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Sunday, 02 August 2015

The Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture Belgium-Luxembourg-Africa-Caribbean-Pacific (CBL-ACP) shall lead an economic mission to Cuba from August 26 to 30. The Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce is a member shall also be part of the mission. While trade between Luxembourg and Cuba has been very limited over the past 20 year, the recent normalization of US-Cuban relations has lead the way for both economic and political rapprochement globally.  Jeannot Erpelding, director of international affairs at the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, expressed that in his opinion there is only very limited interest in doing business with Cuba, due to Cuba's geographical proximity to the US.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Luanda International Fair, Paulo Varela, chairman of the Portugal-Angola Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIPA) expressed contentment at the new Private Investment Law, which was approved this week in the Angolan parliament. Paulo Varela said “Angola needs investment in the productive sector, which requires legislative stability, as well as a stable fiscal framework that is as simple as possible,” and this new Law shall make the process “friendlier” for companies. Previously, Angolan law required a minimum of US$1 million private investment. The new law sets a minimum participation of 35% for Angolan partners and authorization to invest.

President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi recently  called on French businesspeople to invest in industrial agriculture in Mozambique during his last official visit to Paris. President Nyusi underscored the strength of his country’s workforce, which can be leveraged for the agricultural sector. A French delegation is due to visit Mozambique later on in the year  to explore business opportunities with local business people. Other important sectors for future business opportunities include the gas sector, renewable energy and banking.

The Italian Minister of Fisheries, Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Maurizio Martina confirmed that Italy is committed to contribute to the relaunch of Angolan agriculture. On the sidelines of the  Angola-Italy Business Forum, Martina expressed interest in developing partnerships between companies from both countries after the signing of a memorandum of understanding in the agricultural sector with his Angolan counterpart. Martina said, “We have agricultural models based on family businesses and I think this agricultural model can be adapted to the Angolan experience.” Angolan Minister for Agriculture, Afonso Pedro Canga, was pleased with the support voiced by his counterpart for Angola’s recovery and development of agriculture plan.

Why can the Greek crisis in the EU be good news for EU-Nigeria trade? As the global economic and financial crisis takes its toll on mature economies, such as Greece, there are lessons for emerging countries. Some onlookers suggest that emerging markets such as Nigeria can boost their bargaining power when negotiating with economic giants such as the EU, both in bilateral trade talks and in terms of increasing exports to the bloc. The implications of the Greek crisis and the simalrities of debt-burdened governments deserve attention, especially as the EU is gaining increased market presence in Nigeria, amongst other emerging economies. In sum, emerging economies can gain buying power, but they also rsik to lose selling power: importing good will be cheaper with a fall in the euro, but at the same time, demand from the EU bloc may drop and impact government tax revenues.