Welcome to the Caribbean Trade & Development News Digest for the week of February 23-29, 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

Fears about the global spread of COVID -19 (the official name for novel coronavirus which originated in Wuhan province, China and has started to spread to other countries) unsettled stock markets this week. Read more here.

The USTR has released its 2020 Trade Policy Agenda and 2019 Annual Report. The full report may be accessed here.

Canada has released its own impact assessment of the CUSMA (what the USMCA is referred to in Canada).

A new Caribbean Chamber of Commerce will be launched to promote trade and investment between the wider Caribbean and the United Kingdom/Europe. On March 1, CARICOM will host a special meeting in Barbados on COVID-19.

REGIONAL NEWS

Surinamese Minister wants trade barriers lifted

Barbados Today: A member of the Surinamese government who is in Barbados on an official visit is calling for the non-tariff barriers which continue to hinder intra-regional trade to be removed. Read more

Caribbean Chamber of Commerce Set to Launch in Europe

Caribbean Business: The newly founded Caribbean Chamber of Commerce in Europe (CCCE) said Thursday it will be opening its doors soon to offer Caribbean-based companies an “alternative gateway to the continent” as Britain exits the European Union. Read more

Hopeful trade talks will resume

Barbados Advocate: IT is hoped that once Canada and CARICOM can agree on an agenda to strengthen their ties, a place will be found for the resumption of their negotiations on an economic co-operation and development agreement. Read more

Jamaica on Financial Action Task Force grey list

Jamaica Observer: Jamaica and Barbados are the only two countries from the Caribbean that have been added to the list, which also includes Albania, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nicaragua, and Uganda. This means these countries are subject to increased monitoring FATF said. Read more

Tourism Trinidad: Coronavirus could impact tourism

Newsday: The Caribbean tourism industry can potentially benefit from the coronavirus outbreak as US travellers – the primary source of tourists into TT – could consider shifting travel plans to the region from Asia and Europe, Tourism Trinidad acting CEO Heidi Alert said. Read more

Green urges acceleration in implementation of trade facilitation processes

Jamaica Observer: Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green, is urging stakeholders in the country’s trade facilitation programme to speed up its implementation. Read more

Single Window To Be Piloted At Trade Board

Jamaica Information Service: The Jamaica Single Window for Trade (JSWIFT) is to be piloted at the Trade Board Limited starting March 2020. Read more

PIOJ Weighs Potential Impact Of COVID-19 On Economy

Jamaica Gleaner: The impact of the ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19, from an economic perspective, would primarily be transmitted through two main mechanisms, namely trade and financial flows, according to an assessment by the Planning Institute of Jamaica, PIOJ. Read more

Commercial Success Essential To Diplomatic Missions – Ahmad

Jamaica Gleaner: Describing commercial success as essential to present-day diplomatic missions, British High Commissioner Asif Ahmad is underscoring the United Kingdom’s (UK) commitment to improving the capability and capacity of Jamaican exporters to sell more to the UK. Read more

Exports start off 2020 with a huge decline, imports barely affected

Breaking Belize News: Веlіzе’ѕ ехроrt rеvеnuе ѕtаrtеd оff thе уеаr 2020 wіth а mајоr dесlіnе whіlе іmроrtѕ ѕаw аn аlmоѕt іnѕіgnіfісаnt rеduсtіоn, ассоrdіng tо thе lаtеѕt dаtа rеlеаѕеd tоdау bу thе Ѕtаtіѕtісаl Іnѕtіtutе оf Веlіzе (ЅІВ). Read more

Guyana celebrates 1st oil shipment after major discovery

Associated Press: Guyana’s government on Thursday prepared to sell its first barrels of oil after the discovery of large quantities of oil and gas near the South American country’s coast nearly five years ago. Read more

A current assessment of Guyana’s coconut industry

Stabroek: With the advent of oil, talk of diversifying our economy has intensified with particular emphasis on its agricultural base. Coconuts in particular have received much attention with awareness intensified through the 2016 Festival. Read more

The Caribbean Just Set an All-Time Record for Visitor Arrivals

Caribjournal: The Caribbean region set an all-time record for visitor arrivals in 2019, according to a new report from the Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organization. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement: Not a sprint but a marathon

UNCTAD: Three years have elapsed since the entry into force of the Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA) of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The TFA aims at boosting the speed and efficiency of cross-border trade procedures while reducing cost. Read more

UN study projects $32 billion loss for UK post no-deal Brexit

UN: The United Kingdom (UK) risks losing up to 14 per cent of its exports to the European Union (EU) in a so-called “no-deal” Brexit, according to a new study by the UN Conference on Trade, Investment and Development (UNCTAD). Read more

Namibia first African country to export red meat to hungry U.S. market

Al Jazeera: Namibia became the first African country to export red meat to the United States after it sent 25 tonnes of beef to Philadelphia, following two decades of haggling over safety regulations and logistics. Read more

Trade war and coronavirus show retail supply chains are too dependent on China, ex-Macy’s CEO says

CNBC: The trade war and coronavirus outbreak helped demonstrate that retail supply chains have become too reliant on China, former CEO Terry Lundgren told CNBC on Wednesday. Read more

What are the sticking points in a post-Brexit UK-EU trade deal? 

Euronews: Post-Brexit negotiations to sort out the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union get underway in early March. Read more

UK Statement to the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Committee

Gov.uk: The UK’s Ambassador to the WTO in Geneva, Julian Braithwaite, delivered a statement to the WTO Technical Barriers to Trade Committee Meeting on 26 February 2020. Read more

UK warns it could walk away from EU trade talks

Al Jazeera: UK issues threat before formal talks set to begin in days, once again raising the prospect of a no-deal Brexit. Read more

Coronavirus: Africa braces for the economic impact of China slump

The Africa Report: The novel coronavirus Covid-19 is a black swan event: highly unlikely, and with potent potential consequences. Still, its swift initial containment to some extent demonstrates China’s capacity for fit-for-purpose strategic solutions in times of crisis. Read more

US, ASEAN Postpone March Summit Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

VoA: The United States said Friday that Washington was postponing a special summit with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as countries around the globe continued to fight the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Read more

With Lacalle Pou, Mercosur moves further to the right

BNAmericas: This weekend marks a rapprochement between the governments of Brazil and Uruguay a change of emphasis inside the Mercosur trade bloc in political and economic terms. Read more

STRAIGHT FROM THE WTO

NEW ON THE 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: