Category Archives: trade digest

Caribbean Trade & Development Digest – April 23-29, 2017

Source: Pixabay

Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development Digest for the week of April 23-29, 2017! We are pleased to share some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the World.

We do apologise for the lack of a Digest for the past two weeks due to my travelling. It has been an interesting two weeks in world trade, with the US imposing tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber imports and the EU releasing its Guidelines for the Brexit Negotiations with the UK pursuant to Article 50. On the home front, Belize has concluded its third World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Policy Review. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! We hope you enjoy this edition.

REGIONAL NEWS

Belize has concluded its third WTO trade policy review

WTO: The third review of the trade policies and practices of Belize takes place on 24 and 26 April 2017. The basis for the review is a report by the WTO Secretariat and a report by the Government of Belize. Read more

US and region deepen security ties

Nation News: The United States has pledged its commitment to deepening its cooperation with the Caribbean region to combat all threats. Read more

Barbados Hotel occupancies drop during the first quarter

BarbadosToday: Against the backdrop of a fall in hotel occupancies and weak returns on hotel room rates during the first quarter of this year, Chairman of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Roseanne Myers Wednesday disclosed that travel agents from source markets were reporting that some repeat visitors were opting not to travel in winter because they were waiting for “when the rates are a little better”. Read more

Hopes for Caribbean Trade Boost

Business Authority: Local exporters, and their Caribbean counterparts, stand to benefit now that a major international trade agreement has come into force.  Read more

Barbados records significant rum trade with Europe

Jamaica Observer: Barbados has exported BDS$89.9 million (US$44.95 million) in rum products to the European Union over a four year period, Commerce Minister Donville Inniss has said. Read more

Barbadian Rum producers fear results of French election

BarbadosToday: Barbadian rum producers are keeping a close eye on the French presidential run-off election scheduled for May 7, fearing the results could hurt the local industry. Read more

Gopee-Scoon talks trade with local high commissioner and ambassador

Loop Trinidad: Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon met with the High Commissioner-designate to the United Kingdom Orville London and Ambassador-designate to Costa Rica Tracey Davidson –Celestine on Wednesday. Read more

Sector leader sees improved trade relations with Trinidad & Tobago

Jamaica Gleaner: President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) Metry Seaga says his organisation has received fewer complaints from local manufacturers about unfair trade practices by their Trinidadian counterparts. Read more

We will do everything to keep GuySuCo alive – says Granger

Stabroek: President David Granger said today that his government will do everything possible to keep the sugar industry alive. Read more

Guyana considers Suriname’s gold export model

Demerara Waves: Guyana’s recent foreign currency shortage appears to have caused government to consider adopting Suriname’s model to ensure that more earnings from gold sales goes directly to the national treasury. Read more

Granger names three sugar estates to be retained

Demerara Waves: President David Granger has named at least three sugar estates that will be retained as part of a restructured Guyana Sugar Corporation. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

European Council Releases (Article 50) Guidelines

EU: The European Council has released its guidelines for the upcoming Article 50 Brexit negotiations with the UK. Read more

Africa and China trade is booming

BusinessReport: China remained Africa’s biggest trading partner as bilateral economic relations boomed, said Jiang Zengwei, head of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. Read more

US imposing 20 percent tariff on Canadian softwood lumber

CNBC: U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Monday his agency will impose new anti-subsidy tariffs averaging 20 percent on Canadian softwood lumber imports, a move that escalates a long-running trade dispute between the two countries. Read more

US lumber tariffs hit B.C. manufacturers hard

CBC Canada: New softwood lumber tariffs being imposed by the U.S. are already cutting deep into B.C. businesses. Read more

DG Azevedo: Global trade challenges are best tackled through the multilateral system

WTO: The WTO should seek to bolster global economic cooperation in order to leave a strong and well-functioning trading system for future generations, said Director-General Roberto Azevêdo. Read more

Downgrades depress South African exports and trade

BusinessReport: Recent credit downgrades by Standard and Poor’s (S&P) and Fitch have put more pressure on South African exports and international trade. Read more

WTO issues panel report on Chinese cellulose pulp duties

WTO: On 25 April 2017 the WTO issued the panel report in the case brought by Canada in “China – Anti-Dumping Measures on Imports of Cellulose Pulp from Canada” (DS483). Read more

Arbitrator issues decision in Mexico-US tuna dispute

WTO: On 25 April, a WTO arbitrator issued a decision on the level of retaliation that Mexico can request in its dispute with the United States over US “dolphin safe” labelling requirements for tuna products (DS381). Read more

ACP: One billion people to speak to Europe with one voice

The Southern Times: Seventy-nine countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, which are home to around one billion people, will speak with one voice as they prepare to negotiate a major partnership agreement with the European Union (500 million inhabitants) in May. Read more

EU tells May: Give our citizens their rights or no trade talks

The Guardian: The EU has called on Theresa May to provide immediate “serious and real” guarantees to its citizens living in Britain. Read more

Some important clarifications on the EPA

The Guardian: All of the ECOWAS countries, apart from Nigeria and the Gambia, have to date signed the EU-West Africa Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The EPA may enter into force only if all ECOWAS member states sign and if at least two thirds ratify the agreement. Read more

Examining Trump’s record on trade

NPR: When the president speaks the world listens. Adam Behsudi of Politico talks with NPR’s Scott Simon about how Donald Trump’s outspoken commentary is affecting international trade with the U.S. Read more

Trump on trade: Scrutinise NAFTA, other deals for abuses

Politico: President Donald Trump’s latest executive order on trade calls for review of all U.S. free trade agreements — including NAFTA and the World Trade Organization pact — and possible renegotiation of any deal to eliminate “violations and abuses,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Friday. Read more

Difficult trade-offs necessary for RCEP to be worthwhile: PM Lee Hsien Loong

Strait Times: Asean is keen to conclude a region-wide trade agreement with its key partners, but the pact must have substance to be worthwhile, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday (April 29). Read more

Southeast Asia prioritises trade pact including China

Channel News Asia: Southeast Asian countries will prioritise creating an Asia-focused trade pact this year that includes China, India and Japan, while trade issues with the United States will be put on the back burner, the Philippine trade minister said. Read more

Mwagiru: Durban forum expected to focus on intra-Africa trade

Daily Nation: Wary of the perils of depending on reluctant donors for its survival, Africa is on a quiet quest for self-reliance and intra-regional cooperation. These are among the themes that will feature at the three-day World Economic Forum that opens in Durban, South Africa, on Wednesday. Read more

CTLD NEWS

IMG-20170428-WA0014

Alicia Nicholls presenting her paper at the SALISES Conference, Trinidad.

Alicia Nicholls presented a paper at the 18th Annual SALISES Conference 2017, a major academic conference organised annually by the University of the West Indies (UWI). The Conference was hosted this year by the Trinidad (St. Augustine Campus) at the Hyatt-Regency Hotel in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.

