Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

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Trade and Industry on measures to restrict scrap metal trade (South African Government)

Government today announced details of targeted measures to address the theft of public infrastructure for resale as scrap metal that causes more than R47 billion damage annually to the economy. The measures involve prohibition of export of scrap copper and ferrous metal for a six month period, which will be followed by a system to regulate trade in such metals. In future phases, new measures will be introduced including prohibiting the use of cash in copper and scrap metal transactions, following legislative amendments; and limiting exports to a defined number of ports of exit.

Announcing the measures this morning, four Cabinet members outlined the rationale for the measures. The Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr Pravin Gordhan noted that cable theft had resulted in a R2bn loss in revenue for Transnet in 2021 while about 742 kilometres of Eskom cable had been stolen leading to significant additional electricity disruption. The Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele indicated that 20 multi-disciplinary Economic Infrastructure Task Teams had been established since June 2022 and were fully operational with over 3,000 operations and 1,946 arrests in the course of 2022.

Trade Statistics for October 2022 | South African Revenue Service

SARS today releases trade statistics for October 2022 recording a preliminary trade balance deficit of R4.31 billion attributable to exports of R159.61 billion and imports of R163.92 billion. Exports decreased by R32.67 billion (-17.0%) between September and October 2022 and imports decreased by R2.19 billion (-1.3%) over the same period.

Vehicle sales, exports surge; Naamsa NEV document ready for December release (Engineering News)

Domestic new-vehicle sales in November recorded an eleventh consecutive month of year-on-year growth. Total sales increased by 18.2%, to 49 413 units, compared with the same month last year. New-vehicle exports surged by 64.7%, to 34 310 units.

Year-to-date vehicle export numbers are now 17.9% ahead of the corresponding period last year, at 326 516 units.

Duty-free maize import to wait till February, says Linturi (Business Daily)

The government will not import duty-free maize until February next year, Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi has told Parliament. The importation window will be opened on February 1, 2023, and will remain in place until April 31, 2023.Registered millers will, however, continue to import wheat under the prevailing 10 per cent duty remission scheme and rice at the prevailing duty rates to complement maize supplies.

Mr Linturi said the Ministry of Agriculture has prepared a Cabinet memorandum seeking authorisation to import 900,000 tonnes or 10 million bags of maize duty-free. This comes just a few days after Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria said farmers are hoarding 20 million bags of maize from this season’s main crop season.

Mr Kuria had announced the government will be opening up a duty-free window for maize imports to bridge the deficit.

We have nothing to do with maize import, says trading corporation (Business Daily)

The Kenya National Trading Corporation (KNTC) has distanced itself from claims that it is behind the importation of 10,000 metric tonnes of maize that arrived at the port of Mombasa last week. KNTC managing director Pamela Mutua told Parliament that the corporation has not made any import orders for maize and that after inquiries on the docked vessel bearing the grain, the corporation was informed that it was shipped in by a UN agency for relief supplies for the East Africa region.

The ship carrying the maize arrived at the port just days after the State said it would open a duty-free window for the importation of the produce. “We have not imported any maize. There have been claims that the 10,000 metric tonnes of maize that landed in the port of Mombasa belong to us. That is not true,” Ms Mutua told the Trade committee of the National Assembly. MPs from maize-growing areas have opposed the importation of the grain at the time farmers are harvesting the long rains season crop.

How UK’s post-Brexit trade setup can benefit Tanzania (The Citizen)

Members of the British business community are engaging their counterparts in Tanzania to ensure that the country makes effective use of the UK’s new market access for developing countries. The Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS), which comes into effect early next year, offers developing countries generous access to the UK market. Introduced after the UK officially exited the European Union in 2020, the DCTS applies to 65 countries, offering lower tariffs and simpler rules of origin requirements for exporting to Britain.

And, with the clock ticking before the arrangement takes effect, a business forum involving public institutions and companies from the UK and Tanzania took place in Dar es Salaam yesterday. It sought to strengthen trade and investment relations and put Tanzania on the right path to grabbing the opportunities that will come with the DCTS arrangement.

Why substandard products export persist – SON (Daily Trust)

The Director General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mallam Farouk Salim, has said for Nigeria to curb the menace of substandard products, there must be deliberate efforts in policy formations that promote quality. Salim who spoke yesterday during the 50th-anniversary celebration of SON in Abuja however identified the challenge of foreign trade policy of some governments that actively encourage the exportation of substandard products. He said, “while acknowledging the modest achievements and strides of SON in the last 50 years, my vision for the organisation in the next 50 years is to be the foremost standardised body in Africa and among the top ranking globally.”

