Correction & Clarification
In an article titled ‘Portland’s illegal rafters warned’, published in The Gleaner (Page A7) and Hospitality Jamaica of Wednesday, September 4, the comments warning persons actively involved in illegal rafting at Saint Margaret’s Bay, Portland, to desist from the practice or risk prosecution were incorrectly attributed to executive director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund, Clyde Harrison. The statement should have been attributed to executive director of the Tourism Product Development Company, Dennis Hickey. We apologise for the error
JAMPRO head gets to work
The new president of Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Diane Edwards, took up duties at the national trade and investment promotion agency on Monday
A former trade commissioner for JAMPRO in New York, Brussels, and London, Edwards brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in international marketing and business development to JAMPRO.
She has successfully managed product launches of Jamaican food brands into mainstream markets and was instrumental in securing European Union funding for Jamaican producers under the Target Europe initiative, which subsequently evolved into the five-year Private Sector Development Programme.
JAMPRO, in a statement, said Edwards rejoined the agency after completing a highly successful tenure as general manager and director of J. Wray & Nephew UK Ltd.
Website launched to improve market access across CARICOM
Jamaica took a step towards removing the barriers to intra-regional market access yesterday with the launch of the Jamaica Exporters' Association's (JEA's) market access website yesterday.
CaricomMarketAccess.com, an online one-stop shop for Jamaican and other exporters within CARICOM, was launched at the JEA's offices in Kingston.
"The website would include a market access database with information on tariffs, standards, documentation and other requirements for the importation of goods in all CARICOM member countries," said Christopher Zacca, president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica.
"It would also provide information on all measures and limitations affecting each mode of export of particular services among CARICOM member countries," he continued.
Conch fishing off-limits
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is reminding the public that the annual close season for conch is now in effect and runs from September 1, 2013 through to February 28, 2014. During this period, the fishing of queen conch is strictly prohibited by law.
Under the Fishing Industry Regulations (2000), every person, including those in charge of commercial cold storage facilities, hotels and eating establishments, must no later than September 7, 2013 declare in writing to the Licensing Authority the level of processing and the quantity of conch meat in his or her possession.
Businessmen sceptical of boom from passed IMF test
Business leaders and other stakeholders in western Jamaica are seemingly unimpressed with the news that the local economy is poised to rebound on account of the country passing the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) first quarterly test.
"The first test is usually the easiest one to pass," said Davon Crump, the immediate past president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He was somewhat wary of what seems to be a mixed message from Finance Minister Peter Phillips, who is saying that things are getting better, while calling for a type of stimulus to spark spending.
Instead, Crump said, "We need the jobs and all other things which are necessary to show growth in an economy."
While agreeing that passing the quarterly test is a good sign, well-known Montego Bay businessman Mark Kerr-Jarrett, a past president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce, says tougher times are ahead for the nation.
Clarke urges calm in East Portland
Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke has urged supporters of the ruling People's National Party (PNP) in East Portland to remain calm and united after the leadership style of embattled Member of Parliament Dr Linvale Bloomfield came under scrutiny on Sunday.
Clarke, who was the guest speaker at the East Portland constituency conference, told party supporters that he was well aware of their grouses and frustration, but noted that the young MP's heart is in the right place.
"Times are hard now," said Clarke. "But I can assure you that better days are coming. I know many of you are dissatisfied, but I can assure you that your MP has made repeated representation on your behalf in Parliament. And therefore, I urge you to give him all your support, as he has your interest at heart."
Clarke added, "We are reshaping the economy, and very soon now, those smiles will reappear on your faces. The PNP is a noble movement, and we are heavily concentrated on your well-being, and this has been our tradition. Every major infrastructure development over the last 30 years has been undertaken by this party."
Portland's illegal rafters warned
Executive director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund, Clyde Harrison, has issued a stern warning to persons involved in illegal rafting at St Margaret's Bay, Portland, to desist from the illicit practice or face prosecution.
Harrison's comments were made recently following a tour of Burlington in west Portland, during a visit by Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke.
The touring party, which also comprised personnel from the Jamaica Tourist Board and farmers, visited an area at Burlington, where illegal raftsmen are allegedly loading tourists unto their vessels, and taking them for a quarter-mile ride up-stream aboard their bamboo rafting vessels.
January trial for former NSWMA head
The trial of Mark Rodney, former National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) manager who is accused of defrauding $160 million from the agency, is to start on January 17 next year.
Rodney's trial was put off on Monday when he appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court because of the unavailability of some of the witnesses for the prosecution.
The Crown is alleging that Rodney, who is charged under the Corruption Prevention Act, used his position at the NSWMA to obtain wealth by illicit means.
He was arrested and charged in June last year and is on bail in the sum of $10 million with sureties. The alleged fraud was discovered after a forensic audit of the NSWMA's accounts for the financial year 2011-2012.