Caribbean Weekly Trade & Development Digest – February 21-27, 2016

These are some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the world for the week of February 21-27, 2016 :

Regional

Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs to discuss ties between islands and CARICOM

Curacao Chronicle:
Ties with CARICOM, the Caribbean organization, will be discussed at the Kingdom level. This is stated in the report of the Kingdom Delegation activities in late September in New York during the 70th General Assembly of the United Nations.
Read more

CDB Sees Slower Growth for Region after Last Year’s Mixed Fortunes

CDB: Overall growth (1%) remained sluggish as Caribbean economies experienced mixed fortunes last year amid a number of global challenges which resulted in continuing low commodity prices, falling oil revenues and an overall downturn in export trade. Read more

CARICOM, Japan Strengthen decades-old ties

CARICOM Today: The long-standing friendship that has existed between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Japan was strengthened on Thursday 25 February, with the accreditation of new Ambassador of Japan to CARICOM, His Excellency Mitsuhiko Okada. Read more

Economic Partnership Agreement to benefit departments of statistics and Bureau of Standards

SKNVibes: The Launch of the Economic Partnership Agreement/CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) Standby Facility for Capacity Building Projects, held on Thursday morning at the Ocean Terrace Inn, has been described as a momentous occasion by the Minister of International Trade, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, the Honourable Lindsay Grant. Read more

Guyana Looks at T&T’s pepper success

CARICOM Today: Guyana is looking at T&T’s model of hot pepper production and the sharing of production of marketing information and exchange facilities by Caroni Green Limited (CGL) and personnel from the Agriculture Committee of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) of Guyana. Read more

Jamaica Labour Party wins 2016 election

Jamaica Observer: The Jamaica Labour Party was a short while ago declared the winner of the 2016 general election, after claiming 33 of the 63 constituency seats. Read more

Caribbean Flavours enters the Dominican Republic

Jamaica Observer: Caribbean Flavours and Fragrances Ltd (CFF) has entered the Caribbean’s largest market — the Dominican Republic — where it now supplies manufacturers with its products. Read more

Obama in Cuba: Reasons for his trip

Caribbean 360: At this stage of the process that began in December 2014 with the surprise announcement of the opening of relations between the United States and Cuba, hardly anything counts as spectacular news. Read more

St. Lucia expecting massive investment to 2020

Nation News: Invest Saint Lucia (ISL) has projected a flow of US$1.5 billion in investment projects in Saint Lucia by the year 2020.The island’s lone national investment company said it also plans to create 8000 jobs by that time. Read more

Suriname credit ratings downgraded; outlook negative

Caribbean News Now: Fitch Ratings has downgraded Suriname’s long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings (IDRs) to ‘B+’ from ‘BB-‘. The rating outlook is revised to negative from stable. Read more

Guyana Goldfields total output at 57,757 ounces

Stabroek News: Canadian firm Guyana Goldfields Inc has produced 21,855 ounces of gold so far for the year at its Aurora gold mine in Region Seven with total gold production since September last year being 57,757 ounces. Read more

$19b sugar project: IDB weighs financing for modernisation programme

Jamaica Gleaner: The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is looking at funding a US$160-million ($19.3 billion) project aimed at modernising the sugar industry in Jamaica, which has struggled to find a profitable footing. Read more

International

Solar Mission: India to appeal against WTO ruling

Economic Times: India will once again appeal against a World Trade Organization ruling, which declared that support provided by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission to domestic manufacturers was inconsistent with the Trade Related Investment Measures agreement signed by the country.  Read more

African Union’s CFTA-NF 1st meeting kicks off

The Nation (Kenya): The 1st Meeting of the Continental Free Trade Area Negotiating Forum (CFTA-NF) kicked off on Wednesday at the African Union Commission (AUC) Headquarters in Addis Ababa. Read more

Kazakhstan ratifies Vietnam-EAEU free trade agreement

TASS: Kazakhstan has ratified a free trade agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union’s (EAEU) member states and Vietnam. The relevant law was signed on Wednesday by the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, his press office reported. Read more

China Rules out Weakening Yuan to Boost Trade

ABC News: China’s central bank chief promised Friday to avoid weakening its yuan to boost sagging exports as he tried to reassure nervous financial markets about his government’s handling of its economy and currency at the start of a closely watched gathering of global finance officials. Read more

EU Releases Commission Report on implementation of the European Commission Communication on “Trade,Growth and Development”

European Commission: The European Commission’s report released today confirms the EU’s leading role in putting trade policy at the service of inclusive growth and sustainable development. The EU has by now met its main policy objectives – set in 2012 – as regards the contribution of trade towards global development. Read more

World Trade Records biggest reversal since crisis

Financial Times: Weaker demand from emerging markets made 2015 the worst year for world trade since the aftermath of the global financial crisis, highlighting rising fears about the health of the global economy.  Read more

USTR Requests Peru Timber Verification

USTR: Today, the Office of the United States Trade Representative announced that it has requested the Government of Peru to verify that a 2015 timber shipment exported to the United States from Peru complied with all applicable Peruvian laws and regulations. Read more

Report: Digital Global Trade Surges, Brings Profound Changes

Voice of America: The flow of digital goods and services across borders is surging globally, while trade in traditional goods and the flow of international finance has stopped growing. Read more

TTIP Negotiations: 12th Round Ends With Plan To Hurry Between Official Rounds

Intellectual Property Watch: By July, trade negotiators from the United States and the European Union want to present a draft text that only has brackets for the “most sensitive issues” in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Read more

US-EU Privacy Shield Framework Details to be Provided by End of February

Lexology: European Union and United States officials announced early February 2016 a political agreement to create the “Privacy Shield”, an anticipated solution to the now defunct Safe Harbor framework. Read more

Obama optimistic on TPP, pushes for votes

Politico: President Barack Obama says he is “cautiously optimistic” that Congress can pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership this year and touted the benefits of increased trade yesterday to the home states of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, two of the biggest potential obstacles to getting the deal done this year. Read more

DG Azevêdo urges WTO members to deepen their dialogue to build on recent successes

WTO: In his report to the General Council on 24 February as chair of the Trade Negotiations Committee, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo urged WTO members to “deepen their dialogue with each other” about how to advance the work of the WTO and to build on the recent success of the Ministerial Conference in Nairobi. Read more

Trade Policy Review: Fiji

WTO: The third review of the trade policies and practices of Fiji takes place on 23 and 25 February 2016. The basis for the review is a report by the WTO Secretariat and a report by the Government of Fiji. These reports were concluded prior to the devastation caused by the cyclone that hit the country last weekend. Read more

Bonus

CDB: 2016 Annual News Conference VIDEO

CDB: The Caribbean Development Bank held its Annual News Conference. Overall growth (1%) remained sluggish as Caribbean economies experienced mixed fortunes last year amid a number of global challenges which resulted in continuing low commodity prices, falling oil revenues and an overall downturn in export trade. Watch VIDEO

Speech: Commissioner Cecilia Malmström in London “Britain, the EU and Global Trade”

European Commission: EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström gave a lecture at the Policy Network Symposium ‘Britain, the EU and global trade’. Read SPEECH

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Alicia Nicholls, B.Sc., M.Sc., LL.B. is a trade and development consultant with a keen interest in sustainable development, international law and trade. You can also read more of her commentaries and follow her on Twitter @LicyLaw.
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