CBI programme brings in the most revenue ever

“A Bumper Year”.

The influential and powerful Kaisha Ince in the company of Andrea St. Bernard, the local representative of Hensley & Partners

That’s how Trinidad-born attorney-at-law, Kaisha Ince, Chairperson of the Citizenship by Investment Unit, has described what she referred to as the unprecedented levels of revenue yielded from Direct Foreign Investment under the passport-selling scheme known as Citizenship By Investment (CBI) Programme.

Ince made the remarks during a Special CBI Christmas Cocktail hosted by Henley and Partners in collaboration with the CBI Unit to celebrate and mark the culmination of a very successful year for the programme.

She said, “In a time where many of the other CBI programmes have struggled to maintain the interest of potential applicants, our programme has seen significant interest from across the globe…”.

She added that this is so because of Grenada’s “excellent reputation for operating at the highest standards of international best practices”.

According to Ince, 2017 proved itself to be the best year ever since the programme’s commencement in 2014, with an increase of 108% in applications over the previous year which translates into over 130 million dollars to date.

This, she said turned out to be “a very significant contribution” to Grenada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The Head of the local CBI Unit also recognised the various stakeholders and agents who worked to make the year one that the country can be proud of.

Special mention was made of the British-based Henley and Partners – CBI marketing agents and Key Provider of Government Advisory Services.
Managing Partner at Henley and Partners Grenada, Andrea St Bernard credited the close working relationship with the CBI Unit as one of the keys to the success of the Programme.

St. Bernard said: “Henley and Partners have been working very closely with the government of Grenada for over a year now, to stimulate the interest in the Grenada programme, to help structure the programme and ensure that the programme benefit all stakeholders.

“We are very grateful for the wonderful partnership that we have had with the Government of Grenada and the CIP Committee, and we look forward to future collaborations. For this last year I can very confidently say that the most exciting and interesting things in the CBI industry, have been happening right here in Grenada. The Grenada CBI is definitely a premium product and one of the best in the world”, she remarked.

The VIP event which took place at the Sandals La Source brought together Developers, CBI and Government Officials, Agents, Leaders of local industry, the Media and other stakeholders.

One of the main developers is Grenada Consul General to Miami, Warren Newfield who noted that the signs are encouraging for the CBI Programme in Grenada in terms of attracting the level of clientele and developments that the country needs for sustained economic growth and increased employment.

“As a developer, to come to develop hotels in Grenada without the CBI programmes is not feasible, for the simple reason – the debt equity that you need as a developer to get a proper return on the debt equity is not available in the Eastern Caribbean. So the CBI is really affording the development of the tourism sector in Grenada”, he said.

One critical area that is already benefitting directly from the CBI Programme is the Agricultural sector.
Oliver Paul, a local agent of the CBI Programme, has been able to see the establishment of his Agro-processing business facilitated under the programme

“All the programmes don’t have to be major, we do have some major ones but the smaller programmes help. I have an approved agro-processing project, which means I will bring in a client and to get their citizenship they would have to invest in my project. When they invest the project then gets underway and I can employ locals and grow the business,” he said.

Chief Executive Officer of the state-run Grenada Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), Che Keens- Douglas is heartened by the performance of the CBI programme this year and is optimistic that it will grow from strength to strength.

“From our point of view, access to finance is the largest hurdle that we have. So, what the CBI programme allows us to do is to have another tool in our tool belt that can support the growth of quite a few industries throughout Grenada,” he noted.

The Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) government has said that Grenada’s passport selling scheme remains one of the premium CBI programmes globally and has been described by the IMF as Gold Standard.

The CBI Unit sees a continued trajectory of sustained growth and revenues in 2018.

For its part, Henley and Partners – the Government Advisory Service Provider and its most prolific marketing Agent has pledged its continued support and partnership in achieving this goal.

Be aware of Comrades Chess and Peter!!!

By Rae Roberts

Is the former champion of workers issues in the country, Chester Humphrey along with Peter David now accomplices in undermining the workers’ struggle?

