tralac’s Daily News Selection
OECD Global Forum for Responsible Business Conduct (29-30 June, Paris)
SADC High Level Resource Mobilization Workshop and Energy Investors Conference (12-13 July, Ezulwini)
AGOA: Out-of-cycle review of Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda (USTR)
On 21 March 2017, the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) submitted a petition to USTR requesting an out-of-cycle review to determine whether the Republic of Kenya, Republic of Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Republic of Uganda are meeting the AGOA eligibility criteria. The SMART petition asserts that a March 2016 decision by the EAC to phase in a ban on imports of used clothing and footwear is imposing significant economic hardship on the US used clothing industry, and is in violation of the AGOA statutory eligibility criteria to make continual progress toward establishing a market-based economy and eliminating barriers to US trade and investment. In response to the SMART petition, USTR has determined, in consultation with the TPSC, that there are exceptional circumstances warranting an out-of-cycle review of the AGOA eligibility of Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. With respect to Kenya, USTR has determined that an out-of-cycle review of Kenya’s AGOA eligibility is not warranted at this time, due to recent actions Kenya has taken, including reversing tariff increases, effective 1 July 2017, and committing not to ban imports of used clothing through policy measures that are more trade-restrictive than necessary to protect human health. USTR will continue to monitor Kenya’s actions to ensure that Kenya follows through on its commitments. The USTR has consulted with Congress about these determinations. The public hearing will take place on 13 July.
BORDERLESS 2017 conference report: Optimizing trade opportunities: the role of trade facilitation (10-12 May, Ouagadougou)
The meeting was attended by 150 private and public sector players from 12 countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Togo, Senegal, Cameroon, Switzerland, UK, Germany); technical and financial partners (GIZ, USAID, JICA, Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation); and regional and sub-regional organizations (ECOWAS, UEMOA). Several sector ministries (Transport, Trade, Customs, Police and Gendarmerie) and companies from various activity sectors were also represented. Major recommendations: [Downloads: Borderless 2017 presentations]
Zimbabwe Economic Update: The state in the economy (World Bank)
Fiscal adjustment is key to growth but complicated by the absence of consolidated public accounts. The size of the public sector is difficult to determine, precisely. A conservative estimate puts total public spending - including expenditures by the central government, local authorities, and state-owned enterprises and parastatals - at roughly 50% of Zimbabwe’s GDP. Such scale and scope of a public sector are exceptional for a country of its population size (about 16.3 million) and income level, and the state’s extensive role in the economy could be a significant obstacle to growth. Chapter 2 examines the role of local authorities in the Zimbabwean public sector, with a focus on urban councils. Chapter 3 focuses on state-owned enterprises and parastatals and their role in the Zimbabwean economy and public sector. [Zimbabwe Public Expenditure Review: five reports are published]
Africa Tourism Monitor: Urgent policies required for inclusive tourism growth, intra-Africa trade, visa openness (AfDB)
The report called attention to the latest data from 2015, which globally saw the highest level of tourism arrivals to date, but noted that Africa’s international tourism receipts also fell to $39.2bn from $43.3bn during the same period. “A more positive outcome was witnessed in the employment sector for Africa, which grew in line with global trends. Direct travel and tourism employment in Africa in 2015 totalled 9.1 million, rising to 21.9 million jobs if we include direct, indirect and induced employment. In light of the tourism decline in Africa in 2015, it is now more important than ever to draw on the collaboration and expertise of public and private sector practitioners to foster a resilient travel and tourism sector.” The Africa Tourism Monitor also highlighted the place of Africa common passport as a catalyst to boost intra-Africa travel and trade.
South Africa: Air transport supports 490,000 jobs and contributes $12bn in GDP (IATA)
These findings are among the highlights of The importance of air transport to South Africa (pdf) study conducted by Oxford Economics on behalf of IATA. “The study confirms the vital role of air transport in facilitating over $110bn in exports, some $140bn in foreign direct investment and around $9.2bn in inbound leisure and business tourism for South Africa. Now with the country in recession it’s time to re-double efforts to promote South Africa as a destination for business, trade and tourism,” said Muhammad Ali Albakri, IATA’s Regional Vice President for the Middle East & Africa.
These findings are among the highlights of The importance of air transport to Kenya (pdf) study conducted by Oxford Economics on behalf of IATA. “The study confirms the vital role that air transport plays in facilitating over US$10 billion in exports, some $4.4bn in foreign direct investment and around $800,000 in inbound leisure and business tourism for Kenya. However, by adopting policies that ensure a competitive operating environment for the airlines, Kenya could reap even greater dividends from aviation,” said Muhammad Ali Albakri, IATA’s Regional Vice President for the Middle East & Africa, who is making his first visit to Africa in his new capacity.
Related global, African region, country travel and tourism analysis: WTTC Global Benchmarking Report 2017
Kenya: Review of bilateral trade agreements (Xinhua)
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives Chris Kiptoo told Xinhua in Nairobi that the review follows the approval of the National Trade Policy by the Cabinet early this month. “We hope to complete the review of bilateral trade agreements by the end of the year,” Kiptoo said on the sidelines of a consultative meeting between Kenya and Commercial Attaches representing foreign countries in Kenya. The East Africa nation has so far signed over 35 trade agreement with other nations.
Exports of timber and logs are banned in Mozambique under a regulatory decree to promote the rational and sustainable use of the country’s forest resources, the Council of Ministers spokesperson said on Tuesday in Maputo. Comoana also said that the measure could stimulate the emergence of new industries, new jobs, and strengthen institutional capacity in the area of forest resource management and control.
Trade between the two countries has been on an upward trend with imports from Zambia averaging $11.6m (Frw 10bn) last year up from $2.8m (Frw 2.4bn) in 2015. Zambia is among the top exporting countries to Rwanda, ranking 8th, which represents almost three percent of total imports in 2016.
The document Investment and transformation in the ACP agriculture sector: a new approach to ACP Group support for the development of agriculture value chains was endorsed by the ACP Council of Ministers during its 105th session in May. It was presented to partners this week in Brussels, at the ACP Secretariat. The new approach focuses on value chain development, targeting small producers including youth and women, as well as other value chain operators, and connecting them to the market. The approach advocates for investment in agriculture, fisheries and livestock farming as well as integration of the agro-industrial sector into national, regional, and international value chains, thereby attaining the goals employment and wealth creation. It is based on four pillars: finance, capacity building, trade and investment and climate change.
Today’s Quick Links:
John Ashbourne: Mozambique should create sovereign fund to manage gas revenues
Nigeria’s National Committee on Trade Facilitation: WCO update
Nacala Corridor: AfDB to support Mozambique construction sector SMEs
Great Lakes cross-border trade facilitation: COMESA recruits 14 officers