Caribbean Business News Round-Up

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now
Rapper Drake has offered to buy this Caribbean restaurant in Canada after the owner announced it was closing.

By NAN Business Editor

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Feb. 25, 2022: Here are the top business news across the Caribbean this week:

Regional

Rapper Drake has offered to buy a Caribbean restaurant in Canada after the owner announced it was closing.

“I’ll buy Randy’s right now,” the rapper posted after the Toronto Jamaican patty stalwart posted about its imminent end due to manufacturing hurdles and supply shrinkages. When eTalk anchor Tyrone Edwards took to Instagram about the news, Drake stood out among the many commenters dismayed about the demise of Toronto’s favorite place for hand-made, meat-and-veggie stuffed, flaky Caribbean pastries.

The iconic landmark in Toronto’s Little Jamaica neighbourhood has been serving up its signature beef patties since 1979, but today’s Instagram post confirmed the reason for the closure after more than 40 years in business.

“Due to a variety of issues including years of endless Metrolinx construction, 2 years of COVID, labour shortages and aging owners, we have decided to close our doors and re-evaluate our next steps going forward,” the company said in a statement in announcing its closure. It’s now left to be seen if Drake will be true to his word.

Barbados

Barbados says it is disappointed that it remains on the grey list of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Anguilla, Barbados, Botswana, Costa Rica, Dominica, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Jordan, Malaysia, North Macedonia, Qatar, Seychelles, Thailand, Turkey and Uruguay were placed on the OECD grey list late last year.

The grey list, or state-of-play-document, includes jurisdictions that do not yet comply with all international tax standards but have made sufficient commitments to implement good governance principles.

Barbados is now awaiting the arrival of a team from the OECD’s Global Forum to do an onsite inspection, after which the island may be removed from the grey list.

GRENADA

Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has called for the total elimination of roaming charges within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) as the regional grouping moved one step closer to that initiative by signing the St. George’s Declaration on Roaming” with two of the telecommunication providers in the Caribbean.

Mitchell, who has lead responsibility for Science and Technology within the quasi CARICOM Cabinet, said that regional government have long recognised the value of collaboration and cooperation as core principles of regional integration.

“Clearly, we cannot speak of the region’s future prospects without an understanding of how digital technologies are transforming our economies and the region as a whole,” Mitchell said, adding that the still unfolding global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to strike at the heart of the region’s economic sectors, and has brought the issue of technology to the forefront.

JAMAICA

The Jamaica government has announced a 28.5 per cent increase in the national minimum wage with Labour Minister, Karl Samuda, urging employers who can pay more than the minimum wage to do so.

Effective April 1, 2022, it will move from J$7,000 (One Jamaica dollar=US$0.008 cents) per 40-hour workweek to $9,000.

The announcement by the government comes in the wake of inflation reaching a new high of 9.7 per cent for the annual period ending January. The minimum wage was last increased on Emancipation Day, August 1, 2018, by 12.9 percent.

DOMINICA

Dominica has signed an multi-million dollar agreement with an Iceland-based company to drill two wells as the island continues with its efforts to develop its geothermal energy sector.

Planning, Economic Development, Climate Resilience, Sustainable Development and Renewable Energy Dr. Vince Henderson said the agreement was signed on February 15.

He said they would be remaining on the island for three months “and we are looking forward to that.” The contract is worth US$12.5 million.

GUYANA

An invitation by the Guyana Ministry of Natural Resources for bids for consultancy services for cost recovery audit validation of the Government of Guyana’s profit oil share has yielded no result, with no bidders submitting a proposal. Bids are open at the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) and it was disclosed that government, through the Ministry of Home Affairs, is seeking a consultant to design an eight-floor building which would facilitate the operations of the Brickdam Police Station.

The news comes as Guyana is now ranked 10th among the oil and gas jurisdictions in the world, in its management of the industry according to respected business intelligence firm, IHS Markit.

Markit’s Vice President, energy expert, Daniel Yergin, revealed this during last week’s International Energy Conference and Expo, in a remote address.

“Guyana today, is in a competitive position. IHS Markit [Petroleum Economics and Policy Solutions] PEPS analysis ranks it as the 10th most competitive jurisdiction for upstream [Exploration & Production] investment out of 45 countries, and I hasten to add, ahead of Brazil and ahead of Argentina. That’s a position that Guyana should strive to maintain.”

Guyana, Yergin said, is proving to be a model for how to get things done, and for developing institutions that the times require.