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United Airlines will begin twice weekly service into St. Thomas from Chicago's O'Hare and Washington DC's Dulles on October 31, it was announced March 26. Details: Amy A. Atkinson, Martin Public Relations. Tel: 804-698-8809. Fax: 804-698-8802.

CURRENCY EXCHANGE RATES . Aruba(florin)-- 1.79 . Barbados(dollar)--2.0113 . Bahamas(dollar)--1.00 . Belize(dollar)--2.00 . Bermuda(dollar)--1.00 . Cayman Islands(dollar)--0.82 . Costa Rica(colon)--232 . Cuba(peso)--21 . Dominican Republic(peso)--14.00 . Eastern Caribbean(dollar)--2.70 . El Salvador(colon)--8.755 . Guatemala(quetzal)--6.03 . Guyana(dollar)--140 . Haiti(gourde)--16 . Honduras(lempira)--13.2 . Jamaica(dollar)--34.00 . Netherlands Antilles(N.A. Guilder)--1.79 . Nicaragua(gold cordoba)--10 . Panama (balboa)--1.00 . Suriname(guilder)--410 . Trinidad/Tobago(dollar)--6.19 Note: These currency exchange figures, versus the U.S. dollar, should be used as a rough guide only, since in some cases they fluctuate daily. More than one rate means, in the following: (1) official; (2) parallel/financial, an alternative authorized rate for certain specified transactions; (3) free/black market, which is a rough approximation,on, since in some countries they are clandestine.

SOURCES OF INFORMATION\fN Caribbean UPDATE derives its information from numerous sources, including personal contacts with key government and corporate officials. We receive reports and press releases from international agencies, governments, corporations, and chambers of commerce. We subscribe to the daily service of Caribbean News Agency (CANA), based in Bridgetown, Barbados, which provides coverage of significant news in the region. We scan various major trade publications in fields that include tourism, manufacturing, agribusiness, and shipping. We also receive numerous publications from, or about, the region. These include: The San Juan Star and Caribbean Business (Puerto Rico); The Tico Times (Costa Rica); Central America Report (Guatemala); Caribbean Report (London); U.S.-Cuba Trade & Economic Council (New York, N.Y.); Washington Report on the Hemisphere (Washington, D.C.), Multinational Monitor (Washington, DC); Island Properties Report (WooWoodstock, VT); Lagniappe Letter (New York, N.Y.); Aviation-Latin America & Caribbean (Miami FL); Latin American Telecom Report (Washington DC); Travel Weekly (Secaucus NJ). CALENDAR (Readers are invited to submit information on relevant activities, at least 45 days prior to date of your activity. Mail to: Caribbean UPDATE, 52 Maple Ave., Maplewood, N.J. 07040. U.S.A. Fax: 973-762-9585. Email: Some dates are tentative, all are subject to change; readers are urged to reconfirm prior to making travel plans. If you would like Caribbean UPDATE distributed at your meeting or conference, please contact us at least 10 days in advance of the event: Tel. 800-647-9990, or 973-762-1565. Fax: 973-762-9585.

May 10-14: Expo Puerto Rico '99, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. A trade show to promote Puerto Rican products and services in the Dominican Republic. Details: Edwin Gonzalez, PromoExport Puerto Rico. Tel: 787-765-2727. Fax: 787-765-4260.

May 14: 26th Annual Governments of the Caribbean State Ball, The Waldorf-Astoria, New York City. Black tie charity affair. Sidney Poitier will be honored. Details: Caribbean Tourism Organization, 80 Broad St., 32nd floor, NYC NY 10004. May 19-22: Architecture Conference themed "Future Monuments in Cities of the Past" will take place in Curacao. Details: Q&E PCO Services, Mr. Willem Da Costa Gomez. Tel: (599-9)-560-1125 or 462-2288. Fax: (599-9)-747-3632. E-mail: And: Curacao Convention Bureau, Ms. Rajendra Merien. Tel (599-9)- 461-6000 Ext. 123. Fax: (599-9)-461-5017. E-mail: May 20-23: The 10th annual Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX), the island's premier travel trade event, will be held at the Half Moon Golf, Tennis and Beach Club Resort in Montego Bay. Details: Camille Needham, Executive Director, Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, 2 Ardenne Rd., Kingston 10, Jamaica. Tel: (876) 926-3635. Fax: (876) 929-1054. And: Fay Pickersgill, Director, Jamaica Tourist Board, 2 St. Lucia Ave., Kingston 5, Jamaica. Tel: (876) 929-9200.

