Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac’s Daily News Selection


tralac’s Daily News Selection

tralac’s Daily News Selection

The 2017 schedule of Trade Policy Reviews (including Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, WAEMU states)

Business conditions of Japanese-affiliated companies in Africa: 2016 survey (JETRO)

Between September and November 2016, the Japan External Trade Organization conducted its latest survey on business operations of Japanese-affiliated companies in Africa. The survey, conducted immediately after TICAD VI, highlighted Japanese-affiliated companies’ high expectations for African markets. Of respondents, 52.4% expect their business to expand in the next 1-2 years: high response rates can be seen in Ghana (75%), Kenya (68.6%) and Morocco (65%). Among the reasons behind expanding business, the highest was "increased sales" (69.7%), followed by "a high growth potential of the local market" (59.2%). Companies maintain high expectations for Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa - ranked the top three investment destinations, since last year. Respondents highly praised Kenya’s increasing business opportunities in the infrastructure industry, Nigeria’s market size and growth potential and South Africa’s well-developed function as a regional business hub of Africa.

DRC: Minutes of the Second Trade Policy Review (WTO)

The second Trade Policy Review of the Democratic Republic of the Congo was held on 25 and 27 October 2016. Taking the opportunity of this TPR, Members asked many questions about the DRC’s long term economic and development strategies, including how it planned to improve the business environment for traders and investors, and how it would diversify its economic activities.

Botswana: Government tweaks exchange rate to boost exports (Mmegi)

In a bid to get more value from diamond exports as well as contain the country’s import bill, government has made adjustments to the crawling peg exchange rate regime by reducing the weight of the South African rand in the basket of currencies that determine the value of the pula. Acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Cornelius Dekop said effective from January 01, 2017, the weight of the rand in the pula basket of currencies has been reduced to 45% from 50%.

Nigeria: FG to review trade policy to improve confidence in economy (Leadership)

The federal government will soon review her trade policies this year in order to revamp the nation’s economy with a focus on creating an enabling business environment and improve confidence in the economy. The government has also started identifying the countries with which it will negotiate Free Trade Areas in 2017. According to reports, Nigeria has not reviewed her trade policies since 2002. “In June this year, the WTO will hold Nigeria’s fifth trade policy review. We are working hard at ensure its success because it improves confidence in the Nigerian economy, Trade adviser to minister of Industry, Trade and Investment and Chief negotiator, Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe said yesterday in Abuja, adding that the minister, Dr Enelamah Okechukwu and his top management are moving aggressively on the implementation of the government’s initiative on an enabling business environment. Osakwe said the ministry is working on a domestic law for trade remedies, safeguards anti-dumping, and counter-failing duties for the imported goods that have been distorted, heavily subsidised by those who push them into the Nigerian market.

Taiwan protests Nigeria order to move trade mission from capital (The Jakarta Post)

Taiwan accused China of interference after the Nigerian government ordered the island to move its trade mission from the capital Abuja to Lagos. Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama announced the move Wednesday after meeting with Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, China’s official Xinhua News Agency said. Onyeama said Taiwan would stop enjoying privileges because it wasn’t a country recognized under international law, Xinhua said. During the talks, Onyeama also reaffirmed his country’s commitment to the “One-China” policy. Taiwan’s foreign ministry protested the decision in a statement Thursday.

Zimbabwe: CZI warns of doom over foreign payments delays (NewsDay)

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries says foreign payment delays have “adversely” affected local producers amid fears that some companies would close down due to losses in revenue. The effect of delays on foreign payments has led companies to struggle to meet production deadlines slowing production and in turn affecting revenue streams, the body said yesterday. Briefing journalists on the upcoming 2017 Economic Outlook Symposium to be held in Harare on 26 January, CZI president Busisa Moyo said the situation was very dire with local producers potentially facing closures over the delays.

Zambia: Report on the state of parastatal companies to be ready in March (Lusaka Times)

The Industrial Development Corporation board is by March expected to receive a report on the situational analysis being conducted on state-owned enterprises to determine whether to maintain 100% government shareholding, or invite private equity. He also said IDC will not take over operations of SOEs but will transform the parastatals into viable and profitable entities that must start declaring dividends to the treasury.

Congo to receive $250m Afreximbank support for oil fields strategic plan (Afreximbank)

Afreximbank President Dr Benedict Oramah, who signed on behalf of the Bank, said the facility was part of a $1bn syndicated loan commitment which the government had mandated Afreximbank to raise for the country to enable it cater for capital investment financing requirements for oil production increases and to also finance trade-related investments in the oil and gas sector. Dr Oramah, who noted that the current low oil prices continued to put “unimaginable pressures on governments of oil exporting countries in Africa, including the Republic of Congo”, stated that the Bank had stepped in with innovative programmes to mitigate the adverse impact of those economic shocks on its member states.

Kenya plans tax cuts to kill black market mineral trade (Business Daily)

Kenya is moving to curb illegal mineral trade fuelled by smuggling syndicates through roping in key agencies including the central bank and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) as well as granting generous tax incentives to traders. Mining secretary Dan Kazungu said his ministry would push for a change in the law during the next budget to rein in the black market. “The plan is to advocate zero-rating mineral inflows and fast tracking entry of mineral inflows at border points by working closely with the taxman. We want to make the black market an unattractive option.”

