Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac’s Daily News Selection


tralac’s Daily News Selection

tralac’s Daily News Selection
Photo credit: DAA

African accessions to the WTO: What has been done? What remains to be done? [Presentations at this week’s Regional Dialogue on WTO Accessions for the Greater Horn of Africa]

ACBF’s Prof Emmanuel Nnadozie: Four reasons why African States must raise their game in funding capacity for development

Ali Mufuruki, Rahim Mawji, Moremi Marwa and Gilman Kasiga: Tanzania’s Industrialisation Journey, 2016-2056. [Print, read online here]

tralac Researcher, Talkmore Chidede: The institutional architecture responsible for monitoring and facilitating the implementation of the EU-SADC EPA

Zambia ends a two-year trade deficit with a surplus in July (Central Statistical Office)

In July 2017, Zambia recorded a trade surplus valued at K410.6 million from a trade deficit of K335.7 million recorded in June 2017. This represents a 222.3% increase in the trade balance. Extract (pdf): Export market shares by selected regional groupings, major trading partners, July and June 2017 (pp13-14): Switzerland was the largest market for Zambia’s total exports in the month of July 2017, accounting for 50.2%. Asia was the second largest market for Zambia’s total exports, accounting for 21.0% in July 2017. Within Asia, China was the dominant export market, accounting for 56.4%. Other notable markets in Asia were Hong Kong, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and India.

The SADC exclusive grouping was the third largest market for Zambia’s total exports accounting for 12.5% in July 2017. Within this grouping, South Africa was the dominant market with 81.1%. Other notable markets in this grouping were Tanzania and Botswana. The dual SADC and COMESA was the fourth largest market for Zambia’s total exports accounting for 11.0% in July 2017. Within this group, Congo DR was the dominant market with 53.1%. Other notable markets were Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Malawi.

The European Union grouping was the fifth largest market for Zambia’s total exports accounting for 2.2% in July 2017. Within this grouping, The United Kingdom was the dominant market with 56.4%. Other notable markets in this grouping were Luxembourg and Belgium. The COMESA exclusive grouping was the sixth largest market for Zambia’s total exports accounting for 1.4% in July 2017. Within this group, Kenya was the dominant market with 44.3%. Other notable markets were Rwanda and Burundi. The rest of the world accounted for the remaining 1.7% in July 2017.

South Africa: July trade balance surplus of R8.99bn (SARS)

The South African Revenue Service has released trade statistics for July 2017 recording a trade balance surplus of R8.99bn. These statistics include trade data with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland. The year-to-date trade balance surplus (1 January to 31 July) of R36.63bn is an improvement on the deficit for the comparable period in 2016 of R4.70bn. Exports for the year-to-date grew by 4.4% whilst imports for the same period declined by 2.2%.

Namibia: Decline in investment offset by narrowing current account deficit (BMI Research)

Namibia’s current account deficit will narrow substantially through to 2020. The trade deficit will shrink significantly as the completion of the Husab uranium mine and several construction projects will simultaneously boost mineral exports and decrease demand for imports linked to construction. At the same time, SACU receipts will broadly hold up, ensuring that secondary income surpluses remain steady. We forecast that the current account deficit will narrow from 12.1% of GDP in 2016 to 1.3% of GDP by 2020. As such, while Namibia’s financial account surpluses will begin to narrow, as major infrastructure projects finish and uncertainty over the impact of proposed black economic empowerment legislation tempers foreign firm’s willingness to invest in the mining sector, we see little risk to external account stability. Indeed, we expect financial account inflows to continue to comfortably fund the current account deficit, allowing the country to slowly build its foreign reserve stockpile.

