Welcome to the Caribbean Trade & Development News Digest for the weeks of October 6-12, 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.

THE WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS

The WTO held its annual Public Forum. This year’s theme was ‘Trading Forward: Adapting to a Changing World’. The 2019 World Trade Report was also released.

Commonwealth Trade Ministers met on October 10 and have called on world leaders to reject protectionism and reform the WTO. The communique may be read here.

With just two weeks to go before the UK’s scheduled departure from the EU, Brexit talks between the UK and EU remain at a stalemate despite a weekend of intense negotiations. Read more

REGIONAL NEWS

EU slaps 5-year tariff on Trinidad & Tobago fertilisers

Newsday: This follows a European Commission (EC) final ruling on October 8, based on a complaint by Fertilizers Europe in June last year, claiming TT, Russia and the US were dumping product, resulting in material injury to European producers. Read more

Antigua drops demand for LIAT shares

Barbados Today: In an abrupt move, Prime Minister Gaston Browne has declared that he has told Prime Minister Mia Mottley that Antigua and Barbuda has found $40 million to pump in LIAT and no longer wants to buy Barbados’ shares in the cash-strapped carrier, Antigua Newsroom has reported. Read more

Caribbean trade ministers want end to protectionist policies, reform of WTO

Jamaica Observer: Caribbean Community (Caricom) trade ministers have joined their counterparts from the Commonwealth in calling for an end to trade protectionism and an urgent reform of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which sets the global rules for international trade. Read more

Barbados Car imports feel ASYCUDA pinch

Barbados Today: The inability to clear vehicles at the Bridgetown Port as a result of issues with the ASYCUDA World system is threatening to put the brakes on Barbados’ largest importer of electric vehicles. Read more

Drought lands “major blow,” but CARICOM and Belize sugar will be protected

Breaking Belize News: Last week key sectors of agriculture and aquaculture along with trade from across the Caribbean met in Belize simultaneously for a full week. Read more

CARICOM countries on alert for major diseases affecting pigs and bananas

Breaking Belize News: A pair of deadly diseases poses imminent risk to two key industries, according to the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED), which wrapped up its meeting in Belize on Friday. Read more

Health Minister Highlights Negative Effects Of Illicit Trade In Tobacco Products

JIS: Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says the growing illicit trade in tobacco products is a clear and present danger to public health in the Caribbean and the rest of the world. Read more

Jamaica Competitiveness Ranking Dips

Jamaica Gleaner: Jamaica, which suffers from high crime and lack of export-led growth, slipped by one spot in competitive rankings, according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2019, published this week by World Economic Forum, or Weforum. Read more

TTCSI welcomes 2020 Budget incentives for export businesses

LoopTT: Government’s prioritisation of the expansion of exports has found favour with the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries (TTCSI). Read more


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

RCEP trade ministers’ talks end in impasse

Financial Express: No joint statement will be issued, as certain key issues are yet to be resolved, even after two days of intense negotiations on October 11 and 12, according to one of the sources. Read more

Staying out of RCEP trading bloc will only isolate India: Piyush Goyal

Livemint: In a clear indication of India’s intentions ahead of the final ministerial meeting of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) grouping on Saturday, trade minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday defended the free trade agreement among the 16 economies, holding that India cannot remain isolated in a globalized world. Read more

Asean nations to exchange trade documents via ASW by year-end

Business Mirror: The Philippines and seven other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) will exchange customs and trade-related documents over a platform that is intended to facilitate cargo clearance and economic integration of Asean countries by year-end. Read more

US-China trade deal: What it is, is not and may become

The Hill: The U.S.-China trade agreement outlined on Friday is an act of cooperative rivalry. It brings immediate value to both sides while deferring strategic questions about future relations between the world’s two superpowers. Read more

WTO is in crisis and Europe Must Step Up

Bloomberg: The World Trade Organization is in crisis and needs reform to play its global role effectively, according to the trade minister of Finland, which currently holds the rotating European Union presidency. Read more

International Chamber of Commerce issues recommendations to reform global trade

ICC: Recognising the challenges, criticism and unprecedented pressure faced by the World Trade Organization (WTO) system, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has unveiled a groundbreaking set of recommendations to guide the future of international trade. Read more

WTO urges quick ban on harmful fisheries subsidies

France24: The World Trade Organization on Tuesday called for countries to speed up talks aimed at hammering out an agreement on banning harmful fisheries subsidies. Read more

Asia-Pacific needs the WTO to stay relevant in an increasingly uncertain world

South China Morning Post: To walk along the autumn shoreline of Lake Geneva to the headquarters of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), kicking fallen conkers from horse chestnut trees, is to occupy a steady, constant world light years away from the conflicts and challenges addressed by the many United Nations institutions settled there for the past 70 years. Read more

UK Trade minister Truss backs WTO reform before Brexit

Euronews: British trade secretary Liz Truss said she opposed protectionism but backed U.S. President Donald Trump’s calls to reform the World Trade Organization (WTO). Read more

STRAIGHT FROM THE WTO

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