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tralac's Daily News Selection

tralac's Daily News Selection
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27 May 2019

T20 communique for G20 Leaders:  extracts from recommendations from Task Force 5 on Cooperation with Africa (pdf)

Agree on a unified approach towards macroeconomic stability by attaining fiscal and debt sustainability and strengthening domestic resource mobilization:

(i) Enhance discussions between G20 countries on debt data reporting and publication standards for low-income countries, especially those in Africa, as well as an orderly debt resolution mechanism with a more diffuse creditor base.

(ii)  Assist in negotiations over innovative funding sources that limit the need for foreign currency and volatile borrowing and ensure that borrowed funds, especially non-concessional, are used productively to enhance repayment capacity. In this context, ensure that Multilateral Development Banks are adequately capitalized.

(iii)  Ensure that taxation of the digitalized economy works for Africa, especially regarding the profit allocation rules for multinational enterprises.

Enhance policy coordination between the G20 and Africa to promote economic integration, including removal of policies that impede African development:

(i)  Realign G20 countries’ agriculture trade practices, especially subsidies and non-tariff barriers that are inconsistent with WTO regulations to provide opportunities for African producers to participate in global value chains. At minimum, a “do no harm” approach should be guaranteed.

(ii)  Develop regional regulatory institutions to ensure the safety and quality of African products, especially food products, while not placing a prohibitive burden on African small and medium enterprises and smallholder farmers in complying with associated regulations.

(iii)  Strengthen efforts to combat illicit capital outflows such as tracking and repatriating illicit funds back to African countries as well as support global and inclusive discussion of new approaches to taxation of the digital economy.

A listing of T20 Policy Briefs (all available for download):  

1:  Deliberate next steps toward a new globalism for Universal Health Coverage

2:  Transforming education towards equitable quality education to achieve the SDGs

3:  Early childhood development education and care: the future is what we build today

4:  Developing national agendas in order to achieve gender equality in education (SDG 4)

5:  Measuring transformational pedagogies across G20 countries to achieve breakthrough learning: the case for collaboration

6:  Teacher professional skills: key strategies to advance in better learning opportunities

7:  Sustainable financing for development

8:  Scaling up business impact on the SDGs

9:  Leveraging science, technology and innovation for implementing the 2030 Agenda

10: A gendered perspective on changing demographics: implications for labour, financial and digital equity

11: Women’s economic empowerment: strengthening public and private sector impact through accountability and measurement (SDG 5)

  1. Keynote speech at the T20 Summit by Haruhiko Kuroda (Governor of the Bank of Japan): Global economy: challenges and policy responses

TICAD Seminar Series 2019: schedule of forthcoming video conferences

(i)  Electricity access in Sub-Saharan Africa: uptake, reliability, and complementary factors for economic impact (29 May, Tokyo)

(ii)  Realizing the full potential of social safety nets in Africa (4 June)

(iii)  World Bank Africa Human Capital Plan (18 June, Tokyo)

Harnessing the opportunities of the digital economy in SADC:  a presentation by Research ICT Africa to the SADC Parliamentary Forum

On 22 May, Alison Gillwald, Enrico Calandro and Anri van der Spuy presented policy options for the digital economy to the SADC Parliamentary Forum meeting in Johannesburg. The two-hour session covered a range of issues pertaining to the governance of digital economies.  Extract (pdf, Slide 67): A phased approach is proposed. 1. Regional Technical Roadmap (‘Green Paper’); 2. White Paper; 3. Model Law on the Digital Economy;  4. Post-adoption: implementation training and guides.  [RelatedThe state of ICT in Uganda, pdf]

Michael Hewson:  Prepare for tax in digital economy  (Mail and Guardian)

The OECD will develop a plan for further work on the digital economy. This will be presented to the G20 finance ministers in June. The final consensus set of outcomes is expected to be finalised by the end of 2020. South Africa, as a member of the G20 and an observer of the OECD, is likely to consider the final proposals made. The outcomes of the OECD plan will potentially affect all multinationals operating in the digital economy. It is, therefore, imperative that relevant stakeholders contribute to the discussion. This includes taxpayers and tax authorities. For example, the value of digital services provided into African countries is generally greater than the value of digital services provided out of African countries. Accordingly, there may be a tendency for countries in Africa to seek to use this G20/OECD project to implement protectionist measures. But countries in Africa that are seeking to increase their services economies and encourage local companies to provide services to recipients in other countries should consider how potential proposals may affect these companies. Revenue and other authorities need to take a proactive approach in discussions on this issue, and to ask the key questions: How do we identify digital transactions; how do we determine value; how do we tax these transactions and how do we encourage the growth of the digital economy in South Africa?

Niger eyes cooperation with China's Alibaba (Global Times)

Niger wholeheartedly looks forward to cooperating with Alibaba Group Holdings, not only to boost agricultural product exports with the help of e-commerce but also to take part in training programs provided by the company, said Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou.  He commented after a brief visit to Alibaba's headquarters in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang Province on Sunday, accompanied by Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang.  Mahamadou Issoufou said he hopes Alibaba's e-commerce platforms can help Niger export more of its specialized agricultural products, like onions, to China.  China mostly imports agricultural products and uranium from Niger, while exporting items like fabrics, mechanical and electrical products, Song Wei, an associate research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation who focuses on the study of Africa, told the Global Times on Monday.  In the first four months this year, China's US dollar-denominated trade with Niger surged by 41.6% on a yearly basis, with exports increasing by 59.9% on a yearly basis and imports from Niger rising by 34.5%, customs data showed.

Zimbabwe: Fish farmers want 10% surtax on imports (NewsDay)

In a report following the 2019 fish farming indaba held recently, the Livestock and Meat Advisory Council  said the proposal would capitalise an aquaculture development fund they want introduced. “For Zimbabwe to realise the full potential of aquaculture, the private sector and government must work together with financial institutions to establish an Aquaculture Development Fund,” the report read. “It was proposed (in the meeting) that a surtax of 10 cents/kg on all fish imports entering Zimbabwe be implemented, which will then directly capitalise the fund. This innovative idea was discussed and recommended by participants.” Zimbabwe Fish Producers Association believes that fish production in Zimbabwe would grow significantly, with aquaculture proudly taking its place alongside the chicken, pork and beef industries as a key supplier of tasty, nutritious, home-grown protein for a growing population.

Morocco steps up efforts to attract foreign investors (North Africa Post) 

Morocco is set to create 12 special economic zones in its 12 regions offering tax incentives and other advantages to attract foreign industrial investors. The special zones are also meant to boost exports and curb imports in order to ease the country’s trade deficit. The decision was made in 2016 in a business charter that commits to establishing new economic areas to attract foreign firms to Morocco’s 12 regions and help spread industry throughout the country.The recent decision to turn the Tangier Tech City into an economic free zone is in line with the country’s industrialization strategy. The new zone is expected to attract major Chinese companies in the automotive, aeronautical and textile sectors. The city worth $1bn will help create 100,000 jobs as Chinese companies are expected to bring 10 billion dollars in investments.

New global rules curb unrestricted plastic waste exports (Guardian)

Amid Nigeria’s house of representatives bill to ban the use and sale of plastic bags, governments at the 14th Conference of the Parties (COP14) of the Basel Convention have restricted rampant plastic waste exports by requiring countries to obtain prior informed consent before exporting contaminated or mixed plastic waste. A deluge of plastic waste exports from developed countries has polluted developing countries in Southeast Asia after China closed the door to waste imports in 2018. International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN), the global network of environmental health, science and public interest organizations that has exposed environmental impacts of plastic waste exports to developing countries, applauded the move as a critical step to stem the toxic tide of plastic waste.

SADC EOI: Baseline study on support to peace and security in the SADC region (SADC)

The purpose of the assignment is to establish the collect data on all key indicators of the 11th EDF Peace and Security PAGoDA, by determining quantitatively and qualitatively the state of peace and security infrastructure and capacity in the SADC region in the respective areas that the programme covers.

Today's Quick Links:

Egypt plans new maritime line to East Africa for increasing exports

Wandile Sihlobo: Well-functioning shipping ports are key to SA’s agriculture success 

Nigeria: FG restates sommitment to Special Economic Zones

Digital trade in spotlight during 11th World Chambers Congress in Rio next month

Cisco to train 1 million potential digital workers in Africa by 2025