Archive | Buisness/Economy/Banking


Guyana prevents cartons of tuna from entering country

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Mar 22, CMC – Guyana has refused entry of 2,000 cartons of tuna imported from China saying the action was prompted by an Inspector’s  report  on samples taken from a container  on March 9 this year.

The Government Analyst- Food and   Drug Department (GA-FDD) said it was advising consumers and the general public that the exact address of the manufacturer in the country of origin of the tuna labelled   “BUIWICK” instead   of “BRUNSWICK was not stated.

TUNAThe authorities have since advised consumers “ to always take a second look at  labels/brands  and to ensure the country of origin and  the exact name  and address of manufacturers  are stated  on the  label.”.

The GA-FDD serves as a regulatory body, ensuring that consumable goods including drugs, food and beverages meet international standards and requirement.

The Department has since written to the Commissioner of Customs to suspend  the  processing of documents of a known third party agent out of the United  States that “knowingly and deliberately facilitates the importation of products into Guyana that are substandard and/or are with inadequate labels”.

The department said that the company has on numerous occasions exported items of food to Guyana in the absence of documentation in the prescribed form from the country of origin.

“The department will notify the  regulatory agency of the People’s  Republic  of  China on their findings and action, because official   documentation   with  attestation was used to facilitate  the shipment of falsely labelled Tuna to Guyana.”

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Crime, Local, News, Regional0 Comments


Government delays presentation of budget

BRADES, Montserrat, Mar 20, CMC – The Montserrat government Monday said it has been forced to delay the presentation of the annual budget due to a delay by the United Kingdom in approving the island’s “Financial Aid Business Case”.

budgetsThe budget was originally scheduled to have been delivered on Thursday, but a statement from the Office of the Premier noted that “it had become necessary to postpone the tabling of the Budget Appropriation Bill until the 13th of April” with the debate schedule for five days later.

“The postponement is occasioned by the change in UK Ministerial responsibility, which has caused a delay in the approval of Montserrat’s Financial Aid Business Case by the Uk Minister,” the statement said.

It added that Premier Donaldson Romeo, who is also  of Finance will authorise funds through the Consolidated Fund “to allow government spending to continue until the passing of the Appropriation Act in April”.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Government Notices, Local, News, Politics, Regional0 Comments

Dr. Orlando Smith

Premier calls for overseas help in crime fight

TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands , Mar. 19, CMC – Premier Dr Orlando Smith has vowed to leave no stone unturned as security officials in this British Overseas territory deal with an upsurge in crime.

In a recent press release, Smith said that if necessary, overseas help sought be sought and highly trained cops should be pulled from retirement.

Dr. Orlando Smith
Dr. Orlando Smith

“No stone should be left unturned in bringing the perpetrators to justice of all crimes, and particularly the heinous crimes that have been committed in this territory. If this calls for bringing in assistance from abroad, let’s do so immediately.”

The Premier’s resolve follows a directive issued by Governor John Duncan late Friday in which he used his constitutional power to force the Government to add US$800,000 to the police budget for this financial year.

The government, in its budget had allocated US$161 million to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.

Duncan, told journalists that he was reluctant to resort to his constitutional power, but said the police force is currently under funded at a time when crime is a big concern.

Governor John Duncan
Governor John Duncan

The Governor’s announcement has been endorsed by the Premier.

“Yes, we must provide the police with financial resources. In addition, the Commissioner (of Police) and the Force must continue to be innovative and creative in carrying out their duties….” He said.

However, a member of the main opposition Virgin Islands Party (VIP),Julian Fraser – said the order issued by Duncan has set the territory back in its constitutional advancement.

“I didn’t think the day would come when I would see a governor exercise a monarchical take-over of our Treasury. This is what I call a soft takeover of the democratically elected Smith government. The governor was wrong and he has to be stopped,” Fraser said in a post on his Facebook page.

According to Fraser, who the governor recently removed as opposition leader – the Governor should stay out of “our local politics”

“He has the Protocols for Effective Financial Management to hold the government accountable with. That is an administrative arrangement between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Government of the Virgin Islands to keep the government frugal in its financial affairs,” Fraser noted.

