Mauritius hosts workshop to enhance commercial expertise in ACP countries
Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Deodat Maharaj explained that despite the challenges in engaging in trade across borders, international commerce enables ACP economies to avoid over-reliance on a limited market, constrained by a small population or lack of purchasing power. (Image: Commonwealth)
The European Commission, “l’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie”, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) secretariat are holding a conference based on the second phase of the ‘Hub & Spokes’ workshop since Monday, 19 January 2015, at Voila Bagatelle, Mauritius.
The program initiates innovative technical assistance for African commerce and aims to strengthen commercial ties in the ACP economies. The assistance consists of the deployment of counsellors and experts in political commerce within the regional integration organisation. The Ministries of Commerce in the ACP countries are also participating in this collaboration.
“International commerce represents a major challenge for African nations of The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP),’’ Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General Deodat Maharaj declared.
However, Deodat Maharaj went on to explain that despite the challenges in engaging in trade across borders, international commerce enables ACP economies to avoid over-reliance on a limited market, constrained by a small population or lack of purchasing power.
“The exchanges are an important means to promote economic efficiency by allowing access to new technology, and assuring access to raw materials and by creating positive externalities on the other sectors of the economy.”
He also added that it is encouraging to see developing nations make progress in terms of export contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during the last ten years, going up from 20% to 30%.
Since 2004, this collective collaboration of the ACP economies, the European Union, the Commonwealth States and the “l’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie” has proved to be beneficial in developing, negotiating and set up political and commercial ties, which reflect national priorities and help in the growth of trade between these countries.
Furthermore, the objectives are to contribute significantly to sustainable economic development and poverty alleviation in ACP countries based on regional integration and international commerce.
The program also reinforce the capacity of key players in public and private sector of ACP countries, like public enterprises, academic institutions and civil organisations, in order to contribute effectively towards negotiations and dialogue from a political and commercial perspective.
Even as ACP countries work towards strengthening their trade ties and reinforcing their capabilities for international commerce, the looming abolition of the EU sugar quota in 2017 is spurring significant movers and shakers in the sugar sector in the ACP economies.
In Mauritius, for instance, following the expiration of its contract with the largest sugar producer in Europe, Sudzuker Company, this year the Mauritius Sugar Syndicate has decided to reinstate its commercialisation and marketing contract to three international enterprises namely, CristalCo, British Sugar and Real Good Food.
Delegations of British Sugar lead by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mark Carr, will be welcomed by the end of this week in Mauritius. The Mauritius Sugar Syndicate will negotiate the commercialisation of 100,000 tons of Mauritius on the European market. This negotiations will take effect after the conclusion of the agreement between CristalCo and Mauritius Sugar Syndicate.
Sugar exports upto 3.5 million tons are guaranteed by the European market to the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. Of this, Mauritius exports some 300,000 tons of white sugar and 120,000 tons of special sugar to the American, European and other markets.
About British Sugar:
Located in the East of England and East Midlands, British Sugar owns four state-of-the-art processing plants that can match anything in the oil, chemical and power industries for complexity.
Together, these sites produce over 2.1 million tonnes of sustainable products every year, from sugar to animal feed and electricity to tomatoes.
Around 3,600 farmers contract with British Sugar every year and between September and March each year, for seven and a half million tonnes of sugar beet to be delivered to their sites. The sugar beet travels an average distance of 28 miles from farms to British Sugar factories.
The British company also produces a large variety of sugar and targets mainly the European Market for its commercialisation.