May 2016
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 Video guest: Erich Schaitza



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Friday, 06 May 2016

A number of Finnish companies have shown interest in investing in Zambia, the Finnish Government has disclosed. Foreign Trade and Development minister Lenita Toivakka said here that a number of Finnish companies are interested in investing in Zambia which is one of the countries with the best investment climate. Ms Toivakka said the areas the companies were targeting are the green technology and renewable energy.

Trade issues took centre stage during the 103rd session of the Council of Ministers of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, which was held on 25-29 April in Dakar, Senegal. Ministers discussed prospects regarding the Economic partnership agreements (EPAs) still under negotiation with the European Union, as well as issues related to trade in various commodities, such as fishing products and sugar, among others. Ministers also expressed their determination and enthusiasm in advance of the upcoming Summit of Heads of State and Government of ACP countries, which will take place in Papua New Guinea from May 10 to June 1.

Thursday, 05 May 2016

The Dominican banana sector generates US $420 million a year and creates more than 32,000 jobs, 44% of which are permanent and 12% of which are for women. This data was revealed on Tuesday during a meeting of the Steering Committee of the Accompanying Measures for Bananas Program that was held in the Dominican Agribusiness Board (JAD). During the meeting, authorities reported that more than 80% of the country's banana production was organic and intended for export.

Kenya is eyeing the lucrative European Union market for its mangoes as efforts to improve quality of the produce begin bearing fruits. Kenya Plant Inspectorate Health Service (Kephis) Managing Director Esther Kimani said the agency introduced self-regulatory measures in August 2014 to ensure production of quality mangoes in a bid to access the export market. "The International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) no. 26 allows for the creation of pest-free areas to control the fruit flies in some region.

Wednesday, 04 May 2016

Caribbean countries have a living bank of marine resources from which they collectively cash out hundreds of millions of dollars a year to support emerging national economies by providing good jobs, food and foreign exchange, among other benefits. However, in order to remain active and competitive in the global marketplace, countries have had to find ways to surmount the challenges posed by stringent international standards called sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures, for food safety and for protection against diseases carried animals and plants. Under an EU-funded SPS Measures Project, the ability of Caribbean countries to effectively address those challenges is being strengthened (...)

The first-ever EU fisheries agreement with Liberia and its associated implementation protocol were signed and entered into provisional application in December 2015. Their conclusion is now subject to approval by the European Parliament in a plenary vote. Atlantic tropical tunas are highly migratory species and, consequently, fishing vessels targeting them endeavour to follow their migration across the waters of different coastal countries and on the high seas. Liberia's waters are located on the migration path of three key tropical tuna species: yellowfin, bigeye and skipjack.

Of all the fisheries partnership agreements currently in force, the EU-Mauritania agreement is by far the most significant in economic terms. A new protocol, setting the details for implementation of the agreement over the coming four years, was signed and entered into provisional application in November 2015. Parliament's consent is now required for the conclusion of this protocol. The first fisheries agreement with Mauritania was concluded in 1987, as a continuation of the pre-accession arrangements of Spain and Portugal with Mauritania. It was reshaped into a cooperation agreement in 1996.

Tuesday, 03 May 2016

European shipowners strongly believe that maritime services are enablers of trade and development, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is the core message European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA) sent earlier this week in a letter to EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström, inviting her to include maritime transport services in the EU Africa agenda.

Foreign ministers of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the British foreign secretary ended two sessions of “frank and cordial” talks in Freeport, The Bahamas at the Ninth Caribbean-UK Forum. Co-chairs Fred Mitchell, foreign minister of The Bahamas, and Phillip Hammond, UK foreign secretary, both expressed their satisfaction at the discussions during a press conference on Saturday at the end of the biennial Forum.

Monday, 02 May 2016

Ghana’s ban on some vegetables to the European market would be lifted by December, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna, has assured. According to him, drastic measures were being put in place to secure Ghanaian vegetables on the European Union (EU) market. He made this known when he inaugurated the refurbished inspection facilities of the Aviance Cargo Village at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra last Monday. The refurbished inspection facilities cost GH¢200,000. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) placed a temporary ban on exports of some vegetables to the EU market in September, 2015.

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