Tompkins County’s Purchasing Division has identified a scam in where fake purchase orders are being sent to businesses, from official-sounding, look-alike email addresses from local government and even federal government agencies. According to a county press release the next step in the scam is that, “the purchase order requests that the items be shipped to a location not associated with the government agency.”Tompkins County Deputy Director of Finance Andrew Braman said in a statement that, “businesses should carefully review purchase orders received from government agencies and confirm their authenticity, especially if the quantities ordered are significant and if the requested delivery address differs from the normal delivery address.” Any business wanting to validate that it has received an official Tompkins County Purchase Order should contact the County’s Purchasing Division at [email protected] Your Economy & Development news is made possible with support from: ITHACA, N.Y. –– Business owners should keep an eye out for fraudulent purchase orders that appear to come from government email addresses. Those emails could be part of a scam, Tompkins County said in a news release Friday. Anna Lamb Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice.Questions? Story tips? Contact her at [email protected] More by Anna Lamb Tagged: business, government, Scam
Chelsea were twice denied a penalty during a frenetic start to the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge.With the tie finely poised after a 1-1 draw at Anfield in the first leg, they looked menacing from the first whistle and might have been awarded a penalty in the opening five minutes.Diego Costa got the better of Mamadou Sakho on the right-hand side and picked out Willian, whose shot was blocked by Lucas with the ball hitting the Liverpool man’s hand as he threw himself in the way.At the other end, Raheem Sterling scampered towards goal after Kurt Zouma had misjudged a long ball, but the centre-back recovered to tackle him after Sterling had gone past Chelsea skipper John Terry.The hosts were soon back on the attack and Costa appeared to be fouled in the box by Martin Skrtel, but again referee Michael Oliver ignored appeals for a spot-kick.With Terry back in the side after being rested for Saturday’s FA Cup debacle against Bradford, Blues boss Jose Mourinho made a bold decision by retaining youngster Zouma and instead dropping Gary Cahill to the bench.And Chelsea have been caused some problems at the back, twice relying on keeper Thibaut Courtois to prevent Liverpool going ahead.The Belgian saved superbly from Alberto Moreno following a clever pass from Steven Gerrard.Soon afterwards Courtois was called into action again, this time saving with his legs to keep out an effort from Philippe Coutinho, who showed great skill to get himself into a shooting position but ought to have then scored.Eden Hazard’s away goal means a 0-0 draw would take Chelsea to Wembley to face Tottenham or Sheffield United in the final – but only if that were to remain the scoreline after extra time.Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Filipe Luis; Matic, Fabregas; Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Costa. Subs: Cech, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ake, Ramires, Remy, Drogba.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Quincy >> The Los Molinos Lady Bulldogs ended their Northern Section Division 5 playoff run Thursday night on the road against the Quincy Trojans in four sets.The Bulldogs took the first set and hung in there in each of the following three sets, but came up short, 20-25, 25-21, 28-26, 25-20.The Bulldogs still qualify for the state playoffs, which begin next week. The top four teams from each section automatically qualify for the state tournament, so the Bulldogs will be joined by the …
President Jacob Zuma delivered his State of the Nation address last night, but it wasn’t just his speech that caught people’s attention. Take a look at some of the red carpet looks of the night.President Jacob Zuma and Speaker of the National Assembly Ms Baleka Mbete arrive at Parliament for the State of the Nation Address . (Photo: GCIS)Nkosi Mandla Madela and wife Nosekeni Rabia Mandela arriving at the red carpet on Plein Street outside Parliament ahead of 2017 State of the Nation Address in Cape Town. 09/02/2017 GCISChief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng arriving at Parliament during the State of the Nation Address in Cape Town.09/02/2017 GCISDarly, Rachel and their son Oliva Tambo arriving at the red carpet on Plein Street outside Parliament ahead of 2017 State of the Nation Address in Cape Town. 09/02/2017 GCISThoko Mkhonazi-Xaluva arriving at the red carpet on Plein Street outside Parliament ahead of 2017 State of the Nation Address in Cape Town. 09/02/2017 GCISThandiwe Kenye and daughter Nonhle Bavuma arriving at the red carpet on Plein Street outside Parliament ahead of 2017 State of the Nation Address in Cape Town. 09/02/2017 GCISDumisani and wife Nomathemba XImbi arriving at the red carpet