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March, 2015


Australia Trade And Investment Minister Talking Tourism And Trade In Tasmania

World Travel – Tourism/Trade

Open Eyes Opinion {source: AUgov}


Talking tourism and trade in Tasmania

31 March 2015
Tourism and trade in Tasmania will dominate discussions during a two-day visit to the state by Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb kicking off today.

Member for Bass Andrew Nikolic along with the Member for Lyons Eric Hutchinson will host Mr Robb, who as the minister responsible for tourism, will attend a number of meetings giving local stake-holders the chance to discuss the sector first hand with the minister.

“Tasmania is one of Australia’s leading tourist destinations, offering world-class services and wonderful attractions for both domestic and international travellers alike, such as the Penny Royal precinct re-development underway in Launceston, which I’ll be visiting today,” Mr Robb said.

“During my time in Tasmania I’ll also speak with tourism groups in Launceston and in Coles Bay, to discuss potential opportunities to drive tourism in the state even further,” he said.

Over the coming days, Mr Robb will visit local exporters to discuss the opportunities that have been created for Tasmanian businesses by the Free Trade Agreements with Japan, Korea and China.

While in Launceston, Mr Robb will meet with honey manufacturers Oz Honey – who were recently granted $1 million in funding to expand their operations as part of the ‘Australian Government Innovation and Investment Fund’ – before travelling on Wednesday to meet with staff at Abalone Farms Australia in Bicheno.

“Both Oz Honey and Abalone Farms Australia are wonderful examples of businesses taking advantage of the growing demand in Asia, for our world-class clean, green Aussie produce,” Mr Robb said.

“With a large percentage of their exports destined for China, Oz Honey will benefit from the elimination over four years, of the current 15 per cent tariff on honey.

“Abalone Farms Australia on the other hand export primarily to Japan; they’ve already seen tariffs on their products abolished when the agreement between our two countries entered into force in January,” he said.

Mr Robb added that his visit coincides with the second round of tariff cuts under the Japan FTA coming into effect on April 1, giving businesses around the state added incentive to explore export opportunities with Australia’s second largest trading partner.


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Abu Dhabi Chamber Of Commerce To Organize UAE-Sudan Investment Forum In May 2015

World Trade

Open Eyes Opinion {source: WAM}

Abu Dhabi Chamber to organise UAE-Sudan Investment Forum in May

ABU DHABI, 31st March, 2015 — The Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry is organising “UAE-Sudan Investment Forum” during May, in collaboration with the Sudanese Ministry of Investment. The forum will see the participation of a number of senior officials, businessmen and investors in the UAE and Sudan.

The forum aims to support efforts of the concerned authorities in Sudan to attract UAE investments and introduce the available investment opportunities in various fields and sectors.

On the occasion, Mohammed Thani Murshid Al-Rumiathi, Chairman of the Federation of the UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, “UAE-Sudanese economic relations have witnessed great development as Sudan became one of our most important business partners as it topped the list of the most prominent Arab trading partners of the UAE.”

He added that through the organisation of the forum, Abu Dhabi Chamber will work to promote economic and investment cooperation relations between the companies and institutions operating in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi with the Sudanese trade and industrial enterprises.

Al-Rumiathi explained that the forum is an opportunity for businessmen and investors in the UAE to learn about the investment opportunities available in all sectors and areas as well as briefing them on the incentives offered by the concerned authorities in the Sudan for foreign investors.


European Union Proposes Restrictions On The Use Of Plastic Bags

World Affairs – Environment

Open Eyes Opinion {source: EC}

March 31, 2015

Up to 200 plastic bags are thrown away every year by the average European, most of them after having been used only once. The tiny particles these bags are made of can enter water or even the food cycle. To reduce these risks, the EU wants to restrict the use of plastic bags. MEPs and the Council have agreed a deal, which the environment committee will put to a vote on 31 March, ahead of the plenary vote in April. Watch the meeting and check out our chart on the use of plastic bags in the EU


The proposal

EU countries would be required to choose between two approaches to reduce the use of lightweight plastic bags:

Bring down the number of lightweight plastic bags used by each person to 90 bags per person every year by the end of 2019; and to no more than 40 bags per person by 2025;

Put an end to plastic bags being given away for free when buying goods by the end of 2018

Environmental impact

Each year eight billion plastic bags end up as litter, including in seas where plastic particles can get into animals and eventually appear in the food chain.

The problem with so-called biodegradable bags

Oxo-biodegradable bags also break up into micro-particles so while giving the impression of not littering the environment, they do so invisibly.

Under the new rules, it would be up to the European Commission to set specifications on labelling and look into ways to limit the use of oxo-biodegradable bags.


Uruguay Is Promoting “Convention Punta del Este” In Frankfurt, London And Barcelona

World Travel – Tourism

Open Eyes Opinion {source: UY/gov}


Ministry of Tourism and Sports

Convention Center Punta del Este will be promoted in Frankfurt, London and Barcelona

Undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Benjamin Liberoff reiterated that the construction of the Convention Center and Fairgrounds Punta del Este is “tourism policy decision most important of the last 50 years”, which aims to counter the seasonality in the main seaside resort.

This complex and ANTEL Arena will be presented at international fairs in Frankfurt, London and Barcelona.
“Impressed” said he Undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MINTURD),Benjamin Liberoff, for the development of the works in the Convention Center and Fairgrounds Punta del Este, in the exaeropuerto The Jaguel.

The chief toured the venture on Monday 23 under the Council of Ministers held in Maldonado.

“This evidence compliance schedule that provides for the completion of the work in March 2016,” said Liberoff. He also reiterated that it is the “most important decision tourism policy in the last 50 years.”

Liberoff noted that the resort receives an investment of over $ 30 million and aims to combat seasonality of the main seaside resort of the country. “That’s a superlative importance,” said interviewed by the Ministry of Communication.

The Convention Center will host the meeting of the Association of Conference and Event Organisers Latin America (COCAL) in March 2017.

Liberoff said that in the framework of the annual meeting of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA, for its acronym in English) to be held in Buenos Aires seeks to event participants arrive in the country between 27 and 29 October and visit Convention Center and Arena ANTEL.

The chief reported that both complexes will be presented at the international fair of business tourism, IMEX 2015, to be held in Frankfurt, between 19 and 21 May.Subsequently, will be promoted in London in November and December in Barcelona.


Please visit Uruguay Ministry of Tourism

Video, Punta del Este posted to Youtube by James Wallace

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How Does The European Union Work ?

World Affairs

Open Eyes Opinion

The European Union – How does it work

The below video is slightly outdated as additional countries have been admitted to the EU since the video was created.

The video is a little over 6 minutes and gives a simple overview of the European Union, European parliament, European commission, etc.


Video, How the EU works posted to Youtube by TalkToEU

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Labor Costs In The European Union

World Affairs

Open Eyes Opinion {source: eurostat}

European Commission – EUROSTAT

Labour costs in the EU – Hourly labour costs ranged from €3.8 to €40.3 across the EU Member States in 2014 – Lowest in Bulgaria, highest in Denmark

30 March 2015

In 2014, average hourly labour costs in the whole economy (excluding agriculture and public administration) were estimated to be €24.6 in the European Union (EU) and €29.2 in the euro area (EA18).

However, this average masks significant gaps between EU Member States, with the lowest hourly labour costs recorded in Bulgaria (€3.8), Romania (€4.6), Lithuania (€6.5) and Latvia (€6.6) and the highest in Denmark (€40.3), Belgium (€39.1), Sweden (€37.4) and Luxembourg (€35.9).

Full text available on EUROSTAT website:


UAE – Ajman Promotes Its’ Free Zone To The Russians

World Trade

Open Eyes Opinion {source: WAM}

Moscow, 30th March, 2015  – Ajman Free Zone Authority gave a presentation on the advantages of setting up a company in this dynamically developing Emirate of the UAE to the Russian business community and potential investors at Sheraton Hotel in Moscow.

Mr. Nader Eldesouky, the Deputy Director of Ajman Free Zone Authority, led the keynote address followed by a detailed presentation by Mr Rishi Somaiya, Director of the Sales Dept, to over a hundred members of the Russian business community as well as with the leading business media titles.

The presentation outlined the advantages of setting-up a business in the UAE, particularly in the Ajman Free Zone and was followed by a very active discussion and questions from potential investors and partners, among which were organizations like Russian-Arab Business Council, the Russian Chamber of Commerce, the Agency for Strategic initiatives and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.

Mr. Nader Eldesouky, Deputy Director of AFZA, stressed on the importance of the Russian market for Ajman Free Zone with Russia being one of the top five investors to the Zone along with companies from the UK and China, with India and Pakistan taking the lead.

Today over 7000 international companies from 150 countries operate in Ajman, and about 10% of them are of Russian origin. Mr. Rishi Somaiya, Director of Sales Department of AFZA, added that Ajman already has an existing Russian community in the Emirate that continues to grow, as more Russian investors come to the region and to the Free Zone in particular.

One of the seven emirates, Ajman is strategically located in the center of UAE, with easy access to the country’s key ports and airports. The commercial capital of the UAE is just 35 km or 25 min drive. Since January 2012, the world’s largest port operator, Hutchison Whampoa Group, is managing the port of Ajman, which is now expanding at an exponential pace. Plans of a state-of-the-art international airport in Ajman have been announced.

There are 36 free economic zones in the UAE, but Ajman is the only downtown free zone. Established in 1988, it ranks in the Top 3 zones in the UAE. Obtaining a license for setting up a business in Ajman Free Zone takes only 2 hours. The zone offers a wide range of licenses, including commercial licenses for trading companies, service license and industrial licenses. In 2012 AFZA registered 25% more companies as compared to 2011.

The main advantages of running a company or a business in the Free Zone include: exemption of all import and export duties, personal income or corporate taxes, with no charges or hidden fees, 100% foreign ownership of your business along with 100% repatriation of capital and all profits, low labour cost, as well as low energy cost, 40 year guarantee of tax and custom free operations with 20 years land contract renewable for another 20 years.

For companies involved in import-export business, one of the most attractive opportunities offered by Ajman Free Zone is a wide range of warehousing units and facilities, starting from 100 square meters (Smart Warehouse). For small businesses, the Zone offers flexible “smart offices” which are low cost and include a license with virtual office space.

The cost of the first installment for setting up a smart office starts from as little as $ 555 per month. Such flexible payment packages make it easy for businesses to enter the market without burdening their cash flow.

Ajman has a modern and constantly developing infrastructure including networks of road and bridges, parking lots, conference facilities, five star hotels as well as shopping malls with a selection of international brands available.

The Emirate of Ajman also has a vast stretch of beaches, which is appreciated by an international community of local residents, Russians included. The Ajman real estate offer includes luxury apartments and villas at extremely attractive prices.


Please visit Ajman Free Zone Authority

Video, Ajam UAE posted to Youtube by Kirill Neiezhmakov

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U.S. Personal Income Report For February 2015

World Affairs

Open Eyes Opinion {source: USgov/BEA}

United States


  • Personal income in February 2015 increased 0.4 percent.
  • Nominal personal consumption expenditures (PCE) rose 0.1 percent.
  • Real PCE declined 0.1 percent.
  • Nominal disposable personal income (DPI) rose 0.4 percent.
  • Real DPI increased 0.2 percent.
  • The personal saving rate as a percentage of DPI was 5.8 percent in February.

View full  report:


South Africa Has Called For A Program To End Racism

World Affairs

Open Eyes Opinion {source: SAgov}

Pretoria – Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has called for a programme aimed at ending racism in the country.

“We need to tackle this obstacle to social justice. As a society, we are called upon to rise to the occasion and uproot such discriminatory acts,” Minister Mthethwa said.

Speaking at the National Social Cohesion Report Back Summit in Port Elizabeth on Monday, the Minister said the country had to defeat racism in all its manifestations, whether it is overt or covert.

The Department of Arts and Culture convened the summit to evaluate how much progress has been made in nation building and social cohesion on the year of the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter.

“If we are to build a caring society, we need to have a programme geared towards eradicating the scourge in visible ways,” Minister Mthethwa said.

He said no one should be discriminated against based on colour, creed and gender or in any way. “It is worse when fellow Africans attack one another. It reminds us of the road ahead to a truly decolonised African mind.”

Speaking on the recent protest at the University of Cape Town (UCT) by students, Minister Mthethwa said there was no need to deface or destroy any statue.

“If it had to be removed, let us use the correct means to the end,” he said.

UCT students have recently embarked on protests to have the statue of Cecil Rhodes removed from the institution’s grounds.

Minister Mthethwa said government’s reconciliation and nation building policy means while the nation should forgive, it should not forget to prevent a repetition of the pitfalls of the past.

“The social cohesion advocates, led by the Department of Arts and Culture, will frequent universities and other institutions to deepen dialogue with all stakeholders.

“Social cohesion will only succeed through all round and interconnected efforts for social progress, which will change material conditions of the population for the better.

