Welcome to the Caribbean Trade & Development News Digest for the week of August 11-17, 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

ECLAC’s Foreign Direct Investment in the Latin America and Caribbean Report 2019 revealed that while FDI to the entire LAC region increased by 13.2% in 2018 versus 2017, in the Caribbean, inflows shrank by 11.4% due to lower investment in the Dominican Republic ($2.535 billion dollars, -29%). Read the report here.

The WTO has also reported that the growth of world merchandise trade volumes is likely to remain weak in the third quarter of 2019 according to that organization’s Goods Trade Barometer, released on 15 August. Read more

It was announced that the UN will be hosting its first ever Trade Forum on September 9-13, 2019 and will be entitled “SDGs and Climate Change”.

REGIONAL NEWS

New Customs Act (2019) to promote Jamaica’s socio-economic development

Jamaica Observer: Arising from a decision of Cabinet in 2017, the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) was tasked with the responsibility to develop a new legislative framework which would further promote business opportunities for Jamaica, particularly in the areas of shipping, logistics and international trade. Read more

Eel Export Tax Jumps from 42¢ to $16.00 per kg

Haiti Sentinel: A memorandum from the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development (MARNDR) dated August 12, 2019 stated that “from now on, the export costs of the eels are set at 1,500 gourdes ($15.77 [USD]) per kilogram.” Read more

Haiti and Dominican Republic Teaming Up against Cocoa Cultivation Threat

Haiti Sentinel: Haiti and the Dominican Republic, together with representatives of the private sector of both countries, are working to define and apply a common strategy to prevent an eventual occurrence of moniliasis, a disease that attacks cocoa crops. Read more

Green welcomes mapping of Jamaica’s cultural, creative industries

Jamaica Observer: Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green, says the Mapping of Cultural and Creative Industries in Jamaica will increase the awareness of the island’s resources and give an accurate valuation of the industries. Read more

Belize Minister of Investment leads delegation visit to Taiwan

Breaking Belize News: Minister of State for Investment, Tracy Panton, and an accompanying delegation visited the Republic of China (Taiwan) this week as one of several activities commemorating the 30th anniversary of Belize and Taiwan’s diplomatic relationship. Read more

Delays at the Port costing Barbados government

Barbados Today: Goods imported into Barbados take four times as long as they do in neighbouring St Lucia to be cleared, the head of the Port of the Bridgetown has revealed, complaining of the cost of the delay to Government. Read more

Belize and Republic of China (Taiwan) strengthening ties through new agreement

Breaking Belize News: Today, the Government of Belize (GOB) and the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) (RoC) signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to engage in the negotiation of a Partial Scope Agreement (PSA) geared towards formalizing trade relations between the two countries. Read more

The Bahamas’ Ease of doing business committee satisfied with improvements

The Nassau Guardian: Chair of the National Ease of Doing Business Committee (EODB) Lynn Holowesko said the committee is very pleased with many of the policies introduced in the 2019/2020 budget aimed at improving the business climate in the country, particularly surrounding immigration, conveyance valuations and estate planning. Read more

Customs Fraud Fighting Initiative Launched in The Bahamas

The Bahama Journal: The Bahamas Customs Department and Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest introduced the new online portal Click2 Clear, which is designed to protect against customs fraud. Read more

Guyana working closer with India to build solar energy capacity

Kaieteur News: The Head of State noted that the relations between the two countries continue to be enhanced by high-level engagements between officials of both states as Guyana would have signed and ratified the Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance in January 2018 under his tenure. Read more

Chastanet Meets With US Delegation

The Voice: St Lucia Prime Minister met with representatives of the US House of Representatives. Read more

CBU President calls for preservation of indigenous broadcasters

RJR: President of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU), Gary Allen has expressed the need for a sincere commitment to the preservation of indigenous broadcasters in recognition of the integral role they play in social and economic development. Read more

Sugar Association of the Caribbean wants governments to tax sugar coming outside of CARICOM

Breaking Belize News: The Sugar Association of the Caribbean (SAC) is calling for Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nations to place Common External Tariffs (CETs) on white sugar imported from outside the region to strengthen the regional market. Read more

EU releases food for Haiti in response to food crisis

Jamaica Observer: The European Union (EU) has released €9 million in humanitarian aid to Haiti, in response to the deteriorating food and nutrition situation in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (Caricom) member state. Read more

T&T Prime Minister envisions one border for region as Carifesta begins

LoopTT: Carifesta XIV opened on Friday night with Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley calling for regional unity. Read more

Time to Fully Implement CSME

Trinidad Guardian: If ever there was op­por­tu­ni­ty and ne­ces­si­ty for Cari­com coun­tries to ful­ly im­ple­ment the 30-year old Cari­com Sin­gle Mar­ket and Econ­o­my, the “sub­dued glob­al eco­nom­ic ac­tiv­i­ty and glob­al trade” of the present makes it the right “Time for Ac­tion.” Read more

Caricom’s Assistant Secretary General, CSME is not a dream

Trinidad Guardian: The CARI­COM sin­gle mar­ket and econ­o­my (CSME) and CARI­COM is not a fan­ta­sy but a con­crete sit­u­a­tion that is mov­ing for­ward. This is ac­cord­ing to CARI­COM’s As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary-Gen­er­al in the Di­rec­torate for Trade and Eco­nom­ic In­te­gra­tion, Joseph Cox. Read more

Water Scarcity May Be New Way of Life for Caribbean, St. Kitts and Nevis Minister warns

CARICOM: Minister of Public Infrastructure, Honourable Ian “Patches” Liburd, says that climate change related challenges such as floods, sea level rise, drought and extreme weather conditions are the new norm for the Caribbean. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Ottawa announces $1.75-billion compensation for dairy farmers to offset impact of trade deals

