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WOMEN’S CLUB The 29th Caricom Heads of Government
Conference, meeting at Jolly Beach last
month, saw the recognition of prominent
regional stalwarts, including Professor Hon
Ralston “Rex” Nettleford, OM; HE Dr
Nicholson Orville Liverpool, DAH; Hon
December. The first was carried out in 2002.
George Lamming, CCB; and Brian Charles
A special Mind of the Nation™ Election poll
Lara. Each was bestowed with the Order of
correctly predicted the winners in 16 of 17
The Caribbean Community (OCC) at the
seats prior to the 2004 election. Chief Pollster
The International Women’s Club of
opening ceremony held at Sandals Antigua
and Statistical Analyst Dr David Dorsett says,
Antigua & Barbuda recently assisted 10
Grande Resort and Spa.
“The findings of the Mind of the Nation™
young women to further their education,
Professor Barbara Bailey of Jamaica was
Poll will show what residents of the nation
through its annual scholarship presentation.
likewise invested with the ninth CARICOM
feel about themselves and the country at this
IWC scholarships are available to women
Triennial Award for Women.
time in the nation’s history.”
of Antiguan nationality pursuing academic
The heads met for three days on issues

degrees or courses in nursing, pharmacy,
including rising oil and food prices, tourism,
X-ray technician, education and economic
and the CSME.
Treaties were signed establishing the
This year’s awardees included Faye Henry,
Caribbean Aviation Safety and Security
seeking a Bachelor of Education specialising
Oversight System (CASSOS); the Caribbean
in Language Arts; Joycelyn Henry Adams
Disaster Emergency Management Agency
– currently a teacher of special needs students
(CDEMA); Caribbean Development Fund
(blind and visually impaired), who plans to
(CDF); Maritime and Airspace Security Co-
pursue a Bachelor of Science in Education with
operation Agreement; and CARICOM Arrest
Skidmore College, University Without Walls
Warrant Treaty
distance learning course; and Farmala Jacobs, The government has implemented CASE
who’s studying Labour and Employment (Customs Automated Services) Online, a
Relations. state-of-the-art system intended to speed up
Other recipients included Shane Harris, the process of customs warrant submissions
pursing a BA Literature in English with and transactions. The software for the system
Businesses canvassed in the most recent
a minor in psychology; Gayan Eleanor is valued at almost US$2 million, and was a
ECCU Business Outlook Survey, conducted
Williams, a Masters in Nursing; Angelica donation from the government of Jamaica,
in each of the Eastern Caribbean Central
Ayoka O’Donoghue – International Relations which has already implemented the system
Bank’s member territories in the first half of
and African Disapora; Suzette C Roberts there.
2008, have generally predicted that things are
Philip – Bachelor of Science in Accounting; OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza
looking up.
Avonelle Junon Christian – BA Education, said, “The Jamaican government donated
This optimism for future economic and
specialising in Social Studies; Simone Cheryl the whole process… this is a project of co-
business conditions is shared, on balance,
Edwards – BA Accounting; and Neoli Shirley operation among Caribbean countries… and
by businesses in all countries surveyed,
George – BA in Spanish and French. the costs of the system are not negligible.”
except Dominica and St Vincent and the
According to Leroy Cooke, project manager
Grenadines. The forecast for improvements
at Fiscal Services Ltd (FSL), CASE “allows
is strongest in Anguilla, followed by St Lucia
for individuals to send in their declaration
and Montserrat.
online, whereas originally the information
Those polled are also fairly confident about
would come in and the customs officer would
key business indicators such as employment,
key in that information.”
sales, profits and construction activity.
Minister of Finance Dr Errol Cort said
Despite the general optimism across the
CASE was the direct offspring of customs
ECCU, businesses highlighted the lack of
reform proposed since 2005. He expressed
skilled employees, high utility rates and the
great hope for CASE and the effect he believed
rising price of oil as three of the most pressing
problems challenging their future business
The Mind Of The Nation is once again
it would have on the efficiency of customs
being tapped in Richards & Associates’ 12th
transactions. “The successful implementation
In addition, business owners thought it
edition of the annual telephone poll. The
of CASE will revolutionize the operations
important to draw attention to the need
views of 1,000 residents of Antigua and
of the Customs and Excise Division and
to combat crime and violence, give greater
Barbuda will be canvassed on a variety of
bring Antigua and Barbuda to the forefront
support to the agricultural sector, increase
topical issues, including the economy, interest
of customs management in the Caribbean
incentives and support for small businesses
in government and public affairs, how the
region,” he said.
and adopt innovative measures to combat
country is being run, social issues, views on
spiraling costs.
topical issues engaging the public interest,
The survey was carried out by private
and use of the media.
consulting firms and statisticians in the ECCU
The poll is done twice per year, in July and
on behalf of the ECCB. A minimum of 25
companies in each of the member countries
were selected to participate.
8 | BusinessFocus • August/September 008
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