Panama and Colombia Suspend Negotiations on FTA without Setting New Date

first_imgBy Dialogo October 29, 2010 Panama and Colombia suspended negotiations on 27 October on a bilateral free-trade agreement (FTA), due to the fact that “complex” issues remain unresolved, officials from both countries said without announcing a date for the resumption of talks. “We’ve concluded that the most prudent thing to do at the moment is to suspend the process of negotiations between Panama and Colombia,” said the Panamanian deputy trade minister and chief negotiator, Francisco Álvarez de Soto. The fifth round of negotiations began on 25 October in the Panamanian capital and had been expected to conclude on 29 October. “We’ve reached a moment of the suspension of negotiations, something that frankly represents a challenge for the future,” declared the chief Colombian negotiator, Santiago Pardo. Prior to the present, 21 of the 25 issues under negotiation have been closed, but major stumbling-blocks remain, such as access to markets for agricultural and industrial products. Panamanian organizations of beef, pork, milk, corn, and textile producers fear an invasion of Colombian products, while Colombian business believes that part of the smuggling that disadvantages its producers comes from the foreign-trade zone of the Panamanian city of Colón. “We have to be very sure that everyone is adequately taken care of in the final balance and conclusion of a treaty,” Álvarez de Soto told Panamanian state television channel SerTV. “There are issues remaining that are complex, and logically, decisions, evaluations, and reflection are needed on both sides,” Pardo said. Colombia and Panama began to negotiate the treaty at the beginning of 2010, expecting to finish in a maximum of four rounds. In 2009, Colombia exported 258.3 million dollars in goods to Panama, while imports from that country came to 15.7 million dollars.last_img read more

Data in the 21st Century: Marketing’s new reality

first_imgDataWho knew the name of the lovable android from 24th century Star Trek: The Next Generation would play such an important role in 21st century reality? Three hundred years from now, they evidently take Data for granted, easily interpreting all of its formats and informing every decision. But in our era, “big data” is the newest buzzword, and most companies are finding it challenging to harness and assimilate.It’s easy to see why. Traditional, structured data such as transactions, loan profiles and member-completed forms has been joined by newer sources like social media, website analytics and emails; and it’s growing at near warp speed. One estimate predicts that, by 2020, there will be much more digital data worldwide than grains of sand on earth. And a 2014 report from EMC2 in partnership with International Data Corporation (IDC) claims the amount of global digital data will hit 44 trillion gigabytes by 2020, enough for a stack of iPad Air tablets to reach to the moon and back 6.6 times.But unless we can analyze and turn data into the power to make informed decisions, it’s just, well, data. The same EMC-IDC research found that, while almost 25% of data currently being stored could provide valuable insights, only 3% is organized and ready for study; and only half of that is being used analytically. If we get better at using data, it can provide a major competitive edge in marketing financial services while helping to make smart decisions on how to spend marketing dollars.Humanizing DataBig data can bridge the gap between consumers’ self-directed banking and financial institutions’ ability to maintain personal relationships. Just as Star Trek’s Data needed to understand human behavior to be of greater service, we can enhance members’ credit union experience by understanding their banking behavior.Think of it as humanizing data. CEO of Personetics David Sosna says, “Imagine your bank or credit union is smart enough to use what it already knows about your withdrawal and transfer history to keep track of your upcoming commitments. If your financial institution reminds you to transfer those funds before it is too late, Big Data just helped you avoid a painful financial moment – and your bank is suddenly a quiet hero.” (The Financial Brand, Jan. 5, 2015)The same process can apply to marketing messages. CU Realty Services CEO Mike Corn says if we know which members are in the market for a new home, we can help them make smart decisions during the buying process. And at DigitalMailer, our clients tell us that directing marketing offers to consumers’ specific interests has significantly improved their member engagement and conversion rates for products such as mortgages or auto loans.Pinpointing Needs and Interests Today, marketing professionals no longer need to spend hours poring over spreadsheets to match members’ product and service usage with marketing offers. Your credit union already has a wealth of data. After that data is organized and manipulated, you can use data-mining programs and variable-field capabilities to identify a member’s specific pain point or interest to deliver personalized, highly relevant information.Combining various data sources to create more focused marketing strategies creates better campaign results while making better use of budget dollars and staff resources. Consider these tips:Start slowly – Big data is a small word with a large impact, but you can be effective starting with the structured data that’s easily available to you. What’s most important about any data is how you use it to satisfy members’ needs and build relationships.Integrate your touchpoints – Most members will use a variety of channels to interact with your credit union, so test for yourself whether you can move seamlessly from one to another. Then ask for member feedback and incorporate what you learn to ensure consistency, whether they engage with you via branch, website, online and mobile banking, call center, email, ATM, voice, social or any other channel.Break down the walls – You can gain a wealth of information by meeting across disciplines to better understand members’ behavior in real time. The loan department will have good data on loan histories, and collections will know who tends to miss payments. Your front-line staff may be the best source for who’s in the market for a new car. It may not be high-tech, but regularly comparing notes with other departments, can keep you updated on members’ interests and help ensure strong member relationships.Choose a technology partner that can work with you and your data – Make sure your service provider can help you turn the data you have now into marketing strategies that are pinpointed to members’ individual needs. DigitalMailer’s clients make the most of today’s technology using our tools to connect their organized data and CRM systems to drive personal messaging, as well as to automatically gather member feedback and sync it with the CRM system for analysis.Big data lets you learn more and, ultimately, do more to improve your credit union’s member service. But even Star Trek’s Data understood it could be daunting, “I remember every fact I am exposed to but I have not fully assimilated its impact.” The same is true for us; but with the right technical support and taking it a step at a time, marketers can integrate it into their marketing plans and make their own positive impact. 25SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Ron Daly Ron Daly is the president and CEO of Virtual StrongBox, a secure, end-to-end member engagement platform that can be integrated into various workflow processes to provide high-risk Enterprise IT firms … Web: www.virtualstrongbox.com Detailslast_img read more

