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 2016 growth rate increases to 1.4 per cent http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/2016-growth-rate-increases-to-1-4-per-cent_90513 Jamaica Local Business Fri, 24 Feb 2017 03:00:00 GMT Cuba bets on special economic zone to spur development http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Cuba-bets-on-special-economic-zone-to-spur-development_90483 MARIEL, Cuba, (Xinhua) — Just over three years ago, Cuba began to map out its most ambitious economic development project ever, the Mariel Special Economic Development Zone (ZEDM). Local Business Fri, 24 Feb 2017 03:00:00 GMT China helps Cuba’s special economic zone fulfil potential http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/China-helps-Cuba-s-special-economic-zone-fulfil-potential_90478 MARIEL, Cuba (Xinhua) — Giant Chinese-built cranes briskly unload shipping containers from cargo ships at Cuba’s deep-water port of Mariel, a fledgling special economic zone the country hopes will drive development over the coming years. Local Business Fri, 24 Feb 2017 03:00:00 GMT GKGI expands to Guyana, Trinidad http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/GKGI-expands-to-Guyana--Trinidad_90538 GraceKennedy Local Business Fri, 24 Feb 2017 03:00:00 GMT Pulse says construction of new villas and guest rooms 40 per cent complete http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Pulse-says-construction-of-new-villas-and-guest-rooms-40-per-cent-complete_90296 Chairman of Pulse Investments Ltd Kingsley Cooper has announced the progress of new projects which are expected to add to revenue when operational. This includes the company's main investment in the construction of 52 guest suites at Villa Ronai in Stony Hill, St Andrew and 19 guest rooms on Trafalgar Road in New Kingston. Local Business Fri, 24 Feb 2017 03:00:00 GMT MasterCard makes payment easier, safer with new mobile wallet solution http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/MasterCard-prepares-to-launch-its-mobile-wallet-solution_90491 Global payment technology company MasterCard plans to introduce the payment solution Masterpass, through partnering banks and merchants, to the Latin American and Caribbean region — though already available in Brazil. Local Business Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT JMMB launches new online brokerage service in Trinidad http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/JMMB-launches-new-online-brokerage-service-in-Trinidad_90309 Investment Local Business Fri, 24 Feb 2017 03:00:00 GMT SVL takes bet on Hayden for Caymanas Track http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/SVL-takes-bet-on-Hayden-for-Caymanas-Track_90299 As Supreme Ventures Ltd’s (SVL) gears up for a more complete gaming strategy following its recent acquisition of Caymanas Track Ltd (CTL), it has appointed Brando Hayden as its chief operating officer (COO) for the ‘Park’. Local Business Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT Puerto Rico to be hit with painful austerity measures http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Puerto-Rico-to-be-hit-with-painful-austerity-measures_90390 SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The newly appointed head of a federal control board that oversees Puerto Rico’s finances warned on Tuesday that the US territory will be hit with painful austerity measures in upcoming months. Local Business Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT Harvard names Rihanna its humanitarian of the year http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Harvard-names-Rihanna-its-humanitarian-of-the-year_90467 NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Rihanna may be best known as an R&B superstar, but on Wednesday she was named the 2017 Harvard University Humanitarian of the Year for her charity work. Local Business Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT Seprod moves for milk industry shake-up http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Seprod-moves-for-milk-industry-shake-up_90250 Chief executive officer of Seprod Ltd, Richard Pandohie is prepared to invest $180 million in a drive to revitalise Jamaica’s dairy industry — but is calling for Government to create the framework for a viable sector. Local Business Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT BOJ working to make savings more attractive in J$ than US$ http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/BOJ-working-to-make-savings-more-attractive-in-J--than-US-_90322 Jamaicans’ appetite to invest in US currency has driven the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) to increase its holdings on the foreign currency deposits of financial institutions, thus creating a disincentive for the banks to take deposits in any other currency but the Jamaican dollar. Local Business Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT Agriculture tops real sector growth again http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Agriculture-tops-real-sector-growth-again_90286 Once again, the combination of agriculture, forestry and fishing was the sector which grew the most in the December 2016 quarter, the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) indicates in its quarterly Monetary Report (QMPR) which was released yesterday. Local Business Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT Iron Rock performs above expectations — Evan Thwaites http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Iron-Rock-performs-above-expectations---Evan-Thwaites Evan Thwaites, managing director of new property insurance company IronRock Insurance Ltd, indicates that directors are pleased with the 2016 results, having weathered the first year in operation with losses which were lower than expected. Local Business Wed, 22 Feb 2017 03:49:05 GMT UDC refloats incentives for urban renewal projects http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/UDC-refloats-incentives-for-urban-renewal-projects_89054 While the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) is advertising a very large slate of projects — including many targeted at urban renewal with incentives as a drawing card — local companies are still waiting for the green light so they can make use of the benefits. Local Business Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT Jamaica set for second draw down from IMF http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Jamaica-set-for-second-draw-down-from-IMF_90285 Jamaica is poised to receive a second draw down of US$170 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under the Precautionary StandBy Arrangement. Local Business Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT BOJ projects oil price stability for 2017 http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/BOJ-projects-oil-price-stability-for-2017_90234 Local manufacturers and other sectors impacted by oil prices can factor into their planning a year of stability, according to the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) in its latest Quarterly Monetary Policy Report (QMPR). Local Business Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT We want your money — Holness invites pension funds to invest in infrastructure, divested assets http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/We-want-your-money---Holness-invites-pension-funds-to-invest-in-infrastructure--divested-assets_90264 With only 10 per cent of working Jamaicans being members of pension funds and retirement schemes, Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness is urging more Jamaicans to invest in formal pensions funds as a means of saving towards retirement. Local Business Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT 10 Secrets of the best Jamaican salespeople http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/10-Secrets-of-the-best-Jamaican-salespeople_90240 Working with highly successful Jamaican salespeople can be a very rewarding experience. Usually they are very focused on achieving their goals and are prepared to put in long hours. But perhaps what excites me most about them is their thirst for knowledge of their trade. Local Business Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT Dixon says cheers to J Wray & Nephew http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Dixon-says-cheers-to-J-Wray---Nephew_90148 Gary Dixon has resigned from J Wray & Nephew (JWN), where he was marketing director for the spirits company owned by Gruppo Campari. He is set to leave at the end of March. Local Business Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT Smartphones are revolutionising medicine http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Smartphones-are-revolutionising-medicine_90160 BOSTON, United States (AFP) — Smartphones are revolutionising the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, thanks to add-ons and apps that make their ubiquitous small screens into medical devices, researchers say. Local Business Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT Burger King’s parent buys Popeyes chicken http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Burger-King-s-parent-buys-Popeyes-chicken_90252 OTTAWA, Canada (AFP) — Restaurant Brands International, the parent company of Burger King and Canada’s Tim Hortons donut shops, said yesterday it has reached a deal to buy American fried chicken chain Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. Local Business Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT A boost for Nollywood with The Wedding Party success http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/A-boost-for-Nollywood-with-The-Wedding-Party-success_90255 LAGOS, Nigeria (AFP) — Nollywood film The Wedding Party has shown Nigerian cinema at the top of its game with its success at the box office taking it to new audiences across Africa and the world. Local Business Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT Deep sea mining gets a second look http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/Deep-sea-mining-gets-a-second-look_90154 BOSTON, United States (AFP) — The risk of running out of rare earth metals that are essential to modern technology has led to a surge in interest in mining the deep seas. Local Business Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT World’s biggest miner BHP posts soaring half-year profit http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/business/World-s-biggest-miner-BHP-posts-soaring-half-year-profit_90253 SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Mining giant BHP Billiton yesterday reported a dramatic rebound in half-yearly profits on the back of surging coal and iron ore prices and improved productivity. Local Business Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 GMT