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SRC Trading Thoughts

The SRC Trading Thoughts Column is a bimonthly issue produced at the SRC in which we, or contributing authors, provide critical views and thoughts on issues of ongoing interest in trade and investment, with a particular focus on the Caribbean.

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Editorial Guidelines – SRC Trading Thoughts Submissions
  1. Title: “SHRIDATH RAMPHAL CENTRE TRADING THOUGHTS” followed by the title of the article below e.g “Trade Policy in COVID-19 times”.
  2. Insert the authorship i.e.: By Dr. Jane Doe or John Doe
  3. Word limit (700 – 1,200 words)
  4. No footnotes or endnotes.
  5. In text Hyperlinks can be included e.g: The WTO Report was published last week.
  6. Please avoid excessive use of jargon and overly technical language.
  7. Please conclude by including a short byline “Jane Doe is [INSERT JOB TITLE] with [INSERT PLACE OF AFFILIATION].

 

Publications

When The Dust Settles From The Afri-Caribbean Trade Forum (2022), What’s Next?

When the curtain fell last week on the inaugural Afri-Caribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF) 2022 hosted jointly by the Afri-Eximbank and the Government of Barbados, spirits were riding high. The three-day conference held in Barbados under the theme “One People. One Destiny. Uniting and Reimagining Our Future”, was hailed…

The Importance of the WTO

By Remorno Hamilton Pursuing the Masters in International Trade Policy offered by the Shridath Ramphal Centre for International Trade Law, Policy and Services at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus was definitely a great idea, and certainly one of my best life decisions to date. However, adding the study tour to Geneva…

WTO MC 12 Outcomes: What do they mean for the Caribbean?

By Alicia Nicholls Much of the trade policy world released a collective sigh of relief when on June 17 it was announced that ministers and delegates at the World Trade Organisation (WTO)’s Twelfth Ministerial Conference (MC12) had reached an agreement. MC12 had been postponed for two years due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Negotiators worked…

Transforming the “C” in “LAC” to Combat Global Trade Headwinds

by Alicia Nicholls and Jan Yves Remy For geographic purposes and statistical convenience, the Caribbean sub-region is often subsumed under the umbrella of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).  Despite some improvements, it too often seems as though the “C” in “LAC” is little more than an extra letter given the negligible attention devoted to…

The 9th Summit of the Americas as a Reset for CARICOM-US Economic Relations

By Dr. Jan Yves Remy Whatever one might think of the politics of the Ninth Summit of the Americas due to take place 6-10 June in Los Angeles, one thing is incontrovertible:  for CARICOM leaders, the hemispheric meeting is an opportunity to upgrade economic and trade relations with the United States, at the highest levels. …

Is this the CARICOM we want at fifty?

By Dr. Kai-Ann Skeete Forty-nine years ago, regional Prime Ministers agreed to the establishment of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Since then the region has had numerous successes and advancements in deepening regional integration. As the region counts down to CARICOM’s 50th Anniversary, the author is pondering: What is in store for CARICOM at 50? Will…

A Call for Young Professionals to Transition Into the CSME as Entrepreneurs

By Dr. Kai-Ann Skeete The last time I wrote this column, my simple advice was to brace for impact…major disruption to your yuletide season. In an effort not to sound repetitive, my advice now is to buckle down and make the CARICOM Single Market (CSM) work for you as an entrepreneur. After all, our governments…

Leveraging Web 3.0 Part 2: Digital Infrastructure and Potential Risks

By Nikolai Layne and Chelcee Brathwaite In our first piece titled: Leveraging Web 3.0 to Boost Trade & Investment in the Orange Economy we explored how Web 3.0 developments like smart contracts, asset tokenization, and the metaverse can be leveraged in the orange economy. In this SRC Trading Thoughts, we examine practical tools and applications…

The WTO must deliver on PM Mottley’s message … and on the next-generation version of itself!

By Dr. Jan Yves Remy At a time when all is not well with international economic relations, a message of inclusiveness, equity and morality in trade appears to have resonated strongly in a room at the World Trade Organization (WTO) packed to capacity with trade negotiators, dignitaries, WTO staff, students and academics.  Assembled to hear…

Integrating Gender and Trade Policy in CARICOM for this Year’s International Women’s Day

By Jan Yves Remy and Tonni Brodber It would be remiss not to highlight important strides made recently to advance the trade and gender agenda in CARICOM:  Under the incoming Presidency of Barbados, UNCTAD XV hosted an inaugural Forum on Gender and Development, led by Caribbean feminists, with the strong voices of the Global South…

The Chamber and Barbados’ Trade Mission to Guyana

By Misha Lobban Clarke At bilateral negotiations held between President of Guyana, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, and the Prime Minister of Barbados, Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, at the margins of the UNCTAD XV hosted in Barbados in October 2021, a decision was taken by both leaders to chart a new paradigm in the relations between…

Leveraging Web 3.0 to Boost Trade & Investment in the Orange Economy

By Chelcee Brathwaite and Nikolai Layne A decline in tourism due to the COVID-19 pandemic reminded the Caribbean of their need for economic diversification. An area for consideration is the “orange” economy which, given the region’s rich cultural assets, presents endless opportunities. However, comparative advantage alone is not sufficient to fully capitalise on the sector’s…

The WTO Services Domestic Regulation: Should CARICOM Countries Join?

By Alicia Nicholls Services providers – whether lawyers, accountants or IT professionals – know all too well the non-negligible costs and high regulatory barriers encountered when seeking authorization to ply their trade in a foreign land. It is with this reality in mind that on December 2, 2021, 67 members of the 164-member World Trade…

The Last Mile to MC12

By Wayne Mc Cook The World Trade Organization (WTO) approaches its 12th Ministerial Conference (of Ministers responsible for trade) with its centrality in the Multilateral Trading System (MTS) assured despite the severe shocks it has faced in recent years. These shocks have been magnified by the stagnation in its negotiating pillar and the severe setback…

Brace For Impact…Major Disruption To The Yuletide Season Consumer

By Dr. Kai-Ann Skeete Approximately nearly 18 months since the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States were disrupted by the Covid-19 Pandemic, we can now look back and examine the lessons learnt from surviving the catastrophic human, social, economic, and political losses. As we commence our Christmas preparations, there is one more lesson we need to…

From the Savannah to the Sea: Connecting Kenya and Barbados through Trade and Investment

By Dr. Jan Yves Remy and Chelcee Brathwaite On the side lines of the UNCTAD XV Conference hosted by Barbados on 3-7 October 2021,  a growing courtship between Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Mottley and Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta was entering a new phase. While trade officials were busy negotiating the final text of the Bridgetown…

What was achieved at UNCTAD XV and what next?

By Alicia Nicholls, Dr. Jan Yves Remy and Dr. Kai-Ann Skeete In October 3-7, 2021, Barbados not only successfully hosted the Fifteenth Quadrennial Conference of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XV) in hybrid format, but has assumed the presidency of this UN General Assembly organ for the next three years. Barbados…

Can You Gig It? Leveraging The Gig Economy for Cross Border Trade in Services in the Caribbean

By Chelceé Brathwaite The COVID-19 pandemic has ensured that it can’t be business as usual – more firms are leveraging digital solutions for business continuity, online labour markets are becoming more popular, and the suitability of the traditional 9-5 workweek is being questioned. However, even before the pandemic, technological advancements, changing cultures and emerging business…

CARICOM SIDS and the WTO Fisheries Subsidies Negotiations

By Alicia Nicholls and Leisel Juman By the time the World Trade Organization (WTO) holds its Twelfth Ministerial Conference (MC12) in November this year, Members hope to have finally reached a multilateral agreement to discipline harmful fisheries subsidies. Fisheries subsidies negotiations have been on-going at the WTO since 2001. Should an agreement be reached among…

The EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and CARICOM

By Dr. Jan Yves Remy and Kaycia Ellis-Bourne On 14 July 2021, the European Union (EU) released its long-awaited proposal for a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) which will serve as the EU bloc’s first carbon import levy. As anticipated, the proposed CBAM has attracted attention among international observers, even if it has not been…

Facilitating Private Sector Investment for SDG Achievement in Caribbean SIDS

By Matthew Wilson The following is an adapted article from talking points delivered by esteemed panelist Mr. Matthew Wilson at the August 5, 2021 Shridath Ramphal Centre event on ‘Facilitating private sector investment for SDG achievement in Caribbean SIDs‘.  Thank you to Professor Jeffrey Sachs for his introductory remarks. Like many of us I watched his…

The CARICOM Commission’s Report on the Economy: Time to Play Your Part!

By Dr. Jan Yves Remy At the invitation of the Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados, I recently participated in a vibrant session of the Caribbean Economic Forum entitled “Putting People at the Centre of Development in the Caribbean”.   My fellow panelists – Professor Avinash Persaud and Dr. Damien King – were two of…

TRIPS and Health: Moving towards a friendlier intellectual property regime

By Tara Leevy Over the past decade, global health issues, and questions about the impact of international trade on global health have taken centre-stage. The diverse nature of health-related conflicts that have arisen within the international trade context dramatically illustrate that it is no longer possible to view issues of global health and international trade…

Same Cast, Time for a different script: A Sobering Welcome to Dr. Barnett 

By Dr. Kai-Ann Skeete With the announcement of the upcoming retirement of Ambassador Irwin LaRocque in August 2021 as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General (SG), this author waited with bated breath for the confirmation of the selected successor. The moment came earlier this month when CARICOM Chair, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago made…

Diaspora Financing for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Caribbean

By Alicia Nicholls Although in recent years, Caribbean governments have accelerated their diaspora engagement efforts, the diaspora as a development actor remains under-harnessed. This SRC Trading Thoughts examines the potentially transformative role the diaspora could play in assisting Caribbean countries’ financing of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It discusses three possible channels…

My Experience at the Model WTO International 2021

By Nwadike Bacchus As a freshly minted graduate and alumnus of the Masters in International Trade Policy (MITP) Programme at the UWI Shridath Ramphal Centre (SRC), Cave Hill Campus, I anticipated that my first real test to apply the skills I acquired would take the form of the traditional 3-month internship. However, at this time…

Unleashing the Potential of Youth in International Trade

By Chelcee Brathwaite Youth unemployment, defined by the International Labour Organization (ILO) as persons aged 15-24 seeking but unable to find a job, is a global crisis. According to the ILO, more than 64 million youth are unemployed globally, and 145 million young workers live in poverty. To achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal…

Towards a Post-Brexit UK-Caribbean Relationship

By Nand C. Bardouille, Ph.D. Having not met in five years, the United Kingdom-Caribbean Ministerial Forum (hereafter Ministerial Forum) that met on 18 March 2021 for the tenth time was a meeting of many firsts. It was the first such meeting to take place in the post-Brexit era. And it assumed perhaps its highest profile…

A Brief Reflection on Lamy’s Henry Gill Memorial Lecture: New Global Trade Currents, New Caribbean Responses?

By Junior Lodge On March 17, inst. Pascal Lamy, the former EU Trade Commissioner and WTO Director-General delivered the inaugural Henry Gill memorial lecture. The event was aimed at memorialising the professional life of the former Caribbean trade negotiator and academic. Mr’s Lamy’s intervention offered a reflection on key lessons on trade and development since…

Services Zones for Post-COVID-19 Recovery and Development

By Dr. Ronnie Yearwood & Alicia Nicholls At a Covid-19 press conference held on February 15, 2020, it was mentioned in passing that the Government of Barbados (GOB) was exploring the creation of a free trade zone. We applaud the fact that this idea has finally taken root. Some years ago, in his regular newspaper…

The Caribbean Community Common External Tariff: Revisiting its Governing Philosophy

By Dr. Gianni Avila & Dr. Jan Yves Remy The Common External Tariff (CET) is a critical component of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), one of the oldest regional integration arrangements among developing countries in the world, whose aim is to remove barriers to the intra-regional trade among its Member States. In theory, the CET provides…

Never let a good crisis go to waste: Revisiting the CARICOM Single Domestic Space

By Dr. Kai-Ann Skeete Former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill who led Britain through World War II is credited as saying “never let a good crisis go to waste.” It is with these words that I pen this article to advance my opinion on the way forward for the regional integration movement in light…

The Energy Transition

By Stefan Newton Economic and human activity depends on the use of energy. The Industrial Revolution was made possible by harnessing the power of fossil fuels to service manufacturing, transport, and large urban settlements. While fossil fuel energy has positively changed human life, burning fossil fuels emits carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas, which has…

