Happy New Year to all readers! Welcome to our first Caribbean Trade and Development News Digest for the year, covering the week of January 23-30, 2022! We’re back from our much needed and restful extended holiday hiatus and 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.
The year has started amidst much uncertainty with escalating geopolitical tensions (e.g: US/Russia over Ukraine) and the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, global supply chain disruptions, worsening climate concerns, lingering Brexit issues and longstanding issues to be resolved in the WTO among the issues we’ll be following this year.
We do hope you enjoy this week’s edition!
THIS WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS
The Second Colombia-CARICOM summit took place on January 28, 2022. The Declaration of Barranquilla coming out of the summit may be accessed here.
A recently released joint study by the World Bank and the WTO highlighted the key role played by trade in reducing poverty but noting that further measures are needed to support developing countries’ use of trade as a tool for growth. Read more here.
In its annual report entitled ‘Preliminary Overview of the Economies 2021’, ECLAC has called 2022 a year of major challenges for growth, job creation and tackling the pandemic’s social toll. Read more here.
His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, and Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland, have today announced the week of 20 June 2022 as the new date agreed with member countries for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). Read more here.
Brazil wants to team Guyana and Suriname oil and gas in a regional energy corridor
Mercopress: Brazil is betting strongly to become the main player in the development of oil and gas production in its northeast corner, where the state of Amapá shares proximity with French Guiana, Suriname, and Guyana, these two of which are set to become significant players in the hydrocarbons business. Read more
Belize co-chairs successful Colombia-CARICOM Ministerial Summit
BBN: Оn Јаnuаrу 28, Міnіѕtеr оf Fоrеіgn Аffаіrѕ оf Веlіzе Еаmоn Соurtеnау аnd Соlоmbіаn соuntеrраrt Маrtа Luсíа Rаmírеz со-сhаіrеd thе ѕесоnd Соlоmbіа-САRІСОМ Міnіѕtеrіаl Ѕummіt іn Ваrrаnquіllа, Соlоmbіа. Read more
Dominica’s remote work program named best in the Caribbean
Loop News Caribbean: Dominica’s digital nomad programme ranked 28th in the world and first in the Caribbean. Read more
Export Barbados assists breadfruit exporters
Barbados Today: Export Barbados (BIDC) has come to the assistance of breadfruit exporters Shawn Holder of Holder’s Food & Exports and Erasmus Alfred of E&C Marketing. Read more
Caribbean nation of Saint Vincent exports first cargo of medical cannabis
Reuters: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has exported a cargo of 110 pounds (49.8 kilos) of medical cannabis after receiving a license for export to Germany, according to official announcements and a local official familiar with the matter. Read more
Jamaica to sign MOU on tourism development with Spain
Travel Daily News: Jamaican Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has announced that Jamaica and Spain will craft a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on various aspects of tourism development and economic transformation. Read more
Duque wants Caricom to be of help in cases of natural disasters
Mercopress: Colombian President Iván Duque Friday announced his intention to create a Regional Solidarity Fund, in order to serve the population in terms of health and in case of natural disasters. He made those remarks at the II Ministerial Summit of the Caribbean Community in Barranquilla. Read more
AfCFTA members conclude negotiations on rules of origin to enhance free trade
Xinhua: Member states of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) concluded on Saturday their negotiations on rules of origin, a move expected to further reduce tariffs on original goods within the African continent. Read more
Navigating Trade & Business One Year Post Brexit
GT: The economic and social dislocation caused by the pandemic has made it difficult sometimes to distinguish between the impact of Brexit only versus that of COVID 19. However, this article seeks to describe, as far as possible, how Brexit has affected the business and regulatory environment across the full range of areas covered by Steptoe and Johnson practices so far, and to identify issues of potential future concern for companies. Read more
Brexit, two years on – so far, so bad
Investment Monitor: 31 January marks the two-year anniversary of the UK’s official withdrawal from the EU. Investment Monitor examines how hard Brexit has hit the UK economy so far. Read more
OECD takes first step in accession discussions with Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Peru and Romania
OECD: The OECD Council decided today to open accession discussions with six candidates to OECD Membership – Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Peru and Romania. This follows careful deliberation by OECD Members on the basis of its evidence based Framework for Consideration of Prospective Members and the progress made by the six countries since their first respective requests for OECD membership. Read more
Charts: China promised Trump it would buy an additional $200 billion worth of US exports — but only met 60% of the trade deal target
Business Insider: China failed to meet its side of the bargain in a trade deal it struck with former President Donald Trump in January 2020. Read more
U.S. lawmakers urge USTR to expand tariff exclusions on Chinese goods
Reuters: A bipartisan group of more than 140 U.S. lawmakers called on U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to immediately revive and expand a tariff exclusion process on Chinese goods to help U.S. manufacturers. Read more
The 5G-airlines crisis was mostly averted. Here’s what happened – and what we still don’t know
CNN: Potentially abysmal air travel interruptions were narrowly avoided this week when wireless carriers made a last-minute change to their planned 5G rollout in response to fears that new cell service towers could interfere with a key component on passenger jets that allows them to safely land in low visibility conditions. Read more
Taiwan, Canada to start talks on investment agreement
Reuters: Taiwan and Canada have agreed to start talks on an investment protection agreement, both governments said on Monday, part of the Chinese-claimed island’s efforts to boost ties with fellow democracies in the face of growing pressure from Beijing. Read more
Huge uncertainties still surround US trade policy
East Asia Forum: Donald Trump’s presidency signalled a decisive US retreat from free and open trade and leadership of the multilateral trading system that had fostered unprecedented trade and economic growth for over 70 years. Read more
EU initiates WTO dispute complaint regarding Chinese restrictions on trade with Lithuania
WTO: The European Union has requested WTO dispute consultations with China concerning alleged Chinese restrictions on the import and export of goods, and the supply of services, to and from Lithuania or with a link to Lithuania. The request was circulated to WTO members on 31 January. Read more
A New Trust to Help Countries Build Resilience and Sustainability
IMF: A proposed $50-billion trust fund could help low-income and vulnerable middle-income countries build resilience to balance of payments shocks and ensure a sustainable recovery. Read more
Global Shipping Costs Are Moderating, But Pressures Remain
IMF: Shipping costs soared over the past year as consumers unleashed pent-up savings to buy new merchandise while the pandemic continued to snarl the world’s supply chains. Container rates have more than quadrupled since the start of the pandemic, with some of the biggest gains concentrated in the first three quarters of last year. Read more
Canada joins Mexico’s official complaint arguing U.S. violating trade pact over auto parts provision
CBC: Canada is joining Mexico’s official complaint today requesting a dispute settlement panel to resolve a claim that the U.S. is violating the new NAFTA by insisting on a stricter interpretation of a key provision on auto parts. 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: