tralac Daily News
Govt lodges WTO dispute over EU citrus import regulations (Engineering News)
The Permanent Mission of South Africa to the United Nations and other International Organizations has written to Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Joao Aguiar Machado to request consultations with the EU concerning the new regime governing the importation of citrus fruit from South Africa.
"These transgressions have already impacted an estimated 3.2-million cartons of citrus valued at R605-million, with reports of hundreds of containers of South African citrus being detained by authorities in the EU on arrival. Without immediate political intervention, the threat remains that these consignments will be destroyed by EU authorities.
"The local industry is still of the view that the cold treatment prescribed within the new regulations is contrary to scientific evidence, making it an arbitrary and unnecessarily trade restrictive measure and accordingly contravenes international requirements for such phytosanitary trade regulations," the organisation states.
AfCFTA: ActionAid advocates massive investment in agric to spur local consumption (Blueprint Newspapers Limited)
ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) has called for massive investment in the agriculture sector to boost domestic consumption, rural infrastructural development, and export promotion.
According to AAN, this will enable Nigeria to benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
In a paper presentation on State of Agriculture Budget Allocation across the 36 states and the FCT and gaps on ground at National Parliamentary Briefing on the 3rd Biennial Review (BR) Report in Abuja on Thursday, the Food and Agriculture programme coordinator AAN, Azubike Nwokoye also said the federal and state governments need to use the agriculture sector to remove Nigeria from the global list as the poverty capital of the world.
Kenya: Post-pandemic disruption will require governments to develop local capacity, decentralise manufacturing hubs, cut down on bureaucratic processes and red tape, and collaborate more with the private sector.
“The old theories about business being left alone, government doing their own regulation, supply chain management being left to private sector, quite frankly don’t hold,” said Dr Fred Matiang’i, cabinet secretary for the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government in the Republic of Kenya.
During a panel on global supply chains at the Qatar Economic Forum, Matiang’i warned governments that “remain steeped in bureaucracy” will worsen disruption moving forward. He suggested further decentralisation of manufacturing hubs, so countries are not dependent on a singular region avoiding disruption.
Zimbabwe exports rise 33% (Bulawayo24 News)
Zimbabwe's exports increased by 33% to US$3,5 billion in the first half of this year, from US$2,6 billion during the same period in 2021, driven by an increase in agriculture, mineral and manufactured exports, official data showed.
In his 2022 mid-term review and supplementary budget, Finance and Economic Development minister Mthuli Ncube projected exports to reach US$7,3 billion by year end.
"Merchandise exports and imports increased by 33% and 15% to US$3,5 billion and US$3,7 billion, respectively, during the first half of 2022, compared to the same period in 2021. To year end, exports are expected to reach US$7,3 billion, spurred by increases in mineral receipts benefiting from the mineral commodity price boom, as well as increases in agriculture and manufactured exports," he said.
Agriculture, trade, and technology to intersect at Code Cash Crop 3.0 (Techpoint Africa)
AFEX, Nigeria’s leading commodities market player, is holding the third edition of its Code Cash Crop event themed “The Role of Technology in Disrupting Agriculture Trade Infrastructure” at Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Friday, July 30, 2022, starting from 8:00 am through to 4:00 pm.
Code Cash Crop is an integration of technology, finance, and agriculture, sectors that AFEX interacts with and provides solutions for. Using technology and finance in agriculture will lead to innovative solutions that will help solve Africa’s food challenges and facilitate economic growth and poverty alleviation.
The organisers have also brought speakers from various sectors to drive the conversations around the three sectors and how they intersect.
Clearing Agents Seek Withdrawal Of Customs Bill Over AfCFTA Breach (Leadership News)
Nigeria: The National Council of Managing Director of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, to order the withdrawal of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) draft bill 2022 from the National Assembly, saying it does not reflect the Trade Facilitation Agreement (FTA) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) doctrines.
The president of NCMDLCA, Lucky Amiwero, said due to the importance of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) to the economy as an instrument that assists the federal government to formulate proper trade and fiscal policy direction, the draft bill must be withdrawn, reviewed and redrafted to accommodate the shortfalls of international conventions, treaties and protocol missing in the draft.
He said the conflicting 283 clauses in the Nigeria Customs Service bill will hinder trade, fiscal policy, international investment and protection of the international trade community.
Addis Ababa, 28 July 2022 - The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)’s led AfCFTA-anchored Pharmaceutical Initiative held a consultative meeting with Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (KAPI) on the 22nd July, 2022 at the Serena Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. The objective of the meeting was to introduce the AfCFTA-Anchored Pharmaceutical Initiative to KAPI as well as define collaborative roadmap between the two entities.
