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EDITO
Sunday, 22 October 2017

The Indonesian Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC) announced that Nigeria topped the list of trade transactions from West African countries in the 2014 Trade Expo Indonesia (TEI). Nigeria recorded about $21.2 million (N3.5 billion), Togo $6.4 million, Ghana $3.7 million, Cameroon $2.7 million and Republic of Benin $1.9 million worth of transactions. The expo showcased participants from the region to Indonesian electric lamps, agricultural products, herbal products and medical products, textile products, food and beverages, margarine, soaps, sardine, paper, cosmetics and rubber products as well as barge and tug boats.

Asian Development Bank President shall merge the bank’s two main financial instruments — the Asian Development Fund and the Ordinary Capital Resources — to do more for Asia-Pacific business. It is estimated that the combined resources of the bank president said, can increase ADB’s concessional lending and grants by up to 50 %, from “$13 billion a year for approval to $20 billion.  Asia and the Pacific is home to more than 60 % of the world’s population, including two-thirds of the people living on less than $1.25 a day. The region also has a massive infrastructure investment gap: ADB estimates Asia-Pacific needs $800 billion a year in infrastructure spending over the next decade.

Brazil signed two Investment Cooperation and Facilitation Agreements (ICFA’s) with Mozambique and Angola.  As Brazil is not a supporter of the traditional international investment agreement (IIA) model, the Brazilian government has developed an alternative model to encourage international investments, whilst, at the same time, respecting the host states’ right to regulate. These new ICFAs are designed to achieve a balance between States’ and investors’ rights and duties, promoting investments through cooperation and dialogue between the States. The main pillars of the ICFAs are: i) institutional governance; ii) risk mitigation and dispute prevention; iii) thematic agendas of cooperation and investment facilitation, related, for example, to business visa and currency transfer simplification.

The Vice President of Seychelles, Danny Faure met with Vice President Li Yuanchao to discuss direct air links between China and Seychelles, and  Seychelles’ call to have an African representative on the United Nations’ Security Council. Vice President Li commended Seychelles’ promotion of the Blue Economy concept – the sustainable development of the country's vast ocean resources – and recommended that this could be a future area for collaboration, especially in regards to China’s ambitious trade project known as the Maritime Silk Road. China has in the past two years become an important emerging market for the country’s tourism sector, which is the mainstay of the Seychelles economy.

Dubai and its African partners are looking to launch a new period of cooperation in trade and investment. While relations between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and African countries have gone from boom to bust and back again, Dubai-based companies are now scouting for multibillion-dollar projects in Northern and sub-Saharan Africa. SMEs are very keen to expand their operations into the African market and reverse the crisis situation of 2008-2009 when many projects were left unfinished. During the 2014 Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest-Africaine Investment Forum held in Dubai, UAE businesses committed around $19bn for 17 infrastructure projects in West African countries through PPPs [public-private partnerships].