Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

June 2018
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EDITO
Monday, 25 June 2018

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.

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.