I am asking this question in light of the roles now being played by the two revolutionary comrades who often boasted of being part of the most pro-workers government in the history of Grenada – the 1979-83 People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG).

Comrade Chess was so committed to the anti-Gairy struggle that we all know what he did in the United States before he was arrested and charged for gun-running and then absconded while on bail.

Comrade Peter was encouraged to leave Grenada and go abroad to study in order to come back home qualified to serve the country once the Revolutionaries overthrew Sir Eric Matthew Gairy from power.

With this background, I now salute the workers of the nation and their respective trade unions with the prayers and the hope that the New Year brings each one all that is wonderful throughout 2018.

Foremost are wishes for health, job satisfaction and the love and goodwill of neighbours and friends.

Regardless to your political affiliation, workers in this election year you ought to make your voices heard and very loud.

The challenges facing today’s workforce require men and women of conscience and commitment to struggle in protecting their collective rights as well as the restoration of public officers’ pension by whichever party forms the next government.

Equally important – workers must demand a dispute resolution clause be passed in Parliament to be included in the Labour Code to ensure that employers are mandated to settle disputes with non-unionised workers.

The most urgent challenge though is the proliferation of contract labour by the NNP Government which is seriously violating much of what is said in the Labour Code.

Some employers are turning permanent jobs into contract labour and outsourcing jobs and the guilty culprit is the government led by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.

The new workforce of youth is the one most exploited by contract labour and they must recognise the severe consequences as today’s young worker gets older and become parents. Contract labour allows for easy dismissal and little or no benefits under the labour code.

The Public Service – teachers, police, nurses and civil servants – which is the government workforce today records the largest number of contract workers in the history of Grenada. Estimated numbers are 60/70 percent of the public service.

The private sector including the banks have taken their cue from the Mitchell Government and their new employees are generally on short-term contract. Again, young workers are easily sacked and subjected to exploitation!

The leadership now provided by Senator Andre Lewis of the Technical and Allied Workers Union for the long list of NAWASA contract workers ought to be championed relentlessly – each day – each hour – each minute in 2018.

Workers must not compromise on the definition of a permanent job in the Labour Code. Workers ought not to be fooled.

NNP Ministers – Nicholas Steele, Simon Stiell and Tony Boatswain, as well as their Prime Minister, Dr. Mitchell are all seeking the interest of the business community.

They are bent on reducing and eliminating workers benefits in all areas in order to ensure greater dividends for investors.

Workers, remember who pays the piper calls the tune. The millions that the NNP will spend in the campaign is not coming from workers but the big business especially the foreign ones.

The thousands given to NNP by the small local businessmen cannot compare with the millions from the foreign investors and you know who they are.

Undoubtedly the former Prince of the Labour Movement, the current President of the Senate, Chester Humphrey and the man who claims to love poor people Senator Peter David are accomplices in the attack on permanent jobs and workers.

They have remained muted on this most pertinent and fundamental topic. Why? Let them answer for themselves. Are they afraid of their new leader – Comrade Keith Mitchell?

Both Chess and Peter know that 2018 could mark the end of their long political journey if the electorate vote out NNP from office.

The two of them were supposed to help Sister Glynis Roberts build NUF but abandoned her before the Flight could take-off and went into NNP as part of the so-called “Project Grenada” initiative.

The “Project Grenada” men failed in their ambitions to take over the NDC as part of the grab for power.

I can assure them that Dr. Mitchell and many inside the NNP are aware of their machinations for power and will not allow them to pull off a coup similar to what happened to Herbert Blaize in 1989.

Prime Minister Mitchell has also smartly and brilliantly disguised his anti-union agenda. He has given comfort to the egos of Sen. Humphrey and Sen. David in return for their complete silence. It’s a buyout!

TAWU President Lewis and Public Workers Union President, Rachael Roberts have both given new life in the battle to protect workers’ rights in this current period.

Workers, do not buy into the propaganda being peddled by known NNP activists that Sister Roberts will be bought very soon by the PM and the NNP government.

The propaganda is aimed at weakening the labour movement. Chester has gone but the labour force will continue to remain strong.

