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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 298]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 298]
Send date: 2011-11-11 18:47:45
Issue #: 114
Content:
Bulletin CTA
1

This weblog shares information on key ACP-EU programmes and events
from Brussels relevant to agriculture and rural development in ACP countries.


Date : [DATE]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

 

Main events in the week
  1. Brussels Briefing: Food price volatility
  2. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 14/11 to 18/11/2011
  3. Our video guest: Dr. Bart Van Vooren, Copenhagen University
  4. New expert group on “EU Platform for External Cooperation and Development”
  5. EU urged to give more priority to tackling malnutrition
  6. New Concord report: EU policies seriously undermine developing countries’ rights
  7. The Commission and the IOM streamline their cooperation
  8. Andris Piebalgs in Uganda to explore innovative financing for agriculture
  9. Antigua partners with EU for emergency docking port
  10. Comoros islands commit to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing
  11. Financial Transaction Tax sparks disagreement in Council of Ministers
  12. The EU supports rural development in Timor Leste
  13. Hard times ahead for Caribbean sugar
  14. 190 million EUR allocated to ACP banana exporters until 2013
  15. WTO working party adopts Samoa’s membership package
  16. No EU permit for South African dairy products
  17. Cioloş defends plans to reform EU farm policy
  18. ACP-EU Carib-Cap Forum III eyes new models for microfinance
  19. EU grants available for Caribbean food exporters
  20. New EU study shows significant economic benefits from a Doha deal
  21. SACU-Mercosur PTA gets cautionary thumbs-up
  22. EU urges Fiji dialogue, offers to lift sanctions
  23. Oxfam predicts biggest cuts in aid in 15 years
  24. G20 results: WFP pleased, international NGOs reserved


  1. Brussels Briefing: Food price volatility
    2011-11-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Food Policy, Archive

    The next Brussels Development Briefing will take place on the 30 November 2011 and will be organised in partnership with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the European Commission (DG DEVCO) the ACP Secretariat, Concord and various other partners.

    We will discuss the main challenges in food price volatility and give a summary of the key policy issues discussed at the G20 meeting which have implications for ACP countries. We will then focus on the effects of food price volatility on the ground by bringing various experiences from different actors. We will also identify what urgent and concrete policy actions need to be in place to mitigate the negative effects of food price volatility.

    Among the confirmed speakers are Hafez Ghanem, deputy director general of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Maximo Torero, Director of the Markets, Trade and Institutions Division in the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Mamadou Cissokho from the Réseau des Organisations paysannes et de Producteurs de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (ROPPA), Chris Moore from United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), representatives of the French and Mexican governments and others.

    To learn more about the Briefing, please visit http://brusselsbriefings.net or sign up for automatic Brussels Briefings email alerts.


    Link Brussels Briefings
    Link Subscribe to Briefing email alerts
    Link G20 on price volatility


  2. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 14/11 to 18/11/2011
    2011-11-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    European Parliament
    -14-17 November: European Parliament Plenary session (Strasbourg)
    -14-17 November: Committee Meetings in the European Parliament (Strasbourg)
    Council of Ministers
    -14 November: Agriculture and Fisheries Council
    -14 November: Foreign Affairs Council
    -15 November: General Affairs Council
    -16 November: Coreper II
    -16 November: Coreper I
    European Commission
    -15 November: Weekly meeting of the college (Strasbourg)
    ACP-EU
    -16-20 November: 22nd meeting of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly
    ACP Group
    -14 November: High-level Conference on Renewable Energy
    -16-20 November: 26th meeting of the ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly

    You can also read our newspaper “CTA Brussels Daily” (fed by our Twitter account), follow our new Facebook group CTABrussels and our Twitter account CTABrussels to receive up-to-date information on EU-ACP events.


    Link European Parliament
    Link Council of Ministers
    Link ACP Group of States


  3. Our video guest: Dr. Bart Van Vooren, Copenhagen University
    2011-11-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, ACP-EU Policy

    Dr Bart Van Vooren is Assistant Professor in European Law and Integration at Copenhagen University. In this interview, taken during a recent debate in Brussels, Mr Van Vooren outlines the possibilities and problems around a European financial transaction tax.


