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Thursday, 19 January 2017

Kenya's vegetable exports experienced a growth in value by 17% in the first 10 months of 2016 as compared to 2015. The growth has been attributed to a recent increase in improved market access to the EU. Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) indicates that vegetable sales rose by a total of around USD $28,021,616. The good performance resulted from improved market access after the country met most of the stringent measures set by EU, which had affected horticultural produce sales. The export volume rose from 40,000 tonnes in 2015 to 55,000 tonnes between January and October last year.

The European market has exhausted their supply of lychees from Madagascar and the offer can no longer fulfil demand. The Technical and Horticultural Centre in Tamatave (CTHT) says that the containers imported at the end of last week did not fulfil orders from wholesale distribution centres and that “Containers that are expected this weekend are already pre-sold, suggesting a positive end to the season”. These two containers hold 880 and 300 tons of cargo. This situation is a first for Madagascar’s lychee sector and was unexpected. The end of the season is now positive for them compared to other competing producer countries such as South Africa, Mauritius, Reunion and Mozambique.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

The EU's fresh fruit and vegetable exports to third countries up to September 2016 fell by 11% in volume compared to the same period in 2015, totalling 4.3 million tonnes, of which 2.5 million tonnes corresponded to fruit (-11%) and 1.8 million tonnes to vegetables (-11%), according to the latest updated data from Eurostat, processed by FEPEX. The value of the EU's fresh fruit and vegetable exports to third countries increased by 1% in the period under review, reaching 3,401 million Euro, of which 2,007 million corresponded to fruit (-3%) and 1,393 million to vegetables (+9%). Apples are the main fruit exported by the EU to third countries, with 1.1 million tonnes (11% less than in the previous year) worth 570.5 million Euro (-5%), followed way behind by oranges, with 250,718 Tonnes (+7%) and 156.7 million Euro (+9%) and pears, with 189,085 tonnes (-22%) and 111 million Euro (-16%).

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

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.

European banking giant Deutsche Bank is lukewarm on brewing behemoth Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD), following the release of the reference base for the ongoing business. The Belgian brewing firm has now either got shot of all the assets it agreed to sell in order to get the authorities to agree to its takeover of rival SABMiller, or it has agreed the sales. “The remaining SABMiller stub has higher margins than ABInBev, putting into question some of the synergy targets released before ABInBev even received the keys,” according to the Deutsche team. AB InBev is targeting US$1.9bn of cost synergies following the takeover.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Friday said the vision of his administration to create a more prosperous and safer Lagos and transform the State into the hub of commerce and tourism in Africa remained on course and all efforts would be geared towards achieving the desired result. Ambode, who spoke at Lagos House in Ikeja when he received on courtesy visit the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright, said he remained committed to transforming Lagos from being the commercial hub of Nigeria to that of Africa just like London is the hub of commerce and tourism in Europe. He recalled the historical ties between Nigeria and Britain and vowed not only to continue to uphold the relationship and scale it up for the benefit of the people, but also ensure the protection of British nationals and their investments in the state.

The Czech agency for boosting exports and two-way trade, CzechTrade, has opened an office in the biggest economy in Africa, Nigeria. Nigeria is estimated to have overtaken South Africa to first place as Africa’s biggest economic power in 2014. The Czech office in the largest city Lagos will be looking to get a greater stake in the US 500 billion dollars a year economy with a population of 188.5 million. At the moment Czech exports to Nigeria are fairly meagre and stood at around US 80 million in 2015. CzechTrade already has offices in Egypt, Morocco, and South Africa. Nigeria is perceived as a promising target country with the government keen to help investors and foreign business and tackle corruption, one of the biggest blights on the local economy. CzechTrade’s director Radomil Doležal says the Czech Republic is regarded as a friendly country and Czech exporters can build on a solid reputation of sales to in the past.

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