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Canada, Ethiopia starting talks towards investment agreement



ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada and Ethiopia are preparing to start negotiations towards a foreign investment protection agreement.

Trudeau is in Addis Ababa to meet with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and President Sahle-Work Zewde.

He spent more than two hours with Abiy, including more than an hour in a private tour of a new public park and zoo on the grounds of the prime minister’s residence.

He also had a working lunch with Zewde at Jubilee Palace.

Both meetings are part of Canada’s agenda to secure support from many African nations as it vies for a seat on the powerful United Nations Security Council in June.

However, Trudeau says this trip is about more than just the UN and told both Abiy and Zewde he sees immense potential for Canada and Ethiopia to help each other grow.

He says that’s why the two nations are about to start working towards an investment agreement.

“This visit is a chance for us to take our partnership and our friendship to the next level,” Trudeau said Saturday.

“We have an incredible opportunity before us.”

FIPAs, as they are often referred to in official circles, encourage investment between two nations. Canada already has at least two dozen FIPAs in place.

Ethiopia is not a big economic partner for Canada currently, with just $170 million in two-way trade in 2018, more than three-quarters of it Canadian exports.

However, Ethiopia is the fastest growing economy in Africa and one the five fastest in the world.

Trudeau also revealed a $10-million contribution to the African Union Commission for gender equality and women’s empowerment. He gave a speech at a breakfast hosted by the African Union and the funds were well-received by the mostly female audience. Trudeau is the first Canadian prime minister to attend an African Union event.

The breakfast was a side event to the African Union’s 33rd session in Addis Ababa on Saturday, but many African scholars in Canada say Canada’s efforts to advance its relationships in Africa comes very late in the game.

That was a feeling echoed by the head of one of Canada’s biggest challengers for two seats available in the group of countries Canada is in. Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said Norway and Canada are pursuing African support in similar ways but that Norway has been a steadier partner over the years.

“I think one of the differences, of course, is we have been on the steady same path for a very long time, so they know us,” Solberg said.

Canada’s economy is larger but Norway proportionately spends more on foreign aid and international efforts, she added.

Cabinet ministers accompanying Trudeau insist the relationship with Africa is not last-minute, nor is it solely because Canada needs many of Africa’s 54 votes at the UN to win the seat. There are two seats up for grabs and Canada is vying for them against Norway and Ireland.

“It’s not like we were absent and now we are showing up,” said Families Minister Ahmed Hussen. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Solberg also met with Abiy and Zewde on Saturday. She also was in Ethiopia a year ago when she had talks with Abiy. This is Trudeau’s first visit to Ethiopia.

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar visited Ethiopia and met with Abiy in January.

Where Abiy’s vote will go at the UN is unknown but he was warm to Trudeau. They spent more than two hours together at a private meeting, an expanded bilateral meeting with officials and ministers from both countries, and the tour at Unity Park.

The pulic park and museum was previously private space and is one of Abiy’s pet projects. At the end of the tour, Abiy and Trudeau had coffee and shared some Ethiopian food, and continued talking for more than 20 minutes.

Abiy told Trudeau that Ethiopia is grateful for the diplomatic relationship between the two countries, which began more than 50 years ago. But he added that Canada’s influence actually began much earlier than that with missionaries and Canadian aid dollars.

“We are very much grateful about it,” he said.

Trudeau told Abiy he is “much more interested” in building economic partnerships going forward.

Trudeau also met with African Union Commission chair Moussa Faki Mahamat, Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Ulisses Correia e Silva, the prime minister of Cape Verde.

Later on Saturday, he was to attend an African Union panel discussion about the “blue economy” which refers to the use of water bodies for sustainable economic prosperity.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 8, 2020.

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PepsiCo Makes $550 Million Celsius Investment As Hip Hop Mogul Sues For His Shares – Forbes



has its sights on gaining a bigger share of the energy drink with a $550 million investment in Celsius Holdings. The energy drink maker is also at the center of a lawsuit between Russell Simmons and his ex-wife Kimora Lee Simmons along with her husband Tim Leissner, as he tries to retrieve his shares in Celsius back from them. Allegedly Kimora Lee and Leissner transferred and were using his shares of Celsius as collateral to pay a bond in connection with these criminal charges. Leissner already pleaded guilty, and agreed to forfeit $43.7 million for his role in the Malaysia 1MDB scandal that cost Goldman more than $3 billion. Simmons alleges that his shares of Celsius are being used as collateral to pay a bond in connection with these criminal charges.

The Breakdown You Need To Know:

Celsius recorded a first-quarter domestic revenue increase of 217% to $123.5 million and the long-term distribution deal gives Pepsi a minority stake of about 8.5%. The brand, which doesn’t use artificial preservatives or sugar, adds to PepsiCo’s energy drink portfolio, which already includes Rockstar as well as Mountain Dew drinks Amp, Game Fuel, and Kickstart. CultureBanx reported that with these types of returns it’s easy to see why Simmons wants his shares back from the couple.

Quick Recap on how these three people ended up in this situation. Goldman Sachs
last year agreed to pay the Malaysian government $3.1 billion, to settle claims in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund. One of the main people who got the bank involved in this scandal was Kimora Lee’s Simmons husband Tim Leissner.

The bank swiftly parted ways with him after his shady dealings with Jho Low came to light. In November 2018, when Leissner agreed to pay $43.7 million toward victim compensation, it was in order to avoid jail time.

In his claim, Simmons says Kimora and Leissner “knew full well that Leissner would need tens of millions of dollars to avoid jail time, stay out on bail, and forfeit monies for victim compensation.” Simmons claims they used their Celsius shares as collateral for Leissner’s bail, and he wants his shares returned.

Now Russell wants no financial part in keeping Leissner out of jail. In a letter sent to his ex-wife Kimora Lee on May 5, 2021, he was pleading with her to do the right thing and avoid a lawsuit. He wrote that “I am shocked and saddened to see how your side has behaved in response to my repeated attempts to get an agreement from you to rightfully and legally reaffirm my 50% of the Celsius shares..which have been locked up with the government after being used for your husband’s bail money.”

What’s Next:

A representative for Kimora Lee said “Kimora and her children are shocked by the extortive harassment coming from her ex-husband, Russell Simmons, who has decided to sue her for shares and dividends of Celsius stock in which Kimora and Tim Leissner invested millions of dollars.” At this point Russell is asking a judge for damages against Kimora and Leissner and believes he should be awarded restitution for interest and equal value for the wrongfully obtained shares.

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Saskatchewan Leads Provinces In Building Construction Investment | News and Media – Government of Saskatchewan



Released on August 12, 2022

Saskatchewan first among the provinces in year-over-year growth

Today, Statistics Canada released June 2022 Investment in Building Construction numbers, which showed Saskatchewan with a 63.0 per cent increase (seasonally adjusted) compared to June 2021, ranking first among the provinces in terms of percentage change.

Saskatchewan also had strong month-to-month growth for building construction investment with a 17.6 per cent increase (seasonally adjusted) between May 2022 and June 2022, second among the provinces. The value of building construction investment in June 2022 was $464 million, the highest monthly investment in the province since August 2013.

Investment in residential building construction also saw strong month-to-month growth with an increase of 24.0 per cent.

“Saskatchewan’s economy is moving full steam ahead as we advance our Government’s strategy to increase our exports and attract investment into the province,” Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison said. “Saskatchewan is a global leader in the sustainable production of the food, fuel and fertilizer that the world needs, a reality that will lead to more jobs and opportunities in our province for years to come.”

The latest Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey showed there were 581,600 people employed in July 2022 – an increase of 24,400 jobs (+4.4 per cent) compared to July 2021, the third highest percentage increase among the provinces. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 4.0 per cent remained the second lowest among the provinces, a decrease from 7.1 per cent in July 2021 and well below the national average of 4.9 per cent.

Saskatchewan has ranked highly in a number of other key economic indicators in recent months, including June 2022 merchandise exports, which had the second highest year-over-year growth among the provinces at 57.3 per cent and June 2022 building permits, which had the second highest month-to-month growth among the provinces at 15.8 per cent and the third highest year-over-year growth at 27.4 per cent. June 2022 urban housing starts had the second highest year-over-year growth at 87.0 per cent, compared to the national increase of 0.2 per cent (unadjusted).


For more information, contact:

Jill Stroeder
Trade and Export Development
Phone: 306-787-6315

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Canada Pension Plan Investment Board loses 4.2% in Q1 – Investment Executive



Tax debts and the prescribed rate

Owing CRA money will soon be more expensive

Feds move ahead with CCPC measures

Draft legislation includes expanded SBD access, definition of substantive Canadian-controlled private corporation

Finance releases details on new First Home Savings Account

Proposed rules outline age limit and allow unused contribution room to be carried forward

Regulatory peril is banks’ top governance risk: Fitch

Failings that inflict broader reputational harm or signal deeper issues are most likely to impact credit ratings

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