Welcome to the Caribbean Trade & Development News Digest for the week of June 16-22, 2019! We are happy to bring you the major trade and development headlines and analysis from across the Caribbean Region and the world from the past week.

THIS WEEK’S TRADE HIGHLIGHTS

The US and China announced they have resumed trade talks. Mexico became the first of the three parties to ratify the USMCA. ASEAN is holding its two-day summit (June 22-23, 2019) in Bangkok, Thailand. EU leaders fail to agree top job candidates in Brussels talks. A new summit will now be held on 30 June.

REGIONAL NEWS

Africa-Caribbean Trade: What are the prospects?

Barbados Today: President Akufo-Addo’s visit presents an opportune occasion to consider the prospects for deepening Caribbean-African trade and economic ties, particularly in light of the recent entry into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which will transform 52 out of 55 African countries into the world’s largest free trade area. Read more

New system to make it easier to do business

Barbados Today: Within the next six months the Barbados Electronic Single Window (BESW) should be up and running. That is according to Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce Dwight Sutherland, who has said the initiative will reduce the cost of doing business on the island. Read more

Trade Facilitation Efforts To Bring Ease

GIS: The national consultation on trade facilitation is expected to be the catalyst for bringing about an expansion of domestic exports, new investment flows and stronger economic growth in Barbados. Read more

Fisheries Ministers underscore need for urgent response to Sargassum scourge and IUU fishing

CRFM: Caribbean Fisheries Ministers who met for two days last week in Saint Kitts and Nevis have underscored the need for the region to take urgent action to address the ongoing Sargassum scourge, as well as Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing—two of the most pressing challenges responsible for multimillion-dollar losses to the regional economy. Read more

Bahamian Deputy Prime Minister Hails 42% Rise In Fdi Equity Inflows

Tribune242: The deputy prime minister yesterday hailed a 42 percent year-over-year increase in foreign investors’ equity investments as confirmation that “The Bahamas’ economic turnaround has begun”. Read more

OECS Director-General formulates groundwork

Caribbean News Now: Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Dr Didacus Jules, speaking at the opening ceremony of the 67th meeting In Antigua and Barbuda stated that, “More than ever before diplomacy matters and the outreach to non-traditional partners that we have started in the thrust to Africa, the strengthening of our diplomatic coordination in the entire European theatre and the heightening of our battles against economic dictation, arbitrary blacklisting and de-risking will be intensified” under the chairmanship of prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne. Read more

TT leads charge for economic sustainability for artists

Newsday: TT is leading the charge in encouraging exploration of export opportunities for our cultural assets as a way of acquiring economic sustainability for local artists. Read more

Mango Export Shows Untapped Agricultural Potential, Says Williams

Jamaica Gleaner: Describing the sector as chock-full of untapped potential, Montego Bay Deputy Mayor Leeroy Williams is imploring the nation’s youth to give serious thoughts to a career path in agriculture. Read more

Progress of Cuban Economy Analyzed by Council of Ministers

Prensa Latina: The Cuban Council of Ministers analyzed critically the progress of the national economy, the execution of the 2018 budget, foreign investment and programs in various regions of the country, reports today Granma daily. Read more

60,000 Acres Of Former Cane Lands For Other Crops

JIS: Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, says some 60,000 acres of former sugar-cane lands are to be placed into other areas of agricultural production. Read more

Barbados Tourism numbers from UK on the up

Nation News: Barbados’ tourism numbers from the United Kingdom are up, despite the uncertainties of Brexit and the recent levies imposed on the sector as part of the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) plan. Read more

Green leading trade mission to Cuba

Jamaica Observer: Minister of state in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green, is leading a Jamaican delegation at the 16th Expo Caribe International Trade Fair. Read more

UK insists on trading with Cuba

CGTN: Cuba and the UK are moving to expand cooperation and trade despite U.S. opposition. A British delegation has been in Cuba this week exploring new business and investment opportunities. CGTN’s Luis Chirino has the details. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Global money laundering watchdog has crypto in its sights

Al Jazeera: The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force will tell countries to tighten oversight of cryptocurrency exchanges. Read more

Harmful subsidies should go – Pacific fisheries ministers

Radio New Zealand: Pacific fisheries ministers want to see negotiations to end harmful fisheries subsidies. Meeting this week in Pohnpei, the ministers and senior government officials say the subsidies can be a constraint on the ability of small island states to develop their own fisheries. Read more

India to push for reforms at WTO during G20 meet

Livemint: India will push for reforming and strengthening the World Trade Organization (WTO), amid stresses and strains over free trade among key global economies, at the upcoming G20 meeting in Japan. Read more

EU releases latest Trade and Investment Barriers Report

EU: The latest edition of the Trade and Investment Barriers Report (TIBR) identifies 45 new trade barriers put in place in countries outside the EU in 2018, bringing the total number to a record high of 425 measures in 59 different countries, costing EU businesses billions of euros every year. Read more

EU asks for a panel with Ukraine on wood export ban

EU: The EU requested yesterday the establishment of an arbitration panel under the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement on Ukraine’s export ban on unprocessed wood. Read more

