tralac Private Sector Roundtable – Cape Town
On 6 February, tralac and Exporters Western Cape, along with over 120 members of the private sector, met at the Two Oceans Aquarium for a private sector roundtable discussion. The agenda included global trade context and developments; an AfCFTA update; regional trade developments; and South Africa’s trade policy in 2024. The recent launch of the guided trade initiative (GTI) was touched on, where it was explained that while it has reinvigorated interest in the AfCFTA, there is still a long way to go. There was a particular emphasis placed on the need to foster horizontal cross-border value chains for industrialisation in Africa, and it was suggested that the best way to achieve this would be for state parties to take a proactive role in reducing non-tariff barriers (NTBs) to trade. The redirection of trade around the Cape of Good Hope (as a result of Houthi activity in the Red Sea) was discussed, and it was agreed that failing port infrastructure is a key reason for South Africa missing out on the opportunity to act as a pitstop for carriers.