Month: October 2019

Collective Efforts Needed To Fight Corruption – Minister Williams

first_img Mrs. Williams acknowledged that significant work has been undertaken and progress made in this regard, resulting in Jamaica’s improved ranking to 68th out of 180 countries on Transparency International’s 2017 Corruption Perception Index, up from 83rd in 2016. Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Fayval Williams, says ongoing collective efforts are needed to achieve further reduction in corruption.Mrs. Williams acknowledged that significant work has been undertaken and progress made in this regard, resulting in Jamaica’s improved ranking to 68th out of 180 countries on Transparency International’s 2017 Corruption Perception Index, up from 83rd in 2016.While citing this as a notable achievement, the Minister emphasised that “we cannot stop there”.“We have to continue with our efforts to implement laws and policies that can prevent, detect, and prosecute corrupt perpetrators. Combating corruption and promoting transparency in our society will be as a result of the active involvement of all stakeholders,” Mrs. Williams emphasised.She was speaking at the Government of Jamaica Audit Commission’s annual Audit Committees’ Conference, held recently at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston.Mrs. Williams highlighted several measures that she said are demonstrative of the Government’s zero-tolerance approach to corruption.These, she noted, include the passage of the Integrity Commission Act, which seeks to promote and enhance standards of ethical conduct for Parliamentarians, officials and others, as well as the establishment of an Integrity Commission.Additionally, she cited publication of instruments to improve corporate governance of public bodies; and passage of the Public Procurement Act 2015, and its subsequent amendments in 2018.Mrs. Williams further pointed out that the Finance Ministry continues to facilitate training for public procurement practitioners.“These are steps [aimed at] helping us to attain our goal of having sustainable systems that can curtail corruption and increase transparency in the award and execution of contracts as well as put teeth into the rule of law,” she noted.The Minister further cited establishment of several government institutions to deal with corruption.These, she said, include the Revenue Protection Division, which has responsibility for preventing corruption and prosecuting individuals deemed corrupt; and the Financial Investigation Division, which was established to deter money laundering and other financial crimes by seizing and forfeiting assets that are illegally obtained, thereby removing the profit out of crime.“These laws, systems and policies find synergy with the overall thrust towards sustaining an ethical environment where the poor and most vulnerable in our society [are afforded] access to basic amenities and services provided by the Government,” the Minister said.Noting a recent World Bank Report, which estimates that global losses to corruption amount to “trillions of dollars”, Mrs. Williams argued that “corruption, from any perspective, is a major obstacle to democracy and the rule of law”“It impacts societies in a multitude of ways. Simply put… it costs lives, and it costs people their freedom, their health and their money,” she said.Economically, the Minister added, corruption depletes national wealth, hinders the development of good governance structures, and distorts competing and desirous investments.Additionally, Mrs. Williams said the World Bank reports that empirical studies on several countries have shown that the poor and vulnerable pay the highest percentage of their income in bribes in order to “beat the system”.“We can all agree that corruption erodes the societal fabric, it undermines trust in the political system, its institutions and its leadership. As leaders and advocates for good governance, we have a responsibility to test the ethical temperature of the organisations that we serve,” she argued.The Minister contended that audits should reveal whether transparency exists behind key decisions, whether employees trust the whistle-blower process and have confidence that there will be no retaliation against those who use it, and whether management is “giving tacit approval to unethical practices by doing nothing”.“Our job… your job… my job… is not an easy one; some might find it daunting. But the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service is committed to its vision of becoming a Centre of Excellence that enables sustainable growth and development through sound policy planning and quality service delivery,” Mrs. Williams said.This vision, she indicated, requires committed audit committee members “who are well equipped to [deal with] the challenge of providing effective oversight that includes a heightened sense of awareness [of] the tools that can be leveraged in combating corruption and promoting transparency”.The Audit Committees’ Conference was held in collaboration with the Finance Ministry under the theme ‘Audit Committees: Combatting Corruption, Promoting Transparency’. Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Fayval Williams, says ongoing collective efforts are needed to achieve further reduction in corruption. While citing this as a notable achievement, the Minister emphasised that “we cannot stop there”. 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AAJ Budgets $1.36 Billion for Capital Works at NMIA

