September 29, 2023

Caribbean Trade and Development News Digest – April 18-25, 2021

Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development News Digest for the week of April 18-25, 2021! 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.


CARICOM foreign ministers met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a virtual forum. Read more here.

A new UNCTAD feasibility study looks at how voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) could help CARICOM members boost export potential to the European Union. Access the study here.

We wish to congratulate Ambassador Dr. Richard Bernal on his appointment to the Leadership Council of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Read more here.

Finally, we wish to share our solidarity with the people of India who are enduring a deep and deadly second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. India donated the first set of vaccines to Barbados which was critical in the start of our vaccination programme. We keep our Indian brothers and sisters in our prayers.

Afronomicslaw Symposium: Prospects for Deepening Africa-Caribbean Economic Relations – Call for Blogs (Deadline: May 14)

Given the limited but promising trade and investment relationship between both regions, there is a dearth of scholarly analysis on the Africa-Caribbean economic relationship. This Symposium aims to address this gap in international economic relations scholarship through considered analytical pieces exploring aspects of this understudied relationship. We invite authors to submit contributions which critically analyze and examine this relationship from a variety of perspectives. Read the full Call for Blogs here.


Secretary Blinken holds roundtable with CARICOM foreign ministers

The Daily Herald: Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met virtually with foreign ministers from the Caribbean Community CARICOM member states on Wednesday to demonstrate the United States’ commitment to working with all countries in the region to advance bilateral and regional interests. Read more

Prince Charles holds dialogue with CARICOM heads on disaster response of small states

Dominica News Online: Just days after the Duke of Edinburg’s funeral and burial, the Prince of Wales, His Royal Highness Prince Charles, on Friday, April 23, chaired a virtual round table meeting focusing on: ‘Accelerating Economic Recovery and
Sustainable Markets,’ among Small Islands States (SIDs), in response to disasters and global crisis. Read more

George Talbot is new Guyana Ambassador to CARICOM

News Source Guyana: Career Diplomat, Ambassador George Talbot has been appointed as Guyana’s new Ambassador to CARICOM. He presented his credentials to CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque on Wednesday. Read more

Bahamas was near top of tax-to-GDP ratio increase in LAC region pre-COVID, IDB study finds

Eye Witness News: The Bahamas saw the second largest increase in tax-to-GDP ratios between the two years preceding the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recently released Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) analysis. Read more

Barbados exploring ocean energy technology

Jamaica Gleaner: The Barbados government says it is considering having ocean energy technology operational on the island as part of the National Energy Policy target of 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030. Read more

Hanna wants Jamaica to promote international trade policy

Jamaica Observer: Opposition spokesperson on foreign affairs and foreign trade Lisa Hanna is urging the Government to join hands with the Opposition and the private sector to seek growth solutions by pushing a foreign policy which focuses on economic development. Read more

India in talks with Guyana for long-term crude supply

Hellenic Shipping News: India, the world’s third-largest crude consumer and importer, has approached Guyana’s government about a possible long-term deal to buy the South American country’s oil, a Guyanese official said. Read more

Suriname Hopes To Become South-America’s Newest Oil Exporter

Yahoo Finance: As Guyana prepares to become a major oil production nation the spotlight is firmly on the Guyana-Suriname Basin and the former British colony’s neighbor Suriname. After decades of poor drilling results, ExxonMobil’s slew of large high quality oil discoveries in Guyana’s offshore Stabroek Block has reignited interest in the Guyana-Suriname Basin’s oil potential. Read more

Ministries of Trade and Agriculture meet with livestock producers as Belize looks to renegotiate partial-scope agreement with Guatemala

Breaking Belize News: Belize is trying aggressively to gain more foreign exchange earnings by aggressively pursuing market opportunities in neighbouring countries. Read more

Caribbean food security during COVID-19 can only be ensured through debt relief

The Conversation: The pandemic and global trade disruptions have highlighted the growing vulnerability of Caribbean states when it comes to importing food items. Annually, Caribbean states import food items valued at nearly US$5 billion for food security. Read more


European Parliament to vote on EU-UK trade deal

Foreign Brief: The EU parliament will vote today on the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation agreement, which governs post-Brexit relations. Read more

Brexit: UK and Australia agree ‘vast majority’ of trade deal

BBC: The UK and Australia say they have agreed “the vast majority” of a free trade deal. Read more

The future of global trade – in 7 charts

WEF: Global trade is ready for a strong but uneven recovery after the shock of the pandemic, according to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Read more

WTO chief targets EU’s farm policy as part of global discussion on subsidies

Euractiv: The managing director of the World Trade Organisation, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said she wants to discuss China’s industrial subsidies but also state aid given to farmers, such as Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy, as part of efforts to improve the multilateral trading system. Read more

EU sues AstraZeneca over breach of COVID-19 vaccine supply contract

Reuters: The European Commission said on Monday it had launched legal action against AstraZeneca (AZN.L) for not respecting its contract for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines and for not having a “reliable” plan to ensure timely deliveries. Read more

U.S. Chamber sees risk of faltering Indian economy due to COVID-19 spike

Reuters: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday warned that the Indian economy – the world’s sixth largest – could falter as a result of a record spike in coronavirus cases, creating a drag for the global economy. Read more

New Zealand to open trade commission in Fiji aimed at boosting post-Covid Pacific trade

The Government plans to open a new trade commission in Fiji, with the hope of boosting post-Covid trade between New Zealand and the Pacific. The new trade diplomat will be tasked with helping New Zealand businesses and bolstering trade in Fiji and across the region, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor said on Wednesday. Read more

Top U.S. trade negotiator meets Pfizer, AstraZeneca execs on COVID-19 IP waiver

Reuters: U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Monday met virtually with top executives of drugmakers Pfizer (PFE.N) and AstraZeneca PLC (AZN.L) to discuss a proposed waiver of certain intellectual property rights in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

African trade finance sees $5 bn in portfolio outflows in Q1 2020 due to Covid-19, but opportunities exist – report

Africanews: Constrained global financial conditions caused by Covid-19 have led to massive portfolio outflows from Africa, exceeding $5 billion in the first quarter of 2020, a new continent-wide survey on trade finance has shown. About $3.1 billion left the South African market alone, the report found. Read more

Pandemic Spurs Demand For Trade Finance Capacity In Africa

Global Finance: The continent’s trade finance needs are expected to increase as the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement begins. Read more

Supporting small businesses is critical for COVID-19 recovery

UNCTAD: Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can power a stronger recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, due to their innovative and opportunity-seeking nature, but they need more support. 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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