Daily Brief - Thursday 12th July, 2018


Proudly T&T

The TT Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) is "Proudly T&T" and it is hoping to inspire the public to join it in making the country more productive and competitive. “It’s more than just a corporate social responsibility project. We recognise as a nation we have to get more competitive and productive. We have to live better and get back some sense of pride as a nation,” TTMA president Christopher Alcazar told Business Day. And while it may have started with the manufacturing sector, Alcazar is confident it will by no means end there. Read more here

New opportunities

Trinidad and Tobago is Cuba’s biggest trading partner in the Caricom region — and fifth overall in Latin America — and both countries are looking forward to exploring new and bigger opportunities with each other. “There is a commitment from Cuba to develop that relationship with the Caribbean as part of foreign policy for trade and integration in Caricom. We are working to try to facilitate trade, (whether it is) transportation and trade agreement to reduce tariffs, that will help trade activity between our countries,” Ruben Ramos, vice president of the Cuba Chamber of Commerce told Business Day last week. Ramos was the head of a 27-strong delegation of Cuban businesses showcasing their products at the TT Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) annual Trade and Investment Convention at the Centre of Excellence in Macoya. Read more here

TT’s #1 in Cuba

TT exported an estimated $456 million worth of goods to Cuba in 2016 while it imported $37 million of products from the island that same year. (see table) The Trade Ministry detailed the 2016 trade between TT and Cuba in response to emailed questions from Business Day "Goods exported to Cuba included anhydrous ammonia, diesel and other gas oils, toilet paper and facial tissues, bunker ‘c’ grade fuel oil, (Angostura) aromatic bitters, preserved or prepared fruits, nuts or plant parts, water-thinned paints and eye-makeup preparations," the statement said. That same year, Cuba's exports to TT included undenatured ethyl alcohol, safety/detonating fuses, cigars, clothing items, insecticides and non-sparkling wine. Read more here

TIC, more than a trade show

The Trade and Investment Convention (TIC) is the flagship event of the TT Manufacturers' Association (TTMA). Opening today, TIC 2018 runs from today until July 8 at Centre of Excellence, Macoya. The event has grown over the years, from 15 booths and just over 200 visitors at the first TIC at Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain in 1999 to more than 275 booths, 250-plus international visitors and an expected 15,000 visitors this year. TTMA CEO Ramesh Ramdeen spoke with Business Day about what makes TIC such an important event and how Cuba's participation presents further business opportunities for TT companies. Read more here



9 yr old girl writes Buckingham Palace

Anisha Rampersad, nine, is so facinated about the life of the Queen of England, she wrote her a letter. Queen Elizabeth 11 has not yet received it at Buckingham palace, but in the one-page letter, the little girl expressed her desire to meet her. Anisha is a Standard 3 pupil of Debe Hindu Primary school. Newsday spoke to Anisha yesterday and she said she learned who Queen Elizabeth is from watching television shows. Read more here

Bandit slain as prison guards foil robbery

A prison officer who walked into a robbery at a Chinese supermarket in Arouca attempted to run away but was chased down by one of the armed thieves. A passing colleague saw what was happening and in aid of the fleeing officer, took out his firearm and shot the assailant. The bandit’s three accomplices, one of whom is 16 years old, subsequently surrendered to the prison officers. The wounded man was taken to hospital but died while undergoing treatment. Police said up to last evening the dead bandit remained unidentified. Read more here

One month later no fish sold

It’s been one month since Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley opened the Carenage Fishing Centre on the Western Main Road, but not one fish has been sold. Read more here



PM: Crime fight is not lost

“We have not lost the fight against crime,” the Prime Minister declared during a television interview yesterday. “The fight against crime is a fight that we have to remain engaged because our very lives are involved,” Dr Rowley said, “Nobody in this country is immune to the reckless behaviour of some citizens, many of whom behave like this because they have chosen crime as a way of life.” The PM vowed, “We will redouble our efforts with respect to national security and national safety issues. We are not going to concede that those who behave like this and endanger the population, are to be left unattended.” Read more here

