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Press releases from Africa-Neswroom.com
  1. The United Nations Convention in Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration ("The Mauritius Convention on Transparency") will enter into force today, 18 October 2017. The Convention has to date been ratified by Canada, Mauritius and Switzerland. None of the ratifying States made reservations and, as a result, the Transparency Rules are now part of the investor-State dispute settlement regime created by investment treaties concluded by those three States. Consequently, the Transparency Rules will apply to investor-State disputes arising under investment treaties concluded by those States before April 2014 in accordance with the conditions set forth in the Transparency Convention and the relevant investment treaties.

    The Mauritius Convention on Transparency aims to provide States and regional economic integration organizations with an efficient mechanism that extends the scope of the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based investor-State Arbitration ("Rules on Transparency") to investment treaties concluded before the Rules entered into force on 1 April 2014. The Rules on Transparency provide procedural rules that ensure transparency and public accessibility to treaty-based investor-State arbitration, the proceedings of which have traditionally been conducted behind closed doors. Together with the Rules on Transparency, the Mauritius Convention on Transparency takes into account both the public interest in such arbitrations and disputing parties' interest in achieving a fair and efficient resolution of their disputes. It is expected that the Convention will significantly contribute to enhancing transparency in investor-State dispute resolutions.

    The Convention has been signed by Australia, Belgium, Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Netherlands, Sweden, Syria, United Kingdom and the United States.

    Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Information Service Vienna (UNIS).

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  2. Global energy leaders will discuss energy challenges facing the region at the 10th edition of the Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) (www.SIEW.sg) to be held from 23-27 October.

    The annual event will commence with the Singapore Energy Lecture by Mr Teo Chee Hean, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, focusing on this year’s theme – “Rethinking Energy; Navigating Change”. Mr S. Iswaran, Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) will deliver SIEW’s Opening Remarks.
    Participants can look forward to in-depth strategic discussions at the Singapore Energy Summit and the inaugural Singapore-IEA Forum led by the Energy Market Authority (EMA). Topics include rethinking energy strategies, the outlook for oil & gas, integration of renewables, and energy investment opportunities in Asia. 
    High-level attendees include:

    • H.E. Dr Khammany Inthirath, Minister of Energy and Mines, Lao PDR
    • H.E. Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili, Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Malaysia
    • H.E. Bill Johnston, Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Western Australia
    • H.E. Tun Lean, Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Mines and Energy, Cambodia
    • José María Figueres, Former President, Costa Rica and Co-Chair, Global Ocean Commission
    • Christiana Figueres, Former Head, UN Climate Change Convention
    • Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency
    • Adnan Amin, Director-General, International Renewable Energy Agency
    • Liu Zhenya, Chairman, Global Energy Interconnection Development and Cooperation Organization
    • Masakazu Toyoda, Chairman & CEO, The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan
    • Dr Rashid Al Leem, Chairman, Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority, United Arab Emirates
    • Goh Swee Chen, Chairman, Shell Companies in Singapore
    • Charif Souki, Chairman, Tellurian Investments
    • Yuji Kakimi, President, JERA
    • Neil McGregor, Group President and CEO, Sembcorp Industries
    • Ulla Sandborgh, Director General and CEO, Swedish National Grid 
    • Mohammad Mohammad Saleh Abdulwahed, Director-General, Federal Electricity and Water Authority, United Arab Emirates
    • John McCarrick, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Transformation, US Department of State

    SIEW 2017 will also feature our key partner conferences & exhibitions: Asia Clean Energy Summit (ACES), Asian Downstream Summit (ADS) and Gas Asia Summit (GAS). There will also be nine think-tank roundtables co-hosted by the EMA and leading international organisations for focused discussions on key energy issues.
    In celebration of its 10th edition, SIEW will be launching a commemorative book “Rethinking Energy; Navigating Change: 10 Global Insights” on the first day. Delegates will also be invited to a special networking reception held at ME@OUE on 23 October 2017.
    Register by 30 September 2017 for early bird discounts of up to S$300. SIEW 2017 will be held from 23 to 27 October 2017 at Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Visit www.SIEW.sg to register your attendance and for more updates.

    Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Singapore Energy Week (SIEW).

    Media contact:
    Chiu Mei Ji    
    Energy Market Authority
    Tel: +65 6376 7876
    Email: Chiu_Mei_Ji@EMA.gov.sg

    Eileen Ho
    Edelman for SIEW       
    Tel: +65 6347 2320  
    Email: Eileen.Ho@Edelman.com

    About Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW):
    In its 10th edition, SIEW (www.SIEW.sg) is the premier platform in Asia for energy insights, partnerships and dialogue, which brings together the world’s leading conferences, exhibitions, and roundtables in one week, one location. SIEW enriches the global energy conversation by convening political, business, academic and energy industry thought-leaders to define and advance the world’s leading energy challenges, solutions and actions across the energy spectrum of oil & gas, clean and renewable energy, and energy infrastructure financing.
    Please visit www.SIEW.sg for further information. 

