Welcome to the Caribbean Trade & Development News Digest for the week of November 1-7, 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 HIGHLIGHT

The WTO General Council this week postponed the meeting it had scheduled for 9 November to consider the appointment of the next WTO Director-General. Nigerian candidate Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the candidate for whom the WTO membership expressed support, but her selection was contested by the US. Read more here.

Come January 20, 2021, the US will have its 46th president. US Democratic Party candidate, former Vice President under the Obama administration and Delaware Senator, Joe Biden, has been declared the President-elect, winning the US presidential election and defeating incumbent Republican president, Donald Trump. Biden’s VP pick, Senator Kamala Harris who is of Indian and Jamaican parentage, will be the female VP and the first person of colour to do so. Of particular interest to the Caribbean is that she is the first person of Caribbean heritage to rise to the office.

On the other side of the Atlantic, ‘significant differences’ are making a post-Brexit UK-EU deal elusive, says UK PM Boris Johnson. Read more.

Meanwhile, the UK and Kenya successfully concluded negotiations on a trade deal. Kenya would be the sixth African country with which the UK has secured a post-Brexit trading arrangement. Read more

Regionally, Prime Minister of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, was elected for an unprecedented 5th term of office. Read more

REGIONAL NEWS

Invest Barbados stands by its criticism of EU Blacklisting amid claims it misunderstood the issue

Barbados Today: Invest Barbados has rubbished claims by a European Union (EU) official that there are “unfounded concerns” and misconceptions about the island’s inclusion on the EU’s list of “non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes”. Read more

Belize passes historic legislation banning gillnet fishing

BBN: Тhіѕ wееk, thе Gоvеrnmеnt оf Веlіzе (GОВ) роѕіtіоnеd thе соuntrу аѕ а glоbаl lеаdеr іn ѕuѕtаіnаblе dеvеlорmеnt bу раѕѕіng lеgіѕlаtіоn tо bаn thе uѕе оf gіllnеtѕ, а dеѕtruсtіvе tуре оf fіѕhіng gеаr, frоm bеіng uѕеd іn Веlіzеаn wаtеrѕ. Read more

CTO launches #TheCaribbeanAwaits campaign for Tourism Month

LoopTT: The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has announced a social media campaign dubbed, #TheCaribbeanAwaits, in observance of Caribbean Tourism Month this month. Read more

Panama and Guyana preparing to join Latin American hemp rush

BBN: Аѕ аnnоunсеd bу Аttоrnеу Gеnеrаl аnd Міnіѕtеr оf Lеgаl Аffаіrѕ Аnіl Nаndlаll, Guуаnа’ѕ gоvеrnmеnt іѕ rеvіеwіng fеаѕіbіlіtу ѕtudіеѕ аnd hаѕ dіѕсuѕѕеd hеmр trіаlѕ. Іn Раnаmа, gоvеrnmеnt rерrеѕеntаtіvеѕ аnd dерutіеѕ іn thе Nаtіоnаl Аѕѕеmblу аgrееd tо fоrm а соmmіttее tо аnаlуzе hеmр’ѕ роtеntіаl fоr іnduѕtrіаl dеvеlорmеnt durіng dіѕсuѕѕіоnѕ аbоut а рrороѕеd hеmр lаw. Read more

China and Jamaica extending bilateral trade agreements

NYCaribNews: During a virtual meeting with China’s Ambassador to Jamaica, Tian Qi on Friday, October 30, Audley Shaw, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, says he is committed to exploring the possibilities of pursuing greater cooperation with the Government of China. Read more

Jamaica pushing to export pork, other items to China

Jamaica Observer: The Jamaican Government is targeting the export of pork to China as the Andrew Holness Administration signals its intent to pursue greater cooperation with Beijing in areas of trade. Read more

Jamaica, other C’bean countries to benefit from value chain intervention

Jamaica Observer: Jamaica is benefiting from intervention aimed at strengthening the value chain for the production of indigenous black castor oil. Read more

JSWIFT Project Being Implemented by JCA

JIS: The Jamaica Single Window for Trade (JSWIFT) Project is at various stages of implementation by the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA), which is spearheading the initiative’s rollout on behalf of the Government. Read more

Challenges with CARICOM Bubble with COVID Says Dr. Ralph Gonsalves

TV6: The chairman of CARICOM says, there is a major challenge with the CARICOM travel bubble allowing scheduled International and regional flights during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

Mariano Browne: Refinery hard to restart

Newsday: Former trade minister Mariano Browne has said many obstacles exist to a restart of the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery. Read more

SheTrades Hub to support female entrepreneurs in Trinidad & Tobago

LoopTT: Government has affirmed its commitment to providing opportunities to female entrepreneurs as part of driving the country’s COVID-19 economic recovery. SheTrades Hub, Trinidad and Tobago, was launched yesterday making this country the first in the Caribbean to officially launch one. Read more

