tralac Daily News
This year’s Nation Brand Forum will be held from the 4th to 6th of October under the theme “an inclusive partnership to rebuild the economy and drive the nation’s competitiveness”. The theme aims to foster collaborative partnerships between business stakeholders who contribute to growing the economy of the country and help position South Africa as an attractive investment destination. The three-day event will consist of a youth symposium, roundtable side-events with various stakeholders, including the media, and private sector open plenaries, focusing on key drivers of trade, investment and sustainability.
The forum will also host spotlight sessions on best practices on nation branding, youth empowerment and development, as well as how to leverage opportunities presented by the newly established African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The World Bank approved a $58 million International Development Assistance (*IDA) grant to help lay the foundation for the future development of Somalia’s transport infrastructure. Somalia will develop a pipeline of projects and establish the capacities to plan for, implement, and manage the sector.
The Somalia – Horn of Africa Infrastructure Integration Project will benefit from an additional $5 million investment from the Horn of Africa (HoA) Initiative Multi-Donor Trust Fund which seeks to foster economic trade and integration in the Horn. The project will contribute to the overarching objective of the HoA Program Series of Projects which is to enhance connectivity among the HoA countries and access to seaports; facilitate domestic and regional trade and economic integration; and improve road safety.
The second Women Economic Assembly (WECONA) is expected to bring together the private sector, including businesswomen, government, and civil society to transform the economic landscape in South Africa.
WECONA, which is held for the second time this year, will take place in Pretoria on 5 and 6 October 2022.
The assembly will be held under the theme, 'Unlocking gender-responsive value chains for a resilient economy', with a focus on showcasing how the public and private sectors have implemented their commitment towards gender transformation in industry value chains.
Energy, commodities imports deepen Morocco's trade deficit (The North Africa Post)
Morocco’s trade deficit deepened 56% to 215 billion dirhams ($20 billion) up to August amid soaring prices of refined energy products, wheat and ammonia in the international market.
Energy imports increased 128% to 103 billion dirhams in the first eight months this year, partly because Morocco imports all of its refined gas and fuel oils, the foreign exchange office said.
Overall, imports increased 43% largely outweighing exports which also rose 37%.
Kenya 'effectively' lifts ban on genetically modified crops (The Associated Press)
Kenya’s new president says the Cabinet has “effectively” lifted the country’s ban on openly cultivating genetically modified crops, reversing a decade-old decision as the East African country struggles with food security and a deadly drought.
“Open cultivation and importation of White (GMO) Maize is now authorized,” the presidency statement said Monday, after years of concerns in Kenya and much of the African continent over the safety of genetically modified foods.
Earlier this year, the United States via its trade representative’s office criticized Kenya over its ban and the effects on U.S. agricultural exports to East Africa’s commercial hub. The ban also affected food aid, the office asserted in its annual report published in March.
Trade, Industry and Competition Minister, Ebrahim Patel, has opened the 9th session of the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Joint Economic Commission (JEC) and the South Africa-Saudi Arabia Trade and Investment Forum in Pretoria.
The forum aims to provide South African and Saudi Arabian companies with a strategic platform to engage on bilateral trade and investment opportunities in both markets, while simultaneously affording them access to senior decision-makers and stakeholders.
Patel told the forum – which was attended by delegations of business people from both countries – that South Africa presents an array of investment areas, from manufacturing to pharmaceuticals.
Tanzania, 3rd October, 2022: The East African Community (EAC) is setting up a Diaspora desk that will focus on facilitating East Africans living in the diaspora to invest and trade in the region.
The Secretary General was speaking during the East Africa 17th Annual Trade and Investment Conference, organized by the East Africa Chamber of Commerce in Irving, Texas – USA. The meeting saw hundreds of East Africans residing across the USA and East African-focused investors, converge to explore areas of investment and deliberate on solutions to overcome investment and trade challenges.
The diaspora community highlighted a lack of trust in local financial institutions as one of the challenges deterring investment in East Africa. Dr. Mathuki responded by urging them to establish financial institutions such as an EAC diaspora bank, located in one EAC’s Partner States, where they can access credit and transact business.