Financial Post: Agriculture minister says Liberals are committed to no longer cede market share in the dairy sector in future international free trade negotiations. Read more

Australian Government releases list of items the EU wants protected in free trade deal

News.au: Australian cheesemakers could be dealt a major blow as the European Union targets the naming rights to some of the most popular products. Read more

Cambodia-European Union trade deal is on the chopping block

Al Jazeera: Accusations of human rights abuse by the Cambodian government may force the end of a preferential trade agreement. Read more

Brazil’s Guedes threatens to quit Mercosur if populist opposition wins Argentina election

Reuters: Brazil will pull out of the Mercosur trade bloc if the opposition party wins Argentina’s presidential elections later this year and closes the economy with protectionist policies, Brazil’s Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said on Thursday. Read more

US retailers to rely on Vietnam amidst exits from China’s textile industry

Singapore Business Review: Vietnam’s textile sourcing rose 13% YoY in Q1 2019.Vietnam is expected to benefit the most from plans by US retailers to diversify production to other manufacturing hubs and reduce reliance on China for their textile needs, according to a Fitch Solutions report. Read more

India’s export basket skews towards services, pulls down trade deficit

Livemint: India’s export basket is undergoing a silent transformation, a trend that explains why the services sector, which accounts for about half of India’s gross domestic product (GDP), is doing better than other segments of the economy. Read more

US-China trade war hits Africa’s cobalt and copper mines with 4,400 jobs expected to vanish

South China Morning Post: The US-China trade war is partly to blame for Anglo-Swiss mining giant Glencore’s move to shut a cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo and copper mining shafts in Zambia, with the probable loss of about 4,400 jobs, analysts say. Read more

China Makes Up US Trade War Deficit by Buying from ASEAN, Belt and Road Countries

China Briefing: China is balancing the US trade slowdown with more bilateral trade with ASEAN and Belt and Road Initiative countries. Read more

US-UK trade pact ‘won’t pass Congress if Good Friday deal undermined’

Euronews: There is no chance that a trade agreement between the United States and Britain will pass Congress if Brexit undermines the Good Friday peace accord between Ireland and Northern Ireland, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday. Read more

UK ‘first in line’ for US trade deal, says John Bolton

BBC: The UK is “first in line” for a trade deal with the US, President Trump’s national security adviser has said. John Bolton said the US supported a no-deal Brexit and added Washington would propose an accelerated series of trade deals. Read more

Norway Freezes Support For Amazon Fund: EU/Brazil Trade Deal At Risk? – Analysis

Eurasia Review: Ola Elvestrun, Norway’s environment minister, announced Thursday that it is freezing its contributions to the Amazon Fund, and will no longer be transferring 300 million Norwegian Krone (US$33.2 million) to Brazil. Read more

Nigerian Traders Seek National Assembly’s Ratification of AfCFTA Agreement

AllAfrica: The National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) has advised the National Assembly to urgently ratify the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement to ensure its speedy implementation. Read more

Ghana is best entry point for foreign investors to Africa – Trade Minister

Ghanaweb: Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry, has said that Ghana is the best entry point for foreign investors to do business in Africa because of its investor-friendly policies. Read more

Sadc launches Business Council

The Chronicle: Southern African Development Community (Sadc) has officially launched a new Business Council, an over-arching regional private sector platform aimed at increasing collaboration with the public sector and accelerating regional economic development and industrialisation. Read more

Brexit: judge fast-tracks challenge to stop Johnson forcing no deal

The Guardian: Hearing in Edinburgh to block suspension of parliament backed by more than 70 MPs. Read more

EU’s Juncker tells Britain: no-deal Brexit will hurt you the most

EURACTIV: A no-deal Brexit would hurt Britain more than the rest of Europe no matter how much Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government pretends otherwise, outgoing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in remarks published on Saturday (10 August). Read more

US and Britain discuss trade deal that could take effect on 1 November

EURACTIV: Britain and the United States are discussing a partial trade accord that could take effect on 1 November, the day after Britain is due to leave the European Union, a senior Trump administration official said on Tuesday (13 August). Read more

Trump threatens to pull out of WTO

WTO: At the site of an under-construction petrochemicals plant in Monaco, Pa., for a speech Tuesday that was to be about energy policy, Trump said that the United States has been taken advantage of by WTO member states, especially China, for too long — and it was about to stop. Read more

‘India, China No Longer Developing Nations, Will Not Let Them Take Advantage’: Trump Flays WTO Status

News 18: Earlier in July, Trump asked the WTO to define how it designates developing-country status, a move apparently aimed at singling out countries like China, Turkey and India which are getting lenient treatment under the global trade rules. Read more

India’s seafood exports to EU to be hit after Vietnam-EU free trade pact

Hindu Business Line: India’s seafood exports to the European Union is set to drop sharply this year after its biggest competitor Vietnam signed a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Bloc in July that helps it export products to the EU without any customs duty, according to the Maharashtra region head of the seafood exporters body. Read more

US-China trade war — The unlikely European winners

Deutsche Welle: The imminent US tariffs on Chinese goods are expected to throw up some unexpected winners in Europe, a study shows. The gains for the European countries are only likely to increase if China chooses to retaliate. Read more

European Commission proposes adjustments to the existing safeguards for steel

EU: The Commission today presented a proposal for adjustments to the existing safeguard measures for steel. Read more

South Korea hits back at Japan in WW2 dispute

BBC: South Korea has said it will take Japan off its favoured trade partners’ list. Read more

WTO NEWS

NEW ON CTLD BLOG

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: