October 22, 2021

Caribbean Trade and Development News Digest – October 3-9, 2021

Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development News Digest for the week of October 3-9, 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

This week October 3-7, Barbados made history by hosting the 15th session of the UNCTAD (UNCTAD-15), and becoming the smallest State and first Caribbean country to do so. ALthough primarily a virtual event, some high level delegates attended in person, including UN SG Antonio Guterres, UNCTAD SG Rebeca Gynspan, Commonwealth SG Dame Patricia Scotland and Caribbean Comunity (CARICOM) SG Dr. Carla Barnett.

Barbados’ Prime Minister the Hon. Mia A. Mottley has assumed the presidency of UNCTAD for the next three years, taking over from Kenya which was the chair of the UNCTAD 14. The main outcome documents – the Bridgetown Covenant and the Spirit of Speightstown– adopted by the Conference at the closing plenary, as well as the other outcome documents may be accessed here.

Global deal on tax reform reached

On October 8, 136 jurisdictions (out of the 140 members of the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on BEPS) joined the Statement on the Two-Pillar Solution to Address the Tax Challenges Arising from the Digitalisation of the Economy which updates and finalises a July political agreement by members of the Inclusive Framework to fundamentally reform international tax rules. Read more here

REGIONAL NEWS

Barbados and Guyana seek common ground in bilateral talks

Nation News: Barbados and Guyana held bilateral talks on several issues on the sidelines of the 15th session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD 15) at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. Read more

Barbados Reiterates Call For Concessional Financing

Barbados Govt: Concessional financing is necessary for Barbados and other small island developing states (SIDS) to adapt to the economic and environmental shocks brought about by climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

Nigeria exploring business opportunities with Jamaica

JIS: Nigeria is exploring opportunities for greater trade and business linkages with Jamaica, says Nigerian High Commissioner, Dr. Maureen Tamuno. Read more

Afreximbank and Government of Barbados enter milestone understanding for Africa diaspora trade ties

Barbados Today: African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Government of Barbados have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expand trade and investment links between Africa and the Caribbean island state. Read more

Kenya, Barbados sign bilateral agreements on aviation, trade

Star (Kenya): Kenya and Barbados have signed three key bilateral agreements for cooperation in aviation, environmental conservation, trade and investment. Read more

ESW to ease business facilitation in Barbados

Barbados Today: Barbadians involved in the business of imports and exports will find it easier in the coming months to do business across the public sector when over two dozen government departments are merged into an Electronic Single Window (ESW). Read more

Mottley: Revamp ‘outdated, unfair’ global trade system

Barbados Today: Presiding over UNCTAD15, Prime Minister Mia Mottley has advocated a complete revamp in the way in which the global trade system is run. Read more

Plans to trade in local dollars within the region

Barbados Today: If all goes according to plan, Barbados and other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) states could soon be trading with each other in their own local currency instead of US dollars. Read more

PM Mottley outlines way forward following UNCTAD 15

LoopBarbados: Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has identified a number of initiatives to be worked on after the staging of UNCTAD 15 in Barbados, including three upcoming fora on trade logistics, investment and the creative industries. Read more

PM Briceno Returns from an Official Trip to Mexico

LoveFM: Prime Minister John Briceno returned home over the weekend after heading a delegation in Mexico where he engaged in a series of bilateral meetings. During the five-day visit, PM Briceno and his team met with several government ministers and representatives of Mexican bodies with the aim to expand trade and investment opportunities for the Belizean economy. Here is what he told the Government Press Office on Saturday. Read more

Belize is 1 of 3 Caribbean countries that produces more than 50% of the food it consumes

BBN: As the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) celebrates the annual 16TH Caribbean Week of Agriculture (WAG), it’s good to note that Belize is one of only three countries in the Caribbean that produces more than 50 percent of the food it consumes, according to New York Carib News. The other two are Guyana and Haiti said the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Read more

Caribbean warned vulnerability to food production is stark

Jamaica Observer: A senior official of the Caricom Secretariat has warned that the current vulnerability of the food production in the region is stark, as collectively the Caribbean continues to be buffeted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the ravages of climate change, pests and plant-borne diseases and other associated maladies, however, he noted that there are indeed opportunities. Read more

Guyana, Brazil closer to further develop local agri. sector

Newsroom: Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha on Saturday met with the Secretary of State for Agriculture, Livestock and Supply of Roraima, Brazil, Mr. Aluizio Nascimento da Silva to discuss collaboration between the two countries to further develop agriculture and trade. Read more

Guyana will be aggressive on dismantling barriers to intra-regional agri trade – President

Stabroek: Guyana’s President, Irfaan Ali has called for the removal of trade barriers which he says only serve to restrict regional agricultural trade and curtail food exports and the attainment of regional food security. Read more

Guyana reiterates pledge to agricultural land for investment

NYCaribNews: President Dr. Irfaan Ali, in a virtual address to the WAG, said that providing the land is part of his administration’s efforts to guarantee that the Caribbean has enough food to feed its population. Read more

CARICOM SG wants debt reduction as part of post COVID-19 response

Jamaica Gleaner: Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Dr Carla Barnett, says an effective response to the post coronavirus (COVID-19) economic situation must include significant and broad debt reduction for all developing countries. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Trade war looms as UK set to spurn EU offer on Northern Ireland

Guardian: EU leaders urged to push back against No 10’s brinkmanship over role of European Court of Justice. Read more

Shipping crisis ‘to last until next summer’ as container vessels queue in the Channel for European ports

iNews: Giant vessels are waiting up to a week to enter some ports, following a warning from a UK minister over ‘major concerns’ about shortages in the run-up to Christmas. Read more

Containergeddon’: Supply crisis drives Walmart and rivals to hire their own ships

Reuters: The Flying Buttress once glided across the oceans carrying vital commodities like grain to all corners of the world. Read more

Regional integration offers path to resilient future, UNCTAD15 hears

UNCTAD: As multilateralism fails to provide many developing countries with the tools they need to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, regional cooperation offers hope to building back better. Read more

International trade is back, but not for all

UNCTAD: International merchandise trade is booming. Exports of many countries are growing at double digit rates and global trade has already surpassed the pre-pandemic levels of 2019. However, the global trade recovery hides an important asymmetry: small economies and the poorest countries are falling behind. Their recovery is not yet in sight. Read more

At UN trade meeting, Guterres urges ‘quantum leap in support’ for vulnerable nations

UN: Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic must be sustainable and inclusive, Secretary-General António Guterres said in remarks to a major UN trade conference which opened on Monday in Barbados, unveiling “an urgent four-point debt crisis action plan.” Read more

UK prepares for trade deal with Gulf Cooperation Council

Gov.uk:A fourteen-week consultation to seek views on a trade deal with the Gulf Cooperation Council begins. Read more

Ecuador eyes trade deals with China, Russia in bid for investment

Reuters: Ecuador is aiming to negotiate trade deals with China, Russia and South Korea in the next four years, the Andean nation’s Production and International Trade Minister said on Thursday, adding that closing a deal with the United States is a priority. Read more

China presses U.S. to cancel tariffs in test of bilateral engagement

CNBC: China said on Saturday it pressed the United States to eliminate tariffs in talks between the countries’ top trade officials that Washington saw as a test of bilateral engagement between the world’s biggest economies. Read more

Free Trade Agreement Talks with UAE, Australia Going Full Steam Ahead: Piyush Goyal

News18: Negotiations for the proposed free trade agreements (FTAs) with the UAE and Australia are “going full steam ahead” and officials of both the sides are working on the deadlines to conclude the talks, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Saturday. Read more

Piyush Goyal pushes for ASEAN FTA renegotiation

The Hindu: Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal called for a renegotiation of the India-ASEAN free trade agreement (FTA), to prevent its misuse by ‘third parties’ and remove trade restrictions as well as non-tariff barriers that he said have hurt Indian exports disproportionately since the pact was operationalised in 2010. Read more

Australia sees trade deal with EU by end-2022 -minister

Reuters: Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan said on Friday he expected to finalise a free trade agreement with the European Union by the end of next year, despite the EU’s anger over Canberra’s cancellation of a submarine contract with France. 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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