tralac Daily News
Maersk - Grindrod JV to offer end-to-end logistics in South Africa (Logistics Update Africa)
A. P. Moller - Maersk announced its intention to form a joint venture with Grindrod Group in order to enhance its capabilities as an integrated logistics player in South Africa. “Through this proposed joint venture, the logistics activities of Grindrod Intermodal business and the ocean activities of Ocean Africa Container Lines (OACL) will complement Maersk’s current ocean capabilities and logistics & services, enabling customers seamless access to a wider range of end-to-end supply chain solutions,” reads the release. Maersk will have a 51 percent share in this proposed joint venture which will increase access to landside infrastructure and capabilities which are critical to delivering reliable logistics solutions.
Civil works for the Beitbridge Border Post modernisation under Phase 2, which includes a bus terminal, have begun in earnest. Zimborders Consortium, in partnership with the Government of Zimbabwe, is upgrading Sadc’s busiest inland port of entry at a cost of US$300 million under a 17 and half-years build operate and transfer concession. The works are being carried out in three phases which include the freight terminal (phase 1), the bus terminal (phase 2) and the light vehicles terminal (phase 3). Zimborders Consortium chief executive officer Mr Francois Diedrechsen said they had moved to phase two after successfully completing the new freight terminal which opened to traffic last month
The African Development Bank Group’s Country Strategy Paper (CSP) 2020-2024 for Namibia lays out the strategy that will guide Bank support to the country for the achievement of sustainable and inclusive growth. The Bank’s Committee on Operations and Development Effectiveness (CODE) discussed the strategic thrust of this CSP during its consideration of the CSP 2014-2018 Completion Report on 8th November, 2019.
Kenya’s economy signals recovery from pandemic slump (The East African)
The Kenyan economy has shown signs of recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic after posting a 10.1 percent growth in the second quarter (April-June) of this year helped by rebound in activities in the manufacturing, financial, transport and the hospitality sectors. But macroeconomic indicators are pointing to the need to cushion the economy further from shocks related to the pandemic, which has continued to ravage most sectors of the economy, according to the latest data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. Government figures shows that the country’s gross domestic product for the three months period to June grew by 10.1 percent from a contraction of 4.7 percent in the same period last year. Economic growth for the first quarter (January-March) this year decelerated to 0.7 percent from 4.4 percent in the same period last year.
State targets to bring 15 million SMEs under its watch (The Star, Kenya)
The government targets to formalise at least 15 million Small and Medium Enterprises in the medium term in what could be a big win in expanding the country’s tax base. The initiative spearheaded by the Micro and Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA), in partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will develop a comprehensive database for Micro and Small Enterprises and a central reference point for information dissemination. MSEA has created an online platform that allows small businesses in the informal sector to register associations, which will be overseen by the authority.
Kenya delays trade mission to Uganda to resolve sugar, milk standoff (The East African)
Kenya has postponed a trade mission to Uganda to resolve the sugar and milk import standoff until December, amid jitters on whether the two countries are ready to find a lasting solution to the impasse. Principal Secretary State Department of Livestock, Harry Kimtai, said the November meeting will not take place as planned as the Kenya Dairy Board was not ready.
Uganda had last month invited Kenya’s Agriculture and Trade ministerial teams to Kampala for dialogue to clear the stalemate. Ugandan High Commissioner to Kenya and the Seychelles, Hassan Wasswa Galiwango, last month in Nairobi said: “Uganda is supposed to export milk to Kenya but there is a problem that will be resolved soon. We have invited the government of Kenya to send a delegation to inspect Uganda milk factories, to ascertain Uganda’s capacity to produce [exportable] excess.”
Unprecedented policy support, robust remittances, efforts to step up the vaccination rate, and progress in structural reforms are supporting economic recovery in 2021, with growth projected at 10.2 percent, from a sizable contraction of 3.4 percent in 2020. The outlook is benefiting from positive spillovers from the global recovery. Policies to attract private sector investment and manage climate change will remain key for more durable, inclusive, and resilient growth.
