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1.

Argentina and Brazil push for a Mercosur agreement with the EU

2017 promised to be a decisive year for the trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union given Brazil and Argentina’s strong efforts to finalize the deal. However, due to disagreements in t ......

  • Mauritius
  • Energy & Power
  • 01 Feb 2018
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Description 2017 promised to be a decisive year for the trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union given Brazil and Argentina’s strong efforts to finalize the deal. However, due to disagreements in the agricultural sector, the deal is now expected to occur in 2018. A potential agreement can strongly influence economic recovery for Argentina and Brazil, boost investment in the region, and ultimately liberalize trade and investment, services, and access to public procurement. Most recent trade agreement negotiations Last year, Brazilian President Michel Temer and Argentinian President Mauricio Macri combined efforts in order to finalize a trade agreement with the 28 countries of the European Union. Mercosur members – Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay (Venezuela is currently suspended for violating the democracy rule of the bloc) – had hoped that new concessions (olive oil and whisky) presented at the end of 2017 would cause the EU to better its terms on the controversial agriculture portion of the deal. Mercosur leaders expressed that with the new terms, 90% of trade with the EU would have zero import taxes. The EU had originally offered 70,000 tons a beef and 600,000 tons of ethanol a year, tariff free. Mercosur countries, especially Brazil and Argentina, claimed that this was insufficient and unacceptable, as they were hoping for at least 100,000 tons of beef as originally offered back in 2004 and 1 million tons of ethanol. However, strong resistance from France and Ireland to agricultural imports has now delayed the negotiations. The EU is expected to respond to the new terms and submit a new proposal in early 2018. Current annual bilateral trade is over U$100 billion. Argentina and Brazil After 10 years of populist leaders and reduced trade within Mercosur, pro market presidents took office in Argentina in 2015 and Brazil in 2016. Domestic political changes combined with economic recession in Argentina and Brazil triggered a more liberal trade policy, as both presidents made trade liberalization a priority. Temer and Macri see a potential deal with the EU as a way to consolidate the new economic agenda and openness of their countries – especially during a time of rise in protectionism in the US and UK. For Temer and Macri, a deal would be an important victory in international politics as they face internal dissatisfaction. A Mercosur-EU trade agreement would create a market of over 750 million people. This deal would mean that Argentina and Brazil would open their products to a whole different set of consumers as they intensely look for new markets. And even though both countries have had recent economic recovery, there is a strong fear that this recovery, which was pushed by public consumption, can slow down once inflation picks up again. From an investor perspective, a deal with the EU promises to help set the economic agenda in both countries, increase market and demand, create a positive trade balance with more exports, foster economic growth and access to industry and services, drive resilience, and, more importantly, increase investments. A main portion of the deal is public procurement, in which governments in Mercosur countries can hire companies from the EU to provide goods and services or construction – infrastructure that can make Argentina and Brazil more competitive. EU investments in Brazil and Argentina are particularly important, as they bring confidence to other potential investors. On the other hand, the EU is particularly interested in public contracts with Brazil that alone are worth U$170 billion.
Industry Energy & Power
Source https://globalriskinsights.com/2018/01/argentina-brazil-push-mercosur-agreement/
2.

New tourism partner for Seychelles

The introduction of Turkish Airlines flights to Seychelles will bring benefits to the tourism sector and local business, says a top official of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, reported Salifa Ma ......

  • Turkey
  • Travel & Tourism
  • 15 Oct 2016
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Description The introduction of Turkish Airlines flights to Seychelles will bring benefits to the tourism sector and local business, says a top official of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, reported Salifa Magnan and Betymie Bonnelame of the Seychelles News Agency (SNA).

Direct flights from the Turkish city, Istanbul to Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, are expected to start in October and will be operated by an A330-200.

The chair of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Wilson Nancy, said, “Direct access to the Turkish market will provide great traffic for [Seychellois] businessmen to shop in Turkey, especially for textile and consumables.”

Records from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show that Seychelles is already importing fruit and vegetable juices, pasta, dried leguminous vegetable, olive oil and milk from Turkey.

Nancy said that when the flights start, businesses will be in better positions to source goods like construction materials, which are more affordable in Turkey, benefiting local contractors.

Tourism, the first pillar of the Seychelles’ economy, is another industry that will benefit from the three weekly flights from Istanbul.

“The flights from the Turkish Airlines will not only bring tourists from Turkey. It will connect us to the rest of the world. Turkey is an airline hub in Europe, giving us an advantage in that region,” said Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture.

Turkish Airlines is the national carrier of Turkey and a member of the Star Alliance, which is the largest global airline alliance.

The airline, currently flying to Madagascar and Mauritius “is working closely with Seychelles to see which of the local market needs more attention so as to see them grow,” said St.Ange.

The national carrier of Turkey is flying to Madagascar and Mauritius, both belonging to the Vanilla Island group.

The airline has invited representatives of Mauritius, Madagascar and Seychelles to participate in a road show that will take place in Bucharest, Budapest and Prague from September 5 to 9.

Representatives from these island nations will meet with travel agents and tour operators as well as bring together hotels, Destination Management Companies (DMCs) and tourism boards.

“They will be pushing the Vanilla Island concept forward. [Turkish Airlines] is our new partner in promoting this region,” said St.Ange.
Industry Travel & Tourism
Source http://www.eturbonews.com/74318/turkish-airlines-new-tourism-partner-seychelles
3.

Illicit Financial Flows, Corruption, and Sustainable Economic Development in Tunisia

Since the outbreak of the so-called “Jasmine Revolution” five years ago, leading to the ouster of former president Ben Ali, Tunisia’s key economic and social problems have not been tackled in a way th ......

  • Tunisia
  • Financial Services
  • 15 Oct 2016
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Description Since the outbreak of the so-called “Jasmine Revolution” five years ago, leading to the ouster of former president Ben Ali, Tunisia’s key economic and social problems have not been tackled in a way that lives up to the people’s expectations. Quite the opposite, the economy is growing much more slowly than hoped, and a majority of Tunisians believe that corruption has worsened in the past few years.. While the government is struggling to stimulate the economy and collect the necessary funds to invest in the rural Tunisia, various studies advance alarming figures of illicit financial flows. The acerbic effects capital flight has on the economic development of Tunisia merits officials’ attention.
When protesters took to the streets calling for the departure of Ben Ali in 2011, their motto was employment, freedom, and dignity. Aspirations for democracy were not the only driver of the civil resistance movement. Unemployment, the perception of corruption at higher levels of the state, and social and regional inequality ignited the anger as much as the lack of liberties. Though the political transition has felt promising to us since the revolution, economic growth has been slow and lags behind pre-revolution levels, inducing further dissatisfaction, disappointment, and frustration against the eight governments formed over the last five years. The evolution of the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index in recent years validates the popular sentiment of widespread corruption in the country.
These concerns about corruption and the economy are well founded. The most recent report from Global Financial Integrity estimated that illicit financial outflows from Tunisia reached nearly US$2 billion in 2013, translating to US$181 per capita. In research published in 2012 by the University of Massachusetts-Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), the total illicit capital flight from Tunisia is estimated at US$38.9 billion over the period of 1960-2010, $33.9 billion of which was lost during the Ben Ali regime. These outflows, which stem from far more than just corruption, represent a significant loss to the Tunisian economy.
Trade misinvoicing represents the majority of illicit financial flows in Tunisia. GFI defines trade misinvoicing as deliberately misreporting the value of a transaction to the customs authority. Such criminal activity takes different shapes. Individuals and firms misinvoice trade in both imports and exports depending on the motives. As an illustrative hypothetical example, A Tunisian company importing electric circuits from France, worth $1 million, might declare a merchandise value of $1.5 million to the Tunisian Customs Agency. While paying $1 million to the French exporter, the Tunisian importer illegally moves $500 million to an offshore account in France. Further, A Tunisian exporter of olive oil could understate the quantity of the commodity or invoice the merchandise under a different reference of olive oil worth less value. The firm would be able to illegally shift the money to the import destination – the United States as an example. The American importer would transfer the declared amount to the Tunisian account and wire the difference to an undisclosed account in the US.
Various factors influence the rationale behind illicit financial flows in Tunisia. One of the motives may be the avoidance of the strict capital controls: capital mobility is very limited and Tunisian citizens residing in Tunisia are bound to repatriate all assets and proceedings abroad. Investors and businesses aiming to shortcut the capital restrictions could over-invoice import transactions or under-invoice export transactions in order to surreptitiously transfer the money to another country. Another incentive for illicit financial flows is tax evasion. Businesses under-report import invoices, thereby paying lower import duties and VAT. Similarly, earning further tax incentives offered for some products by Tunisian legislation may drive the over-reporting of exports transactions. Finally, some illicit financial flows may be motivated by a desire to launder proceeds of corruption or finance terrorism. Blending proceeds from legal and illegal activities, Tunisian companies are able to use the same trade misinvoicing techniques mentioned above to transfer the money abroad and disguise the funds sources.
Illicit outflows are a heavy loss, undermining government revenues that could have been invested in growth-driven reforms and social investment projects, helping the country avoid the burden of massive debt. The PERI report, which assumed that the illicit outflows earned a rate of return equal to the US Treasury bill, estimated that the total compounded losses in North Africa exceeded the region’s total external liabilities and the cumulative official development aid during the period 1970-2010. Restraining illicit financial flows and institutionalizing a transparent trade system could save the country unnecessary debt and augment its budget with additional development funds.
The democratically elected Tunisian government has the legitimacy to leverage the ongoing process of political transition and reform to implement policies to cease the hemorrhage. Investing in academic research detailing the extent of and economic reasons behind capital flight in Tunisia should be a priority. Determining the impact of tariff prices on tax evasion is one step in the right direction. The government should also engage in significant reforms to bolster the customs authority with regards to trade-based money laundering. Modern technology can help tackle the problem. For example, access to real-time data on the value of most goods could be used for a risk analysis of misinvoicing for import and export invoices. . Without an exhaustive database such as this available to the agents, criminals can easily manipulate invoices to serve their illicit purposes.
In his first public appearance, the newly nominated prime minister, Youssef Chahed, declared that fighting corruption is among his priorities. The new government’s success depends heavily on its ability to effectively advance strategic plans to fight nepotism and corruption. These new officials need to give urgent attention to illicit financial flows if they aim to achieve a sustainable economic growth model.
Industry Financial Services
Source http://www.gfintegrity.org/illicit-financial-flows-corruption-sustainable-economic-development-tunisia/
4.

Turkish Airlines flight launch may bring more business, tourism to Seychelles

The introduction of Turkish Airlines flights to Seychelles will bring benefits to the tourism sector and local business, says a top official of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Direct flights ......

  • Turkey
  • Airports & Aviation
  • 15 Oct 2016
view notice less notice
Description The introduction of Turkish Airlines flights to Seychelles will bring benefits to the tourism sector and local business, says a top official of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Direct flights from the Turkish city, Istanbul to Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, are expected to start in October and will be operated by an A330-200.

The chair of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Wilson Nancy, told SNA on Tuesday that: “Direct access to the Turkish market will provide great traffic for [Seychellois] businessmen to shop in Turkey, especially for textile and consumables.”

Records from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show that Seychelles is already importing fruit and vegetable juices, pasta, dried leguminous vegetable, olive oil and milk from Turkey

Nancy said that when the flights start, businesses will be in better positions to source goods like construction materials, which are more affordable in Turkey, benefiting local contractors.

Tourism, the first pillar of the Seychelles’ economy, is another industry that will benefit from the three weekly flights from Istanbul.

“The flights from the Turkish Airlines will not only bring tourists from Turkey. It will connect us to the rest of the world. Turkey is an airline hub in Europe, giving us an advantage in that region,” said Alain St. Ange, the Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture.