Alicia’s paper is a work in progress and is entitled “Economic Citizenship and Freedom of Movement of the Caribbean Community National: An Irreconcilable Tension?”.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Small Nations, Dislocations, Transformations: Sustainable Development in SIDS” and was held over the period April 26-28, 2017.

For more CTLD News see News & Announcements

NEW ON CTLD BLOG

French Election 2017: What’s at stake for the world and the Caribbean?

The Trump Presidency – Implications and Opportunities for Caribbean IFCs

PM May calls snap election: Pros and Cons

Liked this issue? Read past issues of our weekly Caribbean Trade & Development Digest, please visit here. To receive these mailings directly to your inbox, please follow our blog.

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Caribbean Trade & Development Digest – April 2-8, 2017

Source: Pixabay

Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development Digest for the week of April 2-8, 2017!  I am pleased to share some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the World. 

 

REGIONAL NEWS

EPA Plan to be reset

Nation News: Barbados is resetting its implementation strategy of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union as Britain prepares to exit the EU. Read more

Trinidad pushes for shift to cleaner fuel

Caribbean360: The Trinidad and Tobago government has invested about $74 million in the first phase of a $295-million project to encourage more drivers to use Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), described by experts here as a preliminary step in the country’s transition to using more sustainable forms of energy. Read more

T&T Recession slows rum sales

Sunday Express: The ongoing recession is affecting local rum sales, the country’s largest legal rum manufacturer said in its results released yesterday on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange (TTSE). Read more

Trinidad & Tobago trade mission to Guyana

T&T Newsday: Come June 12 and 13 of this year, the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce, in collaboration with the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) will embark upon a Trade Mission to Guyana, one of the most significant emerging economies in the region. Read more

CARICOM considers how to keep market access in tact after Brexit

Caribbean360: CARICOM has reportedly narrowed down the options it intends to pursue to prevent a break in market access in the United Kingdom due to the UK’s planned exit from the European Union (EU). Read more

Bahamas Trade Information Service Portal Launched
Eleutheran: The initiative is the first of its kind in The Bahamas and one of only a few Trade Information Portals in the Caribbean Region. Read more

Dominican Republic signs trade agreement with Cuba

Jamaica Observer: The Dominican Republic has signed a Partial Scope agreement with Cuba in an effort to boost economic, trade and cooperation between both countries. Read more

OECS needs a unified approach to development, says economist

Antigua Observer: The biggest impediment to growth of the economies of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is their small size and scale of production, and the lack of a unified regional approach to development. That’s the view of Dr Vanus James, economist, statistician and regional academic. Read more

Trump reinforces bond between Jamaica and the US

Jamaica Gleaner: United States President Donald Trump says he looks forward to working with the Jamaican Government on bilateral and regional issues. Read more

Jamaica saves $30 billion on oil imports

Jamaica Gleaner: Jamaica reduced its oil import bill by US$242 million ($30 billion) last year, which helped to slash the trade deficit by nearly nine per cent, according to new data from Statin. Read more

PM Launches 7th Biennial Diaspora Conference

JIS: The ‘Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference’, which is organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, will be held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, under the theme ‘Partnering for Growth’. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

WTO creates panel to decide on China, EU flap

The Star: The World Trade Organisation (WTO) set up on Monday a panel to examine the so-called “surrogate country” approach used by the European Union to calculate anti-dumping measures applied to Chinese exports, following a request from Beijing.
Read more
Rwanda: AfDB unveils US $450 million fund to promote export trade
AllAfrica: The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved $450 million about (Rwf372 billion) trade finance facility for the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank). Read more

NAFTA Trade Growth Continues in January

American Shipper: Total cross-border trade between the US, Mexico and Canada jumped 6.7 percent in January 2017, the third straight month of year-over-year increases, according to the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Read more

Malaysian PM Najib Razak pushes for conclusion of free trade deal

Livemint: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Monday called for the speedy conclusion of a free trade pact between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and six other countries including India, saying the regional partnership becomes all the more relevant after the US pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Read more

European Parliament backs red lines resolution for Brexit negotiations

TheGuardian: The European parliament has overwhelmingly voted in favour of a tough negotiating stance towards the British government in the Brexit negotiations. Read more

Pacific looks to improve links with Asian economies

RNZ: Pacific economic ministers meeting in Suva have been looking at how the region can better engage with the growing Asian economies. Read more

South African Court allows domestic rhino horn trade

Environment News Service: South Africa’s Constitutional Court has overturned the current ban on domestic trade in rhino horn. As a result, the sale of rhino horn will be allowed to resume within the country’s borders, but not internationally. Read more

Trump’s NAFTA plans are more than a tweak, Mulroney says

TheGlobeandMail: Brian Mulroney says U.S. plans to renegotiate the North American free-trade agreement are shaping up to be more than a tweak.The former Progressive Conservative prime minister made the comments after briefing the Liberal cabinet committee on Canada-U.S. relations on Parliament Hill. Read more

Canadian Free Trade Agreement Finalised

CNW: Ministers representing the federal, provincial and territorial governments have concluded negotiations on a new Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) that will help to expand Canadian businesses and increase economic growth across the country.  Read more

US Labor chief wants mores drastic changes to NAFTA from Trump

Reuters: Top U.S. labor leader Richard Trumka on Tuesday blasted the Trump administration’s initial plan to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), calling it “very timid.” Read more

Australia moves closer to free trade talks with EU

ABC (Australia): The Federal Government hopes to begin negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union in the second half of this year, after finalising a key step needed to begin talks. Read more

Brussels mulls excluding UK from trade talks updates

Politico: The EU is considering shutting the U.K. out of sensitive briefings on its trade policy, following warnings that Britain will become a competitor for striking trade deals post-Brexit.  Read more

At US-China Summit, Trump pressed Xi on trade

President Donald Trump pressed Chinese President Xi Jinping to do more to curb North Korea’s nuclear program and help reduce the gaping U.S. trade deficit with Beijing in talks on Friday, even as he toned down the strident anti-China rhetoric of his election campaign. Read more

WTO members discuss trade facilitation provisions in RTAs

WTO: WTO members discussed the relationship between trade facilitation provisions in regional trade agreements (RTAs) and the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) at the 3-4 April meeting of the Committee on Regional Trade Agreements. Read more

UK eyes trade agreement with Asean after it leaves European Union

Business Insider: Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said that the United Kingdom (UK) has expressed interest to pursue a regional trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), weeks after the European Union (EU) expressed intent to do the same. Read more

Panels established to review EU dumping methodologies, Indian steel safeguard

WTO: At its special meeting on 3 April, the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) agreed to the establishment of two new dispute panels: one to review a complaint filed by China against the European Union’s measures related to price comparison methodologies in anti-dumping investigations; and the second to review a complaint from Japan regarding India’s safeguard measure on imports of iron and steel products. Read more

Trade Policy Review: Mexico

WTO: The sixth review of the trade policies and practices of Mexico took place on 5 and 7 April 2017. The basis for the review was a report by the WTO Secretariat and a report by the Government of Mexico. Read more

BONUS – Bloomberg Interview with Mexico Economy Minister

In an interview with Bloomberg’s Erik Schatzker, Mexico Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo discusses President Donald Trump’s stance on NAFTA, among other things. Have a watch here.