Both Bro. Lewis and Sister Roberts have articulated strong positions and in the process drawing national attention to the definition of what is a permanent job (worker performing a task continuously over a period of time) and what is contract (a seasonal employment such as employing a worker for the busy holiday season).
Workers, this is your opportunity to seize the initiative and you ought not to be tricked by Prime Minister Mitchell’s untrustworthy words.

I want to remind the young workers of the nation that no financial institution will grant you a mortgage loan among others on a government or private sector repeating six-month contract twice per year.

Make this election one for the workers – the likes of Nicholas Steele and Simon Stiell represent the interest of the business class and they are aided and abetted by the likes of Peter David and Chester Humphrey – all for personal interest.

Comrade Maurice will not rest peacefully wherever his soul is to think that these two revolutionaries will prop up a regime that is led by an individual that they used to condemn as an agent of that well-known US spy agency.

As a matter of fact, Comrade Peter was expected as a captain in the army to be patrolling the beachfront at the night to protect Grenada from foreign invasion from agents of that spy agency.

Comrade Peter, did you take an oath along with other PRA soldiers to kill and massacre and bury in the sand all agents of that invading foreign force that you once accused your current leader of being associated as part of the anti-PRG campaign?

Walk for the Cure Funds to Grenada Cancer

Media, Sponsors and CIBC FirstCaribbean Team Members, gathered together for the culmination of the Walk for the Cure Initiative for 2017.

L–R Dr. Barrymore Mc Barnette President of the Grenada Cancer Society receives donation from CIBC FirstCaribbean Country Manager, Nigel Ollivierre

The short ceremony was opened by Joanna Marryshow, the bank’s Administrative Assistant, Human Resources and also the leading organiser for initiatives relative to raising awareness and funds for Walk For The Cure.

In her opening comments, she reminded all present of the positive actions everyone can take in terms of cancer prevention, with respect to making healthy lifestyle choices, with particular emphasis on the part that both smoking and alcohol consumption may play in incidences of cancer.

In his address, the local CIBC Country Manager, Nigel Ollivierre, stated: “We at CIBC FirstCaribbean, have made a conscious decision to establish the Walk for the Cure as a stand-alone initiative, as we believe there can never be enough emphasis placed upon cancer awareness.

“Each initiative raised or organised places renewed attention on the subject matter. This year we were particularly pleased to welcome the support of the Ministry of Health, represented by Dr. Sonia Nixon a leading expert in substance abuse in Grenada, which has also proven to have links to incidences of cancer.”

Ollivierre extended an invitation to Dr. Nixon, along with Dr McBarnette, President of the Grenada Cancer Society and Rev. Osbert James, Secretary of Grenada Cancer Society and all sponsoring companies, to attend an open forum meeting to discuss their ideas and recommendations for future fundraising events surrounding Walk for the Cure, including the walk itself.

In receiving the $41,000.00 raised by the Walk, Dr. McBarnette reminded the audience that cancer has been the leading cause of death in Grenada for the last 10 years.

Growing number of Corporate Sponsors for the Walk for the Cure attend the handover ceremony to the Grenada Cancer Society.

“We are sincerely grateful for the efforts of the bank and all persons involved with the Walk for the Cure, in providing this much-needed donation. Apart from the obvious physical and emotional elements, the harsh reality is that the financial implications for cancer sufferers and their families are extremely challenging, fighting cancer requires funds”, he said.Dr. McBarnette also used the opportunity to remind attendees of the importance of living healthier lifestyles and increasing their personal awareness of cancer and its multiple causes.

CIBC FirstCaribbean wishes to thank all sponsors involved with the initiative and hopes to welcome them and others back for 2018 and beyond.

Sponsors included FLOW, Country Cold Store, Jonas Browne & Hubbard (Grenada) Ltd, National Lotteries Authority, Sandals, Sol EC Ltd, Southern Electrical Company Ltd, Andall & Associates Inc, Duty Free Holdings Grenada Ltd, and GRENLEC.

