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September 2017
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EDITO
Sunday, 24 September 2017

The European Union (EU), and the National Association of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), have insisted that the imperative of economic integration in West African sub region cannot be over emphasised. The EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Michel Arrion, during a visit to NACCIMA, in Lagos recently, noted that Nigeria plays a vital in the promotion of economic integration in the sub region. According to him, by 2050, Nigeria will be the third largest country in the world after China and India, adding that the EU is ready to work with Nigeria and other Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member countries to promote trade in the region. Noting that the country is also one of the biggest markets in the world, he said Nigeria in ECOWAS is like Germany in Europe - with huge population and the biggest economy.

A memorandum of understanding in the field of maritime transport and ports, focused on investments and strengthening bilateral relations, was signed on Tuesday in the Portuguese city of Matosinhos as part of a visit to Portugal by the Mozambican Minister of Transport and Communications of Mozambique, Carlos Fortes Mesquita. The document was signed in Matosinhos, in the district of Porto, after a visit to the port of Leixões, Portuguese news agency Lusa reported, adding that Portugal was represented by the Minister of the Sea, Ana Paula Vitorino. Carlos Fortes Mesquita pointed out that Mozambique “has an extremely strategic geographic position” for transportation and logistics, particularly in countries such as Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Congo and northeastern South Africa.

A group of Italian business people plan to invest in the construction of a shipyard for assembly and repair of fishing vessels in the municipality of Soyo, in Angola’s Zaire province, the director of Italian company Ac Enterprises said on Wednesday in the city. Orazio Omata also told Angolan news agency Angop news that the investment will be made in partnership with the Angolan company Pele Angola. Omata said that a shipyard is a project of major importance, as it makes it possible to assemble and repair fishing vessels to operate in the region and the re-launch of the fishing sector in the province. Alongside the shipyard the company plans in August to start building a factory to process fish in the city’s industrial hub.

Monday, 03 July 2017

Minister of National Development and Planning Lucky Mulusa has called on the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries to re-examine trade policy with their EU counterpart. Mulusa who is leading a high-power Zambian delegation to the European Development Days (EDD 2017) Conference in Brussels, Belgium said it was time developing countries migrated from rhetoric to discussing issues that are more practical with potential to create wealth for least developed Countries. He said although trade remains a key component in discussions surrounding EU-ACP relationship post-Cotonou Agreement, it was critical for Africa to emphasise value addition as one of the drivers of job and wealth creation.

Britain’s exit from the EU has brought into question the benefits of intra-regional trade, with some commentators suggesting that it could sound a warning for Africa’s regional integration project. Advocates of Brexit pointed to a decline in Britain’s trade with its EU partners as an indication that a focus on intra-EU trade is no longer a priority for Britain. It is worth noting that since 2012, Britain’s trade with the rest of the world has overtaken its trade with the EU. This is in part because emerging economies have shown higher growth than Europe and have thus offered more opportunity. Brexiteers also argued that Britain’s EU membership has hindered the growth of the UK’s trade with non-EU nations (including with its former colonies), with insufficient benefit gained from trading with EU member states to compensate.

British investors, under their umbrella organization called Made in Africa Initiative, have disclosed that they want to establish two industrial parks in Uganda to deal in export and import substitution with the support of the British Department of International Development. The entrepreneurs made their plans known in a meeting with President Yoweri Museveni yesterday at State House, Entebbe. The British High Commissioner to Uganda, Mr. Peter West, led the delegation that included Ms. Hellen Hai, Chief Executive Officer of Made in Africa Initiative. State Minister for Privatization and Investment, Hon. Anite Evelyn, attended the meeting. The President thanked the British entrepreneurs for coming to visit Uganda and assured them of support to realize the success of their investment project in the country.

Germany is calling for the renegotiation of some of the European Union's trade agreements with Africa, terming them unfair. Some African countries have been calling for a review of these agreements, which they term as skewed to promote EU interests on the continent. Speaking at an event for non-governmental organisations in Hamburg, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that some of the trade contracts between the EU and Africa were "not right." "We'll speak again at the EU Africa Summit in November about how we need to renegotiate them," Chancellor Merkel said, as she sought to drum up global support for African development. She was hosting African leaders on June 19, ahead of next month's Group of 20 Summit.

Ambassador Michel Arrion, the outgoing Head of the Union (EU) delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, has enjoined Nigeria to reconsider its reluctance to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Arrion gave the advice at the Nigerian-Belgian Chamber of Commerce (NBCIDC) and the Nigerian-Belgian Commercial and Documentation Centre’s June Breakfast Meeting in Lagos with the theme, “Unlocking Nigerian SME Potential to the EU Market”.The EU Representative said that it was imperative to reconsider the benefits of EPA and join other countries currently taking advantage of the opportunities in the agreement

If going by the forecast, Nigeria market is billed to become the third largest world economy after China by 2050, said the European Ambassador to ECOWAS, Mr. Michel Arrion. Speaking during his working visit to the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) National Secretariat, Oba Akinjobi, Ikeja GRA, Lagos, on Friday, Arrion who was accompanied on the visit by Mr. Filipo Amato, EU Head, Trade & Economic Section, said that Nigeria remained one of the biggest markets in the world with potentials market for exportation. According to the Ambassador, “Nigeria is paradoxical and it is one of the richest markets in the world. Because private sector contributes a bulk to income generation and distribution Nigeria will be the third largest world economy in 2050.

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