September 29, 2023

Caribbean Trade & Development News Digest – March 14-20, 2021

Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development News Digest for the week of March 14-20 2021! We apologise for the delay in this week’s edition and 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.


The UK released its “Global Britain in a Competitive Age” report. The UK and Canada have ratified their interim post-Brexit free trade agreement. Read more here.

Katherine Tai has been unanimously confirmed by the US Senate as the new United States Trade Representative (USTR). Read more here.

The Government of Barbados has announced that the 15th Quadrennial of UNCTAD (UNCTAD15) will be held virtually. Read more here

The UK and CARICOM held their tenth UK-CARICOM Forum. Read the communique emanating from the talks and action plan here.

My IFC Review Article: Barbados’ Welcome Stamp: A ‘Win-Win’ For ‘Stampers’ and Locals

I recently contributed an article to IFC Review on the Barbados Welcome Stamp, where I outline the benefits of this digital nomad visa for both stampers and locals. Feel free to have a read here.


Call for collective approach to marketing in the region

With the unprecedented challenges facing Caribbean countries as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Executive Director of Caribbean Export Development Agency, Deodat Maharaj, is adamant that it cannot be business as usual, and that there must be a collective approach to how regional firms market and sell their products to the world. Read more

Why President Biden should follow CARICOM’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic

Global Americans: Fortunately for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), U.S. President Joe Biden has committed to re-engaging with multilateral organizations. Equally fortunate for the United States, CARICOM members have laid the groundwork on how a state or states should engage in multilateralism. Read more

MSMEs To Benefit From Capacity-Building Interventions

JIS: Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) operating in the food industry are among stakeholders to benefit from capacity-building interventions, including improved market access, under the National Certification Body of Jamaica (NCBJ) Food Safety Management System Expansion Project. Read more

JMEA welcomes removal of CAF on exports less than $500 US

Jamaica Observer: The Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA) is commending the Government on the removal of the Customs Administrative Fee (CAF), for exports bearing a value less than or equal to US$500. Read more

Husbands: Take a regional approach

Barbados Advocate: With projections that trillions of dollars are being generated from converting waste into new products, a Barbados Government Minister does not want this country to be left behind. Read more

Barbados to open new diplomatic offices in Kenya, Ghana and UAE

Barbados Today: Barbados will open new diplomatic offices in Kenya, Ghana and United Arab Emirates, while at the same time extending its diplomatic mission in Asia. Read more

Eximbank helping Trinidad and Tobago’s covid19 response

TT Newsday: The Export Import Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (Eximbank) has been playing its part to ensure that adequate supplies of food, medicine, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other vital commodities could be imported into TT during the covid19 pandemic. Read more

Caribbean Airlines Cargo, exporTT partner to bolster Trinidad & Tobago’s export industry

STAT Trade Times: Caribbean Airlines Cargo has partnered with exporTT to better connect Trinidad and Tobago businesses to regional and international markets. A strategic alignment has been formed operating on the understanding that both organisations share similar goals and service many of the same clients. The areas of focus for the partnership will be information sharing, incentives and joint export promotions. Read more

CDB – EU building capacity in Jamaica to improve export performance

MenaFM: Greater food safety is the goal of a new project recently launched in Jamaica by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ). The two-year activity will seek to provide BSJ’s subsidiary the National Certification Body of Jamaica (NCBJ) with capacity-building resources to assist and strengthen the country’s production of safe food products for local consumption and export. Read more

CELAC supports CARICOM call for Global Vaccine Summit

CARICOM: The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) welcomes the support of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) for its call for a global summit to address urgently the issue of equitable access and distribution of vaccines to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

Barbados, Belize PMs hail ‘essential’ GCF role in Caribbean

Green Climate Fund: Caribbean leaders warned the region is facing the twin threats of climate change and COVID-19 during the Green Climate Fund’s (GCF’s) Regional Dialogue with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Read more

