February 2016
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 Video guest: Erich Schaitza




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EDITO
Tuesday, 09 February 2016

The Dutch multinational Unilever, one of the largest global manufacturers of personal hygiene and home care products will return to Cuba after being authorized to create a joint venture with majority ownership, reported dpa news. The company, which will partner with the State firm Intersuchel, will invest more than US $35 million and should begin operating this year in the free zone of the port of Mariel, located about 40 kilometers west of Havana.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

An El Niño-related drought and frost have triggered severe food and water shortages in Papua New Guinea's highlands, prompting the European Commission to more than double its assistance to the Pacific island nation. The warming of the Pacific Ocean due to the El Nino weather system is causing drought and other extreme weather, affecting millions of people across parts of the world. Prime Minister Peter O'Neill in August said El Niño may bring on the worst drought in 20 years in Papua New Guinea, which is home to more than 7 million people who mostly rely on their own crops for food.

The EU member states that will hold the next three Presidencies of the EU Council (known collectively as the Trio Presidency) have drawn up an 18-month agenda to ensure that, in addition to the immediate challenges the EU is facing, other important issues will receive the necessary attention and commitment. It is clear that the challenge of migration and refugees will remain high on the agenda for the Dutch, Slovak and Maltese Presidencies, which will cover the period from January 2016 to June 2017. As the December European Council underlined, steps to strengthen the EU’s external borders will be a top priority.

Monday, 11 January 2016

The European Union has allocated EUR 43 million to programmes aiming to reinforce Maritime Security in the Eastern and Southern Africa-Indian Ocean region (MASE) and Critical Maritime Routes in the Indian Ocean (CRIMARIO). Experts from the maritime security programmes in the Eastern and Southern Africa-Indian Ocean region (MASE) and Critical Maritime Routes in the Indian Ocean (CRIMARIO) participated in this meeting, which was co-chaired by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) and the European Union Delegation represented by Jean-Pierre Bardoul.

The 196 parties to COP21 have specified, in the agreement of 12 December, that climate aid from the countries of the North to the countries of the South, supposed to reach 100 billion dollars annually in 2020, must be regarded as a “lower limit” destined to be increased. For the countries of the North this will involve continuing and surpassing their promise made at the Copenhagen conference in 2009 to repay their “climate debt” by means of public and private financing. The financial commitment of the countries of the North has in fact already been a reality for several years. The European Union, in particular, prides itself on being the biggest contributor of climate-related funding to developing countries.

Gone are the days of the “poor relation”, the “great forgotten” of the global economy. Africa’s image is now that of a continent which is moving forward rapidly. According to the report “Une Afrique des Afriques” published in December by the consulting firm BearingPoint, French investment in Africa is expected to grow by 75% over the next 10 years. By 2020, the companies that have not made their African transition “will be lagging behind,” according to the consulting firm. As emphasised at the beginning of the report, the wealth of the country in which they operate is not a decisive factor for French companies.

On Monday, President Faure Gnassingbé welcomed Gerd Müller, the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, during a two-day visit to Togo. Before meeting this evening at the Kara Congress Centre for an official dinner, the two men reviewed the political and economic relations between the two countries. Since 2011, when cooperation resumed, trade has increased significantly between Lomé and Berlin.

On Monday, President Faure Gnassingbé welcomed Gerd Müller, the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, during a two-day visit to Togo. Before meeting this evening at the Kara Congress Centre for an official dinner, the two men reviewed the political and economic relations between the two countries. Since 2011, when cooperation resumed, trade has increased significantly between Lomé and Berlin. Gerd Müller stressed the considerable progress achieved by Togo thanks to in-depth political and economic reforms. He mentioned in particular the strengthening of democracy, with the organisation in April 2015 of free and transparent presidential elections, the fight against corruption, the efforts made to promote good governance, the strategy for modernising infrastructure (roads, port, airport), programmes benefitting the country’s most disadvantaged citizens and the promotion of the education, health and agriculture sectors. Mr Müller indicated to the Head of State that a new framework cooperation agreement for the period 2016-2018 would be signed shortly.

Friday, 08 January 2016

Based in Kosrae State, the Raimond Company in Tafunsek which produces gluten-free taro flour, and Wawa Chips in Lelu which makes banana chips, are businesses supported by the European Union's increasing agricultural commodity trade (IACT) project which is implemented by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). Raimond Company and Wawa Chips have become the first two food producers in the Federated States of Micronesia to open factories that comply with international standard for hazard analysis and control.

The Deputy Head, European Union (EU) in Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mr. Richard Young, says the body was set to collaborate with the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), in three important areas, namely: Tuning, Horizon 2020 and the Erasmus plus programmes.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has been divided over the $8.94 billion European Union’s Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). EPA is a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) designed to create free trade area between the EU and African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries in which duties on goods imported and exported between the parties are reduced and eventually removed.