CTLD NEWS

One of my Brexit articles was republished in the leading business magazine in Barbados, the Barbados Business Authority. Have a read here: Seize the Brexit Moment.

For more CTLD News see News & Announcements

NEW ON CTLD BLOG

Will US Financial Deregulation help mitigate the de-risking phenomenon?

Trump’s Trade Executive Orders target deficit and uncollected AD/CV Duties

Liked this issue? Read past issues of our weekly Caribbean Trade & Development Digest, please visit here. To receive these mailings directly to your inbox, please follow our blog.

Caribbean Trade & Development Digest – March 19-25, 2017

Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development Digest for the week of March 19-25,2017!  I am pleased to share some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the World.

It is “Brexit Week”! This Wednesday United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to trigger Article 50, beginning the formal process of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU). I trust you will enjoy this week’s edition of our Caribbean Trade and Development Digest!

For past issues of our weekly Caribbean Trade & Development Digest, please visit here.

To receive these mailings directly to your inbox, please follow our blog.

REGIONAL NEWS

Grenada joins list of CARICOM countries to ban corned beef from Brazil 

Jamaica Observer: Grenada has join the list of countries within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), to place a ban on the importation and consumption of corned beef from Brazil. Read more 

Dominican Republic: Plantain contribution vital to GDP

Fresh Plaza: The Dominican Republic’s plantain sector contributes more than RD $14.000 million per year to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and it is one of the products that promotes the economy’s development the most, stated the chief executive of the Dominican Agribusiness Board, Osmar Benitez. Read more 

CARICOM to introduce secure, harmonised skills certificate

Antigua Observer: The Caribbean Community (Caricom) said it will be implementing a harmonised skills certificate with a range of security features under the Caricom Single Market & Economy (CSME) regime. Read more 

EU wants to advance common agenda with CARICOM in global fora

Nation News: The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Wednesday accredited a new Ambassador of the European Union (EU), with the new envoy advocating for the relationship to more effectively advance a common agenda in global and multilateral fora. Read more 

Jamaica, Brazil face off over “bully beef”

Jamaica Observer: Jamaica and Brazil appear to be heading towards a trade row over the island’s ban on corned beef imported from that South American country as both sides yesterday took hard positions on the measure. Read more 

Finland expresses interest in CARICOM’s bioenergy potential

Jamaica Gleaner: Finland has expressed an interest in exploring the bioenergy potential in mainland territories of the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries. Read more 

EUR 24m in support to the Caribbean’s private sector

St Lucia Times: The European Union (EU) have signed the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) agreement worth EUR 24 Million to support regional private sector development. Read more 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Trump to review all 14 US FTAs

Fortune: The Trump administration is preparing new executive orders to re-examine all 14 U.S. free trade agreements and review government procurement policies to aid American companies, two administration officials said. Read more 

EU, Mercosur Countries Work to Speed up trade talks 

ICTSD Bridges: Talks on a potential trade deal between the EU and Mercosur have reportedly been gaining renewed traction, with diplomats from both trading partners affirming their commitment to bringing the long-running negotiations closer to a successful conclusion. Read more 

Pacific countries to sign deal next month

Radio New Zealand: Pacific Island countries are expected to sign the proposed regional trade deal called PACER Plus next month. Read more 

Anti-Brexit protesters march in London 

The Australian: Tens of thousands of protesters marched in London against plans for Britain to withdraw from the European Union. Read more 

China, Australia work together to develop Asia-Pacific Trade

Global Times: At a time of uncertainty, where protectionist economic policy poses some threats to the broader global market, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang‘s visit to Australia has highlighted the importance of the two nation’s responsibility to work together and develop trade in the Asia-Pacific. Read more 

Africa Trade Meeting Has no Africans after Visa denials

VOA: Each year, the University of Southern California brings delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Read more 

Outcomes from FATF annual Private Sector Consultative Forum

FATF: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) held its annual Private Sector Consultative Forum on 20-22 March 2017 in Vienna, Austria, hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).Read more 

Japanese, European leaders push for swift conclusion to trade talks

ICTSD Bridges: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday 20 March in Hanover, renewing calls to finalise negotiations on a EU-Japan free trade accord and defending open and fair trade. Read more 

Wildlife Trade: China Reports drop in demand for ivory

ICTSD Bridges: The past month has seen a series of domestic efforts aimed at addressing different aspects of wildlife trade, from the implementation of measures to further regulate or curb ivory sales in various countries and a debate in South Africa over domestic trade in rhino horn. Read more 

MacAuley Looks to tap Asia-Pacific trade for Canada

The Guardian: MacAulay held talks with his counterparts in both countries to promote Canadian products like lobster, livestock genetics, blueberries, grains and oilseeds. Read more 

Algeria ready to strengthen trade with South Africa

Brand South Africa: Algerian ambassador to South Africa Abd-El-Naceur Belaid called for stronger economic partnerships between Algeria and South Africa at an Algeria-South Africa trade and investment summit held in Johannesburg. Read more 

Canada aims to avoid Brexit cliff-edge with trade talks 

Toronto Star: The government is pushing for its trade deal with Europe to be ratified by Britain before it leaves the European Union to secure the crucial agreement. It also has its eye on deeper relations with the U.K. once Brexit is complete. Read more

RCEP “another important path” for trade liberalisation

Channel News Asia: Even as the United States has pulled out from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), both Singapore and Vietnam are “watching how things will develop” on the trade pact, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, at the end of his visit to Vietnam on Friday (Mar 24). Read more 

Panels established to review US renewable energy measures and Russian transit restrictions

WTO News: The Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) agreed on 21 March to the establishment of two new dispute panels: one to review a complaint filed by India regarding certain measures at the state level in the United States to promote renewable energy; and the second to review Ukraine’s complaint regarding restrictions on goods in transit through the Russian Federation. Read more 

UK Food Lobby Calls for Tariff-Free Post Brexit Trade with EU

Bloomberg: Industry bodies representing the U.K. food supply chain have called on the government to seek a tariff-free trade agreement with the European Union during coming Brexit negotiations. Read more 

Malaysia remains open on TPP

The Borneo Post: Malaysia is still keeping its options open on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as 10 of its signatories met in Chile last week, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed. Read more 

US Chamber urges quick vote on USTR pick: Lighthizer

The Hill: The nation’s largest business lobby on Wednesday threw its support behind President Trump’s pick to lead U.S. trade policy. Read more 