on Plein Street outside Parliament ahead of 2017 State of the Nation Address in Cape Town. 09/02/2017 GCISBongekile Sineke and Dikeledi Mahlangu arriving at the red carpet on Plein Street outside Parliament ahead of 2017 State of the Nation Address in Cape Town. 09/02/2017 GCISGrace Tseke and Thapelo Chiloane arriving at the red carpet on Plein Street outside Parliament ahead of 2017 State of the Nation Address in Cape Town. 09/02/2017 GCISSbusiso Radebe and Dudu Manana arriving at the red carpet on Plein Street outside Parliament ahead of 2017 State of the Nation Address in Cape Town. 09/02/2017 GCISDanisa Baloyi arriving at the red carpet on Plein Street outside Parliament ahead of 2017 State of the Nation Address in Cape Town. 09/02/2017 GCISDeputy Minister of Tourism Tokozile Xasa arrives at Parliament for the State of the Nation Address. (Photo: GCIS)Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Senzeni Zokwana arrives at Parliament for the State of the Nation Address. (Photo: GCIS)Premier of the Western Cape Helen Zille arrives at Parliament for the State of the Nation Address. (Photo: GCIS)Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Kebby Maphatsoe arrives at Parliament for the State of the Nation Address. (Photo: GCIS)Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen arrives at Parliament for the State of the Nation Address. (Photo: GCIS)Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Bheki Cele and his wife, arrive at Parliament for the State of the Nation Address. (Photo: GCIS)Deputy Minister Obed Bapela arrives at Parliament for the State of the Nation Address. (Photo: GCIS)Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
The Internet of Things market is forecasted to hit $520 billion in the next two years. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), IoT will account for at least 10 percent of the total digital universe — which will explode to 40 trillion GB of data by 2020. We’re talking 40 trillion GB of IoT data in the foreseeable future.Connected devices, particularly those designed for the smart home and health/wellness, are always listening, always recording data.Once data is on a device, it becomes part of a spiderweb of information that is stored in a variety of places, and it is shared among third parties and interacts with data from other sources. What information lives within all that data? Where is it stored? Who has access to it? How is it protected? How is all of this data tested?The range of implications and opportunities that have arisen with this market are far-reaching and complicated.Consumers around the world, are eager to embrace the convenience and innovation that the IoT brings to daily life. Most are unaware of what is happening in the background with the vast amount of data the devices collect. But we’re already seeing a flurry of news reports about data privacy violations relating to IoT data.Malicious actors are leveraging these devices for their own gain, and information from connected devices are now entering courtrooms as evidence.As a society, we must begin to think about the individual and corporate risks that we’ll face as IoT adoption proliferates, escalates, and breeds. To that end, our team conducted a series of tests and research to look deeper into connected devices and issues that are emerging with their widespread use.Our research studied where and how data resides on these devices, how they transfer it to the cloud and amongst other devices, and recent legal matters involving IoT data. The examination uncovered the following five findings, which many people may find surprising:Intersecting corporate and personal worlds will raise challenges. IoT data and the ways in which data and information are collected, stored, and secured — is colliding with the blending of corporate and personal worlds.This linking of worlds is raising important questions about the future of data privilege, privacy, and compliance.An employee working from home in the proximity of a smart device may unknowingly record sensitive conversations. That data is then sitting on a server somewhere indefinitely. With more and more people working remotely and using these devices in their home offices, corporations must be aware of the implications. The ways in which IoT information can impact both legal matters and compliance initiatives are far-reaching.The discoverable cloud databases for IoT accounts are expansive.access is easily attainable to find all of the users’ credentialscloud data can be collected and stored from APIsall smartphone appsany account paired with the devicesWhen testing on the Alexa, data available included:device informationadditional devices the user has associated with their accountthird-party apps added to the deviceuser activitycredit cards, your library card, and any other cardaudio files of every command givennetwork configurationsall groups the user has associated with the accountthe last 50 activities performed by Alexa on any deviceactivities that have Alexa enabled hearing within hearing rangespecific voice recordingsExample on Google