Caribbean and Diaspora News Round-up
Londoners "missed opportunity" to see Bolt run
Caribbean economies - the highs and lows
Trinidad seeks closer European links
London Games tickets too dear?
Many waited eagerly for another chance to see Usain Bolt run in London.
And, as announced last week, spectators now have the opportunity to see Bolt, as well as Grenada’s golden boy Kirani James, St Kitts-Nevis’ Kim Collins and Trinidad’s Lalonde Gordon, on 26-27 July.
Tickets came up for sale on 19 April and were sold out within 75 minutes.
However, the London Assembly is now questioning the cost of those tickets, in a report called The Price of Gold.
The Assembly’s economy committee says that, with tickets starting at $77 (£50), there are lessons to be learnt about sporting events in London.
The report estimates that 60% of the people who bought a ticket for the men’s 100m final, in which Bolt is expected to headline, paid $455 (£294) for a seat.
For many ordinary people, the lack of available affordable tickets for certain sessions meant little chance of them being in the crowd to see their sporting heroes win gold,” said committee chairman Andrew Dismore.
“Given that ticket sales massively exceeded their target, this was a missed opportunity to reward those taxpayers who funded the Games and inspire a generation to participate in sport,” he added.
A recent report has said that “high debt levels and weak competitiveness” continue to hold back Caribbean economies.
The latest Royal Bank of Canada global report presented the Caribbean’s high and low points.
It said “gradual improvement” in tourism would help the region’s recovery.
Headlines from the report include:
· Continued weakening of the Jamaican dollar, now approaching JA$100 to US$1
· “Marginally positive” growth for Trinidad and Tobago, hampered by underperforming energy and cement sectors
· A fall in the debt-to-GDP ratio in Antigua and Barbuda after economic reforms
· Antigua and St Vincent and the Grenadines showing the best growth in the eastern Caribbean economic union group, with growth figures revised upwards for 2013, based on growth in all economic sectors, despite figures going down in 2012
· Continued growth in expat employment in the Cayman Islands
· A fall in Barbados’ foreign reserves
While the British have been falling in love with Scandinavian crime dramas over the last few years, it appears that Trinidadians will also soon be catching up.
Scandinavia and Trinidad and Tobago are to be connected through direct flights in winter 2013, when Swedish charter operator Apollo will start services to Tobago.
The Trinidad Guardian spoke to Norway’s honorary consul who said that, while trade between the two countries had been “steadily low”, there was potential for increased tourism figures.
Rolf Holmen did, however, point out that “crime reports from T&T frighten the tourists”.
He did point to the potential for growth in export and import business.
Meanwhile, Trinidad’s London High Commission has also been stoking the European trade interest.
On 22 April, Trinidad’s High Commissioner, Garvin Nicholas, held what a press release described as “intensive talks and training” in London with its honorary consuls and other representatives for Trinidad in Copenhagen, Oslo, Munich, Cologne and Bonn.
Mr Nicholas said the sessions highlighted the “changing role of diplomacy from mere representation to active economic engagement”.