Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development News Digest for the week of May 23-29, 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.
THIS WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS
Global merchandise trade is continuing to recover in 2021 following a steep COVID-19 related drop in the second quarter of last year, according to the latest WTO Goods Trade Barometer released on 28 May. Read more here.
The G7 Trade Ministers held their first meeting under the inaugural G7 Trade Track. The Joint Communiqué issued may be read here and the Chair’s Statement can be accessed here.
According to Guardian (UK) reportng, Switzerland has walked out of talks on a closer trading relationship with the European Union (EU). Read the full story here.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), in its latest Caribbean Quarterly Bulletin entitled “Imagining a Post-COVID Tourism Recovery: Regional Overview”, has called on Caribbean countries to undertake reforms to better position their tourism sectors to take advantage of the post-COVID-19 global tourism recovery when it occurs. Read the report here.
Coming up this week will be the Fifty-Second Ministerial Meeting of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on 1-2 June 2021.
Call for Blogs – Afronomicslaw Symposium: Prospects for Deepening Africa-Caribbean Economic Relations (Deadline: June 4)
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 blog contributions which critically analyze and examine this relationship from a variety of perspectives. Read the full Call for Blogs here.
Export revenues up more than 10 percent for first four months of 2021
Breaking Belize News: Belize’s revenues made from exports were up more than 10 percent for the first four months of 2021, according to new data published by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). Read more
Clean and Green – The New Economy Set to Transform the Caribbean
Caribbean Export: Seismic shifts are taking place in the global economic architecture as countries accelerate efforts to transition clean and green economies. In 2015, at the United Nations Climate Change Conference known as COP21, world leaders signed the landmark Paris Agreement. Read more
Trinidad & Tobago’s Trade Ministry tells businesses: Seek opportunities in UK, Cariforum trade
Newsday (T&T): Officials of the Trade and Industry Ministry encouraged local business people on Thursday to continue to explore potential investment opportunities in the United Kingdom. They did so during a virtual awareness session hosted by the ministry on the Cariforum-UK Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) for exporters in the manufacturing and services sectors. Read more
Trade between US, Jamaica remains resilient during COVID-19, says US official
Jamaica Observer: Chargé d’Affaires at the United States Embassy in Kingston, John McIntyre, says trade between the US and Jamaica has remained resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more
Jamaica – US$0.50 per Pound Levy on Exported Conch
JIS: A levy of US$0.50 has been imposed on each pound of conch exported during the 2021 conch season. Read more
Jamaica announces plans to strengthen relations with Africa through trade, investment and tourism
The Voice: Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced plans to strengthen relations between Jamaica and Africa. Speaking during a webinar to mark Africa Day, the Prime Minister said there are notable opportunities for trade and investment between Africa and the Caribbean region. He also noted tourism links and connectivity would be vital going forward. Read more
Anti-Illicit Trade Task Force appointed in Trinidad & Tobago
Daily Express: Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry, appointed eleven (11) members to the Anti-Illicit Trade Task Force (AITTF) at its Inaugural Virtual Meeting on May 17, 2021. Read more
Dominican exporters see a hub in rebuilt port
Dominican Today: Dominican Exporters Association (Adoexpo) president Elizabeth Mena, highlighted the positive impact that the rehabilitation of the port of Barahona will have in their sector. Read more
Guyana government discussing regional energy corridor with Suriname, Brazil, French Guiana
Newsroom: The government is in talks with some of its neighbours to create a regional energy corridor, linking Guyana’s energy infrastructure to Suriname, Northern Brazil and French Guiana. Read more
Guyana-Canada discuss investment
MENAFM: Minister of agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha on Monday received a courtesy call from Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, H.E. Mark Berman, during which they discussed the many lucrative opportunities in this sector for both local and international investors, according to Department of Public Information, Guyana (DPI). Read more
GO-Invest launches “Invest 55”
Guyana Times: The Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) has launched “Invest 55” in observance of Guyana’s 55th Independence Anniversary. The project aims to promote investment opportunities here through global partnerships, increased competitiveness, while globalising Guyana’s economic sectors. Read more
Advantages of nearshoring in Barbados
Barbados Advocate: Reasons why nearshoring in Barbados would be beneficial to financial services and technology firms came into sharp focus on Wednesday during an online webinar. Read more
BVI leads conversations on UN support for Caribbean sustainability and resilience
WIC News: The British Virgin Islands (BVI) has led the regional talks on the United Nations’ comparative advantage of supporting the Caribbean Islands in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Read more
Increased tariff on soaps in keeping with COTED ruling – Finance Ministry
Newsroom: The Ministry of Finance has taken note of a release by the A Partnership for National Unity /Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) leadership which attempts to convey that party’s indignation at a notice published by the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) regarding Guyana’s intended reinstatement of CARICOM’s Common External Tariff (CET) on soaps falling under the tariff heading HS 3401. Read more
Call for unity between Caribbean countries and Africa
Barbados Advocate: Former Prime Minister of Jamaica, P. J. Patterson suggests in order for Africa and the Caribbean to overcome the deficit and legacy of slavery, the two must work together in unity, purpose and action. Read more
Incoming Caricom secretary general sets priorities
Jamaica Observer: The incoming Caribbean Community (Caricom) secretary general, Dr Carla Barnett, says one of her first priorities will be to extend outreach of the 15-member regional integration grouping as well as implementation across member states. Read more
What’s the future of EU-Swiss relations now talks have collapsed?
Euronews: Switzerland, a small nation of 8.6 million at the heart of Europe, is surrounded by European Union countries. So why has the Swiss government just pulled out of a seven-year negotiation with the EU to modernise the pair’s relationship? Read more
G7 criticises nations who undermine global trade in rallying cry for reform
Reuters: Trade ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) wealthy nations criticised countries who undermine the global trading system and called for democratic states to rally behind reforms of the international trade rulebook. Read more
Brexit: EU-UK ‘compromise needed for NI Protocol to work’
BBC: The EU and the UK will need to make significant compromises if they want the NI Protocol to work, the former head of the NI Civil Service has said. Read more
British exports worth billions have faced EU tariffs since Brexit
BBC: British exports worth billions of pounds have faced tariffs on trade with the EU since Brexit, according to an analysis of official EU statistics. Read more
UK eyes post-Brexit trade deals with Gulf states
CITY AM: The UK is setting its sights on a trade deal with oil-rich Gulf states as ministers close in on an investment deal with Abu Dhabi. Read more
Brexit exclusive: UK-Norway trade deal close to collapsing as Christian-Democrats block pact to protect farmers from British beef and cheese
City AM: A comprehensive free trade deal between the UK and Norway is at risk of collapsing as the Christian Democrat party fears such a pact would hit farmers in Scandinavia’s richest country too hard. Read more
Africa’s free trade area offers great promise. But only if risks are managed with resolve
The Conversation: For all its stutters and missteps, there can be little argument that the European Union (EU) has largely lived up to its ambitious billing: to create stability and growth on a continent that, for a period, was dangerously prone to nationalism and conflict. Read more
ICC joined Trade Law Centre (TRALAC), UPS and West Blue Consulting to launch the eTradeHubs portal, a one-stop-shop for trade tools and information in Africa.
ICC: The Women Traders in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), a partnership formed by ICC, TRALAC, UPS, and West Blue Consulting, launched the eTradeHubs portal today to mobilise women small business owners in the AfCFTA. The portal provides timely information, trade management tools and supply chain information related to the AfCFTA to business owners in the region. Read more
Why the extent of intra-African trade is much higher than commonly believed—and what this means for the AfCFTA
Brookings Institute: Intra-African trade is widely perceived as low compared to other regions of the world, an argument made ad nauseum in both academic and policymaking circles. Some observers are especially disparaging about its potential. Read more
Australia’s wine industry prepares to call in World Trade Organization over China tariffs
ABC (Australia): Australia is on the cusp of calling in the independent global trade umpire to resolve a major dispute with China. Read more
Canada’s 2021 Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) Model
Govt of Canada: The Government of Canada has updated its model Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA). This new modernized and inclusive model FIPA text will serve as the basis for Canada’s future FIPA negotiations, and represents the first comprehensive revision since 2003. Read more
U.S. requests dispute settlement panel on Canadian dairy quotas under USMCA trade deal
Reuters: The Biden administration on Tuesday escalated a simmering trade dispute with Canada over dairy import quotas, requesting that the first dispute settlement panel under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement be formed to review the matter. Read more
Canada’s oldest oil and gas trade association to drop ‘oil’ from its name in bid to alter image
CBC: After 72 years, Canada’s oldest oil and gas trade association is announcing a new brand and mandate on Thursday, including the removal of the word “oil” from its name. Read more
Canada’s cattle sector on guard as beef-labelling talk returns in the U.S.
CBC: In the annals of North American trade disputes, the fight over mandatory country-of-origin labelling on beef and pork probably deserves its own chapter. Read more
New Zealand backs Australia in trade spat with China ahead of Ardern-Morrison meeting
Swissinfo.ch: Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrived in New Zealand on Sunday for high-level talks hours after the country’s government chose to support Canberra in its dispute with China on barley tariffs, signalling good will to work on differences in how to approach Beijing. Read more
Liz Truss calls on G7 partners to modernise World Trade Organization
Gov.uk: The International Trade Secretary will use the UK-hosted G7 Trade Ministerial meeting this week (27 to 28 May) to rally the world’s leading democracies to the cause of WTO reform. Read more
China’s trade surplus over $34b in April
CGTN: China’s international goods and services trade surplus stood at 220.1 billion yuan (about $34.47 billion) in April, official data showed on Friday. Read more
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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:
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