tralac Daily News
The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) Minister Ebrahim Patel is on a course of recovery in the manufacturing sector, seeking to chart a post-Covid-19 pandemic recovery course for the sector.
The 2021 Manufacturing Indaba, which is already under-way, will focus on a wide range of areas with relevance to the fortunes of the South African manufacturing sector. These include, but are not limited to, the role of renewable energy, electric vehicles, the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement and the role of financial support in enabling manufacturing advances on the continent.
The Minister, in the keynote address at the opening session of the Indaba, said that the African market represents a R7 trillion opportunity for goods that can be manufactured on the continent
South Africa must attract investors through the development of infrastructure, says Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele. “Infrastructure must attract investors into our country,” Gungubele said during an oversight visit to the Musina Ring Road construction site in Musina, Limpopo on Monday. The R640-million construction of the Ring Road from Musina South to Musina North commenced in December 2019 and is expected to be completed in 2022.
President Cyril Ramaphosa says as advocates of Pan Africanism South Africa and Kenya should pioneer intra-Africa trade. He was speaking during his opening remarks following Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s state visit at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Both countries have ratified the African Continental Free Trade Area which seeks to ensure African states trade amongst themselves. Currently, the intra-Africa trade is standing at less than 15% compared to over 60% in Europe. Again with two-way trade of R7.2 billion for South Africa against R329 million for Kenya, President Ramaphosa says this has to change. He says they need to ensure fair trade between the two countries.
SA-Kenya strengthen ties (SAnews)
Bilateral cooperation between South Africa and Kenya is expected to elevate to the level of a strategic partnership following an official State Visit to South Africa by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. This is according to President Cyril Ramaphosa who – together with President Kenyatta – addressed the media at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. “This would signify the importance of our political, economic and social ties and the leadership role we play in our respective regions. We need to consolidate those areas of cooperation that anchor our relations, explore new ones within the current state of global affairs, and address challenges that will affect our people in the future,” President Ramaphosa said on Tuesday.
Kenya eyes Dubai expo to grow Gulf exports (Business Daily)
Kenya seeks to grow exports to Arabic Countries such as United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, among others to Sh280.68 billion next year through its participation in the Expo 2020 Dubai. The Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency (Keproba) on Monday said that it targets to grow export value from Sh61.75 billion in 2019 to Sh280.75 billion in 2022, representing a four-fold increase. Kenya is among 192 countries that are showcasing their wide array of products such as apparel, avocados, bulk black tea, cut flower, goat meat, vegetable, coffee, textiles, among others at this year’s Expo that started in October 2020 and will end in March next year.
Relief for mango farmers as EU exports to resume (Business Daily)
Kenya’s mango farmers can now access the lucrative European Union market following successful negotiations between Nairobi and Brussels last week to allow in produce from areas that have a low prevalence of fruit flies. Kenya has since 2013 placed a self-imposed ban on the export of mangoes to the EU due to the fruit fly menace, keen to avoid having the restriction imposed by the bloc itself as this would make it harder to resume exports once the fly is contained. Officials from the Directorate of Horticulture, Kenya Health Plant Inspectorate Service (Kephis) and stakeholders from farmers’ associations were in Brussels last week to pitch a case for Kenyan mango exports following the creation of a pest-free zone and construction of a hot water treatment plant.
Kenya’s modern shipbuilding facilities in Kisumu and Mombasa ready for use (The East African)
Kenya is eyeing the lucrative shipbuilding and repair business after the completion of two modern shipyard facilities. The two built by the Kenya Navy are the largest shipyards with a slipway in East Africa. Their completion opens a new frontier for the country as it seeks maritime hub status and to tap into the blue economy.
KSL began with refurbishing the 56-year-old MV Uhuru, a ship owned by Kenya Railways, and which has seen more than 50 million litres of petroleum products moved in 26 round trips to Ugandan ports this year. MV Uhuru had stalled for over 15 years, and its revival and lucrative trips have seen Kenya Railways order for a new vessel from the shipyard. But as Kenya and Tanzania tussle for the logistics deals on Lake Victoria, landlocked Uganda is the ultimate beneficiary, with transport costs for fuel coming down by 33 per cent, and cargo can now get to Port Bell in less than half the time it takes by road.