    Link Watch the video
    Link FTT sparks disagreement in Council of Ministers
    Link Robin Hood is here to stay


  4. New expert group on “EU Platform for External Cooperation and Development”
    2011-11-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    A European Commission expert group involving the European External Action Service, the European Investment Bank and EU Member States has started its work to study the potential benefits of establishing an EU Platform for External Cooperation and Development. The aim of this EU Platform would be to find ways to increase the impact of the EU's external cooperation activities by optimising mechanisms for blending grants and loans. The European Commission aims to report to the European Parliament and to the Council in mid-2012, allowing for a political decision on whether to create such a Platform.

    EIB President, Philippe Maystadt, said: “In a period of resource constraints within the EU, it becomes ever more important that the EC, the EIB, Member States and other European financial institutions join forces to support the EU’s ambitious external policy agenda. I firmly believe that building on the expertise and resources of all EU actors is the way forward to maximise the effectiveness of EU financing in support of partner countries.”

    The European Parliament and the Council requested the European Commission to create a group of experts, comprised of Member States, the European External Action Service and the European Investment Bank, whose role would be to assess the costs and benefits of establishing an “EU Platform for External Cooperation and Development”. The group of experts will consult with other relevant actors, notably multilateral and bilateral finance institutions. Based on the findings of the group of experts, the Commission will report to the European Parliament and to the Council in mid-2012 and, if appropriate, make recommendations for a Platform.

    Source: EIB


    Link Read more
    Link EIB
    Link EEAS


  5. EU urged to give more priority to tackling malnutrition
    2011-11-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Archive, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    Adressing a high-level conference on tackling malnutrition, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy insisted that the international community do more on global malnutrition. Given that the 7 billionth citizen recently saw the light of the day, Van Rompuy wondered whether this child would grow up in a healthy environment and whether the earth would be able to feed it.

    EU Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner Georgieva added that a failure to address malnutrition could lead to the non-achievement of six of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). A Brussels Briefing in June 2011 discussed the fact that malnutrition is either directly or indirectly responsible for approximately half of all deaths worldwide. In the presence of the new Director General of the FAO, José Graziano da Silva, food policy experts and international researchers outlined the problems in today’s food policy and the way to tackle them.


    Link Read more
    Link Herman Van Rompuy
    Link Briefing Nutrition security in ACP countries


  6. New Concord report: EU policies seriously undermine developing countries’ rights
    2011-11-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Archive, Food Security, ACP-EU Policy

    EU policies are continuing to seriously undermine rights in developing countries says a new report launched on 7 November by CONCORD, the confederation of European development NGOs. The report shows incoherencies between EU development objectives and other policies, coming at an important time as the EU reforms its agricultural, trade and development policies.

    The report is the joint effort of European development NGOs and civil society organisations, coordinated by CONCORD. It follows a first report in 2009. In the 2011 report, throughout the thematic chapters of relating to food security, natural resources management, human security, and migration, CONCORD uncovers some incoherencies of current EU policies and proposes alternative, fairer measures that respect the Human Rights of all.

    The report finds that

    • The EU is failing to meet its obligations under the Lisbon Treaty to make its policies coherent so that they do not undermine development objectives.
    • The EU can greatly improve the impact of its €53 billion per year in development aid if it shows a clearer commitment to Policy Coherence for Development.

    Source: CONCORD


    Link Read more
    Link Read the report [PDF]
    Link CONCORD


  7. The Commission and the IOM streamline their cooperation
    2011-11-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The European Commission and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) agreed to strengthen their cooperation in the area of migration and mobility. Commissioners Cecilia Malmström (Home Affairs) and Andris Piebalgs (Development) signed a Framework Agreement with IOM Director-General William L. Swing. The Framework provides for simpler and more efficient methods of cooperation by simplifying and streamlining the procedure for contractual negotiations between the EU and the IOM. It is applicable to any operation, programme or project administered by IOM and financed or co-financed by the European Union. […]

    Commissioner Piebalgs said: "Migration also has an impact on developing countries. With more than 200 million migrants worldwide, the EU is committed to addressing issues that affect them and to helping countries which face migration-related challenges. Thanks to this new agreement, we will boost our cooperation with IOM and we will be more efficient in reaching those migrants who need our assistance."

    The European Commission has developed a general standard agreement which it applies to its contractual relationships with international organisations (the “Standard Contribution Agreement with an International Organisation” or “SCA”). The Framework Agreement signed today aims to adapt the standard provisions of the SCA to the specific requirements of the IOM. This will further simplify the contractual negotiations of individual contribution agreements ("Contribution Agreements") concluded between the Commission and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for future specific programmes or projects.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link IOM
    Link Previous framework agreements


  8. Andris Piebalgs in Uganda to explore innovative financing for agriculture
    2011-11-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Food Security, Food Policy

    European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs this week traveled to Uganda for a two-day visit. Together with government and private sector representatives he explored how to improve access to financing for small and medium enterprises in agriculture and the agribusiness through public-private partnerships. The Commissioner also inaugurated an EU-funded road that is essential for cross-border trade in the region. He met, among others, President Yoweri Museveni and Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi. [...]

    At a High Level Roundtable meeting on 8 November, Commissioner Piebalgs discussed how innovative financing like the blending of public and private funds can help to boost financing for small and medium enterprises in agriculture and the agro-based industry (e.g. food processing). Together with government and business representatives the Commissioner signed a "Joint Declaration of Intentions" to further explore concrete options. Agriculture represents a key sector of the Ugandan economy and contributes 24% to national GDP. The country has significant potential of becoming a major net exporter in the region and beyond; the agro-based industry represents 40% of the country's total manufacturing.

    On 9 November, Commissioner Piebalgs officially opened an EU-funded 99 km section of the Masaka-Mbarara highway, which is part of the vital so-called Regional Northern Corridor that links the economies of East Africa and the Great Lakes region with the Indian Ocean (Kenya-Uganda-Rwanda-Democratic Republic of Congo). He further attended the groundbreaking ceremony for another section of this road, between Mbarara and Katuna.

    The new road will contribute to reduction in travel time and vehicle maintenance cost, which will have a positive impact on the economic development. It has been estimated that 1% of reduction in the transport costs will result in 2.5% increase in the volume of trade. The transport sector accounts for 6% of Uganda's GDP and is dominated by the road sector, which carries more than 90% of domestic trade.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link More information
    Link EU Delegation to Uganda


  9. Antigua partners with EU for emergency docking port
    2011-11-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The EU financed a new Emergency Ferry Docking Facility in Antigua to give the island the possibility for a swift reaction if disaster strikes. In 1995, Hurricane Luis hit Antigua and Barbuda while an eruption of the Soufriere Volcano threatened Montserrat in the same year.

    The Docking Facility will allow Antigua to evacuate its territory in case of an emergency, and also permits it to move relief supplies to Montserrat. CARIFORUM had identified the project as a priority and expressed its gratitude to the European Union for its contribution in financing the facility.

    Source: IPSNews


    Link Read more
    Link CARICOM
    Link EU cooperation with Antigua & Barbuda


  10. Comoros islands commit to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing
    2011-11-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    A delegation of the European Commission and a delegation of the Union of Comoros met within the framework of the Joint Committee to discuss issues linked to the implementation of the Fisheries partnership agreement between the EU and the Union of Comoros.

    At the request of the EU delegation in Mauritius a discussion took place on ways to improve the fight against IUU. The EU delegation referred to ongoing cases of 2 fishing vessels under Comoros flag that were fishing in Senegalese waters in 2011 with fishing authorizations delivered in breach of the provisions of the Senegalese Fisheries Code. Reacting to correspondence sent by the European Commission requesting information on these vessels, within the framework of the Joint Committee, the competent authorities of Comoros committed themselves to withdraw the Comoros flag from these 2 fishing vessels.

    Furthermore, Comoros committed to put in place a closer co-operation between their Ministry of transport and their Ministry of Fisheries which keeps an updated view on the international lists of IUU vessels, so that Comorian authorities can prevent in the future any further registration of IUU vessels under Comorian flag.

    The European Commission welcomes the measures and the commitments that have been taken by the Comorian authorities towards better results against IUU.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EU-Comoros fisheries partnership
    Link EU cooperation with Comoros


  11. Financial Transaction Tax sparks disagreement in Council of Ministers
    2011-11-10
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    At the end of the meeting of the 27 finance ministers on 8 November, two fractions became clearly visible. The Franco-German double, supported by Spain, sees itself opposed by a group of offensive anglo-saxon countries. “I would suggest that we bury this idea,” said the British finance minister, George Osborne.

