Daily Archives: September 7, 2015

Speech by Vice President Jyrki Katainen, at the Extraordinary Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Introduction

Mr President, Members of the Council, I should begin by apologising for the absence of Commissioner Hogan today. He has been taken ill and is in hospital. He very much regrets he cannot be here today. He has worked hard over the past months to prepare this Council, analysing the situation, talking to you and stakeholders, and working with his colleagues in the College to put together a comprehensive response from the Commission to the difficult market situation.

I am here today to present that response to you.

Today’s debate and the Commission’s response

Today’s debate is an important debate. It reflects a difficult market situation, particularly in the dairy and pigmeat sectors.

The Commission’s response to this difficult market situation reflects the instruments that are available under the Common Agricultural Policy to provide market support.

When the Common Agriculture Policy was created as a partnership between Europe and its farmers, over 50 years ago, one of the CAP’s main aims was to ensure that farmers earn a fair living. That remains valid today.

Over the years, the CAP has taken on an increasingly market orientated direction. The 2013 Reform has confirmed and strengthened this approach.

This commitment to a market orientated approach is and remains the basis of the Commission’s action.

It is also at the basis of the comprehensive response I will present to you in a moment.

Recognising the difficulties our producers experience, the Commission is announcing today a comprehensive support package worth €500 million.

Market Analysis

The backdrop against which today’s debate is taking place includes several elements:

  • the continuing impact of the Russian ban, not only for those Member States exposed to that market, but for all Member States;
  • weakening demand in a number of key markets, notably China, and others where purchasing power has been hit, for example, by falling oil prices;
  • a global oversupply of milk, with increased production recorded in all the major producing regions (Europe, the US, New Zealand and Australia);
  • very hot and dry conditions in certain Member States, affecting crops such as maize and other fodder; and
  • ongoing problems with African Swine Fever in parts of the EU.

A more detailed market analysis has been distributed to you all, as an annex to my speech.

Measures Taken to Date

It is now over a year since the Russian ban came into effect. It has since been renewed for another year. In response, the Commission took decisive and effective action to provide an additional €220 million to stabilise agricultural markets. We are grateful for the support which you and the European Parliament gave the Commission for that package.

In addition, the Commission announced three measures in July to help the fruit and vegetable and dairy sectors.

A full list of measures is included in the annex to my speech.

New Measures Proposed

Let me now turn to the package I am announcing today.

In response to recent market developments, the Commission has identified a comprehensive package of measures which we believe are the most appropriate and which will have the greatest effect in supporting producers. The measures I am announcing this afternoon look to the immediate needs of farmers. In addition, they also include a longer-term view to improve future conditions, notably with regard to the food chain.

This package will allow for €500 million of EU funds to be used for the benefit of farmers immediately. This is a robust and decisive response. This response demonstrates that the Commission takes its responsibility towards farmers very seriously and is prepared to back it up with the appropriate funds. This is particularly important, given other competing budgetary demands.

The focus of this response is threefold:

  1. Addressing the cash-flow difficulties farmers are facing
  2. Stabilising markets
  3. Addressing the functioning of the supply chain.

In addition, the package will also seek to tackle a number of societal issues.

Let me present the elements of our response in further detail.

Firstly, this response will address the cash-flow difficulties farmers are facing, through

  • direct targeted aid for all 28 Member States; and
  • the facility for Member States to advance up to 70 per cent of direct payments, including voluntary coupled support and young farmers’ payments, and 85 per cent of area-based rural development payments from 16 October. This is a major progress compared to the current rules, which allow Member States to advance up to 50 % of Direct Payments and 75% of Rural Development aid.

Secondly, this response aims to stabilise markets, through

  • a new and improved private storage scheme for dairy protein products;
  • a new private storage scheme for pigmeat;
  • furthermore, additional funding for the promotion of dairy products and pigmeat. The new promotion policy will make it easier to access funding;
  • a focus on ensuring that the Milk Market Observatory meets the needs of the market by further focusing the information which the Observatory provides, in terms of its nature, accuracy and timeliness;
  • a further intensification of efforts to tackle non-tariff barriers in third countries; and
  • a series of missions to third countries to open new markets.