The meeting commenced with the AfCFTA-anchored Pharma Initiative National Consultant for Republic of Kenya, Dr. Edward Kamamia making a presentation in which he highlighted the historic events which led to the formation of the Pharma Initiative and took the meeting through a review of the global and regional framework and models which leveraged on the initiative’s three pillars, namely; Pooled-Procurement, localized Manufacture and Regulatory Quality & Standards of medicines.
The meeting ended with a commitment to support the AfCFTA-anchored Pharma Initiative on advocacy in ensuring quality standards of medicine and strengthening collaborative mechanisms on the 3 pillars of the initiative.
The Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) Policy Network (APN) has called for trading on to start to keep up the momentum among member countries.
Mr Louis Yaw Afful, Executive Director of APN, and a trade practitioner said even though AfCFTA had the potential to rake in some three trillion dollars for the continent, since it takes off in January 2021, not much trading had taken place under it.
The APN Executive Director, also mentioned that another challenge was customs management and procedures, as party states were supposed to pass their legislative instruments to enforce the agreement, which he noted was however slow.
A new manufacturing platform will provide unprecedented opportunities and access to accelerate the industrialisation of the African continent. Taking place in May 2023, Future Manufacturing Africa Trade Fair & Summit will gather local and international companies to showcase and demonstrate new technologies, machinery, and equipment to enable African industries to invest in to enable them to increase manufacturing output on their home soil.
Future Manufacturing Africa is collocated with the long-running Africa Automation Technology Fair (AATF), the continent’s most comprehensive and focused automation technology platform. Next year’s event from 9–11 May will be the 12th edition of the event that has been running for 25 years.
Trade exchange between Egypt and Somalia increased by 2.6% in 2021 to $67.5 million, compared to $65.8 million in 2020, according to a recent press release by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
The value of Egyptian exports to Somalia increased by 10.2% year-on-year (YoY) to $66.3 million last year from $60.1 million.
On the other hand, the value of Egypt’s imports from Somalia recorded $1.3 million in 2021, falling by 77.9% YoY from $5.7 million.
Kenya inks import deal with Ethiopia for hydro-power (Kenya Broadcasting Corporation)
Kenya Power has reached a deal for importation of hydro-electric power from Ethiopia under the Kenya-Ethiopia Electricity Highway Project.
The deal involves a transmission inter-connector linking the two nations’ power systems while also creating a pathway for countries within the East African region to trade electricity.
The commercial operations are envisaged to commence this November upon the joint testing and commissioning of the inter-connector.
Grade : D2
Organ : EAC Secretariat
Station : Arusha, Tanzania
The key purpose of this role is to ensure achievement of the EAC’s mission which is to widen and deepen economic, political, social and cultural integration through increased competitiveness, value added production, trade and investments. The Deputy Secretary General will be in charge of matters related to customs, trade and monetary Affairs in line with the Protocols and the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community. She/he will deputise and assist the Secretary General and provide strategic leadership for the development of overall strategies and implementation of projects and programs in the sectors in collaboration with the implementing ministries of the Partner States in line with the EAC Development Strategy.
Chairs Programme Conference concludes with call for enhanced cooperation with policymakers (World Trade Organization)
The WTO Chairs Programme (WCP) concluded its three-day annual conference on 27 July, wrapping up fruitful discussions on a wide range of trade-related issues, including sustainable trade, outcomes reached at the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12), future research priorities, training and outreach, and opportunities for collaboration within the WCP network and with policymakers.
From 25 to 27 July, a series of panel discussions and roundtables took place to discuss MC12 outcomes, in particular the decisions on the WTO's response to the COVID-19 crisis, the TRIPS waiver, food security and the Fisheries Subsidies Agreement.
At a dialogue session with WCP Chairs and Academic Advisory Board members, Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala laid out how new research projects could be developed to facilitate implementation of MC12 outcomes. The Director-General suggested that Chairs from countries with COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacities explore ways to help their governments foster the supply of vaccines to countries in need. The Chairs also have an important role to play in helping countries bring the Fisheries Subsidies Agreement and other MC12 results into effect and in providing new ideas for negotiators to tackle unsolved issues on overfishing and overstocking, she said.
WTO high-level event examines how international cooperation can tackle illicit trade (World Trade Organization)
Top officials of six global organizations have called for greater coordination among relevant national and international bodies in the fight against illicit trade in medical products, which puts the health and livelihood of people all over the world at risk. Speaking at a high-level roundtable on 27 July held at the Aid for Trade Global Review, they shared perspectives on activities they are undertaking and how they could engage in closer cooperation.
Participants agreed on the need to strengthen public awareness activities, to support developing countries in procuring legitimate medicines and to help them in the fight against illicit trade in medical products.
WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala outlined her long-standing concerns with illicit trade: “Time and again, we see how illicit trade is threatening people's health and livelihoods, and how it undermines legitimate business activity and abets corruption.”