Since the start of the year three persons have been murdered across the territory – with two being murdered in less tan 24 hours.

According to police statistics, last year, four people were murdered and 18 gun robberies were reported.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Crime, International, Legal, Local, News, Police, Politics0 Comments

Vieuz Fort

Opposition party warns of mass demonstrations against multi-billion-dollar project

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Mar 15, CMC – The main opposition St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP) says it has embarked upon a series of public and town hall meetings to galvanise support for its planned mass demonstrations against the multi-billion-dollar “Pearl of the Caribbean”  project in the southern town of Vieux-Fort.

“The St. Lucia Labour Party reiterates its opposition to the DSH project in its current form and is even more outraged at the proposed Phase 2 of the project which will include the Maria Islands. The party believes that if allowed to proceed, the projects will bring untold hardships on the people of the south in particular, as well as our fragile eco-system,” the SLP said in a statement.

Vieuz FortIt said as a result it is embarking upon on a series of town hall and public meetings “island wide to bring the issue to the people,” and it “intends to thereafter take to the streets in mass demonstrations”.

Last week, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet urged St. Lucians to be “bold and courageous” in the face of new opportunities which can only help the island develop.

Last July, the authorities here announced that the US$2.6 billion project will occupy a 700-acre site and will include a marina, a racecourse, a resort and shopping mall complex, casino, Free Trade Zone, extensive entertainment and leisure facilities, as well as architecturally designed villas and apartments.

“Overall, the Pearl of the Caribbean Development is designed to be a well-balanced project with open space making up over 50 per cent of the overall development. It is designed to be a sustainable and self-contained development and is expected to generate between 500 to 800 jobs in construction during its initial phase of implementation,” according to the statement by Invest St. Lucia

The Hong Kong-based Desert Star Holdings (DSH).project has attracted both supporters and detractors with former prime minister Dr. Kenny Anthony warning in January that there will never be peace in Vieux Fort and St. Lucia if the deal is not renegotiated and the project redesigned.

“If this agreement is not renegotiated, if this agreement is not redesigned, if all the offensive provisions in that agreement are not removed then I say to you tonight, there will never ever be peace in this community and in this country,” Anthony said.

But Prime Minister Chastanet told the conference which included the project developer Teo Ah Khing and his delegation, that he would be appointing a taskforce specifically for this project with various departments “to ensure that we do the necessary work but at the same time that we are ready to implement this project as soon as all the work has been completed.

“St. Lucia it is time for us take control of our own destiny. Let us stop living in mediocrity. Let us develop our assets for all the citizens in the south and for St. Lucia. The time for change is now.”

The DHS official pledged “to continue to preserve, enhance; do detailed research on all the existing wild life and marine life on this island.
“Secondly, we are going to allow local tourists to be able to experience the very rare natural features right out there in the ocean and allow it to be a tourism attraction added onto the already interesting attractions in the island St. Lucia.

“Thirdly, with the creation of this 150 to 200 acres of new land certain portions will be returned to the people of St. Lucia. This is not just about the public parks or ocean parks that the visitors are going to enjoy; this is to allow us to put ourselves on the world map for the international research of wild life,” he added.

But in its statement, the SLP said that the government has shown “it is insensitive to the cries of the people of the country and appears determined to ram down the throats of our citizens without any meaningful consultation, major projects that can significantly transform the lives of the people.

“From leasing prime lands at EC$1.00 (One Ec dollar =US$0.37 cents) per acre to the destructions of our eco system at Maria Islands, the Prime Minister continues to show scant regard for the welfare of St. Lucians.”

The party said that even while Chastanet was assuring St.Lucians that only a Framework Agreement existed and that negotiations were ongoing, the developer was already clearing lands though no DCA approval had been given and no Environmental Impact Assessment has been undertaken.

It said that even the cries of the St. Lucia National Trust (SLNT) have fallen on deaf ears.

