tralac Daily News
Lemon export protocol to boost investment, create jobs (Engineering News)
The recent signing of a revised citrus protocol between South Africa and China by Agriculture, Land Affairs and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza will secure R325-million in new export revenue and create 800 jobs in the industry, the Citrus Growers’ Association of South Africa (CGASA) says. With local lemon production expected to grow by 175 000 t by 2024, the finalisation of the revised protocol means China will become a critical new market for growth.
As government continues to implement structural economic reforms to accelerate economic recovery, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the establishment of the Transnet National Ports Authority as an independent subsidiary of Transnet. The Board of Transnet and the new management team have done well to stabilise Transnet, develop a world-class strategy and undertake actions to promote investment and improve performance at the ports. “This is an important part of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan that we developed together with our social partners in business, labour and the community. The weak performance of our ports is the result of structural challenges in our logistics system and operational inefficiencies. “It is for this reason that we are today announcing the establishment of the Transnet National Ports Authority as an independent subsidiary of Transnet, in line with the National Ports Act of 2005.
Macro-economic study, sectoral road maps required for SA’s NEV transition (Engineering News)
Government’s efforts to advance the use and production of new-energy vehicles (NEVs) in South Africa must include a macro-economic impact study, as well as sectoral road maps detailing how and when electro-mobility should be achieved. This is according to Intelligent Transport Society South Africa (ITSSA) CEO Dr Paul Vorster and Automotive Investment Holdings (AIH) deputy chairperson Johan Cloete.
KRA to auction overstayed cargo at Mombasa port (Business Daily)
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) will auction more than 200 motor vehicles, among other assorted goods, whose owners have failed to pay tax .The taxman set the auction for this week and interested bidders have been invited to view the goods with full details being listed in a public notice published in a gazette notice dated June 21. In the notice, the taxman says it intends to auction different types of cars and imported goods which have overstayed in different customs warehouses in the port city. According to the notice, the auction is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday this week. Importers of the goods have been given until the auction day to pay duty, ranging from Sh200,000 to millions of shillings.
Dar port authorities ban storage of imported explosives in harbour area (The East African)
Tanzania’s largest port, Dar es Salaam, has issued a notice to its users that forbids storage of explosive consignments at its complex, citing safety reasons. The ex post facto announcement by its Port Director issued on Monday and seen by The EastAfrican says effective last January explosives among other “dangerous goods” will have to be moved out of the port area faster after their onshore handling. “All cargo which have been classified according to International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code as classes… will not be allowed to be stored into the Port premises and therefore will be treated under direct delivery procedures in order to safeguard the people, port infrastructures, properties and environment,” the statement partly reads.
Diaspora remittances hit record Sh34 billion in May (Business Daily)
Kenyans in foreign countries sent home a monthly record Sh34 billion ($315.8 million) in May, a 22 percent jump from the corresponding month last year, supported by higher flows from the US and Saudi Arabia. This is the first time diaspora remittances have crossed the $300 million mark, continuing to defy expectations of a dip due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Inflows from Asia jumped 12 percent month-on-month to Sh3.5 billion ($32.6 million), while remittances from North America – which includes the US, Canada and Bahamas – grew six per cent to Sh20.8 billion ($193.5 million).Remittance from European countries grew three per cent to Sh7 billion ($65.8 million) while Africa stayed flat at Sh1.4 billion ($13.5 million).
Lamu port: Game-changer for East Africa’s prosperity (Business Daily)
The President commissioned the new Port of Lamu on May 20 this year. Ever since the colonial era, Kenya has been dependent on one major Port (Mombasa) and transport corridor (the Mombasa–Kisumu-Busia highway and railway, also referred to as the Northern Corridor). Indeed, Kenya’s population settled roughly along this corridor, about 100 miles North and South of it. Both have withstood many challenges over time. The most pressing one from a geo-political point of view has been the capacity of the Port of Mombasa and the Northern Corridor to satisfy the shipping, maritime and transport needs of Greater East Africa. With the growth of trade ties with neighbouring land-linked countries like Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan and others in the region, and growth in population here in Kenya and beyond, the Northern Corridor has been stretched to its limits, negatively impacting Kenya’s competitiveness to serve itself, East Africa and our neighbours in the region. It is this realisation that necessitated new thinking around the possibility and viability of a new transport corridor that would once again cement Kenya’s position as the entry point into Greater Eastern Africa.
The Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade has announced that the online platform to apply for Essential Service Certificate is now active, for all essential service providers. The ministry in an issued statement on Monday encouraged new and existing essential service providers to apply immediately by following the link www.namessentialservice.com. “However, do note that new users should sign up first by following an easy step registration process, while, existing users have to use their old credentials to access the platform to reapply,” they added.
Dar, Beijing boost ties (Dailynews)
President Samia Suluhu Hassan and Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday agreed to expand Sino-Tanzania cooperation in the fields of agriculture, transport, telecommunications, tourism, energy and investment. The two leaders also expressed willingness to actively promote bilateral ties under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). “Tanzania values its friendship with China and appreciates China’s support and help over a long period of time,” she said, assuring the country’s commitment to continue strengthening further the existing bilateral ties. “China is willing to strengthen political mutual trust with Tanzania and jointly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries,” he said.
Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Herbert Krapa, has said that the nation is scouting for products and companies with high export potential to support them in taking advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to make Ghana competitive in Africa. According to him, there are constant efforts being advanced by the ministry toward positioning the country to benefit from the AfCFTA, and government is keen on supporting viable projects. Answering a question from James Agalga during his vetting in parliament, Mr. Krapa noted that the nation is not satisfied with only hosting the AfCFTA secretariat, but is also bent on taking advantage of it to become a commercial hub on the continent.
GIPC organises Ghana Diaspora Investment Summit (BusinessGhana)
The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) will on June 23rd and 24th, 2021, hold the maiden Ghana Diaspora Investment Summit at the Kempinski Gold Coast City Hotel in Accra. The two-day event, on the theme, “The New Normal, Leveraging Diaspora Investments to build back better” will create an opportunity to foster partnerships between domestic and diaspora investors, and showcase Ghana as the destination of choice for doing business, as well as to spur the inflow of Diaspora Direct Investments. The Summit is consistent with the recent, “Beyond the Return” initiative, which is a follow-up to the “Year of Return” campaign that was launched in 2019. It is expected to engender a more constructive interaction with Africans in the diaspora and all people of African descent in areas such as trade and investment, as well as skills and knowledge development.
The Zambia-Zimbabwe Technical Working Group (TWG) on the Joint Industrialization programme has agreed on an action matrix to guide the implementation of the programme and provide a timeframe for achieving the set targets. The programme is intended to promote industrial cooperation and increase competitiveness of goods produced within the two countries. “In COMESA, we take this programme seriously as it will set the pace towards achieving the aspirations of the region as we regard it as a Flagship Project,” he said. The Programme is also a tool for the implementation of the COMESA Industrial Strategy whose vision is to have a globally competitive environmental-friendly, diversified industrial sector which is based on innovation and manufacturing as tools for transforming regional resources into sustainable wealth and prosperity for all.
Joint statement to the press by the Republic of Kenya and the European Union (European Council)
The Strategic Dialogue between the Republic of Kenya and the European Union was launched on the occasion of the meeting between H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, C.G.H., President of the Republic of Kenya, and H.E. Charles Michel, President of the European Council, held on 21 June 2021 in Brussels. The Strategic Dialogue underlines the solid bilateral and multilateral partnership between the European Union and Kenya and interest to mutually cooperate. Kenya is a strong democratic partner in the East African region and in the Horn of Africa, and has a potential for enhancing regional stability and for a constructive role in peace and security. Moreover, Kenya is a key player internationally at the United Nations, the African Union and other fora. Kenya and the European Union have sustained a consistent and long-term partnership over many years, and share multilateral and global aims such as combating climate change, and fostering peace and security.
The Commission has kicked off a first round of negotiations with the Republic of Angola for a Sustainable Investment Facilitation Agreement. The negotiations are taking place via videoconference today, 22 June 2021. Executive Vice-President and Commissioner for Trade, Valdis Dombrovskis, said: “Launching negotiations with Angola shows that we are deepening our engagement with African countries – a key pledge of the new EU trade strategy launched in February 2021. Africa is our nearest neighbour and we should develop our partnership of equals. This new form of investment agreement will promote sustainable and responsible investment, which will diversify and improve the resilience of our economies, and support our climate and energy transformations. I also welcome Angola’s interest in joining the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and the Southern African Development Community. Building closer ties between us will support our mutual stability and prosperity.” This is the first-ever bilateral agreement on investment facilitation that the EU is negotiating.
The trade deficit widened by 378.2 million dinars to 1,554.1 million in May 2021, from 1,175.9 MD in April 2021, reads the monthly note on foreign trade of current prices, published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS). Exports went down 9.5%. This decline is the largest since the beginning of the year. It has affected all sectors except the agriculture and agro-food industry which posted a 9.4% rise. Regarding imports, they stagnated for the second consecutive month. The 9.0% increase under the offshore regime is offset by a decrease under the general regime (-4.4%). According to the INS, this stability in imports is due to a dynamic in the supplies of raw materials and semi-finished products (+ 8.9%) as well as of capital goods products ( + 10.8%) offset by a sharp drop in purchases of food products (-26.4%) and energy products (-11.7%).
