Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

Local news

SA companies could boost exports to EU by R350bn a year, research shows (Daily Maverick)

South African companies are missing out on R350-billion a year in export opportunities to the European Union (EU), new research shows. Under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which it signed with South Africa and five other southern African countries in 2016, the EU allows 96.2% by value of SA exports into its market duty-free and 2.5% under reduced tariffs. Conversely, South Africa and the other Southern African Customs Union members allow 74.1% of EU exports into their market duty-free, and 12.5% under reduced tariffs. The EPA has been a boon for many South African exporters.

Roberto Cecutti, the head of trade at the EU embassy in Pretoria, told a media briefing last week that in 2021 SA’s exports to the EU increased by 30% and SA recorded its first trade surplus – of some R15-billion – with the EU since the first free trade agreement between SA and the EU began in 2004. He noted that SA exported a lot more value-added goods to the EU than to the rest of the world. About 33% of SA exports to the EU were in manufactured goods, including vehicles, compared with just 13% of those categories as a share of SA’s exports to the world as a whole.

United front for South Africa on freight rates (Fruitnet)

A steep rise in shipping rates is causing mayhem among fruit growers and exporters around the world. In South Africa these increases, which are regarded as unreasonable, unacceptable, and short-sighted, are uniting fruit growers, exporters and logistics service providers as never before. Sources have said that industry stakeholders are united in their view that shipping lines should be aware of the risks they are placing on the long-term sustainability of exports. These sources believe that shipping lines are working from incorrect assumptions in pursuing increases in freight rates.

South Africa’s citrus industry has already stated that the recent increases represent the single most important threat to the long-term sustainability of the industry.

Shipping lines have argued that despite higher freight rates they are still getting bookings from exporters. “They assume that this is because it remains financially viable for growers and exporters to ship at the higher freight rates,” commentators have said. “The reality is that this is not the case. 2021 was already an extremely difficult year for many in the industry. If one notes what is going on around you, you will see that many businesses have gone into business rescue or liquidation. Many companies survived to 2022 based on the reserves they had built from 2019/2020, in the hope that things would improve.”

South Africa’s unemployment rate dips to 34.5% (Daily Maverick)

The good news is that the unemployment rate is falling. The bad news is that it is still more than 34% against the backdrop of inflation as winter sets in. The latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey, from which the numbers are derived, also showed that the unemployment rate by the wider measurement – which includes discouraged jobseekers – fell to 45.5% from 46.2% previously. “These results indicate that 370,000 jobs were gained between the fourth quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022,” said Stats SA.

However, there were job losses in Private Households (186,000), Finance (72 000), Construction (60,000) and Agriculture (23,000). The total number of people employed was 14.9 million in the first quarter of 2022.”

“With expectations of decent citrus, summer grains and oilseeds harvests, and fairly good activity in other subsectors of agriculture, we believe primary agriculture employment could remain at these robust levels this year,” said Wandile Sihlobo, Chief Economist at the Agricultural Business Chamber, in a note on the data.

Namibia Pushes for Improved Bilateral Relationship with Nigeria (This Day)

Namibia has expressed its willingness to extend bilateral relationship with Nigeria. According to the country, it would use the hosting of the fifth session of the Namibia-Nigeria Joint Commission of Cooperation holding in Windhoek in August, 2022, to push for improved bilateral relationship between the two African countries. Addressing a press conference in Abuja, yesterday, the High Commissioner of Namibia to Nigeria, Mr. Humphrey Geiseb, said the present volume of trade between the two countries needed to be improved.

“In 2000, Namibia and Nigeria established the Namibia-Nigeria Joint Commission of Cooperation. In August 2022, Namibia will host the 5th Session of this Joint Commission to elaborate on mutually beneficial projects between Namibia and Nigeria. “This Joint Commission has stood the test of time and has provided a platform to execute great projects between our two countries.”

Geiseb added: “Presently, Namibia exports salt worth around $10 million a year to Nigeria and also some electronics. A factory to build Namibian electronics in Lagos is under way. Two Nigerian companies – Premier Charcoal in Outjo and King Charcoal in Walvis Bay – are operating in Namibia owned by Nigerian investors.”

He noted that: “There is tremendous potential for increasing trade. Definitely, Namibian producers can still export Salt and hopefully in future, Namibian grapes, dates, wine, and once restrictions are lifted, Namibian beef and lamb.