Others are Body Image Health Club, Pan American Life Insurance, Spice Isle Fish House Group, St. Augustine Medical Services, Geo F Huggins & Co. Ltd, Grensure Fire & General Insurances, Leslie’s Agency, Modern Photo Studio, Going Places Travel, GCNA, TATA Consultancy Services, and Visa.

GHTA calls for a ban on Styrofoam

Grenada Hotel & Tourism Association has been lobbying Government to place a ban on the importation and use of Styrofoam products in Grenada.

Earlier this year Minister (Nicholas) Steele indicated, at a press conference, that Government would be imposing a ban on the product.

“I intend to bring to Parliament a Styrofoam Bill which will ban the importation of Styrofoam as a first start, from that we will be moving to plastic.”

In her statement made on World Tourism Day this past September, Minister (Clarice) Modeste also mentioned that a ban would be put in place.

“The Government of Grenada has also pledged to table legislation banning the importation of Styrofoam and plastic as part of a proper waste management strategy. The effects of Styrofoam are well known as it is non-biodegradable and its link to cancer has been explored. This ban on Styrofoam and plastic will be a priority going forward.”

While the GHTA welcomed both statements, it is concerned that to date, there is no sign of implementation of a ban.

What is Styrofoam?

Polystyrene is used to make drinking cups and food containers – the hard-plastic ones and also the soft foamy ones along with a wide range of other packaging materials. The most popular polystyrene foam is called Styrofoam.

The citizens of Grenada are mostly unaware of the harmful effects of polystyrene (Styrofoam) to both our health and environment. It takes at least 500 years to decompose.

When Styrofoam is sent to the landfill, it is quickly covered and this process deprives it of water and oxygen, which would normally help it to break down.

Much of the disposable Styrofoam packaging that we eat from today will therefore still be around in 500 years.
By volume, the amount of space used up in landfills by all that we eat from today will therefore still be around in 500 years.

By volume, the amount of space used up in landfills by all plastics is around 30 percent, possibly more. What happens when we add hot food or drinks to Polystyrene?

Styrofoam food containers leach the toxin Styrene when they come into contact with warm food or drink, alcohol, oils and acidic foods causing human contamination and pose a health risk. Of particular danger is the use of micro waves to defrost or heat foods packaged in these containers.

If containers you use for the storage of food are not labelled “Microwave-safe”, then they are probably not.

Ban on Styrofoam

Over 100 US and Canadian, as well as some European and Asian cities have banned polystyrene food packaging as a result of the negative impacts to humans and the environment. More importantly in our region, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Guyana, Haiti and Dominica have all passed legislation banning Styrofoam with several other Caricom members expected to follow suit in the near future.

Do not burn polystyrene with your garden rubbish

Burning polystyrene on bonfires releases Carbon Monoxide and styrene monomers into the environment, which can be extremely hazardous to our health.

Marine Pollution:

The United Nations Environment Program estimated in 2006 that every square mile of ocean hosts 46,000 pieces of floating plastic.

Polystyrene foam presents unique management issues because of its lightweight nature and float-ability; it is easily blown from disposal sites even when disposed of properly. Due to its buoyancy and the fact that it is light in weight, this material travels easily, eventually reaching the ocean, causing pollution of our waters, harming marine life and affecting our quality of life.

Health Effects

Because styrene can adversely affect humans in a number of ways, it raises serious public health and safety questions regarding its build-up in human tissue. Styrene primarily exhibits its toxicity to humans as a neurotoxin by attacking the central and peripheral nervous systems which can lead to functional impairment of the nervous system.

What can you do?

Ask your Member of Parliament and The Minister of Environment to ban Styrofoam in food packaging. There are many alternatives that will have less impact on the environment.

The Grenada Hotel & Tourism Association urges the government of Grenada to be among the leaders in our region and enact and implement the long overdue ban on Styrofoam.

NAWASA breathes a sigh of relief

The management of the state-run National Water and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA) has managed to avert a potentially dangerous situation over the Christmas and New Year holiday period as strike action was looming from the Technical & Allied Workers Union (TAWU).

