12 Jan

Private Sector to be affected – GO-Invest Chairperson

first_imgBrexit falloutWhile the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (EU) is said to have dire consequences for the Caribbean, what is more significant is the effect the move will also have on businesses.GO-Invest Chairperson Patricia BacchusChairperson of the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest), Patricia Bacchus said the implications of Brexit for the Private Sector in Guyana and the Caribbean were many. She was among a group of speakers at a discussion organised by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Dr Ivelaw Griffith recently.According to Bacchus, Britain remains a key market for many of the Region’s products and services even though there has been some general decline over the years. In 2008, she said, Caricom exports to the United Kingdom stood at some US$839 million. However, six years later, in 2014, it stood at US$495 million, a 30 to 35 per cent decline. That, she said, represents about two per cent of Caricom exports.In Guyana, based on information gathered, it was shown that for the first four months of the year, exports to the United Kingdom were somewhere around US$31 million or $6.5 billion. Bacchus said if the same momentum was maintained, there would be an anticipated $20 billion per annum in exported services and goods to the UK. For Guyana, it represents about seven per cent of total exports, which included commodities such as fuel and mining products; banana, sugar and rum; minerals, particularly gold, and fertilisers.Speaking about the direct implications, Bacchus said currency sensitivity and the exchange rate were set to affect businesses in the Region. “We all know that post Brexit votes there was a situation where the pound slide to a 31-year low. It has rebounded, but it is about 10 per cent below where it was trading against the US currency.”According to her, there are businesses and nations selling products and services in the UK market for which agreements are denominated in the pound currency. “That means now that the value that was being received by the seller is significantly reduced if they are being paid in pound sterling.”She said while there was some stabilisation going on right now, uncertainty would prevail and the currency sensitivity issue would also prevail.“So businesses and nations that are exposed to the currency fluctuation are going to be tasked with examining what it means to them. There will have to be some renegotiations with the UK or even seek out other markets,” she told the audience at Duke Lodge.Other implications Bacchus spoke about included access to the market on a free trade, free quota basis and operational exposure for businesses founded outside the UK that are operating within the country. She said because they have set up an office in the UK, they enjoy access to the UK market under a harmonised regulatory and tariff system with free cross border banking facilities and free movement of people and skills. The new situation will, however, pose some challenges.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Pic saved as BrexitCaption: GO- Invest Chairperson Patricia Bacchuslast_img read more

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19 Nov

Lewis Hamilton wants real Bahrain battle with Sebastian Vettel

first_imgLewis Hamilton is keeping his fingers crossed that he and Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel can have a proper battle in Bahrain on Sunday after last year’s race did neither of them any favours.Vettel, now joint leader of the Formula One championship with Mercedes’s Hamilton after two races, was unable to start the 2016 grand prix at Sakhir due to an engine failure on the formation lap.The German, who had qualified third behind the then-dominant Mercedes drivers, has been alongside Hamilton on the front row so far this year.”It (the title battle) is going to go right down to the end of the season, and I hope there’s nothing mechanical that will come in between our sheer battle through ability,” said Hamilton after winning in China last weekend.”I really, really hope it’s just an out and out fight through stubbornness, through mental stability, through fitness, composure…,” he added.Vettel, a four times world champion with Red Bull, and triple champion Hamilton have 43 points apiece after one victory and second place each.Unless both draw a blank, the deadlock must be broken on Sunday at a desert circuit where both are two times winners and returning in rather better mood than they left last year.There is a real sense of anticipation about the emerging scrap between two great rivals with a huge determination to win and no less mutual respect of each other’s talents and achievements.”He is at his best and he is phenomenally quick,” Hamilton said of Australian Grand Prix winner Vettel. “Ferrari are at their best in years. We’re at our best as a team, and I feel like I’m at my best.advertisement”The ultimate fighter always wants to go up against the best battle he can have because then when you come out on top, it’s so much more satisfying. I love this fight.”UNHAPPY MEMORIESLast year’s race in Bahrain does not hold great memories for either of the current Mercedes drivers, either.Hamilton made a slow start from pole and collided on the first lap with the Williams of Valtteri Bottas, his new team mate this season, who was punished by stewards for his move.Bottas, who has replaced last year’s winner and retired world champion Nico Rosberg, will not want reminding of that as he seeks to move on from a spin behind the safety car that cost him points in China.Mercedes should be favourites, after winning the last three races at Sakhir, but Ferrari are sharp on strategy and have shown they flourish in hotter conditions.”I think they will be very, very quick in the next race but there’s a lot of straights there as well and we’ve obviously got, I think, still the strongest power unit on the grid,” commented Hamilton.”So I think that will come into play, for sure.”The race will also see the return of Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein, who has missed two races due to fitness issues, and of former commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone, attending a race for the first time since his ouster by Liberty Media.The 86-year-old Briton told Reuters that a Vettel v Hamilton battle was win-win for the sport.”They are both good friends of mine so I don’t care who wins. It would be nice to see Ferrari win… I’d like to see Sebastian win, But it would also be nice to see Lewis put another notch on his gun,” he said.last_img read more

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