Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 3rd 2013 Contents A15
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T&T is one step closer to
establishing its own Internet Exchange
The board of the T&T Internet
Exchange (TTIX), the non-profit
company that will set up the local IXP,
held its inaugural meeting last month
to elect officers.
TTIX includes the country's seven
major Internet service providers (ISPs).
Once established, the Internet
exchange point (IXP) will facilitate the
exchange of local Internet traffic
between the ISPs. It will help to keep
users' local communications more
private, as it reduces the reliance on
international network facilities.
Consumers can also expect to see an
improvement in the speed and
robustness of Internet access for
locally-based content and services.
There are six IXPs in the Caribbean,
in Curacao (AMS-IX), St Maarten
(OCIX), Grenada (GREX), British Virgin
Islands (BVIX), Haiti and Dominica
(DANIX). TTIX is working towards
establishing the IXP in the first half of
T&T moves closer to Internet Exchange Point
San Fernando businesses suf-
fered a 15 to 20 per cent drop in
Christmas sales last year and are
expecting the situation to be equal-
ly grim this year, Daphne Bartlett,
head of the San Fernando Business
Association said yesterday.
"Globally, shopping is down and
the economy is down around the
world. Over the last five years it has
been progressively slower. This year
is no different as there will be a 15
to 20 per cent drop in sales from
last year. And last year was 15 to 20
per cent less than the year before.
That is the way it has been for the
past five years," Bartlett told the
Bartlett attributes the drop in
Christmas sales to problems with
regional and international economies
and their impact on T&T s economic
"This drop is sales has nothing
to do with lack of confidence in the
economy. It has to do with the global
economy, the number of people
employed, the number of people
with make-work jobs. The dispos-
able income of people is not what
it used to be when we had the oil
and gas boom. There are the make-
work jobs going on but not for as
long periods as before. Those are
the people who spend money. Peo-
ple in the higher income bracket
shop away and they shop online,"
Bartlett is hoping the water taxi
service will make shopping in San
Fernando a viable option for people
travelling from north Trinidad.
"We are asking that the water
taxis make two additional runs, one
up and one down to get into the
city. That will be in addition to the
runs they have now. It facilitates
shoppers that come to the city and
because of this they do not have to
come with their cars and there will
be less traffic," she said.
Commenting on recent initiatives
from the Transport Ministry, she
added: "I know the Minster of
Transport is going to launch the
park and ride which we initiated
last year and he will launch it on
Wednesday in south. This will assist
with parking and getting into the
city. There will be parking at NAPA
South. That will help," Bartlett said.
She said San Fernando has the
best shopping centres in the country
because of the high police presence
and safety over the past decade.
"San Fernando is a very attractive
city to come to, so once there is
parking and security shoppers will
have a good experience. Shoppers
get good prices and usually it is a
pretty secure place to shop and do
business. That is how it has been
over the last ten years because of
joint army and police patrols to keep
away bandits," Bartlett said.
She said she expects moderate
economic growth for T&T in 2014.
"There will be small growth. We
are no longer into the boom days.
Whatever happens globally affects
us. T&T cannot say that it is insu-
lated from the rest of the world.
The Caribbean is doing badly.
Jamaica and other Caribbean coun-
tries have gone to the International
Monetary Fund (IMF). But T&T is
still doing better than those coun-
tries," she said.
Sando businesses brace
for drop in Christmas sales A delegation from this country
led by Foreign Affairs Minister
Winston Dookeran arrived in
Jamaica yesterday afternoon for
two days of talks over the free
movement of Jamaicans into
T&T. They are scheduled to meet
with Jamaica s Minister of Foreign
Affairs and Foreign Trade, Sen-
ator AJ Nicholson.
Dookeran was invited for talks
after 13 Jamaicans were denied
entry into Trinidad and Tobago on
November 21. The move has
sparked strong public outrage in
Jamaica with at least one campaign
launched calling for a boycott of
Nicholson said the resulting dis-
content had the potential of under-
mining confidence and diminishing
goodwill on the part of many
Jamaicans towards T&T and the
wider regional integration move-
ment. He said personal interven-
tion and collaboration can go a far
way in bringing this issue to a
speedy and successful conclusion
of the matter.
Discussions will include hassle-
free travel as stipulated in the
Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas
and implications of the Caribbean
Court of Justice ruling in the
Shanique Myrie case, as well as
the treatment of Jamaicans by
immigration officials and the con-
ditions under which Jamaicans are
Consular representation, the
appeals process, and the movement
of Jamaican skilled nationals into
T&T are also on the agenda.
talks in Jamaica
Employees of Clico and British American
staged a protest demonstration outside the
Eric Williams Finance Complex in Port-of-
Spain yesterday demanding answers from
Finance Minister Larry Howai about the status
of Atrius, the new corporate entity that will
replace the two companies, as well as a time
frame for payment of their severance bene-
Clico and British American have been under
the direct control of the Government and Cen-
tral Bank since the collapse of the Clico business
empire in early 2009. In a statement released
ahead of yesterday s protest, representatives of
the workers, the Banking Insurance and General
Workers Union (Bigwu), said since that time
the workers have been exposed to abuse by
disgruntled clients of the failed insurance enti-
ty.The union said there had been attempts to
get guarantees that the workers severance pay-
ments are honoured since there are plans to
cease the operations of Clico and British Amer-
ican to make way for Atrius.
In May, following protest action by the work-
ers, Howai promised to expedite the matter.
Bigwu said although Atrius has been legally
constituted and a board of directors is in place,
inquiries about severance payments to the
workers have been met with the response that
the matter is in the hands of the minister.
Up to press time there was no word from
Howai on the matter.
Clico workers protest over severance
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