    Source: Euractiv.fr


    Link Read more
    Link Read the Council conclusions [PDF]
    Link CTA video interview with Bart Van Vooren


  12. The EU supports rural development in Timor Leste
    2011-11-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    The European Union funded, under the 10 European Development Fund, a € 10 million Enhancing Rural Access Project (ERA) Project to rehabilitate and maintenance of rural roads network of Timor Leste, scheduled for implementation over a period of four years, (2011-2015) through the International Labour Organisation ( ILO) focusing upon labour-based road rehabilitation and private sector development

    The ERA Project seeks to improve the access to rural areas through the rehabilitation and maintenance of around 150 km of priority rural roads in selected districts of Timor-Leste. ERA further aims to establish capacities, both in the private sector and in contract management. The identification of the roads to be rehabilitation by the Project will be done within the framework of the Rural Roads Master Plan of Timor Leste, also financed by the European Union.

    Timor-Leste is essentially an agriculture-based economy with approximately 75% of its total population of about 1.1 million living in rural areas. A key constraint to economic development is the poor condition of infrastructure in general, and the road network in particular. Another serious structural problem of the economy is the inability to create employment opportunities for the rapidly expanding labour force. The program is expecting to provide job opportunity to some 13.000 people from rural areas.

    Source: EU Delegation to Timor Leste


    Link EU Delegation to Timor Leste
    Link Enhancing Rural Access Project
    Link EU cooperation with Timor Leste


  13. Hard times ahead for Caribbean sugar
    2011-11-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The Sugar Association of the Caribbean (SAC) has been buoyed by a large crop this year, but a recent proposal by the European Union to abolish domestic quotas would likely cut into preferential sugar exports by the SAC and other sugar associations in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries to European markets.

    SAC chairman Karl James said 312,000 tonnes of sugar has been delivered to the EU out of an expected 500,000 tonnes this year. The euro has continued its favourable performance against the U.S. dollar, providing an added advantage.

    The ACP and the Least Developed Countries' (LDC) cane sugar suppliers have already expressed their "profound concern and dismay" at the commission's proposals to deregulate its own production in the context of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform announced on Oct. 12.

    The CAP addresses how the European Union intends to deal with its agricultural sector from 2014-2020, and the sugar proposal would take effect as of Sep. 30, 2015.

    Source: IPSNews


    Link Read more
    Link Sugar producers deplore CAP proposal
    Link ACP-EU Sugar


  14. 190 million EUR allocated to ACP banana exporters until 2013
    2011-11-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    Ten ACP countries are to benefit from a total of 190 million EUR as part of a temporary programme (2010-2013) of accompanying measures in the banana sector. This compromise was reached after long negotiations between the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission.

    Allocation of funds will be handled according to three criteria: The place of the banana sector in the ACP country, banana exports, and the development stage of the country.

    Negotiations also reached a compromise on the Parliament’s request to adopt multiannual programmes for the three funding instruments for EU external action (European Development Fund, Development Cooperation Instrument, European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument) through the delegated acts procedure, which would have circumvented the Ordinary Legislative Procedure and given the Parliament the right to oppose a Commission draft measure.

    In the compromise reached, the Council committed to discussing the option of using the delegated acts procedure for external action instruments in the negotiations to the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020. Before the compromise can become effective, the Parliament and the Council have to approve it by the end of November.

    Source: CTA/Europolitics


    Link Read more
    Link ACP Bananas
    Link Perspectives for ACP banana producers


  15. WTO working party adopts Samoa’s membership package
    2011-11-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The Working Party on Samoa’s accession adopted the accession package which contains the reforms to Samoa’s trade regime, the market access schedules on goods and services, the draft General Council Decision and the draft Protocol of Accession. Samoa applied for WTO membership on 15 April 1998.

    Members congratulated Samoa on its commendable efforts in conducting all the necessary reforms to become a member of the WTO. Members added that Samoa’s WTO membership will contribute to its economic development.

    WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said: “Samoa’s accession to the WTO is a sign of confidence in the organization and the global trading system. WTO membership will enable Samoa to participate more fully in the global economy and will provide the country with a predictable and stable basis for growth and development. Samoa’s accession brings good news to the WTO family as we gather for the 8th Ministerial Conference.”

    Source: WTO


    Link Read more
    Link EU cooperation with Samoa
    Link World Trade Organisation


  16. No EU permit for South African dairy products
    2011-11-09
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Archive

    In a statement published in allAfrica.com, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) corrected a media statement issued on 16 September 2011, in which exporters were invited to apply for a permit to export the following agricultural products to the European market: cheese, cut flowers, frozen strawberries, canned fruit (pears, apricots and peaches), frozen orange juice, pineapple juice, apple juice, white and red wine.

    The department had to backtrack on its earlier statement, saying that at present, the European Union has not authorised South Africa to export any dairy products, including cheese, to any of the European Union member countries.

    "In order for South Africa to be able to export dairy products to the European Union," said the department, "South Africa will have to comply with the European Union import requirements, including for example a residue monitoring programme and the need for traceability."

    The department acknowledges that the process will be costly to implement, and that the process of implementation will take time. "We do not foresee that these measures will be fully implemented in time for exporters to make use of the grant tariff preferences mentioned in the media statement," it said, adding that "[t]he Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) would like to apologise to exporters for inconsistencies in listing cheese as one of the permitted commodities to be exported."

    Source: AllAfrica


    Link Read more
    Link EU relations with South Africa
    Link ACP-EU Partnership


  17. Cioloş defends plans to reform EU farm policy
    2011-11-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Environment, Food Security, Food Policy

    Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Cioloş faced a barrage of criticism yesterday (7 November) over plans to overhaul the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) before a rare gathering of national farm ministers and members of the European Parliament.

    The European Commission announced its blueprint for the EU's 2014-2020 budget six months ago, which largely leaves current funding for the CAP untouched at €53 billion per year.

    Putting a legislative blueprint on the table in September, the Commission then proposed changes that include setting aside more land for conservation, streamlining policies and taking steps to equalise payments to farmers in newer member states.

    Source: EurActiv


    Link Read more
    Link Financial Framework 2014 - 2020
    Link The Common Agricultural Policy after 2013


  18. ACP-EU Carib-Cap Forum III eyes new models for microfinance
    2011-11-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    The third Carib-Cap Microfinance Forum will take place in the Bahamas next week, bringing together local microfinance institutions (MFIs) and international specialists in talks focused on a “Caribbean model” for encouraging business growth.

    From 13 to 16 November, Caribbean financiers and credit unions will address the theme “The Caribbean model for growth: diversification, regulation, accountability”. Topics such as growing MFI’s with the appropriate technology and the role of commercial banks in the microfinance Industry are on the agenda.

    Carib-Cap is a $ 3 million project funded by the Inter-American Development Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank and the European Commission, through ACP/EU MICROFINANCE. It was launched in 2008 to build the capacity of the microfinance sector in the English-speaking Caribbean area, which suffered from “low outreach, high arrear rates, dependency on subsidies and poor regulatory frameworks”.

    A study carried out by the programme in 2010 on the Financial Demand in the Caribbean showed that despite the sector’s poor development, there was strong demand for microfinance products such as insurance, flexible and accessible credit, savings or remittance.

    As of 2010, 18 Caribbean MFIs underwent an eye-opening Performance Assessment. Ten of them then entered a Capacity Building process consisting in extensive and tailored Technical Assistance. Carib-Cap continues to be a successful regional project of the ACP/EU MICROFINANCE programme.

    ACP/EU MICROFINANCE’s Coordinator, Emmanuel Moyart, will attend this week’s forum. He will participate to the Opening Session and will be the Facilitator of a panel on “Challenges of growing MFIs - Arrears, MIS, Risk management” on November 14th.

    Source: ACP Secretariat


    Link Read more
    Link Carib-Cap
    Link ACP-EU Microfinance Programme


  19. EU grants available for Caribbean food exporters
    2011-11-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The Caribbean Export Development Agency is offering European Union-funded aid of up to $3.6 million per applicant for food exporters who need help improving food-safety standards.

    The money is sourced from the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) under which Caribbean Export, a regional trade and investment promotion agency, is responsible for executing a Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP).

