Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

Local news

President Ruto flags off Kenya tea to Ghana under AfCFTA trade initiative (Kenya Broadcasting Corporation)

President Ruto spoke at the Kenyatta International Convention Center in Nairobi on Wednesday when he flagged off the first consignment of Kenyan tea destined for Accra, Ghana, under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) guided trade initiative.

The Head of State noted that for a long time Kenya has helped other countries to brand their tea with the good quality Kenyan tea, saying that practice must change.

The President added that in the next five years Kenya’s value added tea for export must rise from 5 per cent to 50 per cent at the minimum, noting that competitors are producing approximately 60 percent of what Kenya produces but earn three times because they are adding value to their tea.

UNDP supports AfCFTA implementation (Namibian)

The Namibia Trade Forum is conducting countrywide visits to create awareness on the country's trade policy and market access potential linked to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) financial specialist Sophia Nambahu said the AfCFTA holds potential for Namibians to access larger markets for their export goods, improved employment opportunities and thereby improved living standards. Nambahu said UNDP partnered with Namibia to assist with the implementation of the trade agreement by finalising the trade in goods and trade in services policies, and the national AfCFTA implementation strategy.

We must expand link between Ghana's raw materials with industrial needs (News Ghana)

Dr Kodjo Esseim Mensah-Abrampa, Director General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), has underscored the need to expand link between the country’s raw materials with its processing and industrial needs.

Dr Mensah-Abrampa made the call during the 2022 Regional Annual General Meeting of the Eastern, Volta and Oti Branch of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) held in Worawora, on the theme, “Promoting Local Economic Development for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).”

“Investors must be able to identify the raw materials and invest along the chain, assuring them of ready market internally and externally,” Dr Mensah-Abrampa said.

Nigeria: Effective air connectivity key to unlocking African tourism – Minister (P.M. News)

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said effective air connectivity within Africa is key to unlocking the potentials of tourism in the continent.

“There is no doubt that air transportation is pivotal for any international tourism development (more so in Africa), owing to the need for tourists to move to the product destination. Air travels continue to be the dominant mode of travel for international tourists, accounting for over 50% of all international arrivals.

Reeling out statistics to back his assertion, the Minister, who also listed unfavourable visa regimes, insecurity, high cost of air transport and low quality of tourism support services among other factors hindering the growth of tourism in Africa, said Africa’s share of global international arrivals remains a paltry 5%.

Egypt inks deal to modernize Suez Canal Economic Zone (CGTN Africa)

The Suez Canal Economic Zone has signed a contract with a multi-national company that deals in infrastructure to develop and operate a customs and logistics center. The deal will see the modernization and improvement of the infrastructure at one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. The deal was signed between the Suez Canal Economic Zone and Agility, a supply chain services, infrastructure and investment leader, to develop and operate a customs and logistics center in the Suez Canal Economic Zone.

The project is aimed at turning the zone into a global logistics hub, and improve the flow of goods and commodities and bring efficiency and lower costs to international companies and investors operating there.

Ghanaian logistics startup Swiftly aims for funding to scale internationally (Disrupt Africa)

Ghanaian logistics startup Swiftly has bootstrapped its way to a solid market presence in its home market since its launch, but is now seeking capital to help it expand internationally.

“Shipping rates directly affect everything we use, and so price is important to businesses. International shipping is mostly expensive and cumbersome due to low-tech, outmoded processes, five times more so for Africa trade lanes,” CEO Edem Dotse told Disrupt Africa. 

“We want to Introduce our unique shared shipping model to the US, China and Europe, and launch a collective purchasing service to allow importers to Africa to negotiate in groups and enjoy associated price benefits and logistics benefits,” Dotse said.

African trade and integration

Afreximbank, NGF, AfSNET Commit to Smooth Implementation of AfCFTA (THISDAY Newspapers)

The second African Sub-Sovereign Governments Network (AfSNET) conference has affirmed the need for sub-sovereign governments in Africa to institute local mechanisms that would enhance the smooth implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The AfSNET, which was convened last month in Abuja, Nigeria by the Nigerian Governors Forum and the African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank) under the theme “African Sub-Sovereign Governments Network-Championing Africa’s Development,” also observed that enunciating policies on quick wins and areas where sub-sovereign governments have competitive advantage could help to build the early momentum required to optimise gains and opportunities under AfCFTA.

The conference also called for the development of the technical capacities of the operators of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), to boost their competitiveness and their integration into the intra-African trade value chain. The communiqué of the AfSNET conference said that the removal of tariff and non-tariff trade barriers, including difficulties in securing visas and travelling within the continent, would be critical to fostering the movement of goods and services across the continent.

Egyptian investors eye Kenya's manufacturing sector (newsaf.cgtn.com)

The Egyptian business community is keen to invest in Kenya's manufacturing sector to boost the industrialization agenda of the east African nation, a government official said on Wednesday.

Khaled el Abyad, Egyptian Ambassador to Kenya said in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, that bilateral investment and trade partnerships need to extend beyond the traditional agricultural products.

"Egyptian companies are exploring opportunities such as joint ventures, technology, and skill transfer programs with their Kenyan counterparts, especially in the area of manufacturing," Abyad said during the Egypt-Kenya business bridge forum.

Global economy

Trade growth to slow sharply in 2023 as global economy faces strong headwinds (World Trade Organization)

World trade is expected to lose momentum in the second half of 2022 and remain subdued in 2023 as multiple shocks weigh on the global economy. WTO economists now predict global merchandise trade volumes will grow by 3.5% in 2022—slightly better than the 3.0% forecast in April. For 2023, however, they foresee a 1.0% increase—down sharply from the previous estimate of 3.4%.

Import demand is expected to soften as growth slows in major economies for different reasons. In Europe, high energy prices stemming from the Russia-Ukraine war will squeeze household spending and raise manufacturing costs. In the United States, monetary policy tightening will hit interest-sensitive spending in areas such as housing, motor vehicles and fixed investment. China continues to grapple with COVID-19 outbreaks and production disruptions paired with weak external demand. Finally, growing import bills for fuels, food and fertilizers could lead to food insecurity and debt distress in developing countries.

"Policymakers are confronted with unenviable choices as they try to find an optimal balance among tackling inflation, maintaining full employment, and advancing important policy goals such as transitioning to clean energy. Trade is a vital tool for enhancing the global supply of goods and services, as well as for lowering the cost of getting to net-zero carbon emissions," Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said.

UNCTAD and World Customs Organization enhance cooperation (UNCTAD)

UNCTAD and the World Customs Organization (WCO) have expanded their decade-long cooperation to include more areas of work. UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan and her WCO counterpart Kunio Mikuriya signed a memorandum of understanding on 4 October, updating the two organizations’ previous agreement from 2013.

The new agreement will boost customs modernization by enabling interoperability between UNCTAD’s Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) programme and various WCO projects.

Policy mistakes could trigger worse recession than 2007 crisis (Modern Diplomacy)

The world is headed towards a global recession and prolonged stagnation unless fiscal and monetary policies holding sway in some advanced economies are quickly changed, according to a new report released on Monday by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). “There is still time to step back from the edge of recession,” said UNCTAD chief Rebeca Grynspan.

UNCTAD is warning that the policy-induced global recession could be worse than the global financial crisis of 2007 to 2009. Excessive monetary tightening and inadequate financial support could expose developing world economies further to cascading crises, the agency said.

An anatomy of the impact of COVID‐19 on the global and intra‐commonwealth trade in goods (Wiley)

The COVID-19 pandemic generated a global shock of unprecedented magnitude, with a devastating effect on international trade flows (WTO, 2020a). This followed from disruption of economic activity as a consequence of lockdowns, travel restrictions, international border and port closures, and other virus-containment measures resulted in a macroeconomic shock. Several accounts indicate that 2020's global recession has been the worst since 1930 (Blake & Wadhwa, 2020; Hevia & Neumeyer, 2020). The pandemic affected trade flows along both supply and demand channels (Lakatos, 2020). In 2020, global trade flows collapsed on average by around 8% (WTO, 2020b); that impact, however, has varied across countries and regions, largely depending upon the level of development, trade structure, stringency of containment measures, and governments' capacity to implement policies supporting business and households.

Read the rest of this open access article here

India: Govt considering forming units to build expertise in Free Trade Agreements (Business Standard)

The Department of Commerce is considering the formation of dedicated units called "subject matter divisions" to build expertise in industries like services, agriculture, medicines, trade remedies, and digital trade as part of a more aggressive approach to free trade agreements, Livemint reported. India wants to be able to negotiate agreements with other nations at the World Trade Organization from a position of strength.

A government official said that the move aims to participate in negotiations fully prepared. With the free trade agreements being comprehensive nowadays, it is important to have experts from different domains, who have insights and so it is important to bring in people, if required, from outside the bureaucracy, the official added. India is negotiating a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) with the UK, EU, and Canada while it has already struck a free trade agreement with the UAE and an interim accord with Australia.

From landlocked to landlinked: Uzbekistan at the heart of Eurasian trade (IRU)

Transport sector leaders have come together in Tashkent to talk trade facilitation and Uzbekistan's critical role in developing and digitalising Eurasian logistics chains.

The recent “International Road Transport: Challenges and Opportunities” conference in Tashkent, organised by IRU member AIRCUZ, focused on the growing role of Uzbekistan as a pivotal transit country and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto, who spoke in the opening session of the event, said, “Uzbekistan is a key crossroads in Central Asia and has been a trade hub for people and goods for thousands of years. And today, by turning itself from a double-landlocked to a landlinked country, Uzbekistan’s forward-looking vision is helping the sector to keep trade moving.

77% of EU companies sourcing abroad do it in the EU (European Commission)

In the last two decades, many European enterprises have engaged in international sourcing, which refers to the cross-border movement of jobs previously performed domestically, within the enterprise. Enterprises may engage in international sourcing for various reasons, such as cost reduction or to increase competitiveness. 

Eurostat’s experimental statistics on Global Value Chains (GVCs) and international sourcing show policy-relevant information such as the EU's integration in global value chains, the movement of EU jobs to extra-EU countries and the motivation behind this movement of jobs.

Data for 2018 – 2020 show that most international sourcing of European enterprises takes place from one EU Member State to another: 77% of all EU enterprises sourcing abroad sourced from other EU Member States, underlining the importance of the European Single Market. In other words, when EU jobs are moved to another country, they are more likely to stay within the EU.

Taiwan currently exploring new investment opportunities in Nigeria's manufacturing, others - Envoy (Businessday)

Taiwan’s Ambassador to Nigeria and Representative, Taipei Trade Office Andy Yih-Ping Liu, has disclosed that Taiwanese investors are currently looking to expand investment in Nigeria. The investors are looking to set up manufacturing plant and other businesses, in a bid to boost trade between both countries. Liu, made this known at the ongoing 17th Abuja International trade fair organised by the Abuja Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and also sponsored by the Taiwanese government.

“Our companies have started examining future investment opportunities. In the past one and half months, we already had two major delegations from Taiwan to explore the investment opportunities,” he said.


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