Caribbean Weekly Trade & Development Digest – February 28 – March 5 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 28- March 5, 2016 :

Regional

Biofuel Manufacturer to invest US$95 million in Jamaica plant by 2017

South Florida Caribbean News: As renewable energy demands increase globally, biofuel developer Benchmark Renewable Energy LLC has officially announced plans to develop a large scale bio-ethanol operation in Jamaica. Read more

Barbados passport tops Caribbean passports in ease of visa-free travel

Caribbean Trade Law & Development: Barbados has the best passport among Caribbean countries. This is according to Henley & Partners’ recently published Visa Restrictions Index 2016 in which Barbados has topped Caribbean countries in the ease of which its citizens/passport holders can cross international borders. Read more

US airlines sign up for commercial flights to Cuba

CNN Money: American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and JetBlue have all submitted applications to the U.S. government to fly commercial flights to Cuba. Read more

T&T facing downgrade by Moody’s Investors

Trinidad Express: For the second time in two years, Trinidad and Tobago is facing a downgrade by international credit ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service. Read more

Strike hits Guyana’s sugar industry

Caribbean360: A day after declaring that Guyana’s first crop sugar target was on track to be met, the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) has been hit by strike action. Read more

Barbados & St. Lucia Negotiating Agreement

CARICOM Today: The Governments of Barbados and St. Lucia have decided to proceed to the negotiation and conclusion of an agreement establishing the maritime boundary between the two States. Officials from the two States met in Barbados from March 1 to 4, 2016 and prepared the draft text of a maritime boundary delimitation agreement. Read more

International

India files dispute against the US over non-immigrant temporary working visas

WTO: On 3 March 2016, India notified the WTO Secretariat that it has initiated a WTO dispute proceeding against the United States regarding measures imposing increased fees on certain applicants for two categories of non-immigrant temporary working visas into the US, and measures relating to numerical commitments for some visas.  Read more

Commodity prices signal market bottom

Financial Times: When news of the highest crude stocks since the Great Depression hit oil traders’ screens on Wednesday, those expecting another rush of sell orders were in for a surprise. Read more

Paraguay becomes second South American nation to ratify the Trade Facilitation Agreement

WTO: Paraguay has become the second South American nation to ratify the WTO’s new Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). Eladio Loizaga, Paraguay’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, presented his country’s instrument of acceptance to WTO Deputy Director-General Yi Xiaozhun on 1 March. Read more

EU, Canada Revise Investment Protections in Trade Deal

ICTSD: The EU and Canada announced on Monday that they have revised the investment protection terms in their bilateral trade pact, with the new version now including an investment court system that Brussels is hoping to pursue in other trade agreements – including with the US. Read more

Barclays Africa ‘s trade finance future uncertain

Global Trade Review: Barclays Africa’s trade and export finance future will be in the hands of the bank’s next majority shareholder after Barclays reduces its 62.3% stake to around 20% over the next two to three years. Read more

US Imposes 266 percent tariffs on some Chinese steel imports

Wall Street Journal: The Department of Commerce Tuesday imposed preliminary duties on imports of cold-rolled steel, used to make auto parts, appliances and shipping containers, from seven countries including China, whose steelmakers were slapped with a massive tariff. Read more

Recent Articles: Caribbean Trade Law & Development Blog

US President Obama’s Trade Agenda – 2016

Barbados’ Passport Tops Caribbean Passports in Ease of Visa-free Travel

For past issues, please visit here.

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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