Turkish Airlines is the national carrier of Turkey and a member of the Star Alliance, which is the largest global airline alliance.

The airline, currently flying to Madagascar and Mauritius, “is working closely with Seychelles to see which of the local market needs more attention so as to see them grow,” said St. Ange.

The national carrier of Turkey is flying to Madagascar and Mauritius, both belonging to the Vanilla Island group.

The airline has invited representatives of Mauritius, Madagascar and Seychelles to participate in a road show that will take place in Bucharest, Budapest and Prague from September 5 to 9.

Representatives from these island nations will meet with travel agents and tour operators as well as bring together hotels, Destination Management Companies (DMCs) and tourism boards.

“They will be pushing the Vanilla Island concept forward. [Turkish Airlines] is our new partner in promoting this region,” said St Ange.
Industry Airports & Aviation
Source http://www.seychellesnewsagency.com/articles/5826/Turkish+Airline+flight+launch+may+bring+more+business,+tourism+to+Seychelles
5.

Dabur Egypt achieves 25% sales increase during Q1 2016

Dabur Egypt’s sales for the first quarter of 2016 achieved a 25% increase, according to Moheb Kaiser, the company’s marketing head. Kaiser added that the increase can be attributed to the company’s ......

  • Egypt
  • Financial Services
  • 02 Sep 2016
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Description Dabur Egypt’s sales for the first quarter of 2016 achieved a 25% increase, according to Moheb Kaiser, the company’s marketing head.

Kaiser added that the increase can be attributed to the company’s investments in new products. Dabur Egypt achieved sales worth over EGP 377m in 2015.

The upcoming launch of new products to Dabur’s portfolio has the company aiming to reach more than EGP 420m in sales for this year, Kaiser said.

Regarding the appreciation of the US dollar, Kaiser said that the higher dollar exchange rate led to increased costs, such as the price of raw materials and packaging materials, as the company imports most of these materials from abroad. Additionally, it affects the profit margin and puts pressure on the company to raise the price of its products.

“We did not increase the prices of our products, with the exception of one or two products by 7-8%,” Kaiser noted. “We are trying to decrease our spending on the amount of imported materials that we use, [despite using] a high percentage of imported materials, estimated at 70-80%. Most of our materials are not available in Egypt, and Egyptian materials are not cheap either.”

Kaiser pointed out that the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market is big in Egypt and is currently worth EGP 5bn, expecting growth to reach 6-8%—not exceeding 10%.

He added that Dabur Egypt is considered a market leader in hair care products as it controls 70% of the market share in hair oil products, 55% of hair creams, 60% of hair masks, 10% of hair gels, a small percentage (around 2%) of the shampoo market, and about 5% of female hair removal products.

He noted that his company has a great opportunities in the shampoo market, as it represents about EGP 1bn in the Egyptian market.

The company will launch a new skin care product called DermoViva in the upcoming months. The company is also going to launch Hobby, an imported shampoo new to the Egyptian market, within the next two months, according to Kaiser.

Dabur Egypt recently launched ORS (formerly Organic Root Stimulator), which is a product specifically designed for women with extra curly hair. Another product, Olive Oil Relaxer, has been designed for hair straightening, which is not widely available in the Egyptian market.

“We export to North Africa and African countries. I think that the ‘proudly made in Egypt’ brand needs to be marketed in some countries in North Africa and African countries as they prefer French products rather than Egyptian ones,” said the marketing head.

The company’s exports to Africa do not exceed 3% of sales, but the goal is to increase this rate. It has about 20 distributors spread across Egypt that are tasked in distributing FMCGs, especially for middle- and low-income people.

Dabur Egypt Limited is one of leading companies in personal care products in the Egyptian market. Vatika products are the most famous in Egypt, followed by Dabur Amla, and Dabur Meswak.

The company has its own factory in Egypt in 10th of Ramadan City, located in an area spanning 20,500 sqm with investments worth EGP 100m.
Industry Financial Services
Source http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2016/08/29/dabur-egypt-achieves-25-sales-increase-q1-2016/

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