tralac Daily News

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tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News
Photo Credit: Pablo Tosco, Oxfam

Country focus

Container shortage in South Africa (Fruitnet)

Almost exactly one year after major disruptions to exports through the port of Cape Town, and other ports in the country, exporters are facing new challenges.This time the problem is getting enough export containers into the country to meet demand, and moving them to the intended destinations. It is therefore not only Western Cape exporters who are likely to be affected.

Department warns farmers of citrus disease (South African News)

The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development on Wednesday warned citrus farmers about the Asian Citrus Greening disease, which poses a serious threat to the citrus industry. Also known as Huanglongbing (HLB), Asian Citrus Greening disease is caused by the bacteria, Candidatutus Liberibacter asiaticus, which is an insect vector-transmitted by the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP), Diaphorina citri, and it poses a huge threat to all citrus industries in the world.

MPs ratify UK-Kenya trade deal (The Star, Kenya)

MPs on Tuesday night ratified the Kenya-United Kingdom trade agreement setting the stage for duty-free access to their markets.Trade Committee chairman Adan Haji moved to allay fears that the Kenya-UK Economic Partnership Agreement will open floodgates for the dumping of agricultural goods.The Mandera South MP said the object of the agreement is aligned to Kenya’s food security agenda.

Trade deal might hand UK Kenya's multi-billion marine wealth (The Standard)

Kenya will allow vessels from the United Kingdom to fish in its territorial waters, raising fears of the country being short-changed in its multi-billion fisheries industry. The trade pact between the two countries, which the National Assembly was to ratify by the end of March 8, 2020, allows the UK’s fishing vessels to operate in the waters of the East African Community Partner (EAC) States.

Algeria calls for setting up African Union fund for climate change impacts (CGTN)

Algeria on Tuesday urged the African Union member countries to establish a special fund dedicated to tackling impacts of climate change in Africa. The call was made by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune at a video conference of the African Union’s Peace and Security Council (PSC), where the climate change and its impact on peace and security in Africa, as well as the recent developments in Western Sahara top the agenda.

 


News from Africa and Africa’s international trade relations 

AfCFTA Secretariat to remove transit challenges (Graphic Online)

The Secretariat of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is to establish a robust system that can help address challenges impacting growth of the transit business in Africa. To be called, AfCFTA Corridor, the initiative is expected to facilitate the removal of barriers that have made the continent’s transit corridor unattractive for transition of goods. It will also ensure the creation of a rapid response team, made up of officials from AfCFTA Secretariat and the private sector, that will work in collaboration with governments to rid the continent’s transit corridors of all bottlenecks to boost intra-Africa trade.

AfCFTA to Deepen Integration in Africa-Trade and Industry Minister (AllAfrica)

The Minister of Trade and Industry Ghana, Mr Alan Kyerematen has reiterated that the most beneficial way to deepen regional integration in Africa is to increase trade through the protocols of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement.

UAE and Africa to boost trade relations through export credit alliance (Trade Arabia)

Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI) and African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) have agreed to strengthen the trade relations between the UAE and Africa by providing trade finance solutions to businesses and exporters in both areas.

EU renews interest in stalled trade deal (The Standard)

The European Union (EU) is looking to revive the stalled multilateral trade talks between the 28-member economic bloc and the East African Community (EAC). This comes in the wake of renewed investor interest in Kenya, with the United Kingdom and the US, keen to establish a trade deal to serve as a gateway to the region.

UK and Cameroon sign trade agreement (GOV.UK)

On 9 March 2021 the United Kingdom has signed an Economic Partnership Agreement with Cameroon. The trade deal, which will support jobs and build future prosperity, was signed by International Trade Minister Ranil Jayawardena and High Commissioner of Cameroon to the UK, H.E. Albert Fotabong Njoteh in London. The deal provides certainty for British and Cameroonian businesses, ensuring they can continue to trade as freely as they do now without any additional barriers or tariffs.

AfDB backs digital currencies, seeks gender inclusion (Guardian Nigeria)

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has thrown its weight behind digital currencies, putting in motion a machinery to build capacity particularly among the female gender in the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) countries, including Nigeria.      The African continental lender, yesterday, said its Board of Directors has already awarded a grant of $320, 535 to the West African Monetary Agency (WEMA) to mainstream gender in ECOWAS’ digital financial services (DFS) regulatory framework.

Is EAC facing food safety concerns? (The New Times)

The recent decision by Kenya to suspend maize imports from Uganda and Tanzania has stirred public concern over the safety of some food that is produced in the region, particularly grains. Last week, Kenya banned the importation of maize from both countries, saying the products contained high levels of aflatoxins.  Kenya’s Agriculture and Food Authority said that the products were not fit for human consumption.

 


Global economy

Managing developing countries’ sovereign debt (Brookings Institution)

Before the COVID-19 crisis, several low-income countries and some emerging economies were already facing sovereign debt problems, but this issue has become increasingly severe with the current crisis, limiting the capacity of these nations to manage the economic and social effects of the pandemic.

What role can sustainability standards play in the post COVID-19 recovery? (Trade for Development News)

The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 8.1 to attain “at least 7 percent gross domestic product growth” each year for LDCs already was proving difficult to meet, even with some improvements in prior years. Now, it looks increasingly out of reach. The crisis has been especially damaging for LDC trading prospects. The latest World Trade Organization (WTO) figures for the first half of 2020 show that merchandise trade exports from LDCs dropped by 16% – greater than the 13% drop in global exports. LDC services exports saw an even larger cut, by 38-40%.

UK to push for global trade agreement on services trade at the WTO as hopes dim for EU deal - The Institute of Export and International Trade (Institute of Export and International Trade)

The UK will use its newly independent voice at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to lobby for a global deal that harmonises regulations and promotes services trade across the globe. As the clock ticks down on talks with the EU to recognise the regulatory status of the UK financial services sector, ministers and City lobby groups are forming a plan to open up global markets instead