a "green energy" program to
finance energy efficiency, renewable energy,                                       ***
bioenergy and carbon finance lending and technical         FEWER AMERICANS ARE VISITING
assistance, mainly for small scale investments in the    CARIBBEAN. Americans who flocked to the
region‘s smaller countries. The IDB will disburse a      islands in record numbers until recently are finding
US$850,000 donation from Japan to assist Guyana          new destinations or staying home, leading to
assess several proposals by overseas investors who       declines of more than 10% this year in islands
would like to establish bio-fuel operations;             including Jamaica, St. Lucia and Grenada, reports
                                                         AP (July 30, 2007):
  Several countries (Guyana, Jamaica, Haiti,
Dominican Republic, and Trinidad & Tobago) are             Governments have aimed marketing pitches at
taking advantage of the bio-fuels industry to create     Canada and Europe to compensate for slippage in
employment, reduce their fuel import bill and            the US market, which accounts for about 60% of the
diversify their sugar-cane industries to ethanol, he     region's tourism business. ``The trickle-down effect
said. Guyana is producing bio-diesel from palm-oil       is huge,'' said Richard Kahn, a spokesman for the
for use in the north-western part of the country, to     Caribbean Tourism Organization;
reduce fuel imports and discourage fuel smuggling
from neighboring Venezuela;                                A new passport rule has discouraged some
                                                         travelers. Americans returning by air were required
  The Caribbean in 2004 bought 163 million               to present the document beginning earlier this year,
barrels of petroleum products (cost: US$6.5 billion).    although the US is temporarily accepting proof of
                        Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                      3


application because of a backlog. But even US             provider, filed a lawsuit accusing rival Cable
territories unaffected by the new security measure        &Wireless PLC of illegally withholding technical
have seen declines - the number of Americans              cooperation to delay its entry into Caribbean
visiting Puerto Rico dropped 9% in January vs.            markets, reports AP (July 19, 2007):
2006, and the US Virgin Islands saw a 7% drop;
                                                            The lawsuit filed in a British court seeks
  Some simply want more exotic destinations. ―A           compensation for lost profits, fees and market share.
lot of the larger islands are reaching that point         Britain-based C&W, which provides telecom
where their market has been there, done that and is       service in 33 countries, in regions including Asia
looking for a different experience,'' said Cheryl         and Europe, denied Digicel's allegations;
Carter, a tourism instructor at Florida Intl Univ. The
number of American visitors dipped in the months            Digicel claims that 2002 and 2006, C&W resisted
after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks before surging more      interconnection and created obstacles causing
than 10% over four years. Last year, US overnight         delays for months in launches in Grenada, Barbados
tourists peaked at of 11.5 million, said the              and Trinidad & Tobago. ``We believe that a
Barbados-based CTO;                                       successful claim will put an end to the
                                                          anticompetitive practices of C&W,'' said Denis
   Caribbean officials are focusing promotional           O'Brien, the Irish tycoon who owns Digicel,
efforts elsewhere. Jamaica, hit by a 12% drop in          launched in 2001, which has 4.7 million subscribers
US visitors this year, has started advertising more in    in 22 Caribbean markets.
Canada and Europe, said Basil Smith, Jamaica's
tourism director. A strong euro helped boost                                       ***
European visits by 22% through April, he said.               CHAIN        STORE          OWNER          SEEKS
Grenada arranged for the Germany‘s Condor to              BANKRUPTCY. Nutritional Sourcing Corp. and
offer weekly flights year-round instead of only in        two units, owners of 23 supermarkets and 41
the winter, said tourism board spokesman Edwin            Blockbuster video stores in Puerto Rico and the US
Frank. St. Lucia is negotiating with British Airways      Virgin Islands, filed for bankruptcy protection from
and Virgin Atlantic Airways to provide more               creditors with plans to sell their assets, reports
flights. Some analysts argue US tourism will              Bloomberg (Aug. 7, 2007). Nutritional, based in
rebound quickly, attributing the decline in part to a     Pompano Beach, Fla. listed assets of less than
sluggish US housing market that has cut into              US$10,000 and debt of US$1 million to US$100
Americans' spending. But others fear the new              million in Chapter 11 documents filed in US
passport requirement could haunt Caribbean resorts        Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del. In separate
for years.                                                filings, the company's Pueblo International unit
                                                          listed assets and debt of more than US$100 million,
                           ***                            and its FLBN unit listed assets of US$1 million to
  CONSTRUCTION MARKET REPORT. The                         US$100 million and debt of more than US$100
US Commerce Dept. has produced a 9-page report,           million. Nutritional said it filed for bankruptcy due
“Central America and Guatemala: Construction,             to increased competition from Wal-Mart and online
Construction Equipment and Building Products,             video rental companies. This is its second
which says ―over the past few years the construction      bankruptcy in five years. Westernbank Puerto Rico,
sector has become one of the most dynamic and             owed US$95 million, is the largest secured creditor.
fastest growing sectors in Central America.‖
Subscribers may receive a free copy via Email, in                                  ***
PDF      format,      by   requesting    it    from:        NEW USAID EXEC. Paul Bonicelli took the
kalwagenheim@cs.com.         (For non-subscribers         oath of office on July 31 as the new U.S. Agency
there will be a fee charged)                              for International Development (USAID) Assistant
                                                          Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean
                   ***                                    (LAC). He will direct an annual budget of more
 DIGICEL SUES C&W OVER ACCESS.                            than US$750 million, which supports economic
Digicel, a Jamaica-based mobile telephone                 growth, fiscal reform, democracy building and
                       Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                        4


social transition programs in 17 Latin American and      commercial users of water by designing, building
Caribbean countries. Prior to this appointment he        and managing desalination, wastewater and pure
served USAID as Deputy Assistant Administrator           water plants. It has operations in the US Virgin
for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian                 Islands, Turks & Caicos Islands, and St. Maarten.
Assistance.      Details;    202-712-4810.    Web:       Details :www.IFSWORLD.com.
www.usaid.gov
                                                           CARIBBEAN BASIN FUND OFFERING.
  REGIONAL PARTNERSHIP. Cognos, which                    The Herzfeld Caribbean Basin Fund on July 24
offers business intelligence and performance             announced filing of a Registration Statement with
management solutions, and General Business               the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for
Machines Corp., on Aug. 2 announced a regional           a proposed non-transferable rights offering to
partnership that will help customers integrate           holders of its common stock. The rights will entitle
business processes and gain greater insight into         the holder to subscribe for one additional share of
company performance. GBM is IBM's exclusive              the Fund's common stock for each right at a
distributor and integrator in the region, and            subscription price equal to a discount to the market
represents other brands including Cisco Systems,         price. It is expected that the rights offering will be
Diebold, ZyXEL, Lexmark and Tripp Lite. As               conducted in Sept. or Oct. of 2007. The Fund also
Cognos' solutions provider in Central America,           said that Albert L. Weintraub, 77, has retired from
GBM will market and sell Cognos Performance              the board of directors. The Herzfeld Caribbean
Management solutions to its installed customer           Basin Fund, Inc. is a closed-end fund managed by
base,     which    represents   companies      and       HERZFELD/CUBA, a division of Thomas J.
conglomerates in the region, said Javier Ramirez,        Herzfeld Advisors, Inc. It seeks long-term capital
regional director at Cognos for Mexico, Central          appreciation by investing in issuers that are likely to
America and the Caribbean. information, visit            benefit from economic, political, structural and
Details: Cognos. Steve Milmore, 781-313-2403.            technological developments in the countries in the
Email: steve.milmore@cognos.com or Lois Paul             Caribbean Basin. Details: Cecilia L. Gondor, 305-
&Partners, LLC. Jolene Hajj, 781-782-849. Email:         271-1900 . Web: www.herzfeld.com.
jolene_hajj @ lpp.com or Cognos. John Lawlor,
613-738-503.           Email:          john.lawlor         TABLE TRAC, THUNDERBIRD ACCORD.
@cognos.comwww.gbm.net.                                  Thunderbird Resorts Intl, owner/operator of 35
                                                         casinos and resorts in Central America and the
  CONTRACT WITH SANDALS. Dynamic                         Caribbean, signed an expanded Master License
Leisure Corp., an online leisure travel packager and     Agreement with Table Trac, it was reported July 24.
wholesaler, on July 17 said it has added Sandal          Table Trac is installing systems for Thunderbird
Resorts' Caribbean vacations to its portfolio.           properties in Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Costa
Dynamic will market and promote Sandals' 12 all-         Rica, said Robert Siqveland, Table Trac's marketing
inclusive resorts, including wedding and                 director. Table Trac, based in Minnetonka, Minn.,
honeymoon programs, said Dan Brandano, CEO,              has developed a real-time system that automates
Dynamic Leisure. Details: Dynamic Leisure Corp.,         and monitors the operations of casino gaming
Tampa. Nigel Osborne, 813-877-6300. Email:               floors.    Details:     www.tabletrac.com      and
nigel.osborne@dylicorp.comor. Investor Contact:          www.thunderbirdresorts.com
Flagler Communications. James Dryer, 561-837-
8057. Email: flagcom@bellsouth.net             Web:        FRANCHISE DEALS. FirstCall/-Franchise
www.dylicorp.com.                                        Services of North America Inc. on Aug. 1 said it has
                                                         closed on the sale of three new franchises in the
  WATER DESALINATION CO. CHOOSES                         Caribbean, and has begun to operate in Newark, NJ,
IFS. IFS on July 20 said that Seven Seas Water           servicing Liberty International Airport. It also sold
Corp. has chosen IFS Applications to manage its          a franchise for St. Maarten and a combined
business and plant infrastructure around the globe.      franchise for Aruba and Bonaire, said Robert M.
Based in Tampa, Fl, Seven Seas serves resorts,           Barton, Chief Operating Officer. FSNA and its
municipalities and other large industrial and            subsidiaries own: U-Save Car &Truck Rental, U-
                       Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                      5


Save Car Sales, Rent-A-Wreck of Canada, Auto             www.cruisingpower.com.
Rental Resource Center, Xpress Rent A Car and
Peakstone Insurance. Details: www.sedar.com .              TIFFANY SELLS LITTLE SWITZERLAND.
                                                         NXP Corp., based in the US Virgin Islands, on Aug.
  PHOENIX ASSOCIATES ANNOUNCES                           6 said it agreed to acquire Little Switzerland, Inc.,
ADDITIONS. Phoenix Associates Land Syndicate             from Tiffany & Co. Little Switzerland operates 25
on July 28 announced major additions to its mining,      duty-free retail store throughout the Caribbean
oil & gas, aviation division, and the sale of its two    offering luxury items such as watches, jewelry,
pool companies. Paul Alonzo, President and CEO,          crystal and china. NXP Corp., operating under the
said Phoenix also expects to acquire an offshore         retail brands "Jewels" and "Azura by Jewels",
trust company and two more offshore banks to add         operates 12 duty-free stores in the Caribbean. NXP
to its first acquisition of the trading platform,        is owned by the CI Group, a family of closely held
investment bank and managed insurance company            companies that employs over 4,000 people
in the Caribbean. Details: Mike Mulshine. Osprey         worldwide in a variety of industries, said NXP
Partners.        (732)       292-0982.        Email:     President Hal Tayler. Details: Tiffany &Co. Mark L.
osprey57@optonline.net                                   Aaron, 212-230-5301 Web: www.jewelsonline.com.

  GIGABEAM RECEIVES BANK ORDER.                            UPGRADES AT 3 ELITE ISLAND RESORTS.
Wireless communications equipment maker                  Elite Island Resorts on Aug. 14 announces
GigaBeam Corp., based in Durham NC, said that an         expansion and renovations of three of its upscale
unidentified Caribbean bank has placed a purchase        oceanfront resorts. Galley Bay on Antigua unveiled
order for two WiFiber links, which enable high-          32 new suites and now has 96 rooms. St. James's
speed Internet access across large urban areas,          Club & Villas, also on Antigua, added 8 new guests
reports AP (Aug. 8, 2007). GigaBeam said it              rooms, for a total of 164. Palm Island, a private
anticipates an order for two more links after            island retreat in The Grenadines, adds 4 new rooms
installation of the first two.                           for a total of 41 rooms and 2 villas, said Steven
                                                         Heydt, Elite Island Resorts' president. Details:
  NEW CARGO SHIPPING SERVICE. Trailer                    (800) 345-0356. Web: www.eliteislandresorts.com.
Bridge, Inc.on Aug. 13, announced the departure of         INTCOMEX PUBLIC OFFERING. Intcomex,
the Triplestack Box Carrier vessel Brooklyn Bridge       Inc. a US-based value-added distributor of
from Jacksonville, Fla. on its inaugural voyage to       information technology products to Latin America
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, introducing the        and the Caribbean, on July 28 said it registered with
53' transport system.     This new service also          the US Securities and Exchange Commission for
connects San Juan, Puerto Rico with Puerto Plata,.       the proposed initial public offering of its common
Details: Chairman/CEO John D. McCown, 800-               stock. Intcomex distributes computer components,
554-1589. Web: www.trailerbridge.com or TRBR             peripherals,      software,   computer       systems,
Investor Relations Counsel: The Equity Group Inc.        accessories, networking products and digital
Adam Prior, 212-836-9606. Ethan Guttenplan, 212-         consumer electronics to customers in 45 countries.
836-9605. Web: www.theequitygroup.com
                                                                             ANGUILLA
 SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN CRUISE CALLS.
Royal Caribbean Int'l on July 31 said it has               NEW MARINA COMPLEX. Island Global
established a homeport at the mouth of the Panama        Yachting (IGY) on July 9 announced its selection as
Canal, with 17 sailings from Dec. 2008 through           the master developer and operator of a new marina
April 2009 aboard Enchantment of the Seas. The           and upland facility at Altamer Resort here. The
seven-night voyages will visit ports-of-call in          development, which will serve as the official port of
Colombia (including Cartagena and Santa Marta)           entry to Anguilla, will feature a 101-slip marina
and the Dutch Antilles (including Bonaire and            (30% of the berths will accommodate megayachts).
Curacao), said Adam Goldstein, president, Royal          The complex will also include 740,000 sq ft of
Caribbean.     Details:    800-327-2056.     Web:        upland space slated for a 164-unit resort and a duty-
www.royalcaribbean.com                         or        free shopping and restaurant promenade. Slated to
                       Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                        6


open in late 2009, the project is a partnership
between IGY and Altamer Resort owners Michael                                BAHAMAS
and Rebecca Eggleton, and will be the first marina
built here. Based in Ft Lauderdale, Fla, IGY also          PLATFORM SUPPLY VESSELS DEAL.
has offices in New York, NY; St. Thomas, USVI;           India's Bharati Shipyard Ltd. inked a $44-million
and Dubai, UAE. IGY is an affiliate of Island            deal with the Ultrapetrol Bahamas for two platform
Capital Group LLC, a real estate merchant banking        supply vessels. That's on top of an earlier contract
firm led and founded by Andrew Farkas, former            with the Nassau-based international conglomerate
chairman of Insignia Financial Group. Details:           to supply it with two more of the same and at the
Chuck Smith. IGY. Director of Public Relations.          same price, reports The Nassau Guardian (Aug. 6,
Tel: P.954.302.6021 / C.954.260.5565. Email:             2007). Last January the Clipper Group, based in
CSmith@         IGYMarinas.com               Web:        New Providence, put ordered construction of six
www.IGYMarinas.com                                       bulk carriers of 20,000 dead weight tons each.
                                                         Contract value: $130.50 million.
  NEW GOVT. WEBSITE. The Dept of
Information Technology and e-Government                    RESORT PROJECT PURCHASE. Andros Isle
Services has completed initial development and           Development Ltd. on Aug. 7 said it agreed to
posting of the new Government of Anguilla                acquire the Plantation Bay Resort project, on 27
website: www.gov.ai, reports Caribbean Net News          beachfront acres in Ferguson Port, northern Long
(July 23, 2007). The Dept of IT worked closely with      Island. Andros plans to offer 36 one-third acre lots
Acromedia, a US based website development                with either canal or ocean frontage starting at
company, to do the initial design and development.       US$500,000 and 5 one-acre plus estate home sites
The next step is to create a secure online presence      starting at US$1.2 million, said Donald Harper,
for some of its revenue collection and payment           President and CEO.
systems such as SIGTAS, SmartStream and
ASYCUDA, a government source said.                         SPIRIT TO GRAND BAHAMA. Spirit Airlines
                                                         on July 24 announced daily nonstop service
                     ARUBA                               between its Ft Lauderdale, Fla. base and Grand
                                                         Bahama Island starting Dec. 13, 2007. Service will
  FIRST RIU PROPERTY IN ARUBA. The 450-                  be via the Grand Bahama Intl Airport in Freeport.
room all-inclusive Riu Palace Aruba has opened on        Grand Bahama is Spirit's 21st destination in the
Palm Beach, 2.5 miles from the capital of                Bahamas, Caribbean and Latin America region, and
Orenjestad, it was reported July 20. The new             its 37th destination overall, said Barry Biffle, Spirit
property is the 22nd in the Riu portfolio, said Luis     Airlines' Chief Marketing Officer. Details: Alison
Riu, Chairman and Owner of Riu Hotels & Resorts,         Russell,            954-628-4827.              Email:
which was founded in 1953 in Mallorca, Spain. Riu        alison.russell@spiritair.com or Juan Arbelaez, 954-
employs 19,000 and offers 36.000 rooms in 18             447-7856. Email: juan.arbelaez@spiritair.com
countries, including Aruba, Bahamas, Dominican
Republic, Florida, Jamaica and Mexico. Details:                                 BARBADOS
www.Riu.com .
                                                            ALL-IN-ONE RUM FACILITY. Mount Gay
  SPIRIT TO ARUBA. Spirit Airlines on July 30            Rum will now be able to refine, store, age and blend
announced daily nonstop service between its Ft           its product in one location, reports The Barbados
Lauderdale base and Beatrix Intl Airport here,           Nation (July 23, 2007).        The $14.2 million
starting Nov. 10, 2007. Spirit also will offer           automated Mount Gay Rum aging and blending
connecting service to Aruba from its domestic            facility was opened by Prime Minister Owen
network, said Mark Kopczak, Senior Director of           Arthur, next to the refinery in St Lucy. The
Network Planning. Details: Alison Russell, 954-          European     Union,    through      its    Integrated
628-4827. Email: alison.russell @ spiritair.com or       Development Program for the African/ Caribbean/
Juan      Arbelaez,      954-447-7856.      Email:       Pacific rum sector, provided $4.2 million of the
juan.arbelaez@spiritair.com                              funding. The rum was produced by the refinery in
                       Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                       7


