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Foreign and Local Investment: Fairness for All | Sir Ronald Sanders

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By Sir Ronald Sanders

WASHINGTON, United States, Friday December 6, 2019 – There has always been tension between encouraging foreign investment and promoting local entrepreneurship. In many countries, local businesses are expected to pay a range of domestic taxes while governments exempt foreign investors from obligation for the same taxes in order to attract their money, knowledge and, in some cases, their technological skills.

Where foreign investors do bring their own money, have greater knowledge and possess technological skills, granting them tax holidays for prescribed periods of time is utterly fair. But granting such tax holidays on a perennial basis, as many investors have come to expect in small countries, is unfair and the practice should be re-examined.

The purpose of granting a tax holiday is three-fold: to provide an investor with a fair return on investment, to allow a business to establish, and to transfer technological skills to the local population. However, unless the business model is flawed and its success is predicated on a subsidy from the government (which is what continuous tax waivers would be), the investment should be reviewed.

An example of how tax holidays could be justified is coming into sharp focus in relation to the ‘Blue Economy’ – a short-hand term for developing the resources of the sea which form part of the territory or the exclusive economic zone of a country. In Guyana, for instance, where large reserves of oil and gas have been discovered within the country’s territorial waters, those resources would have remained in the sea-bed for centuries longer than they already have, if investors with the money, knowledge and technological skills had not sought to develop them. And Guyana would not today be looking forward to the immediate financial gains and long-term economic benefits that are expected to result from the investment. 

The benefit of this investment in Guyana is worth the government entering fair, cooperative and predictable arrangements with the investors. All sides would be rewarded, particularly if Guyanese companies participate in the industry through the provision of goods and services, and Guyanese are trained to assume positions in all aspects of the business.

However, in other instances where investors, local and foreign, enter a market in competition with existing businesses, they should not expect or be granted any tax or other concessions that are not enjoyed by the current operators. 

Investors entering an industry where other companies are already established, bring no new knowledge or skills. If they choose to compete with new money, they should do so on terms no better than those applicable to established businesses. Should they be granted additional concessions, existing business would rightly demand a level playing field. They will demand the same concessions, resulting in government giving away much needed revenues. In the end, government’s revenues suffer and so too does human and economic development on which government must spend.

The tourism industry, in all its aspects, has become an area where governments grant tax concessions that should be significantly reduced. After more than 50 years of existence, tourism is a mature industry in the region. Governments should not still be granting decades of tax concessions to hotels – established or new – nor should they be accepting the minimalist passenger head tax that cruise ship companies pay to many of them.  

Cost-benefit analyses that have been conducted of the cruise industry, have revealed that far greater benefits are reaped by the cruise ship companies than accrue to the government and the country. This reality is especially glaring when consideration is given to the cost to governments of building, maintaining and expanding port facilities, and complying with environmental requirements.

Each of the governments in the Caribbean is trapped by the other in relation to tax and other concessions in the tourism industry. Governments have been unable to fashion a common approach to the fees that they should charge cruise ships. They have also not been able to agree a regime for tax concessions to the hotel and yachting businesses. They hurt themselves still further by competing with each other to lure business by lowering their fees for cruise tourism, and by granting bigger tax concessions to hoteliers and yachting companies. 

It should be noted that some hotels and yacht businesses pay their taxes. They should be used as the example for others.

It is fair enough that the cruise ship companies, the hotel owners and the yacht companies should earn profits. After all, they are putting their money into a business which employs people, buys goods and services, and trains employees. Additionally, their investors are entitled to a return on their money. However, the return should be fair and equitable on all sides. To get there, governments in the region should first agree on minimum standard beyond which none of them will fall. Further, they should establish machinery for enforcing the minimum standards with penalties if they themselves break it. A gentleman’s agreement will not do; such agreements are respected more in breach than in compliance. 

Perhaps a law, justiciable under the Caribbean Court of Justice, is required under the terms of the CARICOM Treaty. One thing is for sure – if the business continues as is now usual, the Caribbean will be consigned to the role of hewers of wood and carriers of water; a seat at the feasting table will evade the region.

Wrapped up in all this is the refrain that to question the terms of foreign investment is somehow to be “hostile to foreign investment”. That refrain is short-sighted. It is an excuse for those who would do nothing to remedy inequities or to balance relationships more fairly. Every investor, local or foreign, deserves fairness, cooperation and the right to benefit from their investment. So, too, does a country and its people. 

That is why governments and investors should seek to maximize fairness and proportionality in the arrangements they make. 

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Sir Ronald Sanders is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the US and the OAS.  He is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London and at Massey College in the University of Toronto. The views expressed are entirely his own.

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Barbados Government Exploring Possibility of Ferry System for Local and Regional Transportation

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday February 24, 2020 – Government is presently exploring possibilities for investment to
establish a ferry system to move people and cargo from coast to coast and
throughout the island chain.

Minister of Maritime Affairs and the
Blue Economy Kirk Humphrey recently shared his vision to move cargo from
Oistins in Christ Church all the way to the north of the island, as he also spoke
about his desire to see service expand even further.

“We have now an expression of
interest out to encourage those who have the wherewithal to help us build out
those jetties from the north all the way to the south and move cargo along the
coastline, and also think bigger, and move between the islands,” he said.

He added that Government had
determined that there was need for a “nicely built and stabilized” ferry that
could move great containers and people.

Humphrey noted that lessons learnt
from the aftermath of past disasters indicated that getting food into the
island chain was almost impossible.

“The Caribbean should not be in a
position where it is waiting on someone to come and save us.  That is why it is necessary to have the
ferries,” he said, making reference to the difficulties experienced in getting
planes into Dominica after the passage of Hurricane Maria.

Minister Humphrey also pointed out that investing in ferries would also benefit the country, as the costs could be “recouped” in shipping, and assist with reducing export costs.

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Guyana-Venezuela And International Law | Sir Ronald Sanders

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The International Court of Justice is set to hear legal arguments in the long-standing dispute between Guyana and Venezuela.

By Sir Ronald Sanders

WASHINGTON, United States, Monday February 24, 2020 – Global attention to Guyana has focused on the current campaigning for
general elections due on March 2. Reports indicate a vigorous campaign with the
country’s newly found resources in oil and gas very much on the minds of the
contesting political parties.

While the election campaign is
proceeding and the electorate awaits the date on which the majority will decide
which party forms the next government and who will be the President of the
country, the long-standing contention between Guyana and Venezuela has been
ambling its way through the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague.

Three weeks after the general
election, the ICJ will begin four days of legal arguments, between 23 and 27
March, from Guyana and Venezuelan teams on whether the Court has jurisdiction
to pronounce a judgement. It is important to emphasize that this hearing is to
determine whether the Court has jurisdiction; it is not yet concerned with the
merits of the case which the Court will hear if it decides that it is properly
vested with jurisdiction.

The Venezuelan Government disputes
the ICJ’s jurisdiction. In a statement issued on 29 November 2019, the
authorities in Caracas said it “reiterates its historical position on the lack
of jurisdiction of that international body”.  
Calling the Guyana application to the Court “absurd and disturbing”, the
Venezuelan government revealed that it had informed the ICJ of its position in
a memorandum the day before.

Conveniently ignored by the
Venezuelan government is the binding international Award of 1899 that
established and demarcated the boundary between Guyana and Venezuela. That
boundary had been accepted, respected and even protected by Venezuela for
almost 60 years until 1965 when Guyana’s independence from Britain was set to take
place the following year.  Venezuela
resurrected an unsubstantiated claim, attributed to one of its long dead
lawyers from the 1899 arbitral process, that the US Chief Justice – one of the Arbitrators
– had been bribed. It is upon this shaky and shady allegation that Venezuela
asserts the nullity of the 1899 award.

In any event, it was the ICJ that had
decided it wished to hold a hearing on the matter of jurisdiction, inviting
Guyana and Venezuela to submit arguments. 
Having informed the Court on 18 June 2010 that “Venezuela would not
participate in the proceedings”, the Venezuelan government nonetheless
submitted its memorandum. However, it remains unclear whether legal
representatives of the Venezuelan government will turn up to make arguments before
the Court in accordance with the Court’s advice.  

