Jamaica and China Sign Four Agreements

first_img The Jamaican Government, August 21, signed four agreements with the People’s Republic of China worth millions of dollars, as Prime Minster, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller continues her official trip to that country.Chief among them is an agreement with the China Exim Bank for a preferential loan for the Major Infrastructure Development Project (MIDP).The others are Letters of Agreement on economic and technical co-operation between both governments; Letters of exchange on the construction of infant schools by the Government of China for Jamaica; and Letters of exchange on the feasibility study, ‘Teaching Building of the Confucius Institute’, by the Government of China for Jamaica.The agreements were signed on behalf of the Jamaican Government by Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator the Hon. A.J. Nicholson at the Great Hall of the People in the Chinese capital, Beijing, minutes after a meeting between Mrs. Simpson Miller and her delegation and the President of the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency Xi Jinping.Under the MIDP, several hundred kilometres of roadway will be rehabilitated; bridges and retaining walls will be constructed or rehabilitated as well as the completion of sub-projects started under the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP). The project is slated to provide employment for thousands of Jamaicans.In the meantime, both countries signed an agreement with a view to further developing friendly relations and economic and technical co-operation between the two countries.Under this agreement, the Chinese government will provide grant aid in the amount of RMBY 100,000,000 or approximately US$16 million. This will be used for projects to be mutually agreed on through consultations between the two countries.“Detailed accounting procedures for the disbursement of funds concerning the implementation of the agreement shall be settled between the Accountant General’s Department of the Ministry of Finance and Planning of Jamaica and the China Development Bank,” the agreement states, adding that it shall remainin force until both governments have fulfilled all their obligations stipulated in the agreement.For another agreement, the Chinese government has agreed to dispatch a technical group to Jamaica for a feasibility study on the project – ‘Teaching Building of the Confucius Institute’ –  on the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies. If this is feasible, a specific supplementary agreement will be signed between both governments.“The cost, in the amount of RMBY500,000 for implementation of the mentioned feasibility, shall be disbursed from the grant aid stipulated in the Agreement on Economic Co-operation between the Government of China and the Government of Jamaica signed on February 1, 2005,”  the agreement states.“The Government of China shall designate an institution to issue a bill, in quadruplets, to settle accounts through the China Development Bank Corporation and the Accountant General’s Department of the Ministry of Finance and Planning of Jamaica,” it adds.The Prime Minister arrived in the People’s Republic of China on August 20 for a five-day official visit.Mrs. Simpson Miller is accompanied on the trip by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. A.J. Nicholson; Minister of Water, Land, Environment, and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill; Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister, Onika Miller; Special Envoy and Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Carlton Davis; and members of her security detail.The Prime Minister and her delegation are scheduled to meet with the leadership of important state institutions such as the China Export-Import Bank and the China Development Bank, as well as major firms currently doing business in Jamaica and those with strong investor interest.She is also slated to have discussions on development challenges associated with climate change and global warming and, in particular, those faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in implementing necessary climate adaptation mechanisms and recovering from the significant damage caused by natural disasters.The Prime Minister will participate in discussions regarding the role of the Group of 77 (G7) nations and China in the effective operation of the United Nations (UN) and multilateral systems to ensure that the voice and representation of emerging and developing countries are enhanced in the global political and economic frameworks.A small private sector delegation has also accompanied the Prime Minister to explore trade and investment opportunities with officials and business interests in China. They will attend a business forum on Friday, August 23. Both countries signed an agreement with a view to further economic and technical co-operation Story Highlights The Jamaican Government, August 21, signed four agreements with the People’s Republic of China worth millions of dollars Chief among them is an agreement with the China Exim Bank for a preferential loan for MIDPlast_img read more