The UK’s services sectors are being hamstrung by political neglect and a lack of attention in trade policy, a top City group warned today.
Nicola Watkinson, Managing Director, International Trade and Investment at industry group The CityUK, said it was “a little bizarre” that the UK services industry still had to fight for visibility and inclusion in trade policy despite making up some 80 per cent of economic output.
“Prioritise trade agreements with those countries that are likely to secure the greatest economic benefits for the UK. Put trade in services at the heart of all of these negotiations,” she said.
India got highest aid for trade from developed countries in 2020 (Business Standard)
India received the highest aid for trade in 2020 at $2.7 billion from developed countries even as the receipts declined during the pandemic year compared to $3.9 billion received in 2019.
The World Trade Organisation-led aid for trade flows is particularly meant for the least developed economies. It consists of official development support to build supply-side capacity and trade-related infrastructure to enable such countries to participate in international trade.
Bangladesh was the second largest recipient of the aid, followed by Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Vietnam, Pakistan, Morocco, Myanmar and Indonesia, among others. Institutions such as the World Bank, European Union Institutions, Asian Development Bank, and developed countries such as Japan, United States, Germany, France are among the top donors for the aid.
Anand Menon, Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at King's College London, said Brexit was “far from done” as he warned the “already strained UK-EU relations” could only get worse due to disagreements over the hated deal. He issued the warning to Tory leadership contenders Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak continue to battle it out for their place in Number 10.
Professor Menon told them the “most pressing issue” facing them when they get in to power is the Northern Ireland Protocol as the UK continues to threaten to scrap parts of the deal.
“This could prompt a trade war and would worsen already strained UK-EU relations, which are hampering cooperation in areas of mutual benefit such as the Horizon research programme.”
China's foreign trade bucks trend, sets new records (News Ghana)
According to customs statistics, China’s foreign trade of goods jumped 9.4 percent year on year in the first half of this year. The total imports and exports in May and June grew 9.5 percent and 14.3 percent, respectively, reversing the decline in growth in April led by the COVID-19 resurgence. The month-by-month growth signified a V-shaped rebound in China’s foreign trade and has laid a solid foundation for the whole-year performance.
While the growth picks up, the quality of foreign trade is also improving. The proportion of general trade continues expanding, and the trade with major trading partners is on a rise. Besides, foreign trade entities have become more active and there’s a steady growth in the imports and exports of major products. As of June this year, China’s foreign trade had recorded positive growth for eight consecutive quarters.
CHANGSHA- A total of 14 trade and economic cooperation projects and agreements worth nearly 170 million U.S. dollars were inked between China and various African countries on Thursday in central China's Hunan Province.
The deals, covering areas such as regional cooperation, strategic agreement, project financing, investment cooperation and trade procurement, were signed at the Promotion Conference for China (Hunan)-Africa Economic and Trade Cooperation, held in the city of Changsha.
The commerce departments of six Chinese provinces also jointly signed an agreement to advance economic cooperation and trade exchange with African countries at the conference.
Morocco, UK building thriving partnerships in trade, green finance (The North Africa Post)
Morocco and the United Kingdom are building thriving partnerships, including in trade, green finance and education, said the British Minister of State for Foreign Affairs for South and Central Asia, North Africa, the UN and the Commonwealth, Lord Tariq Ahmad.
“Our kingdoms are working together to deliver a shared vision of economies that are innovative and focused on building a sustainable future, resilient to the global challenges we all face,” Lord Ahmad said in a statement issued Thursday at the end of the visit he paid to Morocco July 25 to 27.
The British official praised the leadership of King Mohammed VI and the vision of reform set out in Morocco’s New Development Model, as well as Moroccan efforts to support growth, stability and adaptation to climate change in Africa.
LONDON, July 28, 2022 -- A new trade promotion campaign will target everywhere from Vancouver to Vanuatu as the Commonwealth Games kicks off in Birmingham.
It will spotlight businesses across the Commonwealth, showcasing why the UK is the best place in the world to invest, with our world-class talent, high spending consumer market and business-friendly regulatory landscape. It will also highlight our fantastic exporters to help stimulate global demand for British goods and services.
"This exciting campaign, reaching out to some nations for the first time, will raise awareness of the exciting opportunities to boost two-way trade, drive business and economic growth and support local communities."
The UAE and Kenya will soon start negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, the UAE Ministry of Economy said in a statement on Friday.
Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE minister of state for foreign trade, and Betty Maina, cabinet secretary, ministry of industrialization, trade and enterprise development, signed a joint statement in Nairobi announcing the intention to begin negotiations towards a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two countries.
Such an agreement will deepen trade and investment ties between Africa and the Middle East and boost the total value of UAE-Kenya non-oil bilateral trade, which grew to $2.3 billion last year.
Morocco's dynamic success has not gone unnoticed by the Global Policy Institute, an American think tank based in Washington, which has affirmed that the Kingdom can play an important role as a bridge between the United States and African economies.
In its article 'Business in Africa goes through Morocco', signed by Paolo von Schirach, the think tank's president, it highlights the choice of Morocco to host the US-Africa Business Summit that took place from 19 to 22 this month in Marrakech. Morocco's designation as host was not fortuitous, as the Kingdom has managed to develop and strengthen its political and commercial relations with several countries in the rest of the continent, particularly with sub-Saharan Africa.
For the Global Policy Institute, Morocco is already a "serious partner", capable of attracting US investment and playing an "essential role as a gateway and meeting point between the Americas and the economies of the African continent".
Referring to this US-Africa Business Summit organised by the Moroccan government, the think tank's president reported "real optimism" about the real opportunities for US investment in Africa, along with the partnerships that American companies are beginning to initiate with corporations on the African continent.
PHNOM PENH, July 29 -- The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade pact and the Cambodia-China Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) have provided wider exporting markets for Cambodia, officials said on Thursday.
Ly Thuch, president of Cambodia's National Committee for the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP), said thanks to these free trade agreements, Cambodia's total export to other RCEP member countries totaled 3.28 billion U.S. dollars in the first half of 2022, up 10 percent year-on-year.
"Overall, these positive developments have transformed Cambodia into a more important and potential center for production, businesses and investments in the region, with larger and more competitive exporting markets for investors from all over the world," he said in a speech at the Policy Dialogue on the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2022.
Dry Bulk Market: Coal Trade a Boon for Bulkers (Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide)
Coal imports of up to 40 million tons, coming into the EU from Russia, need to be replaced from other sources. This could present a significant opportunity for the dry bulk market. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Intermodal said tha “amid the upcoming ban on Russian coal from the EU, which will be in full effect on August 10th, EU nations have been accelerating their coal imports as a direct reaction to the threat of a reduction in gas supply from Russia. The ban comes at a time when coal trade is already tight. As a result, thermal coal prices have been surging on the back of tight supply and geopolitical tensions”.
According to Intermodal’s Research Analyst, Ms. Chara Georgousi, “considering that the EU was importing approximately 35-40mn tonnes/year from Russia, these cargoes need to be supplied from elsewhere, namely US, Australia, South Africa, and Colombia. US accounts for the largest exporter of thermal coal to Europe at the moment, with exports surging to 11.2mn tonnes during 1H22, noting a 91.6% y-o-y increase. Amid intensified sanctions, US Government is exerting pressure on miners to increase production, therefore, trade flows from US to EU ports (mainly Netherlands and Germany) are expected to increase within 2H22”.
Iranian trade with China on the rise (Al-Monitor)
Iranian state media today reported a significant increase in the Islamic Republic’s trade with China.
Iranian exports to China rose 31% from January to June of 2022, reaching around $4.1 billion. Chinese exports to Iran also increased 16%, amounting to approximately $4.2 billion, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. Why it matters: Iran’s relations with the People’s Republic have been improving for some time. Iran is currently seeking to join the so-called BRICS alliance featuring China, Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa.
UK-GCC Trade Deal Could Be A Boon For Renewables (OilPrice.com)
As part of plans to expand and diversify its global trade partners, the GCC has launched negotiations with the UK on a free trade agreement that is expected to bolster the bloc’s economy, help attract investment and provide greater opportunities for local businesses.
The talks, which followed months of exploratory discussions, are focused on securing a free trade agreement that would reduce or remove tariffs on a series of goods and services.
While there is no official timeline for the completion of the deal, UK and GCC policymakers hope to launch the first round of negotiations in the third quarter of this year, with local and international media reporting that both sides are hopeful of securing a deal before the end of 2023.
Kyrgyzstan enterprises gain more opportunities on trade and export to EU market (Times of Central Asia)
BISHKEK — Six trainers were trained in digital presentation skills and facilitation techniques through the Ready4Trade Central Asia (R4TCA) project of the International Trade Center (ITC), funded by the European Union (EU). Kyrgyz enterprises now have the opportunity to learn more easily about international trade rules, the export process, EU market requirements, and quality and compliance standards, the Delegation of the European Union to the Kyrgyz Republic reported.
The essence of the event is to train trainers who come from the faculty of the Kyrgyz Economic University (KEU), which is the institutional partner of the "Support for Inclusive Development through Trade and Digitalization" component of the R4TCA project, in facilitation skills for these digital workshops.
The methodology offered by the International Trade Center is very unique in its nature and in the way it communicates information to students, has been tested in all five Central Asian countries, and has shown to be highly effective, being already well received by entrepreneurs.