    Sonia Bowen, Caribbean Export programmer in Christchurch, Barbados, says companies will have to spend first in order to qualify for the EU's free cash, which is intended to defray expenses attached to overhauling production systems and supply networks.

    "It is not a loan. It is reimbursable grants. They will have to spend first before they can get the money," Bowen said on Friday. Businesses are being offered grant of €5,000 to €30,000.

    Source: Jaimaica Gleaner


    Link Read more
    Link Caribbean Export Development Agency
    Link CTA interview with Kayanne Anderson


  20. New EU study shows significant economic benefits from a Doha deal
    2011-11-08
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    A study published last week shows that the economic benefits arising from the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations in the World Trade Organisation amount to an increase of world exports of $359 billion on an annual basis from a deal on the liberalisation of industrial goods, agriculture, services and on the removal of red tape. If an agreement on sectoral liberalisation of industrial goods (chemicals, machinery, electronics) could be reached, world exports would increase by a further $146 billion, totalling $505 billion annually, according to the study.

    In terms of capturing the global benefits of the Doha Round, this timely analysis manages to grasp the complexity of the negotiating proposals currently on the table in Geneva at most detailed level, offering policy makers a thorough analytical basis for an informed decision on the importance of a successful DDA Agreement for the world economy.

    Key findings of the study:

    • The deal on the table is well balanced. In terms of economic gains all regions – developing, emerging and developed countries - would profit from an ambitious Doha deal. This would mean 0.2% of additional economic growth at global level and an extra $30 billion in GDP for the EU on an annual basis.
    • The removal of red tape in trade, so-called trade facilitation (e.g. simplification of customs procedures, transport and trade logistics), is of major importance for a successful Doha Development deal. Almost half of the global gains ($100 billion in world exports) are to be reaped from this part of the agreement. In addition, the allocation of gains becomes more favourable to developing countries when trade facilitation is included.
    • A successful Doha agreement would not negatively affect wages of EU workers. Wages for skilled and unskilled labour would even increase by around 0.3%.
    • The negotiations on sectoral agreements for chemicals, machinery and electronics goods would further enhance the DDA benefits. With these sectoral agreements world exports would increase by an additional $146 billion, to as much as $505 billion annually (with yet another $8 billion if environmental goods are included).
    • Contrary to a common perception, an agreement would also lead to positive effects on tariff revenue for some regions, one of which is Sub-Saharan Africa. In the case of Sub-Saharan Africa reduced red tape would make trade volumes go up even when tariffs are kept at the same level. Higher trade volumes result in an increased tariff revenue.
    • A successful completion of the DDA would even lead to gains beyond those modelled in the study. The DDA has systemic value in preventing excessive tariff hikes. Lower tariff bounds have additional value in curbing protectionism. Concluding the Doha Round reinforces fundamentally the global and transparent set of rules, which is going to make every subsequent recession less painful.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Read the study [PDF]
    Link More information


  21. SACU-Mercosur PTA gets cautionary thumbs-up
    2011-11-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The Namibian Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Tjekero Tweya, tabled a motion in Parliament on Thursday for the ratification of a preferential trade agreement (PTA) between the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) and South America's trade bloc, called the Common Market of the South (Mercosur).[…]

    Tweya said the current impasse in World Trade Organisation (WTO) trade negotiations, and the recent announcement by the European Union (EU) that it will close its markets for Namibian products if Namibia and other African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries have not signed the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) by the end of 2013, have placed Sacu, and Namibia in particular, in a "delicate" position in terms of market access for their products.

    He said the implementation of the Sacu-Mercosur PTA would provide Namibia with an alternative market and broaden its market base.

    Source: AllAfrica/The Namibian


    Link Read more
    Link SACU
    Link Mercosur


  22. EU urges Fiji dialogue, offers to lift sanctions
    2011-11-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    The European Union is eager to meet the Fijian Government for further talks on development.

    The new head for the EU Delegation to Fiji and the Pacific, based in Suva, Ambassador Doctor Abdoul Aziz Mbaye told the Fiji Sun in an interview that they were prepared to lift all sanctions against Fiji as long as both parties engaged in dialogue to provide concrete delivery.

    Dr Mbaye said their stance on Fiji is governed by the Cotonou Protocol and they adhered to all that had been previously decided upon by all signatories.

    "We are prepared to engage on the basis of Article 96 of the Cotonou agreement if the Fijian Government thinks they are ready enough to engage with us. We are looking at all possibilities to do just that," Dr Mbaye said.

    Dr Mbaye presented his credentials to the President on Thursday and has taken up the office as the head of delegation a week ago.

    Source: Private Infrastructure Development Group


    Link Read more
    Link Fiji receives new head of EU
    Link Fiji - AAACP approaching last leg


  23. Oxfam predicts biggest cuts in aid in 15 years
    2011-11-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, ACP-EU Policy

    Aid from rich nations is likely to fall by at least $9.5 billion by the end of 2012 – the biggest drop in aid for 15 years, according to new calculations by international agency Oxfam ahead of this week’s G20 Summit (Nov 3-4).

    Oxfam calls the figures “shameless and depressingly predictable” and show that poor people are being asked to pay for rich country austerity cuts. It calls on G20 leaders to reverse the cuts and agree to pursue new ways of raising money for poor countries being hit by the economic crisis and climate change.

    $9 billion would be enough to educate more than half the 67 million children who cannot afford to attend school today. Aid cuts are already hitting poor countries now, like Bangladesh, Benin and Mozambique which are losing around half their basic education budgets.

    Oxfam’s figures are based on existing and predicted OECD government aid budgets for 2010-12. The cuts in overseas development assistance total around $11.2 billion with Italy, the US, Spain and Netherlands the major “cutters”. The cuts are only partly off-set by a big increase in Australian aid and smaller rises in the UK and Germany, which keep their aid spending constant as a proportion of national income. Meanwhile, aid levels are flat-lining in other countries, including France and Canada.

    Source: Oxfam


    Link Read more
    Link G20 achieves mixed results
    Link Oxfam


  24. G20 results: WFP pleased, international NGOs reserved
    2011-11-07
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Food Policy, Rural development, Environment, Archive

    When G20 heads of government left Cannes after the two-day summit from 3-4 November, they had advanced their commitment to development and climate change mitigation – but their commitments in the area of food security left much to wish for.

    The summit advanced in the establishment of a financial transaction tax (FTT). Not only France, Spain and Germany but also Brazil, Argentina, Ethiopia and South Africa endorsed the establishment of an FTT, all affirming that revenues should be used for development. The United States, while opposing an FTT itself, accepted the idea that a European FTT may be introduced.

    The G20 also made advances on innovative financing for climate change mitigation. The commitment to look for new climate financing, championed among others by the European Union, will lay “the foundation for a deal on a fair carbon charge for shipping to be struck at the UN climate talks in Durban later this month,” hopes Oxfam. Leaders also acknowledged the damage that multinational companies inflict on developing countries by dodging taxes while they operate in the countries.

    The news is less good on food security. With global food prices at record highs and promises of leadership from French President Sarkozy, ActionAid had high hopes that G20 leaders would take bold action in Cannes to address global food insecurity. But aside from the long-expected endorsement of the West African emergency food reserve project, according to ActionAid, G20 leaders ducked serious action that could prevent food crises. The G20 also continued to refuse to even discuss the idea of the use of strategic buffer reserves, the most effective tool governments could have to modulate price volatility.

    On biofuels, G20 leaders continued to ignore the report they commissioned by 10 leading international organizations, which called on governments to eliminate market-distorting biofuel mandates and incentives. On commodity speculation, the G20 endorses the use of position limits – the proportion of a given commodity any single investor may control. Depending on how this is implemented, this could be a significant step in limiting food price volatility.

    On the bright side, the G20 agreed that humanitarian food purchased by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) will not be subject to export restrictions or extraordinary taxes. Besides, world leaders gave support for targeted nutrition safety nets, efficient and flexible food assistance, including forward purchasing, and efforts to improve the lot for smallholder farmers, which will reduce the effects and risks of price volatility on the most vulnerable.

    Source: CTA


    Link Read more
    Link Oxfam: Robin Hood Tax kicks off in Cannes
    Link G20 remiss in tackling food security



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Isolina BOTO
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Editor: André Feldhof (feldhof@cta.int)

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