Mexico prepared to “step away” from NAFTA if negotiations don’t benefit the country

Mercopress: Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said that if North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations don’t benefit all parties involved, the country is willing to “step away” from it. In an interview with Bloomberg, he said pulling out of NAFTA would be a last resort. Read more 

Trumps pipeline permit to TransCanada

USA Today: The company responsible for the Keystone XL oil pipeline said Friday that President Trump’s administration signed off on the project, clearing a hurdle for a polarizing endeavor that has rankled environmentalists and inspired hope for jobs among supporters. Read more 

Trump trade negotiator wants stronger ties with Taiwan 

China Post: U.S. President Donald Trump’s nominee for trade representative has urged stronger bilateral ties with Taiwan, according to a report released Tuesday. Read more 

CTLD NEWS 

Read my latest commentary Sport, Entrepreneurship and Development

Caribbean Trade Law & Development (CTLD) and the Africa Caribbean & Pacific Young Professionals Network (ACP YPN)  have submitted joint written evidence to the United Kingdom (UK) House of Commons’ International Trade Committee’s on-going UK-US Trade Relations Inquiry . The inquiry  is examining the potential for a trade agreement between a post-BREXIT UK and the United States  of America (US).Our joint submission has been published on the UK House of Commons’ ITC’s website and may be viewed here.

Liked this issue? Read past issues of our weekly Caribbean Trade & Development Digest, please visit here. To receive these mailings directly to your inbox, please follow our blog.

Caribbean Trade & Development Digest – March 12-18, 2017

Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development Digest for the week of March 12-18,2017!  I am pleased to share some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the World.

We apologise for the absence of a Trade & Development Digest for the week of March 5-11, 2017 and trust you will enjoy this week’s edition. Some major news from the past week and a half were the Commonwealth Trade Ministers Meeting, the G20 Finance Ministers Meeting and the challenges to US President Trump’s new travel ban.

On a sad note, we also would like to take this opportunity to express our condolences on the passing of literary giant, St. Lucian born poet and playwright and 1992 Nobel Peace Prize in Literature winner, the late Mr. Derek Walcott who passed away last week.

For past issues of our weekly Caribbean Trade & Development Digest, please visit here.

To receive these mailings directly to your inbox, please follow our blog.

REGIONAL NEWS

Customs World inks cooperation Agreement with Dominican Customs

Dubai News: Customs World, a subsidiary of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation in Dubai, has signed an agreement of cooperation with the General Directorate of Customs of the Dominican Republic. Read more

French rum brand buy stake in National Rums

Jamaica Gleaner: Goddard Enterprises Limited of Barbados has exited its investment in National Rums Jamaica Limited (NRJ) under a wider deal worth nearly US$13 million that hands ownership to a French company called United Caribbean Rum Limited. Read more

Delays continue over signing of Guyana-EU trade agreement to combat illegal logging

Mongabay: Guyana’s plan to sign a trade agreement with the European Union by the end of 2016 to combat illegal logging has been delayed again. Read more

DR: Haitian Customs Retain Dominican Goods at Border

HaitiLibre: Dominican merchants reported that several trucks loaded with plantains, bananas, carrots, lemons and other Creole products were retained at the Jimani-Malpasse border by the Haitian authorities. Read more

CARICOM seeks FATCA delay, but law may prove irrelevant 

Cayman Compass: The Caribbean Community is looking at spending nearly quarter of a million dollars on a Washington-based consultant to lobby the Trump administration about the Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act. Read more

Industry Ministry says Jamaica to expand exports to UK

Jamaica Observer: Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Stephen Wedderburn has reiterated Jamaica’s commitment to expand export of produce and products to the United Kingdom. Read more

Jamaica hopeful of banana export recovery

Fruitnet: Plans to invest almost €5m of EU funding in Jamaica’s banana sector are advancing well, according to reports in the country, raising the prospect  of the Caribbean nation restoring its former key position in the international market. Read more

King Pepper re-enters Canadian market

Jamaica Gleaner: King Pepper Products Limited, manufacturers of the Eaton’s line of seasoning, has re-entered the Canadian market through exports and is hoping to push sales of the product there as well as increase its regional footprint. Read more

Alcazar calls for push to exports

Trinidad & Tobago Newsday: Admitting that it is a difficult time to take over the mantle of President of the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers Association (TTMA), Christopher Alcazar, who was elected on March 9, 2017 at the body’s 61st Annual General Meeting, said he is solution driven and will lead the organisation with a heavy amount of engagement and collaboration with the membership and stakeholders whether Government or different agencies.  Read more

Bureau of Standards monitoring foreign cement

Trinidad Guardian: With the entry of foreign cement on the market, Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon said the T&T Bureau of Standards is continuing to monitor all products to ensure they meet quality standards. Read more

CDB funds project to prevent loss of correspondent banking relationships

Caribbean News Now: The board of directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved funding of US$250,000 to strengthen financial transparency, and assist in preventing the loss of correspondent banking relationships (CBRs) in the region. Read more

TCL ponders treating T&T waste

Trinidad Guardian: Two months after Mexican cement giant Cemex succeeded in its bid to take over Trinidad Cement Ltd (TCL), managing director Jose Luis Seijo has assured that the company will be dealing aggressively with environmental pollution. Read more

Trinidad’s MHTL cutting methanol production by 25%

ICIS: Trinidad’s leading methanol producer plans to idle 25% of its total capacity because of heavy natural-gas curtailments, sources said on Monday. Read more

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Mexico turns to World Trade Organisation over avocado dispute with Costa Rica

The Costa Rica Star: The World Trade Organization (WTO) stated today that Mexico had requested consultations with Costa Rica as, allegedly, this country unlawfully imposed a restriction on Mexican avocado imports. Read more

Trump Travel Ban: Hawaii judge declines to narrow injunction

Politico: A federal judge in Hawaii who issued a temporary restraining order against key parts of President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban last week has turned down a Justice Department request to narrow the injunction. Read more

Decade old trade pledge dropped at G20 Meeting

Reuters: Try as they might, G20 nations in the German spa town of Baden-Baden could not persuade U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at the weekend to agree to a joint pledge to resist protectionism so the phrase in question – a fixture of G20 communiques for a decade – was dropped. Read more

Mustapa: RCEP is next best option to junked TPPA

The Star Online: The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is the next best option to boost trade after the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) fell through. International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said Malaysia is not keen to salvage the TPPA with the other 10 nations after the United States pulled out of the trade pact. Read more

EU, ASEAN Ministers agree to consider trade talks reboot

ICTSD Bridges: The EU and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are preparing to examine the prospect of re-launching talks for a region-to-region trade accord, nearly eight years after the original plans for such a project were put on hold. Read more

South Korea lobbies China at WTO over Missile Shield trade spat

Bloomberg: South Korea has taken a tentative first step against China at the World Trade Organization, complaining about its economic retaliation over the planned deployment of a U.S. missile shield. Read more

Commonwealth Trade Ministers conclude Meeting in London

Nation News: Commonwealth trade and business ministers concluded their two-day meeting in London with a commitment to make full use of the ‘Commonwealth Advantage’ to boost trade within the 52-member grouping. Read more

Brexit costly in trade terms whatever deal reach, says former WTO DG Pascal Lamy

Reuters: Britain’s departure from the European Union will be costly for both sides in trade terms, however good the exit deal reached, former head of the World Trade Organization Pascal Lamy said on Thursday. Read more

Brazil’s rotten meat scandal breaks amidst fresh EU talks

Euractiv: The European Union has insisted Brazilian representatives attend an emergency meeting today (20 March) to explain themselves regarding a scandal involving rotten meat and the country’s two largest exporters. Read more

Drive replace UK-EU trade ties with Commonwealth

Guardian (UK): Britain would harmonise regulations with its former colonies rather than the European Union under new proposals for trade integration that critics have dubbed Empire 2.0. Read more

CTLD NEWS

Alicia Nicholls was a panellist at TTOC Sport Conference 2017

I was honoured to be a panellist on “Panel III: Protecting the Legal Idea and Other Legal Issues for the Enterpreneur” at the Trinidad & Tobago Olympic Committee’s Future of Sport Conference 2017 which took place at Hotel Normandie in St. Ann’s, Trinidad on March 9th.  My fellow panellists were Shyamal Chandradathsingh of Invest TT, and entertainment and sport attorney, Carla Parris. The conference was ably moderated by Ms. Racquel Moses of ACCA Caribbean.

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Panel #3: L-R, Moderator (Racquel Moses), Panellists: Shyamal Chandradathsingh, Carla Parris, Alicia Nicholls (me)

The key note speaker was Dr. Terrence Farrell, former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Trinidad & Tobago and current chairman of the Economic Development Advisory Board.

The second annual conference hosted by TTOC, this year’s conference was designed to take audience members on a journey from conception of the business idea to execution. The panels focused on conception of the business idea, perspectives and best practices from entrepreneurs, protecting the idea, the importance of business plans and funding the venture.

Fellow panellists Carla Parris, Je-Anne Borneo (Panel #4) and I also enjoyed acting as judges for a business idea competition at the end of the Conference.

I wish to sincerely thank Mr. Brian Lewis, President of the TTOC for his kind invitation to be a panellist and commend both Mr. Lewis and his capable TTOC Team, the moderator Ms. Racquel Moses, and all fellow panellists and the audience members for an excellent conference. For further photos and videos from the Conference, please see the TTOC’s Facebook page.

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Caribbean Trade and Development Digest – January 30-February 4, 2017

Source: Pixabay

Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development Digest for the week of January 30-February 4, 2017!  I am pleased to share some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the World. 

For past issues of our weekly Caribbean Trade & Development Digest, please visit here.

To receive these mailings directly to your inbox, please follow our blog.

REGIONAL

Turkey, Dominican Republic agree to boost trade ties 

Hurriyet Daily News: Turkey and the Dominican Republic have agreed to boost cooperation on tourism, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said during a visit to the Caribbean state on Feb. 2. Read more 

Donald Trump ‘reviewing’ Cuba Policy, says White House

Independent: Donald Trump is to conduct a “full review” of America’s foreign policy towards Cuba, White House press secretary Sean Spicer has announced. Read more 

Governor Scott puts provision in proposed budget to block trade with Cuba

Miami Herald: Following on the heels of last’s week threatened retaliation against Florida ports that sign agreements with Cuba, Gov. Rick Scott has tucked another anti-Cuba provision into his proposed state budget that is even more far-reaching. Read more

CBI Bank Accounts under Scrutiny in Dominica 

WinnFM: There is no official word either from foreign banks in Dominica or the Skerrit administration, that government Citizenship by Investment accounts have been closed.  Read more 

Dominican Republic could become logistics hub

Dominican Today: The Dominican Republic could become a Regional Logistics Centre or Hub for maritime trade in the Caribbean, according to government representatives and national shipping and maritime business owners. Read more 

Dominican Republic to establish a diplomatic presence in Antigua 

Antigua Observer: President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina has agreed to establish diplomatic presence in Antigua and Barbuda. Read more

Falkland lawmaker visiting Caribbean to promote trade links

Mercopress: Falkland Islands lawmaker MLA Ian Hansen is on a Caribbean mission to improve trade and industry links with the region, and seeking political support for the Islands. The tour includes Barbados, Dominica and Guyana, according to Barbados TODAY news agency. Read more 

St. Kitts and Nevis Ranks Number One in Trading Across Borders 

SKN Observer: St. Kitts and Nevis has ranked number one in the CARICOM in trading across borders according to the “2016 Doing Business Report”, says Kennedy DeSilva, Deputy Comptroller of Customs in the Office of the Comptroller, appearing on today’s radio-television show “Working for You” on January 25. Read more 

CARICOM and Switzerland deepen relations

Jamaica Observer: The 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) says it is looking forward to a concrete programme of cooperation with Switzerland after the European country’s diplomat presented his credentials to CARICOM Secretary General Irwin La Rocque on Thursday. Read more 

Jamaican Tourism Interests Optimistic Following Trade Talks with Tour Operators

Jamaica Gleaner: Jamaican tourism stakeholders are expressing optimism after a series of successful meetings with tour operators at the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace now under way at the Atlantis, Paradise Island, in The Bahamas. Read more 

Puerto Rico Launches new Push for Statehood

TelesurTV: Puerto Rico Friday approved a measure to hold another referendum to vote on becoming a state, set for June 11. It comes as the U.S. territory continues to struggle with the ongoing effects of colonialism and a major debt crisis. Read more 

Caribbean Tourism Requires Stronger Partnerships

Caribbean360: The Caribbean region’s tourism growth potential in 2017 and beyond is enormous, but not without continued collaborative partnerships between the region’s public and private sectors. Read more 

OECS Supports Geothermal Energy Production

St Lucia Times: Financing and government policy have been identified as the major challenges to the development of geothermal energy in the Eastern Caribbean. Read more 

INTERNATIONAL

Mexico pushes for trade deal with New Zealand

New Zealand Herald: Trade Minister Todd McClay will request that talks on a Mexican free trade deal be placed on the agenda when he meets his counterpart in Mexico in 10 days time. Read more

Brexit Plan Published in Government White Paper

BBC: The government has published an official policy document setting out its Brexit plans. Read more

Homeland Security Suspends Travel Ban

CNN: President Donald Trump’s government moved swiftly Saturday to comply with a federal judge’s order halting his travel ban — even as Trump himself denounced the judge — but readied its legal defense of the controversial executive action. Read more