St Lucy and sent in tankers 18 miles to Brandons to        WATER, SEWAGE PROJECT. Belize has
be barreled, then transported to the aging facilities    applied for a Technical Assistance Loan from the
and, after maturation, sent back to Brandons for         Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for a
blending and bottling. The new facility occupies         feasibility study and designs for expansion of water
12.2 acres of land next to the refinery, with room to    and sewerage facilities on Ambergris Caye.
expand.                                                  Consultants are invited to prequalify by Sept. 15,
                                                         2007. Details: Contact: Chief Operating Officer.
   AIR JAMAICA TO BARBADOS. In Jan 2007,                 Belize Water Services Ltd. #7 Central American
Air Jamaica introduced daily non-stop service from       Blvd. Belize City. Belize District, Belize. Tel: (501)
New York's JFK to Barbados (BGI) with flights            222-4757 Ext. 269. Fax: (501) 222 4238. E-mail:
departing JFK at 7 am arriving BGI at 11:40 am and       coosec@bwsl.com.bz. Procurement Officer. Project
departing BGI at 6:45 pm arriving JFK at 11:40 pm.       Services Division. CDB. PO Box 408, Wildey. St.
On July 22 it began non-stop service to Barbados         Michael, Barbados, BB 11000. Tel: (1-246) 431-
from Ft Lauderdale (FLL) three days a week (Fri,         1600.      Fax:     (1-246)    426-7269.      E-mail:
Sat, Sun), said Paul Pennicook, Senior VP of Sales       procurement@caribank.org
and Marketing. Details: Tel: 1-800-221-9831 and
www.airjamaicavacations.com                    and         SUSTAINABLE TOURISM PROGRAM. A
www.visitbarbados.org.                                   non-reimbursable      technical    cooperation     of
                                                         US$340,000 from the Inter-American Development
                         BELIZE                          Bank is for a Preparation of a Plan for a Sustainable
                                                         Tourism Program (BL-T1011). Consultants will be
  EU GRANT.            The Ministry of National          required. Deadline: not specified. Details: IDB.
Development announced confirmation from the              Environment, Rural Development and Natural
European Commission Delegation in Jamaica that a         Disasters Division. Infrastructure and Environment.
grant of Euro11.8 million (BZ$32.5 million), has         Attn: Michele Lemay. 1300 New York Ave, NW .
been allocated to under Envelope ‗A‘ of the 10th         Washington DC 20577. E-mail: michelel@iadb.org
European Development Fund, reports Caribbean
Net News (July 27, 2007). This 20% increase from                        BRITISH VIRGIN I.
the original allocation was due to Belize‘s
performance in governance, and credibility and             RESORT EXPANSION. The Moorings on July
extent of its commitment to governance reform. The       17 announced construction has begun on a US$10
Ministry says the grant will target improvement of       million project which will significantly enhance to
social infrastructure in rural areas, improvement of     its flagship base in Road Town, Tortola. The
the efficiency and competitiveness of rural              Moorings village will be located on the southern
industries and the diversification of rural              end of the current property. The new docks and jetty
enterprises.                                             will allow for additional dockage of 120 yachts and
                                                         provide easier access for the new monohulls and
  ROAD UPGRADE. A Caribbean Development                  expanding fleet of catamarans, said Moorings
Bank loan is for the Third Road (33.4 km. Placencia      President Lex Raas. Construction is expected to be
Rd. Upgrading) Project. Contractors are invited to       completed during first quarter 2008. OBM Intl
prequalify by Sept. 27, 2007. Details: Project           designed the improvements; local contractors are in
Execution Unit. Ministry of Works. Power Lane.           charge of construction. Details: The Moorings. 1-
Belmopan. Cayo District, Belize. Tel: (501) 822-         800-368-9991. Web: www.moorings.com. Also: 1-
0562.     Fax:      (501)    822-0563.      E-mail:      800-521-1126.        Web:       www.moorings.com/
peumow@hughes.net. Procurement Officer. Project          yachtownership. asp.
Services Division. Caribbean Development Bank.
PO Box 408, Wildey. St. Michael, Barbados, BB              NEW SEAPLANE SERVICE TO VIRGIN
11000. Tel: (1-246) 431-1600. Fax: (1-246) 426-          GORDA. With the inauguration of a new seaplane
7269. E-mail: procurement@caribank.org                   service to Virgin Gorda a week earlier, the BVI
                                                         expects to see an increase in visitor arrivals to the
                                                         territory, reports The Virgin Islands Daily News
                       Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                      8


(July 23, 2007). Chief Minister & Minister of
Tourism Orlando Smith and other dignitaries were           NEWSPAPER SALE. Hollinger Inc., the
taken on an aerial tour of Virgin Gorda, after a         company Conrad Black used to run his newspaper
ceremony to mark the inaugural flight of Seaborne        empire, said its subsidiary, Holcay Holdings Ltd
Airlines to the island and the expansion of the          entered into a repurchase agreement to sell its
Captain Owen G. Harrigan Visitor Center in Gun           39.99% interest in the outstanding shares of
Creek, North Sound. There are about five major           Cayman Free Press Ltd, reports Bloomberg (Aug.
hotels in the North Sound area, and the introduction     13, 2007). CFP owns and operated The Caymanian
of this seaplane service will make transportation        Compass newspaper. Black, 62, was convicted in
into the island easier.                                  July of mail fraud and obstruction of justice. He
                                                         remains free on bail until his Nov. 30 sentencing.
              CAYMAN ISLANDS                             The committee investigating alleged financial
                                                         wrongdoing by Black was reportedly unable to
 BAN      ON    UK       ANIMALS,       ANIMAL           account for past dividend payments from Cayman
PRODUCTS. The Cayman Islands Dept of                     Free Press of some US$1.5 million.
Agriculture (DoA), in a response to an outbreak of
Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in cattle in the              SUIT OVER HEDGE FUND COLLAPSE. A
United Kingdom, has instituted a ban on imports of       limited partner in a failed Cayman Islands hedge
animals and animal products from the UK with the         fund run by Bear Stearns says the investment bank
exception of poultry meat, said Minister of              took only meager steps to prevent the fund's recent
Agriculture Kurt Tibbetts, reports Caribbean Net         collapse, reports Reuters (Aug. 11, 2007). New
News (Aug. 6, 2007).                                     York-based investment firm Navigator Capital
                                                         Partners LP made the accusation in New York state
  CAMANA          BAY     SELECTS        NORTEL.         Supreme Court in Manhattan. Navigator, run by
Residents and businesses in Camana Bay, the new          Steven Resnick, invested more than US$700,000 in
real estate development here, will soon benefit from     the hedge fund between Aug. 2004 and mid-April
high-speed,      high-bandwidth     communications       2005. The firm and other investors lost nearly the
services, with a converged IP voice and data             entire value of their investments. Bear Stearns Asset
network from Nortel, it was reported Aug. 13. Dart       Management, the hedge fund's general partner,
Realty, developer of the 500-acre master-planned         made more than $13.3 million in 2006 from
community, chose Nortel to provide IP telephony,         advisory fees and profit-sharing before the fund's
unified communications, audio conferencing,              demise, according to the lawsuit. Bear said two of
contact centers and other multimedia services such       its structured finance funds, the Bear Stearns High-
as webcasting. Details: Nortel. Sarah Aldana. +954       Grade Structured Credit Strategies Fund and the
851-8217. Email: sarahal@nortel.com. Web:                High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced
www.nortel.com . Publicom. Luciana Santos Silva.         Leverage Fund, made bad investments in bonds
+5511                3531-4988.              Email:      linked to subprime mortgages, an area where
lsantos@publicom.com.br . Dart Realty. Susanna           defaults have surged, and faced margin calls from
Blackburn.        +345       814-3669.       Email:      banks and redemption requests from investors.
susanna_blackburn@dart.biz
                                                                           COSTA RICA
  FINANCIAL DEAL. Flagstone Reinsurance
Holdings Ltd on Aug. 1 said it took a majority             DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR FREE ZONE
position in Island Heritage Holdings Ltd., domiciled     INCENTIVES. Costa Rica's free zones were
here, which specializes in insurance and insurance       granted another six years of breathing room after
services in the Caribbean. Butterfield Bank and Ace      the World Trade Organization (WTO) extended the
Insurance will remain major shareholders, said           deadline on which Costa Rica and other developing
Mark Byrne, Chairman of Flagstone. Details:              countries must stop subsidizing manufacturing
HamiltonBrenton Slade, 441-278-4303 or Island            exports with tax incentives, reports The Tico Times
Heritage Holdings Ltd., Cayman Islands. Nigel            (Aug. 3, 2007):
Twohey, 345-814-7303
                       Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                         9


  Free zone exports last year were about US$4.31           “It's a decision about social responsibility, not
billion, more than half of all Costa Rica's exports.     just business,‖ said Karla Salazar, manager of
Costa Rica now has until 2015 to change its Free-        Grupo Marta, which owns two Best Western hotels
Zone Law, which gives tax breaks to companies            that have banned ―prostitution-related activities‖.
that export most of their production, said Timothy       The policy involves training employees, posting
Scott, director of the Costa Rican Assn of Free-         ―No to Prostitution‖ signs around the hotel and
Zone Businesses (AZOFRAS);                               denying entry to suspected prostitutes and their
                                                         clients. Companies like Grupo Marta say they lose
  Under the current law, foreign businesses that         tens of thousands of dollars a year by denying entry
meet investment and export requirements can be           to those it suspects might engage in prostitution,
exempt from paying corporate income taxes for            and are also drawing fire from critics who question
eight to 12 years, and exempt from 50% of taxes for      the legality of a policy that bans prostitution since
four to six years thereafter.                            the act is legal here. Along with other value-added
                                                         tourism niches that have seen a surge thanks to
                           ***                           Costa Rica's US$1.7-billion-a-year tourism
  LAND REGISTRY PROGRAM. An Inter-                       industry, sex tourism is enjoying a growth spurt;
American Development Bank loan is for a Land
Registry Program. Part of the funds are for land           Up to 10% of tourists who come here reportedly
markings in 900 kms of         a specified zone          engage in sex tourism. There are some 40 Web
(Ejecucion del Amojonamiente en las Zonas Abre).         sites, about 50 establishments and as many as
Consultants will be required. Deadline: Sept. 27,        10,000 sex workers here, many of whom are
2007. Refer to: Licitación Pública Internacional         immigrants and many catering to tourists, according
UE-05-2007 . Details: Sr. Marcelo Solís Duncan.          Jacobo Schifter, a professor emeritus of the
Unidad Ejecutora Programa Nº 1284/OC-CR. Tel:            National University in Heredia, whose book
(506) 253-6212/8411/7240/7209. Fax: (506) 234-           “Mongers in Heaven,” profiles the sex-tourism
6996. E-mail: msolis@uecatastro.org                      industry here;

  JUSTICE ADMIN. MODERNIZATION. An                         Marvin Carvajal, professor of constitutional law
Inter-American Development Bank loan is for              at the Univ. of Costa Rica (UCR), said hotels have
Modernization of the Justice Administration (No.         the right to decide what activities take place inside
BID 1377/OC-CR). Part of the funds are to procure        their establishments. They can ban activities such as
equipment and other goods to strengthen the LAN          smoking, drinking or large events that could harm
network. Deadline: Sept. 4, 2007. Refer to: No.          their infrastructure. But some prostitutes have
2007LI-000120-01; Llamado No. 1 . Details:               figured out ways to get past security at hotels. The
Contact:       Unidad     Ejecutora      Programa        Best Western Irazú, which has a casino and bar that
Modernización Poder Judicial - BID. Edif Defensa         were once popular spots for prostitutes meeting
Pública. Sita 250 metros este Caja Costarricense de      clients, has reportedly taken about US$45,000 a
Seguro Social. Ave.2da San José, Costa Rica.. Tel:       year in losses since banning prostitution (many
(506) 211-9832. Fax: (506) 256-5668. E-mail:             hotels boost profits by charging sex tourists double
rchavesc@poder-judicial.go.cr . Web: www.poder-          for extra company).
judicial. go.cr/bid
                                                                                 CUBA
                       ***
  OPPOSITION TO SEX TOURISM. A small                       MORE CUBANS LEAVING BY SEA AGAIN.
but growing number of businesses are opposing            After a lull following Fidel Castro's illness last year,
Costa Rica's booming sex tourism industry, but           Cubans once again are taking to homemade boats or
some find that implementing a controversial ban on       powerful speedboats manned by smugglers on a trip
prostitution comes with a cost, reports The Tico         to the US that often includes a detour through
Times (July 27, 2007):                                   Mexico, reports Reuters (July 31, 2007):
                         Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                      10


  Since May, the US Coast Guard has been                    border rather than coming ashore from a boat. This
intercepting more boat people in craft crossing the         fiscal year up to July 26, 9,296 Cubans have entered
Straits of Florida. The US Border Patrol also has           the US via land, vs. 8,677 for all of fiscal 2006 and
been processing rising numbers turning up at the US         7,281 the previous year, said Jennifer Connors, a
frontier with Mexico.                                       Customs & Border Protection spokeswoman.

   Cubans coming across the 90-mile (145 km) gap              The body of a Cuban-American who was under
with Florida try to make it in anything that floats         investigation in a migrant smuggling case was
and has a motor -- from a hijacked fishing boat to          found riddled with bullets along a road outside
an array of inner tubes tied together with a weed           Mexico‘s Caribbean resort of Cancun, reports AP
whacker for propeller. For those with a relative in         (July 31, 2007). Luis Lazaro Lara Morejon was
Miami able to pay the US$8,000 fare, there are              found handcuffed and blindfolded with duct tape.
illegal "cigarette" boats that jet in and out of the        He had been shot at least 10 times, said Didier
Cuban coast in broad daylight. These cost upward            Vazquez, the director of the judicial police in
of US$150,000 and are built for eight to 10                 Quintana Roo. Earlier, Mexican authorities outside
passengers but often speed away jam-packed with             Cancun arrested eight people -- six of whom were
30 to 40 people. They are twice as fast as Cuba's           Cuban-Americans or Cubans with U.S. residency --
Russian-built patrol boats and give the US Coast            on suspicion of smuggling migrants.
Guard a run for their money, too;
                                                                                      ***
   So far this fiscal year, 2,819 Cubans have made             US AGENCY ISSUES REPORT ON CUBA
it ashore in Florida, vs. 3,076 in all of last year, said   TRADE. America's trade with could double if US
US Customs & Border Protection spokesman                    financing rules on direct agricultural sales were
Zachary Mann. The number of Cubans intercepted              lifted, the US International Trade Commission said,
in the Florida Straits are still below -- but likely to     reports AP (July 21, 2007). ."All agricultural
exceed -- last year's 2,810, says the US Coast              commodity sectors would likely benefit from the
Guard. That was the highest number since the 1994           lifting of the financing restriction,'' said the 180-
exodus when the Coast Guard picked up more than             page report::
35,000 people floating off Cuba in all kinds of rafts
when Castro opened the doors briefly. To avoid                Under an exception to the 45-year-old US
another rafting crisis, the US started sending back         embargo on Cuba, American producers can sell
Cubans intercepted at sea. Under the "wet-foot, dry-        food and farm products on a cash basis. A separate
foot" policy, only those who make it ashore get to          exception allows sales of US medicines and medical
stay in the US;                                             supplies to the island. But US farm producers
                                                            complain the transactions were slowed beginning in
  To avoid interception by the US Coast Guard               2005 by new US rules requiring them to receive
and forced repatriation, most boat people leave             payment from Havana before shipping their goods;
through the Gulf of Mexico on speedboats that ferry
them 140 miles (210 km) to Mexico's Yucatan                   The report was requested by the Senate Finance
peninsula. Some also go south to the Cayman                 Committee, chaired by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.
Islands, and on to Central America. From there,             Baucus has introduced legislation to lift most
they make their way north on well-trodden migrant           financing restrictions on US agriculture exports and
routes to the US-Mexico border. Once there, the             eliminate limits on travel. "Barring agricultural
Cubans are home and dry. Unlike illegal migrants            producers from the largest market in the Caribbean
from other countries, Cubans can present                    is hurting American interests,'' Baucus said. It's
themselves at land entry points and are                     clearly time for Congress to curb the overzealous
automatically paroled into the US as political              trade embargo on Cuba.'' Baucus said his bill could
refugees;                                                   increase US agriculture exports to Cuba by over
                                                            US$300 million;
   US officials say 89% of the Cubans emigrating
illegally from Cuba to the US are entering by land
                       Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                        11