first_img According to the 2019/20 Jamaica Public Bodies Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, this forms part of the AAJ’s execution of a 20-year capital development programme at the facility, which is slated for completion by the 2020/21 fiscal year. Approximately $1.36 billion is budgeted for capital works at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) in Kingston by the Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ), during the current fiscal year.According to the 2019/20 Jamaica Public Bodies Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, this forms part of the AAJ’s execution of a 20-year capital development programme at the facility, which is slated for completion by the 2020/21 fiscal year.The document further indicates that this, coupled with the execution of a shoreline protection project at a cost of $670 million, will account for approximately 70 per cent of the budgeted $2.89-billion capital expenditure this year.Meanwhile, consequent on relinquishing operational responsibilities for NMIA, the AAJ will, this year, focus its strategic priorities on establishing new organisation and governance structures for improved airport system oversight and effective service delivery.The new organisational structure will focus on AAJ’s effective execution of its functions as airport and concession managers, and aviation and aerodrome developers.The AAJ’s relinquishment of NMIA operational responsibilities results from privatisation of the facility’s operations to new concessionaire PAC Kingston Airport Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mexican entity Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico (GAP), under a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement.This sees the 30-year management arrangement by AAJ subsidiary Norman Manley International Airport Limited being terminated and replaced with a 25-year agreement with PAC, in keeping with the new concession’s provisions.The PPP is expected to deliver $110 million in private investments towards NMIA’s expansion and upgrading, and returns to the AAJ via annual concession fees.The AAJ projects the accrual of approximately $4.4 billion this year, as against an estimated $3.67 billion for 2018/19.The entity’s staff complement will, however, be reduced from 369 to 151 employees this year. The document further indicates that this, coupled with the execution of a shoreline protection project at a cost of $670 million, will account for approximately 70 per cent of the budgeted $2.89-billion capital expenditure this year. Story Highlights Approximately $1.36 billion is budgeted for capital works at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) in Kingston by the Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ), during the current fiscal year.last_img read more

Finance Minister Calls for Increased Domestic Investments

first_img The Minister was speaking at the Destination Experience Masters of Industry Reception, which was held at the Mercedes Benz showroom on South Camp Road in Kingston on April 5. Story Highlights Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, says there is need for greater levels of local investments, in order to sustain Jamaica’s economic growth. Dr. Clarke noted that the Government has been working to restore economic stability through the implementation of policies that “encourage and incentivise greater levels of domestic and foreign investment”.“We believe that the environment today and the policy choices we have made will encourage domestic investment to be unleashed in Jamaica in ways that it hasn’t in a long period of time,” he said.The Finance Minister argued that while ongoing economic reform has resulted in 16 consecutive quarters of growth, there is a need for greater value-added in the country’s production and output.“If you look at the composition of Jamaica’s gross domestic product (GDP), about 30 per cent of it is in the goods-producing sectors – construction and mining, agriculture, and manufacturing, and about 70 per cent is in services. We are seeing strong growth within the goods-producing sectors… but because those are small segments of the economy, they don’t translate into overall large growth. While, on the services side, we are seeing lower growth,” he explained.Dr. Clarke pointed out that greater value-added can take place in the economy through “backward integration” in terms of tourism, and allowing more manufacturing businesses to be established in Jamaica.Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Dr. Nigel Clarke (right), in discussion with Dean Emeritus at the New York University’s Stern School of Business, Peter Blair Henry, prior to the start of the Destination Experience Masters of Industry Reception, which was held at the Mercedes Benz showroom on South Camp Road in Kingston on April 5. Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, says there is a need for greater levels of local investments, in order to sustain Jamaica’s economic growth.“We have had a lot of foreign investment, but I don’t think domestic investment has yet been unleashed in the way that it can and ultimately will,” he said.The Minister was speaking at the Destination Experience Masters of Industry Reception, which was held at the Mercedes Benz showroom on South Camp Road in Kingston on April 5.Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Dr. Nigel Clarke (right), responds to questions posed by Dean Emeritus at the New York University’s Stern School of Business, Peter Blair Henry, during the discussion segment of the Destination Experience Masters of Industry Reception, which was held at the Mercedes Benz showroom on South Camp Road in Kingston on April 5. “We have had a lot of foreign investment. But I don’t think domestic investment has yet been unleashed in the way that it can and ultimately will,” he said. “We are seeing firms from the region establish manufacturing companies in Jamaica to access the northern markets; that’s something that never happened before,” he noted.The Minister further argued that in order to continue realising growth, the economy has to be made more efficient by, among other things, dealing with the associated cost factors.“In the last budget, we dealt with some of those fiscal costs, those transaction costs that lead to inefficiency and lead to inefficient allocation. We have a lot more work to do, not just in the fiscal side, but on the regulatory side and on the microeconomic structures that lead to inefficiency,” he said.Dr. Clarke noted that making the economy more efficient also involves training persons who are entering the workforce, to ensure they are productive.The reception formed part of the Destination Experience Visionaries’ Summit, held from April 4 to 6.The summit offers a multi-stakeholder business acceleration environment, to enable decision-makers from around the world to connect with their peers in untapped markets in order to drive economic transformation and growth.last_img read more

