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December 2017
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EDITO
Wednesday, 13 December 2017

The European Union (EU) and its member states are committed to supporting the conservation, sustainable management and use of natural resources, as well as the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems. These include forests, oceans, coastal areas, river basins and other ecosystems for the provision of ecosystem services. In line with international commitments, they have committed to tackling illegal logging and its associated trades - land and forest degradation, desertification, drought and biodiversity loss - and also promoting co-benefits from sustainable management, including enhancing climate resilience and adaptation.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) will not be lending to the local financial sector after Zimbabwean banks told the lender that appetite for medium-term loans was presently low, it has emerged. European Union (EU) ambassador to Zimbabwe, Philippe van Damme, last week told The Financial Gazette that while the EIB was prepared to advance money for medium-term on-lending to local banks, the financial institutions had pointed out that the move was presently unprofitable. "The EIB board had given the green light for the bank to lend to the private sector with the entry point being the banking sector. So the arrangement was for medium-term lending credit for the informal sector and (so on).

Fourteen (14) Saint Lucian enterprises are getting hands-on with the development of export plans to effectively pursue existing market opportunities in France, Germany and Spain. This is another major milestone for the Trade Export Promotion Agency (TEPA) resulting from an ongoing project to equip trade promotion and business support organizations (TPOs/BSOs) to develop export capacity and market penetration strategies for a total of 26 qualifying Saint Lucian enterprises. The selected companies represent the Agriculture and Agro-processing, Food and Beverage, Creative Services, and Health and Wellness sectors. =

The Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, has concluded arrangements to sign a Technical Collaboration Agreement with the Port of Antwerp, Belgium towards increasing the export of Nigerian fruits to the European countries. Tunde Okoya, President of the Nigerian-Belgian Commercial Information and Documentation Centre, NBCIDC, disclosed this to News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Monday in Lagos. Mr. Okoya said that with the agreement, more Nigerian fruits would have the opportunity of being re-exported from the Port of Antwerp, Belgium to the various European countries.

Derry-based whiskey maker Niche Drinks has continued its international expansion by securing a lucrative export contract in South Africa. The company, which also makes cream liqueurs, flavoured vodkas, ready-to-drink cocktails and microwaveable Irish coffees, will supply its Quiet Man whiskey brand to major wholesaler and retail chain Ultra Liquors in a deal that could be worth a quarter of a million pounds. The export order, secured with Invest NI trade support, is initially for one container of 1,000 cases, but further are expected.

For the first seven months of 2017, sugar recorded the highest export earnings. Sugar accounted for one hundred and nine point one million dollars or a third of the total merchandise exports which stood at three hundred and four point seven million dollars. This is mainly due to the preferential rate that Belize has enjoyed over the years from its biggest importer, European Union (EU); however, all that is expected to change come October, when the European Union changes its sugar regime. The change will cause EU to lift the limitations that it had in place on beet sugar production. This means that Belize along with the other African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries will have to compete directly with the beet sugar industry which is a cheaper alternative to cane sugar.

Monday, 25 September 2017

The European Union, through its increasing agricultural commodities trade (IACT) project, has assisted Bula Coffee with the acquisition of a mobile coffee processing machine, nursery structures and irrigation equipment worth $72,000. EU political, trade, press and information section's press and information officer Mohammed Nazeem Kasim said the EU was proud to support the coffee value chain in Fiji and confirmed that the new nurseries would provide coffee seedlings for farmers on both Vili Levu and Vanua Levu. In response to questions on the potential for the local coffee industry, Mr Kasim said the mobile wet coffee processor would provide tangible benefits to both Bula Coffee and to farmers on Vanua Levu.

The new EU regulations regarding false codling moth won’t only be applicable to citrus, but will affect peach, nectarine, pomegranate and capsicum exports from South Africa as well. The stone fruit industry has finalised its draft protocols to manage the new FCM regulations and orchards have already been registered with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) for EU exports. The start of the stone fruit season isn’t far off, although the regulation only kicks in on 1 January 2018, so they’ve had to move quickly, says Mariëtte Kotze, group operations manager at HORTGRO.

A French drone company is teaming up with a major European inspection service to improve agricultural yields in West Africa. Delta Drone and Bureau Veritas Afrique announced plans last week to consolidate Bureau Vertitas’ soil analysis data with aerial data harvested by Delta drones to optimize precision farming for poverty-stricken areas in Côte d’Ivoire and nearby nations. “As a pioneer in the burgeoning sector of civilian drones for professional use, Delta Drone built a complete value chain in order to provide its clients with business solutions that consider the safety or people and property, and acquires aerial data and then processes and delivers it in a format adapted to client needs,” Delta Drone CEO Christian Viguié said.

Through this partnership, the two organisations are engaging to provide jointly and in a complimentary way advice, introductions and e-learning tools for French SMEs seeking to develop in African markets. The two organisations will also participate together to projects leading to the growth of key sectors such as green energies or the agricultural industry in Africa.