November 2015
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Friday, 27 November 2015

Last week, the EU made public its initial proposal for legal text on trade and sustainable development in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The EU has a longstanding commitment to policy coherence for development, making sure its trade and other policies don’t have a negative impact on international development goals. Yet the EU’s proposal for TTIP says virtually nothing about ensuring that the world’s biggest trade deal does not have a negative impact on developing countries.

A potential trade pact between the European Union and Guyana must contain land rights protections for local residents in order to avert the possible displacement of indigenous people, activists said on Tuesday (24 November). Rising trade in timber stemming from such a deal could improve living standards in the South American country, according to a report released by activist groups the Forest Peoples Programme and the Amerindian Peoples Association. But current rules governing consent for using land claimed by indigenous people are not strong enough to insure against territory being unfairly seized by logging companies or other investors, they said.

The Secretary General of Fisheries, Andrés Hermida, confirmed that the Spanish fleet can resume fishing activities in Mauritanian waters before Christmas, following the entry into force of the fisheries agreement between the European Union (EU) and Mauritania. Speaking to the agency EFE, Hermida explained that while the agreement must be ratified by the European Parliament so that it is "fully" implemented, including a "provisional implementation clause" that allows its launch. Consequently, he estimated that fifty vessels from Spain will be allowed to have access to the Mauritanian fishing ground in the first half of December, in "about ten or fifteen days."

Thursday, 26 November 2015

The European Union and five Southern African Development Community states will meet in Botswana in May to sign a trade deal that has taken at least 10 years to complete. A date for formalizing the Economic Partnership Agreement was agreed during talks in Brussels, Botswana’s Trade and Industry Ministry said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday. Legal processes around the deal were completed on Oct. 23, it said. Botswana chairs the the SADC Economic Partnership Agreement group, which also includes Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. Negotiations between EU and SADC states on the EPA started in 2004.

The critical issue of bilateral trade between Europe and African countries has been high on the agendas of members of the Irish and UK AWEPA Sections this month. As part of his ongoing lobbying efforts to ensure EU trade policies do not harm African markets in sensitive industries, AWEPA Governing Council member Hon. Denis Naughten issued a press statement urging the Irish and European Parliaments to ensure flexibility within the EU’s Economic Partnership Agreements.

Legendary long distance athlete, Haile Gebresilassie, whose business portfolio is fast expanding, has now ventured into the apiculture sector with his latest honey production already earning vast interests from European nations. Having delivered his first product in the local market labeled Haile Mar (Haile Honey), the former Atlanta and Sydney Olympics Gold Medalist is warming up for major exports to European countries including Germany, the Netherlands. Haile told The Reporter that he is producing the honey from his 200 hectares of coffee farm in Sheka area of southern Ethiopia which he describes as one of the "best and high quality" origins of honey in the country.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

he Ministry of Trade and Industry has launched a series of safe-guard measures dubbed the ‘EPA Accompanying Measures Strategy (EPA-AMS)’ in Accra, to address possible challenges that the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Ghana and the European Union (EU) may pose to the Ghanaian economy in the future. Under the theme ‘Getting the most for Ghana’, the EPA-AMS is designed to prepare Ghana to ensure that policies are in place to meet the challenges posed by the EPA -- such as reduced tariff protection for some industries and lower tariff fiscal revenues from EU imports, and also to enable Ghana take full advantage of the opportunities available.

The region’s biggest and most exciting annual trade fair – the MSG Trade Fair got underway Thursday at the Chambres du Metiers in Noumea, New Caledonia. The fair showcased a wide range of industries, products and investment opportunities. Over 60 exhibitors and entrepreneurs from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia are participating at the event. Among the products on display are confectionary, spices, coffee, fabrics and handicraft, beverages, processed foods, manufactured goods, industrial products, oils and fragrances, kava and a range of tourism, travel and e-commerce services.

Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Mzwandile Masina has urged business people from South Africa and the Netherlands to contribute towards increasing trade and investment between the two countries. Speaking at the South Africa-Netherlands Business Forum in Johannesburg on Wednesday, the Deputy Minister said the two countries have been growing their trade over the years. "The Netherlands has a very long and reputable history as a trading nation and our two countries have continued to grow their trade with each other over the years.

Monday, 23 November 2015

The government of Cameroon will host a distinguished group of business leaders in Yaoundé for a high-level investment mission from 8-10 December 2015. The mission is being organised by DMA and provide a unique opportunity for investors and business leaders to deepen relationships in Cameroon. It will also allow them to secure new investments and witness first-hand the opportunities in one of Africa’s emerging markets. Organised by DMA, and supported by FCO and UKTI, the trade mission will take a group of current and potential private sector investors in Cameroon to meet with Prime Minister Philémon Yang and his cabinet in order to build on the momentum gained from the highly successful UK-Cameroon Trade & Investment Forum (also hosted by DMA in London back in 2014).

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