Thirdly, the response we propose will address the functioning of the supply chain, by

  • establishing a new, dedicated High Level Group to focus on a number of specific and clearly defined issues. This includes credit for farmers, and financial and risk hedging instruments such as futures markets for agricultural products. Possible improvements for producers in the supply chain will form part of the remit, including whether to legislate for specific agricultural products under the Common Markets Organisations;
  • promoting full use of the milk package and similar Common Market Organisation provisions by organising exchange of best practices between Member States, producer organisations etc. For example, as regards unfair trading practices, we can learn from the experiences in member states such as Spain and the UK; and
  • bringing forward the report on the milk package originally foreseen for 2018 to 2016, to consider its possible prolongation and improvement, including the extension of its provisions to other sectors.

In addition, I would like to recall that the new European Fund for Strategic Investments opens up new opportunities to support investment in the sector, notably for economically viable projects that are more high risk.

Finally, the package will also address a number of wider societal issues. This includes

  • addressing the nutritional needs of specific vulnerable groups, particularly in view of the current refugee crisis. In this extraordinary time of multiple crises, it is more important than ever to make the most of our limited resources. We are proposing to help our farmers by stabilising prices, and address the nutritional needs of the most vulnerable refugees in terms of products such as milk powder.
  • further, rapidly concluding the proposal to improve the scheme for school fruit and school milk.

Taken together, we consider that this package offers the most appropriate mix of measures to deal with the current market situation. These measures can be implemented very fast.

Further detail on individual measures

Many of the measures we have identified speak for themselves. However, let me zoom in further on a number of individual measures.

The Commission will propose that the most significant part of the comprehensive package will be provided to all MS in envelopes to support the dairy sector. In determining the distribution of this aid, we will ensure that it is fairly distributed, targeted and effective, having particular regard to those MS and those farmers which have been most affected by the market developments. The Commission’s intention is to provide maximum discretion to Member States to reflect their specific situations.

As an additional measure to address cashflow difficulties, the Commission has decided to allow MS to advance direct payments up to 70 per cent from 16 October. As regards modalities, such as controls to be undertaken, ,the Commission will consider providing some flexibility, such as a scheme by scheme approach, to release the advance payments as early as possible. .

The Commission will also act directly to stabilise the market. This must be done in the most effective way, and this means providing concrete support to operators while avoiding any disruption to market orientation. For this reason, the Commission is proposing a new private storage scheme for skimmed milk powder and cheese.

For Skimmed Milk Powder in particular, the intension is to provide an enhanced scheme that focuses on higher aid levels as well as on ways to ensure that the product is stored for the appropriate time to make the scheme even more effective in alleviating pressure on the supply side. The lessons learned from previous schemes will be applied to ensure the effectiveness of this new scheme, which will run in parallel with the scheme that was recently extended.

In an effort to address the current market imbalance, it is also proposed to increase the promotion budget for 2016 . This will be in addition to the €81 million already provided for under the reformed promotion policy. Part of this budget will be dedicated to the dairy and pigmeat sectors. This new promotion policy, which enters into force in 2016, already provide for higher co-financing rates from 50 per cent to between 70 and 80 per cent.

Further, together with Commissioners Andriukaitis and Malmström, Commissioner Hogan is intensifying work on tackling non-tariff barriers to trade in third countries where there is a potential appetite for EU products. This effort will also focus on regaining market access for products that were previously exported to third countries, as is the case with pigmeat and African Swine Fever. Both Commissioners Hogan and Andriukaitis are working to see which additional resources can be provided to help eradicate African Swine Fever. I am particularly pleased that Commissioner Andriukaitis will be here at the end of this debate to respond to issues arising as a result of the outbreak of ASF.

In the last number of years, the EU has actively tried to capitalise on increasing global demand by negotiating a number of free trade agreements Negotiations are ongoing with significant markets such as the USA and Japan. At the same time, a number of Sanitary and Phytosanitary issues, as well as Technical Barriers to Trade issues have to be resolved with third country partners.

With the increased focus on market orientation, we must find new markets for our product. For all kinds of reasons, well known to you, Europe has enormous potential to grow exports of food and agricultural produce

As regards measures to address the functioning of the supply chain, in the context of the High-Level Forum for the better functioning of the food chain, there are a number of questions that Commissioner Hogan will be raising on the relationship between farmers and retailers. Retailers need to realise that it is in their own interest to deliver a fair return for farmers – without producers, you do not have a product.

Commissioner Hogan is also committed to continuing to work intensively with Commissioner Bienkowska, both on the High-Level Forum and to follow up on the 2014 communication on unfair trading practices.

Intervention

I have just listed a comprehensive series of concrete measures that the Commission is proposing.