Morocco flexes muscles as it seeks AU reinstatement (Africa Renewal)

Over the 10-year period starting in 2004, Morocco’s trade with the rest of the continent grew by an annual average of 13% ($3.7bn) in 2014, 42% of which was with sub-Saharan Africa. This represented just 6.4% of the kingdom’s overall trade globally during the same period, according to a government report titled Morocco-Africa Relationship: ambition for a New Frontier. Yet the most remarkable change was Morocco’s direct investments in the continent. In 2015 it invested $600m, with neighbouring Mali getting the lion’s share, followed by Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Gabon, according to the World Investment Report 2016, a publication of UNCTAD. Over the decade ending in 2016, Morocco’s investment in sub-Saharan Africa represented 85% of its overall foreign direct investment stocks, according to data from the country’s finance ministry and the African Development Bank.

One-third of EU firms face export obstacles, joint ITC-EU study finds (ITC)

More than one-third of European Union companies face obstacles in the form of non-tariff measures when they export their goods, according to a report published by the International Trade Centre and the European Commission. The report, Navigating Non-Tariff Measures: insights from a business survey in the EU, is an unprecedented business survey carried out by ITC in 2015 and 2016 covering more than 8,000 companies across the 28 EU member states, mostly small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Global Risks Report 2017 (WEF)

This year’s Global Risks Report (pdf) takes as its starting point the societal and political polarization that besets an increasing number of countries and that looks set to be a determining feature of the political landscape not just for the next few years but for the next few electoral cycles. In Part 1, the Report draws on the trends and risks highlighted in the latest GRPS to outline the key challenges that the world now faces: reviving economic growth; reforming market capitalism; facing up to the importance of identity and community; managing technological change; protecting and strengthening our systems of global cooperation; and deepening our efforts to protect the environment. Part 2 explores three social and political risks in greater depth. Part 3 turns towards technology, which is at once a source of disruption and polarization and an inevitable part of whatever responses to these trends we choose to pursue.

Follow the moving carbon: a strategy to mitigate emissions from transport (World Bank)

The share of each mode in overall transport emissions also differs depending on which part of the world you’re looking at: while 2/3 of emissions in OECD countries are from cars, freight and particularly trucking is currently more important in the context of emerging markets. Trucks actually generate over 40% of transport emissions in China, India, Latin America and Africa. To us, this suggests that focusing on improving the fuel efficiency of the trucking sector becomes critical. In practice, this would translate into interventions that lead to fuller and more fuel-efficient vehicles. Data suggest that empty backhauls account for over 40% of truck miles in India and about 36% in China – significantly higher than the estimates of 13-26% for the US and EU. Getting carriers to invest in optimal truck fleets across the world so that they perform as efficiently as those in the US and EU markets could more than half freight sector emissions. And since fuel represents at least 40% of carriers’ direct operating costs, increased fuel efficiency in the trucking industry would also lead to a leaner, more cost-efficient and competitive logistics sector.

Wanted: affordable medicines for all (Africa Renewal)

The report notes that in a market-driven research and development environment, research into new technologies is incentivised by the prospect of high returns to the developers, while rare diseases affecting comparatively small numbers of people fail to spur innovation. “With no market incentives, there is an innovation gap in diseases that predominantly affect neglected populations,” said Malebona Precious Matsoso, the director-general of the National Department of Health of South Africa, one of the 15 members of the UN panel. Ruth Dreifuss, former president of the Swiss Confederation, and Festus Mogae, former president of Botswana, co-chaired the high-level panel. The report calls for new approaches to health research and development to make sure that the benefits of health technology are extended to all. [Donald TrumpPharma industry is getting away with murder]

The economics of tobacco and tobacco control (WHO)

This monograph, a collaboration between the National Cancer Institute and WHO, examines the current research and evidence base surrounding the economics of tobacco control - including tobacco use, tobacco growing, manufacturing and trade, tobacco product taxes and prices, and tobacco control policies and other interventions to reduce tobacco use and its consequences. Why is a global economics of tobacco and tobacco control monograph needed today? There are several reasons, including: (i) extensive new evidence from low- and middle-income countries, much of it derived from research supported by international agencies (ii) new questions raised by emerging political, supply-side, and health concerns (iii) new infrastructure issues ranging from privatization to trade liberalization (iv) new global economic concerns about tobacco use and tobacco control.

Today’s Quick Links:

Egypt: Chronic dollar pains

Importers pile pressure on East African currencies

Uganda: Economy expands by Shs162b in first quarter of 2016/17

AfCoP COMESA Region Peer review consultant: EOI (pdf, AfDB)

Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway officially completed, creating high speed link between Djibouti and Ethiopia

North Africa: The role of nascent entrepreneurship in driving inclusive economic growth in North Africa, Measuring inclusive growth: from theory to applications in North Africa (pdf)

- - -


Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel +27 21 880 2010