Welcome to the Caribbean Trade & Development News Digest for the week of February 17-22, 2020! 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 HIGHLIGHTS

Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) held their 31st Intersessional Meeting in Barbados February 18-19, 2020. The Prime Minister of Barbados, the Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, Q.C; MP, chaired the proceedings. The communique from the meeting may be found here.

To watch the press conference concluding the 31st Intersessional Meeting please see here:

REGIONAL NEWS

Barbados unveils one-stop investment guide

UNCTAD: As Barbados prepares to host the 15th UNCTAD quadrennial conference in October, it has become the latest Caribbean country to launch an online investment guide (iGuide). Read more

WTO advocate argues Bahamas never to join

Bahamas Tribune: A prominent World Trade Organisation (WTO) advocate yesterday said he doubts The Bahamas will ever join, adding: “You can lead a horse to water but can’t make it drink”. Read more

Minister: No Wto Membership ‘For At Least Five Years’

Bahamas Tribune: A Cabinet minister yesterday said full Bahamian membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) “cannot happen for at least within the next five years”. Read more

Barbados off EU grey list

Nation News: Barbados is off the grey list, which means this country is completely cleared and is no longer being seen as a non-cooperative jurisdiction for tax purposes within the global International Business sector. Read more

CARICOM wants inter-governmental tax body to set standards, rules

CARICOM: CARICOM Heads of Government have reiterated the call for the creation of an “appropriate intergovernmental tax body with the adequate means and powers to set standards and rules” which support an equitable and universal approach to an international tax governance infrastructure. Read more

SG posits all-inclusive approach to strengthening CARICOM

CARICOM: Building a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) that is hardened to shocks requires an approach that embraces the talents, skills and resources of all actors of society, CARICOM Secretary-General said recently. Read more

Fixed roaming rates for CARICOM countries coming soon

Loop News Barbados: The Barbadian Prime Minister announced that Grenadian Prime Minister, Keith Mitchell and a team from the Caribbean Single Market Economy (CSME) have been working with regional telecommunication operators to implement a fixed roaming rate for CARICOM states. Read more

T&T, B’dos working together on CSME

Trinidad Express: BARBADOS and Trinidad and Tobago will be working together to put certain protocols in place to get the wheels of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) moving faster in 2020. Read more

Castor Oil Sector Banking On $500m Gov’t Investment

Jamaica Gleaner: Jamaica’s castor oil sector is barely earning from exports, and is seen as woefully underperforming its potential, but its producers are regrouping. Read more

Consumers and the coronavirus: The implications for Jamaica

Jamaica Observer: Despite reports by the World Health Organization (WHO) last week that the number of cases of the deadly novel coronavirus being recorded on a daily basis in China is “stabilising”, concerns expressed by manufacturers and retailers suggest there will be a domino effect to consumers. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

EU budget: Talks end amid stand-off between ‘frugal’ and other nations

BBC: An EU budget summit ended without agreement on Friday following a stand-off between wealthy “frugal” member states and other countries. Read more

EU proposes rules for artificial intelligence to limit risk

AP: The European Union unveiled proposals Wednesday to regulate artificial intelligence that call for strict rules and safeguards on risky applications of the rapidly developing technology. Read more

Boeing asks lawmakers to suspend preferential tax rate

Fortune: Washington state lawmakers introduced bills Wednesday, at The Boeing Co.’s request, to suspend the aerospace giant’s preferential business and occupation tax rate unless the United States and European Union reach an agreement on their long-running international trade dispute that would allow the lower tax rate. Read more

Michel Barnier: UK can’t have Canada trade deal with EU

BBC: The UK cannot have the same trade deal with the EU as Canada, according to the bloc’s chief negotiator. Read more

UK unveils ‘iconic,’ blue post-Brexit passports, made by a French-Dutch company in Poland

CNN: The British government has unveiled the country’s new, blue post-Brexit passports, hailing the return of an “iconic” document that became a thorny issue during the UK’s protracted departure from the European Union. Read more

UK-EU trade tensions descend into ‘slide war’

The Guardian: Two sides of negotiations issue flurry of documents through social media. Read more

Trade Minister inaugurates seven working group to prepare country for AfCFTA

Ghanaweb: The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen, has inaugurated seven Technical Working Groups (TWGs) to spearhead the development of the country’s national programmes of action for Boosting Intra-African Trade (BIAT). Read more

Does the Kenya-US free trade deal signal Nigeria’s fall from grace?

The Africa Report: Nigeria has not managed to convince international investors – including those in the US – that it should be first in line for a post-AGOA deal. Read more

Indo-US trade deal: The ball is now in Washington’s court

Economic Times: Trump said his country is “not treated very well by India” but the US is “doing a very big trade deal with India”. Read more

China to refund US trade war tariffs on some medical devices amid coronavirus outbreak

South China Morning Post: China said on Friday it would refund tariffs already paid on a list of 55 US-made products including medical devices, engine components and timber products. Read more

STRAIGHT FROM THE WTO

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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: