Wednesday, 20 September 2017

NEWS FEED: FIFA World Cup tickets now on sale + Jamaica-China relations mark 45 years + PSOJ taps Byles for 2017 Hall of Fame

TOP OF HIS CLASS: Its past honorees include the likes of corporate power player Earl Jarrett (2015) and business titan Gary ‘Butch’ Hendrickson, who was last year’s selection. So it was only a matter of time before Richard Byles got his turn in the spotlight. The Chairman and former President of the Sagicor Group is set to become the 25th inductee into the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica’s uber-prestigious Hall of Fame, according to a release from the PSOJ. Hailed by such stalwart colleagues as Dennis Chung, who says, “Byles exemplifies the calibre of business leaders needed to propel Jamaica and its economy forward,” Byles’ stewardship at Sagicor has been characterized by a series of mergers, acquisitions and divestments, which have led to massive increase in profits and net worth, as well as contributed to the entity’s amplified brand awareness.

THE CHINESE CONNECTION: Some 45 years have elapsed since Jamaica and China first established bilateral diplomatic relations. To mark this milestone, China’s State Councillor and Director of the Central Affairs Office, Dr. Yang Jiechi, recently jetted into the island for a one-day official visit and meeting with PM Andrew Holness. Among other things, the two leaders discussed the Framework Cooperation Agreement for production capacity, which PM Holness deems an important opportunity for Jamaica. “We see this as the basis on which Jamaica could expand significantly its manufacturing sector through the production-capacity sharing possibilities that came as a result of the framework agreement,” Holness said, “and we will be pursuing this in a deliberate way. We expect that trade between both countries will increase.”

FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED: With just eight months to go before the start of the 2018 World Cup of Soccer in Russia, football’s world governing body FIFA has already commenced the selling of tickets. Fans can apply for tickets to any of the 64 matches, with prices ranging from US$22 for the cheapest seats (a price available to Russian fans only) to US$1100 for the top-level seats at the grand finals. According to reports, there’s a lottery system in place for ticket requests. Applications made by October 12 will be collected and buyers picked at random. Another application phase will begin on December 5. The highly anticipated tournament kicks off June 14 and runs through July 15.

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