June 19, 2021

Caribbean Trade and Development News Digest – May 30 – June 5

Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development News Digest for the week of May 30-June 5, 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

The biggest news from the G7 meetings held this week is that the grouping of some of the world’s richest nations has committed to a 15% global minimum corporate income tax rate. This development will have implications for international financial centres (IFCs), including those in the Caribbean and others around the world like the Republic of Ireland which has resisted the EU’s attempt at a minimum corporate income tax rate for that bloc.

The UK has reached a trade deal with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Read more here. The countries of the  Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) have agreed to hold accession talks with the UK, placing that country one step closer in its bid to join the trading bloc.

This week the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) held its 52nd annual meeting on June 1-2. WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala addressed the grouping.

CARICOM is among the priority regions to which the Biden Administration will provide vaccines through the COVAX Facility. Read the announcement from the White House here.

Contrary to the Obama/Biden administration, the Biden/Harris Administration has shown no sign of loosening the US’ illegal trade, financial and economic embargo on Cuba or of reversing the retightening of policies under the Trump administration. Read more here.

REGIONAL NEWS

Caricom-Mercosur Chamber to attend WHO forum on post covid-19 trade

Mercopress: The World Trade Organization (WTO) has invited the Inter-Regional CARICOM–MERCOSUR Trade Council (CCICaMe) to take part in the 2021 Public Forum “Trade after covid-19: Building Resilience,” to be held at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, it was announced. Read more

New Chamber seeking to boost Africa – Guyana trade, start direct flights

News Guyana: Guyana and other countries across the Caribbean region are being presented with a new opportunity to access Africa directly and improve trade with the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent. A newly operational African Caribbean Chambers of Trade, Commerce and Industry, has moved in the direction of CARICOM and has opened its head office along Lamaha Street, Georgetown. Read more

CARICOM SG calls for fairness in international financing for SIDS

CARICOM: CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque has made a call for fairness in international financing for Small Island Developing States (SIDs), noting that they have been experiencing a battering from climate impacts, not of their own making. Read more

Persaud highlights recommendations of CARICOM Commission on the Economy Report

Barbados Advocate: During a recent web forum, Professor Avinash Persaud, Chairman of the CARICOM Commission on the Economy, highlighted that he believes CARICOM and the region’s economy could benefit greatly from enhanced co-operation and subsidiarity. Read more

Caribbean Export, Caribbean Development Bank Join Forces to Provide Grants to MSMEs

Caribank: The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in collaboration with the European Union, have entered a partnership to support regional MSMEs with financial assistance to help businesses retool and preserve jobs. Read more

With CARICOM economies in double-digit decline, PM prescribes a remedy

Barbados Today: With ominous signs of emerging debt and other financial crises looming for Caribbean economies pummeled by the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Mia Mottley has told regional counterparts that increasing cooperation and deepening regional integration are the best options to kickstart the recovery. Read more

Barbados Minister Discusses Areas Of Cooperation With EU

BGIS: New models for climate financing, the setting up of a specialist centre in health care, and nutrition security were among the areas discussed, during a courtesy call with Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment, Marsha Caddle, and Head of Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska. Read more

A pre-taste of UNCTAD15 with flavours from Barbados

UNCTAD: With the 15th UNCTAD ministerial conference approaching, it’s time to give you a taste of what we are cooking for you. As the conference will be held online, we invite you to embark for virtual Barbados from 3 to 7 October 2021. Read more

Regulations For Cannabis Import/Export In Final Stages

JIS: Chairman of the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), LeVaughn Flynn, says the Dangerous Drugs (Cannabis Import and Export Licensing) Regulations 2020 is now in the final stages before promulgation. Read more

New loan window for SME exporters

Jamaica Gleaner: JMMB Bank has partnered with EXIM Bank on a $150-million loan window for small to medium-sized businesses, or SMEs, involved in exports. Read more

China woos Jamaican seafood exporters

Jamaica Gleaner: Chinese Ambassador Tian Qi has agreed to facilitate further exploration of the economic ties between China and Jamaica to increase exports of deep-sea foods to his country. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

UK strikes trade deal with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein

The Guardian: Digital documents to be used to cut post-Brexit paperwork under agreement hailed by Liz Truss as ‘massive boost’. Read more

UK begins process to join Asia-Pacific bloc

BBC: The 11-member Trans-Pacific Partnership trade bloc has agreed to open accession talks with the UK. The British government, which asked to join the TPP in February, said membership was a huge opportunity in a post-Brexit world. Read more

UK and Australia bid to strike trade deal by mid-June

Reuters: Britain and Australia are seeking to strike a trade agreement by mid-June, the British envoy said on Thursday, following another round of bilateral talks. Read more

EU reaches deal on tax transparency for multinational firms

Euractiv: European Union government and parliament negotiators reached a deal on Tuesday (1 June) on rules that will force large multinational companies to disclose how much revenue and tax they pay in the 27-nation bloc and how much in countries considered tax havens by the EU. Read more

EU counters Biden’s vaccine patent-waiver with WTO plan

EUObserver: The EU has submitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) a plan aimed at expanding the production of Covid-19 vaccines – which Brussels sees as a quicker and more-targeted solution to unequal global distribution of vaccines than the intellectual property right-waiver proposal backed by the US. Read more

EU’s Borrell: Palm oil issue shouldn’t hamper trade talks with Indonesia

Reuters: Ongoing negotiations between the European Union and Indonesia on a trade and investment deal should not be hampered by differences over palm oil, the EU’s top diplomat said, even as the bloc aims to phase out use of palm oil in fuel. Read more

Hungary to block EU’s Africa-Pacific trade and development deal

Reuters: Hungary cannot approve a new European Union trade and development accord with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries because it would bring more migrants into the bloc, the country’s foreign minister said on Thursday. Read more

Suez Canal disruption hits North African ports

GTR: The Suez Canal – a vital artery for global trade – was brought to a sudden standstill in March, when giant container ship Ever Given became wedged sideways across it. Read more

Uruguayan ministers travel to Paraguay to discuss flexibilization of Mercosur

Mercopress: Uruguay’s Economy Minister Azucena Arbeleche and Foreign Minister Francisco Bustillo travelled to Paraguay Friday to discuss with the local administration of President Mario Abdo Benítez new steps towards flexibilities Mercosur’s rules. Read more

Minister Guedes says Brazil favors the modernizing of Mercosur

Mercopress: “We are liberal but not stupid,” said Brazil’s Economy Minister Paulo Guedes Thursday during a virtual event where he explained that his country has no intention of leaving Mercosur, but it does want to modernize it. Read more

S. Korea, Mercosur bloc hold 6th round of FTA talks

Yonhap News Agency: South Korea on Tuesday held the sixth round of free trade talks with a group of South American countries, after around a year of hiatus amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

India to start FTA talks with UK, EU by year-end

Livemint: India may begin formal negotiations for free trade agreements (FTAs) with the United Kingdom (UK) and European Union (EU) by end of 2021 after completing ongoing preparatory work, commerce secretary Anup Wadhawan said. Read more

APEC agree with WTO call for agreement on harmful fisheries by July 31- statement

Reuters: Ministers from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade group said on Saturday that they supported the head of the World Trade Organization’s call to reach a “comprehensive and meaningful agreement” on harmful fisheries subsidies by July 31. Read more

U.S. seeks trade-pact dispute panel to probe Canada dairy quotas

BNN Bloomberg: The U.S. moved to set up a dispute-settlement panel to review Canada’s dairy quotas, which Washington alleges undermine the ability of American dairy exporters to sell a wide range of products to Canadian consumers. 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:

caribbeantradelaw

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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