Industry players on how to tackle cargo bottlenecks, haulage (The Guardian Nigeria)

To improve cargo and haulage movement in Nigeria, there must be establishment of standard repair plants, outsourcing development of standard low-cost transit parks, and increase in warehouse and storage capacity. Others are further expansion of the pre-gate space and equipment, creation of more holding bays in and outside Lagos, corruption-free licensing procedure and development of inland waterways through Public Private Partnership (PPP). These were the submissions of stakeholders in the maritime transport sector at the Council of Maritime Transport Unions and Associations (COMTUA) 2022 yearly congress held in Lagos.

A Professor of Transport and Logistics, School of Transport and Logistics, Lagos State University, (LASU), Odewumi Samuel, while presenting a paper titled: “Cargoes and Haulage Movements in Nigeria: Issues and Solutions,” said the establishment of road authority, which will aid enforcement of urban and regional planning laws, decongestion and proper maintenance culture of the roads to ease movement of cargoes, more investments, public-private partnerships and tax for infrastructure, were solutions to the problems ravaging the business in the country.

Nigeria’s fuel crisis worsens as shortages spread nationwide (The East African)

The scarcity of petroleum products which hit Nigeria in July has worsened, spreading across the 36 states as Nigerians cling to the hope of the $18 billion Dangote Refinery which is expected to begin production by end of December. Nigeria, the world’s 6th oil producer that is dependent on importation of petroleum products, has thrown motorists and households into confusion as petrol, diesel and kerosene disappeared from filling stations for months.

While awaiting the commencement of fuel production by the refineries, the Nigerian government has continued to import products which are hardly enough for all consumers across the country.

‘Integration of Lekki port with LFZ will unlock economic fortunes’ (The Guardian Nigeria)

The Chief Executive Officer, Lagos Free Zone (LFZ), Mr. Dinesh Rathi has expressed confidence that the integration of Lekki Port with Lagos Free Zone would be a major catalyst to bringing about huge economic fortunes for Nigeria. Rathi disclosed this during a panel discussion at the West Africa Property Investment Summit titled: “Industrial Infrastructure, Special Economic Zones, and Master Planned Developments,” in Lagos.

He noted that for Nigeria to realise its economic potential, it must begin to focus on planned city developments like the special economic zones to fast-track development and enhance the economic well-being of its people.

Morocco to Supply EU with Critical Raw Materials For Energy Transition (Morocco World News)

The European Union has reported plans to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Morocco on the supply of critical raw materials to accelerate the energy transition.

A recent report on the Africa-EU Green Energy Initiative that is part of the Global Gateway Investment Package noted that the union has signed an MoU on critical raw materials with Namibia on the sidelines of COP 27 in Egypt.

Other signings with Morocco, Uganda, South Africa, Rwanda, Senegal, Zambia, Algeria, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo are “in the pipeline,” the report indicated.

DRC, Equatorial Guinea to develop joint oil refinery (Caj New Africa)

THE Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Equatorial Guinea have partnered to develop synergies across their respective upstream, downstream, energy infrastructure and logistics sectors. The respective ministries of the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Angola Oil & Gas (AOG) 2022 Conference and Exhibition. The agreement provides for the establishment of a working group to achieve shared energy objectives and the implementation of specific projects.

These include the financing and construction of an oil refinery in the DRC, to be jointly owned by both countries – to meet regional demand for refined petroleum products, along with the construction of storage facilities for refined products.

African trade and integration

Weak macroeconomic environment may undermine AfCFTA implementation — BoG governor (Graphic Online)

The Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr Ernest Addison, has stressed the need for African central banks to pursue a prudent macroeconomic management supported by growth-oriented policies to ensure a successful implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). He said high inflation, volatile domestic currencies and weak financial systems were likely to undermine the goals of AfCFTA, hence the need for central banks to focus on addressing such challenges within the AfCFTA framework.

In his presentation, an international trade expert, Samuel Ato Yeboah, said access to finance still remained a challenge for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). He said the capability for SMEs to produce to maximise their potential was very key but that could not be done without finance. “Financial institutions must create a competitive lending landscape in Ghana where businesses can borrow to expand their capacity to boost their productivity and make locally made products more competitive to meet international standards,” he said.

