May 17, 2022

Caribbean Trade and Development News Digest – February 13-19, 2022

Welcome to our Caribbean Trade and Development News Digest covering the week of February 13-19, 2022! 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 do hope you enjoy this week’s edition!

THIS WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS

In its Global Trade Update published February 17, UNCTAD reports that in 2021, world trade in goods remained strong and trade in services finally returned to its pre-COVID-19 levels. Read more here.

The British Chambers of Commerce’s latest survey has found that 71% of UK exporters say the post-Brexit UK-EU trade deal has been negative for business. Read more here.

Barbados, Guyana and Suriname held bilateral and trilateral talks on the sidelines of the International Energy Conference hosted in Guyana this week. Read this report from Barbados’ Nation News here and this report from the Guyana Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation here.

In a statement released this week on the escalating tensions along the Ukraine-Russia border, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)noted its deep concern about the ongoing developments and called on “all parties involved to act responsibly and with self-restraint and responsibility to avoid destabilisation in that region”. Read the statement here.

The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has become the first court in the region to be accepted into the prestigious International Consortium for Court Excellence (ICCE). Read the full media release here.

REGIONAL NEWS

Caribbean Community to expand definition of who is a CARICOM national

BBN: Саbіnеt hаѕ ѕіgnіfіеd іtѕ аррrоvаl tо аmеndmеntѕ tо Аrtісlе 32 оf thе Rеvіѕеd Тrеаtу оf Сhаguаrаmаѕ іn rеlаtіоn tо thе іѕѕuе оf thе сurrеnt іmрlісаtіоnѕ оf whо іѕ а САRІСОМ nаtіоnаl. Read more

CARICOM ICT ministers approve plans to fast-track digital transformation

Searchlight: Ministers of ICT on Friday, February 11 unanimously approved the CARICOM Secretariat-led action plans to accelerate the Region’s digital transformation. The Secretariat presented the plans to the Ministers at a special meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on ICT which was held virtually, a release from the secretariat said. Read more

CDB launches Belize Trade Program

Amandala: The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, and Immigration, launched the bank’s Belize Trade Program and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)/CARICOM Single Market Economy (CSME) Standby Facility Projects this past Thursday. Read more

Survey: How Citizenship by Investment Programmes of Caribbean benefit Europe

WIC: Brussels based media organisation, Press Editorials released a report on citizenship by investment programme of Caribbean islands. Read more

Exports rise in St Vincent & the Grenadines

Jamaica Observer: Food exports from St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) increased during the first month of 2022, signalling an evident recovery in the agriculture sector, following the severe impact of La Soufriére volcano eruptions in 2021. Read more

Belize, Mexico hold Ministerial Meeting to discuss advancement of formal trade agreement

BBN: Belize and Mexico held a virtual high-level ministerial meeting on Wednesday to advance discussions for a trade agreement between the two countries. Read more

Dominica signs contract to drill geothermal wells

Nation news: Dominica has signed a multi-million dollar agreement with an Iceland-based company to drill two wells as the island continues with its efforts to develop its geothermal energy sector. Read more

Argentina leader and Barbados PM agree on cooperation

Barbados Today: Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández has ended a one-day working visit to Barbados after holding discussions with Prime Minister Mia Mottley and leaders of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). Read more

Region’s largest hybrid power plant to open in Barbados

Barbados Today: Barbados is to become the home of the largest hybrid power plant in the Caribbean, which will supply thousands of homes with electricity from solar and locally produced green hydrogen. Read more

Barbados and KSA explore the scope for sustainable tourism development

Barbados Today: On Friday, February 18, Minister of Tourism and International Transport and Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Senator, Lisa Cummins, welcomed a delegation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), headed by Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Saudi Fund for Development, for a series of bilateral discussions centered around tourism development in Barbados. Read more

Policies In Place To Develop And Maintain Trade And Foreign Relations

JIS: Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, says the Government continues to execute policies and activities to develop and maintain Jamaica’s trade and foreign relations for national recovery and development. Read more

Guyanese-Trinidadian joint venture

Demerara Waves: A joint venture logistics company between Roraima Airways and the Trinidad-headquartered RAMPS Logistics have teamed up to form the majority Guyanese-owned Arapaima Logistics which has already sealed a deal to ship 10,000 coconuts to the United States (US), officials said Saturday. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Governments Weigh New Global Treaty on Plastics and Sustainable Development

IISD: From 28 February-2 March 2022, the United Nations Environment Assembly is holding a historic meeting (UNEA 5.2) that will discuss a mandate to create the world’s first plastics treaty, an international law aimed at reducing plastic pollution worldwide. Read more

USTR Releases Annual Report on China’s WTO Compliance

USTR: The Office of the United States Trade Representative today released its annual “2021 Report to Congress on China’s WTO Compliance,” laying out the Biden Administration’s assessment of China’s membership in the World Trade Organization. Read more

U.S. considers expelling Nicaragua from trade pact over crackdowns

NBC: The Biden administration is considering trying to expel Nicaragua from a lucrative regional free trade pact — or allocate its valuable sugar quota to another country in Central America — to retaliate against President Daniel Ortega’s crackdown on his opponents, according to a U.S. official. Read more

EU-AU summit: New commitments, old realities

Africanews: At the just-concluded summit in Brussels, the EU announced several packages of support to bolster health, pandemic recovery, education, and stability, but cautious optimism from African leaders was palpable. Read more

COVID-19 amplifies urgency for effective intra-Africa trade, economic recovery

Independent (Uganda): The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the sense of urgency in Africa’s quest towards effective and timely implementation of intra-Africa trade and economic recovery, experts have argued. Read more

Jacob Rees-Mogg: New Brexit minister promises to cut red tape

BBC: The minister for Brexit opportunities has urged firms struggling with red tape to write to him, while on a visit to the UK’s biggest container port. Read more

Trade Secretary secures major trade bloc milestone ahead of Asia visit

UK.gov: The UK has today [18 February 2022] reached a major milestone to join what the International Trade Secretary has hailed ‘one of the largest and most exciting free-trading clubs in the world’. Read more

US Indo-Pacific Strategy Short on Trade Incentives, Experts Say

VOA: A major initiative to strengthen and cement America’s ties with Asia and counterbalance China’s expanding influence lacks robust trade incentives that are viewed as politically perilous in the United States, where protectionist sentiment runs high, experts told VOA. Read more

What the Ambassador Bridge and other ‘freedom convoy’ blockades mean for Canada-U.S. trade

The Conversation: Trade between Canada and the United States was hampered for almost a week by the blockade of the Ambassador Bridge at the Windsor-Detroit border as part of the so-called freedom convoy protest. Read more

Canada says USMCA panel finds U.S. solar tariffs violate trade pact

Reuters: Canada prevailed on Tuesday in a challenge to U.S. solar panel tariffs under the trade pact between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, its trade minister said on Tuesday, ahead of planned talks with Washington over the dispute. Read more

EU launches WTO dispute against China

Reuters: The European Union launched a legal challenge against China at the World Trade Organization on Friday, arguing that Chinese courts were preventing European companies from protecting their telecom technology patents. Read more

EU ministers to back Lithuania in China trade battle

Euractiv: France, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, said on Sunday (13 February) that the European Union would firmly back its fellow member Lithuania in its brewing trade war with China. Read more

EU trade ministers discuss vaccines with WTO chief

EU Reporter: The French Presidency hosted an informal council of EU trade ministers in Marseille today (14 February). Ministers met with WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to discuss trade issues, including vaccines. Read more

Foreign Ministers of Argentina, Uruguay highlight bilateral increasing trade

Mercopress: Argentina’s Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero Tuesday in Buenos Aires with his Uruguayan counterpart Francisco Bustillo to discuss a 33% increase in bilateral trade, among other issues. Read more

Asia Pacific trade booms despite COVID curbs: ADB

Al Jazeera: Asian Development Bank President Masatsugu Asakawa says harsh pandemic restrictions are now ‘more difficult to justify’. Read more

Taiwan to keep canvassing support for CPTPP bid: Cabinet

Focus Taiwan: The government will continue to seek support from the member states of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) for Taiwan’s own entry into the trade pact, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said Saturday. Read more

Vietnam key beneficiary of RCEP: Singaporean bank

Phnom Penh Post: Vietnam is likely to be a key beneficiary of the Regional Economic Comprehensive Partnership (RCEP) regarding tariff reductions and foreign direct investment, Singapore’s leading consumer bank DBS said in a recent report. Read more

ASEAN FMs reiterate commitment to ensure full, effective implementation of RCEP agreement

Khmer Times: Foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have reiterated their commitment to ensure the full and effective implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, which took effect on January 1, Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn said. Read more

China, New Zealand ratify upgraded FTA

Global Times: China and New Zealand have ratified an upgraded version of their long-standing free trade agreement, which is expected to inject more vitality into the two economies. It marks an important step in implementing the free trade agreement (FTA) upgrade strategy, experts and businesspeople said. Read more

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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