Quarter-miler Jason Yaw is not done with athletics just yet

first_img… looks to make a comeback for 2017IT has been said that a ‘setback is a setup for a better comeback’, and that’s exactly what Guyanese quarter-miler Jason Yaw is hoping to use his 2017 athletic season to achieve.Starting out as an athlete when he was just nine years old in 2006, by 2013 the Bladen Hall Multilateral student was one of the most talked-about athletic prospects.At 6’ 2’ Jason always stood above the rest.All the way up to 2015 Jason was travelling the world representing Guyana at the highest junior level. From Ukraine for World Youth Championships in 2013, to Nanjing, China for the Youth Olympic Games in 2014, to Toronto, Canada for the Pan American Junior Championships in 2015.But at the peak of his junior career Jason fell off the radar. Faced with a number of challenges that broke him down physically and mentally, the 19-year-old had a pretty undeveloped 2016 season.We dedicate our inaugural 2017 Sports Personality column to Jason as he prepares to make his hopeful rebound.A CARIFTA Games multiple bronze medallist, South American Youth Championships record holder, South American Youth Games double bronze medallist, National Schools Championships record holder, Inter Guiana Games gold medallist and a two-time Junior Sportsman-of-the-Year, and yet Jason Yaw still slipped through the cracks.The support was never there.“Since last year I was having a mental breakdown towards the sports so I’m trying to catch myself. My plan is to try to come back strong and try to break my 46-second barrier,” said Jason who has 400m personal best of 46.79 seconds. Guyana’s national record, held by Winston George, is 45.25 seconds.Things took a turn for the worse for Jason when he accepted a scholarship to study and train at Western Texas College in the U.S. For many, an overseas scholarship is a blessed opportunity, for Yaw it was a nightmare. Jason returned in May 2016 just as quietly as he had left the preceding January.“The training programme wasn’t good, that’s one; the other thing was that the food they gave us didn’t taste good. The system that they put in place wasn’t for me. I started to feel down,” Jason explained.“I decided not to continue my studies because I never had the type of coaching or support to make me reach to the next level.”Jason’s deplorable experiences ranged from tackling racism issues to struggling to afford basic commodities such as food and water, not to mention dealing with a lack of support from the home front, and feeling lost and isolated for being so far away from people familiar to him and his culture.Approximately 20 other Caribbean nationals at the school were also facing the same situation. Many also returned home, others who could not afford to return had no option but to stay. Luckily Jason was able to secure assistance from the GOA to sponsor his ticket.But the damage was done. The bad experience almost drove this talented athlete to giving up athletics for good, and even now he’s still coming to grips with the harsh reality of what it truly means to be a Guyanese athlete.“When I was in America for that short period of time, I didn’t get the treatment and support that I expected, so I just say I would give up on my running career, but after a little counselling I felt better; so I said to myself I’ll give it a next shot,” Yaw says as he looks to 2017, with hope.However, with his 20th birthday approaching this month-end, Jason’s recovery will be all the more difficult since he will now be a senior, where the competition on the world stage is being dominated by the likes of Grenada’s Kirani James and South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk.On a good note Jason was named as part of the National Sports Commission’s (NSC) pilot programme that will be seeing how much they can directly assist the athletes in their training and nutrition.([email protected])last_img read more

Packer doing the dirty work for women’s hockey

first_imgThis hit from Minnesota goalkeeper Mira Jalosuo on Wisconsin forward Brittany Ammerman, a close friend of Madison Packer’s, gave the freshman forward a chance to get in the face of her opponent.[/media-credit]Want some more exciting women’s hockey? Keep your eyes on freshman forward Madison Packer.Coming off an injury in the off season, Packer has only played in four games this season, but has already started to prove her worth.Head coach Mark Johnson talked about Packer’s rehabilitation so far and how she is still working to reach to her full potential.“There’s things she’s going through now trying to get back to be 100 percent,” Johnson said. “It was a tough injury that she had last year, and so realistically she shouldn’t be playing, five years ago she probably wouldn’t be, but technology and our training staff and our doctors have provided her with an opportunity. She deserves a lot of credit because she’s had to spend a lot of time rehabbing and that’s not a lot of fun. We brought her along slowly and that was my plan.”After months of rehabilitation Packer finally got to see a fair amount of ice time in Wisconsin’s first road series against Minnesota despite not being fully recovered. Her physical and tough presence on the ice was hard to ignore.Senior defender Geena Prough actually played with Packer for a year before college – both are from Metropolitan Detroit. Prough noted Packer’s size and strength.“She’s a pretty tall girl so she brings some size,” Prough said. “She’s definitely strong on her feet. She will go into those corners and put her body into those corners and when she’s around the net you better watch out because the puck is probably going in the net. She’s just very skilled with her hand work.”Packer didn’t deny her physical style, in fact it was one of the first things she mentioned about herself.“I’m more of a physical player,” Packer said. “I’m a little bigger so I throw my body around. I’m able to get myself in positions where I can battle for the puck and stuff like that.”In the first game against Minnesota she did not hesitate to show she’s a tough force on the ice.In the second period, freshman forward Brittany Ammerman basically got decked by the Gophers’ goalie. As the players started to push and shove back and forth, Packer got right in the thick of things instantly, sticking up for Ammerman.“I saw Brittany Ammerman, she got dropped by their goalie,” Prough said. “I think it was big of [Packer] to go in right away, I was right behind her. You have to have your teammates’ back and her initial reaction was to protect [Ammerman], so I thought that was very big of her.”While Packer had some quality alone time in the penalty box, it was hard to forget what had just happened. But the freshman certainly made a statement to her teammates.“It’s great to have her on your line for someone like me who gets hit a few times per game – like in Minnesota – she’ll stick up for me,” Ammerman said.In games Packer made it clear she isn’t someone to mess with, and one should probably be careful when it comes to her teammates. But through her four games she still has not been able to put the puck in the net.When she has played, Packer has found some more time on the same line as the Ammerman sisters. There are nine goals between Brooke and Brittany alone, so it’s only a matter of time before she has the same success.“In fairness to that I told her maybe 10 days ago don’t look at other people’s statistics,” Johnson said. “[She’s] in a different scenario than other people [she’s] played with. [Her] progress has been good, [she] just has to be patient. She gets around the ice. She’s not afraid to get dirty. All the other stuff will take care of itself. She’s a good player, she just had a set back with this injury. She’s just making her way back to the top of what she’s capable of and what her potential is. ”“I definitely think I have the ability to score goals,” Packer added. “I think that playing at a different level it’s just going to take time to get a feel for the game and get a feel for who I’m playing with. Hopefully after that things will start to flow a little better.”Packer is tough on the ice, but off the ice she’s a positive and funny girl.Ammerman, like Prough, played with Packer before they were both Badgers. Two years ago they were on a U18 team together and were already good friends before committing to Wisconsin.Both freshmen may be adjusting to life in college, but Ammerman knows any more adjustments will not be difficult for Packer, not with her personality.“She’s a good person to be around,” Ammerman said. “She’s funny. She’s a little out there sometimes. Some of the things she says you just laugh at. She keeps it light. She’s not too serious, doesn’t criticize herself too much, she’s easy to talk to. She’s just someone you catch what she says and it’s always funny.”In the locker room she may be funny and light, but on the ice her presence feels the opposite. She’s not afraid to get tough and do some dirty work to help out her teammates. She’s got a unique style that is difficult to match up against.“She has unbelievable hands,” Prough said. “She’s very smart on the ice and she’s a really physical, tough player. I like her style.”last_img read more

