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Posts tagged as Europe

UK fashion brands battle for China’s growing market

Over the next week Shanghai Fashion Week will fill the city with models, designers and buyers. “They are sophisticated, well-travelled and demanding in quality and newness.”Pricing is also a concern. While wealth is rising, hefty import taxes drive the cost of Western luxury labels beyond the reach of many.”British fashion designers are still at a slightly higher price point,” WWD’s Mr Zhang says. He says while spending power is rising, Chinese consumers are not yet as willing to spend on designer clothes as they are on shoes and accessories.
The competitive threat from local talent is also mounting. There are big names like Angel Chen and Shushu/Tong, along with emerging designers like Caroline Hu and 8on8, all set to gain plenty of attention in Shanghai.”There are more and more upcoming Chinese designers taking the international stage,” says Pedder Group’s Ms Yu. “They give a fresh perspective.”

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Romania’s allies indignant at travel ban slapped on former anti-corruption chief

Laura Codruța Kövesi, the favourite to become the first-ever EU public prosecutor, has been indicted on charges of abusing her position while,The charges, brought by prosecutors at the controversial Special Section for the Investigation of Magistrates (which exists outside the jurisdiction of Romania’s independent prosecutor general, answering directly to the country’s justice minister, Tudorel Toader), have also been accompanied by a travel ban, meaning that she cannot travel abroad.
Ms Kövesi, who is enormously popular in Romania and widely respected across Europe, has also been forbidden from talking to the press about specifics of the case. She did, however, tell journalists: I guess that some people are so worried that I might get the EU prosecutors job that Im not allowed to speak to the media anymore, adding that, the indictment is a measure intended to silence me, to harass all of us in the judicial system who did our job.The news that Ms Kövesi had been formally charged brought immediate and indignant reaction from senior European and NATO officials.I am concerned by news that Laura Codruţa Kövesi has been placed under judicial control.

The European parliament stands by its candidate for European public prosecutor, said Antonio Tajani, the president of the European parliament.Manfred Weber, the European People’s Party candidate to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the European Commission, called the decision concerning and unacceptable.Ska Keller, co-president of the Green-European Free Alliance in the European parliament, was particularly critical of the Romanian government.It is extremely dubious and worrying what is happening in Romania right now, she said.The Romanian government has been attempting to block Laura Codruţa Kövesi from becoming European chief public prosecutor for a long time. Now, a newly formed judicial unit that is directly controlled by exactly this government accuses her of corruption.
Romania must guarantee an independent investigation and full transparency.Romanias NATO allies have also been quick to react.
Kevin Hamilton, the Canadian ambassador to Romania, Moldova and Bulgaria wrote on : “I am troubled by reports that Laura Kövesi has been placed under judicial control by the Romanian authorities, prohibited from leaving the country, and banned from speaking to the media.”View on emerging-europe.com

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Orbán: Hungary, Cape Verde Linked by Christian Culture

Hungary and Cape Verde are linked by their Christian cultures, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in the island country’s capital of Praia on Thursday.
Orbán wrapped up a two-day visit to the country, where he and his delegation met Ulisses Correia e Silva, the prime minister, Olavo Correia, the deputy PM and finance minister, and Foreign Minister Luis Filipe Tavares.PM Viktor Orbán and Jorge Carlos Fonseca, President of Cape Verde. Photo by Balázs Szecsődi/PMs Press Office Orbán noted that he and Correia e Silva are both deputy leaders of the Centrist Democrat International (CDI).The prime minister said that when he and Correia e Silva met in Budapest, they realised that the Christian culture we grew up in allows us to have a similar view of the world, despite being thousands of kilometres apart.Viktor Orbán and Ulisses Correia e Silva, Prime Minister of Cape Verde.
He said it was rare nowadays for a country to openly identify as Christian.This is banned in Europe, he said, adding that we cant talk about questions of identity there; its a different world.During Orbáns visit, Hungary and Cape Verde signed an economic cooperation agreement as well as one on education.Under the economic cooperation pact, the two countries will set up a mixed economic committee, he said.Hungary will offer 35 million euros of tied aid to Cape Verde with a view to developing its agriculture and water management. It will also disburse 15 million euros in private credit to help set up joint ventures between the two countries, Orbán said.
Foreign Minister: Africa Continent of the Future Hungary ranks 88th in the world in population size and 34th in terms of the size of its export volume, Orbán noted, adding that this showed the global noteworthiness of its export and import activities.As regards the education cooperation pact, the prime minister noted his governments Stipendium Hungaricum programme, which awards scholarships to foreign university students.This is how we try to make friends in the world, he said, adding that Hungary will offer scholarships to ten students from Cape Verde.In addition, Hungary is ready to allocate funds towards spreading the Kodály method of music education in the country, the prime minister said.

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Growing urban middle class in Africa spurs food production that could curb hunger

Rome — The rise of an urban middle class across much of Africa is stoking demand for food that could curb hunger and cut poverty in rural outposts,The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) said rural communities were in “a state of crisis”, with high poverty rates and poor services driving hunger and malnutrition.

One in five people, or more than 256-million, are hungry in Africa, according to the latest figures from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. But there are opportunities too, the IFPRI said in its annual report.In Africa, a growing middle class with higher purchasing power is fuelling a spike in demand for food — with an interesting twist, says IFPRI Africa director Ousmane Badiane.“They are not just asking for imported food, wine and cheese but to have traditional staples on the tables.

But they don’t want to eat them the traditional way,” he said.This has given birth to a large number of small agribusinesses that process, package and distribute such foods, creating jobs and opportunities for small farmers, he said.In Senegal, new processing technologies led to a growth in ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat millet products and reversed years of low and declining consumption of this healthy, gluten-free grain, said the report.Similarly, domestic brands of processed local dairy and grain products now have a significant presence in Ghana, Mali and Tanzania, it added.

This sector is likely to grow further, with projections that most traditional staples such as millet and cassava would be consumed in processed form within 20 years, Badiane said.The African Continental Free Trade Agreement, expected to come into force this year, would also help, he said, by allowing farmers and businesses to tap into a market of 1.2-billion people across 55 countries.Turning opportunity into reality needs technology and financing that would allow locals to innovate and compete, he said.

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