Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

December 2017
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EDITO
Saturday, 16 December 2017

Fiji has received 23 million euros ($F56,973,543) from the European Commission out of the promised 44.4 million euros ($F109,983,710) to aid in the reform and long-term sustainability plans for the sugarcane industry. According to the Fiji Sugar Corporation's 2017 Annual Report, the 44.4m euros was to aid in Fiji's reform and restructure programs, allowing Fiji to become more sustainable and competitive in the international market. "The last major reform of the EU sugar sector in 2006, the advent of the Economic Partnership Agreements in 2008 and the denunciation of the ACP-EU Sugar Protocol represented some of the major challenges that Fiji, along with other ACP small and vulnerable communities, had to grapple with," the FSC said in its report.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

A workshop recently hosted by the Embassy of Italy in South Africa, in collaboration with the European Union Delegation in South Africa, Wesgro and the Department of Trade and Industry hosted a workshop on the Protection and Promotion of Geographical Indications (GI) aimed to create awareness on the benefits that can be derived from the effective protection and use of GIs in South African and EU for the development of small-scale, local and rural economies, particularly in the agro-food sector, and for enhancing export opportunities and boosting international trade flows.

The European Commission has defined concrete areas of investments for its External Investment Plan. The new plan will mobilise €44 billion of sustainable investment for Africa and the EU Neighbourhood countries. The European Commission singles out five areas of investment, so-called "investment windows", in which the first actions of the External Investment Plan (EIP) will be implemented. These investment areas are crucial for the sustainable development in countries in Africa and the EU Neighbourhood countries.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Amethis Finance, a Paris-based company focused on investing in debt and equity in Africa, is seeking to raise Sh36 billion for investment in 11 countries including Kenya. Amethis Fund II is a 10-year closed-end generalist private equity fund targeting mid-market companies in financial institutions, fast-moving consumer goods, healthcare, agribusiness, education, IT and telecommunications. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private lending arm, is proposing to inject Sh1.8 billion in equity investment into the fund, its disclosures indicate. Amethis has in the past years invested in Chase Bank, Ramco Group and Kenafric Industries.

The Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) between the Government of Barbados and the Italian Republic has entered into force in accordance with Article 30 of the Agreement. The instruments of ratification for the Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation with Respect to Taxes on Income and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion were exchanged by the Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss, and Ambassador and Special Envoy to the Caribbean of the Italian Republic, Paulo Serpi. The entry into force of the Barbados/Italian Republic DTA represents not only Barbados’ firm strides to expand its treaty network, but it also signals the country’s willingness to foster closer ties with Italy and the European Union in particular.

Developing import substitution on exports of fruit and vegetables and addressing market opportunities was on the agenda of a workshop organised by the Pacific Community (SPC) in Nadi yesterday. The two-day discussions were part of the Improving Key Services to Agriculture (IKSA) project implemented by SPC and funded by the European Union. According to SPC, participants would discuss factors generating the selection of produce and ingredients, particularly in terms of menu design at Fiji's resorts, trading of local produce and the ability to meet the demands of resorts as well as production models used to grow produce for timely and reliable local supply.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Maltese based AquaBioTech is to hold an aquaculture workshop in Cameroon later this month as part of its African development strategy. The event will take place during the Cameroon International SME Trade Fair (PMEXCHANGE), in Douala on November 22. The trade fair attracts more than 150 exhibitors and brings together SMEs and multinational companies, as well as thousands of visitors from across Cameroon. It is organised by Enterprises of Cameroon (ECAM) every two years. The three-hour workshop – titled Aquaculture Opportunities in Cameroon – will cover various topics, from production and operational issues to profitability, opportunities, sharing good practices and the success factors for the aquaculture business.

Minister of Trade and Industry Paula Gopee-Scoon said in spite of some challenges, the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) has the potential to help local and regional companies penetrate European markets. “It (the EPA) has the potential to expand market opportunities for the regional private sector within the European Union (EU) ” she said. Gopee-Scoon spoke yesterday at the Third Meeting of the CARIFORUM-EU Parliamentary Committee Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port-of-Spain.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders opened on Tuesday 24th October, in the presence of HRH Princess Astrid, a seminar on human rights in the private sector. The topic of the seminar was more specifically the prevention and abolition of child labor in the cocoa supply chain. Cocoa is the main export product of Côte d’Ivoire. Minister Reynders’ speech was followed by other interventions, testimonies and a debate where all parties involved in this topic were brought together.

Ministers and senior officials responsible for trade from 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries reaffirmed their strong and resounding commitment to the multilateral trading system, at the conclusion of the 20th ACP Ministerial Trade Committee meeting held in Brussels on 18-19 October. The meeting, chaired by the vice president and minister of foreign affairs of Guyana, Carl Greenidge, focussed on enhancing intra-ACP trade, including through a joint approach to commodities and agricultural value chains, as well as examining trade issues between the ACP and EU countries.