Home:further correlates commandsrecords for third-party apps such as Nestinvestigators can identify and pull related Nest SQLite databasesinvestigators can identify and use .plist filesdata is found and can be used from a user’s iPhone backupThese artifacts can be dug-up and harvested — the saved data reveals day-to-day lifestyle habits.SQLite can enter a subquery and then an inner query (called a Nest query) within another SQLite and embed that query within the WHERE clause. The WHERE clause is then used to extract other records.These devices “helps” will then report when someone has left the premises or arrived home — and any other home changes. Data will be kept, preserved and saved forever; showing when your lights turned on and off — and any temperature changes. What information will this reveal about you?All of these devices are always listening.These home devices are the only absolute true constant in our lives. Alexa has a configurable feature called “drop-in.” This feature acts like an intercom between different Alexa enabled devices. The devices are always listening.Two devices can be connected if allowed access to one another. Once connected, a user has the ability to drop-in and listens without the end user’s ability to accept or deny the connection. Have you ever connected your information in someone’s office? Hum.Alexa also actively records conversations that are preceded with what the device interprets as a command word.Our testing found .wav files of the test subjects having a casual conversation, following any word that sounded enough like “Alexa” to wake the device. (How surprising. What a shocker…oh my).Yes, these types of recordings may be relevant during an investigation — but their storage also introduces privacy considerations. How long is the data kept? Answer: forever. What will the data say about you?IoT data is actively being used as evidence in litigation: When tested on Google Home and the Echo Dot, even when data was deleted from the app’s “activity” section — it remained in the device history. (again: How surprising. What a shocker. Oh my).All of this collected data and information will be a boon for investigators. We’ve seen information and data from these devices already appearing as evidence in criminal cases.In one murder case, the defendant’s smart speaker audio recordings were subject to a search warrant — and ultimately the files were turned over to prosecutors.In a home arson case, the homeowner told police that he did a series of things when he discovered the fire. However, a search of his pacemaker showed that the man’s heart rate barely changed throughout the incident.Testimony from a cardiologist, that it was “highly improbable” that a man in his condition could do the things claimed, ultimately supported a guilty conviction for charges of arson and insurance fraud.Privacy breaches have already occurred:In one report, audio and other files from an individual’s smart assistant were inadvertently released by the company storing the data to an unrelated individual.When the files were later handed over to a media outlet, the staff was able to easily piece together the identity, relationships, and daily habits of the subject.This incident corroborates mainstream worries.In a study from EIU, 74 percent of respondents said they are concerned that small privacy invasions from IoT devices may eventually lead to a loss of civil rights.The considerations above are only a snapshot of the more significant issues connected devices will continue to introduce. The type of information available through a user’s IoT account is only a small fraction of the larger pool of data that resides with the companies that make these devices.The broader implications are extensive. As the IoT space evolves — it will be crucial for individuals and businesses to remain vigilant over the way all of their information is handled. Follow the Puck AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Megan Danilek is a consultant in FTI Consulting’s Technology Segment. She assists with digital forensics and investigations, including the forensic collection and analysis of digital evidence sources including computers, email servers, mobile devices and social media platforms. She provides computer forensic expertise to corporations and law firms involved in legal matters regarding theft of intellectual property and trade secrets, and second requests. How Data Analytics Can Save Lives Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts Tags:#Alexa#Google Voice#Privacy Breach Megan Danilek
If the thought of asking for a donation in person makes you sweat, Network for Good’s next free webinar is for you.Tune in Tuesday, April 16 at 1 p.m. Eastern to hear fundraising expert Jay Frost give nonprofits the insider scoop on garnering support via one of the most powerful methods — the in-person ask.Join us and learn answers to the following: How to ask for donations in a way that is comfortable for youHow to identify your unique asking strengths and best use themWhy asking for gifts doesn’t have to be so scary!Register here.
