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Quick Bits: Weekly bits of news relevant to you

May 28, 2021

Here are some relevant news stories from this past week. You can find more information and the full articles on the host news websites.

Jamaican Food Export in China

The Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica Tian Qi has recognized increased demand for Jamaican goods in China and seems intent on fostering new economic relationships between the two countries. Specific exports mentioned include conch, sea cucumber, lobster, pork, ackee, spices, and rum. Conversations between the Chinese Economic and Commercial Office and the Jamaican Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce also mentioned developing the local bamboo sector. The Chinese government has allegedly offered a grant of US$1.9 million.

Source: The Jamaican Gleaner

Strengthened Jamaica-Africa Connections

Following the Africa Day webinar, Prime Minister Holness seems intent on strengthening the relationship between Jamaica and African nations both through direct connections and serving as a hub for African influence throughout the Western hemisphere. This includes increased direct flights, increased trade and investment collaboration, and Jamaica’s first ambassador for investment to Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, and Togo. These efforts are centered around uniting Jamaican and African governments as well as people to reinforce economic and cultural benefits in our increasingly interconnected world.

Source: The Jamaican Observer

Amazon buys MGM Studios

Amazon looks to continue its growth in the media and entertainment industry following Amazon Studio’s limited past success and increased industry competition. Amazon purchased the MGM movie studio for US$8.5 billion, Amazon’s second largest acquisition ever behind its 2017 purchase of Whole Foods for US$13.7 billion. This purchase was just over MGM’s market valuation around US$5.5 billion and speaks to the media industry’s consolidation trend as larger players like Netflix and Disney continue to dominate. Smaller companies will likely continue merge or become acquired.

Source: NBC News

Sandals New Development Plan

Sandals has unveiled its new development plan that includes redeveloping the Sandals Dunn’s River property, building a new Sandals Royal Dunn’s River property in Ocho Rios, and transforming the Jewel Runaway Bay resort into a family-oriented beaches resort. The first phase of this project is aimed to finish by the end of 2022 to benefit from tourist winter travel. The construction of the Royal Dunn’s River property will be sustainably built by integrating spring water from Dunn’s River Falls in its design. The second phase of development is aimed to finish by 2023. This project will be vital to the recovery of Jamaica’s economy due to the negative impacts of the pandemic on tourism. The transformation plan has created 2,100 jobs and will create 1,336 new positions for local workers while attracting tourists to visit the new and improved accommodations in a long-time favorite destination.

Source: The Jamaican Gleaner

Amtrak US Expansion

Amtrack has set forth a 15-year proposition for US$75 billion in federal funds to expand its rail service introducing 39 routes to 160 communities. This plan has the potential to impact 20 million new travelers each year while connecting more people, causing less traffic, and limiting pollution. It will also improve service on existing routes along with its expansion plans. Amtrak has additionally requested the right to enforce the law of passenger train priority over freight railroads in an effort to revolutionize domestic travel.

Source: ABC News

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