Uganda: Export transitions, productivity, and the supply chain (IGC)

This project assessed the consequences of Uganda’s trade policy in terms of the impact on firm exports, productivity, and most interestingly, the wider supply chain. I also examine how this has important lessons for the ‘Buy Uganda, Build Uganda’ policy. I observed that Ugandan export and domestic trade performance is impressive and has been driven by the Government of Uganda policy. In addition, Ugandan exporters have driven output and productivity growth directly and indirectly through their supply chain. The key to the success of BUBU is to deepen domestic supply chains in order to increase export competitiveness. I recommend three policy interventions as part of the BUBU policy: [The author: John Spray]

South Africa: 11th Annual Competition Law, Economics and Policy Conference

(i) Ebrahim Patel wants competition watchdogs to shape a more inclusive economy for SA (Business Day). Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel has stepped up his efforts to use competition policy to address concentration and lack of transformation in SA’s economy, appointing an advisory panel to draft legislative changes that would give the competition authorities the tools to look at these issues proactively. Patel said on Thursday that SA faced growing challenges with economic concentration and social exclusion, and it was time to come up with practical and workable measures to address the high levels of concentration in the economy. There was a political constituency for this. It was better to do this using the trusted institutions of the competition authorities than by regulating sectors irrespective of the economic consequences, he said.

(ii) Address by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Market dominance in the South African context, therefore, refers not only to specific sectors in which significant market share has been unfairly captured and retained by a few companies. It refers also to the concentration of ownership and control in the hands of white South Africans, specifically white men. Black South Africans are for the most part excluded from exercising control over the most important economic levers. We must therefore measure the effectiveness of our competition policy by the extent to which it contributes to undoing the racial and gender dimensions of economic concentration.

Catherine Grant Makokera: Regional trade needs to be a top priority for African leaders (Business Day)

For years, trade was at the heart of the economic agenda of the SADC. It now seems to have fallen by the wayside. It could be argued that this reflects the fact that much of the action in setting up a free trade area took place about 10 years ago and there is a framework in place to govern the movement of goods under the SADC trade protocol. On paper, this is so, but much remains to be done to achieve higher levels of intraregional trade and ensure an environment that encourages firms to maximise opportunities. The industrialisation agenda, if it could reach its full potential, would no doubt help to bring this about.

EAC pre-budget conference for the financial year 2018/19 (EAC)

Amb Mfumukeko urged the participants to appreciate the role of the Organs and Institutions of the Community, as well as the Partner States in moving the integration process forward as they discuss the priority areas, strategic interventions and activities to be implemented over the financial year 2018/19. “We therefore require priority areas and targets that can bring the EAC integration agenda to have impact on the lives of the citizens of East Africa, the actual owners of the integration process.” The following are priority areas for financial year 2018/19:

EAC member states roll out single electronic passport (Business Daily)

Kenya is Friday morning expected to begin issuance of single electronic EAC passports with the release in Nairobi of the first batch of the new generation documents. More than 1,800 e-passport applications are expected to be printed on Friday after acting Interior and Co-ordination of National Government secretary Fred Matiangi officially launched it. ”Today, I can attest to you that Kenya has fully complied with Standards and Guidelines set by International Civil Aviation Organisations and EAC Chiefs of Immigration on travel document design, processing and issuance,” said Dr Matiangi. [Upcoming Kiswahili conference big boost to EAC integration]

Today’s Quick Links

MCLI statement on delays at the Lebombo border post

Mozambique bans meat imports from South Africa as FMD outbreak hits Mpumalanga

2nd Indian Ocean Conference: speech by India’s Minister of External Affairs

Tanzania: Govt to import more petroleum to meet growing demand

Rwanda’s cabinet reshuffle: East Africa Community Affairs moved from the Ministry of Trade and Industry to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation

Communique of the 712nd PSC meeting on the situation in the DRC

Zimbabwe: Forex bailout for Bulawayo firms

Kenya: Govt inks Sh7bn China loan for airborne mineral survey

India says investment facilitation at BRICS ‘cannot’ be model for WTO pact

Africa seeks rivalry-free BRICS’ support

Donald Yamamoto - experienced diplomat - appointed to key Africa post at US State Department

India, US eye states to boost trade ties


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