Harren & Partner Implements DNV GL ShipManager for …

first_imgDNV GL, March 6, 2014 My location Print  Close 此页面无法正确加载 Google 地图。您是否拥有此网站?确定 zoom German-based shipowner Harren & Partner will implement the DNV GL business intelligence software systems ShipManager Analyzer and ShipManager QHSE for its entire fleet of 52 vessels. Both innovative systems will enable Harren & Partner to extract data from operational systems and optimize management of its ships.The first trial implementation for the two software systems is expected to be running in April. By mid-year the entire fleet will have ShipManager Analyzer and ShipManager QHSE installed, allowing the integrated solution to support the improved performance, efficiency and safety of Harren & Partner´s fleet of container feeder vessels, bulk and heavy lift carriers, tankers, multi-purpose carriers and dock ships, ranging from 4,000 to 76,000 tdw.DNV GL won the tender after Harren & Partner conducted an in-depth review of available software on the market for its fleet, using sophisticated tools in order to evaluate the capabilities of all of the leading solutions.Key reasons ShipManager software was chosen were flexibility, potential for further extensions and ease of use. “The software is designed by professionals for professionals in the shipping industry,” says Capt. Hausler, Director of Quality and Safety at Harren & Partner Germany. “Both our companies work with compliance to higher safety standards and they are committed to quality. Quality and safety standards are about to become an important economic advantage in today’s shipping markets,” he says.The implementation may be expanded to include additional modules of DNV GL’s ShipManager portfolio. The eight ShipManager modules are: Analyzer, QHSE, Procurement, Finance, Hull, Projects, Technical and Crewing. “This is an open project, not a closed one,” says Capt. Hausler.“With Harren & Partner a very impressive company joins the fast-growing user community of DNV GL´s ShipManager platform,” says Torsten Büssow, Director Maritime Software at DNV GL – Software. “It will help us to maintain our leading market position within maritime software, at the same time as we are constantly developing new and improved solutions for the future,” he says.last_img read more