The SLNT has called on the government to re-think its plans for the multi-billion dollar project saying it has “been trying feverishly to obtain official project documents from the relevant authorities but to no avail.

“This proposed plan threatens Maria Islands, a Nature Reserve, which is the home of the world’s rarest snake, the St. Lucia Racer as well as the St. Lucia whiptail and many other unique flora and fauna,” the SLNT said, adding that “the disturbing news is that in addition to destroying the ecological, environmental, historical, archaeological and social assets enshrined in Pointe Sable, the DSH plan includes a proposal to connect Maria Major and Maria Minor and building a causeway to the main land,” it added.

The SLP said it wanted to assure nationals that “it will not stand idly by whilst the government literally gives away our land.

“This is not a partisan issue but instead one which will negatively impact the vast majority of St. Lucians. We call on all right-thinking St. Lucians to stand up for their country and to stand up for their children’s future.

“For our part, the St. Lucia Labour Party will do all within its lawful means to ensure these projects do not proceed in the manner the Prime Minister has described,” the party added.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Local, News, Politics, Regional, TOURISM0 Comments

Antoine ECCB

ECCB Governor predicts “modest profit” after years of losses

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Mar 16, CMC – The Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Timothy Antoine, says the financial institution is poised to make a modest profit at the end of this fiscal year, after three years of losses.

 “As of now, the bank is making a profit. We expect that we would make a small profit at the end of this fiscal year, after three years of losses, and we have every expectations and plans to increase the profitability of the bank going forward,” said Antoine, who took over from the late Sir Dwight Venner in February last year.

Antoine ECCB
Timothy Antoine

Speaking on a current affairs programme hosted by the St. Kitts-based ECCB that serves as a Central Bank for Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts-Nevis and Montserrat, Antoine said he felt “very encouraged by the progress we’ve made in my first year.

“Much of what we’ve set out to do was accomplished” said the Grenadian-born economist, adding that he is satisfied with the maintenance of a strong Eastern Caribbean (EC) dollar.

“We have maintained the strength of our EC Dollar which is exchange rate stability. Throughout the last year, the currency was backed an average 97 per cent in some cases 98 but on average 97 per cent. So on that score we continue to maintain a strong dollar.”

Antoine had outlined a four four–pillar vision for the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) and the ECCB on upon assuming office. They were financial stability, fiscal and debt sustainability, growth competitiveness and Employment and organizational effectiveness.

Antoine said he is pleased that the ECCB was able to maintain a strong EC dollar to improve financial stability in the sub–region.

“We were able to resolve two trouble banks in Anguilla and as a result we now have the National Commercial Bank of Anguilla and that is making steady progress.”

“We’ve also seen across the currency Union, improvement in the performance of our national banks and our international banks; whether you look at capital adequacy or you look at profitability, we saw improvement.”

Antoine said there was also improvement in asset quality measured by non-performing loans “which fell from a high of 17 per cent at the end of 2015 to around 12 and a half per cent at the end of 2016.”

There have also been improvements in the fiscal accounts, Antoine said.

“I am pleased to note that we have seen improvement in the fiscal accounts. Many of our governments were able to earn primary surpluses this last year and overall there was an improvement in the fiscal accounts.

“We have also seen a reduction in the debt to GDP (gross domestic product) ratio for several of our countries…we’re down from 76 per cent to 75 there about…it is slight but it’s moving in the right direction.”

“That’s an important target for us…we’re trying to get to a debt to GDP ratio of 60 percent by 2030.”

However the ECCB Governor said the period was not without its challenges and the major challenge was with it pillar for growth, competitiveness and employment.

“I think at the moment we recorded 2 to 2.5 per cent growth in 2016. That is not bad but not good enough,” the governor said, adding that “we want to be at 5 per cent per annum or more.”

“So that remains a challenge but what we did in the first year was to build a foundation for how we are going to…attempt to raise the trajectory of growth.”

Antoine said there are a number of initiatives that the bank will be taking in the coming year to address the issue of growth and competitiveness.