I would also want to say something about the idea that the price for public intervention should be increased.

We owe it to farmers to make it clear that this is not the appropriate policy response to the current situation.

In terms of the clear market orientation of the CAP, the Commission does not believe that increasing the price for public intervention is consistent with that approach. And market orientation is a necessary foundation of our policy, to secure the future of European farmers. Moreover, we don’t believe that it would solve the current market problem.

At a time when there is a clear market imbalance, increasing the price paid for public intervention will do nothing to restore market balance but would instead create an artificial outlet for EU dairy products. It would weigh on the EU competitiveness for the 10% (or more) of EU milk production that need to be exported. I am also concerned that the very existence of EU public stocks would simply push market prices down further, thus deepening and prolonging the current difficult situation. It would also remove the incentive for a cautious approach on the supply side in times of market turbulences.

I believe it is important to be clear about this.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I want to reiterate the Commission’s clear support for European agricultural markets. This is why we are committed to provide a comprehensive support package worth €500 million. This package will 1) address the cashflow problems farmers are facing, 2) serve to stabilising markets, and 3) address the functioning of the supply chain.

We believe firmly that the measures I have outlined today represent the most appropriate mix of immediate and decisive actions coupled with forward-looking measures to deal with the current difficulties in the markets.

The measures announced today allow us also to maintain the market orientation of the CAP.

Finally, they are designed to deliver a response very fast.

I want to reiterate that the Commission stands ready to work with you and the other players to ensure that adequate support is provided for agricultural producers in Europe.

Annex to the speech by Vice President Jyrki Katainen at the Extraordinary Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Market Analysis

Dairy Market

There has been a significant deterioration in average farm gate milk prices over the past eighteen months, with prices falling from the exceptionally high levels of 40.21 cents per kilogram in December 2013 to the most recent figures of 29.66 cents per kilogram in July. For the period from June 2014 to June 2015, the average price for raw milk across the EU fell by 20 per cent.

The difficulties being experienced in the dairy sector are essentially related to a strong global supply-demand imbalance. Global demand for milk and milk products has generally deteriorated throughout 2014 and in the first months of 2015, notably as a result of the loss of the Russian market, the first destination of EU dairy exports, and the slowdown in imports from China, the main world importer of milk products. China decreased its imports of dairy products in the first half of 2015 by 56 per cent for WMP, 38 per cent for butter and 28 per cent for SMP.

At the same time, milk production expanded globally. However, the 2015 oversupply on the world market is not primarily driven by European farmers. In the first half of 2015, European milk production increased by only 0.8 per cent, while, in the same period, milk production increased by 1.6 per cent in the US. Increases were also registered in New Zealand (+ 0.9 per cent) and Australia (+ 2.5 per cent).

Global milk production patterns are not reflecting the market reality. At its last meeting on 28 July, the Economic Board of the Milk Market Observatory concluded that, in the absence of the necessary supply side correction, there is little prospect of improvement in the short-term. However, prospects for the medium and long-term remain positive, as borne out by all international observers (OECD, FAO etc.).

At the level of the Global Dairy Trade auctions, following ten successive falls in prices, the last two auction results have seen increases of 14.7 per cent and 10.9 per cent. In addition, world dairy quotations improved in the last fortnight for the three regions. The biggest increases for butter and SMP were in the US and for WMP in Oceania.

Pigmeat Market

The market for pigmeat remains under pressure. In the first six months of 2015, the number of pigs slaughtered in the EU was 3.2 per cent higher than in the same period last year. The increase in production by weight was 3.7 per cent. In all, 19 MS increased production.

The increase in production can largely be attributed to good prices in the first half of 2014. As supply increased, prices fell. As with the dairy sector, it is essential that production adjusts. However, the analysis of Commission services is that overall slaughter figures for 2015 will show a 2.5 per cent increase in production.

Obviously, the Russian ban had a very significant impact on the market, particularly given the volume of EU product that was exported to that market. The significance of the ban can be seen from the trade figures which show that trade with Russia declined from just over 740 000 tonnes in 2013 to 65 000 tonnes in 2014 – a drop of 91 per cent.

However, the overall export picture is much more encouraging. In the first six months of the year, EU pigmeat exports increased by almost 4 per cent. In particular, Asian markets performed very well with increases of 32 per cent to China, 32 per cent to South Korea and 38 per cent to Australia.

Notwithstanding the positive developments on export markets, there are residual effects of the Russian ban which continue to impact on the market. In addition, the outbreak of African Swine Fever is having a negative effect in the Baltic States and Poland.