Global AUV Fleet to Increase 42% by 2018

first_imgdouglas-westwood, April 4, 2014 zoom The global AUV (autonomous underwater vehicle) fleet will increase 42% in the 2014-2018 period, compared to the previous five years, according to the industry analyst Douglas-Westwood (DW) report.The fleet is forecast to total 825 units in 2018, led by strong demand in the military sector. These are findings from DW’s 5th edition of the World AUV Market Forecast which covers the key commercial themes relevant to players across the value chain in all AUV sectors.Report author, Eduardo Ribeiro, commented, “The military sector makes up 50% of AUV demand, with North America accounting for 75% of this market in 2014. However, this market share may decrease to 70% by 2018, as emerging economies increasingly invest in their military fleets. Overall growth of military demand in AUVs closely mirrors the investment in unmanned aircraft – so called ‘drones.’”“Increasing environmental awareness continues to drive demand for use of AUVs on research activities, with environmental sensing and research mapping combined forming approximately 47% of the current AUV fleet. However, the research sector may represent a smaller proportion of the market by 2018, as commercial activities gain pace.”Report editor, Murray Dormer, continued, “Highest growth is expected to come from the commercial sector, but from a small base, more than doubling its proportion of active units during the forecast period (from 3% to 8%). Key developments have taken place in areas such as sensing, battery endurance and tracking stability, which allow a wide range of applications to emerge in the offshore oil & gas industry (life-of-field, pipeline inspections and rig moves) also in civil hydrography, in addition to existing work in site and pipeline route surveys.”“North America will continue to dominate global AUV expenditure, predominantly on military unmanned technology, although the region’s market share is forecast to decrease from 64% in 2014 to 60% by 2018. Africa and Latin America are set to experience the highest growth, driven by deepwater oil & gas activities in pre-salt areas. Demand in Asia will be varied with research activities in Japan, deepwater expenditure in India, Indonesia and Malaysia and military investment in China.”last_img read more

ZIM Cuts Losses

first_imgzoom Israel’s shipping company ZIM Integrated Shipping Ltd. has published its results for the second quarter of 2014, on the backdrop of the successful conclusion of its debt restructuring on July 16, 2014. Under the terms of restructuring, Israel Corporation’s holding in ZIM was reduced from 100% to 32%.ZIM said that it was continuing execution of its strategic plan in order to continue improving its results, despite the persisting decline in freight rates around the world.“In spite of the uncertainty during the second quarter around the company’s ability to conclude the debt restructuring, the labor disturbances by company’s unions in Israel, shutting down of the company’s headquarters and the Sea Officers Union preventing a ship from sailing, ZIM managed to improve its results and maintain rate of profitability in the vicinity of the industry’s average.”For the second quarter of 2014, ZIM reported a loss, before interest and tax (EBIT), of about USD 9 million, reflecting improvement compared to the corresponding quarter of 2013, for which it reported an EBIT loss of about USD 29 million.Second-quarter EBITDA totaled close to USD 29 million, compared to approximately USD 12 million in the corresponding quarter of 2013. Operating cash flow totaled close to USD19 million in Q2 2014, an improvement compared to about USD 14 million in Q2 2013.The volume of TEU containers carried in Q2 2014 of 2014 decreased by 2% compared to the second quarter of 2013, to 619,000 TEUs. Most of the decrease was due to terminating lines between Northern Europe and the United States (in mid-2013), and lines between Asia to Northern Europe (at the start of the second quarter of 2014).Revenue in Q2 2014 amounted to close to USD 875 million, compared to about USD 977 million in the corresponding quarter of 2013.The reduction in revenues was a result of the closing lines; not having the revenues from the container manufacturing plant in China consolidated in Q2 2013 after it was sold during the third quarter of 2013; and the sustained pressure on freight prices. Freight rates per TEU averaged USD 1,206, a drop of USD 40 per container (3%) compared with Q2 2013.“Finalizing the complicated restructuring paves the way for renewed momentum, the company is now prepared to ride the wave of global economic recovery. The “New ZIM” is concentrating its efforts on executing its business plan, which in substance focuses on profitable lines where the company offers added value to its customers, while improving and upgrading its points of interface with customers and continuing to improve its operating efficiency, ” ZIM said. Press Release; August 25, 2014last_img read more

