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Regional Trade

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

September 2018
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EDITO
Wednesday, 19 September 2018

ECOWAS member countries effective January 1, 2015, will begin the implementation of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff, CET. This means that member countries will be paying a uniform tariff at all borders in the sub-region. The Director, Multi Regional and Bilateral at the Ministry of Finance, Nyame Baafi noted that the implementation of the CET will go a long way to harmonize trade and minimise smuggling of goods across the borders.

ECOWAS has a new specialised agency charged with facilitating the development and funding of key infrastructure projects for the region. The Projects Preparation and Development Unit (PPDU) was officially inaugurated last month at its headquarters in Togo. The PPDU will consult with the ECOWAS Commission, member states and the private sector to identify and prioritise transport, energy, ICT and water projects in support of regional integration. Initially the agency will focus on projects related to the ECOWAS regional infrastructure development programme and the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA). The Unit is also tasked with conducting feasibility studies and mobilising resources with a particular focus on public-private partnerships for infrastructure financing.

Friday, 28 November 2014

The EU's export growth was boosted by demand for certain commodities in China as well as in other emerging economies, according to a European Commission report on the global farming market. Exports of cereals such as wheat and barley to Middle East and North African countries alone accounted for over two thirds of the total export gain. China continued to be one of the fastest-growing exports markets for the EU, which saw its exports share to the Asian country jump to 9.1 percent in 2013, supported mainly by the sales of malt extract for beer brewing, and pork. At the same time, EU sales to the US, its top trade partner, witnessed only slight growth, although imports from the US increased sharply.

Monday, 24 November 2014

At the recently concluded G20 Leaders’ Summit in Australia, the BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – countries announced that an interim board of directors has been constituted to establish the National Development Bank (NDB) – an IMF-like institution specifically designed to support the five economies. Also, the BRICS leaders urged their finance ministers to appoint an NDB president and vice-president well before the next BRICS summit scheduled to hold in Russia next year. Set up to counter the dominance of the United States exerted via the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the core objective of the NDB is to foster greater financial and development cooperation among the five emerging markets, four of which account for 41 percent of the world’s population. 

The Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) said on Tuesday it was still committed to negotiations with India over a delayed preferential trade agreement (PTA). “We are still confident we will come to an agreement with India,” Sacu deputy director for trade negotiations Rolf-Joacim Otto told a Sapa correspondent on the sidelines of Botswana’s global expo business conference in Gaborone. First launched in 2007, the PTA seeks to increase trade between Sacu and India by giving each party’s products and services preference over other regions. Sacu is made up of Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa, Swaziland, and Namibia.

In the wake of the signing of a forest conservation agreement between the Government of Liberia and the European Union through the Government of Norway, where the country stands to benefit US$150 million in exchange for protecting its forest, the Managing Director of the Forestry Development Authority says the agreement is not against legal logging activities in the country.Harrison Karnwea in an interview with FrontPageAfrica said the agreement is intended to protect the Liberian forest against illegal logging activities, but under the terms of the agreement logs from legal sources with logging companies in compliance with laws will be permitted for export. 

Friday, 21 November 2014

As part of the ways to celebrate the inauguration of the new board of the Nigerian Belgian Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), the Chamber has also formed the Nigerian-Belgian business club, a parallel body that will equally support the activities and objectives of the Chamber. This will help further promote mutual business interest between Belgium and Nigeria and bring to bear areas of strengths that can be leveraged upon by the business communities of both nations. Speaking during the inauguration of new board members, Tunde Okoya, president of the Nigerian Belgian Chamber of Commerce, said there are similarities between these two nations, the most obvious being Belgium’s role as the gateway to Europe and Nigeria, has now become the gateway to Africa by virtue of its being the largest economy on the continent.

 

The Caribbean needs to embrace a transition to 100 per cent adoption of renewable energy as if its very life depends on it. This was the general view from a panel discussion on alternative energy which formed part of the programme on Wednesday of Caribbean Exporters’ Colloquium 2014, organised by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) and funded by the European Union via the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). Alexis George, project officer with the Government of Dominica’s Geothermal Project Management Unit and president of Caribbean LED Lighting Inc. in Barbados, Jim Reid, contended it was achievable to have an economy based on 100 per cent adoption of alternative energy.

 

There's no easy way to say this: You're eating too much chocolate, all of you. And it's getting so out of hand that the world could be headed towards a potentially disastrous (if you love chocolate) scenario if it doesn't stop. Those are, roughly speaking, the words of two huge chocolate makers, Mars, Inc. and Barry Callebaut. And there's some data to back them up. Chocolate deficits, whereby farmers produce less cocoa than the world eats, are becoming the norm. Already, we are in the midst of what could be the longest streak of consecutive chocolate deficits in more than 50 years. It also looks like deficits aren't just carrying over from year-to-year—the industry expects them to grow.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Jamaican banana grower-exporters are back in business in Britain after a long spell of absence, with relations between the two nations high on the agenda for U.K. industry body Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC), which was behind a recent deal to reignite supplies. Speaking with www.freshfruitportal.com, chief executive Nigel Jenney explains the working partnership with the Jamaican High Commission and export group JAMPRO. British consumers no longer have to wait in vain for Jamaican bananas, with more volumes from the Caribbean nation set to soon come their way.