African leaders call for faster industrialization during African Union Summit (AfDB)

African leaders reviewed the continent’s progress in industrialization, economic diversification, and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in the context of global shocks, debt vulnerabilities, climate change, and security concerns. Twenty heads of state and government as well as their representatives attended the African Union Extraordinary Summit on Industrialization, Economic Diversification, and the AfCFTA in Niamey.

“Not so long ago, the juxtaposition of the words industrialization and Africa might have seemed incongruous. Today, the question it raises is mainly one of ways and means,” said Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum, the summit’s host.

“Inclusive, coherent, and sequenced industrialization that we want cannot be imposed and can only be achieved by creating synergies between the private and public sectors to empower small and medium sized enterprises and create quality jobs. .” Bazoum added: “the youthfulness of the population and its growth, which are a challenge, can constitute an asset, provided the demographic transition is well-managed.”

African female entrepreneurs want equal opportunities (DW)

When the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was launched on January 1, 2021, many female entrepreneurs hoped that the world’s largest free-trade area, with a market of 1.2 billion people, would boost their businesses and reduce endemic poverty. But they are missing out on the opportunities because their businesses are mostly small, have low productivity and get little funding from governments and agencies, several women told DW. Female business owners say they have also struggled to obtain visas and documents they need to export their goods.

“Women entrepreneurs face a lot of harassment from customs officers when exporting goods to benefit from opportunities offered by the African Continental Free Trade Area. They are particularly targeted for bribes by customs and police officers,” Bissso Nakatuma, Niger’s director for the promotion of rural enterprises said.

Africa seeks US$170 bln for Resilient infrastructure’ (Farmers Review Africa)

AFRICA needs to mobilise a staggering US$170 billion annually in long term financing to develop infrastructure key sectors, agriculture included to accelerate growth dwarfed by the COVID 19, conflicts and climate change. Faced with an overarching ‘debt overhang’ buffeting many of the continent’s 54-member states, the African Development Bank is dangling two options; float Green Bonds on security markets or entice cooperating partners to secure finance and close the continent’s current annual US$108 billion infrastructure financing deficit to close the gap.

Officiating at the three-day- 2022 African Long Term Finance Workshop dubbed: “Financing Africa Sustainable Development in Times of Global Headwinds” in Lusaka, AfDB’s country Manager-Zambia, Raubil Olaniyi Durowoju believes the funds can be mobilized to create ‘resilient infrastructure’ and enhance sustainable growth in key sectors in its 37-member states.

The 43rd COMESA Council of Ministers Meeting Opens in Zambia (COMESA)

The 43rd COMESA Council of Ministers meeting opened today in Lusaka with a call for the region to prioritize key areas that contribute to economic growth including trade and transit facilitation. Zambia Vice President, Her Honour Madam Mutale Nalumango who opened the meeting said the region also needs to implement interventions that promote the establishment of a regionally integrated, diversified and competitive production capacity anchored on agriculture, industry and the services sector. “Prioritization should be based on value addition, diversification, innovation and common regional standards, all with due considerations to the protection of the environment,” she said.

ECA emphasizes need to address digital divide in Africa (UNECA)

The Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA) Director for Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management, Jean-Paul Adam, flagged the importance of building the information and communication sector (ICT) infrastructure in Africa to address the digital divide at the upcoming World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2023. Jean-Paul made the comments during a session at the ongoing Internet Governance Forum (IGF) taking place in Addis Ababa from 28 November to 2 December.

Investing in resilient internet will enhance inclusive, sustainable growth in Africa (UNECA)

African countries have been urged to invest in building resilient internet infrastructure to tap digital opportunities and accelerate social and economic transformation on the continent. Global leaders attending the 17th Internet Governance Forum being held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, underscored the importance of digital technologies as tools for enhancing development across Africa.

More finance needed for Africa’s energy transition opportunities (Engineering News)

Africa’s transition to cleaner fuels and power generation presents investors with opportunities across the value chain, but more direct financing is needed on projects, the head of a South African independent power producer, said on Thursday. Brian Dames, chief executive officer of African Rainbow Energy & Power, said the shift to cleaner energy in South Africa for example, meant a massive addition of new generation capacity with strong growth potential.

African Development Bank launches model for deploying green financing across the continent (AfDB)

The African Development Bank is boosting the promotion of resilient, green and sustainable growth, with the launch of the African Green Bank Initiative, a model for deploying green financing across the continent. The initiative, which was presented at the just-concluded UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt, will support the implementation of African countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Part of the African Financial Alliance on Climate Change (AFAC), the Green Bank Initiative will be supported by the African Green Finance Facility Fund (AG3F). AG3F will provide technical assistance to governments and financial institutions in creating and capitalising green facilities, co-invest alongside those in green projects and provide de-risking instruments to increase private sector mobilisation.