“The time taken to cover the distance from Kisumu to ports in Uganda and Tanzania has reduced by almost half. The transport costs have also dropped. Initially via road they used to charge $0.25 per tonne per kilometre. This was reviewed down to $0.17 per tonne per kilometre over water, which was shorter and that is why we are having a lot of business. And that is how the requirement for a second wagon ferry came in,” Brig Otieno said.
Tanzania seeks to raise the volume of cargo destined to and from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by 58 percent in the next two years. That comes following the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) plan to increase freight volumes passing through the Dar es Salaam Port to and from DRC from the 1.9 million tonnes recorded in 2020/21 to three million after the next two years. TPA has revealed the new target after recording a significant increase from 1.1 million tonnes in 2016/17 to 1.9 million tonnes in the 2020/21 translating to 57 percent of the increment.
“Cargo to and DRC passing through the Dar es Salaam Port is between 35 to 40 percent and not 100 percent. The remaining percentage is handled by other ports elsewhere,” he said. However, he said the volume of freight passing through Tanzania’s marine gateway could be increased following the major investment and improved efficient of the Dar es Salaam Port.
Air Tanzania ups stake for East African skies (The Citizen)
Air Tanzania is set to step up competition in the East African skies with the launch of flights on the Dar es Salaam-Nairobi route from November 26, and plans for Bujumbura later in the month. The airline’s first flight to Nairobi from Julius Nyerere International Airport will cost Sh37,525 ($334) for a return trip and approximately Sh23, 594 ($210) one way. The Tanzanian national carrier began operating three flights a week to Ndola in Zambia and the eastern DR Congo city of Lubumbashi, respectively, from November 18. “The resumption of Air Tanzania operations between Dar es Salaam and Nairobi, as at the best as a game changer in the bilateral engagement between Tanzania and Kenya,” said the High Commissioner of United Republic of Tanzania in Nairobi John Stephen Simbachawene Friday.
The National Action Committee, African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) has emphasised the need to cascade down its activities to the subnational level with state governments playing a major role. Secretary of the committee, Mr Francis Anatogu, said this on Monday during a joint news conference with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), in Abuja, on the AfCFTA Subnational Strategy Workshop scheduled to hold from Tuesday to Thursday in Abuja. Anatogu said that for AfCFTA to be truly successful in Nigeria, there was a great need to work with states to find their niche in Africa’s export market.
African Development Bank report validates COVID-19 decisions by Seychelles’ government (Seychelles News Agency)
A report for Seychelles entitled “COVID-19 Impact Assessment & Recovery Strategies” validates measures taken by the government to stabilise the economy and budget, as well as increase economic resilience, said a top official. Prepared by the African Development Bank (AfDB) in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Trade, the study’s objective was to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy of Seychelles. It focused on the key productive sectors of the economy, namely tourism, fisheries and manufacturing. The Seychelles’ finance minister, Naadir Hassan, said on Tuesday during the launch that “the timing of this report is most opportune, as it coincides with national efforts to relaunch the economy, as we look ahead to unlocking new areas of potential economic growth found in the Digital Economy, Blue Economy and Fisheries, Agriculture, Financial Services.”
IMF issues conditions to fund South Sudan (The East African)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says support to South Sudan’s ailing economy is pegged on the government’s willingness to open to an accountability probe. The IMF wants President Salva Kiir’s government to account for past loans, prosecute the corrupt and improve financial discipline and transparency in use of public resources, especially earnings from oil. While insisting on the conditions in a meeting with President Kiir and his Finance minister last week in Juba, IMF Director of African Department Abebe Selassie also acknowledged the financial constraints imposed on South Sudan by Covid-19, floods and the declining economy. “In the coming weeks and months, we hope to support the government in its endeavours to make sure that important areas of accountability and reforms are addressed,” said Mr Selassie.