He said he is looking forward to the establishment of the partial credit guarantee scheme, the ECCU Credit Bureau and more opportunities for access to finance for youth. During his second year on the job.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, International, News0 Comments

Phillipe Ardanaz

Treaty signed to define maritime space with French territories

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Mar. 16, CMC – A treaty to solidify negotiations with the Republic of France to define the maritime space between Antigua and Barbuda and neighbouring French territories, was signed by government officials on Wednesday.

The treaty establishes the outer limits of Antigua & Barbuda’s jurisdiction from where the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) ends, its use, and exploration and exploitation of the Atlantic Ocean in respect to Guadeloupe and Saint Barthelemy.

It also embraces the interests of local fishermen and seafarers who now have a clearer understanding of the delineation of boundaries, thereby enabling both governments to rectify the common issue.

Phillipe Ardanaz
Phillipe Ardanaz

“It is also the first step to manage the problems we may have between our fishermen; obviously, it is never easy to know if you are in French waters or Antiguan waters,” said Ambassador to the OECS Member States and Barbados, Phillipe Ardanaz, who signed the treaty.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said his administration recognises the need for adopting a ‘Blue Economy’ approach to development and is currently looking at ways to develop the nation’s oceanic resources.

“That is a significant amount of resources for us to harness, in fact it is almost 200 times our land space. My understanding is that within the next 40 years, it will be very difficult to find sufficient land space in order to produce sufficient food to sustain the global population,” Browne said.

The prime minister added that possessing a large EEZ provides the opportunity to satisfy seafood demand and suggested the twin island is capable of harvesting in the region of 10,000 tonnes of fish and fish products each year.

“As it stands now, fresh fish and fish products are relatively outside the means of the ordinary Antiguan and Barbudan, but as we continue to invest more resources in the ‘Blue Economy’ in fisheries, we will see an increase in supply and therefore that should help to drive down the cost.”

The Prime Minister said this treaty delineates an essential area in the Atlantic waters that will ensure there are no disputes over maritime space with the country’s neighbours.

The signing of the agreement follows the Eastern Caribbean Ocean Policy (ECROP) declaration for OECS members to formalise maritime boundaries in securing rights protection and jurisdiction over marine areas.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, International, Local, News, Regional, Security, Sports, TOURISM0 Comments

Michael Heseltine

Brexit on the move!

May ‘will ask EU to pay back our £9bn’

Tim Shipman | Bojan Pancevski in Brussels

March 12 2017, The Sunday Times

Theresa May will call on Brussels to hand back £9bn of UK assets held by an EU bank when she fires the Brexit starting gun — dramatically cutting Britain’s final bill.

Senior government sources say that when the prime minister triggers article 50, she will point out that Britain is entitled to the return of funds held by the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Legal advice circulating in Whitehall — seen by The Sunday Times — says that not only is the government not legally obliged to pay Brussels a penny, but the EU should pay Britain for its share of the funds in the EIB.

That will allow May to argue that EU demands for Britain to pay €60bn — about £53bn — in contributions to the EU budget and money to plug the deficit in its own pension scheme is ­unacceptable.

The prime minister will kick-start two years of negotiations as early as Tuesday by sending a letter to Brussels spelling out her demands. It will make clear that the UK will take control of money, immigration and laws, after the referendum last June.

Ministers are confident they can dramatically reduce the size of any Brexit bill to something more politically palatable.

The legal opinion concludes the demand for payments into the EU budget is “wholly without merit in law” and that it is “hard to see any credible basis upon which the UK could be said to be obliged” to pay for the pensions.

It argues: “The UK on EU exit is entitled to the return of its paid-up capital and indeed to a corresponding share of the accumulated reserves of the EIB.” The UK has a 16% share of the €63.3bn capital of the bank, amounting to €10.1bn.

The legal opinion, which has been passed to the Department for Exiting the European Union (Dexeu), was written by Martin Howe, a leading Tory barrister who is close to Boris Johnson and David Davis.

