MANGOES FROM JAMAICA TO BE SHIPPED TO THE UNITED STATES—09/27/14
The United States Department of Agriculture has given its approval to the importation of Jamaican mangoes to the U.S. market as long as they meet phytosanitary requirements. A ruling made on September 18, 2014, from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the Agriculture Department allowed Jamaican to export the product to the U.S. The agency estimates that some 261 metric tons of Jamaican mangoes will be exported to the U.S. each year.
BLUE MOUNTAIN COFFEE SEES SALES DROP, FACES QUALITY ISSUES—09/28/14
According to reports from Japan, a significant shortfall in Blue Mountain coffee from Jamaica is forcing distributors there to stop selling the product or to raise prices. According to a business publication in Japan, a top trader, UCC Ueshima Coffee, has seen an estimated 40 percent increase in the price of seven products made with Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee since September 1, 2014. The company has its own coffee farm on the island but procurement of beans has dropped by more than 50 percent since 2007.
SPAIN, EUROPEAN UNION TO HELP CARIBBEAN WITH RENEWABLE ENERGY—09/29/14
The Inter America Development Bank (IDB) is ready to work with donors to avoid project duplication as the Caribbean region moves to enhance cooperation in the renewable energy field. According to the IDB, its close relationship with the Caribbean has permitted the bank to obtain considerable knowledge of current conditions and future needs in regard to its energy goals. A joint declaration signed by the European Union, Spain, and the bank focuses on energy efficiency in the Caribbean.
ISLAND NATIONS FINANCE RESORT PROJECTS BY SELLING CITIZENSHIPS—09/30/14
A number of countries in the Caribbean are using the sale of citizenship to fund their resort projects. Grenada began its citizenship program to aid in financing the expansion of a 22-villa Mount Cinnamon resort. Since lending remains tight in the region, other island nations are following Grenada and offering citizenship in exchange for project funding. St. Kitts, Nevis, and Antigua, in addition to Grenada, are using such programs. The programs are of interest to investors from China, who often require many forms of identification to travel around the world. With a Caribbean passport, they can travel without a visa in many situations.