Coffee exports play an important role in Ethiopia’s economy, but international markets pose several challenges to coffee exporters from producing countries such as Ethiopia. These exporters face difficulties in diversifying their exports from green beans to roasted coffee, which would add value to their products. One of their main challenges is to identify key destination markets for their roasted coffee and understand how to access them. Examining the conditions of access to these markets of interest would thus help strengthen the export capacity of Ethiopian roasters. From this perspective, this report analyses consumer preferences, trends, distribution channels, logistics and transportation options for selected potential roasted coffee markets, namely the European Union, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, China and the Republic of Korea. The report also reviews good practices of interest for Ethiopian authorities, focusing on policies implemented by the Colombian government and that country’s coffee roasters, who have successfully managed to expand Colombian exports of roasted coffee in recent years. Recommendations are provided to facilitate access of Ethiopian roasters to these five top destination markets.
IATF 2021 Ends with Commitment to Strengthen the AfCFTA (Afreximbank)
The second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF 2021) has ended on Sunday in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, with a collective commitment to ensure that the economic stimulation triggered by the event translates into the continued strengthening of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“It is no mean feat to have secured seven sitting presidents for the opening ceremony who stayed for hours during the entire programme,” said Chief Obasanjo. “Thank you immensely for all you have done to make sure this event takes place,” he added, promising to meet everyone in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, in 2023.
What are the opportunities for engineers within AFCFTA? (The New Times)
African engineers should tap into opportunities availed by African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Rwandan Engineer Papias Kazawadi has said. Kazawadi, who is FAEO President Elect, was speaking at a Malawi conference on accelerating the road map to agenda 2063 through engineering in which he was invited to speak on a session themed “Africa’s opportunities and challenges and why African engineers must engage in AfCFTA.” The Federation of African Engineering Organisations (FAEO) is an international non-governmental organisation which represents the interests of all engineering practitioners in Africa.
The development of regional value chains across Africa presents an opportunity to create market linkages between regions, integrate critical supply chains and replace some products that currently being imported from outside of the continent, said Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel. “The African market represents a R7-trillion market opportunity for goods that can be manufactured on the continent. However, for these opportunities to materialise, there is a need to resolve the structural constraints that may prevent Africa and South Africa from seizing the opportunities presented,” he noted during his keynote address to the 2021 Manufacturing Indaba on November 22.
Africa must trade, invest in the continent (sardc.net)
Africa’s route to sustainable development is through creating an enabling environment for African companies to easily trade within the continent as well as invest in other African countries.
Such an enabling business environment ensures that Africa’s proceeds from natural resources such as diamonds, gold and platinum remain in the continent to finance its development agenda, instead of benefiting other economies in Europe, Asia and the US.
Currently, the business landscape is structured in such a way that African countries, which possess the bulk of natural resources trade more with the outside world than among themselves, and much of the resources are exported in their raw form, with most of the value-addition and beneficiation taking place outside the continent, thus benefiting other countries.
SOUTH Africa remained the destination for the most foreign direct investment (FDI) projects in 2020 in spite of the sharp fall in FDI in the continent due to the impact of the Covid-19. The EY Africa Attractiveness Report released yesterday showed that South Africa received the most projects in the continent in 2020, followed by Morocco and Nigeria.
On a country basis, South Africa had the highest FDI score of 31.1 points, followed by Morocco at 17.7 points and Nigeria at 17.5 points. Though South Africa attracted more projects, Nigeria received the highest capital investment, with FDI valued at $6.6 billion (R103.7 bn) in 2020. The EY report showed that FDI in South Africa remained buoyant owing to the country’s diversified economy, which is more reliant on services type sectors.