To address social challenges and limit pandemic scars, the authorities should protect social programs and sustain human capital investments while implementing a growth-friendly fiscal consolidation supported by a credible revenue mobilization and an improvement in spending efficiency. Fiscal risks should continue to be closely monitored by transparent reports of performance of public-private partnerships and state-owned enterprises.
Uhuru’s budget for new President signals higher taxes (Business Daily)
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s last budget will put his successor under pressure to raise Sh342.20 billion additional revenue to implement his preferred projects, setting up Kenyans for higher taxation. Mr Kenyatta’s administration has proposed a budget of Sh3.31 trillion for the financial year starting July 2022, a month before he leaves office at the end of the constitutional two-year term. The Treasury plans to spend Sh278.81 billion or 9.2 percent more than the budget for the current year in a bid to enhance investments in Mr Kenyatta’s legacy projects under the Post-Covid-19 Economic Recovery Strategy and the floundering “Big Four” Agenda.K enya will continue to splurge on infrastructure projects and a stimulus plan to maintain economic growth in the face of the coronavirus crisis, which delivered layoffs and business closures.The additional revenues needed to fund the bigger budget will most likely trigger an aggressive pursuit of tax cheats and possible increase in taxes.
How Covid-19 pushed women traders in Uganda to go online, crack new markets (The East African)
Covid-19 has claimed millions of lives and taken a toll on the wellbeing of communities, affecting livelihoods and changing the way people do things. Many businesses have collapsed and individuals have lost jobs. Anti-pandemic measures such as the lockdown led to a drop in the prices of the bananas grown in Sheema from about Ush10,000 ($2.80) to Ush500 ($0.10) a bunch. A source of income, away from agriculture was thus needed.
A Renowned Agro-allied Exporter and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sourcing and Produce, Mr. Lanre Awojoodu, has called on the federal government create access to loans for exporters in their quest to be part of the regulated global commodity platform.
He said that now is the crucial time for government to make funds available for exporters of agricultural produce and suggested that an NXP pre-financing scheme would be the best option as it would enable government to identify exporters who have a track record of NXP’s to get available affordable loans for their export businesses.
He noted that a framework along this line would be positive for the country’s non-oil export sector as it would make government to see more exporters using importer and exporter foreign exchange (FX) window.
State to streamline micro and small enterprises (The Standard)
The government will register five million micro and small business persons under the relevant State agency in the next one year to formalise the sector. According to the Micro and Small Enterprises Authority (MSEA), there are about 15,000 individuals from 467 associations registered in the sector. MSEA chief executive Henry Rithaa said the exercise is key for planning and streamlining the sector. Mr Rithaa, who was speaking during the handover of equipment to the agency, including vehicles from the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) to assist in the registration process, said the database will be key in assisting the government and other agencies to support specific intervention targeting specific micro and small enterprises.
Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has said the nation is moving quickly away from dependence on oil and supporting Nigerian exporters through its various agencies. Prof. Osinbajo also urged exporters to take advantage of opportunities for growth in the African market through the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA. The Vice President stated this on Wednesday when he received at the Presidential Villa, a delegation of major agro-exporters in the country.
Highlighting the approval of the National Development Plan on Wednesday by the Federal Executive Council, the VP stated that “one of the major components of that Plan is that we are trying to move away as much as possible from our dependence on oil and gas proceeds as our major sources of foreign exchange. You have seen a trend towards that in revenue figures.”
He further said, “we believe attention needs to be paid to exports generally. Of all the various plans of government that we have, one of the critical things for us now is that we all know that we are moving away very quickly from oil.”
The Institute of Credit Administration, Nigeria has emphasized the need to enact policies and provide incentives that will encourage the growth of the credit economy and boost a healthy financial sector. It gave this advice in its report on ‘ICA blueprint report for growth, development and sustainability of financial services sector in Nigeria’.
Ghana to become chocolate hub by 2030 - COCOBOD boss (Graphic Online)
The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has given an assurance that it will continue to facilitate the adequate production and reliable supply of cocoa beans for local processing and export. That plan is also part of an initiative to support the private sector and position the country to become the chocolate and confectionery hub of Africa by 2030. That, the regulator said, was the surest way to leverage Ghana’s increasing trend of cocoa production to become a key player in the global value chain and achieve prosperity for farmers. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of COCOBOD, Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, who gave the assurance at the third Ghana Cocoa Awards in Accra last Friday, challenged entrepreneurs, investors and other relevant stakeholders to partner the government to establish chocolate manufacturing firms that could profit Africa’s over 1.2 billion consumers and beyond.
Intra-Africa Trade Fair (IATF2021)
Intra-African Trade Fair to build bridges between countries (Engineering News)
President Cyril Ramaphosa said the Intra African Trade Fair 2021 (IATF2021) would bridge gaps between governments as it aspires to connect all the regions of Africa to deepen economic integration and boost intra-African trade and investment. He addressed the opening session of the trade show, which is being held in Durban, from November 15 to 21.
‘Intra-African trade: Chance to create wealth’ (The Herald)
ZIMBABWEANS, particularly youths and women, can create wealth for themselves by taking up opportunities generated by the opening up of Intra-African trade, which will benefit all the continent’s 55 countries, President Mnangagwa has said. Dubbed Africa’s premier trade fair, the IATF summit which runs until Sunday will see deals worth US$40 billion completed while Zimbabwe is in line to benefit from a US$40 billion fund that has been provided by the Afreximbank for the next five years to all African countries as capital for transactions that promote trade within the continent.
To deepen Intra African trade President Muhammadu Buhari has stressed the need for government in the continent to deploy more funds to support local entrepreneurs, increase their capacity and improve productivity. Buhari stated this at the opening session of the ongoing 2021 Intra-African Trade Fair ( IATF) in Durban, South Africa. According to him, the support would focus more in the areas of incentives that would enable businesses formalise and comply with laid down regulations. “What we are doing firstly is to build infrastructure. Between 1999 and 2014, Nigeria was producing 2.1 million barrels a day which cost us $100 per barrel, when we came, the militants were unleashing on us and production went down to half a million barel a day.
He expressed optimism that African trade would increase significantly by 2030 which would ultimately help reduce the continent’ s over reliance on importation if the opportunities in the intra African trade is optimised.
THE International Trade Centre (ITC) has partnered with the African Import-Export Bank (Afreximbank), to launch a new training programme aimed at capacitating small businesses on how to export within the African Continental Free Area (AfCFTA).
Designed using a problem-solving approach, the new training programme uses case studies to examine key export concepts in relation to enterprises and the challenges faced in the export field. The concepts include export readiness, market research, market development, market access conditions, trade finance and international logistics. Under the programme, entrepreneurs will benefit from the focus on intra-African export operations and advantages related to intra-regional trade.
President Muhammadu Buhari Monday lauded Africa’s collaborative journey towards collective economic prosperity through the African Continental Free Trade Area, adding that “Africa must be a marketplace where no country is left behind.” In his address Monday at the opening ceremony of the Intra-African Trade Fair 2021 at Durban, South Africa, President Buhari said “under the African Continental Free Trade Area, we can double our intra-Africa trade by 2030, reduce our reliance on imports and therefore create more jobs within the continent.” He said he Iooked forward to seeing more African products manufactured in Africa using African resources, noting that AFCFTA is for “made-in-Africa” products and services. The President said most of Africa’s existing challenges, whether security, economy or corruption, confronting Africa can be traced to the continent’s inability over the years to domesticate the production of its most basic requirements and provide jobs to its teeming and dynamic youth population.
PM Ngirente makes case for intra-Africa trade (The New Times)
Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente has called on African leaders to focus on the newly launched African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), saying it was a key player to boosting Intra-African trade and investment.
AfCFTA: Ghana must accept biotech products (News Ghana)
It’s Cote d’Ivoire for IATF2023 (Afreximbank)
Cote d’Ivoire has been announced as the host for the third edition of the Intra-African Trade Fair in 2023.
The Intra-Africa Trade Fair is seen as a vehicle towards the achievement of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) which came into force on January 1, 2021 and brings together a support bedrock of about 1.3Billion people with a cumulative GDP of about USD 4Trillion.