Egyptian Trade Ministry: Non-oil exports up to $12.323 in 5 months (State Information Service)
Trade and Industry Minister Nevine Gamae has said that Egypt’s non-oil exports increased by 19 percent during the first five months of 2021. In a statement on Sunday 20/6/2021, Gamae put the value of non-oil exports at 12.323 billion dollars up from about 10.375 billion during the same period in 2020. The government is credited for that, said the minister, pointing to efforts to support the production and export sectors during the coronavirus pandemic. She added that the economic reform program is the main pillar of achieving positive growth rates, especially where production projects are concerned. This translated into rises in exports and jobs, Gamae noted.
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved on Friday $10 million in International Development Association (IDA) funding to scale-up and expand the activities to strengthen State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) related fiscal management in Cabo Verde. According to Eneida Fernandes, World Bank Resident Representative in Cabo Verde, “The crisis negatively impacted the financial performance of an already weak SOE sector. It is crucial to deepen support to the sector to reduce fiscal risks and maintain debt sustainability that is significantly challenged and support post-pandemic economic recovery by enhancing competitiveness and improving service delivery. The 23 SOEs in Cabo Verde are mandated to provide essential public services, including economically strategic areas such as transport, electricity, housing, and financial services”.
African Development Bank Group president Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina has again urged regional leaders to focus on vaccine production and access for the African continent as the Covid-19 epidemic continues to take lives and hurt economies and livelihoods. Adesina addressed leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at a special summit held on Saturday, just days before the Bank Group’s 2021 Annual meetings, scheduled for 23-25 June. “Africa needs solutions to help it navigate through the very challenging times posed by the Covid-19 pandemic,” Adesina said. “But the rebound will depend on access to vaccines.” The African Development Bank will support the continent as part of the vaccines plan of the African Union. It is planning to commit $3 billion to develop the pharmaceutical industry in Africa, Adesina said. “Africa should not be begging for vaccines,” Adesina said. “Africa should be producing vaccines,” he stressed.
The 17th Meeting of the East African Community Sectoral Council on Transport, Communication and Meteorology (TCM) is currently underway in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Among the items on the Agenda of the TCM are the consideration of the programmes and projects in: the Roads Sub-Sector; the Railways Sub-sector; the Civil Aviation Sub-sector; the Maritime and Integrated Corridor Development Sub-sector; the Meteorology Sub-sector, and; the Communications Sub-sector. Also due for consideration by the meeting are updates on: the Tripartite Transport and Transit Facilitation Programme (TTTFP); the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA); the Heads of State Retreat on Infrastructure Development and Financing; the Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (CASSOA); the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC), and; the Implementation of Agreements and MoUs between EAC and Cooperating Partners.
Southern African Development Community (SADC) Ministers responsible for Environment, Natural Resources and Tourism held a virtual meeting on 18 June 2021 to review progress in the implementation of sectoral programmes, strategies and projects under the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2020-2030. They approved the Revised SADC Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan to fully align it with the Paris Agreement, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union Agenda 2063. They urged Member States to use the harmonised continental tool platform in reporting their National Determined Contributions implementation to comply with the Paris Agreement. The Ministers approved the costed action plan and proposed human resources capacity, and resource mobilisation strategy to facilitate and fast track the implementation of the SADC Tourism Programme 2020-2030 to boost the regional economic growth which is heavily affected by the impact of COVID-19.
In a first of its kind end-of-research workshop, some 21 post-doctoral researchers drawn from 13 African countries namely Benin, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia, Uganda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzanian and Zimbabwe, will this coming week present their climate change and development findings. The intensity and frequency of disruptions in natural and socioeconomic systems caused by climate change have placed a heavy toll on African nations forcing stakeholders to plan necessary interventions to forestall risks. In this regard, the 21 researchers embarked on 18-month research in late 2019 to understand better these dynamics and try to find some answers. In their study they covered key areas of improving early warning systems, weather and public health, climate resilience for African islands, floods, drought mitigation and adaptation.
The Africa Renewable Energy Fund II has achieved its first close at €130 million, following a joint investment of €17.5 million from The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa and the Climate Technology Fund through the African Development Bank. AREF II, a successor to the original Fund, is a 10-year closed-ended renewable energy Private Equity Fund with a $300 million target capitalization. The Africa Renewable Energy Fund II, managed by Berkeley Energy, invests in early-stage renewable energy projects, thereby not only de-risking the most uncertain phase of power projects, but also promoting increased green baseload in Africa’s generation mix. The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa and the Climate Technology Fund will each contribute roughly €8.7 million to mobilize private-sector investment into Africa’s renewable energy sector.