  The report also found that if travel restrictions      mosquitos, Cuba's foreign ministry said, reports
were lifted, the number of US visitors to the island     AFP (July 16, 2007):
would jump from 171,000 in 2005 to as many as 1
million annually. That would also likely increase          Cuban scientists developed and patented
demand in Cuba for US farm goods, the ITC said.          Bactivec, a biolarvicide which kills larvae of the
The commission's report was welcomed by the USA          Aedes aegypti mosquito, the dengue vector. China
Rice Federation, which supports legislation to lift      will reportedly defray the cost of building the
US trade and travel restrictions on Cuba;                factory in China, and Cuban Labiofam scientists
                                                         will provide technology and know-how to build it.
   Havana says it has spent more than US$2.2             Cuba will purchase 6 million units annually of the
billion (euro1.6 billion) on US farm products and        insecticide, and China will donate another half
related costs since 2001, when it began taking           million to Cuba, the statement said;
advantage of the law allowing the deals. This year,
it expects to match the $570 million it spent on US        Cuba suffered four dengue outbreaks during
food and agricultural goods in 2006.                     1977-2002. In the most recent outbreak 14,524
                                                         cases were reported between June 2001 and March
                           ***                           2002, including 81 cases of dengue haemorrhagic
  RUSSIA DELIVERS AIRCRAFT.                  Russia      fever, three of which were fatal. Dengue fever is
delivered the first of three Tupolev jet planes,         found in the tropics throughout the world; the
reports the Communist Party newspaper Granma             World Health Organization estimates there could be
(Aug. 6, 2007). The cargo TU-204 arrived in              some 50 million cases each year, and 500,000 cases
Havana and two passenger jets will be delivered          of more dangerous dengue haemorrhagic fever;
before the year end as Cuba upgrades its aging
Soviet-era fleet. Last year, Cuba received three           The Aedes aegypti mosquito causes 200,000
Ilyushin IL-96-300s passenger jets used on routes to     cases of yellow fever a year, resulting in 30,000
Europe and Latin America by Cubana de Aviacion.          deaths, 95% of them in Africa. Cuba, the only
The deal was financed by Ilyushin Finance Co.            country that produces Bactivec, struck a similar deal
Cuba last year agreed to buy US$100 million a year       in 2000 with Amazonas state in Brazil, which
in aircraft from Russia over the next seven years,       produces and sells the biolarvicide to other
including short-haul regional Antonov AN-148             countries.
planes. Cuba is barred from purchasing Boeing
aircraft or European Airbus planes because more                               ***
than 10% of components are US made.                       INT'L BANKS SHUN CUBA. Heightened
                                                         scrutiny of banking transactions since the Sept. 11
  BUSH WAIVES CUBA LAWSUITS. President                   attacks has led European and Canadian banks to
George W. Bush extended for 6 months a measure           curtail dealings with Cuba, reports Reuters (July 20,
banning lawsuits by Americans whose property here        2007). Cuba ceased exporting armed revolution to
was taken by Fidel Castro's government, reports          Latin America two decades ago, but Washington
AFP (July 18, 2007). Bush said his action "is            still lists Communist Cuba as a "rogue" state that
necessary to the national interests of the US and        sponsors terrorism, along with Iran, Syria, Sudan
will expedite a transition to democracy in Cuba."        and North Korea:
Under a 1996 law, Americans may sue any
individual, investor or business using property            The USA Patriot Act allows US authorities to
seized on or after Jan. 1, 1959, though it also gives    confiscate assets and penalize institutions that fail to
US presidents the power to block all such lawsuits       report money laundering and terrorist financing.
for six-month periods.                                   Western businessmen in here are having nightmares
                                                         moving funds in dollars to and from Cuba because
  CHINA TO MAKE DENGUE MOSQUITO                          refuse their business. HSBC, Barclays, Credit
KILLER. China will mass-produce a Cuban                  Suisse, Royal Bank of Canada and the Bank of
pesticide effective against dengue-carrying              Nova Scotia, also known as Scotiabank, closed
                        Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                     12


accounts of Cuban companies or reduced business           Arthur, in a meeting with his Canadian counterpart
tied to Cuba since last year;                             Stephen Harper, reports ACN (July 21,2007). The
                                                          vision of the world towards Cuba has to be based on
  The Havana-based owner of King City                     principles of "respect for the people's sovereignty,
Equipment Inc. of King City, Ontario imports              and non-interference, and the nations' right to
vehicles and equipment from Canada, but is turning        pursue alternative paths to their development," said
to China for business due to increased hurdles            Arthur. Referring to the US policy towards Cuba,
placed by Canadian authorities who are bending to         Arthur, who is also the Chairman of the Caribbean
pressure from the US. ING Groep NV , which set            Community (CARICOM), insisted that Cuba should
up business in Cuba in 1994, said it will close its       be involved in all regional affairs.
Havana office. Scotiabank last year ended dollar
transactions by the Cuban embassy in Jamaica. In                                DOMINICA
its report filed with the US Securities and Exchange
Commission in March, Credit Suisse said it will end         POVERTY REDUCTION INITIATIVE. The
all dealings with corporate clients and most private      European Union is providing US$15.5 over three
banking clients in the five countries under US            years for the Dominica Social Investment Fund, an
sanctions;                                                initiative to reduce poverty and social vulnerability
                                                          here, reports Caribbean Net News (Aug. 9, 2007).
  Shunned by Swiss banks, Cuba has had trouble            The decision by government to establish the Fund
funding its UN mission in Geneva. In June, Cuba           came out of the findings of the Country Poverty
complained that UBS and Panama-based Banistmo,            Assessment of 2003, the consultancy conducted in
owned by HSBC, had refused to process the                 2001 by Whitco on the socio-economic impact
payment of its annual membership fee in the Latin         assessment of the changes in the banana industry on
American parliament.        The bank squeeze is           rural livelihoods and other consultative assessments
obstructing Cuba's financial operations more than         on the delivery of social safety nets in Dominica.
the US trade embargo enforced since 1962, which
was amended in 2000 to allow US companies to sell          Issa Trading Ltd seeks suppliers from the US
food to Cuba. "It doesn't make life impossible, but it    for: 1. Non-frozen food, grocery products and
has become harder to find a bank that is willing to       related items for the supermarket. 2. 220V-50HZ
open an account," said a European businessman in          Refridgerators, Television 14" up to 35". 3. Gas
Havana who asked not to be named. Nine out of 10          Stoves 20" up to 36". 4. Cosmetics including
international banks refuse to open accounts for           Shampoo, Body lotions etc. 5. Green Houses
Cuban nationals or companies operating in Cuba, he        Details: Mr. Foued Issa. Issa Trading Ltd. P.O. Box
said.                                                     1303. 74 Independence St, Roseau, Dominica. Tel:
                         ***                              767-449-3636. Fax: 767-449-9555. E-mail:
  VENEZUELA BEGINS OIL SEARCH.                            office@issatradingltd.com
Petroleos de Venezuela SA, a state-run oil
company, will search for light oil off the coast of        Manufacturers or Suppliers of Carts and
Cuba along with Cuban company CUPET, reports              Bycicles for Ice Cream delivery are sought by a
Bloomberg (Aug. 1, 2007). The effort will                 company here. Details: Nicholas Ducreay. N.A.N.
encompass 6 blocks covering 10,000 sq kms (3,861          Ducreay. 90 Independence St. P.O. Box 136,
sq miles) and involves 4,400 sq kms of deepwater          Roseau, Dominica. Tel: 1-767-448-4223. Fax: 1-
seismic mapping. The move deepens energy                  767-448-1111
cooperation between two countries that have found
common cause in asserting their independence from                     DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
US foreign policy.                                          IMF READY TO SIGN NEW ACCORD. The
                                                          International Monetary Fund says it is ready to enter
  CUBA       DESERVES       RESPECT,       SAYS           into a new Stand-by arrangement with the DR
BARBADOS PM. Cuba should be respected and                 government, reports Listin Diario (July 30, 2007).
left to follow its own path without foreign               The current agreement ends in Jan. 2008, said IMF
interference, said Barbados Prime Minister Owen           country representative the DR Erik Offerdahl. With
                       Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                       13


the sole exception of the failure to collect on          Spain were the principal sources. DFI from Spain
electricity bills, the government has exceeded the       decreased a bit, while Canada's increased. Robert
goals set by the IMF in the current Stand By             said increased investments were the result of
Arrangement. Details: www. bancentral.gov.do             legislative reforms, policies to attract investments
                                                         and the simplification of paperwork.
  FTA WITH MEXICO? Mexican Diplomat
Francisco Hernandez said that a Free Trade                 PLASTIC REIGNS. Plastic is quickly replacing
Agreement between the DR and Mexico is                   cash and checks in the DR. There are an estimated
imminent, reports DR1 Daily News (July 31, 2007).        1,100,000 credit card users, up from 906,686 in
He says that in order to facilitate the process, the     2005 and 723,228 in 2004, reports Listin Diario
Mexican Embassy is simplifying the procedure for         (Aug. 13, 2007). Credit card users pay banks
Dominican business representatives to secure visas       RD$400 for standard cards, to RD$800 for the gold
for travel to Mexico.                                    card and RD$1,200 for the platinum.

                            ***                            CYBERNETIC PARK. Taiwan completed its
  WTO AGREES TO EXTENSION. The World                     promised investment of US$10 million for 2007 in
Trade Organization (WTO) has extended the                the Santo Domingo Cybernetic Park, reports
incentives that the DR grants to free trade zones for    Caribbean Net News (July 25, 2007). This comes on
8 more years, reports Hoy (July 19, 2007):               the heels of visits by Taiwan‘s VP Anette Lui to the
                                                         DR this year to support developing the Park and
   The exemptions and incentives were due to             other business ventures, which would also benefit
expire in Dec. 2009, but DR authorities and those        Taiwan in an effort to enter the US markets via the
from other affected countries lobbied and succeeded      DR. The government is offering generous
in extending the program through 2015. Luisa             incentives to foreign businesses that wish to invest
Fernandez, head of the National Free Trade Zone          in high tech industries, especially those that located
Council, said that four multi-national businesses        in the Cybernetic Park. Taiwan is becoming very
have already contacted the council about potentially     active in the Caribbean and Latin America
doing business in the DR.                                following the recent visits by China to the region,
                                                         which is also very interested in establishing
  The incentives program is a welcome                    business ties with as many countries as possible.
development in light of tough competition from           Costa Rica, in particular, has recently shifted its
China, especially in the textile market, which has       allegiance to China away from Taiwan.
led to 60,000 job losses. In the first quarter of the
year, free trade sector exports fell by 12.2% vs. a        HOT SPRINGS RESORT APPLICATION.
3.1% decrease in 2006. Exports decreased by 8.6%         Tourist minister Felix Jiminez says an Italian
between Jan-March after only falling 1.8% last           company has signed a 99-year lease to build a
year. The incentives include exemptions on income        health and hot springs resort in the southwest
tax, construction taxes and import duties of raw         Barahona province, reports Caribbean Net News
materials       and       machinery.         Details:    (Aug. 14, 2007). The ecological designated area
www.wto.org/english/        news_e/       news07_e/      boasts hot springs and certain mineral springs that
scm_july07_e.htm                                         some claim to have beneficial healing properties.
                                                         The Italian company says it is prepared to invest
                         ***                             more than US$800,000 in state fees and to purchase
  FOREIGN INVESTMENT CLIMBS. Direct                      the land required for a large 5-star hotel, golf course
foreign investment (DFI) for fiscal 2006 rose by         and tennis courts, all constructed around the
16% to US$1.18 billion from 2005, said Maryse            available hot spring thermal pools. The groundwork
Robert, chief of the Trade Section at the                is now set to be presented to the Dominican
Organization of the American States, reports El          Congress for approval to continue.
Caribe    (July 18,     2007).     Tourism      and
telecommunications received the largest part of this       CODETEL TO INVEST US$250 MILLION.
investment. The US, the Netherlands, Canada and          In 2007 the Dominican Telephone Co. (CODETEL)
                        Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                    14


will invest US$250 million in infrastructure,
network improvement and services, reports DR1               The report referred to insecurity at Puerto Plata
Daily News (July 27, 2007). CODETEL president             Intl Airport where electronic gear and money seen
Oscar Pena Chacon says this is the largest telecom        on the X-ray machines, were stolen either upon
investment in recent years. CODETEL plans to              entering or leaving the country. Women are advised
introduce new GSM phones, and faster Internet             about robbery, sexual assaults and rapes. The
services.                                                 famous "motoconchos" were singled out as
                                                          dangerous. The report says "public transport is not
  US$500      MILLION         IN     MORTGAGE             recommended," and adds that driving is not
FINANCING. MortgageIT, Inc., a subsidiary of              recommended due to the risk of extortion by police
Deutsche Bank, on Aug. 11 said it agreed to make          or people claiming to be police;
available US$500 million in residential mortgage
financing to qualified purchasers of properties in          Malaria and dengue are found along the Haitian
Cap Cana, a luxury real estate & tourism destination      border and in the eastern provinces of La Altagracia
on the eastern shore of the DR. Details: Deutsche         and La Romana, and the report recommends the use
Bank. Michele Allison,212-250-4864. Press                 of insect repellents. The US and Spain have long
&Media Relations or Cap Cana. Saraida De                  issued similar advisories. Three million tourists
Marchena Kaluche,809-472-2525 Ext.2238. Web:              visited last year. Details: www.voyage.gc.ca/
www.db.com and www.capcana.com                            dest/report-en.asp?country=77000

                       ***                                                       ***
  GOLD MINE NEEDS POWER SUPPLY. The                         NEW DAM CONSTRUCTION UNDERWAY.
latest casualty of the DR‘s inability to provide          President Leonel Fernandez visited the San Jose De
electric power is the Pueblo Viejo Gold Mine in           Las Matas area in the central mountains to
Puebo Viejo, reports Caribbean Net News (July 24,         inaugurate construction of a new dam, the Las
2007):                                                    Placetas Hydroelectric Project, reports Caribbean
                                                          Net News (July 18, 2007). To be built by a
  The mine, owned by Canada-based Barrick                 Brazilian firm, it is expected to produce over 80
International, is expected to produce more than 18        megawatts of power.
million ounces of gold during its lifespan. But
operations require a 24-hour supply of electricity.         PLAYA BUYS LA ROMANA HOTEL. Playa
Barrick will spend an estimated US$2 billion to           Hotels & Resorts, formed in 2006 by Grupo Barcelo
build the mine over a three year period, and will         in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, on July 26 announced
have to consider providing its own power source.          its acquisition of the 756-room all- inclusive
Government and company executives are striving to         Sunscape Casa del Mar Resort in La Romana. In
find common ground to solve the problem.                  2006, Playa purchased the Breezes Punta Cana
  Barrick is completing feasibility studies for the       Resort, Spa and Casino, which has been re-branded
mine, a project with a budget of US$2.3 billion,          as the Barcelo Premium Punta Cana Resort and is
reports Diario Libre (July 20, 2007). In addition to      undergoing major renovation. Playa owns 8 hotels
gold, the company has reportedly identified 2.6           in Mexico and the Caribbean., said CEO Bruce
billion pounds of zinc, 358 million pounds of             Wardinski.     Details: 1-866-786-7227.      Web:
copper and 88 million ounces of silver. The mine at       www.sunscapecasadelmar.com          and     www.
Pueblo Viejo is the oldest in the Americas and was        playahr.com .
first opened by the Spanish colonizers in 1505.
                                                            GOLF RESORT DEAL. La Estancia Golf
                          ***                             Resort on Aug. 7 said it signed an agreement with
  CANADA WARNS TRAVELERS. Canada has                      Southworth Golf Mgmt (SGM) to manage and
issued a travel warning for citizens who plan to visit    operate the new facility and rental properties. La
to the DR, citing the increase in crime and concerns      Estancia sits atop a gorge of the Chavon River
over public transportation, reports Listin Diario         valley. Its residential community, designed around a
(July 18, 2007:                                           P.B. Dye Championship golf course, features single
                       Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                       15


