Daily Brief - Thursday 17th March, 2022

NEWS

Scotiabank reports digital progress in covid pandemic

Scotiabank TT Ltd has made several strides with respect to digital transformation during the covid19 pandemic. Managing director Gayle Pazos gave an update on the bank's digital transformation initiatives at its virtual 52nd annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday. "As at October 31, 2021, approximately 67 per cent of our customers, a 13 per cent increase over 2020, were enrolled on our digital platforms and we saw digital transactions increasing by over one million or 42 per cent over the prior year." Read more here

War may increase costs of medicine, medical supplies

While there is concern over increasing food prices, a fallout of the Russian/Ukrainian War, high freight costs may soon affect the price of medication and medical supplies. Dr Ciro Ugarte, Director of Health Emergencies at the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), says there are already some clear indications that the air and sea freight costs are increasing daily. Speaking at PAHO’s weekly press conference on COVID-19 in the Americas, Ugarte said shipments from Asia to the western coasts of the Americas increased two per cent in one day. He said it was now is 196 per cent higher than the corresponding period last year. Regarding the air freight costs to the East Coast of the Americas and Caribbean islands, it is 241 per cent higher than in 2021. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Al-Rawi ‘excited’ to be in Local Government

Former attorney general Faris Al-Rawi said he was elated to become new Minister of Rural Affairs and Local Government, by which he would touch citizens' lives in places they live, work, traverse and enjoy, and improve the delivery of services to them. He expressed his "great excitement and pleasure" at his new role. Read more here

Kamla: Entire Cabinet should resign

Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar says the reshuffle by the Prime Minister was nothing more than a “naked attempt” to “distract from the scandals which have derailed his already collapsing Government.” “(Prime Minister Dr Keith) Rowley’s desperation is growing; shuffling the same losing pack won’t work,” she said in a release. Persad-Bissessar said any Cabinet reshuffle that has “Rowley remaining as Prime Minister, Paria line minister Stuart Young remaining as Energy Minister, Fitzgerald Hinds remaining in National Security as crime spirals out of control, and Terrence Deyalsingh, who has presided over thousands of COVID deaths remaining as Health Minister - is a complete waste of time.” Read more here

 

BUSINESS

French Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago: Improve business climate

Trinidad and Tobago can be a mecca for trade and investment, says French Ambassador Didier Chabert, but the business environment needs to be improved. In an interview with Business Day earlier this week, he said trade and economic relations between the two nations, established over 70 years ago, have been lucrative. Read more here

Unilever to stop manufacturing in T&T from July

Unilever Caribbean Ltd will stop all manufacturing and production operations in Trinidad at the end of July, which will result in 119 workers being placed on the breadline. On Monday in a news release, Unilever confirmed that its supply agreement with a third party, which came into effect after the sale of its spreads business in 2018 as a key part of its global strategy, means manufacturing and production will cease at its Champs Fleurs factory. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

Every option being examined to ease rising cost of living

To ease the rising cost of living, the government will soon convene a national consultation on the best options to ease the financial challenges faced by Guyanese. President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, said that having meetings with a cross-section of stakeholders would allow for open and frank discussions in addressing “this multifaceted problem that we are faced with.” The Head of State made this announcement on Tuesday afternoon while pointing to the global challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Ukraine conflict: Biden brands Putin a 'war criminal'

US President Joe Biden has labelled Russian leader Vladimir Putin a "war criminal" in a move likely to escalate diplomatic tensions even further. Mr Biden delivered the remark off-the-cuff in response to a reporter's question at the White House. It is the first time he has used such language to condemn President Putin, and the White House later said he was "speaking from his heart". The Kremlin, however, said it was "unforgiveable rhetoric". "We believe such rhetoric to be unacceptable and unforgivable on the part of the head of a state, whose bombs have killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world," spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian state news agency Tass. Read more here

17th March 2022

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