Felixstowe First UK Port to Get AEO Status

first_imgzoom The Port of Felixstowe has become the first UK port to receive full Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status.The AEO initiative was introduced by the European Commission through the Union Customs Code to help simplify customs procedures and secure international supply chains.Commenting on the accreditation, Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, owners of the Port of Felixstowe, said: “Being the first port in the UK to achieve full AEO status demonstrates our commitment to providing the best possible level of service to our customers. It recognises the robustness and consistency of the port’s procedures, giving customers and UK Customs comfort that the high standards required to achieve accreditation are maintained.It is becoming increasingly important to cargo owners that everyone involved in the international supply chain is able to demonstrate the highest standards of customs simplification, safety and security. Ports play a vital role in this regard and this designation gives them that assurance.”The AEO certificate is an internationally recognised quality mark issued by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs giving surety that the holder’s role in the international supply chain is secure, and that their customs controls and procedures are efficient and compliant. Press Release; September 29, 2014last_img read more

Expansion of Ghanas Tema Port Starts in October

first_imgzoom Construction works on the USD 1.5 billion Tema Port expansion project are expected to commence on October 1, 2016, according to Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA). Meridian Port Services (MPS), a joint venture between APM Terminals, Bolloré Africa Logistics (Meridian Port Holdings) and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), has awarded the contract for the expansion of the port to the China Harbour Engineering Company and AECOM.The Tema project will result in four deep-water berths, a new breakwater and an access channel able to accommodate the world’s largest containerships, according to APM Terminals. The expansion works will add 3.5 million TEUs in annual throughput capacity.The new project consists of both greenfield port outside the present facility and a needed upgrade of the adjacent road network.Scheduled to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2019, the project is expected to expand trade flows and links across West Africa, GPHA said.The immediate cash-flow need for the project realization is USD 1 billion. MPS has signed a USD 667 million financing package with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank group, while the MPS shareholders will provide the rest of the funding amounting to USD 333 million.Back in November 2014, MPS and GPHA inked an initial memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the expansion plans.In June 2015, MPS formally signed an agreement to invest USD 1.5 billion in the new port and logistics hub in Tema.last_img read more

DryShips Raises USD 198 Mn as It Eyes Further Fleet Growth

first_imgzoom  Nasdaq-listed ship owner DryShips said that it has completed the previously announced USD 200 million common stock offering, raising net proceeds of USD 198 million.Following the completion of the offering, the company has approximately 152,055,576 common shares outstanding.“We are very pleased to have successfully raised an additional USD 198 million of equity, which will increase our total available liquidity to about USD 455 million. We continue to look at opportunities to diversify and grow our fleet with high quality tonnage and significant operating leverage,” George Economou, Chairman and CEO commented.Under its diversification plan, the company has returned to gas carrier market early this year with the recent purchase of two very large gas carriers with an option to add two more. Each of the four VLGCs, which are currently under construction at South Korean shipyard Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), are planned to be employed on long term charters to major oil companies and oil traders. The vessels are scheduled for delivery in June, September, October and December of 2017, respectively.Separately, the company’s CEO has been linked to an order for four VLCCs at Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction (HHIC)’s Subic Bay, however, the order is yet to be confirmed.last_img read more

Klaveness Maritime Agency Expands Services

first_imgzoom Klaveness Maritime Agency Inc. (KMAI), part of Norwegian shipping company Torvald Klaveness, informed that KMA in Manila is expanding its crew management services to include two new principals.The companies in question are Singapore-based Nordic Maritime Crewing Services and India’s Chellaram Shipping.Crew management company Nordic Maritime Crewing Services will be bringing in two oil-chemical tankers, namely Northsea Rational and Northsea Logic, Klaveness said.Each of the two vessels has a complement of up to thirteen Filipino crew, who are all to be deployed by KMAI.Furthermore, KMAI will provide Filipino officers for Chellaram’s managed vessels.As explained, KMAI plans to work closely with Chellaram’s crew management company in India, Chellaram Shipping Private, in an effort to gradually increase the number of Filipino sea personnel in its fleet.last_img read more