Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

October 2017
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EDITO
Friday, 20 October 2017

A diverse collection of food and beverage producers from the Caribbean descended upon the world’s leading food fair ANUGA in Cologne, Germany in October. The leading food fair attracts some 7000 exhibitors from over 100 countries and close to 200,000 visitors, was home to eight producers from the Caribbean under the Caribbean Kitchen pavilion facilitated by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export). “Food and drinks is such an integral part of Caribbean culture which continues to be in high demand from the European markets. The firms selected to exhibit at this years’ ANUGA exemplify the quality and innovation needed to be successful exporters” highlighted Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of Caribbean Export.

As part of its effort to have access to United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union markets, Botswana’s investment arm, the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has launched a crusade to exploit the overseas market. The Executive Director for BITC’s International Business in the EU, Moemedi Mokgosi revealed that incumbent and potential exporters who are interested in exporting to the United Kingdom and European Union market have been invited to submit their updated company profiles. Mokgosi explained that the information in the documents should reflect products, scale of operation, location of operation countries of interest within the EU and key contact details for profiling and matchmaking. BITC through its export department is mandated to facilitate exports of locally manufactured goods and services into regional and international markets. Mokgosi said although growth is projected to be slow, the EU remains the largest economy in the world with a GDP per head for 25,000 Euro for its 500 million consumers.

The Embassy of Dominica in Brussels (member of the Embassies of the Eastern Caribbean States) is working closely with the EU Directorate General for Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), to trigger the EU’s emergency response system to assist Dominica by providing both monetary and material aid for hurricane relief. The European Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) is providing EC$806,000 (250,000 Euros) in emergency humanitarian aid to Dominica, following the severe destruction caused by Hurricane Maria which devastated the island on Sep. 19.

Moving ahead with the EIP's rapid implementation, the first Strategic Board of the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) met in Brussels on 28 September, on the same day that the entry into force of the regulation establishing the European Fund for Sustainable Development. The European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) is the heart piece of the EU's new External Investment Plan (EIP). Its role is to help boosting private and public investment in our partner countries to address some of the obstacles to growth and some root reasons for irregular migration.

Exports to the European market have risen by 74% in six years. But other obstacles remain to be overcome. Madagascar has a trade surplus, selling more products in Europe than it imports. Madagascar’s exports rose from €499.5 million in 2012 to more than €875 million in 2016. Imports from the European Union account for less than 20% of total imports to Madagascar, according to figures from both the Ministry of Trade and Consumer Affairs, and the European Union Delegation in Madagascar.