CARICOM Updates

1) Suriname bank with half billion dollars in assets acquired by Trinidad’s Republic Bank

Republic Bank Limited has welcomed a new territory into the fold of the expanding financial group, with the acquisition of a Surinamese bank with just over half billion US dollars in assets. Republic Bank (Suriname) N.V. will begin operations tomorrow, following the Trinidad and Tobago financial institution’s acquisition of RBC Royal Bank (Suriname) N.V. from RBC Financial (Caribbean) Limited, through the purchase of Royal Overseas Holdings (St. Lucia) Limited. See More...

 

2) First ever OECS Business Council formed

The first ever Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Business Council retreat began on Monday in Saint Lucia, under the theme: “Converging the development agenda together.” President of the OECS Business Council Gorden Charles said the council will focus on enhancing customer satisfaction. See More...

 

3) Building geographical indications for Caribbean origin-linked products

The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) opened the two-day sub-regional workshop on branding and the use of geographical indications in the development of management strategies for origin-linked products in Kingston, Jamaica, on July 21. With the aim of building the capacity of CARIFORUM producers to identify and develop geographical indications and origin linked products, it is hoped that attending businesses will prosper and enhance their competitiveness in the international arena, and as a result build economic growth and sustainability of the Caribbean region. See More...

 

4) Four Caribbean countries identified as choice locations for business

St. Lucia, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago and Haiti have been identified as countries outside the United States that companies will move to in five to 10 years. That’s according to readers of Site Selection Magazine, an influential publication that highlights corporate real estate strategy and area economic development. See More...

 

5) Imposition of Import Duties by Grenada on Selected Items from July 2015

At the 35th meeting of the Council on Trade and Economic Development (COTED), it was agreed that the CARICOM Less Developed Countries (LDCs), would be able to impose a higher rate of import duty on imports from CARICOM More Developed Countries (MDCs) and from extra-regional sources, on a selected list of goods, until 2018. This imposition is done in accordance with Article 164 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which addresses promotion of industrial development. Grenada has implemented Article 164 from July 2015.

 

6) Engagement with the Private Sector

CAIC indicated that the CBC is not operational because it (CAIC) continues to reach out to national private sector associations to become members, since the CAIC is one of five bodies which will constitute the CBC. As a result, the expected commencement of the CBC (which was to be the 41st COTED) is postponed. No new expected commencement was given.

 

7) Market Access for Honey into Trinidad and Tobago

The Minister of Trade and Industry of Trinidad and Tobago reiterated the country’s position that it would liberalise the trade of honey, but that her administration is new. Grenada indicated that it understands that the administration is new, and that it would be willing to dialogue with the new Minister. N.B. Grenada is the 2015 recipient of the Medal of Ukraine, which is awarded to the best honey in the world outside of the British Isles. 

 

8) Update on the Negotiations for a CARICOM-Canada Trade and Development Agreement

The upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting and the WTO Ministerial Conference will be used as “ice breakers” between Canada and individual CARICOM member states. Additionally, the diplomatic missions of CARICOM in Canada are to engage their Canadian counterparts to informally ascertain whether Canada is interested in resuming negotiations.

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