Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

September 2017
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Monday, 25 September 2017

A total of more than 10 companies in Belgium have shown interest in coming to The Gambia for investment and trade, two Belgian firms have confirmed. “About 10 to 20 companies in Belgium have shown interest in coming to The Gambia for investment and trade,” said Thomas De Beule, chief executive officer of C&M, a corporate and management firm in Belgium. Delegates from these companies are due in The Gambia from 4 to 8 November, this year, to have direct discussions with the relevant government ministries and with the businesses they may want to enter into joint ventures and corporation with.

Wednesday, 06 September 2017

There is a long held debate about the volume of intra-African trade. Some say it is 10 per cent, others say it is underestimated because it could be more than that, and put it at 12 per cent. It is about 3 per cent of global trade. According to the African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), global trade (in current prices) increased from $13 trillion in 2000 to an estimated $30 trillion in 2010, but Africa’s share in world trade has been in decline since 1980 and currently stands at about three per cent. According to the 2010 International Trade Statistics of the World Trade Organization compared to other regions, intra-African trade is low.

The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr. Michel Arrion, said Nigeria can play a more active role in West Africa integration process. Arrion who compared Nigeria to Germany, one of Europe’s engines of integration, says Nigeria could play a similar role in the region. Speaking to Leadership correspondent in Kaduna, the ambassador who will complete his tenure in a few days said the EU enjoys a wide spectrum of relationship with Nigeria, in particular with the business, civil societies sectors, activists, the media and the creative community. Arrion further said the EU maintains an excellent relationship with the ECOWAS, having worked with the organ at the commission level.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Aid for trade (AfT) is explicitly addressed in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under Goal 8: “Promotesustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.” For AfT to deliver on the ambitions of this goal in Africa, along with the objectives contained in the African Union’s (AU) long-term development vision and action plan, Agenda 2063, it is important to ensure that it is well-targeted and aligned with the continent’s strategic priority of structural transformation.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

In the midst of rising trade protectionism among advanced western economies, African countries must work to sustain ongoing efforts to achieve structural transformation of African economies and enhance their integration into the global economy. African and global trade experts said this at the just concluded meeting of the African-Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in Kigali. They highlighted that the increasing adoption of policies restricting trade among countries poses a threat to African economies. Dr Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of Board of Directors, Afreximbank, said that the continent, however, has all the ingredients required to accelerate African trade.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

A plan to create a single continental market for goods and services in Africa would be implemented by end of this year, African Union Trade and Industry Commissioner Albert M. Muchunga said. “…Negotiations are moving in the right direction and at the desired pace. We are on target to deliver Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) by December this year,” Muchunga told reporters on the sidelines of the foreign ministers meeting ahead of Monday’s African Union leaders’ summit. According to Muchunga, currently intra-Africa trade stands at 14 percent of all transactions and there was a plan to double the figures by 2021. “The CFTA will bring 54 African countries with a combined population of more than one billion and a combined gross domestic product of more than $3 trillion,” an African Union publication said.

Intraregional seed trade is set for a boost following the introduction of seed labels and certificates to be utilized by seed companies for large consignment crossing the borders. The move is intended to spur regional trade through improved seed varieties across the region. The COMESA Seed Labels and Certificates will be used by member States to identity seeds in the market that meets the COMESA Seed Trade Harmonization Regulations of 2014. This development is line with the COMESA Seed Harmonization and Implementation Plan (COMSHIP) that provides a framework for the 19 COMESA Member States to trade, facilitate seed industry and support local seed companies.

Thursday, 06 July 2017

Zambia signed trade contracts worth US $100 million with grain traders from eastern Africa on Thursday for the export of 382,640 metric tonnes white maize, soyabeans and other grains. The deals were sealed in Lusaka during a regional Trade Facilitation Forum organised by the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) in collaboration with Zambia Commodity Exchange (ZAMACE), with support of USAID’s East Africa Trade and Investment Hub and USAID’s Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub. The forum brought together over 195 sellers and buyers of maize, soya beans, common beans, millet and other grain commodities from, Burundi, Malawi, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Tuesday, 04 July 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.

Monday, 03 July 2017

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.

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