Caribbean Trade & Development Digest – January 21-27, 2018

Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development Digest for the week of January 21-27, 2018! We are pleased to share some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the World. We hope you enjoy this edition.

REGIONAL

China looks forward to deepening trade with CARICOM

St. Lucia News Online: Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries have indicated a willingness to work with China regarding the socio-economic development of the 15-member grouping. Read more

IMF predicts improvements in economic prospects for Caribbean/Latin America in 2018

Jamaica Observer: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says economic prospects for the region are generally improving and modest growth is expected in 2018 and 2019. Read more

Bees are All the Buzz in Guyana

St. Kitts & Nevis Observer: There’s a new buzz in Guyana, known in the agricultural sector for its sugar and rice. The Government of Guyana, with support from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), is aiming to add honey to the list, and in the process, provide a sustainable pathway out of poverty for Guyanese. Read more

Sugar production up but concerns linger over changes in EU market regime

The Reporter (Belize): Sugar production at the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) at Tower Hill in Orange Walk is up by roughly 10%, with cane quality also better than the same time last year. Read more

CARICOM signals interest in One Belt, One Road

Stabroek: The Caribbean Community (Caricom) has signalled its interest in working with China to ascertain how its goals and priorities can be best linked with existing, new and emerging development initiatives from the East Asian country. Read more

Barbados amongst eight jurisdictions removed from EU Tax list

Barbados Advocate: Barbados has been named amongst eight jurisdictions that have been removed from the EU’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes. This follows commitments made at a high political level, to remedy EU concerns. Read more

Barbados International Business Ministry comments on blacklist removal

Nation News: The Ministry of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development says Barbados’ removal from the European Union’s “blacklist” of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions augurs well for the island. Read more

INTERNATIONAL

AU, UN-ECA underscore continental free trade area for Africa’s development

The New York Times: The African Union (AU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA) on Thursday stressed the need to keep the momentum going in the realisation of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) for Africa’s development. Read more

Trans-Pacific trade deal to go ahead without the US

Financial Times: Pacific Rim nations aim to sign a new deal in March, without the US. Read more

Australia unveils plans to become one of the world’s top 10 arms exporters
The Guardian: Australia is set to become one of the world’s largest arms exporters under a controversial Turnbull government plan. Read more
Singapore and Sri Lanka sign free trade agreement
Channel NewsAsia: The Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement will see Singapore companies enjoying potential tariff savings of up to S$10 million each year, among other benefits. Read more

Former New Zealand MP says Canada’s new trans-Pacific trade deal may leave Indigenous Peoples defenceless

CBC Canada: On the cusp of Canada’s signing of the resurrected Trans-Pacific Partnership, a former Maori parliamentarian from New Zealand is warning First Nation peoples that the deal could leave nation-to-nation treaties vulnerable to foreign interests. Read more

West Africa should learn better trade and integration from its great ancient empires

Quartz Africa: The dream of the founding fathers of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was, among others, to foster trade and development among member states. But the integration dream will only be realized if institutional barriers to trade are addressed. Read more

Crunch time for NAFTA as negotiators open round of talks in Montreal

CNBC: U.S., Canadian and Mexican negotiators opened a key week-long round of talks to modernize NAFTA on Tuesday amid persistent concerns the Trump administration is preparing to walk away from the trade deal, a move that could roil financial markets. Read more

Uruguay to push for free trade agreement with China in Mercosur

Xinhua: Uruguay plans to push for a free trade agreement (FTA) between China and the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), the largest South American trade bloc, a top Uruguayan official said Wednesday. Read more

Africa: free trade zones to boost trade

Al Jazeera: Trade across Africa is about to get an overhaul with measures aimed at cutting the cost of doing business. It is hoped that a digital free trade zone will make connecting online easier for export and import companies. Read more

What’s the deal with global trade? The view from Davos 2018

WEF: World leaders came to the defence of free trade and global cooperation at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos this week. Speeches by Narendra Modi, Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel and Justin Trudeau declared their countries “open for business.”Read more

US, Korea continue modification and amendment negotiations on KORUS FTA

USTR: United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced today negotiations on amendments and modifications of the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) will be held in Seoul, Korea on January 31 and February 1, 2018. Read more

Commission reports on progress in EU-Mexico trade negotiations

EU: The Commission today published the report from the latest round of talks for a new, modernised EU-Mexico trade agreement that took place in Brussels from 12 to 22 December 2017. Read more

UN Environment and WTO launch dialogue on healthier environments through trade

WTO: UN Environment Executive Director Erik Solheim and World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevêdo announced today that their organizations would join forces to launch a new dialogue on promoting innovative ways of using trade to generate greater opportunities to strengthen our economies and our environments at the same time. Read more

WTO issues panel report regarding EU duties on biodiesel from Indonesia

WTO: On 25 January the WTO circulated the panel report in the case brought by Indonesia in “European Union — Anti-Dumping Measures on Biodiesel from Indonesia” (DS480). Read more

Argentina ratifies the Trade Facilitation Agreement

WTO: Argentina, host of the 11th Ministerial Conference recently held in Buenos Aires, has completed its ratification process for the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). Read more

Trilateral symposium to examine how innovative technologies can promote health-related SDGs

WTO: The WTO, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) will convene a symposium on 26 February 2018 to discuss challenges and opportunities to ensure that innovative technologies are developed in order to realize the right to health and the health-related UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Read more

Korean request for retaliation against US in washers dispute referred to arbitration

WTO: A Korean request for retaliation against the United States in a dispute over US anti-dumping and countervailing duties on large residential washers from Korea was referred to WTO arbitration. The matter was discussed at a 22 January meeting of the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB). Read more

BONUS

CARICOM States and the WTO Dispute Settlement System: the case for greater engagement

Paper by distinguished University of the West Indies law lecturer and trade attorney, Mrs. Nicole Foster published in the Commonwealth Law Bulletin. This paper “examines the participation of member states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in the World Trade Organisation (WTO)’s dispute settlement system and its associated negotiations”. Read more

Liked this issue? To read past issues of our weekly Caribbean Trade & Development Digest, please visit here. To receive these mailings directly to your inbox, please follow our blog.

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