Review Step One In Step One of this two-part post, I shared my take on why this type of emotional candy works so well to raise money or recruit volunteers. I cited a reliable litmus test for photo impact—would you share it with your own family and friends, and would they “like” or share it? Here are some recommendations, with examples: For policy and intermediary organizations: Connect the dots between your work and the people who are the ultimate beneficiaries. If your organization is not an animal rescue or somehow directly related to puppies, kitties, or babies, these alternatives will be far more effective in helping you forge connections and motivate giving. Most important, they are authentic, relevant expressions, rather than manipulative clickbait. Organizations like yours have it even harder when building relationships and motivating action, be it giving or something else. That’s because your work is indirect. For all causes and organizations: Highlight the similarities between your audiences and your organization’s clients, participants, or beneficiaries. Get detailed and personal in words and/or photos. The close-up (bottom left) of the little girl focused on drawing is compelling! Clearly, we never want anyone to be homeless, much less our own family. The cause has the potential to scare off supporters because of their fear that it could happen to them. Stigma! However, by photographing an older resident (like your grandma or mine) reading to a couple of kids, Hope House busts through and connects us with the residents in a positive way. (I remember when my grandma read to me.) The Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation does a great job of this on its Facebook page, as shown in the post above. Here, the foundation makes it easy to make the connection between its work and the individuals who benefit from its grants for a real “aha!” moment. The details are what sticks (or doesn’t) and make your story memorable and more likely to be shared. How do you make your organization’s content compelling—beyond kitties, puppies, or babies? Please share your recommendations in the comments! You’re working on legislation related to a cause or supporting other cause organizations. This makes it challenging for prospects to connect emotionally. It takes your audience time and thought to make the connection between your impact and people, which is always a deterrent. Findlay Hope House does a great job of this on its Facebook page time and time again. Consider the post above, showing kids without homes living in Hope House’s transitional housing. But there is a great method of speeding that vital connection—make the message for your prospects and supporters. Connect the dots between your organization’s work and impact and your ultimate beneficiaries, even if there are layers in between. Okay, your organization is one of many that can’t use kitty or puppy photos to raise money or recruit volunteers. So what can you do to quickly and effectively connect with the emotions of prospects and supporters? Step 2: Make emotional connections and compelling content—if not candy—even without the supercute. Review Step One With refreshing practicality, Nancy Schwartz rolls up her sleeves to help nonprofits develop and implement strategies to build strong relationships that inspire key supporters to action. She shares her deep nonprofit marketing insights—and passion—through consulting, speaking, and her popular blog and e-news at GettingAttention.org.
Sierra Leone (1,360)Finland (3) Ten Countries with the highest MMRs (per 100,000 live births)Ten Countries with the lowest MMRs (per 100,000 live births) ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: For countries with current MMRs less than 10 deaths per 100,000 live births, measuring a two-thirds reduction is not feasible due to statistical limitations. Those countries with low MMRs should therefore focus on reducing internal inequities. National-level MMRs can hide disparities within countries: Women of low socioeconomic status, belonging to certain racial or ethnic groups and those living in rural areas, for example, are often at greatest risk of dying from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes. Therefore, all countries are called to focus on eliminating inequities among sub-populations under the new goals framework.The SDG 3.1 global target of less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births represents an ambitious reduction in the global burden of maternal mortality from the current global MMR. Data from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015 estimates that the global MMR is 196 deaths per 100,000 live births. According to the World Health Organization, the global MMR is even higher, at approximately 216 deaths per 100,000 live births. But the global goal is achievable if all countries contribute to the global average by accelerating their national reduction of preventable maternal deaths by at least two-thirds and ensuring that no woman and no country is left behind, a key theme of the Global Strategy.Clearly, we all still have far to go in order to achieve both the global and national targets for maternal mortality. Reducing the global MMR to less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births through national reduction of MMR by two-thirds in all countries by 2030 and reducing inequities in maternal survival within and among countries will be challenging; but with continued investment in maternal health research, programs and policy at the global, national and local levels, we can work together to end preventable maternal mortality across the globe.Learn more by checking out these resources:Strategies Toward Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality (EPMM) | World Health OrganizationThe Sustainable Development Goals and Maternal Mortality | MHTF Topic PageEnding Preventable Maternal Mortality | MHTF ProjectStrategies Toward Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality (EPMM) Under the Sustainable Development Goals Agenda | MHTF BlogA Common Monitoring Framework for Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality, 2015–2030: Phase I of a Multi-Step Process | BMC Pregnancy and ChildbirthEnding Preventable Maternal and Newborn Mortality and Stillbirths | BMJ—How do you think we can reduce maternal deaths around the world? We want to hear from you!Share this: Chad (856)Iceland (3) Democratic Republic of the Congo (693)Sweden (4) South Sudan (789)Austria (4) Burundi (712)Italy (4) Nigeria (814)Poland (3) Posted on September 20, 2017September 20, 2017By: Rima Jolivet, Maternal Health Technical Director, Maternal Health Task Force; Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)There has been some confusion recently about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) target for reducing global maternal mortality. The SDG global target is to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio (MMR) to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030. In addition to this global target, there are separate country-level targets: The primary national target is that by 2030, every country should reduce its MMR by at least two-thirds from its 2010 baseline. The secondary target, which applies to countries with the highest maternal mortality burdens, is that no country should have an MMR greater than 140 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030.SDG 3.1 global target:By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births.EPMM national targets:Primary target: By 2030, all countries should reduce their maternal mortality ratios by at least two-thirds from their 2010 baseline.Secondary target: By 2030, no country should have a maternal mortality ratio greater than 140 deaths per 100,000 live births.These global and national maternal mortality targets, developed by a group of technical experts through extensive consultations with global and country-level stakeholders, were published in a 2015 report, Strategies for Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality (EPMM Strategies). The EPMM Strategies report fed into the development of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, 2016-2030 (Global Strategy), a framework for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals related to the health of women, children and adolescents.Understanding the distinction between the global and national targets is crucial. The global target alone is not useful for instituting country-level change. Countries need to set national targets to drive reduction in maternal deaths and thus contribute to meeting the global goal. The primary national target—that every country should reduce its MMR by at least two-thirds from its 2010 baseline levels—takes each country’s different starting point into account while still holding countries accountable for their own progress toward the common SDG goal.Each country has a unique starting point: a different baseline MMR and epidemiological risk profile, different health system capacity and resources and a different sociopolitical climate for work on reducing maternal mortality. These differences are reflected in the wide disparities in MMR among countries around the globe. National MMRs range from 3 deaths per 100,000 live births in Finland, Greece, Iceland and Poland to 1,360 deaths per 100,000 live births in Sierra Leone. This disparity illustrates that, unfortunately, a woman’s risk of maternal death depends largely on where she lives. Thus, the secondary national target—that no country should have a national MMR greater than 140 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030—was proposed as an important mechanism for reducing extreme inequities in global maternal survival. Liberia (725)Czech Republic (4) Somalia (732)Belarus (4) Data are estimates from “Trends in maternal mortality: 1990 to 2015” Estimates by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank Group and the United Nations Population Division Gambia (706)Kuwait (4) Central African Republic (882)Greece (3)
Key messages from the reportThe 21 countries included in this report reflect a fairly high level of diversity across the region: Some have extremely high levels of maternal and neonatal mortality and stillbirths as well as high disease burdens; others have relatively low levels.South Africa is the only country in the region with an SRMNAH workforce that is large enough and has the appropriate skill mix to meet all of the country’s need for the 46 essential interventions for SRMNAH.The size of the SRMNAH workforce is an essential building block for effective coverage of SRMNAH services, but effective coverage depends also on accessibility, acceptability and quality. Countries with SRMNAH worker shortages must focus on increasing availability, and all countries should address the identified challenges to the provision of SRMNAH care that is accessible, acceptable and high quality.Countries are working hard to expand the SRMNAH workforce and deliver equitable services, but accurate workforce planning is dependent on accurate workforce data. A minimum of 10 pieces of information should be collected on all cadres:HeadcountPercentage time spent on SRMNAHRoles of each cadreAge distribution of current workforceRetirement ageDuration of educationNumber of students enrolling per yearEducation attrition rateNumber of new graduates joining the workforce each yearVoluntary attrition from the workforce ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: However, comprehensive, disaggregated data for determining the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of the SRMNAH workforce are not routinely and easily available, even to those tasked with making decisions about workforce planning and deployment.In order for the SRMNAH workforce to work effectively, health facilities need to be equipped to offer the appropriate services, including for emergencies (access to safe blood, cesarean sections, newborn resuscitation). All hospitals