Raila roots for intra-Africa trade during Igad meeting (The Star, Kenya)
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has pitched for intra-Africa trade to unlock the potential in the region. Raila said trade will thrive with well established regional infrastructure. The Africa Union High Representative spoke during the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development regional infrastructure masterplan partners’ roundtable in Nairobi. The ODM leader proposed the establishment of the Africa Fund for Infrastructure to among others finance transnational projects, which cannot be factored in the national budgets. He challenged bilateral and multilateral donors to support specific projects of their choice. Raila said the eight Igad countries have natural resources that need to be exploited for the benefit of the present and future generations.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) are convening a multi-stakeholder workshop on measuring the contribution of the services sector to national and regional value chains.
The services sector, as an industry, offers opportunities for African countries to diversify their production and trade and grow their economies sustainably. This is critical at a time when the continent has embarked on the liberalization of its services sector under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). A major challenge that remains for African countries is how to better assess the contribution of the services sectors to the economy and fully capture their linkages to global and regional value chains. This entails addressing constraints related to data gaps on services and strengthening capacities at national and regional levels to measure the value added generated by services sectors, with a view to supporting policymaking.
The Africa Investment Forum’s Market Days 2021, one of the biggest flagship initiatives of the African Development Bank, is poised to attract billions of dollars in investment for strategic development projects across the continent. The annual forum has come to be an invaluable platform during which the Bank successfully attracts critical investment for the continent’s infrastructure, agriculture and health care system needs among others, especially as Africa seeks to rebound from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The growing success of the Africa Investment Forum gives credence to the exhortation to investors by African Development Bank President Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina, who has said that Africa must be respected today as the world’s investment frontier.
Digitisation, regulation and standardisation - The implications for Africa (Global Trade Review)
Trade digitisation has moved on apace, with the acceleratory impact of the pandemic on digital adoption widely acknowledged. Attitudes have changed amongst governments and private sector alike, but the challenges surrounding the development of the regulation, standardisation and interoperability necessary to enable the true global scaling of digital trade have gained sudden urgency. At Day 1 of GTR Africa, industry leaders Tedd George (Chief Narrative Officer, Kleos Advisory UK), Frank Wendt (Executive Chairman, FQX), Robin Findlay (Vice-President, Global Sales & Marketing, Surecomp), Jack Bismohun (Business Development Director, GUUD Africa) and Rahul Rastogi (CFO, Africa & Mena; Group CFO, Cocoa Beans, Olam Food Ingredients) tackled scalability challenges from an African perspective.
Africa’s aviation sector recovery prospects looking up (The East African)
The aviation industry outlook is giving better prospects of recovery for African airlines compared with those in the Middle East and Europe. An analysis by the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) shows African carriers are on a recovery trajectory, having reopened 81.3 percent of their international routes. Sub-regional growth, however, is varied. The analysis further reveals that African airlines have been growing regional fleet since 2020, allowing a deeper market penetration. Cargo capacity has also grown by 33 percent since 2019, while cargo load factors improved by nine percent from pre-pandemic levels.
AFRAA’S Secretary General Abdérahmane Berthé called on African governments and airlines to re-invent and redefine their business models for a quick industry recovery. This will involve financial support, implementing safe travel measures, using technology to define the “new normal” and removing travel restrictions.
The Southern African Development Community Region will remain a dumping ground for processed goods from other regions if it does not industrialise, President of the Republic of Malawi and SADC Chairperson, His Excellency President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, has said. H. E President Chakwera delivered the remarks at the official opening of the SADC Industrialisation Week (SIW) in Lilongwe, Malawi, on 22nd November, 2021. He said industrialisation was a key priority for SADC economic transformation, warning “… if we do not industrialise we will continue to be a dumping ground for products from other nations”. H. E President Chakwera underscored the need for SADC Member States to diversify their economies by moving from raw and unprocessed materials to value added and manufactured products. He said value chains, which are currently at 14%, remain the Region’s low hanging fruits for the accomplishment of the industrialisation agenda.
President Lazarus Chakwera has faulted previous administrations for neglecting industrialisation in Malawi, saying many factories have been closed in the country since the dawn of multiparty democracy.
