Welcome to the Caribbean Trade & Development News Digest for the weeks of July 28-August 10, 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.

HIGHLIGHTS

The World Trade Organization released its World Trade Statistical Review 2019 which provides a detailed analysis of global trade developments for the review period. Access the report here.

The Caribbean Court of Justice upheld the classification decision of the CARICOM Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED)’s on cement imported and distributed by the Barbados-based Rock Hard Cement Ltd.

REGIONAL NEWS

CARICOM and the African Union discuss working together, formalising relationship

CARICOM: Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Ambassador Irwin LaRocque and Deputy Chair of the African Union Commission (AUC), His Excellency Kwesi Quartey discussed the need for continued ACP solidarity in the negotiations for the Post-Coutonou Agreement with the European Union (EU). Read more

Caribbean Court upholds trade ministerial decision on cement classification

Demerara Waves: The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on Tuesday delivered a judgement which upholds the classification decision of the CARICOM Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on cement, known as Rock Hard Cement, imported and/or distributed within CARICOM by Rock Hard Cement (Rock Hard Distributors Limited) and, Mootilal Ramhit and Sons Contracting Limited. Read more

Exports of essential oils from the Caribbean to Europe increasing

South Florida Caribbean News: It is becoming increasingly common to find natural cosmetic products in large retail stores, perfume stores and supermarkets. Read more

Government of Jamaica allocate $15 million to farmers affected by the ongoing drought

Caribbean News Now: The ministry of industry, commerce, agriculture, and fisheries, through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), is spending $15 million to assist farmers affected by the ongoing drought. Read more

Addressing Genetically Modified Foods: A Rising Food Security Concern for the Region

SRC: Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are one of the most controversial areas of science. While their use in certain fields like medicine is accepted, when it comes to their use in food and agriculture, ethical and moral questions loom. Read more

Barbados ‘vulnerable’ to food fraud

Nation News: Despite having “pretty strong” food safety and security measures, Barbados is still vulnerable to food fraud, says Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) representative Ena Harvey. Read more

Kenya to open trade links with Jamaica

The Star: The Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Jamaica Chamber of Commerce and Industry have expressed interest in deepening trade ties. Read more

How did the Bahamas revitalise its sponge industry?

IDB: A small community of about 900 people in Little harbour, in Mangrove Cay in The Bahamas, used to be home to a key driver of local economic growth–sponging. Little Harbour, which runs along a 1.5 million national marine park that is one of the Caribbean’s largest protected areas, is adjacent to the world’s third-largest barrier reef. Read more

Uhuru seeks Caribbean support in Kenya’s bid for UN Security Council seat

Capital FM: President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged the Caribbean community to support Kenya’s bid for the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) non-permanent seat for the period 2021 to 2022. Read more

Uhuru invites Barbadian business community to invest in Kenya

Capital FM: President Uhuru Kenyatta has invited Barbadian investors to set shop in Kenya saying his administration has created an enabling environment for both foreign and local businesses to thrive. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

US-Africa trade talks end in Abidjan, highlight AfCFTA

North Africa Post: Talks between African and US officials to review the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) free-trade deal ended Thursday in Côte d’Ivoire with no major deal. Read more

Japan expands trade and investments in Africa

Fresh Plaza: In connection with the Tokyo International Conference on African Development, Japanese cumulative FDI in Africa increased from $3.9bn in 2007 to $10bn in 2016. Read more

How new Trade Information Portal plans to plug Africa’s data and finance gap

GTR: The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is building an online repository of information products for importers and exporters looking to access African markets or expand existing operations across the continent. Read more

Two third of market access negotiations in RCEP over; 16-nation FTA talks to resume in September

Business Today: The intersessional ministerial meeting among 16 countries to negotiate a mega free trade agreement – Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) – concluded last week with a call to maintain the momentum in the run up to the closure of negotiations by the end of the year. Read more

RCEP negotiations: India lists out demands before China for market access

Business Line: Playing hardball with China in the on-going negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) pact, India has read it out a big list of demands for market access in both goods and services, including larger exports of drugs, sugar, rice, dairy, soybean, IT and other services. Read more

RCEP talks: New Zealand ready to ease work-visa rules for India

Business Line: New Zealand wants to have greater market access for its dairy products, apples, kiwis and wine into India as part of the ongoing Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) pact being negotiated by 16 countries, said the country’s special envoy for Commonwealth Trade Integration Jeremy Clarke-Watson. Read more

ACP calls for unity as negotiations continue with Europe

Jamaica Observer: Secretary General of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group Dr Patrick I Gomes says the 79-member grouping must continue to show unity and be strong if it wants a successful outcome to the negotiations for a new agreement to replace the Cotonou Agreement that expires in 2020. Read more

ACP Secretariat recommends actions for the UK government to facilitate physical market access of ACP Service providers to the UK market

ACP: The ACP Group of States was recently invited to give evidence before the House of Commons International Trade Select Committee to speak about the movement of natural persons in the delivery of temporary services (Mode 4 of services supply). Read more

Container ports: the fastest, the busiest, and the best connected

UNCTAD: Known as the “humble heroes” of globalization, containers are handled in hundreds of millions at container ports worldwide annually. Efficient and well-connected container ports enabled by frequent and regular shipping services are key to minimizing trade costs, including transport costs, linking supply chains and supporting international trade. Read more

There’s another trade war brewing over oil and milk

Economic Times: While the world focuses on the ongoing trade war between China and the U.S., another spat has been brewing between commodity giant Indonesia and the European Union. Read more

Western Australia’s huge reliance on China leaves it particularly vulnerable in a trade war

ABC (Australia): The West Australian Government has been left walking a fine line in navigating the state’s economic reliance on China in the midst of a trade war and rising security tensions between the superpower and the United States. Read more

Qatar prevails over UAE in trade dispute at WTO

MENAFM: The State of Qatar announced yesterday that its permanent mission to the World Trade Organization (WTO) has received a formal communication indicating that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had withdrawn its WTO dispute concerning certain alleged measures adopted by Qatar. Read more

As Trump Scales Back, Asian Heavyweights Prep for World’s Biggest Trade Pact

VoA: The world’s biggest free trade pact may be just months from final signatures after talks this month appeared to bring the trade group’s 16 members closer to agreement. Read more

Biden: I would ‘renegotiate’ Pacific trade deal

The Hill: Former Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday night he would “renegotiate” the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), not seek to rejoin it as it was previously written. Read more

US Open to Further Talks as Trade War With China Escalates

VoA: The White House is signaling it is not seeking to further escalate the trade war with Beijing, after the administration of President Donald Trump took the mostly symbolic action of declaring China a currency manipulator. Read more

Trump has ‘huge appetite’ for free trade deal with UK – Raab

Sky News: The foreign secretary sounds upbeat about UK-US trade after meeting President Trump at the White House. Read more

Nicaragua Confirms Agreement With South Korea

Q Costa Rica: Nicaragua is the first Central American country to establish a date of entry into force of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with South Korea, which is agreed for October 1, 2019. Read more

Free trade agreement between Singapore and Britain in the works: Vivian Balakrishnan

CNA: Singapore says it has an understanding with the United States that the city-state does not take advantage of privileges that come with “developing country” status in the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Read more

US aware Singapore doesn’t take advantage of developing-country status: Chan Chun Sing

The Strait Times: Singapore says it has an understanding with the United States that the city-state does not take advantage of privileges that come with “developing country” status in the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Read more

WTO NEWS

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The Caribbean Trade & Development Digest is a weekly trade news digest produced and 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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