Fr left to right: Legal Counsel – Xiomara Forsythe, Ass’t Manager of Transmission and Distribution – Ernest Bruno, Communications Supervisor – Jamila Samuel

The hierarchy of the utility called a press conference last week to say thank you to those employees who showed up for work to man the entire system during the long holiday weekend.

TAWU had painted December red and dropped hints that it intended to take action on the issue of contract employment within NAWASA which was long outstanding.

The NAWASA officials told reporters that the weekend leading up to Christmas was as normal as any other weekend and no industrial action took place at any of its plants.

The senior staffers praised both the contract and permanent employees for going beyond the call of duty to ensure that there was a sustainable supply of water to customers during the Christmas period.

Assistant Manager of Transmission and Distribution, Ernest Bruno said the authority did not experience any “many problems” during the holidays.

“First what I should do is to commend the persons who were out – I can tell you that they did an awesome job.

I don’t want to single out any but maybe if I should just mention in the St. George’s area where there was what we call a task force. (The) task force is normally the crew that works after three and at night, that’s our emergency crew, and they did yeoman’s service during the period…”, he said.

Bruno added that there was little or no complaints from the parishes of St. Andrew and St. Patrick.

However, he said that an area known as Gretna Green in St. George did experience some water shortages and that was quickly addressed.

According to Bruno, the problem arose due to low water pressure and a fault with the pump.

“…As I speak now the situation (is) supposed to improve immensely,” he said.

Communications Supervisor, Jamila Samuel spoke highly of the plant operators who gave commitment to assist during the Christmas period.

Lewis said: “We have 27 water treatment plants and over that particular weekend we would have had 43 plant operators that would have manned those water systems, so it is fair to say that we had almost all plant operators – they check to ensure that the tank is full, they check to ensure that the system is functional so that persons are able to receive a supply.

“…On staff, we have 47 and we can verify that two of those plant operators are actually on vacation and they would have highlighted their commitment to come out to work if required. I think we need to commend as well the Plant operators who would have worked over the entire weekend to ensure that the systems were functional,” she said.

There has been no official word from TAWU, headed by Senator Andre Lewis on the failure of its “December Red” threat to NAWASA and other work places.

The union has reportedly been on the decline since the stand-off with the Grenada Breweries and its Trinidad owners which left it in financial straits.

Statement issued by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell to mark the end of 2017

Ladies and gentlemen, sisters and brothers, patriots all… as another holiday season comes to a close, and as we all look forward to 2018 – as a year of further consolidation and increasing opportunities, we have every reason to give thanks as a Nation.

Our Lord and Saviour has blessed us all and has watched over us, bringing us through 2017 relatively unharmed.

As Prime Minister, I have had the honour and privilege to work in your service – an opportunity for which I will be forever grateful, and one which I will never take for granted.

My inspiration has always come from you the people, who, through your determination, have been the center of this emerging growth and prosperity.

The workers of this nation, in particular, have been primarily responsible for where we are today – having ended a fourth year of economic growth.

Your sacrifice and your efforts have afforded us the opportunity to consolidate all of our successes, and have laid the foundation for future growth that will see more people lifted out of poverty, and more of our citizens put back to work.

Take full honor for this air of excitement and expectation in our country. The benefits shall all be yours.

This coalition we have built through the united efforts of our social partners – the trade unions; churches, the business community, and the non-governmental organisations – has been admired throughout the region – as well as within the international community.

Ordinary people yearning for themselves and their families have made it clear that Project Grenada cannot be abandoned; if anything, it must be strengthened. For the empowerment of our people lies in our continued unity.

With our faith restored, we are particularly hopeful about 2018. How far we can go, we know, is largely dependent on our ability to keep this united front we have built.

We must not, and shall not detour, through recklessness and wild ambition, from this path; nor test fate via speculative experiments. Nor must we take our successes for granted.

Proverbs 14 reminds us that: All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.

Those of us who have been blessed must continue to share our testimony, so as to encourage our brothers and sisters.

