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  • Photo of IMF: Barbados recovery underway: CARICOM Business

    IMF: Barbados recovery underway: CARICOM Business

    Barbados has met all quantitative targets for end-December 2021 and end-March 2022 under the IMF’s EFF making it eligible for a drawdown of US$23 million. According to the IMF’s Bert van Selm, “international reserves, which reached a low of US$220 million (5-6 weeks of imports) in May 2018, are now at a comfortable level of US$1.5 billion.” The IMF official…

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  • Photo of New US$500 million Regional conglomerate on the horizon: CARICOM BUSINESS

    New US$500 million Regional conglomerate on the horizon: CARICOM BUSINESS

    Seprod Limited is moving to acquire a 100 year-old Trinidad & Tobago company, A.S. Bryden & Sons Holdings, “to  create the leading integrated manufacturing and distribution group in the Caribbean,” the companies said In a joint announcement. Their combined revenues is estimated at US$500 million. Together, Jamaica-based Seprod and A.S. Bryden, with a team of close to 3,000 employees, will…

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  • Photo of Barbados records growth of 11.8% in first quarter: CARICOM BUSINESS

    Barbados records growth of 11.8% in first quarter: CARICOM BUSINESS

    For the period January to March 2022, Barbados experienced inflation of 4.2%, unemployment declined from 12.4% to 10.9% and net international reserves reaching US$3.019 B or 36.4 weeks of import cover. According to the Central Bank of Barbados in its quarterly review, the economy grew by 11.8% during the reporting period. Activity in the tourism sector built on the performance…

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  • Photo of Shipping costs trending downwards: CARICOM BUSINESS

    Shipping costs trending downwards: CARICOM BUSINESS

    Global shipping costs are starting to trend downwards, nonetheless prices remain elevated considerably above pre-pandemic levels. Indeed, there is an approximate 50% reduction being experienced by Caribbean importers. According to Richard Pandohie, former President of the Jamaica Manufacturers & Exporters Association, the cost for shipping a 40ft container now ranges between US$10,000 and US$12,000, “still above pre-pandemic level of US$4-5k…

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  • Photo of Jamaica begins its transition from SWIFT system: CARICOM BUSINESS

    Jamaica begins its transition from SWIFT system: CARICOM BUSINESS

    The Bank of Jamaica has given financial institutions 4 years to adapt as it co-ordinates Jamaica’s migration from the Swift Message Type (MT) standard to the ISO 20022 – ‘Universal Financial Industry Message Scheme’ format by end 2025. This in a bid to enhance end-to-end efficiency for payments. Adoption of the ISO 20022 standard should improve payment processing efficiency and…

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  • Photo of Jamaica grows by 6.7% in 4th quarter of 2021:  CARICOM BUSINESS

    Jamaica grows by 6.7% in 4th quarter of 2021: CARICOM BUSINESS

    The Jamaican economy grew by 6.7% during the 4th quarter of 2021 when compared to the fourth quarter of 2020. This was due to increases in both the Services Industries and the Goods Producing Industries of 9.0% and 0.5% respectively. Within the Goods Producing Industries, there were higher output levels for Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing of 13.8% and the Construction…

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  • Photo of IMF: Suriname economic recovery programme on track:  CARICOM BUSINESS

    IMF: Suriname economic recovery programme on track: CARICOM BUSINESS

    The IMF Executive Board has completed the first review of the extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for Suriname, allowing for an immediate disbursement equivalent to SDR 39.4 million (about US$55 million). According to the Fund, Suriname’s “homegrown economic recovery program,” which through a discretionary fiscal con-solidation of 10% of GDP during 2021-24, remains on track. Suriname is…

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  • Photo of Antigua/Barbuda’s aggressive fiscal consolidation fosters 4.8% growth: CARICOM BUSINESS

    Antigua/Barbuda’s aggressive fiscal consolidation fosters 4.8% growth: CARICOM BUSINESS

    The economy of Antigua and Barbuda recorded growth of at 4.8% for 2021, following a sharp contraction of 20.2% in 2020. That’s the word of the IMF at the conclusion of the recent Article IV Consultations. A sustained recovery in tourism and construction activity is expected to underpin real output growth of 7% in 2022. Fiscal consolidation resumed in 2021…

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  • Photo of T&T: Parliament passes economic zones law: CARICOM BUSINESS

    T&T: Parliament passes economic zones law: CARICOM BUSINESS

    The newly approved T&T Special Economic Zones Bill, 2021 will result in the creation of a SEZ Authority. Entitled “An Act to provide for the designation, development, operation and management of Special Economic Zones,” the new law will repeal the existing Free Zones Act. According to Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon, the new SEZ regime “will ensure that not only are…

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