Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

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EDITO
Monday, 23 October 2017

The CTA Brussels News Service is providing EU-ACP policy news since 2004, on various key thematic areas. In addition to this news service, we also provide news on ACP intra-regional trade, and south-south cooperation (investments of emerging countries' in agriculture in the ACP regions). The main stories for the week are featured in our newsletter and all stories can be found in our Regional Trade and the South-South cooperation sections.

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The formulation of projects under the COMESA trade facilitation programme to be financed under the 11 European Development Fund has entered the home stretch. This follows the conclusion of a two day regional workshop for member States to validate the identified projects. The programme has an allocation of 53 million Euros out of a total of 85 Million Euros provided by the European Union in support of COMESA regional integration programmes. The overarching goal of the trade facilitation programme is to make trade transactions easier, quicker, more efficient and less costly, thereby enhancing trade flows.

Britain’s departure from the EU will challenge the bloc’s role as the world leading aid donor, and could see EU aid shrink by up to 3%, according to an authoritative new study by the European Parliament. The EU is the world’s largest aid donor, and the UK in absolute terms, is the second biggest, giving some $18.7bn.

Media representatives and members of national bureaus of standards in CARIFORUM member countries participated in a close-out regional press conference on Thursday, March 23, which was geared at highlighting the numerous successes of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Technical Barriers of Trade (TBT) Programme. The overall objective of the 10th EDF Programme was to support the beneficial integration of the CARIFORUM states into the world economy, to support regional cooperation and the development efforts of the Caribbean, in an effort to meet the requirements under the current Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union (EU) and CARIFORUM.

Laboratories in Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) member states are now better equipped to diagnose issues related to human, animal and plant health, and food safety, thus increasing their levels of efficacy and efficiency. On Wednesday March 15, 2017, the OECS Commission, through its Agriculture Unit, handed a total of EC$309,416.94 worth of laboratory equipment to agriculture health and food safety (AHFS) testing laboratories and pest risk analysis units of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines. The dockets for the equipment were handed to lab managers and supervisors, and ministry of agriculture officials of the beneficiary countries at a ceremony in Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia. The new laboratory equipment was purchased under the 10th EDF Regional Integration and Trade of the OECS Region Project.