Technical and Vocational Training Key to Economic Prospects – PM Holness

first_img The Government is set to focus primarily on Technical and Vocational Training this year.The announcement was made yesterday (Thursday April 5) by Prime Minister Andrew Holness.The move comes as Prime Minister Holness said technical and vocational training and competence are critically linked to the country’s growth.“The truth is that our education system now is a binding constraint on our growth prospects,” said Prime Minister Holness.The Prime Minister disclosed that Jamaica is lacking in sufficient trained labour while industries are growing at a faster rate which the country should supply.“Technical and vocational training areas will be of focus. We have already started by merging the National Youth Service (NYS) and the Jamaica Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL) merging those two with HEART TRUST NTA and that is an important and strategic move to create a truly national training organization to include and to provide services for those members of our population who are not attached to any institution of training,” said Prime Minister Holness.He noted that for the 2018/19 budget, Education received $101.6 billion compared to $98.9 billion last year.“We are making improvements but it is not happening as rapidly as we would like to see or as we would need to attain the economic growth and job creation successes that we would like,” said Mr. Holness.Mr. Holness further contends that there must be a shift to ensure Technical and Vocational apprenticeship.“We must garner, we must hone, take charge of and train those young people because they can immediately provide in a short period of time the labour force that we need to drive the new growth industries in our country,” said Prime Minister Holness.The Prime Minister was speaking at the Appreciation Function for former Principal of Spaldings High and Advisor to Prime Minister Holness, Alphansus Davis.In the meantime, Mr. Holness expressed his gratitude for the contribution made by Mr. Davis to the education sector.The Prime Minister charged the Member of Parliament, Richard Azan to write to the Minister of Education to formalize the request to rename Spaldings High in honour of Alphansus Davis.“I am a better person to have benefitted from the guidance and direction and fatherly advice of Alphansus Davis. He is a humble man, he is an honest man, he’s a caring man, he is a committed man, and he is truly a great Jamaican,” said Prime Minister Holness. “The truth is that our education system now is a binding constraint on our growth prospects,” said Prime Minister Holness. The move comes as Prime Minister Holness said technical and vocational training and competence are critically linked to the country’s growth. The Government is set to focus primarily on Technical and Vocational Training this year. Story Highlightslast_img read more

Whistler Film Festival Taps Industry Veteran Julie Di Cresce

first_imgWhistler, B.C. (August 29, 2018) – With 13 weeks until its 18th edition, the Whistler Film Festival (WFF) has hired Toronto-based industry veteran Julie Di Cresce as its new Director of Industry Programming. Di Cresce will oversee all of the industry, project development and talent programs associated with the Whistler Film Festival and Summit. She takes over from Angie Nolan, who has been part of WFF since its inception and worked on the industry programming team since 2004. Di Cresce will be on-site taking meetings for the festival during the Toronto International Film Festival.“We’re excited to have Julie join our team as Director of Industry Programming, and are confident that her experience, passion for storytelling and creative and market instincts will serve to elevate our industry programming and talent development programs,” says Shauna Hardy Mishaw, Whistler FIlm Festival Executive Director.Di Cresce brings over a decade of experience in broadcast programming and production to the role and is passionate about storytelling. She is currently the Program Advisor for the NSI Totally Television program and most recently taught screenwriting at the Humber School of Media Studies. She holds an MA in Film from York University and a Cinema Specialist from the University of Toronto. Twitter Advertisement She was Head of Development for Two in Hand Media (the production arm of Vanguarde Artists) and VP of TV Development for First Generation Films. Before moving into production she was the Director of Canadian Programming at Super Channel where she was responsible for honing their original programming strategy. She was production executive on commissioned projects such as SLASHER (Netflix) and VERSAILLES (Canal +). She also pre-licensed Canadian feature films such as TURBO KID (SXSW Audience Award Winner 2015) and pre-bought a robust slate of feature-length documentaries such as A SKYJACKER’S TALE and TOKYO IDOLS, which premiered at Sundance in 2017.Prior to joining Super Channel she held the post of Director of Original Programming for HBO Canada, where she managed a robust slate of series in development and was acting production executive on all prelicensed feature films and documentaries, as well as series greenlit into production, including titles such as GOON, PILLARS OF THE EARTH (Starz) and LESS THAN KIND.*From November 28th to December 2nd, the Whistler Film Festival will welcome film fans and filmmakers to experience its 18th edition featuring fresh films, special guests, epic events, unique industry and talent programs, and time to play in North America’s premier mountain resort destination.The Whistler Film Festival is funded by the Government of Canada through Telefilm Canada, and by the Province of British Columbia and the Resort Municipality of Whistler through the Resort Municipality Initiative, is supported by the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation and the American Friends of Whistler, and is sponsored by Variety, Creative BC, Cineplex, Whistler Blackcomb, Tourism Whistler, RE/MAX Sea to Sky Real Estate, and the Westin Resort & Spa Whistler.The Whistler Film Festival Society is a charitable cultural organization dedicated to furthering the art of film by providing programs that focus on the discovery, development and promotion of new talent culminating with a must attend festival for artists, industry and audiences in Whistler. Find out more at whistlerfilmfestival.com.FESTIVAL DATESNOV. 28TH TO DEC. 2NDTO PURCHASE TICKETS VISIT THE WHISTLER FILM FESTIVAL WEBSITEhttps://whistlerfilmfestival.com/ Advertisement Advertisement Facebook LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With:last_img read more