COP27: Climate Investment Funds announces nine countries to participate in the first Nature, People and Climate platform (AfDB)

The Climate Investment Funds (CIF) will extend $350 million in financing and other support for nature-based solutions in nine countries under its Nature, People and Climate Investment platform. The beneficiary countries are: the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Fiji, Kenya, and the Zambezi River Basin Region, comprising Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Tanzania. They were announced during the global climate summit (COP27) taking place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The Nature, People and Climate program deploys nature-based solutions that acknowledge linkages among land use, climate-change mitigation and adaptation, and the improvement of the sources of livelihoods of rural communities and Indigenous people.

It covers sustainable agriculture, food supply, forests, resilient coastal systems and efforts to empower indigenous people and local communities. As a next step, the participating countries will develop investment plans in collaboration with a number of partner multilateral development banks. The platform also works with multilateral development banks to de-risk and scale investment based on a systems-level rather than a project-level approach.

African needs resilient food systems in the quest towards sustainable development (Kenya Broadcasting Corporation)

The Director of Agriculture and Rural Development at the African Union Commission (AUC) Dr. Godfrey Bahiigwa has called for action oriented dialogue and engagement in developing resilient food systems on the African continent. Speaking at the beginning of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program, Partnership Program (CAADP PP) Dr. Bahiigwa said that resilient food systems will help to eliminate hunger and reduce poverty by raising economic growth.

Dr. Bahiigwa noted that the theme is apt for Africa at this time when climate change and other impacts including the war in Ukraine have impacted food production on the continent. “We need to facilitate action oriented dialogue, engagement and collaboration among stakeholders in the development of resilient food and nutrition systems on the African continent,” said Dr. Bahiigwa at the virtual opening of the 18th CAAD PP.

Growing urban population piles pressure on root crops (Business Daily)

Roots and tuber crops are increasingly becoming popular on breakfast tables as health-conscious urban households turn to these varieties as an alternative to wheat-based products such as bread, buns or chapati. The crops, which include sweet and Irish potatoes, cassava and yams have also been touted as the best alternative for maize because of their ability to cut overreliance on the staple and boost food security in Kenya. However, these crops have for long been neglected by farmers with only a handful growing them in small quantities despite surging demand from urban dwellers.

Canisius Kanangire, African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) executive director says rapid urbanisation, increasing population and changing dietary habits of the growing urban populations are expected to drive high demand for root crops.

How ECOWAS countries can adopt low-carbon growth path, by FAO (EnviroNews Nigeria)

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has urged countries in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region to seize the opportunity for low-carbon growth trajectories by mobilising every possible financial and technological resource, either domestic or international, to reduce emission.

Mr Gouantoueu Guei, Sub-Regional Coordinator for FAO Sub-Regional Office for West Africa (FAOSFW), who made the submission at the opening of a capacity building session that held from November 21 to 25, 2022, shed some light on the “technical solutions” by which to achieve this, describing them as “the spirit of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that the ECOWAS Member States have submitted as their commitments to meet the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement”.

Addressing the audience at the hybrid gathering that had in attendance participants from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana and Gambia, Guei, represented by Mehdi Drissi, Senior Programme Officer, FAOSFW, disclosed that one of the technical options that can be deployed immediately is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through the reduction of deforestation and forest degradation, and the adoption of more sustainable agricultural practices, such as reduction of tillage, as well as integrated management of inputs and water. Another option, according to him, is to reduce methane and nitrous oxide emissions through the improvement of animal production, management of livestock effluents, as well as more efficient management of rice irrigation systems and inputs.

A third option, he said, is to store carbon through the use of conservation agriculture practices, improved management of forestry practices, afforestation and reforestation, improvement of pastures and restoration of degraded soils.

SADC Green Great Wall Initiative gets support as Member States urged to work together to address climate change (SADC)

Southern African Development Community (SADC) Member States must work together and support joint efforts by the private and public sectors, non-governmental organisations and international organisations to have a greener Africa, Mr Emilio Sempris, the Regional Director of the Coalition for Rainforest Nations for Latin America and the Caribbean, has said.