family villas and home sites, golf cottages, town        remittances to the DR, because some of the cash
houses, and condo apartments, said Armando               may be part of schemes to launder drug money,
Cignarale, Pres. of Baltimore-based Cignal Corp.         reports Hoy (July 16, 2007). Reliable sources say
the               developer.              Details:       investigations deepened after DR customs officials
www.laestanciagolfresort.com       and       www         stopped Diana Marte Jerez who was carrying
.cignalcorp.com.                                         US$738,000 hidden away in packages of rice and
                                                         other products. The DEA is tracking large sums of
  MANGO EXPORTS. Several small businesses                money from the US to Puerto Rico that are then
joined forces to export mangoes, reports Listin          shipped to the DR. People carrying the money are
Diario (July 16, 2007). The Mango Cluster has sold       paid between US$10,000 and US$15,000 per trip.
10 container loads to Europe over the last month,        The DEA is looking at some unnamed remittance
contracting the packing services of the Ocoa Agro-       companies.
Industrial Co. b , which normally packages
avocados for export. Sources say the group is              RECYCLING PLANTS. A RD$30 million
packaging 15-20,000 mangos a day, but they are far       investment has brought two recycling plants to the
below their maximum capacity of 50,000 per day,          Rafey Refuse Dump outside Santiago, reports DR1
mainly due to the poor quality of roads in the region    Daily News (July 30, 2007). One plant, installed by
that prevented the harvest from reaching the             a Chinese company 10 months ago, processes up to
packing plant in perfect condition. During the           20 tons of plastic daily and has sold RD$20 million
current harvest, the group plans to ship 20              so far. Another, installed by Colombia‘s Forem's,
containers to Europe.                                    can pack up to 13 tons of recycled material daily.
                                                         More than 50 people work in both companies. The
  EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION.                   A         material is sold to the US, Canada and Hong Kong
World Bank loan is for an Early Childhood                and to a facility in Manoguayabo, Santo Domingo.
Education Project (No. 7144-DO; Proyecto No.             Each exported ton is worth about US$50 and each
P054937 ). Part of the funds are for civil works         ton sold in the country is worth about RD$1,000.
(construction and rehab of school facilities).           Forem's exports up to 100 tons weekly and both
Deadline: Sept. 13, 2007. Refer to LPI-01-2007.          plants thus far have exported recycled materials
Details: Secretaria de Estado Educación. Oficina         worth US$500,000. Due to the interest in recycled
Cooperación      Intl. Depto     Licitaciones   y        plastics, the number of informal "divers" earning a
Adquisiciones. Proyecto Educación Inicial.               living at the garbage site has increased significantly.
Préstamo BIRF 7144-DO. Ave. Máximo Gómez esq.            Before the recyclers were installed, there were 150
Ave. Bolívar,Piso #1,Gazcue. Sto Domingo, Repúb.         searchers, but now there are at least 400.
Dominicana. Tel: (809) 685-3615. Fax: (809) 685-
3790. E-mail: lvidal@see.gov.do; jcid@see.gov.do;          GPS ADVERTISING. ProLink Solutions, a
anunez@ see. gov.do                                      subsidiary of ProLink Holdings Corp. and a
                                                         provider of Global Positioning Satellite ("GPS")
  HAND OPERATED INPUT DEVICES. A                         golf-course management systems and digital out-of-
US$5.5 million Inter-American Development Bank           home on-course advertising, on July 25 said it has
loan (1511/OC-DR) is for Strengthening Foreign           partnered with Inverlogy to distribute the ProLink
Trade Management. Part of the funds are for              system and sell advertising on ProLink screens on
purchase of digital multifunction processing system      golf carts at courses and resorts throughout the DR
for the Investment & Export Promotion Center             which cater to high-end golfers that are the perfect
(CEI-RD).     Deadline: Sept. 4, 2007. Refer to:         demographic for ProLink's advertisers, said Roberto
Public Bid LPN 003-2007 Details: Project                 Rodriguez, CEO of Inverlogy. Details: Rich Katz.
Management Team 1511. Phone: 809-987-7069.               Buffalo Communications, 703.891.3319. Email:
Fax: 809-533-3564. WebSite: www.cnnc.gov.do              rkatz@ billycaspergolf.com. Daniel Mitchell
                                                         Buffalo Communications. 253.312.4536. Email:
  DEA LOOKING AT $$$ REMITTANCES.                        dmitchell@billycaspergolf.com. Investor Relations
The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is                  Contact:CEOcast,       Inc.    Andrew      Hellman.
looking at individuals and companies that send           212.732.4300. Email: adhellman@ceocast.com.
                        Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                     16


BPC Financial Marketing. John Baldissera.                 material used in the manufacturing of injections.
800.368.1217. Web: www.goprolink.com. Email:              The company now imports from Mexico but would
info@goprolink.com.                                       like to benefit from the Free Trade Agreement
                                                          between Central American and the US (CAFTA)
  STOMACH VIRUS OUTBREAK.                    AXA          and import the product from the US. HTC
Assistance USA said Aug. 9 it is caring for more          3001.20.00.02. US exporter must provide a
than 73 UK tourists who fell ill due to a stomach         phytosanitary certificate, and the certificate of
virus outbreak at the Bahia Principe Puerto Plata         origin. Laboratorios VIJOSA has 35 years of
Resort. More than 300 were affected and more than         experience in the Salvadoran market, and its main
40 were hospitalized. The 4-star resort, holding          business is the manufacturing of injections and
more than 2,000 guests, was shut down on Aug. 6.          syrup. Quantity: 500 liters per year. Details: Karla
Details: www.axa-assistance-usa.com                       Campos. Import Manager. Phone: (503) 2278-
                                                          3077.     Fax:     (503)      2278-3121.      Email:
   FOOD         PROCESSING            EQUIPMENT           karla.campos@vijosa.com. Web: www.vijosa.com
MARKET. A US Dept. of Commerce report
provides an overview of the market for food                           FRENCH WEST INDIES
processing equipment here. Several factors
contribute to the positive outlook of this sub-sector:      TWO TINY ISLANDS BREAK AWAY. Two
macro-economic stability, the implementation of           tiny French islands broke away from Guadeloupe,
DR-CAFTA free trade agreement, and stability of           gaining partial financial and political autonomy,
the exchange rate. There are opportunities for US         reports AP (July 15, 2007). St. Barts and St. Martin
firms interested in expanding their presence in this      can now create or change laws related to local taxes,
market. Details: Maria Elena Portorreal, U.S.             tourism, public transportation and other issues,
Embassy. Ave. Pedro Henriquez Urena no. 133,              according to the French government. St. Barts, a
Santo Domingo, DR. 809-227-2121. 809-920-0267.            popular retreat for the rich and famous, also gained
Email: maria. lenaportorreal@mail.doc.gov. web:           jurisdiction over housing, construction and
buyUSA.gov/caribbean                                      environmental and energy affairs, areas over which
                                                          St. Martin will have autonomy in 2012. About
  DR-ANDALUSIA AGREEMENT. The DR and                      35,000 people live on St. Martin and about 7,000 on
the Andalusia Council have signed a cooperation           St. Barts.     Both are still considered French
agreement focusing on education, health, drinking         territories but are no longer dependencies of
water and strengthening municipal government,             Guadeloupe, an overseas French department.
reports DR1 Daily News (July 26, 2007). The               Residents in both islands overwhelmingly approved
agreement with the Spanish regional government            the new status in a 2003 referendum.
includes construction of dams, rural development
and the promotion of equal opportunities between                              GRENADA
men and women. The four-year agreement has a
budget of between EUR16 million and EUR20                   ECO-TOURISM PROJECT. The Grenada
million.                                                  Board of Tourism on Aug. 8 announced the 360-
                                                          acre Levera Bay Project on the northern tip of the
  All kinds of footwear are sought by Distribuidora       island that is teeming with wildlife and lush
Coral, an importer/distributor, operating since 1997,     vegetation. It will be developed into a US$112
and a member of the American Chamber of                   million eco-tourism project, featuring 250 rooms,
Commerce. Details:Miguel L. Moronta, Operations           starting starting with a 40-room boutique hotel, a
Director. Phone: 809/ 583-4300. Fax: 809/ 583-            turtle watching program, horseback riding and
9447. Email: mimoronta@distribuidoracoral.com             nature trails in the Levera National Park. Snorkeling
                                                          and scuba diving in the coral reef are already very
                 EL SALVADOR                              popular attractions, said Jocelyn Sylvester-Gairy,
                                                          Director of         Tourism.Details: Sue McGill-
  Laboratorios VIJOSA, is seeking US providers            Kauffman. 973-627-8180 ext. 22. Email:
of liquid, dry powder or paste liver extract, raw
                        Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                       17


kauffman@            rfcp.com.                   Web:     violence and corruption in its wake. Guatemala
www.grenadagrenadines.com                                 offers a key transit point, as traffickers take
                                                          advantage of the country‘s dire poverty and
                        ***                               lawlessness. They have already made progress over
  MANGOES TO CANADA. The Agency for                       the years, political analysts and law enforcement
Reconstruction and Development (ARD), through             officials say, by installing sympathetic politicians in
its efforts with the Marketing and National               Congress and in local city halls;
Importing Board (MNIB), on July 14 said that
during the first two weeks of July the MNIB made            Candidates move around with their own private
two shipments averaging 2,000 pounds of mangoes           armies, usually in bullet-proof vehicles loaded with
per shipment to Canada, using a new passenger and         small arsenals. One who feels most vulnerable is
freight service from Network Airlines Services            Mr. Colom, a businessman who leads the pack in
(NAS), operators of Sky Services and Zoom                 the presidential race. Party affiliates his party have
Airlines. Gen. Mgr. Fitzroy James said the mangoes        suffered more attacks, 16 of the 61, than any other.
were sourced from about 200 farmers; NAS also             He is also haunted by the past. His uncle, Manuel
plans to provide freight and passenger services           Colom Argueta, was a leading presidential
from Grenada to other international destinations.         candidate in 1979, when he was gunned down;
Weekly freight capacity to Canada through this
service will average about 6,600 lbs. In promoting          Guatemala's Congress voted to create The
increased exports of Grenada‘s exotic fruits, the         International Commission Against Impunity, to be
ARD commissioned a study which recommends                 comprised of experts who will investigate organized
establishment of 2,800 acres of fruit tree orchards,      crime and its links with the police and government
including mango, avocado, soursop, golden apple,          and then issue recommendations, reports AP (Aug.
guava, breadfruit and tamarind.                           3, 2007). The US, Sweden, Norway and Spain have
                   GUATEMALA                              offered to help finance the commission, which is
                                                          expected to start work in November.
  DRUG GANGS USE VIOLENCE TO SWAY
VOTE. In the campaign leading to Sept. 9                                            ***
elections, authorities reported 61 violent attacks on       DATA CENTER EQUIPMENT. A World Bank
candidates and political activists. The death toll is     loan is for Phase II of an Integrated System of
26, including seven national congressmen and              Financial Administration and Control (No. 7104-
numerous other office seekers, reports The N.Y.           GU; Proyecto No. P066175). Part of the funds are
Times (Aug. 4, 2007):                                     to procure data center equipment. Deadline: Sept.
                                                          17, 2007. Refer to: Licitación Pública Internacional
  The flurry of bullets, and occasional machete           GUA/02/002-431/07. Details: Programa de las
attacks, make this the bloodiest campaign in the          Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo - PNUD.
history of a country with a long tradition of political   Sección de Adquisición de Bienes y Servicios - ABS.
violence, including 36 years of civil war that ended      Atención: LPI No. GUA/02/002-431/07. Edif Euro
in 1996. What makes the bloodletting different is         Plaza World Business Ctr. 5ª. Avda 5-55 Zona 14,
that it has been attributed to narcotics traffickers      Torre IV, Nivel 10. Ciudad Guatemala 01014
intent on infiltrating the political system;              Guatemala . Tel: (502) 2384-3238. Fax: (502)
                                                          2384-3202. Email: abs.gt@undp.org Web: www.
  So dangerous is campaigning that Álvaro                 pnudguatemala.       org.            Guatecompras:
Colom, the leading presidential candidate, flies in a     www.guatecompras.gt       NOG      475580.     Web:
helicopter to avoid ambushes and travels with a           http://www.pnud.org.gt/invitacion/gua00012edp.ht
physician experienced in bullet wounds. He is             m
careful what he eats, lest someone poison it;
                                                            TEXTBOOK PRINTING. A World Bank loan
  60 to 90% of South American cocaine enters the          is for Universalization of Basic Education (No.
US comes through Central America, US officials            7052-GU; Project ID No. P048652 ). Funds will be
say, pulling rising levels of political instability,      used for printing of several lots of primary and
                        Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                    18


multi-grade textbooks (in the many thousands of           southern township of Lethem to Guyana's coast.
copies). Bid deadline: Sept. 2007. Refer to: BIRF
7052-GU-200-2007; Sección I. Llamado a                      VEHICLE NEEDED. A grant from the World
licitación. Details: Unidad Coordinadora de               Bank's International Development Assn is for an
Proyectos – Ministerio de Educación. Adquisiciones        HIV/AIDS Prevention & Control Project (Contract
y Contrataciones. 6ª Calle 1-87 zona 10, Sala No.         No. H-079-GUA, Project ID P076722 ). Funds will
22. Ciudad de Guatemala, Guatemala. Tel: (502)            be used for supply and delivery of one mobile
2360-3887. Fax: (502) 2361-5000.           Correo         voluntary counseling and testing vehicles. Deadline:
Electrónico:    adq.ucp@mineduc.gob.gt.      Web:         Sept.    11,   2007.    Refer     to:   ICB     No.
http://www.mineduc.gob.gt                                 WB/GO/07/ICB/001 Invitation for Bids (IFB) .
Notice Number: WB3479-708/07                              Details: (1) Exec Dir. Attn: Mr. Prakash Sookdeo,
                                                          Procurement Officer. Health Sector Development
                     GUYANA                               Unit. Georgetown Public Hospital Compound. East
                                                          St. Guyana. Tel: (592) 225-3470, 226-2425. Fax:
  CHICKEN IMPORTS GIVEN OK. The                           (592) 225-6559. E-mail: psookdeo@hiv.gov.gy. (2)
government opened the market for imports of               Chairman. National Board for Procurement
chicken in order to reduce the prices, reports GINA       &Tender Admin,
(July 20, 2007). Minister of Tourism, Industry &          Min. of Finance. Urquhart St. Guyana. Tel: (592)
Commerce Manniram Prashad said ―We are looking            223-7041.
for about six to seven persons to import chicken
into Guyana that will total some 500,000 pounds.‖           ELECTRIFICATION PROGRAM. A loan
Consumers have paid up to $260 (US$1.30) per              from the Inter-American Development Bank is for
pound for plucked chicken due to a shortage,              the Unserved Areas Electrification Program (No.
resulting from efforts to make making the chicken         LO 1103/SF-GY). Part of the funds will pay for
industry more economically viable in order to             Supply of a Customer Information System and
facilitate exports to neighboring Trinidad &              Related Services for Guyana Power & Light Co.
Tobago. Before the Value Added Tax (VAT) was              Deadline: Sept. 18, 2007. Refer to: ICB No. GPL-
implemented on Jan. 1 2007, imported chicken              DM-005/P2. Details: Mr. Elwyn Marshall.
drew 40% duty with 10% consumption tax. This              Implementation Mgr . Guyana Power &Light, Inc,
was increased by 100% in order to resuscitate the         UAEP-PIU. 232 Middle St, Georgetown, Guyana.
local industry.       Government also recently            Tel: 592-225-7923. Fax: 592 225 5638. E-mail:
liberalized the flour market, due to a shortage of        elwyn.marshall@gplinc.com. For online inspection
wheat on the international market creating an             of Bidding Documents. Web site: www.gplinc.com
increase of flour products such as bread.
                                                                                HAITI
  POSSIBLE JUNGLE ROAD TO BRAZIL.
Guyana will get US$900,000 from the Inter-                  UN PEACEKEEPING ROLE EVOLVING.
American Development Bank and US$225,000                  Three years after arriving in Haiti in the wake of a
from government for a pre-feasability study to            revolt that ousted the country's president, U.N.
assess the possibility of building a road to link it to   peacekeepers have decimated violent gangs, calmed
neighboring Brazil through the Amazon jungle, said        teeming slums and provided breathing room for a
President Bharrat Jagdeo. The proposed road is part       fledgling elected government, reports AP (Aug. 1,
of the South America Regional Integration drive           2007):
aimed at linking the countries to boost trade,
tourism and other economic activities. Guyana and           UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says it‘s
Brazil have already signed a land transport               too soon for the UN to consider withdrawing its
agreement and are finalizing arrangements ahead of        8,800-strong, Brazil-led peacekeeping force. The
next January's completion of a bridge across the          peacekeepers arrived in 2004 after a revolt toppled
Takatu River that borders the two countries. An           former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, touching
earthen trail now takes Guyanese vehicles from the        off a turf war against well-armed, slum-based gangs
                                                          blamed for a wave of killings and kidnappings;
                       Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                     19



