Jamaica Observer http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/ JamaicaObserver.com, the most concise and in-depth website for news coverage on Jamaica and the Caribbean. Updated daily 7 days a week, 24 hours a day en-us copyright Jamaica Observer, 2011 Contractors urged to forge partnerships to fight foreign competition http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Contractors-urged-to-forge-partnerships-to-fight-foreign-competition_17771240 MINISTER of Transport, Works and Housing Dr Omar Davies says local contractors must be willing and prepared to collaborate with each other in order to capitalise on opportunities that will emerge in the construction sector and to compete effectively with foreign companies, as the country positions itself to become a logistics hub in the Caribbean and Latin American region. Local Business Mon, 20 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Trinidad 'won't borrow money' even if oil prices fall http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Trinidad--won-t-borrow-money--even-if-oil-prices-falls PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (Trinidad Express) - The Government will not resort to borrowing money if the budgeted price of oil falls below US$80, Finance Minister Larry Howai has said. Local Business Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:41:14 GMT Information Security Management Systems seminar next month http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Information-Security-Management-Systems-seminar-next-month_17771442 JAMAICA will host a four-day seminar on Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) next month at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston. Local News Mon, 20 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Jamaica could meet global demand for its ginger by 2019 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Jamaica-could-meet-global-demand-for-its-ginger-by-2019_17767173 LOCAL farmers could meet the global demand for Jamaican ginger by 2019, according to the Agriculture Ministry. Local Business Sun, 19 Oct 2014 01:00:00 GMT New loyalty rewards card hits the market http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/New-loyalty-rewards-card-hits-the-market_17744893 A new loyalty rewards programme, FlexKom, is now available to local businesses. Local Business Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Third credit bureau approved http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Third-credit-bureau-approved_17767670 A third credit bureau has been approved to operate in Jamaica. Local Business Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Cogeneration at SEZs could cut energy cost by 30% http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Cogeneration-at-SEZs-could-cut-energy-cost-by-30-_17760665 THE Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Policy Steering Committee is considering the use of a cogeneration system to reduce the electricity costs of SEZ operators by 30 per cent. Local Business Sun, 19 Oct 2014 01:00:00 GMT Translating economic terminology: Balance of payments http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Translating-economic-terminology--Balance-of-payments_17766458 THE Balance of Payments (BOP) is a method countries use to measure the flow of money into and out of their economies over a specific period of time, usually quarterly and yearly. As with any company or individual this is important information to know and has implications for the financial health of the nation. Let's take a look at what makes up the balance of payments, why it is important, and how Jamaica measures up. Local Business Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Replacement laptop didn't carry warranty http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Replacement-laptop-didn-t-carry-warranty_17753628 Dear Claudienne, Local Business Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Tourism stakeholders keen on timeshare vacation law http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Tourism-stakeholders-keen-on-timeshare-vacation-law_17758962 MIAMI, Florida — KEY tourism stakeholders here are anxiously awaiting the passage of the Timeshare Vacations Bill tabled in the House of Representatives by Jamaica's Tourism Minister Dr Wykeham McNeill, arguing that the legislation will enhance the island's tourism product offering. Local Business Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Will Apple Pay be the next iRevolution? http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Will-Apple-Pay-be-the-next-iRevolution_17762323 CALIFORNIA, USA — APPLE'S skinnier iPads and flashy big-screen iMac are sleek and stunning. But the tech giant is making a bigger strategic bet with next week's launch of Apple Pay — the mobile pay service aimed at turning your iPhone into your wallet. Financial Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Samsung smartphones might have taken number one spot in Jamaica http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Samsung-smartphones-might-have-taken-number-one-spot-in-Jamaica_17766221 SAMSUNG smartphones have taken the lead in Jamaica from rivals including BlackBerry (BB), reckons Kenneth Moore. Local Business Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Hendrickson gets keys to former Wyndham http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Hendrickson-gets-keys-to-former-Wyndham_17766626 Hotelier Kevin Hendrickson (right) accepts the keys to the former Wyndham Kingston Hotel from Kenneth L Lewis on Friday. With this recent acquisition, Hendrickson now owns four of Kingston's corporate hotels including The Courtleigh Hotel & Suites, The Knutsford Court Hotel and The Jamaica Pegasus. Put another way, his holdings will operate over 870 of the 1,480 rooms in the capital. The