Apple puts user privacy first through new ad campaign in India

first_imgIBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/0:46Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:45?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Researcher finds way to hack iPhone X face ID Privacy and protection of user data have been one of the major concerns of the government in this fast processing internet world. Apple Inc. has taken its second initiative to promote user privacy and protection, globally on all iPhone variants, through outdoor media, television commercials, and social media.The campaign scheduled to start in India on July 28 will point out Apple’s longstanding focus on the privacy of its consumer data and iPhones. The campaign is designed to inform Apple users that they can have smart devices and compelling services without compromising privacy.According to The Economic Times, the privacy campaign will be promoted through different verticals across out of home platforms like Bengaluru, Gurugram and Mumbai. The Cupertino-headquartered company will convey their campaign through a privacy feature film on YouTube, a person familiar with the campaign details was quoted as saying by ET. iPhone to improve data privacyMozilla blogApple took towards the growing issues of insecure user data and its monetisation by organisations, apps and social media platforms. The company boasts that iDevices have the most secure operating systems that do not allow phone recording through any additional app nor does it allow the third-party apps to have access to messages.With the privacy of data becoming the centre point of discussion between governments, Apple is trying to build devices that do not allow data stalking. The company is focusing on allowing its users control their own data by introducing features like compulsory verification through Apple ID to open a device, Just Once feature limiting the user with their location search till they wish and by reducing the number of applications that do not meet the company norms on security and privacy. Apple Inc. logoReutersWith recent news releases about the online trackers lining up about 100 third party applications including the Ad-blocks, Facebook, Google browser, and Mozilla; Apple has plans to block cookies from websites to block the data scavenging by the machine learning technology embedded in the virtual links.The campaign comes as the first initiative from a global tech company at the time when the government is struggling with its Data Protection Bill passed for the first time to secure the database of India. The bill focuses on localisation of personal data in India.The Data Protection Bill regulates the processing of personal data of individuals by government and private entities incorporated in India and abroad. The Bill allows exemptions for certain kinds of data processing, such as processing in the interest of national security, for legal proceedings, or for journalistic purposes. The Bill requires that a serving copy of personal data be stored within the territory of India. Certain critical personal data must be stored solely within the country.center_img Closelast_img read more