  Blue-helmeted soldiers no longer get shot at or                                ***
need to conduct raids into slums in search of alleged      DIGICEL-CAM PARTNERSHIP. Digicel
gunmen. Neighbors simply call and tell soldiers          Group, the regional telecom provider, on July 16
where gang members are. The UN mission hopes             announced a partnership with Caribbean Air Mail,
to use more civilian police than soldiers but is         Inc. (CAM), a leader in the money transfer market
hampered by a shortage of trained, French-speaking       to Haiti. This alliance allows Haitian Diaspora
officers. The peacekeepers provide more than 80%         communities in USA and Canada (2 million people)
of Haiti's security needs. Government hopes to           to buy handsets and pre-paid minutes for friends,
eventually take over that responsibility. The            family and associates in Haiti, said Ben Atherton,
national police academy is pumping out hundreds of       Digicel Group Marketing Director. A recent Inter-
recruits, trying to bolster the nation's small police    American Development Bank report said global
force of 6,000.                                          remittances to Haiti topped US$1.65 billion in
                                                         2006. Digicel Haiti says it recorded 1.4 million
                             ***                         customers in 12 months and to date has invested
  TELECOM MARKET REPORT. The U.S.                        US$260 million -- the largest investment ever made
Dept. of Commerce has issued an 11-page market           in the country by an international company. Digicel
report on Haiti's growing Telecommunications             Haiti employs 551 Haitian residents, has a staff of
Sector. Paid subscribers to Caribbean Update             more than 700. Details: Zach Siegel. 212-798-9859.
newsletter may receive the report free of charge         Email:      zach_siegel@cohnwolfe.com.        Web:
upon request via Email (unpaid readers may inquire       www.digicelgroup.com
as to cost). Contact: kalwagenheim@cs.com.
                                                           DRAINAGE PROJECT. An Inter-American
                            ***                          Development Bank loan is for an Economic
  PARTIAL LIFT OF MANGO BAN. The                         Infrastructure Program (No. BID 1493/SF-HA).
United States has partially lifted a ban on mango        Part of the funds will pay for a Drainage Project at
imports from Haiti that was imposed after fruit fly      Port-de-Paix (Projet de Drainage Des Eaux
larvae was found in three shipments sent to Florida,     Pluviales de Port-de-Paix). Deadline: Sept. 10,
reports AP (July 15, 2007):                              2007. Refer to: No. AOI-CT-TPTC-29. Details:
                                                         Ministère des travaux publics, transports et
  US agriculture investigators here inspected and        communications. Direction des transports. Palais
certified 3 of 9 treatment plants designed to rid        des ministères. Rue des Ministères. Port-au-Prince,
Haitian mangos of pests, said Ambassador                 Haïti, W.I Note: the lack of detailed contact
Raymond Joseph. Three other treatment facilities         information casts doubt on the transparency of the
will be inspected and certified soon, while the          process.
remaining three, the origin of the affected
shipments, will be dealt with later, Joseph said. "We                       HONDURAS
wanted to be able to resume shipments as soon as
possible because the mango is an important income          ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT. A loan
earner for the Haitian economy,'' Joseph said,           from the Inter-American Development Bank is for
adding that the first crates of the fruit would leave    Environmental Management of the La Bahia Islands
within a week;                                           (No. 1113/SF-HO). Funds are for equipment
                                                         (tractor, trucks, excavator, etc) for the landfill at
  US Animal Plant Health Inspection Service              Santo Guardiola Municipality. Deadline: Sept. 3,
spokeswoman Melissa O'Dell said the US halted            2007. Refer to: LPI-PMAIB-001-2007. Details:
Haitian mango imports after inspectors in Florida        Coordinación       General.    Programa      Manejo
found fruit fly larvae in three shipments on June 25     Ambiental de las Islas de la Bahía (PMAIB). Inst
and July 2. Haiti earns between US$20 million            Hondureño de Turismo (IHT). Col. San Carlos,
(euro14.5 million) and US$40 million (euro29             Edif. Europa, 4to piso, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
million) per year for mango exports and the US is        Tel: (504) 238-1475, 222-1282. Fax: (504) 236-
its main customer.                                       8701,                236-9611.               E-mail:
                       Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                       20


adquisicionesucpbid@iht.hn.               Web:             GRUPO              ELEKTRA                BANKING
www.honducomras. gob. hn. and Instituto                  OPERATIONS. Grupo Elektra S.A. de C.V. a
Hondureño de Turismo. Col. San Carlos, Edificio,         banking and financial services company, announced
Europa, 5to piso, Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Tel:            on July 23 the start of operations of its third banking
(504) 238-1475, 222-1282. Fax: (504) 236-8701,           subsidiary outside Mexico, in addition to Panama
236-9611                                                 and Guatemala.         Banco Azteca Honduras, a
                                                         subsidiary of Grupo Elektra, saw with the
  NUTRITION,          SOCIAL         PROTECTION          simultaneous opening of 46 points of sale in the
PROJECT. A loan from the World Bank's Intl               main cities of Honduras, and headquarters in
Dev. Assn is for a Nutrition & Social Protection         Tegucigalpa. Elektra operates more than 1,600
Project (No. 4097-HO; Proyecto No. P082242). Part        points of sale in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras,
of the funds are for consultants to conduct a Survey     Peru, Panama, El Salvador and Argentina and is a
of Evualuation of the Impact of AIN-C Health             member company of Grupo Salinas . Details:
Sector. Deadline to prequalify: Sept. 14, 2007.          Dinorah Macias Bruno Rangel. Grupo Elektra S.A.
Details: Unidad de Extensión de Cobertura y              de C.V. Grupo Salinas. Tel. +52 (55) 1720-7819
Financiamiento (UECF). Oficina de Adquisiciones.         Tel. +52 (55) 1720 9167. Fax. +52 (55) 1720-7822
Edif 414 Emma Andino, 2do nivel, Colonia                 Fax +52 (55) 1720 0831. Email: dmacias
Palmira, Ave,. República de Panamá, Paseo                @elektra.com.mx and jrangelk@ tvazteca. com.mx.
Republica de Argentina. Tegucigalpa, Honduras.           Press: Tristan Canales Daniel Mc.Cosh. Grupo
Telefax: (504) 239-1014/1018/1016. Email:                Salinas. Tel. +52 (55) 1720-1441 Tel. +52 (55)
adquisiciones.uecf@uecf.md.hn                            1720-0059. Email: tcanales@gruposalinas.com.mx
                                                         and dmccosh@ tvazteca, com mx. Web: www.
  COMPUTER EQUIPMENT. A loan from the                    gruposalinas.com.
World Bank's Intl Dev. Assn (IDA) is for a Land
Admin. Program (No. 3858–HO; Project Id:                    SPIRIT FLIES TO HONDURAS. Spirit
P055991). Part of the funds are for procurement of       Airlines on July 20 launched non-stop service
computer equipment to renovate the technological         between its Ft Lauderdale, Fla. hub three times
platform. Deadline: Sept. 17, 2007. Refer to:            weekly (Tues, Fri, Sun). Flights from La Mesa
Licitación Pública Internacional (LPI/ICB) No. 001-      International Airport in Honduras will be offered on
2007. Details: Ing. Roberto Milla Villeda,               Mon, Wed, and Sat. Honduras is the third Central
Coordinador Nacional. Programa Administración            American country served by Spirit Airlines, joining
de Tierras de Honduras (PATH),. Col. Florencia           Guatemala and Costa Rica.
Norte, Edificio Educrédito, Segundo Nivel..              It is the fifth country in Latin America and the 35th
Tegucigalpa, Honduras, C.A. Tel: (504) 239-6259,         destination overall, said Chief Marketing Officer
231-0426.      Fax: (504) -239-7817. E-mail:             Barry Biffle..Details: Spirit Airlines, Alison Russell,
gcarranza@ path.ucp.hn / ocasco@path.ucp.hn;.            954-628-4827. Email: alison.russell@spiritair.com
Web: www. honducompras. gob.hn                           or Juan Arbelaez, 954-447-7856. Email:
                                                         juan.arbelaez@spiritair.com
  RURAL DEVELOPMENT. Honduras is seeking
US$30 million from the World Bank's Intl Dev.                                 JAMAICA
Assn for a project to improve the competitiveness of
the rural economy and to raise rural per capita            US$20 MILLION ETHANOL PLANT. Prime
incomes. Project preparation is underway.                Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Brazilian
Consulting services to be determined. Details:           President Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva spoke at the
Secretaria de Agricultura y Ganaderia3er Piso            opening of a US$20 million ethanol plant built with
Subida a Col. Loma, Linda Norte, Av. la FAO,             support from Brazil by Jamaica Broilers Ltd at Port
Honduras. Contact: Hector Tablas, Coordinator.           Esquivel, reports Caribbean Net News (Aug. 11,
Tel: (504) 232-5007. Fax: (504) 232-6225. E-mail:        2007):
htablas.pacta@fao.org.hn
                                                           She said Jamaica was far too dependent on
                                                         imported oil with the country's oil bill for 2006
                        Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                       21


amounting to over US$1.7 billion. The plant                   JOBS IN CANADA. More than 1,000
(capacity 60 million gallons per year) is the second      Jamaicans are to be recruited for jobs in Canada by
energy sector investment undertaken by the Jamaica        the end of 2008, under the Overseas Employment
Broilers Group, the first being the acquisition of a      Program, reports JIS (July 14, 2007):
Co-Generation facility at its Spring Village
processing plant;                                           Minister of Labor & Social Security, Derrick
                                                          Kellier said that in June discussions with the
  This marks the second ethanol project recently          Canadian Federal Minister of Labor, business
launched by Brazilian and Jamaican investors. In          leaders and other officials the need was indicated
2004, Grupo Coimex and Petrojam began operating           for skilled workers from Jamaica to work in various
an ethanol dehydration plant. Silva‘s visit was part      industries in the province of British Columbia;
of a five-nation tour to develop energy and biofuel
agreements in Latin America and the Caribbean.              "We are expecting that over the period of a year,
                                                          we should have upward of 1,000 persons going to
                               ***                        British Columbia, to work in the hospitality,
  SMALL BUSINESS INCUBATOR. A window                      construction and agriculture industries," he said,
of opportunity for business development and               adding that the agreement will seek to address labor
entrepreneurship has been opened with the launch          shortages in British Columbia. ―The workforce is
of the Incubator and Entrepreneurial Production           about to retire (about a million people) and they are
Centres project, reports JIS (Aug. 8, 2007).              only capable of filling that gap with about 690,000
Minister of Industry, Technology, Energy and              persons, so there is a huge gap in terms of filling
Commerce Phillip Paulwell said ―An incubator is a         their needs right across the sectors," he said. He said
supportive environment for entrepreneurship with a        150 skilled construction workers have already been
small management team that provides physical              recruited and are expected to leave for British
workspace, shared office facilities, counselling,         Columbia in the next couple of months;
information, training and access to finance and
professional services in one affordable package."           Jamaicans have, over the years, been recruited to
Major beneficiaries will include unemployed               work in Ontario, Montreal, Quebec and New
females who are heads of households who may not           Brunswick on the agricultural program, but this is
be accustomed to working; youth with low level            the first time workers are being requested for the
education, skill and work ethics; street youth;           hospitality and construction sectors. "There was
persons with some level of physical disability; and       also an agreement for a student exchange program;
persons in households that are beneficiaries of food      Jamaican students would go to the Okanogan
stamp as well as sane street people. J$120 million        College and students from the college would come
will be allocated to pilot the project over a two-year    to Jamaica for training," he said.
period and will provide support for building
refurbishment, machinery and equipment, technical                                      ***
assistance and training.                                    Hazardous Waste Disposal. An urgent need has
                                                          been identified for the disposal of up to 40 tons per
  CUBAN MEDICS COMING. An agreement                       year of hazardous material. Waste comes from a
was signed for Cuban nurses and doctors to come to        consortium of different Jamaican manufacturing
the island to stem shortfalls in the health sector,       companies. Local company is willing to undertake
reports Caribbean Net News (July 27, 2007). Health        shipping costs to the US and pay for proper
Minister Horace Dalley said these will include            disposal. Types of waste could include toxic solids,
pharmacists, medical technicians, radiologists,           oily absorbents, sludge. High temperature
nurses, biomedical engineers, physiotherapists and        incinerator disposable recommended. Incinerator
others. Cuba will pay their salaries. Jamaica began       temperatures 1600 oC. Preference will be given to a
accepting Cuban medics in the late 70s. Last year,        company in the south (eg. Florida). Details: Peter
Dalley said, 70 Jamaicans went to Cuba to study           Kolbusch, Consultant. Phone: (876) 925-0952.
medicine, with more expected to go this year.             Email: munich@cwjamaica.com
                       Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                     22


          NETHERLANDS ANTILLES                           ally, President Daniel Ortega. He called himself and
                                                         Ortega the region's ``anti-imperialist vaccine.''
  ARUBA-BONAIRE FLIGHTS. Tourism Corp.                   Ortega vowed in his campaign to have changed
Bonaire on July 24 said that Tiara Air, a privately      from his revolutionary days and said he would work
owned Aruban Airline, commenced non-stop                 with the US, but since taking office he has called
service between Aruba and Bonaire. Tiara operates        President Bush a "world tyrant"' who came to power
6 weekly non-stop roundtrip flights between the two      ``through fraud'';
Islands, using a Shorts 360 airplane with 33 seats
and 215 cubic feet of cargo space. Details: Tel: 1-        Venezuela is building new refineries in
800-BONAIRE. Web: www.tiara-air.com.                     politically aligned countries such as Nicaragua,
                                                         Cuba and Brazil to ease the country's reliance on the
  NEW BEST WESTERN ON CURACAO. Best                      US - its main market. Chavez promised Nicaragua
Western Intl on Aug. 1 announced the opening of          millions of dollars in financial aid and investment
the Blue Bay Village in Blauw Baai, Curacao. The         after Ortega's inauguration. Ortega said Venezuela
new hotel offers 45 three bedroom villas, an 18-hole     has sent generators to curb Nicaragua's rolling
golf course and tennis courts, said Mark Williams,       blackouts and offered the country US$400 million
VP, North American Development. Details: R.S.            in aid. ``I haven't seen the US send one single
van der Meer, Gen Mgr. 005999 8888800. Email:            energy plant during this emergency'';
rvdmeer@bluebay-village.com                   .Web:
www.bestwestern.com.                                       US ambassador Paul Triveli said Ortega's
                                                         comments surprised him. He said the US has
  DIVING SERVICES ACCORD.                 Sovereign      launched a 5-year aid program that has so far given
Exploration Associates Intl. on July 31 said that its    Nicaragua US$10 million and there are plans to
subsidiary, Lavelle Holdings, has assisted in            give an additional US$16 million.
procurement and signing of a Diving Services
Agreement for its subsidiary, REDS Caribbean with                                  ***
Statia Terminals N.V., said John Garnsey, President        HIGHWAY REHAB. An Inter-American
of Lavelle Holdings. Statia, a subsidiary of NuStar      Development Bank loan is for Highway
Energy, has contracted with REDS to provide divers       Rehabilitation (No. 1599/SF-NI). 88.8 kms.
and diving supervisors for the inspection,               Contractors are invited to bid by Sept. 24, 2007.
maintenance and repairs of Statia's offshore             Refer to: LPI-003-2007 2da Convoc. Details:
terminal assets in the Caribbean including Statia's      División de Adquisiciones. Costado Norte del
jetty, single-point mooring systems, underwater          Estadio Nacional “Dennis Martínez”. Atn: Lic.
pipelines, buoys, tugs and barges. Details: Robert       Norelly Vargas El’Azar, Directora.       Managua,
D. Baca, President/CEO. Tel: 215-968-0200. Web:          Nicaragua. Tel: (505) 222-2591. Fax: (505) 228-
www.sea-int.com.                                         1382. E-mail: adquisiciones @ mti.gob.ni

                  NICARAGUA                                ENERGY EFFICIENCY. A non-reimbursable
                                                         technical cooperation of up to US$726,350 from the
  VENEZUELA             BUILDS          REFINERY.        Inter-American Development Bank is for
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez inaugurated a           Development of Energy Efficiency. No. ATN/JF-
150,000-barrel-a-day refinery being built in             9884-NI. Funds are for general procurement of
Nicaragua as part of the leftist leader's oil-funded     equipment, and studies, printing and training
battle against US influence in the region, reports AP    workshops. No deadline specified thus far. Details:
(July 22, 2007):                                         Ministerio de Energía y Minas. Dirección General
                                                         de Electricidad y Recursos Renovables. Lic. Iván
  Chavez said the US$2.5 billion refinery will           Cortes Sánchez . Managua Nicaragua, del portón
allow Nicaragua - the second poorest nation in the       del Hospital Bautista 1 cuadra abajo 1 1/2 al lago.
Western Hemisphere - to earn US$700 million              Tel: (505) 222-5576. Fáx: (505) 222-4629. E-mail:
annually. Chavez a day earlier celebrated the 28th       ivan.cortes@cne.gob.ni ivan.cortes@mem.gob.ni
anniversary of the Sandinista revolution with his
                        Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                       23