May 24-28: Expotur, Tourism Industry trade show, San Jose, Costa Rica. Details: Ms. Xiomara Murillo, SJO 3445, PO Box 025216, Miami FL 33102-5216. And: Mr. Pablo Solano, Event Director, Tel: 506-2890-5375. Fax: 506-280-5347. Email: May 30-June 2: 19th Annual Conference of the Insurance Association of the Caribbean (IAC) convenes at Montego Bay, Jamaica. Topics to be discussed include "The Caribbean Reinsurance Pool," and "Reflections on Hurricane Georges".

June 13-16: CHIC '99, Caribbean Hotel Industry Conference, Atlantis Paradise Island Resort & Casino, Paradise Island, The Bahamas. Provides a forum for allied members to showcase and demonstrate their products and services. Details: 787-725-1839. Fax: 787-725-9166.

June 14-16: 2nd International Workshop on Herbal Medicines in the Caribbean, Hotel on the Cay, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Hosted jointly by the Caribbean Network for Integrated Rural Development and the University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service and Agricultural Experiment Station. Details: 340-692-4093.

June 17-18: The Center for Business Intelligence has announced its 2nd Annual Private Power in Central America conference, to be held in Miami, Fla. This year's event explores privatization and development opportunities, financing mechanisms, new wholesale market structures and reliable fuel supply strategies. Details: Kim Hunter, (800) 817-8602, (outside the U.S. 781-939-2438) or Email: June 17-19: Expo USA '99 in Santo Domingo. An exhibition of U.S.-made products and services. This three-day event will allow U.S. exporters to: (1) Participate in briefings on the Dominican Republic marketplace, business practices, and trade procedures; (2) Test or expand their market through exposure to a selected audience of qualified sales representatives and buyers. In past years, Expo USA has attracted more than 30,000 local and regional visitors. In 1997, the value of U.S. exports to to the Dominican Republic was US$3.18 billion. The exhibitor's fee is US$1,600. Details: Ms. Sheila de Andujar. Tel: (809) 221-2171 ext. 408. Fax: (809) 688-4838. E-Mail:

June 20-24: "Natural Gas in the Americas - The Road Ahead," conference in Trinidad, sponsored by the state-owned National Gas Co. of Tr Trinidad & Tobago and the other partners and principal contractors in the billion-dollar Atlantic LNG project, BP Amoco, British Gas, Repsol, Cabot LNG, Bechtel and Phillips Petroleum.

June 23: Cuba Roundtable, Four Seasons Hotel, Ontario, Canada. Sponsored by the Economist Conferences. Among the speakers will be John Kavulich, President, U.S.- Cuba Trade & Economic Council. Details: Tel: 212-554-0659. Fax: 212-698-9732.

June 28-29: Heads of state and government of the European Union and the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean meet in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on the fringes of the U.N. GeneralAssembly. The agenda for the meeting will cover political dialogue, economic and trade issues, and cultural, educational and human affairs.

July: Feria Ganadera de Liberia, Guanacaste (beef cattle livestock show), Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Details: Mr. Adolfo Rivas, Coordinator, Camara de Ganaderos de Liberia. Fax: 506-666-2026/666-0290/666-0224. July 5-8: International conference on the use of steam-powered locomotives, rail transport and tourism, Havana, Cuba. Hosted by the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Tourism. July 13: Cuba Business Roundtable, Four Seasons Hotel, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Sponsored by The Economist Conferences. Details: Tel: 212-554-0659. Fax: 212-698-9732. Email: Internet: September 23-25: Caribbean Tourism Organization Conference, CTC-23, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Tel: 212-682-0435.

October: ITIFAS, a showcase for Surinamese producers, in October. Details: Mr. Robert Ameerali, President, Surinamese Chamber of Commerce. Tel: 597-464-536. Fax: 5: 597-474-779.

October 7-9: Regional Conference: Environmental Technologies for the Food Processing Industry. San Jose, Costa Rica. Details: CEGESTI, Apdo. 1082-2050 San Pedro, San Jose, Costa Rica. Ms. Cristina Bermudez, Ms. Hildegarde Van de Voorde. Tel: 506-280-8511. Fax: 506-233-4054. Email: October 26-28: Florida Caribbean Cruise Association Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Tel: 305-446-7297.

November: Ibroamerican Summit, Havana, Cuba. Officials say the planned summit will go ahead as planned despite suggestions some Latin American countries may be considering a boycott.

December 7-11: 23rd annual Miami Conference on the Caribbean & Latin America, Inter-Continental Hotel, Miami, Florida. Up to 1,500 participants gather annually. A major forum for interaction between business and government leaders from the hemisphere and beyond. Details: C/LAA, 1818 N. St. NW, Suite 500, Washington DC 20036. Tel: 202-466-7464. Fax: 202-822-0075. Email:
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Publication:Caribbean Update
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Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 1999

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