Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac’s Daily News Selection


tralac’s Daily News Selection

tralac’s Daily News Selection

Profiled trade and integration events:

(i) Today, in Maputo: South Africa-Mozambique Bi-national Commission. The South African government’s proposal to lead regional efforts to harness natural gas resources to boost industrialisation will top the agenda during the South Africa-Mozambique Bi-national Commission which gets underway at the Mozambican capital Maputo this morning. President Jacob Zuma and his host Filipe Jacinto Nyusi will co-chair the high level ministerial meeting, which will review the state of bilateral trade and investment between the two neighbouring countries. SA-Mozambique trade: “Trade figures between the two countries in 2016 indicated that South African exports to Mozambique were valued at R33bn, whereas imports from Mozambique amounted to R10bn. There are currently approximately 300 South African companies operating in Mozambique in areas inclusive of the financial services sector, energy, hospitality and retail sectors.”

(ii) Today, in Arusha: Sectoral Council of Ministers responsible for EAC Affairs and Planning. The meeting is considering several reports including; the status of implementation of Previous Decisions of the SCMEACP; implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol; Summit directive to appoint a team of experts to draft the constitution of EAC Political Confederation; EAC-COMESA-SADC tripartite arrangement and report of Chiefs of Immigration. The meeting will also consider progress reports on the elimination of non-tariff barriers; preparations of the 5th EAC Development Strategy (2016/17 - 2020/21); technical working groups information resource centers; EAC Secretariat Quality Management System; integration of the Republic of South Sudan into the Community; Partner States’ budgetary contribution for the financial year 2017/2018 to the EAC; and consolidation of the EAC calendar of activities for the period July - December 2017, among others.

(iii) Starting Monday, in Nairobi: Forum on Horn of Africa States’ accessions to WTO. Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary, Amina Mohamed, said the conference (28-30 August) will build on previous initiatives aimed at facilitating Horn of Africa countries to become part of the multilateral trading regime. “The regional dialogue meeting has been convened for four African countries from the greater horn of Africa region that are in the process of acceding to WTO,” said Mohamed. The target countries include Union of Comoros, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan. South Sudan which has expressed interest to join WTO will also participate, she added. The foreign minister revealed that China, Liberia, Oman, Yemen and Seychelles have also been invited to attend the regional forum. “Their participation is significant as they are expected to share their accession experiences,” said Mohamed, adding that representatives of multilateral institutions and regional trade blocs will also be in attendance.

(iv) India-Rwanda Innovation Growth Programme: update (pdf). The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry is leading a 25 companies strong Indian trade and technology business delegation to Kigali (22–25 August), which also includes the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. The delegation will also participate in an India-Rwanda Business Forum, B2B meetings, interactions with senior government officials and industry visits. The visit continues to strengthen the bilateral relationship between the two nations with a focus on the key pillars of science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Kenya: Port of Mombasa records shorter ship average working time (Kenya Ports Authority)

Container ship average working time at the port of Mombasa improved by half a day to record 1.93 days in the week ended August 16th. The previous week saw this period which is basically between the first and last slings register 2.55 days. While this happened, the container dwell time at the port recorded 4.35 days down from 4.85 days experienced in the previous week. During the week under review, 10,438 TEUs were delivered out of the port through road transport marking an increase of 1,567 TEUs or 17.66 percent compared to the previous week. Deliveries by rail plummeted to 109 TEUs down by 48%.

The performance by other transit countries indicates that Tanzania bound cargo accounted for 336 TEUs. The upward trend for the Tanzania bound is arguably bound to continue following the completion of the upgrading of the road from Voi to Taveta by the Government. It is argued that this development has seen increased number of shippers in northern Tanzania prefer routing their consignments through the northern corridor. Other transit destinations were South Sudan which accounted for 302 TEUs, followed by the DRC with 268 TEUs, Rwanda with 260 TEUs, Somalia with 51 TEUs while Burundi and Ethiopia stagnated at 11 TEUs and 08 TEUs respectively.

Tanzania: Freight forwarders concerned by inspection on transit cargo (Daily News)

Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association has raised concern over Fair Competition Commission inspection of transit cargo, claiming that it makes Dar es Salaam uncompetitive. TAFFA Secretary General, Tony Swai told the ‘Daily News’ yesterday that FCC has been seizing some cargo on grounds that they do not meet standards of the destined countries. “This is becoming a big challenge since traders who import cargo through Dar port are likely to opt for another port in the region.” When reached for comments on the matter, Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communications, Eng. Edwin Ngonyani, said inspection of raw materials by the Chief government chemist cannot lead to the drop of cargo volume at the main port. He said what is said to be the major causes are fees that are collected by various government institutions. According to Eng. Ngonyani, his office will discuss the matter by involving the Parliament with the purpose of resolving the challenges.

Botswana: High diamond exports extend trade surplus in May 2017 (pdf, Statistics Botswana)

Botswana recorded a trade surplus of P1, 134.5 million in May 2017. The trade surplus was influenced by the high value of diamond exports while imports of the same commodity recorded a low value. Total exports for May 2017 were valued at P5, 381.7 million, with 92.7% (P4, 990.7 million) attributed to exports of diamonds. During May, exports destined to Asia were valued at P3, 262.9 million, representing 60.6% of total exports. India and the UAE received exports representing 17.7% (P950.9 million) and 16.9% (P911.8 million) respectively. Singapore, Israel and Hong Kong followed with 10.0%, 9.5%, and 4.8%, respectively, of total exports.