                     PANAMA                                 COPA EXPANDS FLEET. Copa Airlines said
                                                          July 27 it took delivery of its eighth EMBRAER-
  WATER, SEWAGE PROJECT FOR POOR                          190, bringing its fleet total to 32. Copa is scheduled
AREAS. A US$32 million World Bank loan for a              to receive five more aircraft later in 2007 -- three
Water & Sewage Project for Poor Areas (No.                EMBRAER-190's and two Boeing 737-800's, said
P082419). There will be general procurement of            CEO Pedro Heilbron. Copa services 39 destinations
construction, goods, equipment and services               in 21 countries through its Hub of the Americas in
(including consultants). No deadline specified.           Panama City. From the US, service includes
Details: Nicolas Alvarado Quintana, Director              nonstop flights to Panama City and connections
General. Unidad Coordinadora de Proyectos.                from five cities: three times daily from Miami, daily
Ministerio De Salud. Ancon, Edif. 2-61, 3er Piso.         from New York City, Los Angeles and Washington,
Antiguo Hospital Gorgas. Ciudad de Panama,                D.C., and 10 times a week from Orlando. Details:
Panama. Tel/Fax: (507) 236-9849. E-mail:                  www.copaair.com .
ucp@saludrural.com,
nicolasalvarado@saludrural.com                                                  PUERTO RICO

  BASIC EDUCATION. A US$5.4 million World                   PORTAL DEL FUTURO. Antonio J. Colorado,
Bank loan is for additional financing to continue         Exec. Dir. of the Portal del Futuro Authority, a
original project objectives: (i) improving the quality    division of the Dept of Economic Development &
and efficiency of basic education; (ii) improving         Commerce (DEDC), is amid talks with the US Dept
equity of access to preschool and basic education;        of the Navy to secure additional land from the
(iii) expanding coverage of preschool and early           Roosevelt Roads sector to develop the proposed
childhood education; (iv) strengthening the               Portal del Futuro, reports Caribbean Business (July
planning, supervision and policy-making capacity          26, 2007):
of MEDUCA. No consultants required. Details:
Project Coordination Unit. Albrook Edif 869,                The move was accelerated by the Navy‘s recent
Panama. Dora Berrocal, Project Coordinator. Tel:          Wall Street Journal ad where it put on the block the
(50-7) 315-1995, 315-1996, 315-1997. Fax: (50-7)          2,900 acres of land it plans to sell. Even if the local
315-1217. E-mail: proedbas@meduca.gob.pa                  government fails to secure more land, plans for
                                                          Portal del Futuro will continue to move forward, as
  SCIENCE MICRO-LABS. A loan from the                     there is enough land within the sector to develop the
Inter-American Development Bank is for an                 project. Sources say there‘s a great degree of
Educational Development Project (PRODE) (No.              optimism regarding Colorado‘s negotiations given
1013/OC-PN ). Part of the funds are to acquire            his good relations with and support from
Natural Science Micro-Laboratories. Deadline:             Congressman Charles Rangel of New York,
Sept. 20, 2007. Refer to: LPI No. PRODE/REF/LPI           chairman of the Ways & Means Committee which,
01-07. Details: Unidad Gestión Administrativa y           among other things, oversees funding for the Navy;
Financiera (UGAF) del PRODE. Dra. Maritza
Villalaz, Directora Ejecutiva de UGAF. Calle                Although the amount of land for sale by the
Maritza Alabarca . Edificio 1003, Planta Baja,            Navy is considerable, Puerto Rico will still retain
Clayton. Ciudad de Panamá, Panamá Notice                  67% of the area‘s estimated 8,000 acres for a
IDB590-708/07. No phone or Email provided.                myriad of developments. Among those portions
                                                          transferred by the federal government to the local
 HOTEL & RESTAURANT EQUIPMENT.                            government are the hospital, the airport, the
The U.S. Commerce Dept. has prepared a study:             bowling alley, beachfront and areas of natural
“Market Research on Panama's Hotel & Restaurant           resources conservation. The Portal del Futuro and
Equipment Market - 2007.” Details: Jeane Zuniga.          future Science Park are estimated to need 50
Unit 0945. APO AA. Panama, Panama 34002,                  cuerdas to develop the science-theme project.
Panama. (507) 207-7392. Email: jeane.zuniga @
mail.doc.gov. Web: www.buyusa.gov/panama                                           ***
                         Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                     24


  US$610 MILLION BANK BUYOUT. Doral                                                    ***
Financial Corp., the bank-holding company facing             GROWTH         INDUSTRY:         LONG-TERM
bankruptcy, said shareholders approved a US$610            CARE. Nearly 70,000 citizens 65 years or older
million buyout offer from a group led by Bear              need long-term care in Puerto Rico. By the year
Stearns Cos. reports Bloomberg (July 19, 2007).            2020, the island‘s senior population will reach
95% of shareholders approved the plan involving            650,000 (16.7% of the total population), according
investors including Goldman Sachs Group Inc.,              to the US Census, reports Caribbean Business (July
Doral said. The deal was completed in time for             12, 2007).
Doral to make a US$625 million bond payment by
July 20. Doral said in April that it may need to             The senior population is taxing an already
pursue bankruptcy protection if talks with a private-      overburdened hospital system. There are 69
equity firm didn't result in a cash infusion of at least   hospitals here (54 are private and 15 are
US$700 million. Regulators including the US                government institutions). A hospital‘s average
Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.           patient mix on the island is 30% Medicare, 30%
and agencies in Puerto Rico have approved Bear             Health Reform program and 40% other. These
Stearns's proposed buyout, Doral said.                     numbers are expected to more than double by the
                             ***                           year 2020. At the projected rate of growth of the
  BONANZA FOR SHOE MANUFACTURERS.                          island‘s elderly population, the hospital ndustry
Three shoe manufacturers were awarded one-year             won‘t have enough beds to provide the recurring
contracts from the US Dept of Defense (DOD)                long-term services some of these patients will need.
worth over US$42 million, and one may have
landed a 5-year, US$100 million contract, reports            The insurance industry is also feeling the
Caribbean Business (July 18, 2007):                        pinch. Industry experts affirm Puerto Ricans are
                                                           not prepared to face the high cost of long-term care.
  Altama Footwear, which owns Altama Delta in              A person‘s chances of using long-term care
Salinas, was awarded over US$20.4 million, Wellco          insurance is a whopping 50%. Yet, long-term care
Enterprises, which operates Moka Shoe Co. in               insurance products are among the least purchased
Aguadilla, was awarded US$15.1 million, and                insurance products here. In light of this, the Family
Rocky Shoes &Boots, which owns Lifestyles Inc.,            Dept commissioned a US$60,000 study to
in Moca, was awarded US$6.4 million for the                recommend a new public long-term care policy;
manufacture of combat boots. The Phoenix Group,
which owns Altama Footwear, also said it won a               The study calls for collaboration of the private
DOD contract for over US$100, which could mean             and nonprofit sectors, the Legislature and key
the US$20 million contract awarded to Altama               government agencies, and offers a road map for
Footwear could be a five-year contract;                    creation of a new industry which could, in turn,
                                                           provide as many as 10,000 new jobs.
  The contracts were awarded to the US-based                                      ***
parent companies, but will impact operations here,           QUANTUM METRO CENTER. Engineer
since both Wellco and Altama Footwear have no              Robert Arthur, president of Quantum Metrocenter
cutting and fitting plants in the US, and Rocky            Corp., has received the go ahead from regulatory
Shoes & Boots has no plant stateside. The awards           agencies to develop a mixed-used US$300 million-
come at a critical time for these companies,               plus complex in the Hato Rey business district,
particularly Altama Footwear, which had to lay off         reports Caribbean Business (July 26, 2007):
employees at its Salinas factory. The DOD contracts
are for combat boots destined for the Army, Navy,            Arthur said Quantum Metro Center will be
Air Force and Marine Corps. The once-vibrant local         within walking distance of the Hato Rey Urban
footwear-manufacturing segment has declined in             Train station, and part of Ciudad Red‘s US$1
recent years due to competition from lower-wage            billion joint development program, which consists
jurisdictions in the Dominican Republic, Mexico            of private-sector projects around existing Urban
and Asia.                                                  Train stations. The project will include a 100-room
                                                           hotel to complement the area‘s real-estate
                       Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                        25


development. A commercial phase will consist of Q        commercial leasing, investment and corporate
Tower, sporting 300,000 sq ft of office and              banking units, said spokesman Robert Julavits.
commercial retail space, which just received the         Details: Teruca Rullan. Senior VP, Corporate
green light from the Federal Aviation                    Communications.      Popular,     Inc. Email:
Administration to become the tallest tower in Hato       trullan@bppr.com. Tel: 1-917-679-3596
Rey;
                                                           PRASA CUTS OFF WATER TO 10,000
  The residential component, under construction,         WEEKLY. Every week, the Puerto Rico Aqueducts
will consist of two 26-story towers. Apartments          and Sewers Authority (PRASA) cuts off service for
averaging 2,000 sq ft starting at US$600,000 will be     clean water to 10,000 customers, says to PRASA
ready for occupancy in late 2009. Sierra Cardona         Exec. Dir. José Ortiz, reports AP (July 30, 2007).
Ferrer Architects is in charge of the towers design,     Ortiz said the suspension of service helps to avoid
and other area projects, including the Banco             rate increases for those clients who do pay on time.
Popular remodeling and the José Miguel Agrelot           Half of the clients who have seen their service
Coliseum.                                                suspended have had it reconnected, but others
                                                         presumably ―look for a way to get water somewhere
                              ***                        else,‖ he said. Most suspensions have occurred with
  MAYAGUEZ PORT DEAL. Holland Group                      residential clients of all social classes, although they
Investment took the reins of the Mayagüez Port           have also occurred in business and industry, he
after finalizing the transition with the Port            added.
Commission, an almost public entity that
administered the facility, reports AP (Aug. 12,            FRAUD PROBE TARGETS DOCTORS. US
2007). The plan includes promoting cruise ship           federal agents arrested dozens of doctors accused of
tourism, commercial exchanges that can extend as         obtaining medical licenses through fraud or bribery,
far as Holland, as well as the development of other      reports AP (Aug. 3, 2007). A federal grand jury
projects, said José González Freyre, main officer of     indicted 88 doctors following an investigation into
the group. On May 11, Holland and Mayagüez               members of the medical licensing board, who
Mayor José Guillermo Rodríguez, signed a contract        allegedly altered low-scoring tests to certify
for the operation and development of the port for a      unqualified candidates. The doctors, mostly Puerto
30-year term with the Port Commission, an entity         Ricans who studied medicine in the Dominican
that will retain the title of the property. However,     Republic, Mexico or Cuba, paid board members
Port Commission President Dennis Bechara warned          bribes of as much as US$10,000, according to the
that for the port to be viable requires the 118 acres    indictment. At least 75 were practicing medicine in
of nearby land that belong to the pier that was given    Puerto Rico, including some at hospitals or
to the Ports Authority years ago and is now in the       emergency rooms, authorities said. Most of the
hands of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development          suspects failed the licensing exam multiple times.
Co. Steps are being taken to return that land to the     One man who earned a medical degree in Spain
port, Bechara said.                                      failed the exam 16 times between 1974 and 2001
                                                         before he was granted a medical license in 2002,
  CITIGROUP SELLS BRANCHES. Citigroup                    according to the indictment. Health Dept. Secretary
Inc. is selling its Puerto Rico branches to Popular      Rosa Perez Perdomo said the fraudulent doctors'
Inc. for US$120 million, reports Bloomberg (Aug.         patients would have no shortage of alternatives
11, 2007). Popular has 196 branches here, the most       among legitimate health care providers here, where
among the island's 11 banks, according Federal           about 10,000 doctors serve a population of 4
Deposit Insurance Corp. data. Citigroup, with 17         million.
branches, had the smallest network. The deal
includes US$1.1 billion in deposits and US$230             P.R. SUPPLIES ACQUISITION. Puerto Rico
million in loans, according to Popular. Citigroup        Supplies Co. (PRSC), a tobacco and consumer
has another US$3 billion in deposits here, according     products distributor, has acquired F. Pont Flores and
to FDIC data. Citigroup will continue to serve local     Caribbean Snacks, reports Caribbean Business
customers through its loan offices, credit cards,        (Aug. 8, 2007). PRSC, which is growing through
                       Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                    26


the acquisition of new lines, is preparing to            Manuel de la Pila, operates Hospital Dr. Pila and
inaugurate its new 200,000-sq ft distribution center     Villa Ponce Housing, an apartment complex for the
in Bayamón (investment US$20 million), said              elderly.
company President Edwin Pérez. Established in
1946, F. Pont Flores was an industry pioneer in the        TAX         INCENTIVES           FOR       FILM
distribution of perfumes, health and beauty aids and     COMPANIES. New York-based Holedigger
toiletries. Through the Caribbean Snacks                 Studios, an independent film company, is eyeing the
acquisition, PRSC retains the distribution of Filler,    Puerto Rico market to establish local operations,
Wise, Lance (cookies) and Hostess (pastries) to          reports Caribbean Business (July 12, 2007).
name a few.                                              Holedigger, which benefited from a local TIFF (tax
                                                         incentive fund) to produce its 2003 film “The Dying
  DOUBLETREE            HOTELS          EXPANDS.         Gull,” featuring actor Campbell Scott, has become
Doubletree Hotels on July 31 said it entered into a      a key player within an industry niche producing
franchise agreement to introduce its first Caribbean     quality affordable films featuring Hollywood talent.
hotel. This summer, the 8-story, 184-room Hotel          George VanBuskirk, Holedigger Studios co-
Pierre at Gallery Plaza will begin a year-long hotel     founder, said company reps would be visiting
renovation and by mid-2008 will be known as the          Puerto Rico later in the month.
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel San Juan. Owned by
Swiss Chalet, Inc., it will continue to be managed         FT.     LAUDERDALE-PONCE             FLIGHTS.
by San Juan-based International Hospitality              JetBlue on July 24 said it will launch daily, year-
Enterprises, said Dave Horton, senior VP - brand         round nonstop service between Ft Lauderdale, Fla.
management for Doubletree. Details: Hilton Hotels        and Ponce, on the south coast, beginning Nov. 5.
Corp., Thomas Wingham, +1-310-205-3381. Email:           Introductory fares start as low as US$59 each way,
thomas_wingham @hilton.com. Karla Visconti, +1-          with regular fares ranging from US$99 -- US$299
786-866-7240. Email: karla.visconti@hilton.com.          each way. Ponce will be JetBlue's 12th destination
Web: www.hiltonworldwide.com                             served nonstop from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood
                                                         International Airport, said Marty St. George,
  CHOICE HOTELS TO MANAGE 254                            JetBlue's VP of Network Planning. Details:
ROOMS. Choice Hotels Intl said it recently               Corporate Communications. (718) 709-3089.
executed agreements in Puerto Rico with a series of      Email:     CorporateCommunications@jetblue.com.
former independent inns and hotels that will now         JetBlue Reservations. (800) JET-BLUE (538-2583).
become a Choice Hotels brand, reports Caribbean          Web: www.jetblue.com
Business (Aug. 2, 2007). Included in the deal are
the 60-room Comfort Inn Suites, Campomar                   NEW/OLD SPANISH RESTAURANT. One of
(formerly Hotel Campomar) in Toa Baja; the 97-           Madrid's most-renowned culinary traditions and
room Quality Inn, El Tuque (formerly Hotel El            most-visited tourist attractions, Restaurant Botin—
Tuque) in Ponce; the 47-room Quality Inn, El Portal      the oldest in the world according to the ―Guinness
(formerly Hotel El Portal) in Condado and the yet-       Book of Records‖—was scheduled to open its
to-be-built 50-room Quality Inn &Suites in San           doors in Old San Juan Aug. 22, reports Caribbean
Germán, said Raúl Fuentes, emerging markets              Business (July 18, 2007). A replica of the Spanish
director for Choice Hotels.                              restaurant—established in 1725 on Cuchilleros St
                                                         alongside Madrid‘s majestic Plaza Mayor—it will
  HEALTHCARE CO. SEEKS BANKRUPTCY.                       occupy the colonial-style landmark building on
Fundacion Dr. Manuel De La Pila Iglesias Inc.,           Recinto Sur St (corner of San Justo Street) where a
which operates a 170-bed hospital here, has filed for    Banco Santander branch used to operate. The 7,000-
bankruptcy, reports Bloomberg (Aug. 10, 2007). It        square-foot, three-story restaurant will feature
listed assets of US$55.9 million and debt of             Botin‘s regular menu, particularly the house
US$53.5 million in Chapter 11 documents. Its 20          specialties of suckling pig (cochinillo) and old
largest unsecured creditors are owed US$11.7             Castilian-style lamb roasted in a wood-fired oven.
million. Revenue for 2006 was about US$40.3              Most ingredients will be imported from Spain. The
million. The foundation, founded in 1927 by Dr.          two-year restoration and construction project,
                       Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                        27


