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EDITO
Wednesday, 13 December 2017

A major new project is looking to put a significant dent in poverty in the Eastern Caribbean. The new was launched by Five Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) member states - Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines - have launched a multi-dimensional project funded by the government of Chile to tackle poverty. In the words of OECS Director General Dr. Didacus Jules, the $1 million USD project will include what he’s calling a “paradigm shift which gives respect and voice to the experience of the poor.”  The project is undertaken in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme, following the signing of a two-year project agreement between the OECS Commission, the UNDP Barbados and the government of Chile. 

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.