Welcome to the Caribbean Trade & Development News Digest for the weeks of September 15-October 5, 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 weeks.

HIGHLIGHTS

The India-CARICOM Leaders’ Summit was held on the sidelines of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly. Read more about the meeting here.

The WTO has cut its global trade growth forecast again. World merchandise trade volumes are now expected to rise by only 1.2% in 2019, substantially slower than the 2.6% growth forecast in April. Read the full outlook here.

In the latest installment of the 15 year Boeing-Airbus saga between the US and the EU, a WTO arbitrator on October 2 authorised the US to impose tariffs up to $7.5 billion worth of European exports annually in retaliation for illegal government aid to Airbus. Read the full ruling here.

With just three weeks to go before the UK is officially due to leave the EU, the UK PM Boris Johnson has made a new Brexit proposal regarding the Ireland-Northern Ireland border issue. Read the proposal here.

REGIONAL NEWS

India, CARICOM agree to create task force for trade, diversification

LoopTT: The meeting concluded with a decision to create a joint India/CARICOM task force which will develop and implement concrete plans to further advance trade and facilitate diversification in the region. Read more

No change

Barbados Today: The UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) in Bridgetown Barbados hosted a trade and investment reception to stimulate increased business opportunities between the UK and Caribbean markets. Read more

Antigua and Barbados to continue talks over sale of LIAT’s shares

Barbados Today: The Government of Antigua and Barbuda said that it intends to keep discussions going with Barbados with a view over the sale of the latter’s shares in the regional airline, LIAT, despite reports from other regional media houses that negotiations between both countries has fallen through. Read more

Caribbean governments urged to take a collective approach to marijuana

LoopSLU: St Vincent and the Grenadines Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar is calling for Caricom and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to take a collective approach to the development of standards governing the negotiation of cannabis trade agreements for their member states. Read more

CARICOM Sugar stakeholder engagement meeting held in Belize

Breaking Belize News: Minister of Investment, Trade and Commerce, Tracy Panton, Minister of Agriculture, Godwin Hulse and the CARICOM Secretariat hosted sugar stakeholders from across the Caribbean Community at the Best Western Plus Biltmore Plaza in Belize City on October 2nd, 2019. Read more

CARICOM and Central America make common cause on fish

Breaking Belize News: The fishing communities of the Caribbean and Central America are meeting this week in Belize City to seek joint action on facing the problems affecting both. Read more

Holness Reiterates Call For Concessionary Financing For CARICOM

The Gleaner: Jamaica yesterday reiterated a call for concessionary financing for Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, saying that the present policy was severely hampering the socio-economic growth of the 15-member regional grouping. Read more

Local Chamber of Commerce members meet with Indian High Commissioner

Antigua Observer: On Monday 16th September 2019, a delegation of the local Chamber of Commerce held high-level discussions with the newly-appointed Indian High Commissioner to CARICOM, Dr. K.J. Srinivasa and his second in command, Mr. R.K. Perindia, on their first official visit since the High Commissioner’s recent posting. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

UK response to WTO ruling on Airbus

UK.gov: The UK is confident that it has fully complied with WTO rulings in the Airbus dispute. Read more

WTO members engage in exploratory talks on market access for environmental services

WTO: WTO services negotiators debated market access issues relating to environmental services based on a new communication tabled by Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Switzerland at an informal meeting of the Council for Trade in Services in Special Session held on 30 September 2019. Read more

Brexit: We can do a deal if EU is willing – Johnson

BBC: Boris Johnson has claimed his Brexit proposals have picked up support in Parliament as he urged the European Union to compromise. Read more

EAEU signs free trade agreement with Singapore under Armenian chairmanship

Emerging Europe: The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Russian-led economic alliance of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, has signed a free trade agreement with Singapore during the annual summit of the Supreme Eurasian Council, the organisation’s executive body in Yerevan, the Armenian press has reported. Read more

High-level meeting in Peru takes aim at illegal wildlife trade

CGTN: The jaguar, the largest cat in the Americas, is the emblem of a new initiative to combat the illegal trade in the continent’s wild animals. The iconic but threatened predator has a key role in the ecosystem but also tremendous cultural significance for the peoples of the Americas. Read more

Nigeria, South Africa Seal 32 Trade Pacts

AllAfrica: Nigeria and South Africa, yesterday, signed 32 bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding covering trade and industry, science and technology, defence, agriculture and energy, thus expanding Africa’s deepest trade relationship. Read more

WTO in ‘critical situation’, EU warns

Euractiv: EU member states discussed on Tuesday (1 October) how to address the “critical situation” of the World Trade Organisation, as the US continues to block the renovation of its appellate body, key for the functioning of the institution. Read more

STRAIGHT FROM THE WTO

NEW ON CTLD BLOG