By NAN Business Editor
News Americas, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Fri. Sept. 6, 2019: Here are the top business stories making news from the Caribbean for this week of Sept. 6, 2019:
As the islands of the Bahamas begins accessing the decimation caused by Hurricane Dorian on the northern Bahamas, especially on Abaco and Grand Bahamas islands, the islands’ deputy prime minister says the destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas could cost “hundreds of millions, if not billions” of dollars to repair.
“It’s total devastation. It’s decimated. Apocalyptic,” said Lia Head-Rigby, who helps run a local hurricane relief group, after flying over the Abaco Islands. “It’s not rebuilding something that was there; we have to start again.”
Meanwhile, several companies who do business in the region as well as Caribbean owned Sandals Resorts, are pitching in to aid the islands and its people.
In response to Dorian’s serious devastation in the Bahamas, reps for the entertainment giant announced that the Walt Disney Company and Disney Cruise Line will be donating $1 million to recovery and relief efforts in the area. The funds will be given to non-profit relief agencies tackling “recovery and rebuilding efforts,” including the provision of food and basic construction supplies to those in impacted areas, a release said.
Royal Caribbean Cruise line also said it will be donating USD 1 million to relief efforts of the Pan American Development Foundation as well as the Bahamas Feeding Network, while already loading supplies onto its ships for direct delivery to the Bahamas. They will include water, generators and cleaning supplies. ITM, Royal Caribbean’s partner in a joint venture developing the Grand Lucayan Resort in Freeport is also donating an additional $100,000.
Norwegian cruise lines also said it will be pitching in USD 1 million.
Mastercard says it will make a donation of US$200,000 to the American Red Cross and also partner with the organization, among others, to expand aid delivery. In addition to its donation, Mastercard says it will waive any interchange fees related to donations through November 15, 2019, together with its issuing banks, to a variety of charitable organizations supporting those impacted by the recent natural disaster including Americares, American Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, Save the Children, World Vision and World Food Program USA.
And Sandals Foundation and its parent company Sandals Resorts International said they have mobilized disaster relief efforts to help the residents as well and accepting monetary donations at www.sandalsfoundation.org/donation. They are also collecting relief supplies and in-kind donations at Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau, Bahamas and at Hospitality Purveyors Inc, in Miami, Florida.
Insurance Payout For The Bahamas
The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility is set to provide rapid payout for The Bahamas after Dorian. The funds are deployed within two weeks of a disaster and are based not on after-the-fact damage assessments – which can take months – but on metrics predetermined by a country’s particular risk. The Bahamas, which has bought insurance from CCRIF since its launch, is one of 21 nations who pool their capital and risk into the organization.
CCRIF, once short for the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility, was established in 2007 to provide funds for countries hit by cyclones, earthquakes or extraordinary rainfall. CCRIF has paid out $139 million to 13 countries since its launch in 2007. Haiti received $20.4 million in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Mathew, which killed more than 500 people there in October 2016. Dominica received $19.3 million in 2017 after Hurricane Maria, where at least 31 people died. The remainder of the fund’s 36 other payouts have been for smaller amounts, ranging from hundreds of thousands to single-digit millions of dollars.
Royal Caribbean to Reopen CocoCay on September 7th
Royal Caribbean says it will reopen Perfect Day at CocoCay after its survey teams inspected the private island in The Bahamas on Sept. 7th. Damage to CocoCay was most significant on the north side of the island, near the dock that was recently added. Hurricane Dorian’s counter-clockwise winds had a tendency to steer the greatest amount of debris, while the south side of the island was relatively spared.
A sprawling 700-acre agricultural estate, operating under the name Pomeroon Trading, is set to become the third Guyanese company to be listed on the Guyana Stock Exchange in 10 years. The company is about to sell more than 130,000 shares at US$7.50 per share to any new investor. The company says its vision from day one was to build a sustainable agriculture company focused on exports but with a strong social mission.
Foreign cannabis companies setting up operations in Barbados will be required to ensure locals own at least 30 percent of the business, the Ministry of Agriculture has revealed. Weir promised that the industry would be stringently regulated and that separate licenses will be required for cultivation, research and development, distribution, retail, import and export.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Acres Agricultural Canada and Medicinal cannabis venture, Cannavais, have been granted a license from the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Medicinal Cannabis Authority to legally cultivate, manufacture, research and export cannabis and cannabis-based products. Acres Agricultural Canada’s wholly owned subsidiary Acres Agricultural (SVG) Ltd. will be issued the top tier license for the cultivation of 300 acres, becoming a Licensed Producer that is ready to commence operations in St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
Cannavais plan to use eco-friendly, organic and sustainable agricultural practices to develop products that assist a wide range of medical issues. The company is particularly focused on offering solutions that address how medicinal cannabis products are administered, and intend to create their products in formats that are acceptable to both the patient and health professionals.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will hold the Eleventh Citizen Security Week, at the Headquarters of the IDB in Washington, DC from September 9-13, 2019. The event is dedicated to security and justice issues in Latin America and the Caribbean, (LAC). The central theme will the future of citizen security and justice institutions in LAC and what innovations are we offering to the region.
Ministers and senior officials of the Ministries of the Interior and Security of Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Suriname and Uruguay will participate.