Trump, Abe to discuss Potential Bilateral Deal and TPP at Washington Summit

ICTSD Bridges: US President Donald Trump has announced plans to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Washington to discuss trade and security matters in what will be the first face-to-face talks between the leaders since Trump took office last month. Read more

US Tax Plan would break tax rules, lawyers say

CNBC: A proposed U.S. corporate tax reform would almost certainly contravene international trade rules if implemented, lawyers told Reuters, risking the biggest dispute in the history of the World Trade Organization. Read more 

Least developed countries propose caps on trade distorting farm subsidies at WTO

ICTSD Bridges: WTO members must agree to cuts and new ceilings for trade-distorting farm subsidies, says a proposal from a group of dozens of the world’s poorest countries at the global trade body. Read more

 

African Union wants its members to pull out of ICC

Daily Nation (Kenya): The African Union (AU) wants its member states to pull out of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Read more 

UK plans to adopt EU’s agreements with third countries

Reuters UK: Britain expects to be able to adopt the European Union’s free trade agreements (FTA) with around 40 countries after it leaves the bloc rather than negotiate new deals, trade minister Liam Fox said on Wednesday. Read more 

Mexico, Turkey to speed up talks to sign trade deal 

Reuters: Mexico and Turkey will speed up negotiations to sign a bilateral trade agreement, Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said on Friday at an event in Mexico City with his Turkish counterpart. Read more

India to host key RCEP Meeting at Hyderabad in July

Economic Times (India): India will hold RCEP negotiations meeting this coming July in Hyderabad. Read more 

Nebraska farmers, ranchers wary of Trump ending NAFTA

Omaha World Herald: Like a lot of Midlands farmers, Randy Uhrmacher gets a little nervous when he hears in the news about President Donald Trump looking to shake up free trade agreements. Read more 

Mexican government initiates NAFTA review with private sector

Yucatan Times: The federal government will begin a process of consultation with the private sector, prior to the negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement with the US, which will continue on a permanent basis. Read more

Brexit: MPs overwhelmingly back Brexit bill

BBC: MPs have voted by a majority of 384 to allow Prime Minister Theresa May to get Brexit negotiations under way. They backed the government’s European Union Bill, supported by the Labour leadership, by 498 votes to 114. Read more

US Ranchers Look for some action on Country of Origin Labelling

FSN:  Two states known for their cowboys, Wyoming and South Dakota, have seen early introduction of COOL bills in their legislatures, respectively, in Cheyenne and Pierre. Cattlemen headquartered in neighboring Montana have not given up on a national bill. Read more 

US withdrawal from TPPA will hasten negotiations on RCEP

The Star (Malaysia): The withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will help hasten the process of concluding negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Read more 

Brexit: Angela Merkel warns UK PM Theresa May over slashing taxes

Independent (UK): Angela Merkel has hit back at Theresa May’s threat to slash taxes to undercut the EU if it blocks a Brexit deal, warning taxes are the price paid for a just society. Read more 

Trade Ministers on TPP Rescue Mission

RNZ:  (New Zealand’s) Trade Minister Todd McClay will meet his Australian counterpart in Sydney today in a bid to salvage the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Read more

Canadian Ambassador reassures Mexico on NAFTA

Toronto Star: In an interview with Mexican newspaper Reforma, Pierre Alarie sought to quell fears that Canada would abandon its trading partner during negotiations. Read more 

BONUS

WTO Video on TRIPS Amendment by Mexico’s Perez Motta

In this video statement on the WTO’s Youtube Channel, Mexico’s Eduardo Pérez Motta, a former TRIPS Council chair, says that the impact of the TRIPS amendment should be judged by the prices and supply of critical medicines.

Watch here (English)

Watch here (Spanish)

OECD Releases new brochure “Towards Better Trade Policies” 

The OECD’s new brochure “Towards Better Trade Policies” provides an executive overview of OECD work on trade, and contains comprehensive lists of references to all evidence we have developed over the past five years. Read more 

NEW ON CARIBBEAN TRADE LAW & DEVELOPMENT BLOG

TPP: Acting USTR Submits Withdrawal Letter

Brexit White Paper Released by UK Government

UK-US Trade Inquiry launched by UK Parliament’s International Trade Committee

Brexit Bill Clears First Parliamentary Hurdle

Climate Change, the Caribbean and US-Caribbean Strategic Re-engagement (HR4939)

Liked this issue? Read past issues of our weekly Caribbean Trade & Development Digest, please visit here. To receive these mailings directly to your inbox, please follow our blog.

Caribbean Trade and Development Digest – January 15-21, 2017

Source: Pixabay

Welcome to the Caribbean Trade and Development Digest for the week of January 15-21, 2017 where we share some of the major trade and development headlines from across the Caribbean and the world.

And what a week it was! UK Prime Minister May has finally announced her Brexit plan and the UK Supreme Court announced it will deliver its ruling in the Article 50 Brexit Appeal this coming Tuesday. Globalisation took centre-stage at the Annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, while  top of mind was the inauguration of US President Donald Trump who was sworn in as the US’ 45th president, and that’s just the tip of iceberg!

Below we present the major headlines. For past issues of our weekly Caribbean Trade & Development Digest, please visit here.

To receive these mailings directly to your inbox, please follow our blog.

REGIONAL HEADLINES

CARICOM optimistic of Trump’s vision

Trinidad Guardian: Caribbean states are hoping America’s new Donald Trump administration – taking over from today – will continue trade and security arrangements as well as other structures which have traditionally been in force between Caricom and the US. Read more 

Dominican Republic applies definite AD on Chinese rebar 

Steel Orbis: Dominican Republic’s Commission for Trade Defense announced it has applied a definite anti-dumping ad valorem duty on Chinese rebar. Read more

Commerce nominee Ross; No position on Cuban embargo

Washington Examiner: Wilbur Ross, the banker-turned-investor and President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to head the Commerce Department, told a Senate hearing Wednesday that he has no position yet on handling trade with Cuba. Read more 

Call for CARICOM agency to vet CIP applications

Antigua Observer: The head of a well-known citizenship advisory firm is making a call for Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Programmes (CIPs) to vet applicants through Caricom’s Joint Regional Communications Centre (JRCC). Read more 

Airbnb and Curacao sign tourism agreement

Curacao chronicle: Today, Curaçao’s Minister of Economic Development, Eugene Rhuggenaath and the Minister of Finance, Kenneth Gijsbertha, on behalf of the government, signed an important agreement with Airbnb that will help to promote Curaçao as world-class tourist destination. Read more 

UWI Lecturer calls for better CARICOM trade under Trump

Trinidad Guardian: A UWI lecturer is calling on T&T and other Caricom member states to establish a united proposal to improve and further develop trade and other relations with the United States under US President-elect Donald Trump, who takes office on Friday. Read more

Trade and investment agreement signed between Curacao and the Dominican Republic

Caribbean news now: An agreement was signed last Tuesday in the office of the consul of the Dominican Republic in Curacao; between ADECK; the Association of Small and Medium size business in Curacao and the Dutch Chamber of Commerce in the Dominican Republic.Read more