It concludes: “Overall the UK should be entitled on exit to a net payment in its favour, corresponding to the value of its capital invested in the EIB.”

Ministers expect the UK to keep paying for membership of some EU schemes, such as the Erasmus education programme, but a senior government source said Britain’s potential withdrawal from the bank would give the government leverage to drive a hard bargain.

“Their infrastructure investments are predicated on our contribution,” a Whitehall source said. “That’s one of the things they are worried about.”

A source familiar with deliberations over the letter said: “The PM will be saying the British people voted to take back control of their money. There’s absolutely no way you can sell to the British people we’re leaving Europe but we’re going to pay £50bn.

“If you leave a sports club where you’ve paid an entry fee for years, you don’t keep paying when you leave so other people can use the facilities.”

But a senior EU negotiator made clear that a row over the money is likely. While there was “great political will on both sides” to settle the issue of recognising the rights of citizens living in each other’s countries, the Brexit bill could turn “poisonous” and “derail the talks”, the source warned.

“Nothing will move forward before Britain pledges to honour its commitments,” the negotiator said. “You cannot compare the EU to a golf club, or to a pub. It’s dangerous to play with this. It’s poisonous and it can derail the talks, and yet the UK government seems to keep digging.”

Ministers are encouraging May to use her planned statement in the Commons on Tuesday, on last week’s EU summit, to announce that she is triggering article 50.

Several were cancelling foreign trips after being warned by Tory whips that the House of Lords is set to drop opposition to the legislation mandating the prime minister to proceed tomorrow.

Last night Davis appealed for MPs and peers to back down. “However they voted in the referendum, the majority of people now want the prime minister to be able to get on with the job,” he said. “By a majority of four to one, MPs passed straightforward legislation allowing the government to move ahead with no strings attached.

“I will be asking MPs to send the legislation back to the House of Lords in its original form so we can start building a global Britain and a strong new partnership with the EU.”

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show this morning, he added: “Please don’t tie the Prime Minister’s hands in the process of doing that for things which we expect to attain anyway.”

He added that the government was working on a contingency plan in case Britain leaves the EU without a deal. “The aim is to get a good outcome and I’m confident I’ll get a good outcome,” he said. “One of the reasons we don’t talk about the contingency plan too much is we don’t want people to think this is what we are trying to do.”

Senior government sources say that if May does not fire the starting gun on Tuesday, she might wait until the week of March 27, to avoid clashing with the Dutch elections, the Scottish National Party’s conference next weekend and the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome the following week.

Lord Heseltine, who led Tory attempts to amend the Brexit legislation, signalled that he is now prepared to let the article 50 bill pass but warned that he and other peers would seek to amend the forthcoming Great Repeal Bill, which will formalise the break with Brussels to prevent a hard Brexit.

Declaring that “the fightback starts here”, Heseltine launched an outspoken attack on “Brexiteer fanatics . . . sitting on the government front bench”, accusing them of winning the referendum with “a shamelessly false prospectus”.

Countdown to leaving

  • Tomorrow Bill mandating Theresa May to trigger article 50 of the EU treaty expected to clear parliament
  • Tuesday The prime minister gives statement in the Commons. She could announce she is sending a letter to Brussels to start two years of EU exit talks
  • Within 48 hours European Council is expected to send its first official response to Britain’s demands
  • April 6 The other 27 leaders and the two EU presidents meet to finalise a common negotiating position
  • May 7 A new French president elected, clearing the way for negotiations to begin in earnest
  • March 2019 Britain is expected to leave the EU. If a deal has not been done, then transitional arrangements for trade and other matters could be put in place

Ministers rebuked over dereliction of duty
Ministers have been accused by a cross-party group of MPs of failing to have a contingency plan if the UK cannot reach a deal with the EU on the terms of Brexit.

Article 50 is expected to be triggered this week, meaning the UK will leave in two years’ time, deal or no deal.

The Commons foreign affairs committee said it would be a “dereliction of duty” if the UK left the EU with no preparation.

