09 February: Subcommittee on Investment & Private sector
11-12 February: 3rd Symposium on South-South and Triangular Cooperation
Council of the EU
10 February: Coreper I
10-11 February: Coreper II
11 February: Eurogroup
12 February: Economic and Financial Affairs Council
09 February: Infopoint Lunchtime Conference: Harnessing the private sector for biodiversity conservation
The CTA Brussels News Service is providing EU-ACP policy news since 2004, on various key thematic areas. In addition to this news service, we also provide news on ACP intra-regional trade, and south-south cooperation (investments of emerging countries' in agriculture in the ACP regions). The main stories for the week are featured in our newsletter and all stories can be found in our Regional Trade and the South-South cooperation sections.
For the third year, Brussels will welcome the Salon du Chocolat from 5 to 7 February for another celebration of Belgian chocolate in all its shapes and forms. Over 100 participants - chocolatiers, pâtissiers, confiseurs, chefs, chefs pâtissiers, designers and cocoa experts - have already confirmed their presence. The Salon will offer a full programme of playful and instructive entertainment for young and old: demonstrations of recipes, conferences, studios for children and adults, chocolate sculptures, exhibitions... of course, not forgetting the famous robes en chocolat procession. For this 2016 edition, Togo is the guest foreign country of honour. Togo may not be a big producer of cocoa compared with the Côte d’Ivoire, but the quality of the beans is exceptional. Also present in Brussels will be the managers and directors of Choco-Togo, the only locally-made chocolate.
The Committee of Ambassadors of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States will be chaired by the Ambassador of the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville), H.E. Roger-Julien Menga for the period 1 February 2016 to 31st July 2016. He takes over from the Ambassador of Lesotho, H.E. Mpeo Mahase-Moiloa. The Committee of Ambassadors is one of the most important bodies of the ACP governing structures, comprising of one representative from each of the 79 member countries of the ACP Group. It meets at least one a month in Brussels to monitor the implementation of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, and carry out any mandate tasked to them by the ACP Council of Ministers. Much of its work is also carried out through sub-committees and working groups.
The currently prevailing context of trade liberalisation is pushing all the countries towards setting up a customs reduction plan. "The Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA) signed with the European Union will generate a shortfall of 45 thousand million ariaries on this year's customs revenue. Madagascan companies should now prepare for the progressive reduction of duties planned in this agreement which will continue up to 2022", said Eric Narivony Rabenja, Director General of Customs, in his speech at the information meeting on finance laws for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and tax-payers yesterday before the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Antananarivo (CCIA).