Full, frank discussion needed on CSME says Barbados PM Stuart 

Caricom Today: Prime Minister Freundel Stuart believes the time has come to have “full and frank discussions” on the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). Read more 

UN adviser for new consortium to bolster Haiti’s long term recovery 

Caricom Today: A senior United Nations adviser has called for a new “consortium” of donors to bolster Haiti’s long-term recovery. Read more

Jamaica confident about reviving pork exports to CARICOM 

Jamaica Gleaner: Jamaica’s meat companies are weighing a resumption of pork exports to Caribbean neighbours, but say it all depends on the reception from government agencies throughout the region and the harmonisation of standards. Read more 

INTERNATIONAL

Fiji Signs newest version of the MSG Free Trade Agreement

Fiji Sun: FIji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has signed the Melanesian Spearhead Group Free Trade Agreement. Read more 

Donald Trump is sworn in as president

New York Times: Donald John Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States on Friday, ushering in a new era that he vowed would shatter the established order and reverse a national decline that he called “this American carnage.” Read more

Ross prefers inking bilateral trade agreements

The Hill: Commerce Secretary-designate Wilbur Ross echoed Donald Trump’s call for bilateral trade deals instead of larger agreements where he says the United States tends to lose out. Read more 

WTO chief Warns against stumbling into trade wars

Irish Times: The world should be wary of stumbling into trade wars that would destroy jobs, World Trade Organisation director general Roberto Azevedo said on Friday. Read more

Chinese President Xi Jinping: No one can win a trade war

CNN Money: “Many of the problems troubling the world are not caused by economic globalization,” Xi said Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “Whether you like it or not, the global economy is the big ocean you cannot escape from.” Read more

New Zealand and Sri Lanka to consider Free Trade Agreement

Reuters: New Zealand and Sri Lanka will open diplomatic posts in each other’s nations and are considering a free trade agreement, the Pacific country’s trade minister said on Friday. Read more 

Indian Cabinet approves Trade Agreement negotiations with Peru

Economic Times (India): The Indian Cabinet has approved holding negotiations for a trade agreement with Peru. Read more 

EU and US publish TTIP state of play assessment

EU: On 18 January Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and United States Trade Representative Michael Froman published a joint assessment of the progress made in negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) since negotiations started in July 2013. Read more 

US Chamber of Commerce warns Trump on Trade

CNBC: Washington needs to trade with foreign markets if it wants to boost domestic growth, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned on Monday. Read more 

PM May Defines “Brexit means Brexit”

FRANHENDY: Today, in an address which lasted just over forty minutes, former ‘Remainer’, Prime Minister Theresa May,added some content and context to her well-worn maxim: brexit means brexit. Read more 

China’s Xi warns of Dangers of Trade War

VOA: Chinese President Xi Jinping warned governments of the dangers of a trade war while speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday. Read more 

Ottawa Weeks away from starting free-trade talks with China

The Globe & Mail: The Trudeau government is weeks away from an inaugural round of talks on a free-trade agreement with China as it presses ahead a central objective in its plan to deepen ties with the world’s second-largest economy. Read more 

Azevedo welcomes call in Davos for progress at the WTO; urges caution on protectionism

WTO News: Attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo welcomed the strong desire shown by ministers and the private sector for new negotiated outcomes to be delivered at the WTO’s Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires in December this year. Read more 

Nigeria ratifies the Trade Facilitation Agreement 

WTO News: Nigeria has ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), making it the 107th WTO member to do so. Only three more ratifications from members are needed to bring the TFA into force. Read more 

United States files WTO complaint against Canada over measures affecting the sale of wine in stores 

WTO News: On 18 January the United States notified the WTO Secretariat that it requested WTO dispute consultations with Canada regarding measures maintained by the Canadian province of British Columbia governing the sale of wine.Read more 

Free trade talks already under way with range of non-EU countries 

Sky News: Article 50 has yet to be signed but already Theresa May has laid out her negotiating lines and has said that informal talks are already taking place about Britain’s future trade relations with the rest of the world. Read more 

France’s Hollande criticises protectionism as “worst response”

Reuters: France’s President Francois Hollande on Saturday criticized protectionism and with his Chilean counterpart said that Europe would look to strengthen ties with Latin America, speaking a day after U.S. President Donald Trump took office. Read more

RCEP more relevant now more than ever

New Strait Times:When American President-elect Donald Trump called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement a “disaster” and vowed to pull out of it as soon as he took office, the international media almost instantaneously pronounced the TPP dead. Read more 

Malaysia’s move if TPPA falls through

The Star: Should the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agree­ment (TPPA) fall through, Malaysia may look into the possibility of pursuing bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) with TPP members, said International Trade and Indus­try Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed. Read more 

Djibouti-Ethiopia railway carries hope for Pan-African trade

Financial Times: Great article by FT discussing the prospects that the Djibouti Ethiopia railway will have for Pan-African trade. Read more 

Britain must relax immigration rules for Australians if it wants a free trade deal, says High Commissioner to UK

Independent: Australia will seek ‘greater access’ for its businesspeople before reaching a post-Brexit trade agreement with the UK, says Alexander Downer. Read more

Free trade agreement with India a “high priority” for Canada

The Star: Federal Liberal Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi, fresh off a trade promotion trip to India, says a free-trade agreement with India “is high priority for our government.” Read more 

Wallonia parliament holds third hearing on EU-Vietnam free trade agreement

Vietnam Net: The parliament of Belgium’s Wallonia region held the third hearing on the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) on January 19.  Read more 

 

 

BONUS

Time to solve intra-Africa trade challenges

The New Times (Rwanda): In a CNBC televised debate in Davos, Switzerland, President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame has challenged African countries to solve intra-Africa trade challenges. Read the article here and WATCH VIDEO

NEW ON CARIBBEAN TRADE LAW & DEVELOPMENT

5 Main Points from PM May’s Davos Speech

TTIP: Joint US-EU State of Play Report Published

UK Supreme Court to deliver ruling in Article 50 Brexit Appeal next Tuesday

Why PM May’s “Hard Brexit” Choice is no surprise

President Obama Ends Three Special Parole Programs for Cuban Migrants

Liked this issue? Read past issues of our weekly Caribbean Trade & Development Digest, please visit here.To receive these mailings directly to your inbox, please follow our blog.

Caribbean Trade & Development Digest – January 8-14, 2017

Source: Pixabay

Welcome to the first Caribbean Trade and Development Digest for 2017!  I am pleased to share some of the major trade and development headlines and analysis across the Caribbean region and the World for the weeks of January 8-14, 2017. 

For past issues of our weekly Caribbean Trade & Development Digest, please visit here.

To receive these mailings directly to your inbox, please follow our blog.