In the quest of perfection

first_imgThe exhibition titled A tryst with Divinity that is on in the Capital is a photographic tribute to India’s magnificent landscapes by Sharat Sharma. Sharma is the Director Operations of Delhi Metro.The artiste believes that only two things matter …one is your positivity, when you have nothing and the second one is your humility, when you have everything!An engineer by profession, photography for Sharma began as a hobby and gradually grew into a passion, as he deployed his analytical skills to capture and reproduce the magic of nature’s sublime beauty, in all its unpredictable forms. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’He discovers inner peace and tranquillity in the solitude and pristine beauty of the rugged mountains, the plains, the rivers and the forests. The thunderstorms, torrential rains and cloudy skies taught him patience and inspired him to excel in his quest for perfection.The urge to explore the lesser travelled paths have led him to remote areas in India and abroad. He says, ‘I believe that India is truly blessed and our landscapes are at par with the best in the world. Someday it would be easier for the common man to travel to these divine locations, to experience the true beauty of India’. Where: The Open Palm Court, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road When:On till 31 October (11 am – 7 pm)last_img read more

Of tall buildings and swanky malls

first_imgHome is where the heart is, seems to be the new mantra for real estate owners in Indian investment – even when these homes are in distant foreign lands like Dubai and other Middle East countries – where real estate players are bullish about rising Indian investment. This was evident at the Dubai Property Show held recently in Mumbai, where numerous developers, builders and real estate giants from the Emirate of Dubai – also famously called the “City of Gold” –  came in their numbers to woo Indian real estate buyers.  Also Read – Revolutionising Indian agricultureBollywood’s celebrity and style icon Malaika Arora Khan kicked off the three-day property extravaganza that showcased the best of the Emirate’s latest real estate offerings in luxury apartments from Rs 65 lakhs to villas around Rs 2.5 crores, besides beach properties and commercial properties galore. The event, which was organised by the Dubai Land Department and Sumansa Exhibitions, witnessed participation of 35 reputed property developers from Dubai including; Falconcity of Wonders, Emaar Properties, Al Hamra Real Estate Development, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Tebyan, Select Group, Nakheel, Dubai Properties, Deyaar Development, Meydan Sobha, Damac Properties, Dubai Sports City, Kleindienst Group, among others, besides also seminars, promotional offers and financing facilities. Also Read – BLACK FIBRESultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General of the Dubai Land Department, said Dubai properties would be particularly attractive to the middle-income group, which no longer have to choose between affordability and luxury. “Indians have long understood the value of Dubai real-estate – as evident by their growing investment in the emirate – and they realise the long-and-short-term financial dividends that they can attain. This is why Indian nationals continue to rule the foreign real-estate investment chart. In the first half of 2015 alone, they sliced a significant 15 per cent share – the highest in Dubai’s real-estate market by a foreign nationality,” he said.  Alharith Almoosa, Vice Chairman and Deputy General Manager, Falconcity of Wonders LLC, noted that while Dubai’s real-estate sector provided value for money, more significantly – the emirate offered political stability and an easy access to global and regional markets, besides boasting one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Sunil Jaiswal, President, Sumansa Exhibitions, said Dubai real-estate became a sound investment because economic activity in Dubai witnessed healthy figures due to its diversification across various sectors including finance, logistics, tourism and retail, besides also Expo 2020 round the corner to improve the economy further.  “Indians are continuing to be the most prolific foreign investors in the property sector in coming months too, as they have adopted Dubai as their second home and expect high return on their investments,” Kalpesh Sampat, Director of SPF Realty – a leading real estate broker in the freehold property sector of Dubai and Middle East – told Millennium Post on the sidelines of the Show, while highlighting the USP and hassle-free purchase procedures offered by the Dubai realty market. “The key advantages Dubai property markets offer – vis-à-vis investment in Indian properties – is that one does not have to deal with complicated sections and provisions related to Income Tax as there are no personal and income taxes in Dubai. Quick transaction procedures ensure that Indian investors get their money as a seller in 10 days (cash) or 45 days in case of a mortgage.”  “Dubai’s other top draw reasons include: Relatively affordable living for middle and upper class compared to Delhi and Mumbai; Easy assimilation due to prevailing Indian culture; Monetary gains due to fastest-growing economies and rising demand for property; Lucrative yields with world’s highest returns; Close proximity to India; Expo 2020 (to attract estimated 30 million visitors and multiple business opportunities; Strong tourism sector (millions global tourists monthly),” Sampat said.Official statistics show Indians as the top foreign property investors in Dubai with investments of over Rs 30,000 crore in 2014 alone, which is more than a quarter of around Rs 1 lakh crore of Non-Arab property investments recorded that year, according to the Dubai Land Department. Real estate investors from India have shown a marked preference for properties in Dubai owing to the close proximity of the UAE to India. Indians were the most prolific overseas investors in Dubai’s realty market in H1, 2015, clocking 3,017 transactions valued at more than $2 billion.“Dubai is poised on the brink of becoming one of the world’s leading investment hubs, and SPF Realty is an extended selling arm of several premium real estate developers in the UAE. Our Dubai USP is simple: 1) price per square feet is compelling, from investors perspective. Payment plan is 65 per cent post-handover over three more years. So, besides Indians, about 50 per cent buyers are from UAE itself and GCC countries itself who realise the importance including Meydan and “Mohammed Bin Rashid” (MBR) City having an “Etihad Rail Link” with other cities and countries in the GCC region in barely two to three years time, besides a bicycle track of a massive 50 kms length that sees even leaders and VVIPs doing their exercising bit. In fact, SPF’s sales turnover rose from $545 million (2007) to $2 billion in (2014), even as our (G&Co) “Viridian” Millennium Estates will be witnessing handing over of 198 villas by January 2016,” Sampat added.Elucidating on the emergence of Dubai as a prime investment destination for Indian investors, Ranjeet Chavan, Director of SPF Realty which is representing the regions premium property developer G&Co at the Dubai Property Show, reiterated, “Indians accord a second-home status to Dubai – by coming in massive numbers to live, work and invest with a long-term perspective. Lower interest rates, lucrative yearly rental yield in the range of 4-7 per cent, security, tax-free returns on investments or around 20 per cent, a regulated market structure and attractive payment options are additional triggers for driving Indian investments in huge numbers in the Indian market.”Meanwhile, nearer home in India , some developers believe the sky’s the limit and are therefore reaching for the sky. Oberoi Realty launched its “Sky City” at Borivali, Mumbai across 25 acres and featuring multiple towers of 60 storeys each, besides offering connectivity to business districts and leisure options like malls, hotels, theatres and parks alongside multi-terraced gardens, recreational area and lush green landscapes. Describing “home” as the best real estate asset people can experience with value creation, Vikas Oberoi, CMD, Oberoi Realty, said the apartments in Sky City would comprise expansive three-bedrooms, while the City itself would be an aesthetic experience at all levels including swimming pools, aqua gm, courts for tennis, badminton and squash, rock climbing, jogging track, skating rink and kids play areas.Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had recently noted that the real estate sector has huge potential for growth, and expressed the hope that the period of slow down would end soon. Delivering the key-note address at the CREDAI-BANKCON  2015 on Role of Banking and Finance in Real Estate Development in Mumbai,  Jaitley had described the real estate sector as being the next big mover as far as the Indian economy is concerned, but added that the industry must survive on market economy and subsidies should not be the essence of survival.The Finance Minister said the government was committed to housing for all – a dream project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi — and would adopt a positive approach, though easier availability of land was crucial to realising the dream of affordable housing. “It is not cheaper availability of land, but rather easier availability. If we complicate procedures too much, then we will be preventing people from acquiring affordable homes” he said, while emphasizing on the need of more townships, suburban townships and smart cities to lead the economic development of India.About the taxation proposals made by CREDAI, the Finance Minister suggested the Real Estate body to make a presentation before the newly-appointed committee reviewing the Income Tax Act. With inflation being brought under control and the Reserve Bank also reducing interest rates four times this year, these measures would impact the real estate sector positively, Jaitley said, adding that recapitalization of public sector banks would give more strength and muscle for banking sector’s lending.Focusing on macro-economic issues, the Minister said, “India as a country has become more aspirational and the constituency which supports growth has become bigger”.last_img read more

