October 22, 2021

Caribbean Trade and Development News Digest – September 26-October 2, 2021

Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development News Digest for the week of September 26-October 2, 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.

We continue to express our solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Haiti who were affected by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake on August 14, and then by Tropical Storm Grace just days later. Even though the international media has largely moved on from the ‘story’, our Haitian brothers and sisters still need your help. Please assist by reaching out to reputable charities/aid agencies if you are so able.

THE WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS

The WTO’s Public Forum was held this week under the theme “Trade Beyond COVID-19: Building Resilience”. Read more here.

On September 30, 2021, the USITC released its latest report on the operation of the CBERA programme. Haiti, Barbados and Grenada tied for being the countries with the highest rate of utilisation of the programme. Read about this and other findings in my article on it here.

UNCTAD 15 is finally here!

The biggest news this coming week is that from October 3-7, Barbados will be hosting the 15th session of the UNCTAD (UNCTAD-15), which was postponed from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Barbados will make history as the first Caribbean nation and the smallest State to host the UNCTAD quadrennial. Ordinarily, such an event would have led to thousands of delegates physically coming to Barbados to engage in the meetings and various side events, which would have been an important boost to our economy. However, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will be held virtually with only a small number of delegates on island, most notably the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres and UNCTAD Secretary-General, Rebeca Grynspan. You can follow the UNCTAD activities here and access the programme here.

REGIONAL NEWS

Cuba begins commercial exports of local vaccines

Jamaica Observer: Cuba has begun commercial exports of its homegrown COVID-19 vaccines, sending shipments of the three-dose Abdala vaccine to Vietnam and Venezuela. Read more

African, Caribbean nations press ahead with new partnership

Barbados Today: Trade and investment links between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the African Union are in line for major strengthening as officials of the African Import-Export Bank (Afreximbank) hold talks with officials in Bridgetown and the rest of the region. Read more

Kenya’s president to visit Barbados

Barbados Advocate: Just days after playing host to the President of the Africa Export-Import Bank, Barbados will be receiving a visit from another high-level African official as Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected on-island on Monday. Read more

Belize Prime Minister John Briceño says meeting with Mexican Employers Association was fruitful for trade and investment

BBN: Prime Minister John Briceño says meeting with Mexican Employers Association, la Confederación Patronal de la República Mexicana (Coparmex), on Tuesday during his State Visit to Mexico was fruitful. Read more

Belize delegation discusses cross-border payment systems with Banco de Mexico officials

BBN: A Belize Delegation met with officials of the Banco de México on Tuesday to discuss payment systems and banking relations between Belize and Mexico to support trade and investment with Mexico. Read more

Jamaica Gov’t pushing for front-of-package labelling

Jamaica Observer: Having easy access to information about nutritional facts and ingredients of packaged food items will enable consumers to make healthier food choices and potentially reduce the prevalence of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and obesity in Jamaica. Read more

PAHO pushing for region to produce COVID vaccines

Jamaica Observer: Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is ramping up efforts to have COVID-19 vaccines manufactured within the Latin American and Caribbean region in order to accelerate vaccination coverage and reduce dependency on global supplies. Read more

Gopee-Scoon: Trinidad and Tobago’s non-energy export market improving

Newsday: Monthly revenue generated by Trinidad and Tobago’s non-energy exports is stabilising after the negative financial effects of the pandemic. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

EU court annuls Morocco trade agreement over Western Sahara

DW: The EU Court ruled the North African country did not have the consent of the people of the Western Sahara required for the now-canceled fisheries and agricultural treaties. Read more

Asean-EU free trade deal negotiations set to resume

Bangkok Post: Asean is set to resume free trade agreement (FTA) talks with the EU after negotiations were suspended since 2009. Read more

Taiwan questions China’s suitability for Pacific trade pact, fears ‘obstruction’

Reuters: China’s restrictive practices present fundamental problems for its application to join a major pan-Pacific free trade pact, and if it joins before Taiwan there is a risk it could block their application, the island’s economy minister said. Read more

U.S. trade chief Tai will reveal Biden’s China trade strategy on Monday

CNBC: U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai will unveil the Biden administration’s long-awaited strategy for the troubled U.S.-China trade relationship in a speech on Monday at a Washington think tank, her office said. Read more

Britain’s hopes of early post-Brexit trade deal with US appear dashed

Guardian: Britain’s hopes of a post-Brexit trade deal with the US have all but evaporated barring a dramatic change of heart from Joe Biden, it emerged on Tuesday as Boris Johnson held face-to-face talks in the White House. Read more

Liz Truss: A UK-US trade deal not ‘the be all and end all’

City AM: The former international trade secretary told a fringe event at the Conservative conference in Manchester that there are many other trade agreements the UK can close post-Brexit, apart from the long coveted one with the US. Read more

India, Australia agree to conclude free trade agreement by 2022-end

Business Standard: India and Australia on Thursday agreed to conclude the long-pending free trade agreement by the end of 2022 and an early harvest trade deal by as early as December. Read more

‘A perfect storm’: supply chain crisis could blow world economy off course

Guardian: It was all going so well. Successful vaccination programmes were driving the post-pandemic recovery of the global economy, stock markets were back at record highs, and prices were rising just enough to make deflation fears a thing of the past. Read more

Britain will threaten to scrap some Northern Ireland Brexit terms

Guardian: Britain will threaten on Monday to dispense with some of the terms of its agreement overseeing post-Brexit trade with Northern Ireland, saying they have become too damaging to retain. Read more

Fishing rights row: French anger as UK rejects most permits

BBC: Fresh tensions have surfaced between Britain and France over post-Brexit fishing rights. In the latest round of applications, the UK granted just 12 licences from 47 bids for smaller vessels to fish in its territorial waters. Read more

EU postpones trade talks with Australia amid sub deal anger

Reuters: Australia’s trade minister said on Friday talks with the European Union over a trade deal have been postponed, as a row over Canberra’s decision to cancel a $40 billion deal with France escalated. Read more

Africa trade boss describes patent rules as “outdated”

Africanews: The head of the world’s biggest free trade area, AfCFTA, has described the global intellectual property rights system as “outdated” saying it is constraining Africa’s industrialisation. Read more

STRAIGHT FROM THE WTO

NEW ON THE CTLD BLOG

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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