What is clear is that the Venezuelan
government does not want any legal arbitration of its territorial claim;
instead it wants Guyana to halt the ICJ proceedings and “to recommence the
negotiation for a definitive solution”. 
That negotiation would be between the Venezuela and Guyana governments –
one that has been on-going in different formats since 1965 and which made no
progress because there was no shift from the Venezuelan position that it has “historic
and legitimate rights over the ‘Guayana Esequiba’ since its own birth in 1810”.

Venezuelan governments have not been
averse to flexing their military muscle by invading Guyanese territory and
seizing ships in Guyana’s territorial waters. 
These instances are well-recorded.

It should be noted that the Maduro
government’s continuing claim to two-thirds of Guyana is matched by the
position of leaders of opposition parties, including Juan Guaidó who some
governments regard as the President of Venezuela. 

Venezuela has traditionally wanted
negotiations with Guyana instead of arbitration by international legal
machinery because successive governments have felt that their larger
population, superior military might, and greater wealth (from oil and gas)
placed them in a powerful position. Bigger and more powerful countries,
regardless of their ideological stripe, prefer to deal directly with weaker
countries precisely because the strong can bully the weak and, in so doing, get
their way without regard to justice.

Throughout the entire period of this
Venezuelan claim, Guyana has been relatively poor, lacking in military strength
and of no particular strategic interest to the hemispheric or international
community. All of Guyana’s options for development were constrained by that
reality. In part, it explains why the Guyana government was anxious to settle a
deal with Exxon Mobil and others for the production of oil and gas.

As of 2020, Guyana officially joined
the ranks of petroleum-producing states, and a big one as well.  While Guyana is still a militarily weak
nation, its economic standing will improve on the back of oil and gas reserves.
Further, there will be far greater international interest in the preservation
of Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity than there was before.

But the risk posed by Venezuela
remains, despite its current weak economic situation and its fragile military
circumstances. In time, these conditions could change while the ambition for
claiming two-thirds of Guyana remains. That is why the Guyana government is
right to pursue legal recourse at the ICJ as many other nations have done from
the time of the Court’s inception. Settlement of the issue will come only from
lawful resolution.

The 15-nation Caribbean Community
(CARICOM) countries have always stated their support for Guyana in the
territorial claim from Venezuela, notwithstanding the close relationship that
developed between some of their governments and the Chavez/Maduro governments
because of the benefits of the now defunct PetroCaribe arrangements.

At their 31st Inter-Sessional Meeting
in Barbados on 18-19 February, CARICOM Heads of Government repeated their “full
support for the judicial process that is intended to bring a peaceful and
definitive end to the long-standing controversy between the two countries”.
They did so while reiterating “their firm and unswerving support for the
maintenance and preservation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of
Guyana”.

This unanimous decision of the meeting – to stand up for a determination of the Guyana-Venezuela boundary under the rule of international law by the world’s highest Court – was one of its better outcomes, showing real value for membership of the treaty organization.

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Sir Ronald Sanders is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the US and the OAS.  He is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London and at Massey College in the University of Toronto. The views expressed are entirely his own.

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Download DJ Wass “2020 Vision” Dancehall Mixtape Vybz Kartel, Govana, Daddy1, Sparta

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download dj wass 2020 vision dancehall mixtape 2020

Check DJ Wass dancehall vision for 2020, he is back with a new free dancehall mixtape titled “2020 Vision”.

Boasting top dancehall hits from Jamaican stars like Govana, Ding Dong, Mavado, Shenseea, Teejay, Vybz Kartel, Sparta, Daddy1, Squash, Popcaan and many many more, this is a non stop dancehall mix that will keep you company for more than an hour and fifteen minutes of music and featuring more than 50 songs.

Stream DJ Wass full 2020 Vision Dancehall Mix and download it for free using the download buttons posted after the audio track.

