BIZweek n°257 13 sep 2019
BIZweek n°257 13 sep 2019
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  • Parution : n°257 de 13 sep 2019

  • Périodicité : hebdomadaire

  • Editeur : Capital Publications Ltd

  • Format : (260 x 370) mm

  • Nombre de pages : 9

  • Taille du fichier PDF : 3,9 Mo

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VENDREDI 13 SEPTEMBRE 2019 BIZWEEK ÉDITION 257 AGROFORESTRY POST SCRIPTUM A forest and land management way to improve livelihoods Mauritius is a Small Island Developing State (SIDS). It has a population of 1.3 billion inhabitants. Typical issues that occur with SIDS are too small of an area/land for the population, limited resources, vulnerability to natural disasters, etc. The national forest policy (NFP)was produced by the government of Mauritius in 1963 and then reproduced in 2006. To test and evaluate how well these policies were being implemented there were set principles that were utilized. There seemedto be many issues that were identified which led to the NFP to fail. This was the time when FAO was brought into the project. The analysis of the situation realized there were many weaknesses such as poor organization, repetition of activities and functions, ineffective coordination and collaboration between stakeholders and participants. This was when an institutional reformhad to take place. As result of the FAO intervention, the ideal organizational structure proposed for the forestry sector is to group together or organize the different functions/actions that need to take place to achievethe NFP. It is organized using three categories. The first category is nature conservation which includes biodiversity conservation, invasive species management, ecotourism activities and protected area management. The second category is forest management which includes forest management and protection, policy and planning, and forest mapping. The last category is sustainable land management and division which includes management of water catchment areas, agroforestry systems, landscaping and management of sensitive areas such as mountain reserves and river reserves. All these categories focus a lot on nature conservation, landscape restoration and agroforestry. What is agroforestry It is a land use management system where trees are cultivated around crops. The main goal is to improve the livelihoods of people through identifying and testing quality agroforestry systems in underutilized/abandoned agricultural land. FAO supports the Government of Mauritius in agroforestry project implementation. This project has increased land using planning, the implementation of technologies in the environment, and it is changing existing land systems impact. This project has increased land using planning, the implementation of technologies in the environment, and it is changing existing land systems impact. It will contribute to an increase in productive land which can be local, subnational and national levels, it will support economic growth and re-establish agriculture potential, it will promote productive cropping environments and increase biodiversity and protect water resources which will reduce erosion. The project willalso contribute to national and household food and nutrition security, improve the environment, reduce poverty, people will learnnew agroforestry practices which will be necessary skills, and stakeholders will gain some knowledge which can be passed on. The partnership between FAO and the government of Mauritius addressed the issue of agricultural sector. The specific issues being addressed were agroforestry in Mauritius, challenges for implementing long lasting agroforestry, produced guidelines and manuals, creating tools for farmers, and raising awareness of benefits. With raising awareness, they have focused a lot of the benefits agroforestry will have on the lives of people. They allowed the public to participate in this by informing them about different forms of gardening that they might want to utilize. This project willalso like to be connected to tourism. Tourism plays a huge part in the economy, to the point where it is dependable. The project wants to create a link between agroforestry and hotel industries. They will do this by having activities related to agroforestry that can be implemented in hotels, restaurants, etc. Rodrigues island too benefits from land management Rodrigues is an island that is a region of Mauritius, but has its own government. The total land area is 108 km squared. It has had vast deforestation, accelerated soil erosion and a disrupted hydrology. The climate is tropical with 800 - 1700 mm of rain each year. The population has increased from 25,000 in 1972 to 42,000 in 2014, with nearly 40% under the age of 21. Just like Mauritius agriculture plays a big role in the island’s economy, especially with tourism and able to feed their own. The main objective is to organize and plan where specific projects, which can be land for agriculture, for tourism and for housing, are going to be held in Rodrigues and to ameliorate the supply of goods from agriculture, forestry, and fishers in a sustainable manner. The use of land mapping to improve the supply of goods, can better food security and produce for exports. The followup of this project implemented in the framework of a FAO technical cooperation programme, is to make it a reality was first to begin with preparing suitability maps that could be used in the development processes. After incorporating land suitably and natural resource into the development planning processes, followed by settingup a shared resource information system, with datasets on land and water and finally making sure the proposed project activities work and maintain. This project is very necessary because it targets suitability assessments towards more specific land utilization types, especially the ones dealing with water harvesting and popular crops. It also figures out what part of the land is going to be used for what. This is especially essential for agriculture because this may interfere with tourism and the environment. 8th edition of bulletin « FAO against food insecurity and malnutrition in Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius, Seychelles ». 8
VENDREDI 13 SEPTEMBRE 2019 BIZWEEK ÉDITION 257 POST SCRIPTUM A CAPITAL MARKET UNION FOR EUROPE Why It’s Needed and How to Get There This note weighs the merits of a capital market union (CMU) for Europe, identifies major obstacles in its path, and recommends a set of carefully targeted policy actions. European capital markets are relatively small, resulting in strong bank-dependence, and are split sharply along national lines. Results include an uneven playing field in terms of corporate funding costs, the rationing out of collateral-constrained firms, and limited shock absorption. The benefits of integration center on expanding financial choice, ultimately to support capital formation and resilience. Capital market development and integration would support a healthy diversity in European finance. Proceeding methodically, the note identifies three key barriers to greater capital market integration in Europe  : transparency, regulatory quality, and insolvency practices. Based on these findings, the note urges three policy priorities, focused on the three barriers. There is no roadblock—such steps should prove feasible without a new grand bargain When savers and firms invest and borrow beyond their national borders, they enjoy opportunities to diversify their portfolios and lower their funding costs, respectively. In Europe, this idea—of an integrated financial system that offers a richness of financing choice—remains an elusive goal  : capital markets are far from integrated. Our recent research finds that European finance is still sharply segmented along national lines, with savers and investors depending heavily on national banking systems. Although the landscape is dotted with many different types of investors and intermediaries, their focus is mostly domestic— « home bias » is pervasive. An unlevel playing field This is a problem because it results in an uneven playing field  : the financing costs companies pay depend hugely on their country of incorporation, collateral-constrained startups find it hard to get any funding at all, and consumption is not shielded from local economic shocks. Firms in, say, Greece, pay a 2.5 percent higher rate of interest on their debt than similar firms in the same industry in France ; Italian firms pay 0.8 percent higher interest on debt than comparable firms in Belgium. And Greek and Italian firms are not alone in fighting thisuphill battle on funding costs—there is no level playing field. In addition, firms with limited plants and machinery to offer as collateral— think of an IT start-up—face hurdles accessing bank loans. Such companies grow significantly faster in more developed capital markets, where venture capital funds with diversified portfolios thrive and are more willing to take the risk of providing unsecured financing to innovative players. Finally, private cross-border risk sharing is severely limited, with local consumption being four times more sensitive to local shocks in the 28 EU countries than in the 50 US states. For every 1 percentage point drop in national GDP growth, consumption drops by 80 basis points, on average, if the country is in the EU, compared to only 18 basis points for the average US state. Obstacles to capital market integration Our study included a survey of national market regulators and some of the largest institutional investors in the EU, which identified important obstacles to greater capital market integration in Europe. Responses flagged shortcomings in information on both listed and unlisted firms, in insolvency practices, and to a slightly lesser extent, in capital market regulation. Some countries were also seen to have weak audit quality, overly complex procedures for retrieving withholding taxes on investments in other countries, and unduly high tax rates. Some of the benefits of lowering such barriers can be quantified. Using publicly available data, and guided by the survey results, we found that lowering identified barriers offers the prospect of powerful macroeconomic benefits  : lower funding costs for firms, larger intra-EU portfolio capital flows, and more risk sharing across borders. If Italy, for example, were to improve its insolvency practices to bestin-class standards, it could reduce its firms’average debt funding cost by some 0.25 percentage points. Similarly, Estonia and Greece could see interest cost reductions of some 0.50 percentage points. Bilateral portfolio asset holdings would double if insolvency regimes and regulatory quality in destination countries were to improve by 1 standard deviation—this is equivalent to Portugal improving its insolvency practices to the UK standard and improving its regulatory quality to that seen in Belgium. Such improvements in regulatory quality and insolvency regimes would improve individual countries’shock-absorption, halving the sensitivity of local consumption to local shocks. Three targeted initiatives Based on these findings—and building on the achievements of the EU’s Capital Market Union Action Plan— we would urge European policymakers to consider three targeted sets of initiatives in pursuit of greater capital market integration. To improve transparency and disclosure, we propose introducing centralized, standardized, and compulsory electronic reporting for all issuers of bonds and equities, irrespective of size, on an ongoing basis. This would be a major change to the European reporting framework. And digital technologies can be used to streamline cross-border withholding tax procedures. To contain systemic risk and improve investor protection where it lags, we propose a series of actions to sharpen regulatory quality, guided by a principle of proportionality. First, systemic entities such as central clearinghouses and large investment firms should be brought under centralized oversight. Second, the European Securities and Markets Authority can and should be strengthened by introducing independent board members. Third, the new pan-European pension product could be pepped-up with design changes to enhance portability and cost-efficiency. Fourth, recognizing the global nature of capital markets, the EU should aim for maximum regulatory cooperation with non-EU countries. Toupgrade insolvency regimes, the European Commission should, first, carefully collect data in an area where the existing information is unreliable ; second, develop a code of good standards for corporate insolvency and debt enforcement processes ; and, third, systematically followup on EU member states’progress toward observing such standards. Larger intra-EU portfolio flows would help move the EU toward realizing its full economic potential. The relatively technical steps we recommend for removing identified barriers to such flows should be feasible without high-level political deliberations. Ashok Vir Bhatia, Srobona Mitra, and Anke Weber IMF Blog – 10 September 2019 9

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