Exports destined to the SACU region were valued at P558.9 million, representing 10.4% of total exports (P5, 381.7 million) for the month. Namibia and South Africa received exports accounting for 5.3% and 5.0% respectively, of total exports during the same period. The major commodity exported to Namibia was diamonds, representing 91.2% (P261.7 million) of total exports to the country. SACU was the major source of imports into Botswana during May 2017, accounting for 84.6% (P3, 594.0 million) of total imports. South Africa was the main source of imports during the month, having contributed 64.5% (P2, 739.1 million) to total imports. Namibia contributed 19.8% (P843.0 million) to total imports during the month under review. [Botswana: Revised March 2017 figures, pdf]

Ghana 2016 country profile (UNECA)

Ghana and trade integration: extract from Box 1 – Africa regional integration index (pdf). Trade integration: good score (fourth in ECOWAS, twelfth in CEN-SAD). Ghana has an average applied tariff of around 4.8% on imports from ECOWAS (based on data for 2014). This is the eighth-highest in the bloc. The country’s average applied tariff on imports from CEN-SAD is 16.5%. Trade (as a share of GDP) with the rest of the regional economic community is mixed. The share held by Ghana of total trade in the bloc is 9.2% (based on data for 2015); this is the second highest in the bloc after Nigeria (76.0%). Over the period 2010 to 2013, imports from the rest of ECOWAS accounted for only 5.4% of GDP, which was the seventh lowest equivalent statistic for any other ECOWAS member country. Imports from the rest of CEN-SAD accounted for 6.0%, the ninth-highest level among 24 countries for which data were available. Ghana exports to ECOWAS countries as a share of GDP averaged 2.4% over the same period, the sixth-highest level among ECOWAS member countries. Over the same period, exports to CEN-SAD countries averaged around 3.0% of GDP, which was the eighth-highest level among the 24 CEN-SAD member countries.

Productive integration: good score (third in ECOWAS, eighth in CEN-SAD). The integration of Ghana into regional value chains appears to be mixed. Its trade is moderately complementary with that of its partners. It has a merchandise complementarity index of 0.15 (based on data from 2013). Its share of intermediates in terms of imports from the regional economic communities was 0.02%. The share of intermediates in terms of total exports within the region averaged 0.46 per cent, the fourth-highest level among ECOWAS member countries, while 0.08% of the country’s imports from CEN-SAD were intermediates (meaning that it ranked thirteenth out of 14 countries for which data were available).

IGAD starts national consultations on IGAD protocol on free movement of persons

The three-day workshop was aimed at getting inputs from national stakeholders and experts on benefits and barriers to free movement of persons; deriving national recommendations towards the provisions of the Protocol and developing a road map for the negotiation and adoption of the Protocol in the IGAD Region. The Protocol on Free Movement of Persons is aimed at promoting the regularization of the high volume of informal movement that currently takes place in the IGAD region, and is to increase the opportunities for legal mobility.

New industrial policy and the extractive industries (UNU-WIDER)

The paper takes a two-step approach. First, section 2 sets out the case for intervening in markets and applying industrial policy more generally. It highlights several themes and argues that the consensus on new industrial policy is, at best, very high level. Section 3 then discusses the nexus between the extractive industries and industrial policy over time and where it has got to in terms of the extractives-led development agenda. Section 4 sets out four forward-looking observations on new industrial policy and extractive industries. Section 5 concludes. [The author: Evelyn Dietsche]

India should avoid abuse of trade remedy measures: China’s MOC (ecns)

A spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Commerce said Thursday that India should follow WTO rules and avoid abusing trade remedy measures. “India has always been an active user of anti-dumping measures as a member of the WTO,” spokesperson Gao Feng said at a press conference. Since 1994, India has launched 212 anti-dumping investigations against Chinese products, with 13 investigations launched this year. The country currently has 93 anti-dumping measures against China, according to Gao. “China is highly concerned with India’s trend of frequent investigations and asks India to use trade remedy measures in a prudent and restrained manner,” Gao said.

Fishery exports and Least Developed Countries (UNCTAD)

A new UNCTAD study examines the development potential of the fishery sector in selected Least Developed Countries in Africa and Asia, providing policy recommendations to overcome challenges on both the supply and demand sides. The fisheries sector is also a viable alternative to manufacturing as a source of export-led growth. Developing countries as a whole have substantially increased their share in world fishery exports, from 34.6% in 1981 to 50.2% in 2013. However, despite their ample fish stocks, not many LDCs have been able to follow suit, and their share in global fish exports has only risen marginally, from 1.6 to 3.5% in the same period. The work of UNCTAD reveals that the fishery sector in LDCs remains predominantly traditional or artisanal. In its research, UNCTAD presents case studies of six of the world’s 47 LDCs (Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Comoros , Mozambique, Myanmar and Uganda) and identifies a series of supply-side and demand-side challenges undermining the role of their fishery sectors.

Fishing to live: Time for action to support and protect small-scale fisheries (FAO)

The small-scale fisheries guidelines: global implementation offers more than 30 case studies ranging from Greenland to Zanzibar and addressing diverse issues including gender and sustainable resource use. It serves as an initial report on progress in implementing the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication, endorsed in 2014 with the aim of bolstering the livelihoods of the 100 million+ people who work in the sector and increase their contribution to global food security and nutrition.

Today’s Quick Links:

In the dark: Bringing transparency to Canadian supply chains (pdf)

World Economic Forum: A pragmatic assessment of disruptive potential in financial services

Financial Services Mauritius rated as an OECD compliant jurisdiction

Rwanda: Pour une intégration du Forum National de l’Agroprocessing dans le Conseil des Exportations

Kenya: eBay, Mall for Africa facilitate cross-border trade


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