It is often said that success breeds success. And while we are thankful for the economic strides in 2017, we must also recognise the sterling achievements of our sportsmen and women, particularly in the last quarter of this year.

As a caring passionate nation, we applaud them for their brilliance to close out of the year with impressive displays, especially in cricket, boxing, swimming and women’s football.

Rest assured, our investment in our athletes and sporting facilities will remain a top priority in the new year.

In 2018, we must continue to look out for each other, through this growing sense of community, which we once again exhibited so well during the Christmas season.

We are thankful that we have come through the season, without any major incidences. You have shown through discipline and purpose, what this nation is about. Let us keep it that way.

When history is written, its authors will take note of this era of Grenadian rebirth; and your children will hail your successes.

In 2018, a new future beckons, and destiny is shaped by all the people who work in the vineyard.

In the gospel of Mathew, the Lord said: he who has been faithful over a few things, shall be made master over many things.

And so, to each and every one of you, I extend my best wishes for a very prosperous 2018. Continue to be faithful in what you have and what you do and our God will make you master over more.

May God continue to bless you and your family; and may God bless our Nation.

Flawed WTO Arbitration remains better option, despite US view

The new United States Trade Representative, Mr Robert Lighthizer, made his first appearance at a Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Argentina on December 10.

Mr Lighthizer’s remarks provoked serious consideration of the usefulness of the WTO for small countries, particularly when he questions whether the “current litigation structure (of the WTO) makes sense”.

After 14 years of trying unsuccessfully to get the office of the USTR, through the administrations of Bush, Obama and Trump, to honour an award made by the litigation structure of the WTO, the small nation of Antigua and Barbuda, has good reason to join Mr Lighthizer in questioning it. But for different reasons.

Let me declare at the outset that I have been involved in Antigua and Barbuda’s case at the WTO against the US from the outset. I began the negotiations with the office of the USTR in 2003 and, subsequently, as Ambassador to the Organisation, I led the Antigua and Barbuda team at the first Arbitration panel established by the WTO to adjudicate the dispute. Since 2015, I have again been engaged in dealing with the office of the USTR in this matter.

In March 2004, the panel found that the United States had violated its commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) when it adopted laws making the export of gaming services into the US, via the Internet, illegal. At that time, Antigua and Barbuda was a leading nation in the provision of Internet gaming services. The industry brought significant revenues into the economy, directly and indirectly, and provided good-paying jobs to Antigua and Barbuda’s computer-literate young people.

The US domestic law, which violated the country’s binding international obligations under the GATS, hurt Antigua and Barbuda by the deprivation of revenues and employment arising from its trade in services with the US. In 2007, following appeals by the US against the 2004 decision, another arbitration panel confirmed the damage done to the Antigua and Barbuda economy, and set it at US$21 million a year.

The figure in damages, at the 2004 level, is now in excess of US$210 million. Over the entire 13-year period, and through three administrations in both countries, Antigua and Barbuda has tried to negotiate with the US – the world’s richest and most powerful nation to reach a settlement.

Negotiation has proved to be impossible. The USTR made two offers to Antigua and Barbuda to settle the matter that each did not total US$2 million. Naturally, Antigua and Barbuda has rejected the offers and tried to engage the office of the USTR in meaningful discussions to reach an amicable settlement that would encourage Antigua and Barbuda not to implement the award given to it by the WTO.

That award permits Antigua and Barbuda to sell US intellectual property without paying fees or royalties up to US$21 million a year until the US complies with the ruling either to re-open its market to Antigua and Barbuda for internet gaming or to make compensation.

It is against this background that Mr Lighthizer’s questioning of the “current litigation structure” has some resonance with me. After 13 years, Antigua and Barbuda has not been able to reap the benefits of taking the US to WTO arbitration.

The US has simply ignored the WTO structure, and the WTO has no enforcement machinery to make it comply. Further, the office of the USTR has stated that “it would not be in Antigua and Barbuda’s interest to implement the WTO award” of selling US intellectual property without paying royalties or fees.

