Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development News Digest for the week of June 20-26, 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
According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), first quarter 2021 global merchandise trade “continued to bounce back from its collapse earlier in the pandemic, but the pace of recovery has diverged strongly across countries and regions.” Read more here.
In its latest World Investment Report (2021) released this week, UNCTAD revealed that “foreign direct investment flows plunged globally by 35% in 2020 to $1 trillion, with fall heavily skewed towards developed economies, where FDI fell by 58%. UNCTAD predicts a recovery in 2021, but uncertainty remains. Read the full report here.
The UK and CPTPP nations will formally commence negotiations for the UK’s accession to that trading bloc. Read more here.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) held its June meetings this week. Among the outcome documents, Barbados, Jamaica, and Cayman Islands remain on its list of jurisdictions subject to increased monitoring (the FATF greylist) and Haiti was added. This and other outcome documents from the June meetings may be accessed here.
IFC Review’s Big Debate on “Is the G7 tax initiative another form of economic colonialism”?
I’m delighted to have been one of the contributors to IFC Review’s Big Debate on “Is the G7 tax initiative another form of economic colonialism?” Read the varying reflections of myself and others on this topic here.
Local content requirements not restrictive to CARICOM investment
South Florida Caribbean News: The requirements for certain levels of local content involvement in investment and development projects in Guyana should not in any way negatively impact investment by businesses from CARICOM member states which want to do business with its South American sister CARICOM member state. Read more
Grenada’s Prime Minister spearheads CARICOM engagement with Telecoms Providers on removal of Roaming Charges
CARICOM: Grenada’s Prime Minister, Dr. the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell is spearheading a CARICOM initiative to eliminate roaming charges for Caribbean nationals traveling within the region. Read more
Haiti, Other CARICOM Member States on Allocation Plan for Second Tranche of Vaccines From US
CARICOM: Haiti, and other CARICOM Member States are among countries that will receive vaccines from the 55 million doses that the United States will share through the COVAX Facility. The doses are the remainder of the 80 million that President Joe Biden had pledged to allocate by the end of June. Earlier in the month, the US had indicated its allocation plan for the first 25 million doses to be shared globally. Read more
CDB president wants Caribbean institutions to advance regional development agenda
Jamaica Observer: President of the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr Gene Leon, has proposed the formation of a regional action group, combining the strengths and capacity of key regional institutions to drive the Caribbean’s economic and social development agenda. Read more
Cement shortage in Grenada
Nation News: Grenada is seeking permission from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) to be allowed to import cement from outside of the region because the main supplier in Trinidad and Tobago is not exporting product because of reduced business activities linked to containing and controlling the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the neighbouring CARICOM country. Read more
Approximately 500 head of cattle to be exported from Belize to Mexico next week
BBN: Next week Belizean cattle farmers will be exporting approximately 500 head of cattle to Mexico as formal cattle exports to the neighboring countries continue and as the government negotiates a partial-scope agreement with Mexico. Read more
National strategy for commodities, especially sugar, recommended
Demerara Waves: An International Labour Organisation (ILO)-supported study on the impact of the closure of four of Guyana’s sugar estates has recommended the crafting of a strategy to withstand market volatility of commodities and gear up the sugar industry to invest in ethanol production. Read more
Barbados making a case for keeping corporate tax rate amid global move
Barbados Today: Barbados is mounting a case against the introduction of a global minimum corporate tax rate that would see the island having to almost triple its current rate and lose its status as a low-tax jurisdiction. Read more
Senator Adams: Choose to respond positively
Barbados Advocate: One Barbados government senator believes Barbados can still profit from the international business sector regardless of the stipulations being imposed by the European Union and other international organisations. Read more
Association of Jamaicans in China Continues to Provide Support
JIS: Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, says the Association of Jamaicans in China will continue to be leveraged as an outreach mechanism, which complements the Diplomatic Mission, to serve nationals residing in the Asian country. Read more
Honorary Investment Advisor appointed for Toronto, Canada
JIS: JAMPRO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT) have officially appointed Mr. Jerrold Johnson to be Jamaica’s Honorary Investment Advisor (HIA) for Toronto, Canada. Johnson will work to promote Jamaican investment opportunities in Toronto and will facilitate business connections to attract investment to Jamaica. Read more
Gov’t Provides Greater Safeguards For Brand Jamaica
JIS: The Government is providing greater safeguards for brand Jamaica on the international marketplace through passage of amendments to the Trade Marks Act in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (June 1). Read more
Global Jamaica Diaspora Councils Operationalised
JIS: The Global Jamaica Diaspora Council and the Global Jamaica Diaspora Youth Council have been operationalised following the establishment of working groups and the preparation of a programme to guide their work. Read more
WTO to hold key meeting of trade ministers on July 15 over fisheries subsidies
Business Today: The aim is to conclude the negotiations soon and after that, a text is finalised so that an agreement on fisheries can be reached in the forthcoming ministerial meet of WTO in December in Geneva. Read more
UK begins talks to join Asia-Pacific CPTPP trade treaty
The Guardian: The UK is beginning negotiations to join a free trade alliance with Asia-Pacific countries, a key part of its attempts to pivot trade away from Europe after Brexit. Read more
Brexit: Irish fishing fleet stages protest over EU-UK trade deal
BBC: People working in the Irish fishing industry are protesting at Dublin Port over the impact of the Brexit deal. Read more
What’s behind China’s anti-dumping complaint against Australia at the World Trade Organization?
ABC (Australia): On Thursday, China’s government suddenly announced it would raise a dispute at the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Australian anti-dumping duties on three of its exports. Read more
Building business engagement ahead of the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference
ICC: ICC joined business leaders and World Trade Organization (WTO) Ambassadors to discuss and exchange ideas on ensuring the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Read more
WTO head says South Africa, Senegal, Rwanda and Nigeria considered as vaccine production hubs
Reuters: Africa is working with the European Union and other partners to help create regional vaccine manufacturing hubs in South Africa, Senegal and Rwanda, with Nigeria under consideration, World Trade Organization Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said. Read more
Global minimum tax faces ‘long and rocky path’ to implementation after G20 endorsement
SCMP: A new global minimum corporate tax could take up to five years to come into effect if endorsed by the Group of 20 (G20), with countries such as India likely to be beneficiaries, tax consultants say. Read more
Taiwan, U.S. to hold long-stalled trade talks next week
Reuters: Taiwan and the United States will hold trade talks next week, the de facto U.S. embassy in Taipei said on Friday, resuming long-stalled discussions as Washington seeks to deepen its support for the Chinese-claimed island. Read more
Scotch whisky tariffs suspended in UK-US trade deal
BBC: The Scotch whisky industry has welcomed the suspension of US tariffs on its products after the UK and US resolved a long-running trade row over subsidies given to Airbus and Boeing. Read more
U.S. trade nominee urges ‘robust monitoring’ of aircraft subsidy truce with EU
Reuters: The United States must carry out “robust monitoring” of its five-year truce with the European Union in a 17-year battle over aircraft subsidies, Jayme White, President Joe Biden’s nominee to serve as deputy U.S. Trade Representative, said on Thursday. Read more
U.S. trade boss Tai: We will not incentivize firms to move jobs overseas
Reuters: The Biden administration said on Monday it was working closely with the United Autoworkers union in pressing Mexico to probe alleged labor rights violations at a General Motors Co (GM.N) plant in that country, and vowed to fight for a worker-focused trade policy. Read more
China slams‘bandit-like’ US over trade restrictions on Xinjiang firms
SCMP: China on Friday hit out at a “bandit-like” US government after Washington banned imports of solar panel materials from a Chinese company and placed trade restrictions on four others for alleged use of forced labour in Xinjiang. Read more
Economy Minister says Brazil has “major problem” with Argentina in MERCOSUR negotiations
The Rio Times: The Minister also complained that international criticism of Brazil, supposedly for environmental issues, is really motivated by protectionism. Read more
Chemical industry calls for current MERCOSUR rules to be respected in TEC revision
The Rio Times: The joint document expresses concerns of domestic chemical firms in Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay, which fear competition from abroad if tariffs are reduced. Read more
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