Caribbean Report 14-07-1988

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Caribbean Report 14-07-1988

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Title: Caribbean Report 14-07-1988
Author: Timmins, Jerry (anchor); Wald, Karen (correspondent); Ziff, Jan (correspondent); Shipley, David (interviewee); Whitehorn, Pat (correspondent); O’Connell, Rhona (analyst); Bevan, Edward (commentator)
Description:
1. Headlines: Cuban delegation reacts to news of progress at the Angola talks in New York; West Indies cricket team set to whip Wales; Fall in banana prices in the London market. (00:06-00:27)
2. At a press conference, members of the Cuban delegation to the Angola talks in New York, give their version of how well the talks went. Representatives from Cuba, Angola and South Africa were in attendance. American representatives were also present as mediators. In a previous statement, the US Assistant Secretary of State on African Affairs, Chester Crocker, described the talks as constructive and non-polemical. Jerry Timmins and BBC correspondent Karen Wald discuss the talks as well as the Cuban reaction. Karen Wald reports from Havana that the talks have come across as positive and constructive, with the Cuban reaction being somewhat more reserved than Chester Crocker’s along with their insistence that the talks were in fact polemical. Some important decisions and concessions agreed to during the talks include the South African withdrawal from Angola first, followed by a phased Cuban withdrawal and the independence of Namibia. Further talks are due, but success and progress would depend on a total ceasefire in Angola on the part of South Africa, which conducted military attacks in Angola soon after previous talks in Cairo. (00:32-03:53)
3. A move by the US House of Representatives to close a ‘loophole’ in the Omnibus Trade Bill creates a setback for Caribbean exporters of ethanol. The House rejected the bill which proposed that ethanol imported duty free from the region would no longer have to show the country of origin. BBC correspondent Jan Ziff reporting from Washington explains that the defeated motion removed what two Illinois congressmen deemed to be a loophole in the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) enacted by Congress in 1983. Under the original proviso ethanol produced in the Caribbean Basin is allowed duty free entry into the United States. However, the two congressmen say this is a loophole that allows non-tax-exempt countries to use distillation plants in the Caribbean to process boiled wine or surplus sugar ethanol from countries that normally pay duty and then import it duty free into the United States. The congressmen maintain that a provision in the Omnibus Trade Bill would have enlarged the loophole by removing the country of origin requirement for feedstock, allowing European wine or Brazilian sugar ethanol to come into the Caribbean, have 5% of the water content removed in a dehydration plant and then be shipped off to the United States duty free with no one knowing where it originally came from. This the congressmen argue would be detrimental to the United States and to the Caribbean Basin, would be of no benefit to the CBI and would reduce the number of jobs in the ethanol industry in the United States. (04:01-05:45)
4. Warnings that the apparent boom in the banana industry in the Caribbean may not continue despite several good years for banana growers. The Chairman of the Dominica Banana Growers Association, Mr. Edison James is quoted as saying that “very soon bananas earmarked for export may be left back on our shores.” To find out just how well banana sales are doing in Britain, Jerry Timmins spoke to David Shipley, Managing Editor of the London-based Fruit Trade Journal. Shipley notes that bananas were in competition with a large volume of other typical seasonal fruit such as strawberries, cherries, peaches and nectarines which have been quite cheap over the last few weeks, and of very good quality. Bananas have also been competing against a wider range of competition such as exotic fruit, varieties of citrus fruit and new types of citrus fruit such as red grapefruit. What should be encouraging news to banana growers is the fact that research has shown that bananas have risen in popularity from third place after apples and oranges, to second place over the past few years. (05:50-08:55)
5. Financial news: Presented by Pat Whitehorn, and includes comments from financial analyst Rhona O’Connell. (08:59-10:34)
6. Jerry Timmins revisits the issue of the “dramatic” increase in the figures for tourist arrivals in the Caribbean from the UK, and talks with Chris May, Product Manager of Thomas Cook’s Far and Away Holidays about the reasons for the 60% increase. Chris May again places the emphasis on the declining US dollar as against the strength of the pound, which in turn translates into cheaper airfares, hotels, food and drinks. He expresses some skepticism as to how long the increase will last and believe that there are implications for the cheaper charter flights, which will most likely disappear in two to three years if the dollar strengthens against the pound. British Airways, whose traffic is up by 38% also views the Caribbean as a fairly “up-market destination’, and according to Paul Fisher, BA’s General Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean, are planning more Concord flights to the region, particularly to Barbados. (10:40-13:10)
7. Cricket highlights of the match between the West Indies and Glamorgan at Swansea. Commentary by Edward Bevan. (13:14-14:33)
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2139/12802
Date: 1988-07-14


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