Antigua and Barbuda continues to display its resiliency and adaptability through AntiguaBarbuda.com, the country’s first and official business hub for potential international investors who are looking to learn more about the investment and business opportunities in the country.
AntiguaBarbuda.com is the hub poised to be the nation’s official business hub for future visitors, tourists, citizens, as well as stakeholders looking to contribute to the country’s economy.
It is the first of its kind in the region and lauds how the Antigua and Barbuda government has been proactively meeting the requirements of today’s business and tourism industry.
The hub is informative, easy to use and navigate through, and provides a great overview about the country’s flagship residency and citizenship programs such: Nomad Digital Residency (NDR) Program as well as the Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP).
Turning policy into action
“The people of my country are moving on with resilience, bravely and resolutely”, this was the strong statement of Prime Minister Gaston Browne during the United Nations at the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the 25th of September 2020.
At that time, Antigua and Barbuda was beginning to rise after having been economically ravaged by the effects of the global pandemic, especially its tourism industry.
AntiguaBarbuda.com – the country’s official business hub. The first of its kind in the Carribean region
The country made it a point not to be deterred by the difficult situation. Instead, they tackled the problem with a sound response.
They managed to quell the spread of COVID-19 in the dual island state and is one of the least affected countries in the world in terms of fatalities to date. They were able to re-open their borders on 01 June while still maintaining good nationwide health status.
This was also made possible via strong advocacies using online platforms that aimed to inform incoming tourists about what to expect when traveling to the paradise-like islands of Antigua and Barbuda.
Now, Antigua and Barbuda takes resilience a step further with AntiguaBarbuda.com, the first of its kind in the Caribbean region.
Navigating through the business hub
Ambassador Dr. Dario Item, the country’s head of mission to Spain, Liechtenstein and Monaco enthuses about the development, saying: “The hub is home to a wide array of information that many potential investors and visitors of Antigua and Barbuda may find helpful in their decision-making process. From information about restaurants and accommodation options that may be helpful for holiday makers, as well as the benefits of investing in the country are now available through the platform.”
Visitors are also given a virtual prelude of what to see in the magnificent beaches of the country with captivating photos of resorts and other accommodation choices in the country. It also features a complete list of the other services which investors can avail of, including legal advice and list of real estate investment opportunities.
The tourism information page shows an in-depth package of what the hotels, restaurants, nightlife have to offer. These are enhanced with video clips and photos that would make you want to experience life in Antigua and Barbuda.
Through the platform, individual websites for each featured establishment can be accessed. Visitors will be able to see details such as contact numbers and even their proximity to other landmarks.
It also gives a guide on establishing a business in the premier destination in the Caribbean region.
The Nomad Digital Residency gaining more applicants
With the increased interest from investors and travelers looking to avail of the benefits of the “long-stay” visa in Antigua and Barbuda, would-be applicants may find more information, along with frequently asked questions, about the Nomad Residency Program through AntiguaBarbuda.com.
The NDR offers an initial 2-year special residency status that would allow you to work from the pristine beaches of Antigua and Barbuda and away from the hazards of restrictions and lockdowns. Successful applicants simply need to pay $1,500.00 for a single applicant, $2,000 for a couple, and $3,000 for a family of 3 and above.
Horizon looking brighter for Antigua and Barbuda
The recent uptick in the number of applicants for the NDR is a great indication of things to come for Antigua and Barbuda. This will ripple into more economic activity for the island state. The availability of AntiguaBarbuda.com business hub also boasts well of a future that will witness a bounce back from the leader in tourism of the Caribbean region.
Turkish Airlines and Turkish Cargo Rise to the Top Amid Pandemic
Turkish Airlines successfully ended the fiscal year 2020 with 6.7 billion USD revenue, which accounts for 50% of the preceding year’s level, with a net loss of only 836 million USD. During these uncertain times, the airline was also able to maintain its robust route network. According to Eurocontrol, in April 2021 Turkish Airlines operated an average of 685 flights per day – almost double the number of the closest competitor in Europe, Lufthansa. In 2020, Turkish Airlines flew 28 million passengers, with an impressive load factor of 71%. Currently, the airline serves 179 international destinations with 16 intercountry and 58 intercontinental flights. The new Istanbul Airport also stayed on top: even with a 68% loss of traffic, it was still Europe’s most successful airport as of March 2021, with 616 departing and arriving flights.
This success is based on cost cutting activities, capex reduction and active capacity management. In fact, Turkish Airlines achieved such performance without relying on any governmental cash injections. Furthermore, agreements with Boeing and Airbus on fleet growth will further decrease the aircraft financing needs of Turkish Airlines by around 7 billion USD in the coming years.
“Our success as the best performing flag-carrier airline in Europe is not coincidental. Apart from the multiple measures we took, we owe this success to our dedicated staff. While other airlines faced layoffs, we did not part ways with any of our colleagues during this process. Instead everyone within Turkish Airlines accepted salary cuts from up to 50% depending on the role and responsibilities. The exceptional sense of unity within our staff is what sets Turkish Airlines apart: together as a family, we decided that no member of the Turkish Airlines family would be left behind during this crisis.”, says Turkish Airlines’ Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, M. İlker Aycı.
Turkish Airlines also turned the pandemic into an opportunity to increase its cargo operations, with 50 of its passenger aircrafts being reconfigured to increase its cargo fleet capacity. Turkish Cargo managed to become one of the top five air cargo companies in the world and the 6th largest cargo company. The company increased its market share in total global cargo revenue from 0.6% in 2009 to 4.7% in 2020. As of February 2021, one in 20 cargo flights around the world were handled by Turkish Cargo.
This allowed Turkish Cargo to deliver 50,000 tons of medical supplies, including more than 45 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, to destinations all over the world. In addition, new technologies and innovative solutions have been developed. One example is SmartIST, one of the largest air cargo facilities in the world, which is scheduled to open this year. Located at Istanbul Airport, the facility uses modern technology such as drones and automated robots to process and deliver goods even faster.
How to Make Your Hospitality Business More Sustainable
Climate change and its impact on the world has been a major news story for decades, but it’s only in recent years that awareness has been pushed to the fore. This is thanks to the actions of activists such as Greta Thunberg and Sir David Attenborough.
However, it’s also because 2020 was the joint hottest year on record, tying with 2016 – although, unlike 2016, there was no El Nino event last year to contribute to these temperatures.
While there is pressure on companies to play their part and think more sustainably, there are things that smaller businesses can do too. As someone who runs a hospitality business, you can make operations more environmentally aware. If you want to think green, here are some ideas to help.
Consider the materials
How much paper does your business use? There’s a real trend for cardboard menus and paper flyers showcasing the latest dining deals. Hotel rooms are filled with directories and leaflets, too – and these need replacing when they get tatty.
To resolve the issue, try switching to digital. Create online menus that diners can access, have a screen detailing the latest meal deals and specials, and introduce tablets to bedrooms in your hotel. If you’re reluctant to include tablets, try creating a directory on the TV where guests can browse the services your hotel offer, from breakfast serving times to the food on offer.
How much electricity does your business use a day? How much water is wasted?
Try looking at introducing motion sensitive lighting to avoid empty rooms being lit. Also, while it can be tricky to encourage guests to think about the water they use, you can get your staff to set an example by switching off taps when not in use. Even small changes can both save energy and money.
Hospitality businesses see a lot of waste, especially hotels. There’s paper waste, bottles, and food waste to consider, among other things.
Having a robust recycling system in place can help to keep your business sustainable. Introduce recycling bins in guest bedrooms and have these in offices too to encourage best practice.
Additionally, separate food waste bins for your restaurant are an essential part of waste management. By keeping food waste separate, it can be easily removed from the premises.
As with any waste management, there are risks here. Staff could cut themselves on glass or encounter other injuries, so think about how to keep your team safe while they do their job. Arm protection and overalls, for instance, can be useful.
Look at the décor
As well as the day-to-day operations in your business, it’s worth thinking about the materials used in the design and décor. Where possible, try to source reclaimed furniture and trawl the vintage and flea markets for beautiful pieces that could work well in your hotel foyer or guest rooms.
By taking the time to reassess the way your business runs, you could find that you’re lowering your carbon footprint and becoming more sustainable.
Uzbekistan Continues to Modernize its Tax Administration System
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today the Tax Administration Reform Project in Uzbekistan, which is designed to improve the operational efficiency and effectiveness of the State Tax Committee (STC) and deliver better services to local taxpayers.
The project will be supported by a $60 million concessional credit from the International Development Association (IDA), with financing provided to the Government at a very low-interest rate and a repayment period of 30 years.
“The Government of Uzbekistan has prioritized reforms in the tax administration system to create a better business and investment environment. The new project will help the STC improve its work in the interest of taxpayers,” said Marco Mantovanelli, World Bank Country Manager for Uzbekistan. “In particular, the project will allow to broaden the tax base, leading to a reduction in the informal sector of the economy, which is estimated to be around 50% of GDP; to increase tax revenues; and to help firms and companies create new jobs, benefiting from a more efficient tax administration system.”
The project includes three key components directed at improving the STC’s operational, institutional, technological and human resource capacities, and promoting voluntary compliance across Uzbekistan.
Component 1 will invest in automating the STC’s core tax administration business processes. This includes developing the STC’s new tax management information system to reduce paperwork and simplify the process of paying taxes by businesses and individuals countrywide; upgrading hardware and technological infrastructure; creating a new data center for the STC; and improving governance and the planning capacity of the STC’s IT department.
Component 2 will assist with designing and implementing measures to reduce the informal sector of the economy. This includes improving the STC’s enforcement capabilities to detect and discourage tax evasion; encouraging businesses to stay out of the shadows, including through the use of non-tax incentives; and developing cooperative relationships with the private sector, including through designing new or simplified tax policies and procedures and building partnerships to change taxpayers’ behavior.
Component 3 aims to strengthen the STC’s human resource and institutional capacities to attract, develop, and retain skilled and knowledgeable tax officials. This includes improving STC’s human resources management policies and building capacity through the continuous professional development of tax officials.
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