Onam sadya in Champakulam

first_imgOnam in Kerala is a festival that celebrates collaborations, communities, and camaraderie. My mom belonged to Changanacherry (Kottayam District) and my father belonged to Champakulam Allapuzha district). Interestingly Onam at both places was differential because Changanacherry my mom’s home was next to the High Court whereas Champakulam by father’s home lay on the banks of the Pamba. If Changanacherry was accessible by road, Champakulam in the 50’s to 70’s was accessible only by motor boats or passenger liners. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfTracing back to the interesting beginnings of this festival, the Maharaja of Kochi used to march from Tripunithura to Vamanamoorthy temple in Thrikkakara where according to legends the festival of Onam originated. Onam is grandly celebrated throughout Kerala with a lot of joy and gaiety. But there are a few places where a majority of people gather for celebrating the festival.My uncle was one of the patrons of the Nehru trophy boat race. ‘Champakulam’ is an important region – which celebrates Onam with the Snake boat race or Vallamkali. More than 100 oarsmen in each boat participate in the celebration and sing worship songs of King Mahabali while racing. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveOn this day my uncle’s home called ‘Shanti Bhavan’ – was an open house and long rows of banana leaves would be laid out in three rooms to serve ‘Onam Sadya’ to visitors. At my uncle’s home, pickles and vegetables would all be cut and ready the night before while mountains of freshly grated coconut would be grated early morning. Supervision would be done by a veteran ‘Namboodhiri’ who belonged to the – ‘Ambalapuzha’ temple of which the family was patrons for generations. The sadya is served on plantain leaves – the top part is kept for visitors and the lower part for house inmates. When hot red rice is served along with the many curries – the subtle aroma of the blanched leaf mixed with the delicate smell of various curries tickles the palate.The ‘Onasadya’ is renowned to be “disciplined” and tradition-bound and has many health goals. There’s a ritual to how it’s served on the banana leaf. Chips and pickles go on the leaf first and then, in clockwise order, inji curry, pickles, three varieties of kichadi (cucumber with mustard, beetroot with ginger and bitter gourd with garlic), two pachadis, Madeira curry, thoran, avial, and koottu curry.On the banana leaf, each element has its place. The banana leaf is a medley of a variety of banana chips. The sweet sharkkaravaratti combines jaggery, dried ginger, and chips. Acids in the stomach and circulation are stimulated and aid metabolism.The injipuli, a ginger and jaggery concoction soothes the digestive system. It is a dish of abundant fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C and also serves to balance acidity in the stomach. All the curries are first put in their respective places except the parippu,sambar and rasam. The pappadum an eternal favourite is placed just before the rice which is put last, and just a small portion. The idea is that all the vegetables when eaten fill you up so you eat very little rice. A health goal in the alchemy of traditions.The sadya opens with pappadum, parippu (lentils) and ghee, a balanced diet fat and protein. This combination aids digestion. Then there is the eternal aviyal ( a melange of vegetables), eaten in combination with sambar. The flavour of fresh coconut oil in the aviyal is a heavenly flavour.This is followed by olan (without black-eyed peas), rasam and buttermilk. Each curry gets priority. Olan, which is a light curry made with ash gourd and coconut milk, is said to have medicinal properties. The pumpkin and coconut dish laced with curry leaves – errissary is yet another antioxidant-rich curry. Rasam and buttermilk too aid in digestion because of their lithe lightness.Then come the historic sweet payasams – ada, parippu/wheat or pazham pradhaman and boli with paal payasam made with broken chemba rice. Each dish has medicinal properties and aids digestion even as it speaks of health goals. After lunch was over we would all head to the banks of the river sit on the steps and watch the Vallamkali (boat race).last_img read more