“It means the total transfer of political and economic power to the democratic majority,” Minister Mthethwa said. –


UN Adopts Resolution On The Right To Privacy And Freedom Of Expression

World Affairs

Open Eyes Opinion {source: NOgov}

Norway – March 30, 2015 

UN establishes new Special Rapporteur on right to privacy

The UN Human Rights Council has decided to create the mandate of a new Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy. ‘All people must be able to use the internet and new technology without running the risk of being persecuted or suffering reprisals,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

The resolution adopted on 26 March was the result of a joint initiative by Norway, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

‘The right to privacy is a prerequisite for freedom of expression and democracy. While there has been far greater focus on challenges to the right to privacy in recent years, we need a more informed debate on how we can better protect this right.

In some cases legitimate security measures may conflict with personal privacy considerations. We need more knowledge in this area and a vibrant discussion to ensure the development of rules and mechanisms that can safeguard legal principles and democratic control. The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy can make an important contribution in this area,’ said Mr Brende.

The new Special Rapporteur will be responsible for reporting on trends, challenges and violations by states of their international obligations regarding the right to privacy.

The Special Rapporteur, who is mandated to examine challenges to the right to privacy arising from new technologies, will also be responsible for making recommendations to ensure the promotion and protection of the right to privacy at the national and international level.

A decision on who is to be appointed as the new Special Rapporteur will be made in the next few months.

‘Norway’s engagement in the international debate on the right to privacy is part of our efforts to improve the protection of human rights defenders, in line with our recently published white paper on human rights,’ Mr Brende said.

For Norway it was important to secure the support of all states for the resolution. The resolution, which was adopted today without a vote, will reinforce international efforts to promote the right to privacy and freedom of expression and will help to clarify and strengthen the implementation of international norms in this area.



Monday’s Quote – 30March2015

Monday’s Quote

Start the week thinking

It is impossible to struggle for civil rights, equal rights for blacks, without including whites. Because equal rights, fair play, justice, are all like the air: we all have it, or none of us has it. That is the truth of it.

– Maya Angelou


The Travel D’OR Trophy Was Awarded To Reunion Island

World Travel

Open Eyes Opinion {source: firnet/eTN}

Reunion Island

From January 26 to March 02 inclusive, nearly 15 million Internet users were invited to vote for their favorite travel site on the occasion of the seventh edition of D’Or Travel. Nominated alongside 49 other destinations, Reunion Island won the 2015 trophy in the category “Tourist Offices.” After two Golden Travel awards were already scooped up in 2012 and 2014, Reunion Island has now won this coveted trophy for the third time.

Reunion Island was awarded their Gold Travel trophy during the gala evening held at the Pavillon Gabriel, situated in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, a few steps from the Place de la Concorde.

Nominated as favorite travel website of Internet users in its class, the new public web site of competed alongside over 300 other websites in all categories. Launched on January 9 as a state-of-the-art pro-active website for Reunion Island, the site highlights the major tourism attractions of the island. The ease of use and incorporating the latest website technology made the difference when Reunion’s website was selected as the winner.

This is a great reward for Reunion Island, which intends to develop its tourism economy with a strong innovative spirit. The new technologies of information and communication (ICT) are at the heart of the target policy, particularly through the development of several interactive and fun features.

Reunion Island won the 2012 Golden Travel Innovation in the “applications and tablets” category for their 3600 implementation and the 2014 Golden Travel as the most preferred Internet travel website in the “tourist offices” category. These previous victories have given it its status as “the geekiest destination” by Frédéric Vanhoutte, President of Eventiz and creator of the Golden Travel Award scheme.

Check out the website here:


About Reunion Island

An island of true contrasts, the French department of Reunion is unknown to many of the world’s travelers. That’s unfortunate! This unique island in the middle of the Indian Ocean is simply one of the most intriguing spots on earth.

Not as well-known as nearby Mauritius or the not-so-far-away British Seychelles, little Reunion seems but a speck in the vast ocean, dwarfed by Madagascar, located 500 miles to the west.

The French know the island well but only the very well-traveled have ever stepped foot on Reunion’s varied and enticing terrain.

With an active volcano on its south coast, 17 miles of warm, welcoming beaches in the west, and lots of mountains and forests in between, Reunion Island offers vacation opportunities ranging from relaxing to truly insane.

If you’re looking for a place to “chill out”, you’ll find it here. But if you’re the kind of vacationer who prefers an adrenaline rush over a sunburn, the possibilities are endless. From hiking Reunion’s unique “cirques” or canyoning the island’s many waterfalls to scuba diving or surfing in the clear waters that surround this tiny 30-mile-wide island, adventure activities abound for vacationers hoping to do something a little daring while on their Reunion holiday.

For more information please visit


Video, Reunion Island posted to Youtube by World Travel Studio

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