estimated at more than $2 million, is a private          have roads, electricity,         water     and    other
venture of Dr. Sanchez Quiles, his wife actor Von        infrastructure installed.
Marie Méndez, and their son Chef Luis Freyre.
                                                                                ST. LUCIA
  PUERTO RICO 7 ADDS 2 STORES. Prime
Time Group on July 30 announced that Puerto Rico            ST. LUCIA, HESS EXTEND ACCORD. St.
7, Inc. has opened two new stores, Pinero II and         Lucia and Hess Corp. extended an agreement
Borinquen Towers. PR-7 operates 16 7-Eleven              allowing Hess to operate a fuel transshipment
convenience stores in San Juan. Details: Johnny          terminal here, reports AP (July 25, 2007):
Ray     Arnold.   561-674-5866.   Email:     ir@
primetimestores.com            .           Web:            The new accord, which extends an option to
www.primetimestores.com                                  build an oil refinery, was announced by Acting
                                                         Prime Minister Stephenson King. New York-based
              ST. KITTS & NEVIS                          Hess will pay the government 5 cents for every
                                                         barrel of crude oil stored at the terminal and 10
  NEW 150-SEAT CALL CENTER. Cabinet                      cents per barrel of refined product. The previous
approved a new 150-seat call center ―to be operated      accord, which was to expire in 2013, paid St. Lucia
by International Market Access Ltd which also            2 cents per barrel of crude and 4 cents for refined
operates in Barbados and Antigua. More than 100          products. The new accord expires in 2057. King
young persons will receive special training to           said Hess agreed to establish a vocational training
handle customer service,‖ said Minister of State for     program here so islanders can qualify for jobs at the
Information & Technology, Nigel Carty, reports           refinery if Hess decides to pursue the project. The
Caribbean Net News (Aug. 1, 2007). It will be            company says it has no immediate plans to build a
located in the Stanford Bldg near the Robert L.          refinery here;
Bradshaw Intl Airport in St Kitts.
                                                           A subsidiary of Hess operates the Hovensa oil
 TAIWAN        FINANCES          NEW      SPORTS         refinery with a subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela
FACILITY. Taiwan's resident ambassador John              SA, the Venezuelan oil company, in the nearby US
Liu presented Prime Minister & Minister of Sport         Virgin Islands. Note: Caribbean Net News (July 27,
Dr Denzil Douglas with a US$1.4 million check for        2007) reported that an agreement between Hess
ongoing construction of the sports facility at Bird      and the government was signed for a US$5 billion
Rock, reports Caribbean Net News (Aug. 14, 2007).        oil refinery, but no other sources verifies this.
This follows an initial contribution of US$500,000
in mid-June. The Bird Rock stadium construction is                                  ***
scheduled to be ready to host the 2008 CARIFTA             SOLAR-POWERED FERRY. A solar-powered
Games in March.                                          ferry was introduced by a resort here that hopes to
                                                         inspire others across the Caribbean, reports AP
 LAND SALES OFFICE TO DISPOSE OF                         (July 30, 2007). The 12-foot Sunshine Express, with
5,000 LOTS. Government announced setting up of           photovoltaic panels mounted on the roof, carries up
a lands sale office to dispose of 5,000 lots in 24       to 15 guests of the Discovery at Marigot Bay resort
locations on St Kitts, reports CUOPM (July 20,           to waterfront bars and restaurants, said owner Judith
2007). Sen. Nigel Carty, Minister of State in the        Verity said. The vessel, touted as the first of its kind
Ministry of Finance, Sustainable Development,            in the Caribbean, was designed by the harbor master
Information & Technology, said more staff is being       and built by local craftsmen she said.
mobilized so that the land distribution initiative
could commence by Aug. 6, 2007. In June, Cabinet                             SURINAME
decided to empower young persons and persons
without their own land through the process of land         GAS & OIL DEPOSITS REPORT. Research
ownership. It approved the allocation of 603 acres       & Markets (based in Dublin, Ireland) on July 16
around the island. The lots will have a minimum          announced the addition of "Suriname Upstream Oil
size of 4,000 sq ft in residential projects that will    and Gas Fiscal Regime Profile" to its offering. The
                       Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                      28


report covers the petroleum fiscal environment,
license terms and key fiscal terms for assets. It                     TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
describes various elements of the geography's fiscal
regime and gives an understanding of its petroleum         IMF: ECONOMY MUST DIVERSIFY.
regulations and the framework of opportunities           Trinidad & Tobago must diversify its petroleum-
available to the players in the industry. Details:       based economy to prepare for the eventual depletion
Laura     Wood.      Senior    Manager.     Email:       of its fossil fuel supply and survive swings in global
press@researchandmarkets.com. Fax: +353 1 4100           energy prices, the International Monetary Fund said.
980.                                          Web:       IMF economist Max Alier said the twin-island
www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c62836.               nation, where the energy sector accounts for 40% of
                                                         GDP, should focus on improving competitiveness
  UPGRADING AIR NAVIGATION SYSTEM.                       of non-energy sectors. The country, the second-
Funds from the Islamic Development Bank and the          largest energy producer on the Caribbean Sea after
Govt of Suriname are for Upgrading the Air               neighboring Venezuela, pumps out 150,000 barrels
Navigation System.(UANS SUR - 0010). Part of the         of oil a day and is the leading supplier of liquid
funds are to procure aeronautical communications,        natural gas to the US. But Trinidad's non-energy
surveillance and ancillary equipment. Deadline:          deficit has widened recently to nearly 16% of the
Oct. 5, 2007. A mandatory information meeting and        GDP due to tax cuts, growing subsidies and rising
site visits will be held Sept. 4, 2007. Details: Dept    capital spending.
of Civil Aviation. Coesewijne Straat No. 02. Zorg en
Hoop. Paramaribo Zuid, Suriname. Web:                      GOVT. LANDS             BIG BOAT DEAL.
www.uans-sur.com. Mr. J.H. Veira, Director. Tel:         Government will save TT$400 million over 10
(597) 498-898, 497-914. Fax: (597) 498-901. E-           years, because it purchased, rather than leased, two
mail: dca@cadsur.sr. Mr. L. Gonsalves, Project           fast ferry vessels now serving the inter-island route,
Coordinator. Tel: (597) 531-288. Fax: (597) 531-         said Transport Minister Colm Imbert, who spoke at
290. E-mail: info@uans-sur.com . Notice GN101-           a ceremony at the Port Authority in Port of Spain to
708/07                                                   commission the T&T Spirit which made its
                                                         inaugural sailing to Scarborough, reports The
  EU AID FOR TOURISM, TRANSPORT. The                     Trinidad Guardian (July 22, 2007). Imbert said
European Union (EU) signed several contracts with        Government decided to buy the vessel after it
government to improve the tourism and transport          compared the cost over a 10-year period. The Spirit,
sectors, reports Caribbean Net News (July 31,            purchased for US$46.5 million in June, has a
2007). Suriname will receive 1.5 million euros to        passenger capacity of 900 and a vehicle capacity of
execute a "sustainable tourism capacity building         180 cars, Imbert said.
program" and 3.2 million euros to strengthen the
transport sector. Brussels earlier financed two            7 NEW TV STATIONS COMING. Seven new
tourism improvement projects and ―the third project      local TV stations should be coming on stream soon,
will build further on these excellent results,‖ said     said the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad
EU rep Richard van der Horst. The tourism sector         & Tobago, reports The Trinidad Express (July 19,
grew by 8% per year between 2000 and 2004. A             2007). TATT acting exec. dir. Cris Seecheran said
consultant for the Suriname Road Authority and the       that the board of the Authority agreed to open the
Ministries of Transport and Public Works will carry      free-to-air television market to allow for three more
out a three-year study. Government is studying           national providers, two more territorial providers
options to improve roads, airports and port              (Trinidad only) and two more territorial providers
facilities, and enhance the east-west and north-south    (Tobago only). Seecheran said that in April TATT
road links in the country. Financing is already          received 12 responses to an Expressions of Interest
secured; works start as early as 2008. In June China     notice for establishment of new TV stations and that
pledged to asphalt the Afobakka Road connecting          TATT will issue a Request for Proposals by late
Paramaribo with the southern district of                 August, 2007. TATT will also open up the market
Brokopondo, said VP Ram Sardjoe, after                   with regard to broadband wireless services.
concluding an official visit to China in June.
                        Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                     29


  TT$3 BILLION FOR DEVELOPMENT IN                         Financial acquired a whiskey distillery in the US
TOBAGO. Prime Minister Patrick Manning has                from Pernod Ricard.
promised TT$3 billion for going development of
Tobago, reports Caribbean Net News (Aug. 6,                 COMPUTER REFURBISHMENT. Trinidad &
2007). Funds will go to complete the Crowne Point         Tobago will         benefit   from    a $100,000
Airport, the new Tobago Hospital, extension of the        Commonwealth Connects program to fund a
Claude Noel Hwy, an administrative complex at             computer refurbishment project that will benefit
Boxborough and completion work at the Sure Park           needy schools and communities, reports Caribbean
Cultural Facilities                                       Net News (July 26, 2007). The project, managed by
                                                          the Ministry of Public Administration and
 CONSTRUCTION OF BUILDING. A World                        Information, involves collection of used computers
Bank grant is for the Pan-Caribbean Partnership           donated by Caribbean governments and the private
Against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) Project (Grant No.              sector for re-use here through upgrading and repair.
HO77-0-6R; Project: P080721. Part of the funds are
for Construction of a Proposed Building for the            PANAMA-PORT-OF-SPAIN FLIGHTS. Copa
Health Economics Unit (HEU) of the Univ. of the           Airlines Aug. 1 said it will offer new service from
West Indies. St. Augustine Campus. Deadline:              Panama and connecting cities in Latin America to
Sept.14, 2007. Refer to:          Bid No. C-02-           Port-of-Spain, beginning Dec. 15, 2007. Details:
07/PANCAP/WB . Details: The Secretary,.                   Web: www.copaair.com
Campus Procurement Committee. Univ. of the West
Indies. c/o Campus Projects Office. #25A Warner                         TURKS & CAICOS I.
St. St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. Tel: (1-868)
645-7276, 663-2208. Fax: (1-868) 645-7258. E-               NEW CASINO LAW. Lawmakers approved a
mail:     projectsoffice@cpo.uwi.tt.   Web      site:     measure to would allow wealthy islanders to
www.caricom.org                                           gamble in local casinos, which in the past have
                                                          catered only to foreigners, reports AP (July 25,
   WATER SUPPLY IMPROVEMENTS. The                         2007):
Water & Sewerage Authority (WASA) has
embarked on several projects aimed at improving             The House of Assembly voted 13-3 in favor of a
the water supply in South and Central Trinidad,           bill permitting anyone with annual earnings of more
following receipt of TT$136.2 million, reports The        than US$75,000 to gamble in the two casinos here.
Trinidad Express (July 19, 2007). TT$70 million           Michael Misick has previously said he would sign
will be spent to cover the cost of new pipes to           the bill into law. The bill's sponsor, Deputy Premier
replace the current 35 km Navet Trunk Main; the           Floyd Hall, had initially proposed a threshold of
remainder will facilitate:                                US$50,000, but raised it because of opposition from
an upgrade of transmissions and distribution              church groups concerned about the expansion of
networks including 100 km of pipelines to enhance         gambling. The average annual income is roughly
service; construction of 5 service reservoirs to          US$10,000 in the British territory, a popular tourist
enhance reliability; installation of 193 km of pipe to    destination that has a population of about 22,000;
serve communities lacking mains; and installation
of bulk meters.                                             Hall said he backed the bill at the request of
                                                          residents who want to gamble and casino operators
  SELL-OFF. Angostura and CL Financial will               who have struggled because of the restriction.
dispose of their 68% stake in the French spirits          Opposition leader Floyd Seymour said the
company Belvedere for 345 million euro (more than         legislation would lead to increased gambling losses
TT$3 billion), reports The Trinidad Guardian (Aug.        and hurt the island chain. Casinos that cater only to
1, 2007). Angostura said the Laventille-based rum         foreigners are found across the Caribbean, where
and bitters producer decided to exit Belvedere due        some sectors of socially conservative island
to a board struggle. Sale proceeds will be used to        societies regard them as immoral.
reduce Angostura‘s debt, for new acquisitions and
for brand development, officials said. In June, CL                               ***
                        Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                       30


                                                          500,000 barrels per day) is the 11th-largest refinery
             U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS                          in the world, the fourth largest in the western
                                                          hemisphere and the third largest in the US.
  397-ACRE WEST END DEVELOPMENT. The
first stage of building preparation at Botany Bay has                                   ***
been completed, laying the groundwork for                   CONCH BAN EXTENDED. Regulators here
development to begin shortly on St. Thomas' West          said they will close the territory's waters to conch
End, reports the US Virgin Islands Daily News (July       fishing for the rest of the year due to concerns about
18, 2007). A stone wall, wrought-iron fence,              overfishing, reports AP (July 27, 2007). The
gatehouse with around-the-clock security and              shellfish is normally off-limits to commercial
signage now tell visitors they have arrived at the        fishing from July through September, but the
397-acre property being called The Preserve at            Department of Natural Resources extended the ban
Botany Bay. The project, to cost more than                to help stocks replenish:
US$200 million, will include vacation homes,
timeshares or fractional real estate, a boutique hotel      Significant poaching could further delay the start
and a restaurant and spa, said David Burden, CEO          of the season. ``If the closed season is not observed,
of      Colorado-based develop Timbers Resorts.           we're not going to reopen the season in January,''
Details: Lynn Freehill. Tel: 774-8772 ext. 311. E-        said David Olsen, the department's fish and wildlife
mail lfreehill@dailynews.vi.                              director. Fishermen who dive for conch off St.
                                                          Croix, one of three islands that make up this US
  RAPID FITNESS DEAL. Rapid Fitness, Inc.                 territory, have produced harvests exceeding
said Aug. 10 it signed s purchase agreement with          sustainable levels since 2000, saidaccording to
Caribbean Fitness, Inc., d/b/a America's Paradise         department spokesman Jamal Neilsen;
Gym, a firm with 2 fitness centers in St. Thomas             Much of the meat is sold in Puerto Rico, where
and 1 in St. Croix). Combined assets are reportedly       it fetches up to US$14 per pound. Divers have
US$2.5 million with more than 5000 members,               ventured into increasingly deep waters to collect
generating US$1.5 million a year, said CEO                queen conch, a variety prized for its meat and
Anthony Mellone. Details: Rapid Fitness, Inc., Ft         lustrous shells. ``We're starting to see divers off St.
Lauderdale. Tom Nelson, 480-326-8577 Web:                 Croix get serious decompression sickness,'' Olsen
www.americasparadisegym.com                    and        said. ``So extending the closed season is also a
www.rapidfitness.com                                      public health issue.''
                                                                                       ***
  REFINERY REPAIRS. Repairs at the Hovensa                  IMPORT TAX SUSPENDED. A tax levied on
oil refinery in St. Croix affected the bottom line of     cars, furniture and other personal items shipped here
parent company, Hess Corp, reports Caribbean Net          from the mainland was ruled unconstitutional,
News (July 28, 2007). Hess said its second quarter        reports AP (Aug. 1, 2007). US District Judge
net income fell 1.6% partly due to the cost of a          Harvey Bartle III ruled that a 4% tax the US
shutdown of part of its refinery, according to            territory imposed on imported items worth more
Market Watch. Hovensa said in May the refinery            than US$1,000 violated the US Constitution's
would shut down for 35 days for cleaning,                 commerce clause. The case stems from an April
inspection and repairs. Hovensa President/CEO             complaint filed by a St. Croix resident who
Larry Kupfer said in 2006 the refinery generated          protested a US$2,365 ``personal use'' tax the
US$161 million in USVI government tax revenues            government levied on two cars and floor tiles he
(including US$14 million in real property taxes and       shipped in from Virginia. The government is
US$102 million in corporate income taxes by               appealing. After Bartle's ruling, a lawsuit was filed
refinery owners and contractors). Ongoing                 by several thousand inhabitants who paid the tax for
improvements include a new laboratory (US$12              items they imported. If the lawsuit is successful,
million), a low-sulfur gasoline unit (US$195              residents could be refunded and possibly collect up
million), a gas-turbine power generator (US$83            to 12% interest, attorney Jeffrey Moorhead said.
million) and Phase II of a wastewater treating unit       The USVI has collected more than US$3 million
(US$93 million), Kupher said. Hovensa (capacity           from the tax since it was introduced four years ago,
                        Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                        31


