Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac’s Daily News Selection


tralac’s Daily News Selection

tralac’s Daily News Selection


Trade Out of Poverty‏ @APPG_TOP: Next month, we’re partnering with @DFID_UK to host a high level roundtable on “Africa & the TFA: from ratification to implementation”

Prospects for SADC regional integration through industrialization and the role of China: The seminar (20-21 April, Johannesburg) will examine the China-SADC relationship in the context of SADC’s new industrialization policy and its Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan.

The 2nd high-level East African Manufacturing Business Summit and Exhibition, organized by the EAC, is scheduled to take place 23-25 May, in Kigali. The 2nd EAMBS is expected to create greater awareness about the opportunities and challenges arising from the Common Market Protocol for the regional manufacturing sector.

EU trade and investment in Southern Africa: Business Climate Survey 2016 (EU)

Economic contributions: With regards to operations in SA, Figure 7 shows that SA is a preferred destination for regional headquarters (68%) and sales offices (54%) of EU companies. This means that in spite of satisfaction levels, SA remains an attractive and stable hub for the EU and EU-associated companies for establishing their presence in the Sub-Saharan Africa. Trade: In relation to the future trade conditions, Figure 18 shows that there is no unanimity among the respondents. There is a similar number of respondents expecting an improvement as there are expecting a worsening situation. A clear majority of 50% have mixed expectations. Border protection against counterfeit and substandard goods stands out among the other variables as only 10% have positive expectations. Respondent’s profile: Most respondents are from the four largest EU economies (62%): 22% from Germany; 15% from France; 15% from Italy; and 10% from the United Kingdom. Of the smaller economies, 9% of the respondents are from Austria and 5% from Finland. This suggests that smaller EU economies are also important stakeholders in the SA economy. [Download, pdf]

Namibia: draft Fifth National Development Plan 2017-2022 (pdf, National Planning Commission)

Section 2.6 Strengthened export capacity and greater regional integration: Desired Outcome: Double the level of export from the 2015 levels and diversify the export of manufactured goods to 60% of the total exports. How we are getting there: (i) Increase export potential by focusing on greater industrialization through innovation and technology. (ii) Leverage Namibia’s membership within SACU and SADC in order to seek opportunities to pool resources and provide a framework for the regional management of infrastructure, such as transportation corridors. (iii) Collaborate with regional neighbors on common environmental challenges such as droughts in order to advance adaptation and resilience across the regions. (iv) Harmonize technical standards and regulations trans-region. This strategy aims at standardizing customs procedures with regional neighbors to facilitate trade. This will also have a beneficial impact on the investment climate in the country.

Ron Sandrey: ‘Issues for CFTA negotiators to consider’ (tralac)

In order to achieve a successful outcome to the negotiations, there are three crucial issues that we believe negotiators and African policy makers need to be clear about: Firstly, that the modern free trade agreement is not overwhelmingly or even importantly about comprehensive free trade or the elimination of import tariffs. It is about the reduction of tariffs over time that aim, to the extent possible, towards their elimination (or more realistically, mitigation) and trade facilitation. Secondly, the corollary of the first, is that several issues are at least as important as tariff elimination, and this paper will discuss some of these issues. And finally, acknowledging the realities of African politics, there needs to be a recognition in Africa that not all countries are ready or able to join an FTA at this stage. Arrangements to recognise and accommodate this while still moving ahead with the FTA need to be found. If these arrangements are not found, the several failed or semi-failed states in Africa will ensure the dream of African integration is never realised.

Related, from tralac: Willemien Viljoen discusses what the Continental Free Trade Area negotiations can learn from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations in Asia; Nicholas Aris Charalambides provides a legal and economic assessment of South Sudan’s possible accession to the EAC.

Christopher Wood: ‘A practical agenda to reducing technical barriers to trade in SADC’ (TIPS)

This policy brief provides context for technical regulation in the region. It then offers some cross-cutting solutions for developing monitoring mechanisms that can allow policymakers to identify problem areas, and some specific interventions for the Standards, Accreditation and Metrology functions that can build capacity at low cost. It provides some recommendations for a practical agenda on reducing Technical Barriers to Trade in the Southern African Development Community – ones that can be executed with minimal cost, and that improve the institutional capacity of regional organisations to grapple with the complexity inherent to the field. Above all, these regulations will need to be carefully attuned to assure that they provide the maximum protection for the region from dangerous substandard imports, while still allowing for a dynamic, mutually beneficial trading relationship.

Dr Patrick I. Gomes: ‘Securing ACP economic interests after BREXIT’ (IDN)

While the full implications of BREXIT will not be known for some time, the ACP believes that it is important to engage with both the EU and the UK to convey our expectations, and possibly fears, now that BREXIT is on the path to the trigger of Article 50 and a 2-year period to complete a negotiated exit. It is for this reason that both the ACP Secretariat and the Ramphal Institute agreed to commission a study, the outcome of which is the book we are about to launch. Let us briefly highlight some significant aspects of the study: [The author is ACP Secretary-General]

Zimbabwe’s trade deficit narrows to $126m in January (Zimbabwe Daily

Zimbabwe’s trade deficit narrowed to $126m in January, compared to $146m in the same period last year, official figures show. Figures released by the Zimbabwe Statistical agency on Wednesday revealed that Zimbabwe imported goods worth $385m in January, against exports of $259m. Major exports during the month under review included flue cured tobacco worth $2.02m, granite ($29.3m), nickel ($7.5m), chrome ($8.55m), gold ($56.71m) and ferrochrome ($26.12m). Imports from South Africa, Zimbabwe’s biggest trade partner, declined 30% to $146 million in January 2017 against exports of $214m as the trade balance between the two countries normalised. Other import source markets in the period under review were Singapore ($69m), China ($58m) Zambia ($10m) and Mauritius ($10m). 

