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 Video guest: Erich Schaitza



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Friday, 01 July 2016

Caribbean economies are poised to benefit from a region-wide initiative to expand seafood market share, through the implementation of food safety measures to enable countries to get a bigger piece of the global pie, worth an estimated US $130 billion annually. Caribbean countries, including the Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago, are now capitalising on a coordinated approach to broaden the gateway to the growing market. CARIFORUM (the Caribbean Community Caricom and the Dominican Republic) now exports about US $400 million worth of fish and seafood annually. Belize and Jamaica are two Caribbean seafood exporters already tapping into markets controlled by the European Union (EU) – a tough market to access because of stringent standards that require countries have systems in place to ensure that their exports are not only safe for consumption but also free from harmful pests and pathogens.

The United Kingdom's planned exit from the European Union will not affect its services to the Pacific, according to the British High Commissioner to Fiji. This was despite 15 percent of the EU's spending in the region coming from its UK contributions. The British High Commissioner to Fiji, Roddy Drummond.The British High Commissioner to Fiji, Roddy Drummond. Roddy Drummond said modes of delivery would have to change but he said the UK and the EU have a shared vision for supporting development in the Pacific. "The EU programmes that exist at the moment are very much things that, you know, follow, pursue priorities that we think are important as well, so how that will change when we are no longer part of things remains to be seen in years to come," he said.

Despite earning most of its income from a supply deal with British-based refiner Tate and Lyle, leading players in the local sugar industry say Britain's decision to leave the European Union (EU) will not have a negative impact on the sector. "I don't see that result affecting us in any way, our relationship was with individual companies, not the (British) government and fortunately, our contract with Tate and Lyle is not designated in pounds." said Ambassador Derrick Heaven, who is a former high commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK). "It will be interesting to see what impact the devaluation of the pound will have on companies operating in Britain, but I don't see where their leaving the European Union will be affecting us" He added: "What we do hope and Know is that that agreement with Cariforum will remain, it is very important for the region."

"Catastrophic" levels of illegal fishing in west Africa are costing the region millions in lost revenue and hundreds of thousands of jobs, a development think tank said Wednesday. Countries such as Senegal, Sierra Leone and Mauritania are missing out on vital income because of the masses of fish taken from their waters by trawlers from as far afield as South Korea, according to research by Britain's Overseas Development Institute (ODI). Senegal lost $300 million, or 2.0 percent of its GDP, to the practice in 2012, while Sierra Leone - one of the region's poorest nations - missed out on $29 million, said the report, entitled "Western Africa's Missing Fish". A lack of government transparency in the region, limited capacity to patrol the seas and legal loopholes once west Africa's fish arrive in Europe, its biggest market, were all contributing to the situation, report author Alfonso Daniels told AFP.

The East African Business Council (EABC) has underscored the importance for the East African Community (EAC) partner states to fast track the signing of a new trade regime with the European Union (EU). Though EAC partner states have proposed the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signing ceremony to be in the first week of the August, this year, the EABC recommends18th July, 2016 to take advantage of the EU Commissioner for Trade who will be in Nairobi attending UNCTAD XIV Conference. The EABC expectations are that ministers for trade from all EAC member states will also attend the UNCTAD Conference and therefore could be able to sign the EAC-EU-EPA on the same date in order to project the region as a functional Customs Union.

Nigerian agricultural and allied products now have a major boost in regional and international markets following a recent harmonization of standards exercise carried out by the Africa Regional Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO).(...)Also speaking at the event, Mrs. Idinakide Eva, an expert on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) of the ACP TBT programme of the European Union, said the programme was not for only women development but for overall development and facilitation of trade, noting that the programme had three different dimensions which include supporting quality infrastructure, supporting the private sector and disseminating information to support the development of relevant data uploading on the website of ARSO.

Trade reciprocity between the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and the European Union is crucial to establishing a mutually beneficial trade arrangement between the two trade blocs. Further, trade discussions should also include good governance to block the outflow of millions of dollars from Africa in illicit trade, parliamentarians noted during the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States – European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly (ACP-EU-JPA) that ended in Windhoek lat week. The ACP-EU JPA discussed issues of migration between ACP countries and EU member states, improvement of participatory governance through decentralisation and continental area of free trade in Africa.

A 20-member trade delegation from Ghana concluded a week-long visit on Friday to the Netherlands to explore opportunities for business and cooperation in food & beverage processing and agricultural inputs. The mission was led by the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and Ghana Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI), supplemented by members of GhanaVeg. GhanaVeg is a programme funded by the Netherlands Embassy with the aim of establishing a sustainable and internationally competitive vegetable sector in Ghana that contributes to inclusive economic growth.

African Century Leasing is confident of securing about $20 million worth of lines of credit this year aimed at supporting productive sectors of the economy. The leasing company has already secured credit lines from two reputable financial institutions, Botswana based Norsad Finance Limited and Belgium based Incofin Investment Management.ACL managing director Mr Stanley Matiza yesterday said the leasing firm is confident of securing all the negotiated lines of credit by the end of this year. “The leasing firm’s ultimate goal for 2016 is to secure $20 million worth of lines of credit and we are hopeful of securing all lines that were negotiated,” said Mr Matiza.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Britain voted to unanimously leave the European Union. Many people around the globe have criticized the move. Some have even predicted doom for the future of the economy of Britain. The world now seems to be in limbo about the current position of Britain. Some economists feel that Britain’s decision was a selfish one aimed at cutting off some countries from benefitting from her.

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