Stream DJ Wass 2020 Vision Dancehall Mix January 2020 

DWNLD DJ WASS 2020 VISION DANCEHALL MIX FULL CD

DWNLD DJ WASS 2020 VISION MIX MOBILE

DJ WASS 2020 VISION DANCEHALL MIX TRACK LIST:

01 – INTRO
02 – GOVANA – CONVO
03 – GOVANA – UPFRONT
04 – DING DONG – WATCH DEM
05 – AIDONIA – AIRCRAFT
06 – MAVADO – TOP SHOTTA
07 – TEEJAY – DRACO
08 – SHENSEEA – TRICK A TREAT
09 – JAHMIEL – MONEY MONEY
10 – JAHVILLANI – RUBBER BAND
11 – TEEJAY – HENNE & WEED
12 – SKILLI – BRICKS PON BRICK
13 – KOREXX – LOGO
14 – DADDY 1 – TRENDING KING
15 – DING DONG – FI WI DANCEHALL
16 – CHRONIC LAW – CYAAH STOP
17 – RYGIN KING – NEW MACHINE
18 – TEEJAY – HIGH GRADE
19 – SQUASH – MIGHTY
20 – VYBZ KARTEL – WORLD GOVERNMENT
21 – VYBZ KARTEL – SCORCHED EARTH
22 – TOMMY LEE SPARTA – TOP SHOTTA
23 – TOMMY LEE SPARTA – UNDER VIBES
24 – DAMELL – VIBE
25 – MR G – SHUT YOU MOUTH
26 – VYBZ KARTEL – BRAVE
27 – INVINCIBLE DAN – 2020 BADNESS
28 – BAZZA T – DEVIL REJECT
29 – JAHVILLANI – FIREWORKS
30 – I-SANE – 100 GRAND
31 – SWAZZ – ANO YOU ALONE
32 – J-RILE – KUFF [MAD OVA]
33 – POPCAAN – NUMBERS DON’T LIE
34 – CHRONIC LAW FT QUADA – WILD & RICH
35 – DANE RAY – MONEY PILE UP
36 – TOMMY LEE SPARTA – THE POWER
37 – GOVANA – PROTECTION
38 – VYBZ KARTEL – ROCKET TO DA MOON
39 – VYBZ KARTEL – FELL APART
40 – VYBZ KARTEL – NEVA WAS DA ONE
41 – VYBZ KARTEL – THEN YOU AND ME
42 – MIKEYLOUS – UNGRATEFUL
43 – TEEJAY – DAY ONE
44 – KOREXX – BUSINESS
45 – MASICKA – IMAGE
46 – MASICKA – RICH
47 – FIYAH KONCHOUS – NASCAR
48 – J-RILE – BAD GAL ALERT
49 – I-SANE – WORLD FILM [CUTE & GOOD]
50 – VYBZ KARTE FT JADA KINGDOM – CASDE IRON HEART
51 – JAHVILLANI – PRESERVE MI LIFE
52 – VERSHON – LOVE TALK
53 – CHRONIC LAW – STAY REAL

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Listen To Vybz Kartel “Tony Montanna” T100 Records 2020

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vybz kartel tony montanna t100 records 2020

Incarcerated World Boss Vybz Kartel is back with a new hard hitting song that showcases all his lyrical power, titled “Tony Montana”.

Produced by T100 Records and distributed by Zojak Worldwide, the new single has been mixed by Redbum Soopamix Vybz Katel’s latest tune is the new gangsta’s anthem of 2020.

For the young dancehall students, Tony Montana is the main character in a cult mafia movie “Scarface“, released back in 1983 that inspired so many references in the hip hop world. Vybz Kartel himself referenced many times to Tony Montana in some of his previous songs, but this time he went all out on it and dedicated the whole song to Tony Montana, played in the movie by Al Pacino. To avoid copyrights issues the song is being titled Tony Montanna.

Vybz Kartel is still awaiting for the verdict on his appeal trial and remains behind bars for the time being, not so much his music, that does not knows physical barriers or limits.

While awaiting for his Appeal’s trial verdict,  he delivers pure rounds of fire in his new single that is already going viral and scored closed to a million replays in just two days from its release, check the full lyrics posted after the official audio.

Already available in all major music platforms, get Vybz Kartel “Tony Montanna” clicking on the iTunes banner on this page.

