September 29, 2023

Caribbean Trade and Development News Digest – May 23-29

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.


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 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 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




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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