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EDITO
Saturday, 21 April 2018

During the last eleven months, Cameroon’s exports of sawn wood to the European Union have decreased by 21% to stand at 293,800 m3. This is revealed by a sectoral report of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO). Cameroon is not the only country whose exports of sawn wood to the EU have decreased. The exports of all the 10 largest sawn wood suppliers, Cameroon included, have also decreased.

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has urged exporters of agricultural produce to comply with all regulations and support the Ministry to meet its target of creating jobs through food production. The Ministry would continue to work with the European Union Vegetable Taskforce to help coordinate affairs of compliance and meeting EU phytosanitary regulations. Some of the measures include establishing the Green Label Certification system to add value to Ghanaian produce for export, and tightening inspection of horticulture produce submitted for exports at various ports

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has extended US$29.6million (€24million) loan to two local banks for financing small and medium sized firms in Rwanda. The bank signed the US$19million loan with the Development Bank of Rwanda and another one with I&M Bank of Rwanda at US$10milllion. In addition, the bank also signed a US$55.4million (€45million) long term loan with the Rwandan government to finance sewage and waste water projects in the capital Kigali.

Trademark East Africa (TMEA) has launched the process of setting up a logistics centre in Gulu town to facilitate trade between Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. Speaking to journalists at their offices in Kampala this morning, TMEA country director Moses Sabiiti said the organization has already secured $8m (Shs 28.8bn) from United Kingdom’s Department for Foreign Aid (DFID) and European Union for the world-class facility.

Caribbean Export is now taking applications from Caribbean women-owned businesses to participate in their newest programme: Women Empowered through Export or WE-Xport. At the Hilton Barbados Resort, Caribbean Export in cooperation with the European Union announced the commencement of the WE-Xport programme which aims to support Caribbean women in business to grow their businesses through assisting in their development to either start exporting or increase their exports, namely to the European Union, utilising the benefits of the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

European sugar is turning up in odd places. Production from the region’s beet farms is drawing buyers as far away as Haiti, once a major grower of cane in the Caribbean, and Sierra Leone in sub-Saharan Africa. It’s even shown up on the Pacific island of Pitcairn, one of the remotest abodes on Earth. Any demand is good news for producers such as Suedzucker AG, the world’s biggest, and main European rival Nordzucker AG as a supply glut has pushed white-sugar prices down 27 percent this year in London. That followed a European Union decision to end quotas on output and exports.

Cameroon exports an average of 300,000 tons of bananas per year to the European Union (EU), the new EU ambassador and head of delegation announced on Monday.According to Hans-Peter Schadek, who is increasing contacts with the Cameroonian authorities, partnership between the EU and Cameroon must be strengthen in several sectors of activity. On supporting the banana sector, he said, “that this is an important action that has been going on for some time and that has now reached a cruising speed of nearly 300,000 tons of bananas exported each year by Cameroon to the European Union market.”

The Fourth Meeting of the Joint CARIFORUM-EU Council under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) took place in Brussels, Belgium, on 17 November 2017. The Meeting was co-chaired by Ms. Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade and by Mr. Sven Mikser, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia and representing the EU Council. The CARIFORUM delegation included Ministers of CARIFORUM States and was led by Senator the Honourable Ms. Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Jamaica. EU Member States were also present.

Offering credit to East African banks might not be many people’s idea of traditional development aid. Yet promoting private small and medium enterprise, alongside funding for infrastructure projects that will help develop local businesses, lies at the heart of the new strategy for Africa. Dating back to the Cotonou Agreement, signed in 2000 by the EU and 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific states in Benin, the strategic goals are changing with the EU focusing much more on increasing stability and resilience by supporting economic development programmes to defuse migration pressures. The Luxembourg-based European Investment Bank (EIB) lends €700m per year to banks and financial sector firms across sub-Saharan Africa.

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.