Macron, 3 other leaders warn Mercosur deal could ‘destabilize’ farm sector

Politico: They demand that the quotas for beef, poultry, pork, sugar and ethanol must not be increased anymore. Read more

Africa’s Output Grew 3.4 Percent in 2018, Afreximbank’s Trade Report Shows

AllAfrica: The African Trade Report 2019: African Trade in a Digital World, launched in Moscow, Russia during the 26th Afreximbank Annual Meetings, indicates that Africa’s total merchandise trade in 2018 had a value of over $997.9 billion, noting that the continent remained one of the fastest growing regions in the world. Read more

Trump Plan Seeks to Double U.S.-Africa Two-Way Trade

Bloomberg: The U.S.’s Prosper Africa strategy plans to double two-way trade and investment between the world’s biggest economy and the continent in the coming years. Read more

Latin America could expand annual trade to India by 42 percent, report finds

Caribbean News Now: Trade between Latin America and India has been multiplying in recent years but has potential to expanding much more, a new study by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of India shows. Read more

China, US trade teams to hold talks

Economic Times: Top Chinese and US officials will hold trade talks following instructions from their leaders, the Chinese commerce ministry said on Thursday, adding that Beijing hoped Washington would create the necessary conditions for dialogue. Read more

Canada making progress in efforts to reform World Trade Organization, trade minister Jim Carr says

Toronto Star: Canada is making some progress mustering international consensus to reform the World Trade Organization as the clock ticks down on a dispute that could paralyze the trade organization’s ability to arbitrate disagreements, federal trade minister Jim Carr says. Read more

Unlocking The Potential Of Africa’s Historic Trade Agreement

Forbes: At the end of May, Africa’s landmark free trade deal came into effect, accompanied by widespread optimism that it could usher in a new era of intra-African trade possibilities and prosperity for the continent’s citizens. Read more

Thailand urges speed on RCEP

Nation Multimedia: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha plans to make a strong push for early conclusion of negotiations over the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) – which promises to become the world’s most influential economic bloc – while chairing the Asean summit on Saturday and Sunday. Read more

The ASEAN-Hong Kong China Free Trade Agreement and Vietnam

Vietnam Briefing: The ASEAN-Hong Kong, China Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA) came into effect on June 11 for Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, and Thailand. The remaining ASEAN member states will complete the ratification process later this year. Read more

Apple warns US against imposing additional China tariffs

Al Jazeera: Apple Inc. urged the Trump administration not to proceed with tariffs of as much as 25% on a new slate of products imported from China, saying it would reduce the company’s contribution to the U.S. economy. Read more

Huge Boost For AfCFTA As Nigeria Nears Ratification

KT Press: The Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) could receive a big boost before it is officially launched in July this year – following news that Nigeria – the continent’s economic power house, is reportedly finalizing the process to ratify the agreement. Read more

Kenya roots for harmonized quality standards for enhanced intra-Africa trade

Xinhua: Kenya on Wednesday called for harmonized quality products standards across African countries in order to enhance intra-Africa trade. Read more

AU urges African businesses to take lead in continental free trade area

The New Times: The African Union Commission (AUC) on Wednesday urged African businesses to take the lead in exploiting trade and economic opportunities in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which entered into force in May. Read more

US places new restrictions on China’s supercomputers

Al Jazeera: Citing a threat to national security, the US blacklists several Chinese technology firms and a government institute. Read more

WTO chief says states preparing for trade court shutdown

France24: The head of the World Trade Organization said Thursday that member states are preparing for a shutdown of the body’s dispute settlement system, following months of deadlock triggered by the United States. Read more

WTO chief hopes Trump and Xi meet at G20 to resolve trade issues

Al Jazeera: World leaders meeting in Japan next week must take real action on trade and not simply renew their call for easing of trade tensions, World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevedo told reporters on Thursday. Read more

Trump and Trudeau discuss USMCA finalisation at White House

Al Jazeera: US President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sought to project a united front on Thursday in the uphill effort to get the replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement past the finish line. Read more

Whisky and salmon boost Scottish exports to record £1.4 million

Gov.uk: Total exports for Scottish food and drink worth £1.4 billion in first quarter of year as whisky and salmon continue to play vital role in UK’s exporting success. Read more

Mexico becomes first country to ratify USMCA trade deal via Senate vote

CNBC: Mexico on Wednesday became the first country to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) agreed last year by the three countries to replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Read more

Canada becomes the first G20 country to ban shark fin trade

BBC: Canada has become the first G20 nation to ban the import and export of shark fins, in an effort help preserve a predator under threat. Read more

The cost of South Africa’s illegal gold trade

The Citizen: A new report on illegal mining suggests that South Africa is losing upwards of R14 billion a year to the illicit gold trade. This is substantially more than previous estimates of about R7 billion. Read more

WTO NEWS

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The Caribbean Trade & Development Digest is a weekly trade news digest published by the Caribbean Trade Law & Development Blog. Liked this issue? To read past issues, please visit here. To receive these mailings directly to your inbox, please subscribe to our Blog below:

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