On the face of it, the WTO litigation structure has failed Antigua and Barbuda, a small economy of US$1.4 billion in contract to the US with an economy of US$20 trillion.

But, the alternative proposed by Mr Lighthizer is even worse. He told the WTO Ministerial meeting in Argentina that “the WTO is losing its essential focus on negotiation and becoming a litigation-centered organisation”.

“Too often”, he said, “members seem to believe they can gain concessions through lawsuits that they could never get at the negotiating table”. Well, he is perfectly correct about that. And, the Antigua and Barbuda experience proves the case.

Before Antigua and Barbuda went to the WTO with this matter in 2003, consultations were sought with the US. The negotiations were perfunctory at best and ended with the office of the USTR declaring that Antigua and Barbuda could never win at the WTO and challenging us to do so. As it turned out, Antigua and Barbuda did win in 2004 and at two subsequent appeals.

In an effort not to implement the WTO award of selling US intellectual property without paying royalties, Antigua and Barbuda agreed to go to the negotiating table. But, the USTR will not negotiate. Having made two derisory offers that successive Antigua and Barbuda governments have declined, the office of the USTR has shown no inclination to negotiate a fair settlement, and, instead, has told Antigua and Barbuda that “it would not be in its interest to implement the WTO award”.Because of the Antigua and Barbuda case, the US is the only country in the world that is non-WTO compliant. Yet it is currently using the very litigation structure it criticises to pursue cases against countries, including China.

In these circumstances, for small countries the WTO litigation structure, as imperfect as it may be, is much better than trying to negotiate with a behemoth. The use of legal adjudication gains better results than bilateral negotiations with powerful nations.

Mr Lighthizer does have the power to change all that. Antigua and Barbuda is willing to help.

(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, University of London and Massey College in the University of Toronto. The views expressed are his own)

MICHAEL BAPTISTE LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN AGAINST INDIAN BUSINESSMAN CONVICTED OF MURDER

Former Opposition Leader, Michael Baptiste has launched a campaign to get the Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) government to revoke the passport of convicted Indian businessman, Fazall Sahied who served a prison sentence for the 2002 murder of his Grenadian-born wife, Gillian Celestine.

Michael Baptiste – pressing for local passport to be withdrawn from Fazall Sahied

Baptiste has been visiting local media houses at the start of the new year to express concern over reports that Sahied now out of prison, has gone back to India to get married and to bring back his new wife to live with him in Grenada.

In speaking to THE NEW TODAY, the former executive member of the now defunct Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) said that the convicted Indian businessman should not be allowed to bring back an Indian woman as his wife to Grenada as this will be an affront to the Celestine family.

“The family is still trying to come to terms with the brutal death of their daughter at the hands of this murderer and he should not be allowed to continue to humiliate them”, he said.

The former Opposition Leader called on Prime Minister Mitchell and Works Minister Gregory Bowen, the Parliamentary Representative of St. George South-east where the Celestine family reside to do something about this unfolding event.

“I have information – solid information – that Mr. Fazall Sahied – has left our shores, gone back to India to get married and to bring back his wife to live with him in Grenada”, he said.

“Why did he (Sahied) kill Gillian in the first place? Did he kill her so that he could be free to get married to this Indian woman and then bring her to Grenada as a replacement for Gillian?”

Gillian was killed at her husband’s home in Frequente in July 2002 and her body dumped on an isolated beach at Bailes Bacolet in St. David’s.

Sahied fled the island but was nabbed by police in London as he waited at an airport to board a flight for his homeland.

His detention led to a diplomatic problem as the British government refused to extradite him to Grenada to face murder trial in which the death penalty could be imposed to him.

The Mitchell-led government, through then attorney-general, Raymond Anthony gave assurances that the Indian businessman will only be subjected to a life imprisonment sentence in order to secure his return to stand trial for the murder of his wife.

According to Baptiste, Prime Minister Mitchell has the powers as the Minister responsible for Home Affairs and the issuing of passports to revoke the passport given to this convicted Indian businessman and declare him persona non-grata in Grenada.