PM says no to state of emergency

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says it is clear there are “people roaming on the streets who are cold-blooded killers,” but is making it clear the Government will “not concede that those who behave like this and endanger the rest of the population are to be left unattended.” He also says the Government will not use a state of emergency to deal with the escalating crime woes. With the criminal element running rampant and the murder rate at close to 300, Rowley refused to concede that the Anti-Gang Bill, which was touted by his Government as a critical element in the fight against crime, had failed. Instead, he said “it has to be operationalised.” That means evidence must be gathered and prepared “if there are people engaged in gang activity you have to gather the evidence to prosecute them, it is an ongoing operation.” Read more here

Cops, soldiers to protect liming spaces

Police and soldiers will be deployed to popular liming areas so both adults and vacationing school children can feel safe. Read more here



Imbert: NIF bonds secure

Finance Minister Colm Imbert has called the National Investment Fund (NIF) “a gift” to the nation, and given the superior interest rate on the asset-backed bonds the NIF Holding Company Ltd (NIFHCL) is set to issue next week, at least compared to government bonds, he may have a point. “We looked at the little man, because we want the little man to benefit from this,” Imbert told a post-Cabinet press briefing last week. Read more here

Cocoa Awards launched at La Reunion

Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat yesterday declared that the best cocoa beans in the world are produced in Rio Claro and Ecclesville and he is confident they will be top contenders in the National Cocoa Awards which were officially launched yesterday. The minister said he was happy about the opportunity the awards provide for local cocoa producers, as well as the fact that the launch did not take place in the ballroom of a hotel but at a venue close to farmers with historical significance for cocoa production, La Reunion Estate, Centeno. “We must focus on excellence in cocoa production because that is what the world recognizes Trinidad and Tobago for,” Rambharat said. Read more here

Should CIF be merged with the NIF?

This column raised the possibility of the Government merging the CLICO Investment Fund (CIF) with the National Investment Fund (NIF) last week with two of the people responsible for marketing the latter to local individual and institutional investors: firstly with the chief executive of First Citizens Karen Darbasie at a briefing on Friday morning and later on Friday with Minister of Communication Stuart Young, who was a guest on Sunday’s Business Edge. Read more here



Green Light For Brown - Parties Endorse Him As Director Of Elections; Fisher Says He's In Good Stead

Representatives of the two major political parties registered with the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) have endorsed the recommended appointment of Glasspole Brown as director of elections. At the same time, former director of elections, Orrette Fisher, has said that Brown's first-hand experience has put him in good stead for the job. In a statement issued on Monday, the ECJ disclosed that the eight commissioners have recommended to the governor general that Brown, 59, who is currently acting as director of elections, be appointed to the post left vacant by Fisher. Fisher resigned in March amid a court battle with the ECJ about his job tenure. Speaking with The Gleaner yesterday, Julian Robinson, one of two People's National Party commissioners to the ECJ, said that the parliamentary Opposition fully supports Brown's recommendation. Read more here



Trump in UK: Pomp and protest as visit stokes culture war

As the son of immigrants, Donald Trump has his own special relationship with the United Kingdom. His mother, Mary MacLeod, was born and raised in the village of Tong, on the Outer Hebridean island of Lewis, on Scotland's wild and beautiful north-western fringe. A less Trumpian upbringing is hard to imagine. Mary's pebble-dashed home was modest to say the least, the traditions of the island strictly and austerely Presbyterian. Read more here

Archaeologists unearth a mysterious sarcophagus in Egypt

Egyptian archeologists have unearthed a rare find -- an enormous black granite sarcophagus said to be the largest ever found in Alexandria, Egypt. And they don't know who or what lies inside. The 6-foot tall (185 cm) coffin was found buried about 16 feet (5 meters) underground, along with an alabaster head of a man whose features were worn beyond recognition. Read more here

12th July 2018


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