said Gizette Thomas, director designee for the
islands' Bureau of Internal Revenue.                            U.S. Trade with the Caribbean Basin
                                                                          May 2006, 2007
  PUEBLO STORES PURCHASE. Chicago-                                       (millions of US$)
based World Fresh Market, owned by Yousef
Yassin, acquired the four Pueblo supermarket stores                             U.S. exports U.S. imports
here (two each on St. Thomas and St. Croix) for an                                     (F.A.S.)     (c.i.f.)
undisclosed amount, reports Caribbean Business                                     2006    2007 2006
(Aug. 8, 2007). Pueblo‘s filing for Chapter 11            2007
bankruptcy comes on the heels of the USVI sale in         Anguilla                14.3      31.3       2.8 2.7
an effort to seek court protection on more than           Antigua & Barbuda       86.6      87.4      2.7 5.0
US$11 million owed to local suppliers.                    Aruba                       235.0      223.9 1377.9
                                                          1335.6
  57 ACRES FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING.                        Bahamas                    884.9       881.0 211.0
The V.I. Housing Finance Authority has purchased          210.4
57 acres of undeveloped land in Estate Donoe from         Barbados                   170.4      181.5        15.3
Lockhart Realty for US$2.1 million, reports The           15.7
Virgin Islands Daily News (July 21, 2007). It plans       Belize                     109.1        98.7       51.6
to build affordable housing units on 25 acres and         42.6
will hold the remaining acreage for future use, said      Bermuda               311.9 244.3           4.7     7.2
Exec. Dir. Clifford Graham. It plans to put out a         British Virgin I       94.9      69.3      11.7 24.8
request for proposals for developing the first phase      Cayman Islands       266.6      267.0      6.8 10.8
in August or September, he said. Ethienne Bertrand,       Costa Rica                 1695.4 1782.5 1718.5
president of Lockhart Realty, said "There is a            1794.2
tremendous need for housing for essential workers         Cuba                  153.4 144.7          0.1      0.2
such as firefighters, teachers and nurses." Bertrand      Dominica               23.1      36.8    2.1        1.0
said the planned housing fits in with other               Dominican Rep.           2046.0 2315.4 1832.0
developments planned for that area of St. Thomas.         1774.4
In Estate Donoe, development company Urbanika             El Salvador          880.4 915.9 659.9 809.6
plans to build 173 three-bedroom and four-bedroom         French Guiana          9.5      10.8      0.2       0.1
homes throughout the hillside behind Market               Grenada               28.1     35.5      2.0       5.1
Square East Plaza and Home Depot. The project is          Guadeloupe            18.8     69.0      0.9      2.2
called Raphune Vistas and the homes will be               Guatemala          1400.5 1610.2 1387.2
targeted at moderate-income residents.                    1442.0
                                                          Guyana           .    73.6 81.7        67.9      56.7
 BROADBAND CONTRACT. Global Crossing,                     Haiti               349.5 316.0 197.4 205.5
an IP solutions provider, on July 19 said the             Honduras           1502.8 1751.7 1507.5 1649.5
University of the Virgin Islands Research and             Jamaica             730.5 860.0 236.8 343.2
Technology Park (RTPark) has signed a 15-year             Martinique            10.4 80.1         0.5       0.9
contract for high capacity broadband connectivity         Montserrat           10.7      2.5      0.3       0.4
and colocation space at its fiber switching facilities    Netherlands Ant.    639.3 650.5 513.8 338.0
in St. Croix. Under the agreement, RTPark has             Nicaragua           316.1 328.8 636.2 633.3
direct access to the Global Crossing's global IP          Panama             1014.7 1335.7 153.8 151.2
network, which delivers services in more than 600         St. Kitts & Nevis    73.6 43.3        21.7     24.3
cities in 60 countries, said David M. Zumwalt,            St. Lucia            51.1 64.1 22.8             7.8
Exec.Dir. of RTPark. Details: Becky Yeamans.              St. Vincent & Gren 18.5       6.2     0.5       0.9
973-937-0155. Email: PR@ globalcrossing.com.              Suriname            104.8 96.8 56.4           57.3
Kendra Langlie. Latin America. 305-808- 5912.             Trinidad & Tobago 612.5 687.4 4002.1 3916.9
Web: www.globalcrossing.com                               Turks & Caicos I 134.6 153.2           4.5      5.3

                     DATA BASE
                      Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                    32


   Source: U.S. Dept. of Commerce. Details: Nick        Saba                     Jan-May         5,290     -
Orsini (301-763-6959) or Vanessa Ware (301-763-         1.4
2311), Foreign Trade Division.                          St. Lucia                Jan-May       125,998     -
                                                        9.2
       Tourism Stop-Over Arrivals, 2007                 St. Vincent & Gren.     Jan-May         40,463     -
                                                        2.8
                     %change                            U.S. Virgin Islands      Jan-May       331,028     -
Destination              Period       Arrivals vs.      2.1
2006
Anguilla                     Jan-Mar        24,974             Tourism Cruise Ship Arrivals, 2007
+22.2
Antigua                      Jan-Apr        98,173      %change
-1.5                                                    Destination              Period       Arrivals vs.
Aruba                        Jan-Mar       187,027      2006
+9.8                                                    Aruba                    Jan-May        266,464 -
Bahamas                     Jan-May        660,096      10.7
-6.8                                                    Bahamas                  Jan-May 1,341,729 -
Barbados                    Jan-Jun        295,916      4.5
+2.8                                                    Barbados                     Jan-May        306,951
Belize                        Jan-Mar       77,756      +15.6
+2.4                                                    Belize                       Jan-Apr        340,904
Bermuda                     Jan-May        107,083      +8.7
+5.6                                                    Bermuda                      Jan-May         75,584
British Virgin Islands     Jan-Mar         108,527      +8.9
+0.9                                                    British Virgin Islands     Jan-May          311,368
Cancun (Mexico)             Jan-May        923,643      +17.6
+48.1                                                   Cayman Islands              Jan-May         983,824
Cayman Islands              Jan-May        137,249      +4.6
+8.7                                                    Cozumel (Mexico)            Jan-Mar         875,074
Cozumel (Mexico)          Jan-Feb           57,075      +30.7
+35.1                                                   Curacao                       Jan-Apr       176,392
Cuba                    Jan-Apr       895,307    -      +14.6
8.3                                                     Dominica                Jan-Mar       141,243      -
Curacao                     Jan-Apr         90,471      6.2
+9.5                                                    Dominican Republic         Jan-Mar          161,971
Dominica                Jan-Apr        26,000    -      +2.4
3.6                                                     Grenada                       Jan-May       162,710
Dominican Republic*       Jan-May        1,778,103      +16.1
+0.5                                                    Jamaica                       Jan-Mar       411,622
Grenada                    Jan-May          56,437      +1.3
+8.6                                                    Martinique                Jan-Apr       46,781 -
Guyana                    Jan                8,933      16.3
+9.5                                                    Montserrat             Jan-Mar           102     -
Jamaica                Jan-Mar        427,252    -      Puerto Rico            no data provided
2.1                                                     St. Lucia                     Jan-May       320,387
Martinique                  Jan-Apr        201,244      +52.3
+5.1                                                    St. Vincent & Gren.        Jan-May           96,085
Montserrat              Jan-May         3,059    -      +52.2
7.1                                                     U.S. Virgin Islands         Jan-Jun       1,023,111
Puerto Rico             Jan-Feb       258,392    -      +0.3
9.7                                                      *Non-Resident air arrivals
                        Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                          33


**Non-resident Hotel registrations only                      Sept. 30-Oct. 7: 44th Port Antonio Int‘l
Source: The Caribbean Tourism Organization,latest         MarlinTournament. Jamaica. Organized by The Sir
 data supplied by member countries, available as of       Henry      Morgan        Angling       Ass‘n.      Email:
                   July 18, 2007                          rondg@mail.infochan.com
                                                            Oct. 1-5: 16th annual Caribbean Water &
                   CALENDAR                               Wastewater Association Conference & Exhibition,
                                                          St. Kitts. Details: Email: info@cwwa.net. Web:
  Details and contact information for most events         www.cwwa.net.
listed here may be obtained on the website                   Oct. 3: Aruba KLM Open Tournament.
www.calendar.caribseek.com. Readers are invited           Organized by Tierra del Sol.
to submit information on relevant activities, at least       Oct. 5-6: 5th Aruba Music Festival. Aruba
45 days prior to date of your activity. Mail              Tourism Authority. Email: ata.aruba@aruba.com
to: Caribbean UPDATE, 116 Myrtle Ave., Millburn              Oct. 5-7: Puerto Rico Art & Wine Fair. Puerto
NJ 07041. U.S.A. Email: kalwagenheim@cs.com.              Rico Tourism Co.
Some dates are tentative, all are subject to change;        Oct. 5-7: Renowned seafood chef Eric Ripert
readers are urged to reconfirm prior to making            headlines a weekend celebration of gastronomic
travel plans.                                             pleasures at The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman,
  Aug. 30-Sept. 1: Texaco One Cool Summer                 including cooking class, gala dinner and a fishing
International Drag Races. Aruba.                          trip. Part of the proceeds will provide a young
  Aug. 31-Sept. 1: Re-Discover the Caribbean              Caymanian chef with the opportunity to embark on
Trade Show. Barbados. Contact: Adrian Loveridge.          his own culinary journey. Weekend packages for
Email: Re-discover@caribsurf.com.                         the event are available from US$1,429. Details: call
  Sept. 1-30: Havana Theatre Festival. Cuba.              800-241-3333 or visit www.ritzcarlton.com.
Organized by Consejo Nacional de las Arts                    Oct. 7-14: 40th Annual Intl Sailing Regatta,
Escenicas (CNAE).                                         Bonaire. Welcomes boats in 25 categories to
  Sept. 3-9: 44th Montego Bay International Marlin        participate in this island tradition that attracts sailors
Tournament. Jamaica Tourist Board.                        many countries. About 180 boats from catamarans
   Sept. 9: Elections in Guatemala.                       and yachts to sunfish, windsurfs and fishing boats
  Sept. 15-16: Belize Expo. Belize Tourism                are expected to participate. Other festivities will
Industry Ass‘n & BETEX Committee.                         include a bicycle tour, walking and running races,
  Sept. 15-23: Culture Week, Curacao. Organized           softball tournament, swimming and kayaking to
by      Curacao        Tourist     Board.      Email:     Klein Bonaire, the All Nations Parade, participants
kasdikultura@curinfo.an                                   BBQ party, evening festivals with music, local food
  Sept. 24-30: National Tourism Awareness Week.           and dancing, a concert by George McCrae who‘s
Jamaica Tourist Board.                                    number one hit ―Rock Your Baby‖ sold over 52
  Sept. 25-Oct. 2: Ultimabet.com Aruba Poker and          million copies worldwide, and the closing awards
Blackjack Tournament. Contact: Melissa Gaddis.            ceremony. Details: Sarah Biggerstaff/Candice
Email: mgaddis@ spirtech.com.                             Kimmel. Adams Unlimited. (212) 956-5900. Email:
  Sept. 27-28: 2nd Annual Vermont Forum on Cuba,          sarah@adams-pr.com.                                 Web:
Burlingon, TV. Guest speaker Larry Luxner, editor         www.bonaireregatta.org.
and publisher of CubaNews, to speak on ―Cuba                 Oct. 10: Annual Oktoberfest. Turks & Caicos
Today: Business, Politics & Trade.‖ Details:              Island Tourist Board.
Marisha Kazeniac, Exec. Dir., Vermont Institute on           Oct. 19-24: The 30th Annual Caribbean Tourism
the Caribbean. Tel: 802-864-4334. Email:                  Conference will be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
info@institutecaribe.org.                                 The theme is: The Next Generation; Learning from
  Sept. 27-30: Caribbean Gift and Craft Show,             the Past, Preparing for the Future. Details: CTO
2007,World Trade Centre, Curacao.            Details:     New York office. Tel: 212-635-9530. Email:
Caribbean Export Development Agency. Tel: (246)           ctony@caribtourism.com
436-0578. Fax: (246) 436-9999. Website:                      Oct. 13-16: National Platano (Plantain) Festival.
www.carib-export.com.        Email:     clowe@carib-      Puerto       Rico        Tourism        Co.        Email:
export.com and cchristie@ carib-export. com               lrivero@prtourism.com
                       Caribbean UPDATE September 2007                                                    34


  Oct. 18-21: Air Jamaica World Championship of            Dec. 1: ―Jubilation‖, 4th Annual World Gospel
Dominoes. Jamaica Tourist Board.                         Festival. Antigua & Barbuda Dept. of Tourism.
  Oct. 21-23: Prince George‘s County 2007                  Dec. 1-2: Authentically Bahamian Christmas
International Economic Summit: Latin America &           Trade Show. Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. Email:
the Caribbean Basin, Washington. Details: Lavinia        erolle@bahamas.com
Baxter. Email: LABaxter@co.pg.md.us.                       Dec. 1-8: Caribbean Jazz Cruise. From solo piano
  Oct. 26-29: International reggae artists Beenie        performances to trios, quartets and full seven-piece
Man and Beres Hammond headline Dominica‘s                bands, the many sounds of jazz will take center
11th instalment of the World Creole Music Festival       stage aboard the Crystal Symphony's cruise. As the
(WCMF).                                                  ship embarks from Miami on this seven-day voyage
  Oct. 31: "Jubilation" World Gospel Festival,           through the Caribbean, the lineup features noted
Antigua & Barbuda. Ministry of Culture.                  jazz performers and five times its usual complement
  Oct. 31-Nov. 2: Expo Caguas 2007, Coliseo              of musicians. Crystal Symphony will call upon Key
Hector Sola Bezares, Caguas, Puerto Rico. A              West, Fla; Puerto Costa Maya and Cozumel,
networking event for business people from Puerto         Mexico; and Belize City, Belize. Details: Mimi
Rico, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, Dominican              Weisband             310-203-4305.            Email:
Republic, and other Caribbean islands.                   publicrelations@ crystalcruises.com
  Nov. 2-4: Caribbean International Literary               Dec. 3-5: 31st Miami Conference on the
Festival. Antigua. Organized by Avonelle H. Pole.        Caribbean Basin, Inter-Continental Hotel, Miami.
  Nov. 3-4: WIOC Calcutta Tournament. Antigua.           Workshops on agribusiness, apparel, energy,
Organized by Cedar Valley Golf Course.                   financial     services,    technology,      telecom,
  Nov. 3-4: 16th Edition Fishing Tournament,             transportation,tourism. Features heads of state as
Martinique Biffsh Assoc. Email: duplan@cg972.fr.         keynote speakers.       Details: Caribbean-Central
 Nov. 5-9: An August conference and trade show,          American Action, 1818 N St. NW, Suite #310,
aimed at expanding Puerto Rico's role in the             Washington DC 20036. Tel: 202-466-7464, Ext. 28.
Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade           Fax: 202-822-0075. Website: www. C-caa.org.
Agreement (D.R.-Cafta), has been rescheduled for           Dec. 3-10: Bacardi Artisan Fair. Puerto Rico
November, at the Puerto Rico Convention Center,          Tourism Co.
San Juan. Details: www.caftagroup.com.                     Dec. 5-10: Antigua Charter Yacht Show.
  Nov. 8-11: Tranquility Jazz Festival. Anguilla         Organized by Antigua Charter Yacht Meeting.
Tourist Board. And: 9th Annual Carriacou Sailing         Email: info@antigua-charter-yacht-meeting.com
Series. Organized by Grenada Yacht Club. Email:            Dec. 6-13: Bahamas International Film Festival.
setsail@ttsailing.org.                                     Dec. 8: Caribbean Comedy Festival. Antigua &
  Nov. 10: 7th Annual Bonaire EcoSwim. Features          Barbuda. Details: Gordon ―Banks‖ Derrick. Tel:
eight swimming races with and without fins for           268-560-5149.
participants to show off their stroke and kicks.           Dec. 12: ―Scientific Research in Cuba: Highlights
www.aquamoonadventures.com. Caradonna Dive               & Future Prospect,‖ London. Speaker, Luis Alberto
Adventures at 1-800-328-2288.                            Montero-Cabrera, Havana Univ. Scientific Council.
  Nov. 14: ―US-Cuba Policy: Stumbling Towards            Details: Claire Farfan, Intl. Inst. Study of Cuba,
the Post-Castro Era,‖ London. Speaker: Phil Peters,      London Metro. Univ. Tel: 44-20-7133-2405. Email:
chief Cuba policy analyst, Lexington Institute. No       admin@cubastudies.org.
charge. Details: Claire Farfan, Intl Inst. For Study       Dec. 15-Jan. 2: National Carnival, St. Kitts.
of Cuba, London Metro Univ. Tel: 44-20-7133-             Details: Ministry of Tourism, Culture &
2405. Email: admin@cubastudies.org.                      Environment.
  Nov. 14-16: Point-a-Pitre Jazz Festival.
Guadeloupe Tourism Office.                                                         2008
  Nov. 16-22: San Juan Cinemafest. Puerto Rico             March 28-30: 35th International Rolex Regatta.
Tourism Co.                                              St.Thomas, US Virgin Islands. An annual favorite
  Nov. 29-Dec 1: Reggae Marathon. Jamaica                on the Caribbean racing calendar, catering not only
Tourist Board.                                           to handicap yachts but also to one-design sailboats
                                                         of at least 24 feet and beach cats. Details: Bill
                      Caribbean UPDATE September 2007   35


Canfield. Email: styc@vipowernet.net or 340-775-
6320.      The       regatta    web    page      is
www.rolexcupregatta.com. And: Barby MacGowan.
Media Pro Int'l for Rolex. Email: barby@
mediapronewport.com. Ph +1 401-225-0249. Or:
Wally Bostwick. St. Thomas Yacht Club. mobile +1
340-690-2898. Email:          newsdog@viaccess.net.
And: Key Partners (KPMS). Phone: +41 32-724-
2829. Email: info@regattanews.com. Web:
www.regattanews.com
  April: The Association of Caribbean States
(ACS) has been selected is the honoree at the 11th
International Book Fair of the Dominican Republic,
in Santo Domingo. For two weeks, it assembles
hundreds of exhibitors, artists and visitors from
different parts of the world,
  Aug. 1-31: Belize Tourism Expo, Belize City.
Organized by Suzette Gibson, BETEX Manager
(Belize Tourism Industry Assoc.)            Email:
info@betex.bz.

								
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