FAVORED ELYSEA’S WORLD RALLIES TO WIN GRADE III, $100,000 SANTA ANA STAKES BY A HALF LENGTH UNDER VAN DYKE

first_imgFAVORED ELYSEA’S WORLD RALLIES TO WIN GRADE III, $100,000 SANTA ANA STAKES BY A HALF LENGTH UNDER VAN DYKE; TRAINED BY BALTAS, IRISH-BRED MARE GETS 1 ¼ MILES ON TURF IN 1:59.24 ARCADIA, Calif. (March 30, 2019)–Unhurried while next to last a quarter mile out, Drayden Van Dyke stepped on the gas turning for home en route to an impressive half length win aboard favored Elysea’s World in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Santa Ana Stakes at Santa Anita.  Trained by Richard Baltas, the 6-year-old Irish-bred mare got a mile and one quarter on turf in 1:59.24.Most recently sixth in the Grade II, one mile turf Buena Vista Stakes on Feb. 23, Elysea’s World, in her second start for Baltas, was off as the 2-1 favorite in a field of seven older fillies and mares and paid $6.20, $3.60 and $3.00.Owned by Abbondanza Racing, LLC, Christopher Dunn and Jerry McClanahan, Elysea’s World, who had made 21 out of her first 22 starts for eastern-based conditioner Chad Brown, registered her third graded stakes win today and with the winner’s share of $60,000, increased her earnings to $626,573.  Headquartered currently at San Luis Rey Downs Training Center, Elysea’s World is now 24-7-5-3 overall.The second choice at 5-2, Irish-bred Zaffinah rallied from off the pace to take a half length advantage a sixteenth out, but couldn’t hold off the winner.  Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Zaffinah finished a half length in front of Lynne’s Legacy and paid $3.60 and $2.80.Ridden by Alonso Quinonez, Lynne’s Legacy was off at 18-1 and paid $4.80 to show.Fractions on the race were 23.96, 47.01, 1:10.85 and 1:34.95.last_img read more

Lady Cricket Cranes summoned ahead of World Cup

first_img Tags: Lady Cricket CranesWorld Cup Qualifiers The Lady Cranes are the current African Champions (file photo)World Cup Qualifiers3rd-13th May 2019Windhoek, ZimbabweKAMPALA – A list of 40 Ladies have been summoned by the Uganda Cricket Council to start training ahead of the World Cup qualifiers due in Zimbabwe later this year.All the 40 ladies feature in the local league and were selected based on their performances for their clubs.The reigning African champions upset Zimbabwe in a pulsating final two years ago in Windhoek Namibia. This feat earned the lady cricket cranes a spot to at the global qualifiers in Netherlands in 2018 and also a shot at the World Cup main event.All-rounder Gertrude Candiru was the stand out player of the tournament for the lady cricket cranes earning herself the MVP award at the qualifiers.Their maiden appearance at the global qualifiers in Netherlands was below par but they at least managed to pick up two wins finishing 6th out of the eight nations at the event.In the squad that has been summoned former captain Barbara Mukankusi makes a comeback from her maternity leave on the back of a strong 2018 scoring lots of runs for her Pioneer side. There is room for Olila High run machine Damalie Busingye who last represented the lady cricket cranes in 2015.There are no suprises that Olila High has up to eight players in the training squad given the quality of cricket they have been playing for the last two seasons.Double winners Aziz Damani have six players in the squad, Jinja SSS has seven, Pioneer (6), KICC (3), Soroti Challengers (6), Premier (2), with Wanderers and Ceylon contributing a single player.There will be a group of girls trained in Jinja by Habib Mugalula while the group in Lugogo will be handled by Micheal Ndiko.The qualifiers run from May 3rd to 13th in Zimbabwe as the teams compete for the single slot for an African side at the global qualifiers. Full Training Squad. RITA MUSAMALIJANET MBABAZIRACHAEL NTONOIMMACULATE NAKISUYIJOYCE MARY APIOSTEPHANIE NAMPIINAFRANKLYN NAJJUMBAGERTRUDE CANDIRUKEVIN AWINOCONSY AWEKOCAROL NAMUGENYIPATRICIA MALEMIKIAESTHER ILUKORDAMALIE BUSINGYEEVELYN AYIPOIRENE ALUMOLEONA BABIRYETEDDY AYELLAMARIA KAGOYAKEVIN AMUGEBARBARA MUKANKUSIJANET NAKIRANDAWANICHAN HOPECLAIRE MUSHAKAMBAMACKENZIE AYATOPROSCOVIA ALAKOGLORIA OBUKOREUNICE ALUNGATBRENDA NABISALULYNET NAKATOPATRICIA MUNGURYEKMARIA MWESIGERACHEAL ACHANSARAH WALAZASARAH AKITENGSUSAN KAKAISHAKIRA SADDICKMARY AKELLOCHARITY NYOKARUEUNICE KOBUSINGYEComments last_img read more