Welcome to the Caribbean Trade & Development News Digest for the week of October 4-10, 2020! We are pleased to bring you the major trade and development news headlines and analysis from across the Caribbean Region and the world from the past week.

THIS WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS

The next WTO Director-General will be female! Nigeria’s Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee are the two finalists for selection as the organisation’s seventh DG. Read more here.

The EU foreign investment screening mechanism is operational. In March 2019, the EU had adopted a regulation setting up a framework for the screening of investments from non-EU countries (foreign direct investment) that may affect security or public order and will apply as of October 11. Read the full press release here.

CARICOM has released a statement strongly condemning the EU’s inclusion of some CARICOM States on its blacklist of non-cooperative tax jurisdiction.

REGIONAL NEWS

Trinidad & Tobago Govt, Caricom to help service sector

Newsday: In order to better assist the recovery of regional service industries during the pandemic, the Ministry of Trade and Industry will partner with Caricom to develop a strategy for the recovery of the service sector, according to acting permanent secretary Ayleen Alleyne-Ovid. Read more

Trade survey assesses exports services sector

LoopTT: Trinidad and Tobago is, now more than ever, closer to obtaining accurate data on trade to improve the sector. This is as a result of a recent survey executed by the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business. Read more

Cuba says it’s contained coronavirus outbreak, plans to open for tourism next week

CNBC: Thirteen of Cuba’s sixteen provinces will now be open to tourism as the country says it’s successfully curbed coronavirus infections with strict measures and a curfew. Read more

Accelerating trade between Jamaica and China now possible

Jamaica Observer: Trade between Jamaica and China is to be accelerated with the launch of the Jamaica China Business Forum (JCBF), which aims to increase exports between the two countries. Read more

Caribbean Trade Legislation Passes U.S. Senate

Caribbean National Weekly: Legislation which extends the United States-Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA) through 2030, passed the U.S. Senate last month by unanimous consent,” the Guyana-based Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat reported. It said HR 991 passed the House on September 23 and the “legislation will come into force when signed by President Donald Trump. Read more

Standards for nutrition labels coming

Barbados Today: By the end of this month, officials are expected to decide on long-awaited standards for front nutrition labels on locally and regionally manufactured food and drink products. Deryck Omar, Chief Executive Officer of the CARICOM Regional Organization for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), said the time was quickly approaching for the organisation to receive the draft document from the technical team. Read more

Standards and quality still important

Barbados Today: Barbados and other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) states are being warned that now is not the time to “slack” on investment in quality and standards, even as they seek to cut back on spending as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

DDA introduces ‘Safe in Nature’ brand concept for Dominica’s tourism industry

Dominica News Online: In its continuing efforts to uphold the national protocols for safeguarding both locals and visitors, the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA), alongside the Ministry of Tourism and stakeholders in that sector, has introduced the ‘Safe in Nature’ brand concept. Read more

Statistical Institute of Belize: Export revenues fall by over 15 percent between January and August

Breaking Belize News: Тhе lаtеѕt Ехtеrnаl Тrаdе Вullеtіn (ЕТВ), рublіѕhеd bу thе Ѕtаtіѕtісаl Іnѕtіtutе оf Веlіzе, ѕауѕ thаt Веlіzе mаdе 15.7 реrсеnt ($46.9 mіllіоn) lеѕѕ іn ехроrt rеvеnuеѕ fоr thе mоnthѕ Јаnuаrу-Аuguѕt 2020, thаn fоr thе ѕаmе реrіоd іn 2019. Read more

JAMPRO Seeks Greater Support for Export Max

JIS: President of Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Diane Edwards, is appealing for more private-sector companies to partner with the entity in executing the Export Max programme. Read more

Taiwan, Belize sign pacts on trade, legal assistance and aviation

Focus Taiwan: Taiwan and Belize have reached three separate agreements to promote and strengthen their diplomatic ties through bilateral cooperation in the fields of trade, legal assistance and aviation. Read more

UK appoints new trade envoy to the Caribbean

Jamaica Observer: Britain’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has appointed Darren Henry as the new trade envoy to the Commonwealth Caribbean. A British government statement said that the Commonwealth Caribbean markets will include Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago. Read more

Building Post COVID CARICOM Food Security – A Cassava Industry

Stabroek: These difficult months of the COVID pandemic have once more brought to the fore the need to address our long term food security. Our accessibility to food has been disrupted as incomes have decreased due to reduced formal and informal employment opportunities. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

China faces ‘difficult trade-off’ as WTO leadership race heads into final round

South China Morning Post: The field of candidates to lead the World Trade Organization (WTO) was cut to two on Thursday, in a historic move that means the Geneva-based body will get its first female director general. Read more

China says U.S. TikTok, WeChat bans break WTO rules

Reuters: China said at a World Trade Organization meeting that restrictions by the United States on Chinese mobile applications TikTok and WeChat are in violation of the body’s rules, a trade official said. Read more

Brexit: Trade negotiators meet, as deadline looms

BBC: EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has met his UK counterpart in London for the latest round of talks on their post-Brexit trading relationship. Read more

UK statement to the WTO Committee on Government Procurement

Gov.uk: The UK’s Ambassador to the WTO in Geneva, Julian Braithwaite, delivered this statement at the WTO’s Committee on Government Procurement. Read more

EU and UK teams pin hopes on ‘tunnel’ talks to deliver Brexit deal

The Guardian: British and EU Brexit negotiators have renewed belief that the bloc’s leaders will be able to usher in an intense and decisive “tunnel” negotiation for the last weeks of October when they meet at a summit in Brussels on Thursday. Read more

Brexit: EU and UK in choppy waters over fishing rights

France24: Fishing rights have been one of the main sticking points in Brexit negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom since March. Yet neither side appears ready to concede, despite mounting fears within the fishing industry over the consequences of a “no-deal” exit. Read more

Post-Brexit: Britain and EU agree to pursue ‘mini-deals’ if talks fail next week

The Times: British and EU negotiators have agreed to keep talking to offset the most disruptive aspects of a no-deal Brexit even if trade negotiations break down. Read more

Britain open to Aussie-style EU trade deal but Australia wants more

Reuters: As Britain’s negotiations with the European Union on a post-Brexit trade deal go down to the wire, Prime Minister Boris Johnson says his country could trade with the bloc on similar terms to Australia, if no agreement is reached. Read more

UK and Ukraine sign Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreement

Gov.uk: The agreement will ensure ambitious cooperation in political, security and foreign matters with Ukraine, while also securing continued preferential trade for businesses and consumers. Read more

Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement to be signed by Monday during Chinese State Councilor’s visit

Khmer Times: Wang Yi, State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, will pay an official visit to the Kingdom of Cambodia on October 11-12, 2020. Read more

Turkey-US trade volume improves despite COVID-19 pandemic

Daily Sabah: A free trade agreement between Turkey and the U.S. would mutually liberalize trade in certain sectors and give a boost to bilateral ties, Deputy Trade Minister Rıza Tuna Turagay said, as the two NATO allies move toward their $100 billion trade goal. 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: