VIENNA (AP):Andy Murray closed in on the No. 1 ranking by winning his third straight ATP title at the Erste Bank Open yesterday.The Scot can overtake Novak Djokovic atop the ATP rankings next week if he wins the Paris Masters and the Serb doesn’t reach the final.”I get a step closer with every win, but it’s still a long way from here,” Murray said. “From two to one seems a small jump in a way, but it’s the hardest one to make. To go from 100 to 50 is more spots, but is a lot easier.”In yesterday’s final, Murray defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 7-6 (6) for his personal-best seventh title of the season, and 42nd overall. Djokovic has also won seven events this year.”I was thinking more about how you are going to win the match rather than what it would mean if you did win it. But obviously, it’s nice to win my seventh tournament,” Murray said. “A lot of them have come in the last few months. After the Australian Open, I struggled a little bit for a couple of months, but the last few months have been very good.”Murray extended his unbeaten streak to 15 matches after also winning in Beijing and Shanghai.”I think I played my best tennis of the tournament today. That’s pleasing, obviously, as you want to improve as an event goes on,” he said.The 15th-ranked Tsonga, who was the 2011 champion, appeared in his first final of the season, which has been marred by adductor and left knee injuries.GREAT WEEK”It was a positive week for me. It was very good to be in the final,” Tsonga said. “I played good tennis. It was nice to play five matches in a row. It hasn’t happened many times these last couple of months.”Murray advanced to the final after defending champion David Ferrer pulled out with a left leg injury, while Tsonga saved a match point in his 2 1/2-hour semi-final against Ivo Karlovic on Saturday.Murray, who also won in Vienna on his only previous visit in 2014, dominated yesterday’s final from the start. He raced into a 3-0 lead by taking 14 of the first 19 points of the match.He avoided break points in his games, and missed a set point on the Frenchman’s serve at 5-2 but clinched the opening set the next game with his second ace.Murray conceded just two points on his way to a 2-0 lead in the second set. but started to struggle with his first serve as his percentage dropped to 18 halfway through the second set.He hit a forehand long on the only break point for Tsonga to help the Frenchman level at 4-4.Murray missed his first match point in the tiebreaker as he netted a forehand return, but closed out the win on his second chance with an ace.
To Support Reforms and Poverty Reduction The World Bank has approved supplemental financing of US$16.36 million for the Third Poverty Reduction Support Development Policy Operation (PRSDPO-lll) for Liberia.This operation will help respond quickly to the country’s urgent needs, generated by the twin shocks of the Ebola and the sustained slump in global commodity prices, in addition to the impact of the withdrawal of United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).These factors have worsened the already sharp economic downturn, with severe adverse consequences for employment and fiscal revenues.“The World Bank Group (WBG) has been an active partner in supporting Liberia through the times of crises. It mobilized financial and technical assistance in close coordination and cooperation with other development partners. The WBG stands ready to further support the Government of Liberia in the effort to transform the economy, make it resilient to shocks and improve the well-being of the Liberian people,” said Larisa Leshchenko, World Bank Country Manager in Liberia.This supplemental financing for the PRSDPO-lll comprises US$6.5 million International Development Association (IDA) grant, US$5.5 million IDA credit and US$4,366,500 grant from the Liberia Forest Landscape Single Donor Trust Fund provided by the Kingdom of Norway.This single tranche operation is supplementing the third in a programmatic series of four development policy operations undertaken by the World Bank and is consistent with its Country Partnership Strategy. It will help sustain and deepen the Government of Liberia’s reform efforts in the context of the implementation of the Agenda for Transformation (AfT), which remains the country’s extant medium-term strategy in the wake of the Ebola and commodity price crises.“The twin shocks and the UNMIL drawdown have intensified fiscal pressures and weakened macroeconomic stability. Beyond the short-term response to the twin shocks, Liberia must undergo through deep institutional, economic and social transformation to address key constraints to sustainable and inclusive growth,” said Marina Bakanova and Daniel Boakye, World Bank Co-Task Team Leaders of the Project.This supplemental financing will help to protect priority expenditures and to implement reform measures to put the economy on sound footing under a credible macroeconomic framework. “This will not only support the economic recovery and provide jobs but will also be critical for building resilience to future shocks,” they said.The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960 helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $19 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
