Star-Struck Investors Return to Orbit

The space-tech business is at a standstill until Elon Musk-backed SpaceX sorts out its awkward launch-pad explosion. In September, the private US company was forced to suspend rocket operations, pending completion of a public-private investigation. There is enormous pressure to resolve the matter. Washington needs the company, alongside a few others, to expand its space and military programs; the State of Florida is relying heavily on SpaceX to rebuild a gutted economy at Cape Canaveral; multinationals and foreign governments have few satellite-launch alternatives. The good news this week is that SpaceX should soon be back in the launch business. That milestone will reignite venture-capital flows into the overall space-tech sector, suggesting brisk developments in the industry over the year ahead.

Learn more at Wired

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Beyond Caparra

Turn Right for Roseau

To the uninitiated, the Caribbean can be a mind-boggling array of small islands, with a few large ones in the mix.

Man with Cigar

Become a geographer. Florida and the Caribbean have the same economic heft as Brazil. Our regional set includes the perimeter economies of Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, as well as the Guiana Highlands.

Relative Economic Size

Comments on this blog focus on Florida and neighboring trade partners. By output, we rank the major islands:

1. Puerto Rico ($103 billion)

2. Cuba ($78 billion)

3. Dominican Republic ($64 billion)

4. Trinidad and Tobago ($29 billion)

5. Jamaica ($14 billion)

Florida dominates the region with state-wide GDP of about $770 billion. The largest perimeter economy is Colombia at $378 billion, followed by Venezuela.

Note: Ranking is based on GDP data for 2014 at market prices.

Source: World Bank, US Bureau of Economic Analysis, Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico, Cranganore.