and primary care facilities in the region tend to be designated to offer these services, but relatively few are sufficiently well equipped to be able to provide them routinely.Legislation, regulation and licensing allows SRMNAH workers to provide high quality care and thus protect the health of women, adolescents and newborns. Countries in the region tend to have good policies and systems for this aspect of quality of care, but in some countries there are barriers to the effective implementation of these policies and systems.Midwives and nurse-midwives who are educated and regulated to international standards can provide 87% of the essential care needed for women, adolescents and newborns. Midwives and nurse-midwives can make a unique contribution due to their competencies covering the whole continuum of SRMNAH care, from pre-pregnancy, through antenatal care and care during childbirth, to postnatal services. The scaling up of midwifery represents a cost-effective contribution to improving SRMNAH outcomes.Are you working to expand the accessibility, acceptability and quality of your country’s SRMNAH workforce? We want to hear from you!—Download the full report.Explore other posts from the Global Maternal Health Workforce blog series and access related resources.Subscribe to receive new posts from the Maternal Health Task Force blog.Share this: Posted on October 4, 2017October 5, 2017By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The United Nations Population Fund recently published “The State of the World’s Midwifery: Analysis of the Sexual, Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Adolescent Health (SRMNAH) Workforce in East & Southern Africa.” The report uses the framework of the 2014 State of the World’s Midwifery report to assess the SRMNAH workforce in 21 countries: Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Jamaica is already benefiting from Chile’s assistance in building capacity in the areas of trade policy and trade promotion. This is being facilitated under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for technical cooperation between the Export Promotion Bureau (ProChile) and Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), which was signed last year. “On behalf of my colleague Heads of Government, I would like to assure you that these programmes are of great importance to CARICOM and make a significant contribution to the community’s efforts to boost its human-resource capacity and expertise in these critical areas,” he said. President of the Republic of Chile, His Excellency Sebastián Piñera, has expressed interest in entering into negotiations on a free trade-agreement with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Story Highlights President of the Republic of Chile, His Excellency Sebastián Piñera, has expressed interest in entering into negotiations on a free trade-agreement with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).Mr. Piñera said the Chilean Government, which already has free-trade agreements with more than 70 countries in the world, has been looking forward to starting this process “for a long period of time”.He was addressing the third plenary session at the 39th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM on Friday (July 6), at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, in St. James.The Chilean President said his country has a history of being a very open economy and is of the strong belief that free trade is the best way to achieve development.Jamaica is already benefiting from Chile’s assistance in building capacity in the areas of trade policy and trade promotion. This is being facilitated under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for technical cooperation between the Export Promotion Bureau (ProChile) and Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), which was signed last year.Mr. Piñera explained that under the agreement, both countries will organise an annual plan that will include training programmes and also aims to increase bilateral trade.ProChile assists small and medium-sized enterprises in their trade expansion efforts by leveraging the opportunities afforded by recent trade agreements, fostering public-private partnerships, and helping to position Chile in the international marketplace.The President also pledged to continue to strengthen his country’s scientific and technical cooperation with CARICOM as well as provide better assistance in mitigating the impact of natural disasters.In his remarks, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, thanked the President for his country’s continued cooperation on a wide range of areas, including technical assistance in the form of training courses in natural resources, agriculture, health and nutrition, international negotiations with diplomatic training and foreign language training for high-school teachers in trilateral cooperation with the Government of Mexico.“On behalf of my colleague Heads of Government, I would like to assure you that these programmes are of great importance to CARICOM and make a significant contribution to the community’s efforts to boost its human-resource capacity and expertise in these critical areas,” he said.Mr. Holness said CARICOM also appreciates the technical assistance provided through the various training programmes that have been offered in the areas of disaster management, and look forward to continued collaboration in this critical area.The Prime Minister said the Community greatly appreciates Chile’s understanding of the challenges facing small island developing states (SIDS), and thanked the country for registering its readiness “to stand by this vulnerable category of countries”.Mr. Piñera was specially invited to attend the meeting of CARICOM Heads which began on July 4 and ends today.The Conference of Heads of Government, which consists of the Heads of Government of the Member States, is the supreme organ of the Caribbean Community and determines and provides its policy direction.