Crispin Blunt, the Tory MP who chairs the committee, said: “The possibility of ‘no deal’ is real enough to require the government to plan how to deal with it. But there is no evidence to indicate that this is receiving the consideration it deserves.”

Menace, the PM’s Brexit weapon of choice

It is the moment those who always believed Albion was perfidious have been waiting for. The rebate conceded to Margaret Thatcher at the…

March 12 2017



I’ve had my marching orders but I can’t let us sleepwalk into Brexit

The government will very soon trigger article 50, the start of Britain’s exit process from the EU. Yet enormous uncertainties persist that demand…


Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, International, Local, News, Politics, Regional0 Comments


Union rejects LIAT’s salary deferral system

ST. JOHN’s, Antigua, Mar. 16, CMC – The General Secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union (ABWU) David Massiah has warned that any unilateral position to institute a salary deferral system for workers at the regional carrier LIAT – will not be accepted.

liatHis warning was made as the management of the Antigua based airline continues to disagree with what is s aid to be moves to impose the stance on LIAT employees.

“This position will not be accepted and we will do everything in our power to demonstrate our strong opposition to a salary deferral system,” he said.

Both sides have been discussing the proposal for increased wages which was first presented to the unions last week, with the LIAT indicating it’s decision to implement the system without the group’s approval.

But on Thursday, the ABWU General Secretary in reiterating his stance, noted that  the unions met with LIAT in February but had not discussed the airlines finances.

He added that a few days after, he was invited to talk about the carrier’s financial problems and the planned deferral system.

“Any unilateral position to institute the salary deferral system will result in us taking whatever appropriate action that we seem fit,” Massiah declared.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

US reporta

Government dismisses findings of a report by United States government

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua, Mar 17, CMC – The Antigua and Barbuda government says it “deeply regrets” the position adopted by the United States regarding the country’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) and its anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism (AML/CTF) regimes.

Washington outlined its position in the 2017 US International Narcotics Control Strategy Report that the Gaston Browne administration said “misrepresents the situation” here.

It said contrary to the characterization in the Report, Antigua and Barbuda operates a CIP that adheres to the highest international standards and best practices.

US reporta“Similarly, with regard to its AML/CTF regime, Antigua and Barbuda has been found by every competent and authoritative international body to be compliant with their rules.  These include the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, the Financial Action Task Force and the OECD Global Forum on Tax Information Exchange.

“The government of Antigua and Barbuda is, therefore, perplexed over the depiction in the INCSR 2017, particularly as it provides no evidence of its claims and assertions, many of which bear no attribution or source of information.”

The government said it has invited the US government to “present the evidence supporting the claims and assertions contained in the Report and undertakes, upon the production of such evidence, to rectify any and all proven claims”.

In the Report, Washington claims Antigua and Barbuda is an offshore center which continues to be vulnerable to money laundering and other financial crimes.

It said its relatively large financial sector and internet gaming industry add to its susceptibility and that Antigua and Barbuda also operates a CIP that increases its susceptibility to money laundering and other financial crimes.

“Antigua and Barbuda is a transit point for illegal drugs going to the United States and Europe,” the Report added.

But the government said that “no evidence is provided or any sources given for these bald assertions” and further the reality shows the island has not appeared on the FTAF list of “Non-Cooperative Countries or Territories” since its exit in 2013.

“Indeed, the FTAF states that Antigua and Barbuda has demonstrated “significant progress” in improving its anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism efforts, and is therefore no longer subject to FATF’s monitoring process under its ongoing global AML/CFT compliance process.”

St. John’s said that with regards to the island being a “relatively large financial sector and internet gaming industry” by no stretch of the imagination could Antigua and Barbuda’s financial sector and internet gaming industry be considered even “relatively large”.

“The Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), widely quoted as a top source for ranking financial centers, has not listed Antigua and Barbuda even amongst the jurisdictions likely to become a significant offshore center as of September, 2016. The number of Offshore International Banks has declined from 16 in 2009 to 11 as at March 2017 – their total assets do not amount to US$2 billion. “

Antigua and Barbuda, which has a long running dispute with the United States over internet gaming, has also brushed aside the Report that describes the sector here as “large”.