Beyond Sun, Sand and Sea: Developing an Inclusive, Sustainable & Resilient Tourism Sector in Barbados

By Chelcee Brathwaite Barbados’ tropical temperatures, year-round sunshine and award-winning beaches undeniably create a natural comparative advantage luring millions of tourists. Recording its third consecutive year of growth in stayover arrivals, Barbados welcomed 680,269 stayover visitors and 614,933 cruise passengers in 2018, according to the BTMI’s latest annual report.[1] Tourism, Barbados’ biggest foreign exchange earner,…

Five Priority Areas for a Caribbean International Trade Agenda in 2021

By Dr. Jan Yves Remy January is the time for making New Year’s resolutions and as the month draws to a close (already!), I want to squeeze in my wish list for the region’s top five trade negotiating priorities for the year 2021.  As my colleague, Alicia Nicholls explains in her piece this month, 2020…

Could 2021 be a comeback year for global trade?

By Alicia Nicholls 2020 was one of the most disruptive years in recent memory for global trade and the rules-based multilateral trading system. The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a sharp contraction in global merchandise trade growth which was already slowing due to escalating trade tensions among major trading powers. It disrupted global supply chains, provoking calls…

Should CARICOM Countries support a WTO TRIPS Waiver to access the COVID-19 Vaccine?

By Jan Yves Remy and Mustaqeem De Gama Through its Resolution WHA73.1 of 19 May 2020, the World Health Organization recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has a disproportionately heavy impact on the poor and the most vulnerable, with repercussions on health and development gains, in particular, in low-income countries. The global challenge is to produce…

A WTO Trade Response for CARICOM to Counter EU blacklisting?

By Dr. Jan Yves Remy and Alicia Nicholls Two Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, are among the twelve predominantly small states and dependencies included on the EU’s updated “blacklist” of October 6, 2020.  The arbitrary inclusion of some CARICOM Member States (MS) on large countries’ national tax “blacklists” remains a vexing…

The Next WTO Director-General: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s Long Walk to Victory

By Leah Crag-Chaderton & Nicholas Lazarus On October 28th 2020, at a Heads of Delegations (HOD) meeting, Ambassador David Walker recommended that Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala be appointed as the new Director-General (DG) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) following the conclusion of the third and final individual consultations with Member State delegations on October 27th.  The…

Unlocking the Full Potential of the Association of Caribbean States

By Dr. Jan Yves Remy and Chelcee Brathwaite The signing of the Convention Establishing the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) on 24 July 1994 in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, signalled a new era of regional cooperation, one envisaged in the 1980s when CARICOM indicated its desire to widen the integration process to include all other…

Reconsidering Strategic Trade Alliances for the Caribbean

By Shineco Sutherland Caribbean news was recently abuzz with Barbados’ plan to remove the Queen as its Head of State, which would signal a severing of some of the last vestiges of its legislative colonial ties. In the aftermath of that announcement, some of the media in the Global North pounced on China as the…

In Its Race For Director-General, Will The WTO Make History Or Her-Story?

By Leah Crag-Chaderton & Nicholas Lazarus Just three weeks after Roberto Azevedo officially demitted office as Director-General (DG) of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the selection process for his successor is well under way.  The list of those vying for the helm of the WTO got shorter on September 18th, when the General Council revealed…

COVID-19: An Opportunity to Rethink Caribbean Diaspora Engagement

By David Gomez and Alicia Nicholls Caribbean economies, like others around the world, have been negatively impacted by the on-going novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its June 2020 Economic Outlook forecasts global gross domestic product (GDP) growth at – 4.9 percent in 2020. For tourism-dependent economies like Barbados,…

CARICOM’s Stake in the WTO Director-General Race

By Alicia Nicholls Incumbent World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General (DG) Mr. Roberto Azevedo’s recent announcement of his resignation a full year before concluding his second term of office took the world by surprise, and presents another plot twist among the mounting challenges confronting the guardian of the multilateral trading system. The incoming DG – whoever…

Lessons from the Appellate Body’s Parting Shot in the WTO Tobacco Plain Packaging Dispute

By Dr. Jan Yves Remy The report issued this week by the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in the Australia Tobacco Plain Packaging dispute might be remembered because it is the final report of a dying international appeal court.  However, to focus on its symbolic value only would be a missed opportunity…