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Wednesday, 18 October 2017

The next Brussels Briefing on the subject of “Emerging donors and rising powers in agriculture in ACP countries” will take place on Tuesday 27 October 2015 from 9:00h to 13:00h at the ACP Secretariat (451 Avenue Georges Henri, 1200 Brussels, Room C ). Follow live tweeting @ctabrussels and via webstream.

The will discuss the key challenges and new opportunities to enhance South-South and Triangular cooperation. The Briefing will: i) review successes and the lessons learned from research and practice; ii) promote the exchange of information on best practices and drivers of success; iii) feed into the debate various perspectives on policy options.

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Friday, 23 October 2015

Mauritius has signed a deal with a Chinese firm to develop a $113 million fishing port in a bid to become the maritime hub for Africa. Recently, Mauritius revised down growth forecasts for 2015 from 4.1 % to 3.6 %, which means that the country will be off target to graduate from its middle income status. However, as Mauritian Finance minister Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo explained Mauritius aims for 5.7 percent growth in fiscal 2016/2017 and rising to 8 percent "within the next five years. A key part of this plan  lies in the strategy to move Mauritius from being a small port in the Indian Ocean to become the most important maritime hub.

Port companies Enapor – Portos de Cabo Verde and Porto do Recife signed a technical cooperation agreement. The agreement provides for commercial, technical and scientific exchange in the areas of port activity and maritime transport. The chairman of the Port of Recife, Olavo de Andrade Lima, called the document an “activities protocol” and the Consul of Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) in Recife, Ricardo Galdino, said the idea was to transform CaboVerde into a Pernambuco business platform for Africa and for Europe and the United States.

The Chinese Overseas Chamber of Commerce shall cooperate with Guinea-Bissau on agricultural, industrial and infrastructure issues according to the protocol signed in Bissau with the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture and Services (CCIAS). The protocol was signed by Chen Zheng Yang, a businessman and member of the Chinese delegation and by Bramia Camará, president of CCIAS. Zeng Yang said the Chinese business mission aims to support the private sector in Guinea-Bissau. Zheng Yang’s company has been present for over 10 years in Africa, particularly in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, and shall now extend activities in West Africa.

Barbados and India have signed an Air Services Agreement. The agreement includes so-called “Fifth Freedom” rights, meaning it allows airlines designated by Barbados to transport passengers to Mumbai and Delhi in India and some points beyond. It also means airlines designated by India can transport passengers to Barbados and points beyond, and allows for airlines from either country to transport passengers from intermediate points. The two sides also signed a memorandum of understanding which allows for both countries’ designated airlines to operates seven services per week in each direction on the routes specified in the agreement.

The President of Vietnam Truing Tan Sang visited Cuba for the 55th anniversary of relations between the two countries.. Previous Cuba-Vietnam relations included Cuban medical and agricultural aid, helping the country restore its poultry and coffee industries after being incinerated by Agent Orange. Current exchanges involve exchange of experts on rice, soy and maize. Vietnam has become the world’s second largest exporter of rice and the first exporter of coffee. Vietnamese firms and banks signed six agreements following the 1st Bilateral Business.

The Government of Equatorial Guinea and FAO signed today a $31.5 million partnership agreement to promote agricultural development in Equatorial Guinea, and aims to support South-South Cooperation activities in other African countries. The new Partnership Programme, funded by Equatorial Guinea, shall be rolled out oer the next 7 years. It will focus on the priorities contained in the country's National Plan for Food Security  including increased production, diversification of food and management of natural resources; marketing, processing, conservation and rural finance; and strengthening human and institutional capacities.

Caribbean Community (Caricom) foreign ministers met with their Indian counterpart at the 70th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly. A joint release issued after the meeting said discussions focused on the strengthening of India-Caricom relations; promotion of trade and business; enhancement of people-to-people contact, with particular emphasis on the training of young Caricom diplomats; and training in project management, information technology, and other related areas of strategic development. Views were also exchanged on regional and multilateral issues, including climate change, sustainable development, and financing for such developments.

Deodat Maharaj, the Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General recently stated that Tonga’s future is not on land but in its marine area on the continental shelf, and “we want to help Tonga tap into the Blue Economy.” Tonga shall start working on a long term plan on how to develop its Blue Economy, “is a priority area for us in the Commonwealth and for Tonga as well.” He said that the Republic of Mauritius had made a definite move by establishing a Ministry of Ocean, and the Republic of the Seychelles had also established a Ministry of Blue Economy.

Prime Minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart met with the President of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solis, in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly. PM Stuart identified Costa Rica as a like-minded country with which CARICOM should deepen relations in areas such as trade, education and cultural exchanges. At a previous meeting of CARICOM-Costa Rica Council, held in Trinidad and Tobago in June, both parties committed to forging ahead to create opportunities for cooperation and enhancing trade. Both countries are also working towards a common objective on climate change ahead of COP21.