He made mention of the quick manner in which Dr. Mitchell moved to revoke the status of Iranian-born Steve Fassihi after he wrote articles critical of him as head of the NNP regime.

Within the past year, PM Mitchell also revoked the Grenadian status given to British National, Darren Turner who ran a restaurant at the Prickly Bay marina at Lance Aux Epines.

There are unconfirmed reports that the British government through its local representative on the island failed in many attempts to get an explanation from the Mitchell-led government on the reasons for Turner’s expulsion.

Speculation is rife that the British businessman was married to a local woman.

Guardian General donates close to Half a Million

Guardian General Insurance (OECS) Ltd. has donated annually to care institutions since 1998 to a cumulative sum of almost half a million dollars.

Nearly, one year to the date, OECS has once again exercised its corporate social responsibility mandate, by welcoming back members of the 11 care institutions to which it donates funds on a regular basis.

Cheque presentation

Marketing Manager, for Guardian General Insurance (OECS) Ltd, Bernard Wilson, opened the brief ceremony by welcoming the representatives of the institutions and commending them for their continued hard work and immeasurable contribution to Society.

“Guardian General Insurance (OECS) Limited, is pleased to be given the opportunity to do our part in assisting in taking care of our Senior Citizens, Physically and Mentally Challenged Persons and the Less Fortunate in our Society. We look forward to continuing to be of support in the future”, Wilson told the attendees.

Chief Financial Officer for the company, Reena Ross, presented each representative attending with the funds allocated to their care institution.

She also assured those present that Managing Director of the company, Ronald Hughes although being unavoidably absent extended his best wishes to all present for the season and the New Year.

The Care Institutions represented at the event included Fr. Hilarion Cheshire Home, School for the Deaf, Society of St. Vincent De Paul, Bel Air Children’s Home, GRENCODA, Queen Elizabeth Home for Children,

The Society of Friends of the Blind, The Dorothy Hopkin Centre for the Disabled, GRENSAVE, Stewards of the Poor & Grand Anse Gardens Home for the Aged.

Guardian General Insurance (OECS) Ltd has donated close to half a million dollars to the care institutions since 1998, when it was decided that the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives should include giving assistance to Care organsiations, struggling for resources.

Celebrating 25 Years of traditional Workboat racing

It will be a Silver Jubilee weekend when the Grenada Sailing Festival stages its Workboat Regatta from February 3-4 on Grand Anse Beach.

The organisers have announced a partnership again with Westerhall Rums, who along with the Westerhall White Jack brand, take title sponsorship for the fourth year.

Plans are afoot to acknowledge and thank this year all those veteran sailors – some who have sailed in every one of the annual Regattas – and to welcome new young crews racing for the first time.

“This, high action, high fun Regatta Festival has been a ‘Must Go-To’ event on Grand Anse Beach for twenty-five consecutive years and welcomes big crowds of spectators – local community supporters, visiting yachtsmen & cruisers, as well as Hotel guests who have the chance to experience a unique traditional sailing experience”, said the organisers in a press statement.

“There will be two days of the most spectacular and competitive racing: a full day of Community Class Racing on Saturday 3 February and again on Sunday morning, 4 February, when all crews will be going full throttle to win first place in their community races to qualify for Sunday afternoon’s GSF16 Match Race Final – for the highly prized overall title of ‘Champion of Champions’ & a cheque for US$1,000.00”, it added.

There will be even more to race for this year as the owner of the winning boat will walk away with a YAMAHA outboard engine presented by McIntyre Brothers.

There will be more action on Sunday in Grenada Sailing Festival’s own fleet of GSF16 Workboats, when each community nominates a Junior & Senior crew to compete to be ‘National Team Sailing Champion’ for 2018.

Carib is again sponsoring the Senior National Team Sailing Race and Budget Marine is the Junior Team Sailing sponsor.

Crowds will also be able to enjoy all the best traditional dishes from Oil Down to Lobster at Community Kitchen food stalls and sample the range of Westerhall Rums, plus ice-cold Carib beers and Blue Aqua water at the Festival Beach Bars throughout both days.