He made the remarks this afternoon when he opened the 5th SADC Industrialization Week and Exhibition under the theme “Bolstering Productive Capacities in the face of Covid-19 Pandemic for Inclusive Sustainable Economic and Industrial Transformation”. President of Mozambique, Filipe Jacinto Nyusi also attended the opening ceremony. Chakwera said Governments in the SADC region have been implementing policies that hinder the transformation of the region’s economies from raw resource dependency to value adding production through technological research.
Ministers in charge of East African Community (EAC) Affairs have recommended for consideration by the EAC Heads of States the report of the verification team on the application by The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to join the Community. The Ministers further recommended that the EAC Heads of State direct the commencement of negotiations with the DRC, in accordance with the findings of the verification team.
The Ministers considered the findings of the report set out to ensure DRC is a good fit to join EAC. The report observed, among other things, the institutional frameworks in place, legal frameworks, policies, projects and programmes, areas of cooperation with other EAC Partner States and DRC’s expectations from her membership to the Community. The Council’s request to the Summit for commencement of negotiations with DRC will create a platform for in-depth discussions on modalities for harmonization of DRC’s policies and instruments to those of EAC. Matters pertaining to peace and security, language and legal systems are among the areas that will be factored in for a strategic way forward during the negotiations. Speaking following the meeting, EAC Secretary General Dr. Peter Mathuki said that DRC’s population of about 90 million has the potential to contribute to expanded market and investment opportunities. “By DRC joining, the Community will open the corridor from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, as well as North to South, hence expanding the economic potential of the region,” he said.
Egypt is the new Chair of the COMESA Heads of State and Government also known as the COMESA Authority. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi took over from President Andry Rajoelina of Madagascar at the opening of the 21st COMESA Summit underway in Cairo. Heads of State and representatives are attending the Summit physically and virtually. With the handover, Egypt will now chair all COMESA policy organs and provide leadership to the regional bloc in the implementation of the regional integration agenda for the next one year.
Climate activists have called out Nigerian and African governments, financiers and fossil fuel companies over their continued involvement in fossil fuels projects, which wreak havoc on communities and ecosystems across Africa, not to mention the harsh climate impacts they occasion. Africa, though the least emitter of greenhouse gas (GHG) of about 4 percent, ironically suffers the most from the vagaries of climate change.
As the UN climate talks ended in Glasgow on November 12, energy stakeholders in Africa later congregated in Cape Town for the Africa Energy Week. The event was met with protests by climate activists in Cape Town, who called out African governments and fossil fuel companies for their continued support to and development of fossil fuel projects, which they said wreak havoc on communities and ecosystems across Africa.
The activists, who gathered under the auspices of Afrika Vuka, a movement of citizens across the African continent, aimed at uniting campaigns and movements working to end the age of fossil fuels in Africa and pushing for the move to clean, renewable energy, called for a shift away from fossil fuels and a gradual transition to renewable energy and green economies, a move that is key to keeping global heating below 1.5 degrees and limiting climate change.
Of all the wood produced every year in sub-Saharan Africa, 90 percent is used as fuel, posing a major sustainability challenge. Woodfuel, primarily firewood and charcoal, is the main source of energy for cooking for two-thirds of households and is a critical element in maintaining food security. Millions of households depend on woodfuel production to make a living, but heavy reliance on it makes for social, economic, environmental and health concerns. With such complex issues, a broader approach is needed. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is supporting an international conference that starts today and brings together woodfuel producers, forest managers, forest and energy decision makers, environmentalists, technological innovators, scientists and academics, policy makers, civil society and government institutions in Kumasi and online. Together, they will take stock of the challenges and learn from one another to move the sector forward towards sustainability, without compromising livelihoods which are reliant on it.
The African Development Bank played a critical role in supporting millions of people across the continent, affected by the impact of the Covid19 pandemic in 2020. This is according to its latest Annual Development Effectiveness Review released on Tuesday. The pandemic caused fiscal deficits to double and indebtedness to rise sharply, reducing the capacity of African countries to invest in economic recovery. The African Development Bank responded swiftly with a Covid-19 Response Facility that provided $3.6 billion in emergency budget support. The funding went into key areas such as health, social protection, and economic assistance, benefitting 12.3 million vulnerable households across 31 countries.