– as Zulficar Ally re-elected as President; new board installed– AMCHAM membership reaches 61 in first yearThe importance of the oil sector means politicians must be articulate and transparent about what they intend to do to manage the sector and its risks. This is the view of Zulficar Ally, President of the American Chamber (AmCham) of Commerce in Guyana.The AmCham head table, which featured US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah Ann Lynch (2nd, left)Ally was at the time speaking during AmCham’s inaugural Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday. The AGM was held at the Marriott Hotel, and featured members of the private sector and civil society.In his remarks, Ally noted the importance of the country — including the private sector and ordinary Guyanese — knowing where politicians stand on critical issues, like oil and gas, before they go to the polls.“AmCham has already started discussions with other partners, to play our part in the upcoming national and regional elections through the hosting of national debates with our political leaders,” Ally said.“Our aim is to ensure that politicians running for office speak clearly about their policies and programmes for the development of the private sector, the promotion of trade, and their plans and timelines for managing Guyana’s natural resources.”Ally pointed out that having this knowledge can be the difference between electing leaders who lead Guyana down the wrong path and Dutch disease, or leaders who will oversee economic prosperity.‘Dutch disease’ is an economic term used to define an imbalance in the local economy of an oil producer that can include rising currency values, non-competitive exports, and the decline of traditional sectors.Already, the traditional sectors have shown serious signs of decline, with gold, rice and sugar in trouble. Analysts have theorized that Guyana’s growth rate is being driven largely by the effects of the burgeoning oil sector, compared to these sectors.Meanwhile, Ally also revealed that approximately 61 businesses joined the chambers for the last year, while over 100 applications are pending. Ally also encouraged these businesses to be outspoken about their concerns, and to provide feedback. He noted that efforts are being made to enhance opportunities for its membership, such as hosting events to allow them to network.Ally was subsequently re-elected as President of AmCham at the AGM. Serving alongside him are Clairmont Cummings, Managing Director of Corum Group, as First Vice President; General Manager of Sol Guyana, Liz Wyatt, as Second Vice President, and Attorney-at-law Devindra Kissoon of London House Chambers as Third Vice President and Legal Counsel. Finance Controller of Namilco, Fitzroy Mcleoud, was returned as Treasurer of the Chamber.The Board of Directors also include ExxonMobil Country Manager Rod Henson; Vice President, Government and External Affairs, Hess Corporation, Alex Mistri; Fix It Hardware Chief Executive Officer Paul James, Ramps Logistics representative Marisca Jordan, Namilco Financial Controller Fitzroy Mcleoud, and Macorp Guyana General Manager Guillermo Escarraga.Also included are Republic Bank Deputy General Manager Parbatie Khan, Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company CEO Justin Nedd, Guyana Marriott Hotel General Manager Edwardo Reple, Red Entertainment CEO Saskia Wijngaarde, and Massy Group Guyana representative Navendra Thakur.AmCham Guyana was launched in August of last year with a stated objective of promoting trade and business between the United States and Guyana. This came after ExxonMobil’s oil finds put Guyana on the global map, leading to increased interest from foreign investors.Many AmCham branches exist in countries all around the world, including in nearby Trinidad. It was only this year that AmCham Guyana collaborated with its Trinidad counterparts to host a Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) Conference.The one-day event, held on July 17 under the theme “Preparing for sustainable development”, featured an appearance from Exxon Guyana’s Production Manager Mike Ryan, who endeavoured to give an account of his company’s health and safety policies, stressing that ExxonMobil puts the safety of its workers above business and profits.