REGIONAL

Brexit looms; Trade Pact now, says Dominican Envoy

Dominican Today: Dominican Republic’s ambassador to the UK on Thursday said negotiations toward a bilateral agreement should be expedited so the country can deal with Brexit’s negative consequences. Read more

Obama ends ‘Wet foot, dry foot’ policy for Cubans

Wisconsin Rapids Tribune: President Obama announced Thursday an end to the 20-year-old “wet foot, dry foot” policy that allowed most Cuban migrants who reach U.S. soil to stay and become legal permanent residents after one year. Read more 

Cuba’s President Raul Castro meets with head of US Chamber of Commerce

Reuters: The head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce met with Cuban President Raul Castro and in separate meetings with members of Castro’s economic cabinet on Friday, as they prepare for the advent of a more hostile Trump administration next week. Read more 

Serbia formalises diplomatic relations with CARICOM

Jamaica Observer: The Caribbean Community (Caricom) grouping has formalised diplomatic relations with the Republic of Serbia, with the eastern European country indicating that it intends to promote cooperation with a region where it has already been active in the past. Read more

64 percent reduction in Jamaicans being denied entry to Trinidad

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is reporting a 64 per cent reduction in the number of Jamaicans who have been denied entry to Trinidad and Tobago for the period March to December 2016. Read more

Persons being sensitised about travel in CSME States

Jamaica Information Service: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has started a public-education campaign to sensitise the public on travel and employment guidelines within CARICOM countries. Read more

CARICOM, UN Women Ink support pact for gender equality

Stabroek: A two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlining areas of support to drive the achievement of gender equality goals was signed yesterday by the Caricom Secretariat and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). Read more

Crucial Year for CARICOM process, says Secretary-General

Caribbean News Now: The thirty-ninth meeting of the Community Council of Ministers opened on Monday at the CARICOM headquarters in Guyana, under the chairmanship of Guyana’s vice president and minister for foreign affairs, Carl Greenidge. Read more

Japan looking at Barbados Hub

Barbados Advocate: Japan is considering this island as a hub for its tourists who want to experience what this region has to offer. This from Japan’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Barbados, Teruhiko Shinada, during a courtesy call to The Barbados Advocate yesterday. Read more

Jamaica’s relationship with Trinidad & Tobago improving

Jamaica Observer: Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Kamina Johnson Smith says that, since the intervention of the Government, there has been a 64 per cent decrease in the number of Jamaicans refused entry into Trinidad and Tobago. Read more

CARICOM seeks to strengthen ties with the US

Antigua Observer: The Heads of Government within the Caricom member states will most likely be acting on a recommendation from the Council of Ministers to push to strengthen ties with the United States (US). Read more

CARICOM wants good working relationship with the Trump Administration

Jamaica Observer: The Caribbean Community (Caricom) Council of Ministers has ended a two-day meeting here Tuesday saying it was appreciative of the Caribbean’s good working relationship with past US administrations and was looking forward to working with the Donald Trump administration.Read more

INTERNATIONAL

US files WTO complaint against Chinese aluminum subsidies

WTO News: On 12 January the United States notified the WTO Secretariat that it requested dispute consultations with China regarding alleged subsidies provided by China to its producers of primary aluminium. Read more

World Bank: 2.7 percent growth in trade in 2017

Global Trade Magazine: Global economic growth is forecast to accelerate moderately to 2.7 percent in 2017 after a post-crisis low last year, the World Bank said in a report released today. Read more

President Obama’s Final Economic Report is Released

Whitehouse: The 2017 Economic Report of the President reviews the economic record of the Obama Administration, focusing on how policies have promoted inclusive growth. Read more 

Global Economy looks to Asia

East Asia Forum: Japan, China and the rest of East Asia enjoyed rapid development and rising living standards by opening up their economies and becoming integral parts of the global trade and economic system.Read more

Products under APTA increased

The Nation: Ministers from countries party to the Asia-Pacific Trade AGreement (APTA) met during the Fourth APTA Ministerial Council to conclude negotiations that will more than double the number of products under preferential tariff treatment in order to expand trade and boost growth in the region Read more 

John Kerry defends TPP in last trip as Secretary of State

Global News (Canada): Secretary John Kerry making his last trip as the top U.S. diplomat, on Friday defended the 12-nation trade pact that the incoming administration said it would scrap and urged countries to refrain from provocative acts in the South China Sea. Read more

Trans-Pacific Partnership not dead yet, says Australia 

Financial Review: The Australian government refuses to concede the Trans-Pacific Partnership is dead and says the United States needs more time to come to a final position on the 12-nation free-trade pact. Read more 

UK Exports show sign of pound boost

BBC: Evidence is emerging that the sharp drop in the pound is boosting UK exports, economists say. Read more 

Obama lifts 20-year sanctions on Sudan

Deutsche Welle: US President Barack Obama is to lift some trade and investments sanctions against Africa’s third largest country. But the country will still remain a state sponsor of terrorism in Washington’s eyes. Read more

Trump Advisor: TPP dead, will move quickly on bilateral trade deals

Reuters: President-elect Donald Trump will not revive his predecessor’s stalled Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal in any form, but will quickly pursue bilateral trade agreements, a Trump transition policy adviser said. Read more 

Nick Clegg says May should go for Norway-style Agreement with EU

The Guardian: Theresa May should return the UK to the same 1960s trading arrangements it had with Europe before it joined the EU if she decides there is no alternative to a hard Brexit, according to former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg. Read more 

The Netherlands will block and UK-EU deal without tax avoidance measures

The Guardian: The Netherlands will block any EU trade deal with the UK unless it signs up to tough tax avoidance regulations preventing it from becoming an attractive offshore haven for multinationals and the rich, the deputy prime minister of the country has said. Read more

FACT SHEET: The Obama Administration’s Trade Enforcement Record

WhiteHouse: From day one, President Obama and his Administration have vigorously worked to build a far more capable trade enforcement system.  The result has been a strong record of enforcement victories that are helping to level the playing field for American workers and businesses. Read more 

Have we hit ‘peak’ trade?

World Economic Forum: Over the past five years, global trade growth has been stagnant. With protectionist sentiment intensifying across advanced economies and China and other emerging markets (EMs) appearing to pivot away from export-oriented growth strategies that had incentivised the creation of global supply chains in the 2000s, a hypothesis informally known as ‘peak trade’ has become increasingly popular (Economist 2014). Read more 

China exports slump more than expected

CNBC: China’s exports slumped more than expected in December as global trade remained sluggish while the growth in imports also cooled, official data showed Friday. Read more

NEW ON CARIBBEAN TRADE LAW & DEVELOPMENT

St Vincent and the Grenadines ratifies the Trade Facilitation Agreement

In Defence of Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Programmes

Liked this issue? Read past issues of our weekly Caribbean Trade & Development Digest, please visit here.To receive these mailings directly to your inbox, please follow our blog.

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