UK Caribbean Forum recognises the challenges facing the region

SKNVibes: On Thursday 18 March, Hon Mark Brantley joined other Foreign Ministers from CARICOM countries, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, and ministerial counterparts from the UK at the Tenth UK Caribbean Forum, the first to take place in a virtual space. Also attending were the Premiers of the British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean and Secretary General of CARICOM, Irwin La Roque. Read more


WTO Domestic Regulation in Services Talks Note Similar Goals with Regional FTAs

IISD: During a virtual meeting on domestic regulation in services, members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) noted that several disciplines currently under negotiation at the WTO share the same goals as those of regional trade agreements such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Read more

The new EU trade strategy: What’s actually new?

Euractiv: The new EU trade strategy unveiled by the European Commission contains much to be welcomed, but not much that is new, writes Isabelle Brachet. Read more

UK exports to Europe fall 41% as Brexit hits trade

CNN: Britain’s exports to Europe collapsed in January as companies grappled with new terms of trade following Brexit. Read more

EU Begins Legal Action Against U.K. Over Brexit Violation

Bloomberg: The European Union launched legal action against the U.K. in a major escalation of tensions between the two sides less than three months after Brexit was formally completed. Read more

Barley battle: Australia wants WTO to step in over China trade ban

Sydney Morning Herald: Australia will ask the World Trade Organisation to decide if China broke free trade rules over tariffs that wiped out Australia’s barley trade with the Asian nation, after negotiations between officials from both countries broke down. Read more

Aid for Trade: time to take stock of Covid-19’s impact

EIF: A year into Covid-19 being declared a global pandemic, this month’s Aid for Trade stocktaking event, organized by the Development Division of the World Trade Organization (WTO), offers a timely opportunity to assess impact on developing and least developed countries’ (LDC) trade needs, discuss how to make the recovery sustainable and mobilize financing where it is needed most. Read more

FTA partners upset over India’s new rules to trace goods’ origin

Livemint: India’s free trade partners have raised concerns at the World Trade Organization (WTO) that its insistence on additional documents to determine the origin of imported goods could raise non-tariff barriers to trade. Countries such as Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka have sought clarifications on the new rules during India’s quadrennial trade policy review (TPR) at WTO. Read more

Waive COVID vaccine patents to benefit poor nations, activists say

Reuters: Doctors Without Borders (MSF) staged a protest at the World Trade Organization on Thursday against what it said was the rich world’s reluctance to waive patents and allow more production of COVID-19 vaccines for poorer nations. Read more

U.S. appeals WTO decision in South Korea trade dispute, official says

Reuters: The United States has appealed against a World Trade Organization recommendation that Washington revise a series of duties imposed on South Korea under then President Barack Obama, a WTO official said on Friday. Read more

Canada ratifies interim post-Brexit free trade deal with U.K.

RCI: Canada has ratified an interim post-Brexit free trade agreement with the United Kingdom that will allow the two countries to continue trading virtually tariff-free while Ottawa and London work on a more permanent trade deal, International Trade Minister Mary Ng announced Friday. Read more

Analysis: Twenty years on, EU turns cold on Mercosur trade deal

Reuters: As the European Union looks forward to a fresh start with the United States under a new president, it is riddled with doubts over another transatlantic relationship. Read more

Norway and China Strive to Complete Free Trade Agreement Negotiations

China Briefing: Norway and China held a video conference on March 11, 2021, between their chief trade negotiators, with a view to concluding a free trade agreement (FTA) in the near future. Read more



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:


The Caribbean Trade Law and Development Blog is owned and was founded by Alicia Nicholls, B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc. (Dist.), LL.B. (Hons), a Caribbean-based trade and development consultant. She writes and presents regularly on trade and development matters affecting the Caribbean and other small states. You can follow her on Twitter @LicyLaw. All views expressed on this Blog are Alicia's personal views and do NOT necessarily reflect the views of any institution or entity with which she may from time to time be affiliated.

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