Beef Market

As regards the beef sector, figures for 2014 show that EU production is estimated to have been 2.5 per cent above 2013. With that increase of production last year, prices fell to levels equivalent to those that applied at the beginning of 2012. Since then, however, prices have recovered and, in August 2015, they were 4.5 per cent higher than in 2014.

EU beef production in the first 5 months of 2015 shows an increase of 2.6 per cent. Year-on-year and short-term outlook suggests that total EU production could further increase this year by 1.8 per cent. A potential increase of 0.6 per cent in beef production is also foreseen in 2016. The market situation will continue to be monitored closely.

Measures Taken to Date

Since August 2014, the EU has spent

  • €150 million withdrawing 760 000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables from the market;
  • €13 million for Private Storage Aid for skimmed milk powder, butter and cheese;
  • €40 million in targeted aid to dairy farmers in four Member States particularly hit by the Russian ban;
  • €17 million on Private Storage Aid for pigmeat, removing 60 000 tonnes from the market.

In addition, three measures were announced in July 2015: A new exceptional measure for the fruit and vegetable sector, in force since August, as well as the extension of the public intervention and private storage schemes for dairy products beyond their scheduled expiry date of the end of September.

Annex: Comprehensive package of measures

1) To help farmers in short term cash flow difficulties

a)      Targeted aid: The most significant part of the comprehensive package will be provided to all MS in envelopes to support the dairy sector. The Commission is working on a package of targeted aid for all Member States, having particular regard to those Member States which have been most affected by market developments. The Commission will shortly finalise the distribution key for these national envelopes.

b)      Advancing Direct payments: Member States can pay up to 50% of their direct payment envelope from 16 October, provided that the necessary controls have been carried out. (Usual earliest date is December 1 – but existing rules already provide this flexibility.) The Commission will now propose to increase this to 70% – draft legislation in preparation.

c)      Advancing certain Rural Development payments: Member States can already advance the area and animal-related payments for rural development (such as agri-environment, organic farming, areas with natural constraints, animal welfare) by paying up to 75% from October 16. The Commission will now propose to increase this rate to 85%.

In addition to this:

d)     Financial instruments: The Commission is working closely with the European Investment Bank (EIB) on options for establishing financial instruments (NB Rural Development Programmes can be used for this). For example, Commission is working on designing Financial Instruments where re-payment schemes are linked to commodity price developments.

e)      Income stabilisation tool: Member States/regions already have the option to include an income stabilisation tool in their Rural Development Programmes. Only a few Member States have programmed this tool, but it could be introduced by others with the next modification of Rural Development Programmes.

2) To address the market imbalanceStimulating demand, reducing supply

a)      Extending & Enhancing Private Storage Aid: In order to ease market pressure, the Commission has already extended the private storage aid and public intervention periods for butter and skimmed milk powder until next year. The Commission is now working on an enhanced scheme for SMP focusing on higher aid levels as well as on ways to ensure that the product is stored for the appropriate time to make the scheme even more effective in alleviating pressure on the supply side.

b)      A new private storage scheme for pigmeat: the Commission is ready to table a proposal to open a new PSA scheme for pigmeat.

c)      Promotion programmes: The Commission will increase the promotion budget in 2016. in addition to the €81 million already committed. A specific part of that enlarged budget will be reserved for the dairy and pigmeat sectors. The reformed promotion policy which also foresees higher co-financing rates (from 50 to 70-80%), a broader list of eligible products (including generic pigmeat promotion on the internal market), and a gradually increasing budget (up to 200 million € in 2019).

d)     Information on Promotion opportunities: The Commission will set up with Member States an extensive series of information workshops on the new promotion rules to secure the best possible use of increased the new rules and the increased funding.

e)      Strengthening of the Milk Market Observatory: For better market transparency, the Commission will continue to reinforce the Milk Market Observatory by further focusing on the type of information, the accuracy and the prompt publication of this information. Already over 30 000 people consult the new data on the MMO website every Thursday and the aim is to make the MMO the benchmark for the EU milk market.

f)       Bilateral Trade Agreements: The EU has worked hard on a range of free trade agreements (the Balkans, CARIFORUM, Central American countries, South Korea, Morocco, Peru, Colombia, Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine), the most recent being with Canada and Vietnam. In the trade agreement with Vietnam, dairy tariffs will be reduced from a maximum of 19% to zero within 3-5 years. Negotiations are ongoing with significant markets such as the USA and Japan.

g)      Tackling non-tariff barriers which block EU exports to non-EU markets: The Commission (DG SANTE, DG AGRI, DG TRADE) is working to resolve a number of Sanitary & PhytoSanitary (SPS) and technical barriers to trade (TBT) issues with third country partners. In 2014, specific SPS trade barriers for dairy products were resolved with Chile, China, Japan and S. Korea. Most recently, for African Swine Fever, the USA has accepted the EU regionalisation decisions, ie instead of listing Member States or regions individually, it will list any restricted zone in the EU established by the EU or any EU Member State. In concrete terms, this means that meat from cattle, sheep, pigs and goats slaughtered in Lithuania and processed in certified Lithuanian establishments is now eligible for export to the USA. The EU has also taken Russia to the WTO over its totally disproportionate EU-wide ban on all pigmeat products linked to African Swine Fever in 4 Member States.

h)      Opening new markets: Commissioner Hogan himself has scheduled a number of promotion visits to third countries where important opportunities exist for EU agriculture and to help open doors for new exports. Already, Commissioner Hogan is committed to visits to China and Japan later this year and to Mexico and Colombia early in 2016.

In addition to this:

i)        Using Rural Development Programmes: The 2014-2020 Rural Development Programmes also include 600 million EURO for quality products and promotion. Member states/regions have the possibility of increasing this envelope, provided that this is in line with the programmes’ underlying strategy. Moreover,Member states/regions have several other options under their RDPs to provide a wider range of effective measures to boost competitiveness, to preserve and valorise specific local production systems, or to accompany the restructuring of a sector, such as the dairy sector. There is also the option for support for restoring agricultural production potential damaged by natural disasters and catastrophic events, which has potential for the pigmeat sector, in order to have a ready-to-use measure at hand in case of an outbreak such as the African Swine Fever.

(3) To tackle supply chain challenges

a)      Establishing a new High Level Group: The Commission will set up a new, dedicated High Level Group to focus on a number of specific and clearly defined issues. This will include credit for farmers, and financial and risk hedging instruments such as futures markets for agricultural products.. On this HLG, Commissioner Hogan will work closely with Commissioner Bienkowska. (A High Level Group normally comprises senior officials from national Ministries.)

b)      Evaluating the Milk Package and encouraging wider use of certain measures: The Commission will bring forward to 2016 the report on the (2012) “milk package” originally foreseen for 2018, in order to consider its possible prolongation and improvement, including the extension of its provisions to other sectors. Introduced as a response to the 2009 dairy crisis, the Milk Package provides a range of measures aimed at giving producers a stronger position in the dairy supply chain, such as written contracts, collective bargaining, encouraging Producer Organisations, but the take-up has been slow in some regions because market conditions have been relatively favourable since 2012. The Commission will also promote similar provisions under existing rules for other sectors, e.g. for producer organisations etc.

c)      Improving exchanges of experience, e.g on unfair trading practices: The Commission will also organise a range of meetings to discuss experiences and share best practices. For example, on unfair trading practices, discussion can look at how the code of conduct is working and the experiences in Member States such as Spain and the UK. There is also the potential for events to discuss financial and risk hedging instruments, such as forward contracts, futures markets, etc.

(4) To tighten the link between agriculture and society at large:

a)      Addressing the needs of vulnerable groups: In the context of the current refugee crisis, there are ways of addressing the nutritional needs of refugees, for example through the distribution of dairy products.  

b)      The scheme for school fruit and school milk: Under the present School Milk Scheme, there is room for increasing the use of the EU support for milk distributed to schoolchildren. (Unlike for the School Fruit Scheme, there is no financial ceiling per Member State.) Moreover, the Commission will work with the Council and parliament to try and reach an early conclusion in the ongoing negotiations for a wider school scheme currently in negotiation.

In addition to this:

State Aids: There are also a number of tools that can be mobilised at national level. Member States have the possibility of providing national funding under the de minimis rules (below €15.000 for agricultural primary production or €200.000 for marketing and processing activities over 3 years). Even outside RDPs, Member States may use State aids, for example aid for investments, for agri-environment-climate or animal welfare commitments, for organic farming, or for the participation in quality schemes, etc. Under certain conditions, State Aids can also cover promotion, the closure of production capacity and, under strict conditions, rescue and restructuring aid for companies in severe financial difficulties, etc.

