Welcome to the Caribbean Trade & Development News Digest for the week of November 15-21, 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

This week, the WTO celebrated its 25th anniversary of existence through a virtual event bringing together senior government officials and representatives from the private sector, civil society and intergovernmental organizations. Read more here

The WTO’s latest Trade Monitoring Report on G20 trade measures shows a slowdown in the number and coverage of trade-restrictive and trade-facilitating measures on goods implemented by G20 countries between mid-May and mid-October 2020. Read more here.

The UK and Canada reached a deal to roll over existing market access commitments once the UK leaves the EU and have agreed to start negotiations on a more advanced deal. Read this Bloomberg story here.

Private sector representation within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is set to receive a further boost. This week, a Headquarters Agreement between Barbados and the CARICOM Private Sector Organisation (CPSO) was signed. It should be recalled that October 29, 2020 the CPSO was made an associate institution of CARICOM. Read more

REGIONAL NEWS

Barbados and CARICOM Private Sector Organisation Sign Headquarters Agreement

Foreign.gov.bb: Efforts to further strengthen the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) were facilitated today, with the signing of a Headquarters Agreement between Barbados and the CARICOM Private Sector Organisation (CPSO). Read more

Cuba, France prepare meeting of the Bilateral Economic Commission

Prensa Latina: Both nations’ authorities have expressed at different times the will to strengthen economic-commercial ties, which on the French side is expressed in efforts of that country’s Directorate General of the Treasury and the French Agency for Development, which both encourage French entrepreneurs to negotiate with their Cuban counterparts. Read more

Cuba Expert Says Don’t Expect Any Big Relationship Change When Joe Biden Takes Office

CBS: The Cuba dilemma has dogged every president since Dwight Eisenhower. Former President Barack Obama made dramatic moves to reach out to the Castro regime netting little return from the Cubans. President Donald Trump rolled back those initiatives. Read more

US organizations to seek rapprochement with Cuba

Prensa Latina: US organizations said on Tuesday that there is an opportunity for the Biden administration to reverse Trump’s harmful policies on Cuba and adopt the normalization policy from the Obama era. Read more

CARICOM encouraging use of electric vehicles throughout the region

TV6TNT: The Caricom Secretariat has designated November ‘Energy Month’ and has teamed up with the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency and the Technical Assistance Programme for Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean to host a virtual Electric Vehicle demonstration event tomorrow. Read more

Real estate boost from Barbados Welcome Stamp

Barbados Today: The northern parish of St James is currently the preferred location for individuals taking advantage of the 12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp initiative. Read more

Study says Cayman is responsible for 16.5% of global tax losses per yr

LoopCayman: An inaugural annual study by a UK-based global advocacy group says that the Cayman Islands is responsible for the biggest share of countries’ tax losses globally, amounting to 16.5 per cent of global tax losses or over $70 billion a year. Read more

All-of-government approach to improve business environment, says Dunn

Jamaica Observer: State Minister for Industry, Investment and Commerce, Dr Norman Dunn says that an “all-of-Government” approach is being employed to improve the trade and business environment. Read more

Jamaica Coffee Commanding Smaller Share Of Japanese Market

The Gleaner: Jamaica hopes to keep its luxury coffee exports to Japan on par with previous years, but the latest data shows its losing ground to coffee imports from richer non-coffee producing nations. Read more

Electronic Single Window for Trade coming – President Ali

DPI: His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali has announced that an Electronic Single Window for Trade will soon be established to improve trade facilitation and the ease of doing business in Guyana. Read more

Guyanese American Chamber of Commerce webinar

SFCN: The recently held Guyanese American Chamber of Commerce (GACC) webinar which discussed expanding Guyanese exports to the United States offered useful information and advice to exporters from the South American republic. Read more

Informal cattle trade back on again

Amandala: More than thirty years ago, Belize’s cattle ranchers began supplying enough beef to meet the country’s needs, and after enabling self-sufficiency in the local meat market, the leaders of the industry began looking for markets abroad, in Mexico and Guatemala, so that they could expand their herds. Read more

Tough times ahead in tourism

Nation News: A veteran hotelier says COVID-19 could be the worst crisis to have ever hit the tourism sector in Barbados and it will be rough going for the next six to eight months. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Wealthy countries block COVID-19 drugs rights waiver at WTO – sources

Reuters: Wealthy nations on Friday reiterated their opposition to a proposal to waive intellectual property rules for COVID-19 drugs, three trade sources said, despite pressure to make an exception to improve access to drugs for poorer countries. Read more

WTO sees trade rebound, but likely year-end slowdown

Reuters: The World Trade Organization said on Friday global trade in goods had rebounded in the third quarter from COVID-19 lockdowns, but predicted a slowdown at the end of 2020. Read more

UK secures vital rollover trade deal with Canada and agrees to start negotiating more advanced deal next year

Gov.uk: International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has today secured an agreement for a continuity trade deal with “friend and ally” Canada. Read more

Brexit latest: ‘Better progress’ in EU trade talks but differences still remain with time running out

iNews: Ursula von der Leyen said there were still ‘quite some metres to the finish’ but insisted there had been ‘more movement’ on important issues. Read more

UK, Canada could announce free trade deal within days

Al Jazeera: The UK is negotiating several bilateral trade deals to come into force once it exits a transition arrangement with the EU at the end of the year. Read more

WTO Members Preview Structured Discussions on Trade and Environmental Sustainability

IISD: The second day of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade and Environment Week started with an event organized by Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, the EU, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, and Chinese Taipei ahead of the launch of the ‘Structured Discussions on Trade and Environmental Sustainability.’ Read more

Hong Kong strives to join regional trade deal RCEP, says Finance Secretary

Strait Times: Hong Kong hopes to be part of the first group of economies to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) after the agreement takes effect, Financial Secretary Paul Chan said in a blog post on his website on Sunday (Nov 22). Read more

Taiwan, Frozen Out of RCEP, Explores Trade Agreement Options With US

The Diplomat: Taiwan reiterated Sunday its desire to join the CPTPP, and negotiators are in Washington this week hammering out a potential free trade agreement with the United States. Read more

Taiwan exports set to suffer from RCEP trade deal exclusion

SCMP: Business leaders fear Taiwan could lose its competitive edge after being left on the sidelines of the region’s largest free trading bloc, formed by China and 14 other countries. Read more

Commission launches new complaints system to fight trade barriers and violations of sustainable trade commitments

EU: The European Commission has today launched a new complaints system for reporting market access barriers and breaches of Trade and Sustainable Development commitments in the EU’s trade agreements and under the Generalised Scheme of Preferences. 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: