September 29, 2023

Caribbean Trade and Development News Digest – August 15-21, 2021

Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development News Digest for the week of August 15-21, 2021! We are pleased to once again bring you the major trade and development news headlines and analysis from across the Caribbean Region and the world from the past week.

We continue to express our solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Haiti who were affected by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake last week, as well as Tropical Storm Grace. The death toll at the time of this Digest’s publication was over 1900 innocent lives lost. Please donate if you can to reputable charities and organisations.


According to the World Trade Organization’s latest Goods Trade Barometer, global merchandise trade is “continuing its robust recovery” from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic and hit a record high in its latest reading issued on August 18. Read more here.

ECLAC’s latest Foreign Direct Investment in Latin America and the Caribbean Report (2021) found that only five LAC countries received more foreign capital in 2020 than in 2019: Bahamas and Barbados in the Caribbean, Ecuador and Paraguay in South America, and Mexico. Access the full report here.

Dr. Carla Barnett, the first appointed female Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), took office this week following a virtual ceremony marking the occasion and in which she outlined her vision and priorities for her term. Read more here.

UNCTAD has issued an open call for photo submissions for UNCTAD15 which will be hosted virtually by Barbados October 3-7. See the call for submissions.


‘Demerara Rum’ gets geographical indication recognition in EU

Stabroek: Demerara Distillers Limited has succeeded in having its Demerara Rum geographical indication (GI) recognised and protected in the European Union (EU), a move the company’s Chairman, Komal Samaroo has described as a “major development”. Read more

CARICOM Secretary-General donates books to University of Belize

Breaking Belize News: As she leaves Belize’s shores for Guyana to become Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Dr. Carla Barnett is leaving behind a gift – a donation of books from her personal collection to the University of Belize Library. Read more

July arrivals set new record for Barbados for 2021

Barbados Today: Barbados recorded over 10,000 air passenger arrivals after months of being hard-hit by a global pandemic. For the first time since December 2020, the local tourism industry has recorded a major tourism milestone with the latest statistics from the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) suggesting a positive turn for the industry ahead of the 2021/2022 winter season. Read more

T&T and Chile commence negotiations to expand trade

Trinidad Guardian: Trade and Industry Minister, Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon has expressed anticipation that the Agreement will support Trinidad and Tobago’s trade policy and eliminate non-tariff barriers. The following is a press release from the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Read more

TTMA meets Cuba ambassador to talk trade

Trinidad Guardian: President of the T&T Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA) Tricia Coosal has met with Cuban Ambassador Tania Diego Olite to discuss trade and other related matters. Read more

Belize doesn’t have enough coconuts, Ministry of Agriculture looking at ways to increase production

Breaking Belize News: If we walk around town, that is in any of the cities and towns, we see a lot of coconuts. Going by that, one would think that we have excess production. However, we don’t have enough says the Minister of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise, Jose Abelardo Mai. Read more

Belize Cabinet news: Decisions on trade licenses, medical waste, and national census

Breaking Belize News: While COVID-19 dominated this week’s meeting of the National Executive as it has for so long, other decisions were made and announced. Read more

More Belize trade talks with Guatemala

Amandala: For two days last week, a delegation from the Guatemalan Republic held trade talks with the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ambassador Amalia Mai. Read more

JMEA wants more Caricom dollars

Jamaica Observer: The Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA) is looking to increase its receipts from Caricom as it believes there are still opportunities within the bloc for local companies to grow while also advancing the Jamaican economy. Read more

Communique issued after agreements between Guyana, Suriname

Newsroom: Joint communique issued on the official visit by Guyanese President to Suriname. Read here.

Latin America and Caribbean FDI in 2020 was the lowest since 2010, ECLAC annual report

Mercopress: Latin America and the Caribbean received US$105.48 billion in Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, in 2020 – 34.7% less than in 2019, 51% less than the record high achieved in 2012, and the lowest since 2010, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) indicated during the presentation of the annual “Foreign Direct Investment in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2021”. Read more


UK becomes Dialogue Partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations The UK has agreed a new partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Read more

Exclusive: UK eyes quick ‘interim’ trade deal with India as negotiations set to start this year

City AM: The UK government is looking at wrapping up a quick “interim” trade deal with India, which could see tariffs slashed on products like Scotch whisky before a full agreement is in place. Read more

Why the EU Sides with Southeast Asia in the South China Sea Dispute

VoA: European Union members will step up their advocacy of open access to the disputed South China Sea, a key world trade route, despite Chinese claims to nearly all of it as they discuss the issue with Southeast Asian countries, analysts believe. Read more

Economic Commission for Africa Director seeks ways to boost AfCFTA’s implementation as MSMEs consultation opens

Africa News: The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and communication consultancy AUNIQUEI, with funding from the European Union (EU) today in Dakar opened a consultation with African micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) on the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Read more

AfCFTA will promote made in Africa Goods — Perm Secretary

The Guardian (Nigeria): Inauguration of the Technical Working Group of the African Continental Free Trade Area ( AfCFTA) for Agriculture and Agribusiness work stream will promote made in Africa Goods and Services. Read more

Afreximbank restates commitment to AfCFTA implementation

The Guardian (Nigeria): The Regional Chief Operating Officer of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Eric Monchu Intong, has reiterated the bank’s commitment to the full implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area [AfCFTA] as it remains the guaranteed strategy for the continent to propel economic recovery. Read more

Swiss paper faulted for sexist headline about WTO chief

Expatica: A media regulator faulted a Swiss newspaper on Tuesday for sexism over a headline earlier this year describing the World Trade Organization’s highly qualified new chief merely as a “grandmother”. Read more

Toyota production cut highlights ASEAN supply chain vulnerability

Nikkei Asia: Toyota Motor’s announcement that it will slash production next month has sparked concerns over vulnerabilities in Southeast Asia’s auto supply chain as the region grapples with new variants of the coronavirus. Read more

Cheaper wine in the offing as Government close in on New Zealand trade deal

Evening Standard: The Department for International Trade said imported wine, apples and honey could all see their prices slashed in a post-Brexit agreement. Read more

GM workers in Mexico reject union in win for US free trade pact

Al Jazeera: Workers at a General Motors Co. truck plant in Mexico voted to cancel their union contract after the U.S. initiated a dispute against conditions at the factory, a historic victory for the North American free trade agreement. 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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