While addressing the opening ceremony of the IATF2021 at the Durban International Conference Centre on 15th Nov 2021, the President and Chairman of the Board of the African Export-Import Bank Prof. Benedict Oramah said that the concept of a trade fair to spur the growth and development of the AfCFTA could not have come at a better time, given the fruits of the inaugural event in Cairo, Egypt in 2018 which was graced by 1,100 exhibitors and about 7,000 participants from 45 countries.
During that event according to Prof. Oramah, deals worth about 32 billion US dollars were facilitated and to date about 25 billion US dollars of the deals have been implemented, with another 2.5 billion US dollars being processed, a representation of an incredible success rate of 83 percent.
13 countries urged to ratify trade deal (The East African)
Countries yet to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) have been urged to do so. Speaking virtually to Ugandan government officials on Wednesday, AfCFTA Secretary General Wamkele Mene said that so far 41 of 54 signatories to the pact had ratified the agreement, with talks still ongoing to get the rest on board. His address was part of Uganda’s national dialogue on the AfCFTA.
“Regarding outstanding ratifications, the Secretariat continues to engage the countries that have not yet ratified it to do so as a matter of urgency, subject to their domestic legal requirements. We do however recognise that the issue of ratification is a sensitive matter that is domestic, legal and political in nature,” Mene said. He said the implementation of the trade agreement is challenged by lack of clarity on issues such as rules of origin, tariff schedules and services sector commitments and partner states negotiations.
The East African regional business and private sector watchdog on Monday urged South Sudan to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to boost the country’s trade. John Bosco Kalisa, the chief executive officer of the East African Business Council (EABC), said South Sudan, the only EAC member state yet to ratify the agreement, stood a chance of boosting its trade with the ratification of the AfCFTA. Other member states of the EAC that have ratified the agreement are Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
Kalisa said South Sudan boasted of a competitive advantage in the livestock and agriculture sector, and small and medium enterprises in leather and butter industries.
He added that the leather and butter industries in South Sudan ought to be integrated into the regional value chain to boost production capacity and export more to the African continent.
1. Visible green shoots – rising commodity prices: The pandemic closed borders and stopped trade, other than for essentials, across the continent and was the principal reason for a decline in investment in 2020. A lack of available capital and acquisition finance, as well as difficulties pricing deals in an uncertain market, also affected investment.
2. The launch of AfCFTA: To-date, 38 countries in Africa had ratified the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement and 54 countries have signed it.
Closer integration of neighboring economies is providing a potential avenue for creating scale and competitiveness through domestic market enlargement, promoting development through greater efficiency. AfCFTA is also acting as an impetus for African governments to address their infrastructure needs as well as to overhaul regulation relating to tariffs, bilateral trade, cross-border initiatives and capital flows. There has been an urgent imperative to identify and enable new sources of finance, outside of traditional lenders and international partners, to address Africa’s infrastructure gaps in, for example, transportation, energy provision, internet access and data services, and education and healthcare infrastructure in Africa.
6. Digitization: Digitization is enabling the development and harmonization of a regulatory framework to integrate Africa’s digital economies, crucial to be able to operate in the post-pandemic environment. The African Virtual Trade-Diplomacy Platform was implemented this year to allow parties across different timelines, languages and legal frameworks to meet in a secure online environment, streamlining cross border negotiations. Digitization is also aiding lenders with assessing risk more accurately through access to previously unavailable data, before they deploy capital in the region. This is allowing projects that would otherwise seem too risky to go ahead.
African Development Bank President Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina has called on the developed countries of the world to honor their financial commitments to developing countries as developing nations struggle to battle against climate change and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. He said Covid had drawn millions, particularly in Africa, into poverty. Dr Adesina was speaking on Thursday at a panel at the fourth edition of the Paris Peace Forum, an event organized and championed by French President Emmanuel Macron to bring together global governance actors in an international and open space to interact, discuss and generate concrete solutions to challenges. The theme of this year’s forum is “Bridging the solidarity gap.” Highlighting Africa’s financial needs amidst global inequity, Adesina said: “We are only looking for 485 billion dollars in the next three years to emerge from the current crisis. Meanwhile, the developed world has trillions of dollars. While the developed world is getting second and third Covid-19 booster shots, Africa is struggling to get one basic shot in people’s arms.” He underscored the importance of the International Monetary Fund’s $650 billion of special drawing rights (SDRs), which he said offered developing countries, and African nations in particular, additional resources as they cope with challenges of building back their economies from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Covid-19, preceded by climate change, has led to severe and widespread increases in global food insecurity, with recent estimates by UNCTAD suggesting that 73 million people suffer from chronic and acute hunger. African regions, predominantly the Sahel and southern Africa, are particularly vulnerable, with poverty and food insecurity expected to rise in the wake of a regional slump in food production. While this paints a rather gloomy picture, there’s a bright glimmer on the agricultural horizon.
The world has been watching as global leaders convened at COP26 this week, with people demanding action over words as the stark reality of the climate crisis threatens the future and existence of the planet. Protecting the world’s vast ocean and its precious biodiversity from the harmful impacts of climate change and human activity sits high on the agenda. That means taking radical action to save the ocean including defeating plastic pollution. Each year, more than eight million metric tonnes of plastic end up in oceans, wreaking havoc on marine wildlife, fisheries and tourism. Half of all the plastic produced globally is designed to be used once and thrown away (“single-use plastic”), and every year, we throw away 300 million tonnes according to the United Nations; nearly equivalent to the weight of the entire human population. East Africa has for some time been a leading voice for protecting the environment.
Today, AKADEMIYA2063 will kick off the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS) Annual Conference to promote review and dialogue on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on African food systems and policy options to ensure recovery and strengthen resilience to future shocks. Organized in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC), under the theme “Building resilient African food systems after COVID-19,” the three-day (15-17 November) virtual conference will equally unveil the ReSAKSS 2021 Annual Trends and Outlook Report (ATOR).
“The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to health, economic and agrifood systems around the globe, causing severe disruptions to African economies and food systems; it has interrupted the longest period of sustained economic growth in the continent’s history,” said Dr. Ousmane Badiane, AKADEMIYA2063 Executive Chair. “Building resilient African food systems is one of the seven commitments of the 2014 Malabo Declaration. It calls for a broad perspective on food systems resilience that takes into account implications for and actions by all food systems actors. The 2021 Annual Trends and Outlook Report (ATOR) presents a body of research-based evidence to facilitate understanding of the pandemic’s effects and support the design of post-COVID-19 recovery measures that strengthen the resilience of African food systems,” he said.
N$170m climate-change windfall for SADC - The Namibian (The Namibian)
THE National Assembly (NA) last week approved a regional treaty on climate change which will see Namibia benefit from a N$170 million climate-change resilience fund sponsored by the German government. The treaty, called the Southern Africa Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (Sasscal) seeks to establish a science centre on climate change and adaptive land management in Windhoek. The centre is aimed at strengthening scientific capacity within the southern African region in the areas of agriculture, biodiversity, climate change, forestry, water, and green hydrogen. Namibia, Germany and four other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, namely Angola, Botswana, South Africa, and Zambia, are signatories to the treaty.
How the Biden administration can make AGOA more effective (Brookings Institution)
The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has served as the cornerstone of the U.S.-Africa commercial relationship for more than two decades but it is set to expire on September 30, 2025. While the legislation’s unilateral trade preferences have provided economic benefits for countries across sub-Saharan Africa, AGOA as a whole remains underutilized. To ensure continuity in U.S-African trade ties, the United States must grapple with the legislation’s potential reauthorization now, with a particular focus on how the utilization of AGOA might be improved. Just a renewal of AGOA won’t be enough to achieve this ambitious vision, however. Instead, the Biden administration should double down on its partnership with AGOA beneficiaries and ensure that each country makes greater use of the program, including through National AGOA Strategies, in a manner that promotes regional and continental value chains.
Africa’s ‘Green Wall’ also makes economic sense (Science Daily)
“In our analysis, we work with different scenarios, some of which are aimed more at short-term benefits, while others are more long-term,” explains the agricultural economist, who is a member of the Transdisciplinary Research Area “Sustainable Futures” at the University of Bonn. The results show that building the “Green Wall” is also economically worthwhile.
Early evidence emerging from the ongoing pandemic indicates that GVCs have played a key role in supporting economic recovery and are evolving in important ways, according to the “Global Value Chain Development Report 2021: Beyond Production,” co-published by the WTO, the ADB, the Research Institute for Global Value Chains at the University of International Business and Economics, the Institute of Developing Economies, and the China Development Research Foundation. There has been no generalized reshoring of production in response to the pandemic, the report states, and GVCs have shown resilience, after initial disruptions, in addressing the needs for food and essential medical goods.
The Goods Trade Barometer is a composite leading indicator providing real-time information on the trajectory of merchandise trade relative to recent trends ahead of conventional trade volume statistics. The latest barometer reading of 99.5 is close to the baseline value of 100 for the index, indicating growth in line with recent trends. The return to trend follows the record reading of 110.4 in the previous barometer issued in August, which reflected both the strength of the trade recovery and the depth of the pandemic-induced shock last year. Recent supply shocks, including port gridlock arising from surging import demand in the first half of the year and disrupted production of widely traded goods such as automobiles and semiconductors, have contributed to the barometer’s decline.
Last week, United States Trade Representative Katherine C. Tai responded to a series of letters sent by a group of Sixteen Senators regarding a proposal by India and South Africa to waive certain provisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) in relation to prevention, containment, or treatment of COVID-19.
The waiver, which is not limited to vaccines, will do nothing to end this global pandemic. Instead, it will undermine the extraordinary global response that has achieved historically remarkable results in record time and our nation’s global leadership in the technologies, medicines, and treatments of the future.
Report defiant foreign fishing vessels to WTO for subsidy cut – ENRRI–EfD to gov’t (The Business & Financial Times)
Ghana and other developing countries must petition the World Trade Organization (WTO) to push developed countries to withdraw subsidies on foreign industrial fishing vessels to stop them from overexploiting the fish resources of developing countries, Director of Environment and Natural Resource Research Initiative (ENRRI EfD Ghana), Dr. Wisdom Akpalu has entreated.
ENRRI–EfD, also called on government to as a matter of urgency, report to the WTO, all foreign vessels who are legally operating in the country but are however, taking part in Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing activities in the country’s waters.
LDCs to demand continuation of fisheries subsidies (The Daily Star)
Bangladesh has joined other least-developed countries (LDCs) to demand the continuation of partial fisheries subsidies as nations are set to agree to new rules for the industry and limit state support contributing to unsustainable fishing and the depletion of global fish stocks. Talks on the fisheries subsidies at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have remained stalled since 2001 for the overfishing and overcapacity by a number of countries. Fisheries subsidies need to be continued for the LDCs at least for capacity-building, technology upgrade, purchase of ships, training, and developing human resources, as the fisheries sector has become a major source of jobs and economic development, said Hafizur Rahman, director-general of the WTO Cell under the commerce ministry.
Services: The new staple of 21st century development? (Trade for Development News)
Manufacturing industries, and manufacturing-led development, has been the traditional model for development for the last three decades. Development theory has long held that manufacturing is an engine for economic growth. However, a new study posits that manufacturing may no longer be the most efficient pathway to development. Developing and least developed countries (LDCs) often aim for export-oriented industrialization, relying heavily on manufacturing. However, the COVID-19 crisis recently demonstrated the limitations of this kind of development. The garment industry, for example, is a common starter industry for LDCs, and countries like Bangladesh have integrated their apparel industries into global value chains. But the pandemic quickly revealed the fragility of these value chains, with garment factories in Bangladesh facing orders cancellations from Western retail companies. As well as the garment sector, the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the susceptibility of the supply chains of many other sectors, including the agri-food industry, putting many workers in vulnerable positions. Could these high-risk value chains be offset by a shift towards another industry?