Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

November 2017
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EDITO
Saturday, 18 November 2017

With exports such as sorghum, baobab, and black soap sparking trends in the UK, 2017 is the year to create a business focused around African ingredients. Popular for their health benefits, exotic appeal and the positive impact of sustainable trading on native communities, African ingredients have been predicted to become an even hotter trend in the European market this year. Citing Africa’s rising GDP and improving infrastructure, Mintel suggests that the continent will continue to become a more powerful trading partner for Europe, with its youthful population and burgeoning middle class driving prospects further.European consumer interest is growing too, with the Global New Products Database (GNPD) citing statistics that the percentage of food and drink products with African ingredients climbed 41% between 2011 and 2015.

The Polish ministry of development is launching a new trade and investment agency aimed at supporting Polish businesses expand abroad, with a focus on Asian and African markets. The Polish Agency for Investment and Trade (PAIH) will operate within the Polish Development Fund(Group PFR) which implements financial instruments aimed at the development of Polish businesses. The agency itself will not offer financial instruments, but help to get the support for international expansion from other financial institutions belonging to PFR. “The aim of the agency is to support Polish expansion abroad, both in the form of export as well as in investment,” advisor to the board for Polish Investments Abroad, Aleksander Libera, tells GTR. In terms of exports, the Polish government is focusing on several sectors ranging from information communications technology (ICT), biotechnology and pharmacy to cosmetics, fashion and food.

The Belgian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Stephane De Loecker, on Monday said that it was imperative for Nigeria to create a more friendly investment environment to sustain herself as an investment destination. Loecker told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that his government was determined to help its companies come and explore new business frontiers in Nigeria. The Ambassador, however, said that the current choices of Belgian companies’ investment in Nigeria, as determined by the companies, would be ‘strictly commercial’. “Overseas investment is a commercial choice that companies make after noting certain considerations. This means that Nigeria, as an investment destination, must sell itself.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Rwanda’s latest agricultural results have earned Rwf 32.2 billion from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the World Bank. In the last 12 months, the Government of Rwanda delivered some impressive results in agriculture. Over 40,000 hectares (ha) of land have been protected against soil erosion, over 8,000 ha put under irrigation, and average crop yield for cassava, milk and coffee increased. The use of new agricultural innovation technologies was enhanced and lending to the agricultural sector and the design of an Agricultural Management Information System (MIS) increased. These results will help improve the lives of farmers in Rwanda, increase farm productivity and household food security as well as support economic growth.

The East African Community Heads of State Summit, which was to be held in the first week of this month, has been pushed to next month, after the regional ministers of trade and East African affairs failed to agree on some of the issues to be ratified, top among them being the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union.This has caused anxiety in Kenya, which is now banking on the EAC Council of Ministers who will convene in a fortnight to persuade its regional partners to finalise discussions on the ratification of the EPA by the February 2 deadline.