Angola: South African group Distell starts beverage production (Macauhub)

The group invested US$20 million in the construction of the plant, which at an early stage will produce 10 million litres per year, with revenues in kwanzas used to expand production to bottled drinks and gradually replace exports to that market. Until the construction of the plant, the group, which produces and sells wine, brandy, cider and other alcoholic beverages, supplied the Angolan market with goods produced in South Africa.

Kenya, Zambia in fresh bid to resolve long standing trade barrier (COMESA)

Kenya and Zambia have launched a fresh bid to unlock a long standing non-tariff barrier affecting trade in milk and palm oil. A Kenya government delegation led by Dr Chris Kiptoo, the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Industry and Cooperatives was in Zambia for three days this week for bilateral talks with Zambian counterparts. Kenya’s milk and palm oil products cannot access the Zambia market owing to conflict on standards. With regard to milk, Zambia’s standard allows total bacteria count (TBC) of 200,000 while Kenya’s follows the international benchmark of one million TBC. “We need COMESA standard so that we can start trading”, Dr Kiptoo said when he visited the COMESA Secretariat for a courtesy call. He attributed the 13 year stalemate to the absence of a common COMESA standard that would guide the import and export of the various commodities across borders in the region. COMESA Director of Trade, Dr Francis Mangeni, said the milk and palm oil hurdle was the last two of the remaining four unresolved NTBs in the region.

SADC needs $100bn to recapitalise railways (The Herald)

SARA executive director Mr Babe Botana said the rehabilitation of the North-South Corridor and many others in the region would also help regional railways reclaim their market lost to road network. The railway infrastructure plays a key role in promoting the region’s re-industrialisation. “The North South Corridor ferries minerals from DRC, the Copperbelt, Zimbabwe and Botswana into the ports in South Africa, that is why it is the mostly talked about corridor,” said Mr Botana. “We need to rebalance most of the infrastructure on the railway side; change the rails and replace them with those that can accommodate high speed (trains). Some of them are worn out, we really need to do something. At SADC level we call it recapitalisation, and if nothing is done eventually there will be no rail infrastructure because this will also have an impact on our road networks as traffic will increase on roads.”

Mining in Africa: are local communities better off? (World Bank)

This study focuses on the local and regional impact of large-scale gold mining in Africa in the context of a mineral boom in the region since 2000. It contributes to filling a gap in the literature on the welfare effects of mineral resources, which, until now, has concentrated more on the national or macroeconomic impacts.

Regional police chiefs meet over cross-border crimes (New Times)

A meeting of the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation started yesterday in Kigali with heads of criminal investigations, counter-terrorism, gender and legal departments discussing how to foster cooperation to combat transnational organised crimes in the region.

Emerging policy issues: measures affecting trade in government procurement processes (pdf, Working Party of the Trade Committee, OECD)

A number of countries used discriminatory government procurement policies as part of stimulus packages designed to alleviate the effects of the global economic crisis. The re-emergence of these policies has caught the attention of trade policy makers and highlighted gaps in the evidence base needed for policy decisions. Government procurement information at the global level is sparse. There is a lack of statistics related to the size of procurement markets, the flows of trade in procurement, and the types of discriminatory procurement measures implemented by governments. The size of government procurement markets is estimated to be between, on average, 11% and 12% of GDP in 2011, based on a sample of 89 countries (not including China). Government procurement expenditure appears to be increasing both in terms of value and share of GDP. This paper is the first part of an OECD project to fill some of these evidence gaps:

Global Report on Islamic Finance (World Bank)

The key findings of the report include a need for sound regulatory framework for Islamic financial institutions due to the obvious differences from the conventional banks, harmonizing of Shariah standards and more discourse related to the underlying mechanism of Islamic financial products. Islamic capital markets both equity and Sukuk (Islamic bonds) are vital for the development of Islamic financial markets. Finally, instruments of Islamic social finance and redistribution could contribute further to enhance the shared prosperity.

Today’s Quick Links:

Angola accedes to the Revised Kyoto Convention

Burundi discusses membership of Afreximbank

Tanzania demands study on impact of EU trade deal

Programme Arab-Africa Trade Bridges: Ce que recommandent les membres de l’OCI

Nigeria, Benin to implement MoU on border security, trade facilitation (ThisDay)

EU food exports hit record level

Brexit could help India-European Union FTA: report

UNCTAD, UN Women programme on gender perspectives and ‘care economy’ in macroeconomics

Is it too early to agree on SDG indicators for transport?

Next generation, ‘lightning’ fast global communication network on track for 2020 entry, says ITU

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