Focus Report: How can Africa’s leading sugar producers increase output? (Oxford Business Group)
The African continent accounts for around 6% of global sugar output, half of which is concentrated in COMESA countries – a figure that is set to expand to 8% by 2029. While local production takes place on a relatively small scale, countries in the region are among the world’s largest net exporters. Looking ahead, the industry’s continued development will be supported by the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, which will help facilitate continental trade by reducing or eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers. However, establishing supportive and sustainable ecosystems and regulatory frameworks will also be necessary to improve competitiveness and boost yields. The Sugar in Africa Focus Report was produced in partnership with the International Sugar Organisation, the African Sugar Task Force, the Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation, the Zimbabwe Sugar Association and the Moroccan sugar company, Cosumar.
This is an exciting time for Africa. In early January 2021, the first shipments traded under Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) preferences left Ghana bound for Guinea and South Africa. Since its signing in March 2018, the rapid implementation of the agreement raises hopes of a more inclusive and prosperous future for the continent. How global trading partners support this project could set the tone of relationships for decades to come.
The Biden administration is applying a healthy dose of fresh thinking to a number of Africa-relevant policy areas, from global taxation to intellectual property. In terms of trade, United States Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai has already signaled a welcome new direction, stressing multilateral solutions over bilateral ones and emphasizing the importance of incorporating climate action in discussions on trade policy.
Africa is working with the European Union and other partners to help create regional vaccine manufacturing hubs in South Africa, Senegal and Rwanda, with Nigeria under consideration, World Trade Organization Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said. “We have now seen that over-centralization of vaccine production capacity is incompatible with equitable access in a crisis situation,” Okonjo-Iweala said on Monday during a virtual meeting. “Regional production hubs, in tandem with open supply chains, offer a more promising path to preparedness for future health crisis.”
The first “technology transfer hub” for messenger RNA COVID-19 vaccines will be established in South Africa to scale up production of and access to doses across the African continent, which has vaccinated less than 1% of its population. The new hub, which the World Health Organization announced on Monday, will provide training on mRNA technologies for manufacturers from low- and middle-income countries and license them to move forward with local production. But the hub still needs to secure agreements with mRNA vaccine manufacturers, and these efforts are not a substitute for a waiver of the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, or TRIPS, according to health officials. “We just cannot continue to rely on vaccines that are made outside of Africa, because they never come. They never arrive on time, and people continue to die,” said South African President Cyril Ramaphosa during a press conference.
According to UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2021, total foreign direct investment also dropped by more than a third globally, to $1 trillion (from $1.5 trillion in 2019), threatening progress on sustainable development. This level was last seen in 2005 and it is an urgent problem because foreign direct investment is vital to promoting sustainable development in the world’s poorest regions, said Isabelle Durant, Acting Secretary-General of UNCTAD. “The (COVID-19) crisis has had an immense negative impact on the most productive types of investment, namely, greenfield investment in industrial and infrastructure projects,” she said. “This means that international production, an engine of global economic growth and development, has been seriously affected.”
Agricultural support has continued to grow worldwide in recent years, but is often failing to meet its stated aims of improving food security, livelihoods and environmental sustainability, according to a new report from the OECD. Agricultural Policy Monitoring and Evaluation shows that the 54 countries monitored - including all OECD and EU economies, plus 11 key emerging economies – provided on average USD 720 billion of support to agriculture annually over the 2018-20 period. Consumers paid for more than one-third of the annual support, or USD 272 billion, through higher prices, in the form of market price support, while taxpayers paid for the remaining USD 447 billion, through budgetary transfers.
A year of digitalization for women entrepreneurs? (Trade 4 Dev News)
Business and trade rely on a vast ecosystem with various stakeholders. For women traders and entrepreneurs in LDCs, this includes participants along the value chain such as suppliers of raw materials, cooperatives, transporters, warehouse managers and airlines, to mention a few. Elements such as clear customs procedures, established banking systems and good internet connectivity are equally vital. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted these systems and stakeholders. Women entrepreneurs had to creatively devise means to continue doing business while navigating the complexities that arose from closed borders and lockdown orders. Traditional models of doing business involving physical movement of persons to facilitate transactions were no longer viable, and e-commerce and digital trade were catapulted to the fore as the most viable means of trade.
5 Export Strategies For Small Businesses (Alibaba News)
As we know, small businesses are part of the backbone of economies around the world. Not only are they a major source of job creation globally, but also they are an integral part of global supply chains, as both buyers and suppliers. For most companies around the world, winning trade overseas is a key way to kickstart growth and prosper in the marketplace. Small businesses that export successfully can also expect to grow their revenue and profitability by expanding into new markets. But how can small businesses break into and thrive in international markets? Given the various requirements, companies need to satisfy to ship their products abroad, this sort of expansion can often be a complex and time-consuming process. To answer the question above, this article explains why small businesses should start exporting and discuss some key export strategies that small businesses can pursue.