Caribbean Business News Round-Up

suriname-oil
Suriname will begin producing oil in 2025.

By NAN Business Editor

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Jan. 28, 2021: Here are the top headlines making Caribbean business news this week:

REGIONAL

Georges A. Fauriol, of the FIU Kimberly Green Latin American & Caribbean Institute, says the Caribbean “region’s layered institutional machinery anchored in democratic norms, and the emergence of the southern Caribbean as a heavyweight oil and gas producer, can provide major buffers to effectively tackle the confluence of factors currently affecting the region.”

In his new paper titled: ‘The Caribbean Potential: Reimagining the Region’s Policy Frameworks,’ Fauriol, however, added that unless deployed strategically to benefit the Caribbean’s future, those same assets will also shape a much bleaker future.” He also suggests that the region’s outlook for government debt this year suggests an urgent need for multilateral efforts for a debt relief package particularly for smaller middle-income counties there.

CUBA

The Cuban government projects 2.2 million tourists will arrive on the island this year, despite the pandemic and rising COVID-19 cases there. This could lead to a forecasted 19 percent growth in foreign exchange revenues from goods and services exports. The GDP growth projections are based on a 22 percent increase in investment, mainly focused on food production and power generation.

GUYANA

Guyana, driven by developments in its budding oil and gas industry, and other economic sectors, is expected to continue to record economic growth this year. Guyana’s economic resilience was recorded by the United Nations (UN) in its World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report 2021, which was released recently. It added that the country is projected to record an 8.1 per cent growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) this year and an 8.5 per cent GDP growth in 2022.

JAMAICA

A leading global provider of advanced outsourced CX solutions, ibex, has opened a new site in Portmore, Jamaica. The new, standalone building is located in the Gtech office park and is the second site for ibex in Portmore.

With the addition of the new Gtech location, ibex will be adding approximately 1,500 new jobs, for a total of over 3,000 employees in Portmore. With ibex’s other sites in the country that include Ocho Rios, and Kingston, ibex will employ over 6,500 employees in Jamaica.

SURINAME

Suriname will begin producing oil in 2025 from one of the five offshore discoveries made over the past 12 months, incoming chief executive of national oil company Staatsolie Annand Jagesar said.

Oil from all five discoveries of “large reservoirs of oil and gas off the coast will be delivered by 2027,” he said. Jagesar, an economist who currently serves as the company’s deputy director for business development, by March will replace Rudolf Elias who has managed the firm since 2015.

Oil production “will take a while because it is a mega operation to set up business,” he said. “We are very motivated and are doing our best to make it in 2025.”

BAHAMAS

The Bahamas’s pandemic-stricken public debt is expected to jump to almost 90% of GDP this year and to remain more than 22 percentage points above its pre-pandemic level over the medium-term, according to warnings in the IMF’s latest review of the Caribbean nation.

IMF’s executive directors commended the nation’s leadership for taking “timely measures” to address the public health emergency, but predicted efforts to mitigate the economic impact from social distancing and the precipitous drop in tourism would likely push the country’s public debt-to-GDP ratio to 88.6% in 2021, compared to 58.8% at year-end 2019.

PUERTO RICO

The Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Carolina, Puerto Rico, will establish COVID-19 sampling centers starting next week.

It will enable passengers entering and leaving the island to comply with the regulations imposed by the government of Puerto Rico and other jurisdictions, Jorge Hernández, CEO of Aerostar Puerto Rico, the airport operator said.

It will be established and run by the laboratory firm CMT Group Corp. The first two centers will operate in terminal A and C. The third will open in a second phase. Travelers will initially have two facilities a short distance from their onboard points. These will operate seven days a week from 6:00 in the morning to 12:00 in the morning. Eventually, the service could be expanded to 24 hours a day.

The sampling collection centers are under development and it is estimated that they could start operations in February. The result of the molecular tests would be available in a maximum period of 24 to 48 hours depending on the time it is performed and the antigen tests in approximately 30 minutes to an hour.

ANTIGUA & BARBUDA

The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority has launched a brand-new campaign titled: ‘Business on the Beach.’

The authority is partnering with the idyllic Keyonna Beach Resort on a search to find a creative mind to enjoy a workcation from their island paradise. Offering a two-week stay at the all-inclusive resort, the trip is intended to offer an exclusive escape to one of the world’s most beautiful islands while offering a professional opportunity to assist and collaborate with the hotel on their website development and graphic design. This January, Keyonna Beach Resort and the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority will begin their search for one talented individual to work remotely in the UK before joining the team on island – when travel restrictions are lifted – to enjoy all the experiences that make Antigua one of the world’s most idyllic workcation spots.