Mr Sempris said this during a side event held on the margins of the UN Conference on Climate Change 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The side event was hosted by the SADC Secretariat on 11th November 2022 to accelerate implementation of the Great Green Wall Initiative (GWWI) in the SADC Region. The objective of the event was also to strengthen networks for cooperation among stakeholders, including raising awareness and build capacity on sustainable land management initiatives and programmes in the SADC Region.

He said his organisation supports SADC’s GGWI which is aimed at greening the Southern African sub region to curb desertification, and that this needed joint efforts by all as it was impossible for one institution or a coalition to solve it alone. The SADC GGWI is modelled alongside the GWWI of the Sahel Region in nothtern Africa which seeks to restore 100 million hectares of currently degraded land; sequester 250 million tonnes of carbon and create 10 million green jobs by 2030.

Afreximbank doubles funding facility for creative and cultural industries to US$1 billion (Afreximbank)

The Creative Africa Nexus Weekend (CANEX WKND) brought together the largest gathering for the cultural and creative industries in Africa and the Diaspora in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from 25th to 27th November 2022. Speaking at the opening of the three-day event on Friday evening, Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), announced a funding package of US$1 billion dedicated towards supporting Africa’s creative industries under the auspices of the CANEX programme.

In 2020, Afreximbank introduced a dedicated US$500 million facility to support Africa’s creative and cultural industry as part of its wider CANEX programme. The Bank has been able to support the industry significantly through this facility which is now nearly fully utilised. Afreximbank President Prof. Benedict Oramah indicated that the doubling of the size of the facility to US$1 billion, for implementation over the next 3 years to 2025, will maintain and sustain the momentum and impact initiated by the original facility.

“We hope that the experience we gained implementing the original facility will enable us to provide the industry with a more efficient solution that can grow your business further. We expect to use this facility to support our talented youth,” said Prof. Oramah. “The facility finances all activities in the creative and cultural industry value chain, from content production to distribution. It supports the development of infrastructure for content creation, product design, distribution, logistics, and acquisition of intellectual property. Creative and cultural activities covered include sports, fashion, music, movies, art, including performance art, media and technology.”

EU reveals details of $150bn Global Gateway Plan for Africa (African Business)

Just a few months after the European Union-Africa Summit was held last February, Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the African Union (AU), and Ursula von der Leyen, the EU Commission President, met in Brussels on Tuesday to unveil details of the EU’s $150bn Global Gateway Plan for Africa. The Global Gateway represents a shift in the EU’s foreign policy from development aid to investments in key infrastructure projects and the energy and productive sectors. The plan, initially unveiled in December 2021 as part of the EU’s €300bn Global Gateway investment strategy – of which half is to be deployed in Africa – is seen by many observers as a counterweight to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Von der Leyen alluded to the comparison in comments that seek to distinguish the EU scheme from its competitors.

“The difference between Global Gateway compared to others who come with infrastructure projects is that there is transparency, there is good governance, and there is the absolute goal to have locally added value and skills,” she told the press conference.

US trade with Africa in decline, but aid remains stable (African Business)

Africa accounts for less than 2% of total US merchandise exports and imports. The overall value of US exports to the continent fell from $32.9bn in 2011 to $26.7bn in 2021, while imports declined from $93bn in 2011 to $37.6bn in 2021, according to the United States Census Bureau. South Africa has become the largest US trading partner on the continent. Its exports to the US rose to $15.7bn in 2021, the highest for at least 10 years. Separate figures from the UN COMTRADE database show that exports of stones, glass, metals and pearls together amounted to $7.3bn.

Global economy

How trade can help end plastic pollution | World Economic Forum (WEF)

Government representatives are currently meeting in Uruguay to kickstart the first Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee (INC) on reaching an internationally binding treaty to end plastic pollution that the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) promised to deliver by 2024, otherwise known as the UNEA 5.2 resolution.

It is the first time the world will see multilateral action against plastic pollution on such a large scale as the transboundary nature of plastic pollution becomes increasingly evident.

Harnessing digital technologies together can “provide the answers we need” (FAO)

Digital technologies can make large contributions to global goals including sustainable agriculture and hunger reduction, making focused collaboration an imperative, QU Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), said today. Along with artificial intelligence, science and innovation, they “can provide the answers we need,” he said at a virtual forum Connecting the digital dots: How the United Nations System is supporting digital transforming and looking toward the Global Digital Compact.

Agrifood systems have been heavily affected by recent shocks from the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, other ongoing conflicts around the world and the impacts of the climate crisis, so that today close to 1 billion people are at risk of famine in vulnerable countries and three times as many cannot afford healthy diets, the Director-General said. “This reality forces us to reconsider our priorities,” especially as there are only seven years before the deadline of the 2030 Agenda, he added. “We need to take bold action now.”

Remittances Grow 5% in 2022, Despite Global Headwinds (World Bank)

Remittances to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) withstood global headwinds in 2022, growing an estimated 5% to $626 billion. This is sharply lower than the 10.2% increase in 2021, according to the latest World Bank Migration and Development Brief. Remittances are a vital source of household income for LMICs. They alleviate poverty, improve nutritional outcomes, and are associated with increased birth weight and higher school enrollment rates for children in disadvantaged households. Studies show that remittances help recipient households to build resilience, for example through financing better housing and to cope with the losses in the aftermath of disasters.

Remittance flows to developing regions were shaped by several factors in 2022. A reopening of host economies as the COVID-19 pandemic receded supported migrants’ employment and their ability to continue helping their families back home. Rising prices, on the other hand, adversely affected migrants’ real incomes.

Tax revenues rebounded as economies recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new OECD data (OECD)

Tax revenues bounced back in 2021 as OECD economies recovered from the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new OECD data released today. Revenue Statistics 2022, which presents tax revenue data for the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, shows that the OECD average tax-to-GDP ratio rose by 0.6 percentage points (p.p.) in 2021, to 34.1%, the second-strongest year-on-year increase since 1990. The report also shows that tax-to-GDP ratios increased in 24 of the 36 OECD countries for which 2021 data on tax revenues was available, declined in 11 and remained unchanged in one.

‘MDB reform to scale up climate finance to developing nations to be discussed at G20’ (Hindustan Times)

The issue of reforms in multilateral development bank (MDB) practices to scale up climate finance without further indebting developing nations is likely to be discussed by G20, World Bank’s India head Auguste Tano Kouamé said on Wednesday.

The Sharm El Sheikh Implementation Plan, the decision from UN Climate Conference (COP27) which was agreed upon on November 20 by 193 parties called on multilateral development banks such as the World Bank to reform their practices and introduce non-debt instruments taking into account debt burden among borrowing countries.

“Calls on the shareholders of multilateral development banks and international financial institutions to reform multilateral development bank practices and priorities, align and scale up funding, ensure simplified access and mobilize climate finance from various sources and encourages multilateral development banks to define a new vision and commensurate operational model, channels and instruments that are fit for the purpose of adequately addressing the global climate emergency, including deploying a full suite of instruments, from grants to guarantees and non-debt instruments, taking into account debt burdens, and to address risk appetite, with a view to substantially increasing climate finance,” the plan said.

Auguste Tano Kouamé, World Bank’s country director responded to the COP27 outcome on Wednesday. He said the MDB reform should be discussed at length at G20 and India will play a big role being the Presidency.

Commonwealth Launches New Policymaker’s Guide to Manufacturing in a Digital World (Commonwealth)

This week, recognising the importance of manufacturing to development, economic growth and job creation, the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda launched ‘A Policymaker’s Guide to Manufacturing 4.0’ and a pilot implementation program on digital industrial development in Mauritius. This digital-first Guide has been developed to assist Commonwealth policymakers, especially those in least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS), to understand the transformative impact of new digital technologies on their industrial development and how to develop policy settings to take advantage of new and emerging opportunities while addressing potential barriers along the way.

The guide was launched at the 2022 National Manufacturing Summit in Mauritius, where the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda (CCA) also launched a pilot to implement the Guide with the Mauritius Ministry of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives. This implementation will provide practical lessons on the opportunities and challenges facing small island developing states in their digital industrial development.

WTO issues 2022 edition of flagship statistical publication (WTO)

The World Trade Statistical Review 2022 looks at the effects of COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine on the global economy, commodity prices, international trade in goods and services, and supply chains.

Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala says in the foreword to the report: “The war, which started in February 2022, has weighed heavily on world trade, with sharp rises in commodity prices and disruptions in access to essential goods such as grain, gas, and fertilizers. The Black Sea Grain Initiative, a deal brokered by the United Nations and Türkiye to get trapped Ukrainian grain, as well as Russian food and fertilizer, to international markets, has delivered critical supplies to people in developing and other countries, and put downward pressure on world market prices. But prices remain high by historical standards in many countries, particularly in local currency terms.”


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