“The number of internet gaming companies has been on a steady decline moving from 93 interactive gaming and interactive wagering companies in 2000 to 6 interactive gaming and interactive wagering companies as at March 2017.”

It said the internet gaming sector is regulated by the Financial Sector Regulatory Commission (FSRC) that “ensures that only a natural or legal person that has met a fit and proper test can play a significant role in, or operate a business or legal arrangement”.

Regarding the CIP that several Caribbean countries utilise as a means of attracting foreign investors in return for citizenship, the government here said that it remains “among the most lax in the world.

“An individual is eligible for economic citizenship with a US$400,000 minimum investment in real estate, a contribution to the National Development Fund of US$200,000, or a US$1.5 million approved business investment. Applicants must make a source of funds declaration and provide evidence supporting the declaration.

“The government established a Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) to manage the screening and application process. The CIU does not maintain adequate autonomy from politicians to prevent political interference in its decisions.

“It is absolutely untrue that the CIU does not maintain adequate autonomy from politicians to prevent political interference in its decision.  In fact, by a decision of the Cabinet, the CIU’s process and decisions regarding applicants are ring-fenced from intervention by politicians,” the government said in its statement that dismissed several other allegations in the US report.

“The government of Antigua and Barbuda, through its Embassy in Washington, has called on the Government of the United States, in the interest of fairness and equity, to cause the unsubstantiated and harmful claims made in the 2017 INSCR to be corrected publicly in the same way that the Report has been publicized.

“It would also be mutually beneficial if all future reports are mandated to be consultative with the government, including a review of its final text, in order to eliminate unsupported claims and harmful inaccuracies,” the government added.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

court rul

Former CL Financial executives in court over loan repayment

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Mar 15, CMC – A High Court judge will on May 16 rule whether or not the former chairman of CL Financial, Lawrence Duprey, can change his defence in a matter in which he is being sued for failing to pay loans totalling TT$5.1 million (One TT dollar =US$0.16 cents) to a former employee.

Justice Frank Seepersad has also given the attorney for Duprey until March 28 to file submissions in support of his client’s move to change his defence after initially accepting liability in the matter.

court rulFormer government minister and senior CL Financial executive, Carlos John, is suing Duprey alleging that he is owed the money which he loaned to his former boss.

CL Financial is the parent company of Colonial Life Insurance Company (CLICO) that received billions of dollars in a bail out by the Trinidad and Tobago government a few years ago.

On Tuesday, when the lawsuit came up for hearing before Justice Seepersad, Duprey’s lawyer Michael Coppin indicated that his client wanted to withdraw his initial position of having accepted liability but not quantum.
Coppin said his client’s defence is based on the statute of limitation, while Industrial Commercial Development (Trinidad) Limited – which John is also suing – has amended its defence on a breach of contract principle.

But the judge questioned whether Duprey can now withdraw his defence, saying he is not aware of any provision under the Civil Proceedings Rules to do so.

“It cannot be that the first defendant can just say, ‘Oops. I want to withdraw my defence’,” Justice Seepersad said, adding also that the “courts must jealously guard its processes against abuse of process.

“You have to convince me that that course of action is proper. This court is moving on as if there is an admittance of liability,” Justice Seepersad said, informing the attorneys for both men that they should be present in court when the matter next comes up for hearing.

In his lawsuit, John, said that in 2012, he provided Duprey, on various occasions, with the funds requested and that there was an oral agreement between them for Duprey to repay these loans. John also alleged that Duprey used ICDL as a shell company to avoid personal liability.
John said he lent Duprey TT$5,166,125 and used his property to secure the amounts and that he was expected to have been repaid in October 2013.

John said he has so far received just over half a million dollars between 2015 and 2016.

Duprey admitted that there was a series of agreements, over time, between himself and John for different sums of money but does not admit to owing his former employee the amount being claimed.

Posted in Buisness/Economy/Banking, Court, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

Important Notice