hotelier previously told the Jamaica Observer that the purchase represents "a strategic opportunity to transform the city landscape and present products and services through a full and comprehensive development strategy". Indeed, Kingston tourism has been on the up and up. Room occupancy levels have risen from just under 42 per cent to almost 50 per cent. What's more, 48 per cent of all beds in Kingston were occupied in 2012-- the highest the city has seen in at least a decade. Local Business Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Europe's top powers deadlocked as economy sinks http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Europe-s-top-powers-deadlocked-as-economy-sinks_17764871 FRANKFURT, Germany — EUROPE'S economy needs help — fast. Yet the two powers that could take action, the European Central Bank (ECB) and Germany, don't see eye to eye about what to do. Financial Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Yellen: Greatly concerned by widening inequality http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Yellen--Greatly-concerned-by-widening-inequality_17766066 WASHINGTON, USA — FEDERAL Reserve Chair Janet Yellen sounded an alarm Friday about widening economic inequality in the United States, suggesting that America's long-standing identity as a land of opportunity was at stake. Financial Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Apartments push up US home building http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Apartments-push-up-US-home-building_17764521 WASHINGTON, DC, USA — CONSTRUCTION firms broke ground on more apartment complexes in September, pushing up the pace of US home building. Financial Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Planned hospital should raise country's rep in medical tourism http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Planned-hospital-should-raise-country-s-rep-in-medical-tourism_17758874 The planned tourist hospital and related infrastructure should raise Jamaica's reputation as a medical tourism destination and hike foreign currency earnings, according to the US-based Medical Tourism Association. Local Business Fri, 17 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Noble lands Jamalco for US$140m http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Noble-lands-Jamalco-for-US-140m_17760414 HONG Kong-based Noble Resources finalised a deal to buy out Alcoa's stake in the Jamalco alumina refinery for US$140 million. Local Business Fri, 17 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Microfinance lobby group pushes for law to taper interest rates growth http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Microfinance-lobby-group-pushes-for-law-to-taper-interest-rates-growth_17757593 THE Jamaica Micro Financing Association (JaMFA) is pushing for the establishment of a Micro Credit Act to taper the growth of interest rates charged by the sector. Local Business Fri, 17 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Kremi's expansion helps melt away profit http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Kremi-s-expansion-helps-melt-away-profit_17758870 KREMI-MAKER Caribbean Cream has launched new sizes for its products. Local Business Fri, 17 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT The Lasco Group: Well-positioned for phenomenal growth http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/The-Lasco-Group--Well-positioned-for-phenomenal-growth_17758934 AT the Lasco Annual General Meeting, held on September 30, 2014, Lascelles Chin, executive chairman of the Lasco Affiliated Companies, voiced his ambition to "double sales and profit, across all three companies, within the next three years' time". Local Business Fri, 17 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT All hands needed on deck, including yours http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/All-hands-needed-on-deck--including-yours_17758891 LIKE everyone else in the world, I was appalled to hear that the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) in the US had not objected to the second Texas-based Ebola victim's request to fly between Cleveland and Texas. It also came to light that the CDC had not responded adequately to the first Ebola victim in Texas, who flew in from Liberia. Local Business Fri, 17 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT Huge rally in Jamaican Eurobonds this year but growth still lacking http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Huge-rally-in-Jamaican-Eurobonds-this-year-but-growth-still-lacking_17759403 On Wednesday, in an article entitled "Jamaica IMF progress spurs tightest spread compression across EM", coming out of the recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) conference in Washington, global news provider Reuters Thomson noted that Jamaican bonds are proving to be one of the top performers across emerging markets (EMs) this year as "markets grow more confident that the country's economy is finally turning the corner." Local Business Fri, 17 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT US demand for timeshares in Caribbean outstrips inventory http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/US-demand-for-timeshares-in-Caribbean-outstrips-inventory_17758955 THE demand for Caribbean countries by US leisure travellers in the lucrative timeshare industry has outstripped the inventory. Local Business Fri, 17 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT UDC seeks natural juice businesses for Dunn's River Falls attraction http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/UDC-seeks-natural-juice-businesses-for-Dunn-s-River-Falls-attraction_17759522 THE Urban Development Corporation (UDC) is seeking investors to establish a natural juice business at Dunn's River Falls. Local Business Fri, 17 Oct 2014 02:00:00 GMT