The Annual Development Effectiveness Report notes that small and micro-enterprises supported by the Bank generated revenues of $2 billion, helping them weather the pandemic in 2020. Through its Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) program, the Bank’s support for food security and agricultural development reached 11 million farmers in 28 countries and avoided $814 million in food imports.
Sub-Saharan Africa is losing the race to vaccinate its population against COVID-19. As of November 15, only about 4 percent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa has been fully vaccinated, up from merely 1 percent three months ago. It took 27 and 56 days to achieve the same milestone in advanced economies and other emerging markets and developing economies, respectively. The World Health Organization’s target of vaccinating 10 percent of population by end-September was reached by only five sub-Saharan African countries. Only a handful of countries in the region are expected to reach a target set by the IMF, World Health Organization, World Trade Organization and World Bank to vaccinate 40 percent of the population in all countries by the end of 2021.
A continental conference where practical solutions to some of the challenges confronting Africa as continent will be discussed, has been slated for December 5 to 7, 2021 in Nigeria. The event, which will take place in Lagos, is meant to discuss key sustainable development issues affecting investment, innovation, youths of Africa and their traction in the developmental matters. A statement released on Monday in Abuja by the Jet Age Africa coordinator, Amb. Young Piero, said the continental event will also honour notable leaders from public and private sectors and young innovators, who have demonstrated profound zeal and contribution to the advancement and sustainable development of the African continent in their various specialised fields of endeavor.
Côte d’Ivoire has become the latest African country to receive training in the Integrated Planning and Reporting Toolkit (IPRT) from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). The online instrument is used to support African countries in structuring National Development Plans (NDPs) alongside goals, targets and indicators of both the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. “Our country will begin the implementation of its new NDP 2021-2025, which capitalizes on the achievements of the previous plan, and takes up the challenge to address and accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063,” Côte d’Ivoire’s Minister of Planning and Development, Nahaoua Yeo, told attendees. “This training reflects the government’s commitment to mobilize all expertise available, to equip all national actors in charge of planning and monitoring and evaluation with the technical tools for optimal monitoring of public policies with regional and international sustainable development agendas.”
Infrastructure surge marks strong spell for construction industry (African Review)
According to a recent report on by Mordor Intelligence, the African construction market was valued at around US$5.4bn in 2020 and is expected to register a CAGR of 7.4% between 2021 and 2026. While Covid-19 did hamper development Africa’s construction market is rebounding better than most industries owed, in part, to an abundance of infrastructure projects being undertaken across the continent. A construction report in the latest issue of African Review charts the construction industries growth, examines some of the most impressive construction projects which are taking shape and records a discussion with Tolga Ural, regional director at Liugong Dressta Machinery, Africa, Middle East, Asia Pacific & Australia as he describes his company’s experience on the continent over the last year.
US Flags Africa As Major Geopolitical Player (The New Dawn Liberia)
US Secretary of State, Anthony J. Blinken says the United States firmly believes that it’s time to stop treating Africa as a subject of geopolitics and start treating it as the major geopolitical player it has become. During his two-day working visit to Nigeria as he continued his tour of Africa which began in Kenya and is expected to conclude in Senegal, Mr. Blinken praised institutions like the African Union, ECOWAS, SADC, IGAD for the larger roles they play in global issues and asked that they be given greater voices in global debates. “The US knows that, on most of the urgent challenges and opportunities we face, Africa will make the difference,” Mr. Blinken said on 19 November 2021 at the Main Hall of the ECOWAS Commission as part of the series of engagements. “We can’t achieve our goals around the world – whether that’s ending the COVID-19 pandemic, building a strong and inclusive global economy, combating the climate crisis, or revitalizing democracy and defending human rights – without the leadership of African governments, institutions, and citizens,” he added.
UK businesses, not African countries will profit from new trade plans (The Africa Report)
They are a means to enable developing countries “to diversify their exports and grow their economies”, to help “deliver a greener future”, while at the same time allowing British households and businesses to benefit from lower prices and more choice. But the reality is the greatest winners will be British business. Here’s how. According to Amanda Milling, UK FCDO Minister of State: “In 2020, the UK imported more than £30bn ($40.1bn) in goods and services from developing and least developed countries with preferential trading arrangements, supporting their growth and poverty reduction.”
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on the global economy. In fact, some research suggests that the world could lose up to $8.5 trillion dollars in revenue during the next two years. Still, we need to remember that every cloud has a silver lining. Some regions of the world may benefit from the current crisis. This is primarily the result of changing patterns of trade. Experts believe that the African continent should begin trading with Asia more and less with regions such as the European Union and the United States. Why might this soon come to pass?
BRI boosts Africa ties amid pandemic (Chinadaily)
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only changed the world. It has also made us realize that since we are all connected to each other, we need to rise above our nationality, race, ethnicity, religion and level of development to uphold the common cause of humanity. The pandemic has also highlighted the significance of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative in global health and information and communications technology. China has been helping African countries to develop in these two sectors through the Health Silk Road and the Digital Silk Road.
China’s decision to help African countries to produce vaccines locally under the Health Silk Road framework shows its intention to stabilize the global economy and help build a world where compassion and empathy are the order of the day. But to make the efforts successful, other countries have to meet China halfway and join hands to promote inclusive economic growth. As for the Digital Silk Road, the pandemic-induced lockdown changed consumer behavior, and social distancing measures led to an expansion of e-commerce transactions. As promised, China has been taking measures to deepen Digital Silk Road e-commerce cooperation with 22 partner countries.
G20 merchandise trade growth in value terms saw a marked slowdown in the third quarter of 2021, albeit levels remain at record high partly reflecting strong commodity prices. Surging shipping costs and a recovery in travel spurred faster growth in trade in services, with exports for the G20 nearing 2019 levels. In Q3 2021 international merchandise trade for the G20 plateaued at a record high, following four quarters of sustained growth. G20 merchandise exports and imports increased by 0.9% and 0.4% in Q3 2021 compared with the previous quarter, as measured in seasonally-adjusted current US dollars. Growth in services exports and imports for the G20 is estimated at around 5.1% and 5.8% in Q3 2021, respectively, compared to the previous quarter and measured in seasonally adjusted US dollars.
Tackling Trade (Economic Times)
Ahead of the crucial ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva next week, its 164 members are trying to thrash out an outcome to show that the multilateral trade agency is still relevant, even as they guard their own interests. The 12th ministerial conference (MC12) of the WTO will take place from November 30 to December 3.
The new platform builds on the work of the WTO Secretariat information notes on COVID-19 and world trade and the IMF Staff Discussion Note — A Proposal to End the COVID-19 Pandemic. The portal provides an array of data on total vaccine supply to date, exports by producing economy and by supply arrangement type, imports by income group and by continent, supply by manufacturing economy and vaccine type, supply to continents and vaccination status. The vaccine tracker draws information from the public domain, the COVAX Global Vaccine Market Assessment, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Duke Global Health Innovation Center, Airfinity, Our World in Data, the World Bank Group, the Asian Development Bank and the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT).
As of 18 November 2021, the online version of the 2022 edition of the Harmonized System Nomenclature is available through the WCO Website to all HS users. The HS 2022 edition, as the world’s global standard for classifying goods in international trade, will enter into force on 1 January 2022. Used by over 200 countries and economic or Customs unions as the basis for their Customs tariffs and for trade statistics, as well as by international organizations such as the United Nations Statistical Division (UNSD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Harmonized System (HS) Convention currently has 160 Contracting Parties, making it the WCO’s most successful instrument to date.
The 2022 edition of the HS Nomenclature includes significant changes with 351 sets of amendments (including some complementary amendments).