Dominique Siby : Success – Story d’un enfant Gabonais

MIAMI, 7 septembre 2015 / PRNewswire — C’est dans le but de réaliser ses études et de faire du business que Dominique Siby – né au Gabon, à Libreville, décide de tout quitter et d’aller tenter sa chance ailleurs, voulant rejoindre le pays de l’oncle Sam. Il commence par s’installer en France, à Paris où il passe avec succès, toute sa scolarité et obtient son Baccalauréat.

En 2001, il arrive sur le sol américain avec des rêves pleins la tête – pour atteindre ses objectifs, il poursuit de brillantes études à la prestigieuse Florida International University et se voit diplômé d’un Bachelor en Relations Internationales. Dominique décide ensuite de travailler sur son projet en développant sa propre marque de maroquinerie de luxe pour honorer la mémoire de son cher père – Felix Siby, ancien ministre de la marine marchande, chargé des équipements portuaires sous le gouvernement d’Omar Bongo – Il  achève la création de sa marque alliant classe et modernité : aujourd’hui maîtres-mot de FELIO SIBY, désormais bien établie aux États-Unis.

À l’issue de sa graduation, Dominique décide de rester à Miami, en Floride où il trouve vraiment sa place et se sent vraiment chez lui. Il débute dans le business en revendant des voitures, mais cela ne lui suffit pas – Véritable homme d’affaire, il a toujours en tête de poursuivre le rêve de son modèle paternel. Dès qu’il a l’occasion, il se lance dans l’aventure FELIO SIBY et réalise sa toute première collection de maroquinerie de luxe destiné d’abord aux hommes. Toujours plus ambitieux, et désireux de satisfaire la forte demande, il lance une ligne de ready-to-wear et de souliers pour hommes et femmes, qui rencontre un franc succès.

La success-story de cet enfant Gabonais, aujourd’hui CEO et designer continue alors lorsqu’il ouvre la première boutique FELIO SIBY en mai dernier, dans le prestigieux quartier du Miami design District, référence du luxe et de l’ultra – mode, future ”Beverly hills” où il côtoie les plus grandes marques – mais certainement pas concurrentes à ses yeux. Il suffit d’un mot pour qualifier ses pièces ultra-luxe : Unique – totalement faites à la main par des artisans très qualifiés d’Italie et des États-Unis ; Dotées des matières les plus nobles : crocodile du Nil, cachemire, python, épaule de taureau, autruche, fibre de carbone et personnalisable à la demande des clients très sélectifs : diamant, or, argent… pour satisfaire les désirs les plus fous.

Dominique Siby: Success – The Story of a Gabonese Child

MIAMI, Sept. 7, 2015 / PRNewswire — Intent on finishing his education and doing business, Dominique Siby, born in Libreville, Gabon, decides to leave everything behind and go try his luck in the land of Uncle Sam. He begins by settling in Paris, France, where he successfully completes his French high school diploma.

In 2001, he arrives on American soil with a head full of dreams. To achieve his objectives, he pursues a brilliant education at the prestigious Florida International University and graduates with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations. Dominique then decides to develop his own brand of luxury leather goods to honor the memory of his dear father – Felix Siby, former Minister of the Merchant Marines, responsible for port equipment under the government of Omar Bongo. He creates a brand that combines class and modernity, today’s keywords for FELIO SIBY, now well-established in the United States.

Following his graduation, Dominique decides to remain in Miami, Florida where he truly finds his place and feels very much at home. He starts by selling cars, but finds it is not enough for him. A true businessman, he always seeks to pursue his father’s dream. As soon as he has the opportunity, he embarks on the adventure of creating FELIO SIBY, and starts his very first collection of luxury leather goods for men. Ambitious and eager to meet strong demand, he launches a ready-to-wear line and shoes for both men and women, which is a resounding success.

The success story of this Gabonese child, today CEO and Designer, continues after launching the Premier Boutique FELIO SIBY last May, located in the prestigious Miami Design District which has become the standard for luxury and ultra-fashion, the future “Beverly Hills” where he joins other luxury brands though Dominique does not see them as competitors. There is only one word to describe his ultra-luxury pieces: Unique – totally handmade by highly skilled craftsmen from Italy and the United States. These garments feature the most noble materials:  crocodile from the Nile, cashmere, python, bull shoulder, ostrich, carbon fiber, which can be customized upon request by very selective customers. These special items may include diamonds, gold, silver… all to satisfy one’s wildest desires.