Namibia, USA to explore avenues to grow businesses further at upcoming annual trade mission (Namibia Economist)

The Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade (MIT) together with the Embassy of Namibia in Washington, DC, will host a USA delegation from 06 to 10 June. The visit is part of the Annual Trade Mission to Namibia headed by the Ambassador, Margaret Mensah-Williams. According to a statement, MIT is preparing to receive a multi-sectoral business delegation from the USA to explore and follow up on possible business opportunities locally. “The gathering aims to yield tangible results where the American businesses can explore the diverse opportunities existing in Namibia,” the MIT added. “We have an investment culture and we urge all local businesses to take advantage of such opportunities and grow opportunities at home,” the ministry added.

Meanwhile, the mission will promote trade and investment in the following sectors: Education; Mining and Mineral Beneficiation; Logistics and Container Terminal; Agriculture and Agro-processing; Low-cost Housing; Tourism and Hospitality; Water and Power Generation; Creative industry and Culture; Pharmaceutical and Medical supplies, including Herbal Medicine; Marine Resources; Natural Cosmetics, etc.

Namibia solidifies intent to be logistics gateway - Third and last section of the Windhoek to HKIA road gets off the ground (Namibia Economist)

The Minister of Works and Transport, John Mutorwa on Monday took part in the official groundbreaking ceremony for the upgrading to dual carriageway standards of Phase 2B of the Windhoek to Hosea Kutako International Airport road.

The project which forms part of Namibia’s regional trunk routes includes the construction of the 21.3 kilometres of the dual-carriage freeway, three interchanges, two river bridges and drainage structures.

“Namibia is positioned as a gateway for imports and exports to and from landlocked neighbours in the SADC region and the Chinese government is assisting us with strides in expanding our road network to achieve the goals for transport as set out in Vision 2030,” he said.

IMF Staff Completes 2022 Article IV Mission to Botswana (IMF)

“The 2022 Article IV consultation discussions take place in a context of high volatility in global commodities, and COVID-19 outbreaks in Botswana’s key trading partners. Commodity prices have surged following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. While higher demand for and prices of diamonds could result in some windfall for Botswana, higher food and energy prices will weigh on fiscal and external balances and threaten food security and energy affordability for the most vulnerable populations. At the same time, COVID-19 outbreaks in China, supply chain disruptions, and tighter financial conditions are projected to reduce global growth to 3.6 percent in 2022, from 6.1 percent in 2021.

Botswana’s economic recovery from the pandemic should continue into 2022 amid higher prices and demand for diamonds, good rainfall in some parts of the country and increasing international tourist arrivals. Growth is projected at 4.3 percent in the current year. Robust diamond production, favorable terms of trade, improvements in tourism, and smaller portfolio outflows should further strengthen Botswana’s external position. Buffers, particularly those held by the government, should continue to recover.

Flower exporters eye sea freight as air costs shoot up (Business Daily)

The high cost of shipping horticultural produce by air is now pushing traders to adopt sea freight which is relatively cheaper. Freighters from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) are charging $5.8 for a kilo of cargo, forcing exporters to seek other alternative means. The charges, argues chief executive officer of Kenya Flower Council Clement Tulezi, have made produce from countries like Ethiopia sell at competitive prices in the world market because of lower freight rates. For instance, Ethiopia is charging $2.5 for a kilo of produce shipped to the world market, making goods ferried by the carrier cheaper in the world market. The sea freight is projected to lower the cost to at least $2.8 a kilo. On Monday, the Kenya Flower Council (KFC) and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands signed a framework of cooperation that is set to accelerate the shift to sea freight for perishables in Kenya.

“It is however important to incorporate the supply chain requirements of perishable goods in new infrastructures. For instance, Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), ports, container depots as well as realising efficient customs clearance procedures of perishable goods leaving Kenya,” said the Flower Council.

Kenya: Current account deficit widens on import costs (Business Daily)

Kenya’s current account deficit as a percentage of GDP widened to 5.1 percent in April from 4.8 percent a year earlier, due to higher import costs for fuel, food and industrial goods that outweighed higher inflows from agriculture exports and diaspora remittances. The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has pushed up costs of key food items such as wheat, and also caused a jump in the price of crude oil in the international market. Oil prices, which had fallen to decades lows of $19 per barrel at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, have now gone up to $120.Constraints in the global supply system due to pent-up demand after the easing of Covid restrictions have also increased the cost of importing goods significantly.

“The wider deficit reflects a higher import bill, particularly for oil, which more than offset increased receipts from agricultural and services exports, and remittances,” said the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) in a market bulletin.

Horticulture exports decline by Sh2.8bn on avocado restrictions (Business Daily)

Horticulture exports retreated by Sh2.8 billion in the 12 months to April 2022, weighed down by lower avocado sales in a period when the country instituted export restrictions aimed at stopping sale of immature fruit. The latest data from Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) released yesterday shows that horticulture sales dipped to $1.04 billion (Sh121.9 billion) from $1.07 billion (Sh124.9) in the 12-months to April 2021.This was in contrast to other agriculture exports, where tea exports rose from $1.2 billion (Sh140 billion) to $1.22 billion (Sh142.4 billion), while coffee sales rose by $41 million (Sh4.8 billion) to $278 million (Sh32.5 billion). The increase in receipts from tea exports reflects improved prices attributed to demand from traditional markets, the CBK said. “We understand there were some problems in exports of avocados, which gave rise to this decline instead of the increase that we were expecting. But that problem has now been resolved, and we understand that now the exports are finding their way to the market,” said CBK governor Patrick Njoroge in a briefing.

The CBK also noted that manufacturing exports had underperformed in the period against expectations of much higher growth.

NEPC eyes $2.7tn African market through e-commerce (Punch Newspapers)

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, is targeting the $2.7 trillion African market through the instrumentality of e-commerce. Speaking at the launch of Agogo Africa supported by NEPC and African Union on Tuesday in Abuja, the Chief Executive Officer, NEPC, Dr Ezra Yakusak, said e-commerce had become a big industry, citing a report by an online platform, ecommercedb.com, which said that Nigeria was ranked 35th largest market for e-commerce globally and recorded a yearly growth of 42 per cent. The report, according to him, also noted that 26 per cent of Nigerians bought products online as at 2020.

 He said e-commerce was one of the fastest growing industries in the global economy, noting that the estimated yearly growth was put at 23 per cent and the industry was projected to hit $27 trillion by the end of this decade.

DRC needs to dig deeper in mines for electric cars battery minerals (The East African)

Electric vehicle (EV) sales hit a record high in 2021, accounting for 10 percent of all vehicles sold globally and putting a strain on the scarce minerals — cobalt, lithium and copper — needed to make their batteries. A report by Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) released on May 23 shows that 6.6 million electric vehicles were sold in 2021 bringing global sales to 16.5 million.

Pressure is now on mineral-rich countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to help meet growing demand for copper, cobalt and lithium, critical in producing electric vehicle batteries as sales rise in a push to meet the global net zero ambitions. “The rapid increase in EV sales during the pandemic has tested the resilience of battery supply chains, and Russia’s war in Ukraine has further exacerbated the challenge,” IEA said in the report.

The DRC, which produces about 68 percent of the world’s cobalt annually, and over 1.8 million tonnes of copper (the fourth-largest in the world) will now have to dig deeper into its mines to meet the growing demand.

Consider public interest in tariffs review —Chief of Staff implores PURC (GhanaToday)

The Chief of Staff at the Presidency, Madam Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, has advised the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) to consider the public’s interest in its impending tariffs review. Madam Frema-Opare said that even though there was the need to strengthen and regulate utility companies to become financially viable, there was the need to also consider the economic challenges facing Ghanaians amidst its multiyear tariffs review.

Sudan’s trade balance deficit nearly tripled in the past year (Radio Dabanga)

The deficit in the trade balance for the first quarter of this year rose to $1.22 billion, an increase of nearly two times over the same period last year when the deficit was $477 million, further threatening Sudan’s economy. According to a report by the Central Bank of Sudan, exports in the first quarter amounted to $1.39 billion and imports $2.62 billion.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga’s Sudan Today programme, Professor of Economics at El Nilein University in Khartoum Dr Hasan Bashir said that a significant rise in the trade balance deficit despite the end of the Covid-19 pandemic is an indication of the stifling crisis in the Sudanese economy. Dr Bashir explained that export volumes could have been 10 times the size of current exports and highlighted the continued smuggling of large quantities of gold from the country.

African trade news

The African Continental Free Trade Area – where are the new opportunities for South Africa’s traders? (SAIIA)

Trudi Hartzenberg is the Executive Director of the Trade Law Centre (tralac). She is responsible for development of the tralac strategy, resource mobilisation and engagement with African governments, regional, continental and international organisations. She currently serves on the WTO Chairs Advisory Committee and is a member of the Committee for Development Policy of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). She supports women’s economic empowerment: focusing on women traders in national and regional business associations, and also heads up SheGovernsTrade – an empowerment programme for young women trade policy makers. Her research areas include international trade, competition policy, industrial development and Africa’s integration agenda. She has a special interest in capacity building. She designs and delivers academic and tailored short courses, a broad range of trade-related topics, investment, competition policy and industrialisation.

Rwabwogo: We Must Rebuild Intra-Africa Trade Linkages to Cease Being ‘Supermarket for Products of the West’ (Softpower)

Odrek Rwabwogo, Special Presidential Advisor for Special Duties and Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Export and Industrial Promotion, has delivered a keynote address at the Uganda-DRC Business Summit currently ongoing in the Congolese capital Kinshasa. In his speech delivered Monday at Fleuve Hotel, Rwabwogo interested the over 200 participants in the investment opportunities in Uganda. He narrated how Uganda and DR Congo have traded with each other for so many years. “…That trade was so successful that many tribes joined and opened up the country to foreign trade.”

African Development Bank financing for Kenya roadway boosts local economy and regional integration (AfDB)

Kenya is making rapid progress in the construction of its part of the Great Trans-African highway that runs from Cairo in Egypt to South Africa’s Cape Town. The 84km Kenol-Sagana-Marua highway, which runs through central Kenya, is being upgraded from a single lane road to a dual carriageway. It is expected to be completed in six months, two years earlier than scheduled. The roadway connects Nairobi with major commercial and agriculturally important towns in central, upper eastern and northern Kenya. Plans for this section of the Great Trans-African highway began nearly 40 years ago. However, construction began only after the African Development Bank stepped in in 2019 to finance the project.

Africa’s resilience to economic shocks requires domestic solutions — Prof Urama (BusinessGhana)

Professor Kevin Chika Urama, Vice President for the Economic Governance and Knowledge Management Complex, African Development Bank (AfDB), has asked African Governments to focus on building their economic fundamentals through domestic solutions. This includes increasing domestic revenue mobilisation, building strong internal relationships and trade, and patronising made in African products. In addition, African countries must boost productivity and shift from being mainly producers of raw materials, create and indigenous stabilisation Fund and address leakages in its public financial management systems.

Prof Urama, who is also the Acting Chief Economist at AfDB, said, these would make African economies resilient against global shocks like the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia-Ukraine conflict and future shocks.

It would also make Africa, which is the second-largest and second-most populous continent in the world, have sustainable development, create jobs, particularly for its teaming youth and reduce poverty and inequalities.

UN Global Compact launches new hub for Africa (Africa Renewal)

The Africa Regional Hub will mobilize, accelerate and scale-up the impact of responsible business across Africa and drive forward the Africa Strategy 2021-2023 of the UN Global Compact.

With 1.3 billion people and a combined GDP of $3.5 trillion dollars, Africa is the world’s biggest growth market. African businesses are primed to play a pivotal role in the corporate sustainability movement. The UN Global Compact’s Africa Strategy 2021-2023 provides a roadmap to galvanize large and small businesses across Africa to uphold the Ten Principles. The UN Global Compact’s principles-based approach means that businesses operate in ways that, at a minimum, meet fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

Strengthening resilience in nutrition and food security in Africa (Africa Renewal)

For too long, nutrition, food security, conflicts, climate change, ecosystems and health have been treated as separate issues. But these global challenges are deeply interconnected. Conflict creates hunger. The climate crisis amplifies conflict. Economic insecurity is heightened by the pandemic and by inequalities in resources allocated for recovery. These problems are systemic; and they are getting worse. Decades of progress on hunger are being reversed. After improving steadily in all regions between 2000 and 2016, hunger has sharply increased in recent years. Over 281 million Africans – one in five – were undernourished in 2020. Sixty-one million African children are affected by stunting, which can impact their physical and mental health throughout their lives. As always, women and girls are the most affected. When food is short, they are often the last to eat; and the first to be taken out of school and forced into work or marriage.

The Three Issues That Will Make or Break the Prosper Africa Initiative (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)

The U.S. government’s Prosper Africa program, launched in 2019, aims to double two-way trade and investment between the United States and African countries and, in doing so, to put a new face on American foreign policy in Africa. Despite the initiative’s embrace by two separate administrations, it has so far been slow to live up to expectations. The Prosper Africa Act, a draft piece of bipartisan legislation put forward in the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, now languishes in Congress, overshadowed by other crises and attracting little attention. Allowing the legislation to expire is a mistake. To help ensure its success, the Prosper Africa Act’s sponsors should address three key issues around its scope, strategic positioning, and diaspora engagement.

Today’s shifting geopolitical landscape makes the goals of Prosper Africa more important than ever before. U.S.-Africa relations have historically focused on humanitarian and security concerns, but Africa’s major economies have grown rapidly and should play a much broader and more strategic role in U.S. foreign policy.

Recent disruptions in the global economy further reinforce the salience of Prosper Africa’s objectives. The increased financial flows and business engagement it envisions could be pivotal in helping African countries recover from massive economic shocks brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. They could also be essential for building infrastructure and public services to support economic transformations underpinning both U.S. and African interests, including clean energy transitions.

The success of Prosper Africa may ultimately depend on how the initiative and the draft bill in Congress put forward to back it address three key issues.

China’s pivotal role in supporting post-COVID growth in Africa (White & Case LLP)

2013 marked a pivotal milestone, as China overtook the United States (US) as the largest equity investor nation into the African continent, measured in terms of new foreign direct investment. Since 2000, all the African nations (except Eswatini) have conducted formal inter-government collaboration with China through FOCAC. In his keynote speech at the 8th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit in Senegal in November 2021, President Xi Jinping proposed that over the next four years, China and Africa should collaborate on: Fighting the COVID-19 pandemic Opening new prospects for China-Africa cooperation, expanding trade and investment, poverty reduction, strengthening cooperation on digital economies and promoting entrepreneurship by young Africans, and the development of small- and medium-sized enterprises Promoting green development in the face of climate change, working to implement the Paris Agreement and strengthening capacity for sustainable development Upholding equity and justice and promoting true multilateralism At this FOCAC summit, a “China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035” was published that specifies nine programs across a wide range of sectors earmarked for implementation during the first three years of this initiative.

In economic terms, 2013 marked a pivotal milestone, as China overtook the United States (US) as the largest equity investor nation into the African continent, measured in terms of new foreign direct investment (FDI flows). FDI flows to Africa from the European Union (EU) countries collectively continue to dwarf those of both China and the US, though. In 2020, the top African destinations of Chinese FDI were Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Ethiopia and Nigeria.

Trade between China and Africa has increased steadily in recent years. China has been Africa’s largest single national trading partner for the past 12 consecutive years, although trade between Africa and EU nations collectively continues to significantly exceed Africa’s trade with either China or the US. According to the latest data released by the General Administration of Customs of China, the total bilateral trade between China and Africa reached US$254.3 billion in 2021, up 35.3 percent from 2020, and African exports to China reached US$105.9 billion dollars in 2021, up 43.7 percent from 2020. The bulk of this trade is with only five countries: South Africa, Angola, Kenya, Nigeria and Egypt.

Japan-Africa relations critical to safeguard development gains as fallout from war in Ukraine (BusinessGhana)

United Nations Assistant-Secretary General and UN Development Programme’s Regional Director for Africa Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa highlighted the unique role government and private sector partners in Japan could play in support of African countries as the war in Ukraine generates new economic shocks across the continent. “We have never experienced a greater challenge or pressure on our ability to sustain development in Africa. Reinforced multilateralism and strong partnerships, including with Japanese government entities and private sector, will be decisive in supporting African countries’ aptitude to respond to the new economic shocks caused by the war in Ukraine, at a time when they were already reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ms Eziakonwa said. “This new crisis has direct implications including food and fuel price hikes, trade disruption, and overall macroeconomic instability, which indirectly will lead to economic stress that could trigger violent protests and unconstitutional transfers of political power, especially in already fragile regions.”

Global economy news

Trade Regionalization: More Hype Than Reality? (Harvard Business Review)

While experts have been predicting a shift away from global trade towards more regionalized patterns, recent data suggest a more skeptical take is in order: An analysis of trade data based on four different regional definition shows a clear trend toward less regionalized trade between 2003 and 2012, and no consistent trend in more recent years. Since 2004, trade flows have generally stretched over longer distances, a trend that increased during the pandemic. Looking forward, while geopolitical tensions, technological trends, and environmental concerns all have the potential to contribute to an increase in trade regionalization, other forces, such as decreased container shipping costs and the ongoing improvement of technologies that ease long-distance transactions, will continue to favor long-distance trade. When deciding whether to regionalize, leaders should focus on the economic fundamentals that have always guided such decisions.

or more than a decade, experts have been predicting a shift to more regionalized trade patterns, as companies adopt nearshoring strategies to produce goods closer to the markets where they will be sold. Many expected Covid-19 to turbocharge this trend. But recent data suggests a more skeptical take on trade regionalization. Trade flows have stretched out over longer distances, even during the pandemic. While trade regionalization may increase moving forward, we wouldn’t bet on a transformational shift from global to regional business.

Ground Handling Makes Progress Towards Standardization, Boosting Safety and Efficiency (IATA)

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported that the IATA Ground Operations Manual (IGOM) Portal and IATA’s Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) are successfully driving greater standardization of ground handling processes around the world. This is particularly important for the rapid build-up of operations as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. “IGOM and ISAGO complement each other in driving much-needed harmonization across the ground handling sector. And the boost in participation in both programs as the industry ramps up its operations is good news for both safety and efficiency. The aim of both is to reduce risk, avoid ground damage and enable standardized, sustainable operations,” said Monika Mejstrikova, IATA’s Director of Ground Operations.

“The goal is global adoption of ground handling standards. The efficiency and safety gains from global standardization have been proven throughout aviation’s development. The IGOM portal is helping achieve this by making it easier for airlines and GSPs to manage and monitor implementation of standards and to understand variances. With 69 organizations already using the portal the drive for greater standardization is getting a boost,” said Mejstrikova.

Gender equality is key to transform agrifood systems and fight hunger (FAO)

Overcoming gender inequality can play a key role in freeing the world from hunger and malnutrition, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), QU Dongyu, said today amid evidence that the food security gap between men and women has widened. “Women are key actors across agrifood systems, and key contributors to agricultural and rural development,” said Qu in his address to the inaugural High-Level Dialogue, which was brought together by the Food Coalition and was entitled The impact of global crises on food security: women as key agents in transforming agrifood systems. “But if we want to build agrifood systems that benefit all people, leaving no one behind, we must overcome gender inequality,” Qu added.

The Director-General also noted that women comprise nearly half of the rural workforce in low-income countries. Yet “everywhere, rural women face gender-based constraints that limit their potential,” Qu said.

Unlocking the Triple Returns from Social, Tech and Green Jobs (WEF)

New insights and initiatives at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2022 seek to launch a jobs recovery to strengthen resilience and dynamism in economies, businesses and societies in the midst of a turbulent outlook. Investing in education, health and care jobs can yield a triple dividend – boosting economic activity, expanding employment opportunities and generating social mobility. New modelling of the United States economy suggests that investing $1 in social jobs would yield a $2.3 return. The model estimates that $1.3 trillion in the social jobs of tomorrow could unlock $3.1 trillion in GDP returns and create 11 million jobs by 2030. These jobs include 4.2 million teaching jobs, 1.8 million jobs for personal care and service workers, and 900,000 jobs in healthcare. These are the key findings of the World Economic Forum’s new report Jobs of Tomorrow: The Triple Returns of Social Jobs in the Economic Recovery, published at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2022 today.

The report finds that the associated increases in productivity, increased GDP and tighter labour markets will lead to a parallel increase in real wages. Aided by technology and better skills, the jobs of tomorrow have the potential to lift living standards globally. After more than two years of turmoil in the global economy and a continued uncertain outlook, leaders need to support workers in pivoting towards a future which works for everyone. Higher wage, higher-quality, future-ready jobs are possible and benefit companies, workers and economies alike.

As many employers and workers seek a “new normal” after the disruptions of the past few years, there is an opportunity to develop a new vision for the future of work, one that is ready for the new economy and society. Five key issues have emerged that need to be addressed to ensure better work for workers and employers alike: volatility in wages and the cost of living; divergence on the demand for flexibility; silent pandemic in well-being; an erosion of diversity, equity and inclusion gains; and the need for a reskilling revolution.

IPCC Mitigation Report, 2022: What it Implies for Developing Countries (IDN IndepthNews)

There is no doubt that climate change needs to be addressed by all countries in a concerted manner. The fact remains, however, that there is a wide variance among countries both in terms of capacity to address and culpability for the problem. Developing and least developed countries are likely to suffer disproportionately the effects of climate change. The recently released IPCC report ‘Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change’, which is part of its Sixth Assessment Report, acknowledges this gap and unequivocally places the larger responsibility of mitigation on developed economies. While countries, rich and poor, are required to step up their mitigation efforts, reading the report from a developing economy perspective reveals that there are limitations and hindrances that these countries must overcome before they can adopt and implement the recommended measures.


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