Welcome to the Caribbean Trade & Development News Digest for the week of July 27-August 2, 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.

PROF. THE RIGHT HON OWEN S. ARTHUR, FORMER PM OF BARBADOS

I wish to start on a personal note and express condolences to the family of former Barbados Prime Minister, Prof. The Rt. Hon. Owen S. Arthur, who passed away last week. Barbados, the Caribbean and the world have lost a great statesman, economist, a committed regionalist and visionary. This Blog has lost one of its most avid readers. Though I only knew Prof. Arthur in person for a short time, I will forever remember and cherish our conversations on trade, the economy and global affairs and the unselfish way in which he so freely shared his knowledge and experiences. You can have a read of my full tribute to Prof. Arthur here.

Among the developments in trade this week, the WTO’s General Council agreed on the guidelines for the final stage of the selection process for the next WTO Director-General. Read here. Meanwhile, Members failed to agree on an Interim WTO DG. Read the full scoop from Bloomberg here.

On the regional front, a winner has finally been declared in the months-long Guyana elections saga. His Excellency Irfaan Ali has been declared president. Read the full statement by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) here.

The CTLD Blog will be on vacation hiatus for the month of August but we look forward to returning in September!

REGIONAL NEWS

Bahamas Bids To Secure $9m In Uk Exports Trade

Tribune242: The government yesterday said it was aiming to secure almost $9m worth of annual Bahamian exports to the United Kingdom (UK) by ratifying a trade deal before year end. Read more

Trade talks begin on economic partnership agreement with the UK

EyeWitness News: The government met with the British High Commission in Nassau this week to discuss increasing trade between the UK and The Bahamas, primarily through the domestic ratification of the CARIFORUM-UK Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed in London last year. Read more

Ice cream brand started in T&T expands across Canada

LoopTT: An ice cream brand that was started in Trinidad and Tobago in the 1940s is now giving Canadians a taste of the Caribbean with its tropical flavours. Read more

Belize Imports way down, exports way up in June 2020 – SIB

Amandala: The report of the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) on external trade for June 2020 shows that in June 2020 we imported 38.4% less goods and exported 41.1% more goods, than we did in June 2019. Read more

Belize government launches Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise program

Breaking Belize News: Тhе Gоvеrnmеnt оf Веlіzе, thrоugh а соllаbоrаtіvе еffоrt lеd bу thе Міnіѕtrу оf Іnvеѕtmеnt, Тrаdе аnd Соmmеrсе, thе Міnіѕtrу оf Lаbоur, Lосаl Gоvеrnmеnt аnd Rurаl Dеvеlорmеnt, аnd ВЕLТRАІDЕ аnnоunсеd thе lаunсh оf рhаѕе twо оf Gоvеrnmеnt’ѕ СОVІD-19 Unеmрlоуmеnt Rеlіеf Рrоgrаm, іnсоrроrаtіng thе рrеvіоuѕlу аnnоunсеd Місrо, Ѕmаll аnd Меdіum Еntеrрrіѕе Ѕuрроrt Рrоgrаm. Read more

Online Application Software Making It Easier To Do Business At Ports

JIS: A new online application software is making it easier for truckers and others using the Kingston ports to do business.The Truck Appointment System (TAS) has been implemented to manage the flow of cargo and trucking companies doing business at the two terminals, the Kingston Freeport Terminal Limited and Kingston Wharves Limited. Read more

Jamaica’s import spend declines, export also down for January to April 2020

Jamaica Observer: Jamaica’s imports for January to April 2020 were valued at US$1,680.6 million, a 23.1 per cent decline when compared to the US$2,186.7 million spent for the same period in 2019. Read more

EXIM Bank, Jampro Form Export Club

Jamaica Gleaner: Jamaica’s export-import bank is lending support to the export initiative out of investment promotion agency Jampro, which helps entrepreneurs with market access. Read more

Exim Bank commits more than $5 million to Export Max III

LoopJamaica: The National Export-Import Bank of Jamaica (Exim Bank) has officially committed sponsorship valued at more than $5 million to the Jampro, JBDC, and JMEA export development programme, Export Max III. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Exclusive: WTO unlikely to get interim leader as U.S. insists on its candidate, causes impasse

Reuters: The World Trade Organization will likely not appoint an interim chief to succeed outgoing Director-General Roberto Azevedo in late August, three sources following the process said on Wednesday, after Washington’s insistence on a U.S. candidate caused a deadlock. Read more

Govt allows export of made-in-India ventilators

BusinessToday: Following the approval, the decision was communicated to the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), which then issued a notification allowing the export of indigenously manufactured ventilators. Read more

With eye on China, India looks to increase barriers on imports from Asia

Economic Times: New Delhi is considering measures to prevent trade partners mainly in Southeast Asia from re-routing Chinese goods to India with little added value, two government sources said, amid strained ties with Beijing and a push for self-reliance. Read more

RCEP signing expected to proceed in November, says Azmin

StarOnline: The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) participating countries (RPCs), including Malaysia, are expected to proceed with the signing of the agreement in November, according to International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali. Read more

Thailand to support farmers, entrepreneurs in tapping RCEP potential

XinhuaNet: Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce said on Tuesday that it will begin to train farmers and entrepreneurs on how to tap into the benefits of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) this year. Read more

Brazil optimistic about a Mercosur free trade accord with Canada

Mercopress: An estimate by Brazil´s Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA) points out that the conclusion of a free trade agreement between Mercosur and Canada has the potential to increase Brazilian export revenues of agricultural products by US$7.8 billion. Read more

AfCFTA: Nigeria not ready for restrictive rules of origin

Nairametrics: Adopting a Restrictive Rule of Origin will not allow the Nigerian manufacturing industry enjoy the full benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). This is according to Peter Lunenborg, the Senior Program Officer at South Centre. Read more

How AfCFTA will help continent address Covid-19 challenges

The New Times: A successful implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement would be crucial in helping the continent address challenges posed by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, a new World Bank report states. Read more

EU-Vietnam trade agreement enters into force

EU: EU exports to Vietnam will be taxed less as of tomorrow, 1 August. This is the immediate effect of the entry into force of the EU-Vietnam trade agreement that will ultimately scrap duties on 99% of all goods traded between the two sides. Read more

EU and China discuss trade and economic relations

EU: The European Union and China held today their 8th High-Level Trade and Economic Dialogue (HED). Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, accompanied by Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan, held the meeting via videoconference with Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He accompanied by several Vice-Ministers. 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: