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For nearly two decades, Arie Taitler has used Brussels as his hub to bring European business leaders and investors together and facilitate Europe-Africa business and technology exchange.

As a ‘business and technology integrator’ his key activity is to facilitate the creation of public private partnerships that link European technology companies with the European Union’s External Investment Plan (EIP), the program recently created to attract private investment to build a stronger business base in Africa and ‘EU neighborhood’ countries.

He sees Brussels as the ideal location for companies who specialize building these kinds of partnerships. “Of course, the action on the ground needs to be in Africa,” he explains, “But Brussels is the place where the links between partners are made most efficiently. The EU and EIP managers and decision makers are here, as are all the African embassies and – importantly – the main representation of the African Union. So from the first ‘prise de contacte‘ to introducing partners and developing the investment plans that bring the projects to life, being in Brussels makes the process smooth and efficient,” says Arie.

His company, ‘EMPFG Group - Actiview Solutions Ltd & Emerging Markets Project Facilitators’, is now active in a number of partnerships:

  • An agribusiness venture with Nigeria to develop local farming, forestry and value chains. This partnership aims to improve the performance of agriculture using high-tech satellite monitoring and mapping technology from Austrian company PROGIS. He says that this pilot project has the potential for transfer to many other countries to improve the productivity of food production across the continent, driving progress of a green revolution in Africa.
  • Renewable energy projects and the application of LED lighting to provide better urban infrastructure at a low cost.
  • Several other emerging public-private partnerships in Congo DRC, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Ghana in the agriculture, energy, mining aviation sectors.

In addition to easy links to the international political, and decision-making community, Arie says his experience as an expat business owner in Brussels has been positive from a number of practical perspectives: “Setting up a business is clear and simple, working with the local administration for company creation, tax, office space and residence is smooth.”

He also appreciates the city’s international and multicultural business character. For his professional activities, he finds it easy bring together business leaders for exchanges, forums and to explore partnership opportunities. “This is a city where it’s easy to connect, and get around,” he says.

For daily living, he sees nature as part of the city, and appreciates that Brussels is a very green city, with its wealth of natural spaces and parks within walking distance of every neighborhood. “This makes life pleasant, and is a real plus for people who choose to live in an urban area,” explains Arie.

EMPFG Group uses Brussels as a launchpad for partnerships that can address the emerging world food crisis. He explains: "Our cooperative Consortium offers innovative solutions that help the international community meet the challenge we face with of the global agriculture and food crisis. The solutions focus on three main drivers of food crisis as defined by the European Commission:

‘’Over 100 million people worldwide face a food crisis, which will only worsen unless current trends are reversed. Scientific evidence and policy analyses identify three drivers of food crises that the global community needs to address: -

  • Socio-economic factors: demographic change, urbanization, growing inequality, unequal access to resources, unhealthy eating habits. Poverty.
  • Environmental factors: climate change, soil degradation, over-exploitation of natural resources, water scarcity. Reaching the limit.
  • Peace and security: armed conflict, good governance, rule of law. Fundamental rights.
  • Read more on EMPFG Group - http://actiview.eu/index.html ; http://www.progis.com/download