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EDITO
Wednesday, 25 April 2018

European sugar is turning up in odd places. Production from the region’s beet farms is drawing buyers as far away as Haiti, once a major grower of cane in the Caribbean, and Sierra Leone in sub-Saharan Africa. It’s even shown up on the Pacific island of Pitcairn, one of the remotest abodes on Earth. Any demand is good news for producers such as Suedzucker AG, the world’s biggest, and main European rival Nordzucker AG as a supply glut has pushed white-sugar prices down 27 percent this year in London. That followed a European Union decision to end quotas on output and exports.

Cameroon exports an average of 300,000 tons of bananas per year to the European Union (EU), the new EU ambassador and head of delegation announced on Monday.According to Hans-Peter Schadek, who is increasing contacts with the Cameroonian authorities, partnership between the EU and Cameroon must be strengthen in several sectors of activity. On supporting the banana sector, he said, “that this is an important action that has been going on for some time and that has now reached a cruising speed of nearly 300,000 tons of bananas exported each year by Cameroon to the European Union market.”

The Fourth Meeting of the Joint CARIFORUM-EU Council under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) took place in Brussels, Belgium, on 17 November 2017. The Meeting was co-chaired by Ms. Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade and by Mr. Sven Mikser, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia and representing the EU Council. The CARIFORUM delegation included Ministers of CARIFORUM States and was led by Senator the Honourable Ms. Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Jamaica. EU Member States were also present.

Offering credit to East African banks might not be many people’s idea of traditional development aid. Yet promoting private small and medium enterprise, alongside funding for infrastructure projects that will help develop local businesses, lies at the heart of the new strategy for Africa. Dating back to the Cotonou Agreement, signed in 2000 by the EU and 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific states in Benin, the strategic goals are changing with the EU focusing much more on increasing stability and resilience by supporting economic development programmes to defuse migration pressures. The Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank (EIB) lends €700m per year to banks and financial sector firms across sub-Saharan Africa.

Fiji has received 23 million euros ($F56,973,543) from the European Commission out of the promised 44.4 million euros ($F109,983,710) to aid in the reform and long-term sustainability plans for the sugarcane industry. According to the Fiji Sugar Corporation's 2017 Annual Report, the 44.4m euros was to aid in Fiji's reform and restructure programs, allowing Fiji to become more sustainable and competitive in the international market. "The last major reform of the EU sugar sector in 2006, the advent of the Economic Partnership Agreements in 2008 and the denunciation of the ACP-EU Sugar Protocol represented some of the major challenges that Fiji, along with other ACP small and vulnerable communities, had to grapple with," the FSC said in its report.