tralac Regional Roundtable for the Diplomatic Community – Cape Town
On 7 February, tralac presented to the diplomatic community as part of a “Regional Roundtable” discussion. The implication’s of South Africa’s decision to take Israel to the ICJ were discussed, along with maritime transport disruptions such as the crisis in the Red Sea and the drying up of the Panama Canal (due to climate change). Presenters explained the ramifications of the recent launch of the Guided Trade Initiative (GTI): foreign business is already benefitting from the initiative, and will likely be first in line to take advantage of the free trade area. South Africa’s trade policy was broken down and the prospect of a new policy (after 12 years) was discussed. It was concluded that a change in policy would mean more for small businesses than big business (who find ways of navigating conditions regardless of policy). Finally, the prospect of a renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) was discussed, as were the ramifications of what the alternatives might be if it is not. tralac has taken the position that not only should the act be renewed, it should be made permanent for Least Developed Countries (LDCs).