Addis Ababa, 3 October 2022 (ECA): A new report reveals persistent barriers in the digital finance sector that limit women’s economic empowerment in Africa, while recommending policy responses to overcome them.
Commissioned by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the latest edition of the biennial African Women’s Report was published today. The report analyses the digital finance ecosystem in Africa to examine all its components and how they impact women’s economic prospects.
The report outlines 10 policy responses for governments to consider in ensuring their national digital ecosystem supports, not challenges, women’s economic empowerment.
Within the framework of the 2020-2024 Priority Action Plan to eradicate Terrorism in the ECOWAS Area, in particular in its component 4 relating to the strengthening of border management and security controls at land, air, sea and river, and of the Action Plan for the implementation of the ECOWAS Integrated Maritime Strategy (SMIC), the ECOWAS Commission and the Ports Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA/ AGPAOC) have developed technical cooperation activities and capacity building and tools for stakeholders in the maritime and port safety and security system.
In this context, the ECOWAS Commission is organizing training on “the International Code for the Security of Ships and Port Installations (ISPS) and the upgrading of ports to enhance maritime and port safety and security. in West Africa”. This training will take place at the PMAWCA/AGPAOC Professional Training Center (CFP), located in Cotonou, Benin, from October 3 to 14, 2022.
African sub-sovereign government leaders urged to take ownership of the AfCFTA (African Export-Import Bank)
Abuja, 3 October 2022 – The second edition of the African Sub-sovereign Governments Network (AfSNET) conference, held on 30 September 2022 in Abuja, Nigeria, unanimously called on African sub-nationals to play their full role in facilitating the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
While commending Afreximbank and NGF for “demonstrating innovative thinking by taking the AfCFTA to the grassroots”, H.E. President Muhammadu Buhari said the AfSNET initiative, “if properly harnessed, is a significant step for Africa to begin carving its own niche in the global value chain, from the constituent units up.”
“This complements broader programmes such as the African Continental Free Trade Area, which remains one of the most strategic pan African agenda to deliver inclusive and sustainable development,” he said, calling upon the leaders of African Sub-Sovereign Governments to accelerate their involvement in facilitating the implementation of the AfCFTA.
Afreximbank launches academy for skilling businesses (New Vision)
The Executive Vice President of the Intra-African Trade Bank (INATB), Kanayo Awani, has expressed optimism about the newly launched first Africa Academy aimed at building skills of the business community within Africa.
The training programme is provided jointly by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and Afreximbank and is designed to prepare African enterprises to take maximum advantage of intra-African trade and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Addressing the press on the sidelines of a three-day Afreximbank Trade Finance Seminar 2022 (ATFS2022) which opened in Kampala Uganda, Awani stressed that the academy will offer efficiency, quality and certification of trained members.
The African Development Bank had several productive engagements around its strategic priorities at the just concluded 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meetings in New York.
African Development Bank Group President Dr Akinwumi Adesina led the bank’s delegation to the meetings and played an active part in discussions leading to an international declaration to end malnutrition and stunting.
The bank’s engagements reflect its strategic priorities as African countries, which it supports, struggle with the lingering impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as food and fuel price spikes arising from Russia’s war in Ukraine, and climate change.
Trade and Development Report 2022 (UNCTAD)
The world is headed towards a global recession and prolonged stagnation unless we quickly change the current policy course of monetary and fiscal tightening in advanced economies.
Supply-side shocks, waning consumer and investor confidence and the war in Ukraine have provoked a global slowdown and triggered inflationary pressures.
All regions will be affected, but alarm bells are ringing most for developing countries, many of which are edging closer to debt default. Climate stress is intensifying, with mounting loss and damage in vulnerable countries who lack the fiscal space to deal with disasters, let alone invest in their own long-term development.
WTO, WCO publication looks at how new technologies can assist cross-border trade (World Trade Organization)
A joint publication entitled “Study Report on Disruptive Technologies” was launched by WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and World Customs Organization (WCO) Secretary-General Kunio Mikuriya at a virtual event today (3 October). The publication reviews how so-called disruptive technologies, such as blockchain, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and machine learning, can help to improve the conduct of international trade and border management.
The report, a follow-up to an edition published by WCO in 2019, notes the benefits of disruptive technologies for Customs administrations and international traders. However, there are still opportunities for broader implementation, the report underlines, highlighting the challenges and opportunities associated with the adoption of these technologies.
The publication can be found here.
It’s assumed that deepening Taiwan’s economic ties first to the West and then the global economy through trade deals with the United States, as well as with other Asian countries and Europe, would significantly raise the stakes for China. The thinking is that could convince Beijing against any military attack on the self-governing island because of the likely risk of being punished by Western sanctions.
Given how dependent on foreign trade China continues to be, particularly for imports of natural gas, food and advanced technologies like semiconductors, it is hoped that fear of a lasting and severe sanctions response would act as a deterrent on Beijing and indefinitely preserve the status quo in cross-strait relations.
The Biden administration is essentially pursuing parallel regional trade talks, with the U.S.-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity – launched earlier this year with participation from 14 countries including Japan, South Korea, and Australia – and with a separate bilateral trade path for Taiwan.
BEIJING, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Given China's economic resilience and pivotal position in the global economy and supply chains, the "decoupling from China" rhetoric is not only unrealistic, but also short-sighted, experts have said.
As the world's second-largest economy, China plays a significant role in the global supply chains and will be crucial to the world's economic recovery, said Wichai Kinchong Choi, senior vice president of Kasikornbank, a leading Thai bank.
The Arab Federation for Digital Economy and Distichain signed a memorandum of understanding in the presence of His Excellency Dr. Ali M. Al Khouri, Chairman of the Federation.
The agreement aims to adopt digital technology solutions to enable export activities and support digital transformation in the areas of cross-border digital trade and between companies, with the aim of providing more support and strengthening the free trade agreement in the Arab region and linking with a wide international network of trading partners and logistics service providers. This agreement also aims to enable flexible connectivity between supply chains and promote the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba held talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Senegal Aïssata Tall Sall as part of the first tour of African countries in the history of Ukrainian diplomacy.
"Within the framework of the African strategy, Ukraine deepens relations with the countries of the African continent. It is symbolic that the first stop on my African tour was Senegal, an important country that currently presides over the African Union. Together with my colleague Aïssata, we agreed today to open a new chapter of mutually beneficial cooperation between Ukraine and Senegal," Kuleba said. In this context, the ministers discussed steps to intensify cooperation in the fields of IT, digitalization, cyber security, trade, and education. Senegal’s FM thanked the Government of Ukraine for organizing the safe evacuation of Senegalese students from war zones.
USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development) announced it will partner with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to launch a new initiative that will help protect consumers and increase competition in countries across Africa. This initiative will strengthen legal and regulatory frameworks and the institutional capacity to ensure that the benefits of the digital economy are not undermined by anti-competitive, unfair, or deceptive practices.
Robust frameworks for competition and consumer protection are indispensable foundations for partner countries seeking to promote inclusive economic growth, sustain economic competitiveness, promote gender equality and equity, support resilient democratic institutions, and strengthen the rule of law.
Stanbic IBTC Holdings, a member of Standard Bank Group has continued to serve as a connecting link in facilitating trade transactions between Nigerian and Chinese importers, thereby fostering international trade.
As part of its efforts to boost trade relations between the two nations, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, through its banking subsidiary has developed several solutions towards boosting favourable business deals and trade relationships between Nigerian business owners and their Chinese counterparts.
One of the initiatives through which Stanbic IBTC Bank has been redefining trade relations between Nigeria and China is the ACTS propositions, aimed at allowing African enterprises to explore new markets, expand their customer base and create a mutually beneficial relationship between the two countries.
The total value of EU agri-food trade has increased by 24% within one year, reaching €34 billion in June 2022, according to the latest edition of the monthly EU agri-food trade report.
Exports reached €19.5 billion, while imports were valued at €14.5 billion, which reflects a 19.5% and a 31% increase respectively. Trade surplus stood at €5.1 billion, up 33% from May.