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Phillips leads delegation to China

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Friday, December 13, 2013    

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FINANCE and Planning Minister Dr Peter Phillips is scheduled to leave the island today for China, where he will participate in a series of high-level meetings, including with the governor of the Chinese Central Bank.

The delegation will also meet with officials from some of China's major private financial institutions and firms involved in overseas investments.

The finance ministry said the objective of the visit is to further deepen the trade, financial and investment relationship between Jamaica and China, and to discuss ways in which China may assist in Jamaica's efforts to address its debt service challenges.

Senate passes Security Interest Bill

THE Upper House yesterday pushed through the Security Interest in Personal Property Bill, enabling the government to meet another of its obligations under the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), despite concerns that the process was "rushed" to meet a year-end deadline.

The provision, which was passed in the House of Representatives on Tuesday with 84 amendments, was yesterday finalised with another 21 amendments being made.

Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding, in piloting the legislation which facilitates easier access to loans and widens the types of assets persons can use as collateral, said it addressed the challenge in procuring capital by businesses to implement their business plan.

Tanker drivers strike

THE National Workers' Union (NWU) was, up to late last night, trying to arrive at a back-to-work formula with the mining ministry on behalf of petroleum tanker drivers, who stopped working yesterday.

The more than 200 drivers were adamant that they would not return to work until a wage dispute was settled.

"We have been calling for a wage increase, health and other benefits for several months, but [we] believe these calls are being ignored," said NWU chief delegate, Cleveland Guscott.

He was one of 40 Kingston-based drivers who yesterday parked their trucks and gathered along Marcus Garvey Drive.

"We have not seen the effects as yet, but I suspect that leading into late-Thursday into Friday we will start to see the effects as motorists begin to react," said Derrick Thompson, president of the Jamaica Gasoline Retailers' Association. He said he hoped the matter would be resolved by today.

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