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  3. The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies and Deputy Minister Mr. Bulelani Magwanishe are in Brussels, Belgium to attend the 20th African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Ministerial Committee and the 15th Joint ACP-European Union (EU) Ministerial Trade Committee meeting (JMTC) on 18-20 October 2017. The ACP consists of 79 countries from the three regions.

    The meeting will discuss the upcoming 11th World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC11) that is scheduled to take place from 10 – 13 December 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    The meeting is expected to adopt a common ACP position for the Group’s participation at MC11.

    The Ministers will also discuss the outcome of the WTO Informal Ministerial Gathering that was held in Morocco earlier this month. That meeting provided an opportunity for the exchange of views between the Trade Ministers and for the Ministers to provide guidance to the officials in Geneva on possible outcomes MC11; which is the highest decision making body in the WTO. In the gathering in Morocco, Minister Davies said that South Africa’s priorities are aligned to those of the African Group and the ACP Group. The priority for these groups are to finish the outstanding work of the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) including, in agriculture, to address the trade distorting domestic support subsidies being provided by mainly developed countries.

    At the last JMTC meeting, South Africa called upon all WTO members, including the EU, to ensure that the negotiations deliver on all the outstanding issues and that development is at the heart of the discussions.

    This week’s JMTC will exchange views on the future of multilateralism in light of recent pronouncements by some major global trade players and bearing in mind the redrawing of international trade partnerships.

    Another issue to be discussed at the meetings will be the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the EU and ACP countries. SADC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (SADC EPA), between the European Union and six countries of the Southern African Development Community, marked the first anniversary this week. The SADC EPA offered SA an opportunity to improve market access provisions to better than the once previously offered under the Trade, Development and Co-operation Agreement (TDCA).

    The meetings will also discuss the state of play in the Brexit process and the implications of the United Kingdom (UK) exiting the EU. Further issues to be discussed include Non-Tariff Measures and fisheries.

    Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

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    • IMF staff and Guinean authorities have reached a staff-level agreement on a program of economic policies and reforms that could be supported by an Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement.
    • The program will support Guinea’s 2016–20 National Social and Economic Development Plan to foster higher and more broad-based growth, and reduce poverty while maintaining macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability.
    • A prudent borrowing strategy that aims at maximizing the concessionality of external loans will be key to preserve medium-term debt sustainability.

    Following discussions between the Guinean authorities and IMF staff in Conakry from July 31-August 15, 2017[1] and during the 2017 Annual Meetings in Washington in October 2017, a staff-level agreement was reached on a program of economic policies and reforms that could be supported by an Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement. Subject to IMF management approval, the staff-level agreement is expected to be submitted to the IMF Executive Board for its consideration in November 2017.

    At the conclusion of the discussions, Giorgia Albertin, IMF Mission Chief for Guinea, made the following statement:

    “The Guinean authorities and the IMF staff have reached a staff-level agreement on a program of economic policies and reforms that could be supported by a three-year ECF arrangement and support Guinea’s 2016–20 National Social and Economic Development Plan to foster higher and broad-based growth, diversify the economy, and reduce poverty."

    “The ECF-supported program aims at strengthening the resilience of the Guinean economy, increasing public investments in infrastructure to foster growth while preserving medium-term debt sustainability, bolstering social safety nets to reduce poverty, and fostering the development of the private sector."

    “Further accumulating foreign exchange reserves will reinforce Guinea’s external buffers against shocks. Maintaining a prudent monetary policy will preserve moderate inflation while ensuring liquidity in the banking sector to support a healthy private sector credit growth."

    “Achieving a basic fiscal surplus will limit budgetary financing needs, which will contribute to keeping inflation at a moderate level, increase banks’ provision of credit to the private sector, and preserve medium-term debt sustainability."

    “Mobilizing additional tax revenues and gradually reducing untargeted electricity subsidies will create fiscal space to increasing public investments in infrastructure and strengthening social safety nets to reduce poverty and foster inclusion."

     “A prudent borrowing strategy that aims at maximizing the concessionality of external loans will be key to preserve medium-term debt sustainability. To this end, strengthening debt capacity management will be important."

    “Improving the business climate, strengthening governance and financial inclusion will foster the development of the private sector, which is needed to generate more inclusive and broad-based growth for Guinea."

    “Strengthening public finance and investment management will be key to support the scaling-up of public investments and increasing the efficiency and returns of public investments.”

    Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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  4. On October 13, National Security Advisor Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster spoke to Chad President Idriss Deby Itno to underscore the importance of the bilateral relationship and Chad’s effort as a key partner in countering terrorism. In a recent Presidential Proclamation, the United States identified the need for Chad to enhance identity management practices and information sharing requirements. In response, the Government of Chad has shown a clear willingness to work closely with us on these issues. The United States is committed to working with Chad to address the deficiencies, toward the goal of improving vetting capabilities and lifting visa restrictions. Our assistance to Chad continues in all areas including security and humanitarian assistance.

    Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Department of State.

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