EU delegations across Sub-Saharan Africa should play a key role by stepping into the era of true economic diplomacy, Simon Bergulf, Director EU Affairs at Danish Shipowners’ Association pointed out.
With the new approach, EU companies would improve business operations in Africa, especially seeing that Sub-Saharan Africa is currently the biggest growth market in the world. Benefits for the entire supply chain would be ensured, including the shipping industry as well, the association claims.
“Maritime services are the cornerstone of this new economy, they bring trade to the doorstep of the African economies. But can only deliver if on-land infrastructures are equally developed,” says Danish Shipowners’ Association.
Taking into account its strong capacities in development, trade and diplomacy, the EU is capable of supporting ‘development through trade’ agenda. However, EU involvement in Africa requires a coordinated action of both the European Union and the European Union External Action Service (EEAS), the association believes.
According to DSA, one of the good examples is the EU initiative to launch a European Business Group in Tanzania. The group provides a platform for European companies to access key decision-makers and enables a structured approach to the authorities in addressing local challenges.
Until now, the EU has established 139 delegations across the world that should serve as outposts for economic diplomacy and this involvement is particularly beneficial for shipping, the associated remarked.
In light of these developments, the association organized together with the European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA) a round-table on enabling development through trade in Africa. It was the first in a series of events to be organized that will focus on the new approach needed to African economies.