Daily Brief - Tuesday 14th March, 2023


Missing Romanian found in Trinidad

Missing Romanian tourist Fanel Crirstel, 46, has been found in Trinidad. This was confirmed by Sgt Joseph Jordan on Monday. Jordan told Newsday: “I didn’t get anything officially. I just know he was found and he was okay. I don’t know anything other than that, I am actually awaiting something official as it relates to where he was found and how we are going to treat with it.” Crirstel arrived in Tobago on March 5 onboard the Costa Fascinosa cruise ship. However, when the vessel was ready to depart the Scarborough port in the afternoon, Crirstel was nowhere to be found. Read more here

Foreign tobacco distributor sues Health Ministry

An international tobacco distributor, with a free zone designation, has been given the clearance to sue the Ministry of Health over a decision to shut down its operations for failing to have relevant licences. Last Friday, High Court Judge Frank Seepersad granted North American Trading Company Limited leave to pursue its judicial review lawsuit against the ministry. Seepersad was also asked to consider an application from the company for an injunction against the decision but it (the application) was eventually withdrawn after the ministry agreed to allow the company to continue its operations without the requisite licenses while it (the ministry) continues to consult with the Ministry of Trade and Industry. According to the court filings, the company, which is located at the Intercontinental Business Park, Free Zone Complex, in D’Abadie, began operating almost 20 years ago after registering with the T&T Free Zones Company Limited under the Free Zone Act. Read more here



THA Chief Sec in Jamaica for MOU signing

THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine has stopped off in Jamaica after taking part in the International Tourismus-Borse (ITB) Berlin trade show in Germany. A press release from his office on Sunday said Augustine went to Jamaica to participate in the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for technical assistance with the University of Technology (UTECH), Jamaica. The release said this was in keeping with Section 25 (2) of the Tobago House of Assembly Act 40 of 1996. “This historic partnership comes as a result of a study tour, conducted in 2022, of the Jamaican Housing Trust model and that country’s social housing programme, which inspired the recent launch of our Home Ownership Made Equal (HOME) programme.” Read more here

Attorneys and activists welcome plan for human trafficking court

Plans announced by National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds for a special court to deal with human trafficking cases, have been welcomed by human rights attorneys and activists although they had concerns about infrastructure and sustainable funding for the proposed facility. Attorney Criston J Williams recalled that on February 24 the T&T Government told the United Nations they were developing draft policies to deal with trafficking. He questioned the rationale for the proposed court and said Hinds “should disclose the policy so we can see what the infrastructure of this is.” He said: “How we are going to train, develop the judges and task forces to be victim centred. In principle special courts have been effective in bringing justice but we have to be able to evaluate special courts.  Read more here



Mastercard Investing in Culture

Mastercard, the global technology company in the payments industry, set foot in Trinidad and Tobago last year by opening its first office in the country. Immediately after their market launch, Mastercard began to support the local arts and culture including the recently concluded Carnival 2023. For this year’s carnival, Mastercard supported TRIBE by becoming an Official Partner. TRIBE is one of the largest bands, in what is often described around the world, as The Greatest Show on Earth. Danielle Dumas, Director of Business Development, explained best at Tribe’s Las Jam when she shared that Mastercard is constantly looking to connect people’s passions with how they pay. Read more here

Craft industry ‘alive and well’

The craft industry is “alive and well” but local artists face increasing challenges in accessing raw materials and selling products, the Export Centres Company Ltd (ECCL) said yesterday. Demand is also high for craft training and marketing selling opportunities, the ECCL told a Joint Select Committee of the Parliament, during “An enquiry into the operations of the craft industry including a focus on achievement of its mandate to build the capacity of artisans in the craft sector toward local self-sufficiency”. Read more here



Upgrades to Liliendaal, Ogle pump stations, other drainage facilities

In continuing the roll out of its capital works programme for 2023, the Ministry of Agriculture, on Monday, signed a number of contracts to the tune of $1.8 billion for the rehabilitation of several drainage facilities across the country. Of the Six contracts signed, the ministry’s Agriculture Sector Development Unit signed two contracts with General Engineering Supplies and Services Inc. and CEMCO totaling close to $1.3 billion for the rehabilitation of the Liliendaal and Ogle Drainage catchment areas in Region Four. This project, which is funded by the World Bank, will see the reduction of flooding in vulnerable areas along the coastland. Read more here



China reopening borders to foreign tourists for first time since Covid erupted

China is to resume issuing visas to foreign tourists for the first time since the Covid pandemic broke out three years ago. The major easing of restrictions comes after Beijing declared victory over the virus and retreats from a zero-Covid strategy that has hurt its economy. From 15 March, foreign offices can process applications for Chinese visas. Visa-free entry will also resume in Hainan Island and Shanghai for cruise ships. Tour groups from Hong Kong and Macau will also regain their visa-free privilege. In addition, valid visas issued before China closed to the world on 28 March 2020 will be honoured again. The removal of the last cross-border restrictions imposed to tackle Covid marks a major step towards the resumption of normal life in post-pandemic China. Read more here

14th March 2023


Copyright © . Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers' Association All Rights Reserved.