Saint Lucia, U.S. and Taiwan Deepen Investment and Entrepreneurship Partnerships

US Embassy: In support of Saint Lucia Business Month, the U.S. and Taiwan embassies joined efforts to explore private investment and entrepreneurship opportunities with Saint Lucia. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

WTO Negotiating Group Hears Brazil’s Proposal on Fisheries Subsidies

IISD: World Trade Organization (WTO) members continued discussions on addressing harmful fisheries subsidies throughout October. The 20 October meeting of the Negotiating Group on Rules heard a proposal from Brazil on percentage cuts to subsidies, and discussed the issue of proportionality in illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing violations. Read more

WTO members greenlight EU sanctions against US over Boeing aid

Euractiv: World Trade Organisation members gave the green light Monday (26 October) for Brussels to slap tariffs on $4.0 billion in US imports annually in retaliation for illegal American aid to plane maker Boeing. Read more

Africa free trade agreement must be rolled out by January after pandemic delay – Secretariat

News24: Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat told delegates at the annual competition law, economics & policy conference on Wednesday that the Secretariat was at advances stages of concluding phase one of the agreement which deals with the trading of goods and services. Read more

Rwanda-Ghana Relations to Spur Africa Trade Agenda

AllAfrica: Rwanda and Ghana have resolved to boost bilateral relations with a broad, varied economic agenda at the core. This week, Foreign Affairs Minister Vincent Biruta was in Ghana to take part in a series of events that officials say will help to strengthen diplomatic and economic cooperation between the two countries. Read more

Brexit: ‘Significant differences remain’ over trade deal

BBC: Following a call with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday, the PM said progress had been made but there were still issues around the “level playing field” and fishing. Read more

Brexit talks remain deadlocked going into decisive week

The Guardian: The Brexit negotiations remained stuck after a call between Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen before a decisive week of talks. The European commission president and the prime minister both highlighted in their post-call statements the contentious issues of EU access to British waters and agreement on future rules to ensure fair competition. Read more

Brazil to lead MERCOSUR talks; Deeper cooperation in defence, space, Ayurveda and agriculture, says India’s envoy to Brazil

Financial Express: To further strengthen their ties, India and Brazil elevated their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership in 2006 and since then the relationship has witnessed an upward trend. President Jair Bolsonaro was the chief guest at the Republic Day this year. Read more

Argentina wants EU to eliminate zero tariff access for Falklands’ exports

Mercopress: Argentina held a meeting with the European Union ambassador and 21 of 27 EU members’ representatives in Buenos Aires and formally called for an end of the support for UK Falklands’ sovereignty recognition in the ongoing Brexit negotiations between Brussels and London. Read more

US soybeans being loaded in Louisiana for Brazil

Mercopress: A U.S. grain export terminal near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is loading about 38,000 tons of U.S. soybeans on a bulk cargo vessel for shipment to Brazil, according to Southport Agencies shipping lineup. Read more

China’s exports surged unexpectedly last month, as pace of import growth cooled off

South China Morning Post: China’s exports grew by 11.4 per cent in October from a year earlier while imports grew by 4.7 per cent. Read more

Branding rights on Basmati rice: Pakistan prepares response for European Commission

The News: Pakistan has prepared a detailed response for submission before the European Commission on December 10, 2020 in order to foil the Indian attempts for obtaining branding rights on Basmati rice, Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood said on Friday. Read more

UK and Kenya secure a trade agreement

Gov.uk: The UK has moved a step closer to signing a sixth trade deal in Africa today (3 November), as negotiations on a trade deal are finalised with Kenya. The agreement will ensure all companies operating in Kenya, including British businesses, can continue to benefit from duty-free access as they export products including vegetables and flowers to their customers back in the UK. Read more

UK-Australia trade deal ‘within months’

The Canberra Times: The United Kingdom hopes to be able to reach a trade agreement with Australia within months, British trade minister Liz Truss says. Read more

Irish businesses told not to wait for trade deal to prepare for Brexit

Irish Times: Irish businesses that trade with the UK should not wait until a trade deal has been agreed between the UK and the EU to begin their preparations for Brexit, customs clearance service Declaron has warned. Read more

RCEP summit on Nov. 15 to discuss trade deal by year-end, without India

Nikkei: Asian-Pacific leaders representing the nations involved in the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will soon discuss reaching a long-awaited agreement by the end of the year, Nikkei learned Friday.

Thailand ready to attend RCEP trade deal

Bangkok Post: Thailand is ready to attend the signing of the long-awaited Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at the 37th Asean Summit under the chairmanship of Vietnam next week. Read more

Is the Pacific’s new trade deal an early Xmas gift or a double edged sword?

RNZ: The Australia and New Zealand led PACER Plus, is touted as a trade and development agreement that will strengthen economic development in the region. Nine Pacific countries have signed on to the deal with six having ratified it so far. 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: