Welcome to our Caribbean Trade and Development News Digest covering the week of February 28-March 5, 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
As the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine intensifies, western countries have stepped up their economic and financial sanctions of Russia. Canada suspended MFN treatment of imports from Russia and its ally Belarus, while the EU announced it is considering similar actions against Russia. Additionally, as Bloomberg’s Bryce Baschuk tweeted, “the US and EU suspended Russia from participating in activities of the developed countries coordinating group”. The invasion and the concomitant sanctions are already having ripple effects. IMF First Deputy Managing Director Gita Gopinath noted “cost of living is expected to rise sharply in many countries as energy and food prices skyrocket”. Read here.
The WTO’s fourth review of Guyana’s trade policies and practices took place on 2 and 4 March 2022. The basis for the review is a report by the WTO Secretariat and a report by the Government of Guyana. Read more here.
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government held their 33rd Inter-sessional meeting in Belize this week. The communique from the meeting may be accessed here. The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) also dismissed an application by Rock Hard Cement challenging Trinidad & Tobago’s decision to raise the price of imported cement.
My latest article “Do Caribbean countries International Investment Agreements help or hurt their climate action” was published in the Caribbean Studies Association (CSA) newsletter. Read it here.
CARICOM leaders agree to review decision-making process
Stabroek: With CARICOM long accused of moving too slowly in implementing the Single Market and Economy (CSME), regional leaders have now agreed to modify the way decisions are taken in an effort to be more proactive. Read more
CARICOM Heads concerned about UK backed Inquiry into the BVI
Jamaica Observer: Caribbean Community (Caricom) leaders have expressed “deep concern” with the United Kingdom-backed Commission of Inquiry into allegations of corruption in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), listing among their concerns the “lack of transparency.” Read more
CARICOM SG wants improved intra-regional trade by 2025
BarbadosToday: Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General, Dr. Carla Barnett has called on regional countries to improve intra-regional trade by 25 per cent by 2025 as she urged regional leaders to ensure that the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) functions for the benefit of the people of the Caribbean. Read more
‘No threat to Guyana’s local content law’ – Pres. Ali
Newsroom Guyana: Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will discuss acceptable local content provisions, particularly for new industries, but President Dr. Irfaan Ali is certain that these discussions pose no threat to Guyana’s historic Local Content law. Read more
CARICOM to review and examine local content issue in relation to CSME
News Source Guyana: When the Government of Guyana took the local content legislation to the National Assembly for debate and passage, the Opposition while supporting the legislation, raised concern about whether some sections of the legislation went against the CARICOM Treaty of Chaguaramas which provides for the free movement of goods, labour, capital and the rights of establishment in the CARICOM Single Market. Read more
SVG signs MOU with Caribbean private sector organisation to boost investments in agriculture
Searchlight: The CARICOM Private Sector Organization (CPSO) and this country’s Ministry of Agriculture, have entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that establishes a formal, structured mechanism for substantive and effective cooperation between the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) and the CPSO for mobilising and facilitating private sector investments in strategic sectors of SVG. Read more
WTO to host Global Supply Chains Forum to explore ways of easing disruptions to trade
WTO: The WTO will bring together on 21 March stakeholders from every part of global supply chains to share perspectives on the causes of continued supply chain disruptions and to work together on ways to mitigate their impact on global trade and post-pandemic economic recovery. The forum will be opened by Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and will be attended by WTO members and representatives from shipping, trading and logistics companies. It will be held virtually, with livestreaming available on the WTO website. Read more
Canada cuts Russia and Belarus from Most-Favoured-Nation Tariff treatment
Canada.ca: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, supported by Belarus, is a violation of international law and threat to the rules-based international order. Canada is taking further action to ensure those who do not support the rules-based international order cannot benefit from it. Read more
EU considers suspending equal treatment for Russia at the WTO
Reuters: The European Union said it waslooking into suspending ‘most-favoured nation’ (MFN) treatment for Russia at the World Trade Organization over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, meaning the bloc would be able to hike tariffs or set quotas on Russian imports. Read more
Ukraine introduces export licenses for key agricultural commodities
Financial Post: Ukraine has introduced export licenses for agriculture commodities wheat, corn and sunflower oil, Interfax Ukraine news agency quoted a government resolution as saying on Sunday. Read more
Africa: China-Africa Trade Reaches All-Time High in 2021 … Showing Resilience Amid Pandemic
AllAfrica: China-Africa trade has bucked the global economic downward trendand analysts believe it has contributed to the African economy’s resilience in the face of COVID-19 challenges. Read more
Under-reporting of AfCFTA detrimental to investments – report
Business Day (Nigeria): Despite the opportunities the African Continental Free Trade Area(AfCFTA) presents, its coverage in terms of business news and analysis is under-reported and this is detrimental to investments, the latest Business in Africa Narrative Report says. Read more
UK considers using Brexit ‘freedom’ to allow pesticides banned in EU on food
Independent (UK): The government is considering using its new Brexit regulatory freedom to allow pesticides banned in the EU on food imported to the UK. Read more
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