Listen To Vybz Kartel “Tony Montanna” Official Audio T100 Records 2020

[Intro]
Weh dem bwoy yah know bout country badness?
May Pen inna di place
Farm, Cherry Tree Lane, Vere inna di place
Westmoreland, Hanover inna di place
Tell dem Turbo

[Verse 1]
Yuh cya wul mi pon nuh corner
Yuh affi ketch mi inna house like Tony Montana
One thing doh, mi have a million Turanna
Hundred-thousand rifle pon veranda fi di drama
If yuh mek it pass deso dawg yuh skill, Maradona
But yuh fuck if yuh go touch di front door, Bomberama
Melt yuh like gold, Jewelerama get warmer
Nyam bwoy food, not like Jeffrey Dahmer
Wi nuh dweet mek informa see, Fontana, get it?
I am di chancellor, Adidja Palmer
I love Africa – Kenya, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Botswana
Inna South Africa Shaka Zulu full a honor
Egypt a our place, Pharaoh, fourth corner
God concept, governance, di black Madonna
Ketch mi inna house like Tony Montana

[Chorus]
We cya dead inna di
Weh yuh feel like, wi nuh Scar Face
Corn like a wah, bore up yuh rass face
Dog like a wah, speed up your last days
Yo Green Island, we walk wid di rass K
Weh yuh feel like, wi nuh Scar Face
Corn like a wah, bore up yuh rass face
Dog like a wah, speed up your last days
Green island, we walk wid di tall K

[Verse 2]
Grange Hill we full a weapon and we full a machine like Tivoli to Denham
Up inna di pyramid a kick it like Messam
(How di Pharaoh look fi gonna war wid all peasant?)
Ay bwoy, ‘memba weh yuh start nah go done pleasant
Yuh fi know, ain’t nuh forgiveness fi transgression
KelTec weapon spit seven every second
Left hand straight, one inna yuh chin, not Tessane
Tami gun a echo, Grand Canyon in session
None a dem bad dem just a gi di impression
‘Memba when mi lock dung Old Harbour wid Keshan
Everything liff up all thirty-eight special
Every weh mi go mi tank and mi gun full a petrol
Press dem and liff up like Bolt pon di chevron
Leff di road, deya Debbie yawd, not Devon
Ice-cream war, dat Turbo nuh deh pon

[Chorus x2]
Weh yuh feel like, wi nuh Scar Face
Corn like a wah, bore up yuh rass face
Dog like a wah, speed up your last days
Yo Green Island, we walk wid di rass K
Weh yuh feel like, wi nuh Scar Face
Corn like a wah, bore up yuh rass face
Dog like a wah, speed up your last days
Green Island, we walk wid di tall K

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Jamaica Now Able to Test For Coronavirus

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Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton (left), looks on as acting head of the National Public Health Laboratory, Dr. Michelle Hamilton, points out the features of a thermal cycler, during a tour of the National Influenza Centre (NIC) based at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI). (Credit: JIS)

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday February 20, 2020 – Health authorities in Jamaica are now able to test for the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Minister of
Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton said tests will be carried out at the
NIC in collaboration with the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL).

The development
follows training of local laboratory staff by the Pan American Health
Organization (PAHO) last week.

Minister
Tufton hailed the development of local capacity to test for the infection as
“another positive” for the country’s public health system.

“It is very
good because we don’t have to send samples elsewhere, which would take a few
days. We can now do the test… and decide how long we isolate people and if the
isolation has to be elevated to the highest possible level,” he said.

“We have to
give credit to the medical team and the partnerships that we have established
with our partners PAHO, the World Health Organization (WHO), and others.”

Dr Tufton
assured that the Government is making every effort to build the capacity of the
health system to protect the public, should the virus enter the island.

Acting Head
of the NPHL, Dr Michelle Hamilton, said the NIC offers the most accurate test,
noting that the results will be available within 10 hours.

“Jamaica is at the cutting edge. Within two weeks of the international declaration of the novel Coronavirus as a global health emergency, we are able to test,” she noted.

Jamaica is
among the first countries in the region to develop the capacity to test for the
coronavirus.

While there
have been no cases of the infection on the island to date, the Health Ministry
has been working closely with PAHO to enhance national preparedness and to
strengthen the capacity of the national laboratory to detect the virus.

Scores of
kits have been issued and nine persons trained to boost the detection process.

Meanwhile,
the Ministry is advising the public to observe the standard infection
prevention and control precautions, especially as it relates to viral
respiratory illnesses. These include frequent hand washing, covering coughs and
sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and avoiding contact with persons
who display symptoms.

Almost 75,000 people, the vast majority of them in China, have contracted COVID-19. The death toll is now over 2,000.

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