Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

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EDITO
Monday, 18 December 2017

Kenya will have to negotiate new trade deals with both the European Union (EU) and Britain in order to maintain its market share, an official said Tuesday. British Prime Minister Theresa May last week set out her Brexit strategy, including leaving the EU single market, which will prompt renegotiation of trade deals with African countries and other partners. Nelson Ndirangu, Director of Economic Affairs and International Trade at Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, confirmed that Nairobi was in the process of initiating negotiations with Britain and the EU. “We are ready to employ strategies to help us sustain our market share in the EU and Britain,” Ndirangu said. Britain accounts for a 20-percent share out of the total Kenyan exports to the EU market, according to Ndirangu.

On January 31, the TT Chamber will host a seminar titled “‘Maximizing Opportunities through the EPA”. This event will be hosted in collaboration with the Delegation of the European Union to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, the OECS and Caricom/ Cariforum; as well as the Caribbean Export Development Agency. Participants will be provided with key information on how they can use trade with the EU to enhance their current business operations. Both the Minister of Trade and the Ambassador of the EU to Trinidad and Tobago will deliver remarks on the day; truly symbolic of both parties’ commitment to making the Agreement work to the benefit of the Private Sector and the region.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström came under fire from Nigeria on Tuesday (24 January) over the state of the bloc’s Economic Partnership Agreements with the developing world. Malmström, author and proponent of the EU’s new ‘ethical’ ‘Fair Trade for All’ policy, was speaking at an event for ActionAid and the European Trade Union Syndicat in Brussels, where she was confronted by a call from the Nigerian Charge d’Affaires to renegotiate the EPA. The EPAs are reciprocal trade agreements with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) nations, intended to give the developing world largely tariff-free access to the EU single market, in return for slowly opening up their own domestic markets.

The Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO), in partnership with the African Caribbean and Pacific European Union- Technical Barriers for Trade (ACP-EU TBT Programme) held a validation workshop yesterday. The workshops aimed at enhancing trade capacities of Pacific Agribusiness and improve access to international markets. The European Union Ambassador to Fiji and the Pacific Andrew Jacobs said agribusiness sector was important to allPacific Islands countries and European Union as well.

The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and the Government of Norway have launched a two-week mission to explore the development of a regional technical assistance project to be funded by Norway. The project would support the region’s fisheries and aquaculture sector by strengthening evidence-based management. Dr. Åge Høines, Senior Scientist, Institute of Marine Research, Norway; and Dr. Johán Williams, Specialist Director, Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, began meeting on Monday, January 16, with CRFM Executive Director Milton Haughton at the CRFM Secretariat in Belize City, after which the team embarked in a two-week dialogue with 7 CRFM Members States, beginning with senior government officials in Belize. This regional fact-finding mission is being undertaken within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Cooperation between the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Governments of the Nordic Countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, signed by the parties on 20 September 2016 in New York, USA.