tralac Daily News
Growing Demand from End Users: The cold chain market is expected to be fueled by increasing demand for temperature-controlled products in the country, the entry of several new players, and government initiatives and programs. The Government has initiated the National Transport Master Plan 2050 to guide the development of a multimodal transportation system to meet South Africa's long-term transport needs.
Analysts at Ken Research in their latest publication "South Africa Cold Chain Market Outlook to 2026F: Driven by Rising Meat and Seafood & Fruits and Vegetable Consumption, Owing to Growing Population and Infrastructural Development" By Ken Research observed that the Cold Chain market is an emergent market in South Africa at a rebounding stage from the economic crisis after the pandemic. The rising government policies and demand for Cold Chain, rising domestic consumption of meat and seafood, fruits and vegetables along with government initiatives are expected to contribute to the market growth over the forecast period. The market is expected to grow at an 11.5% CAGR during 2021-2026F owing to the rise in the economy of the country and growing population as well as infrastructural development by the government with investments in the sector.
Nigerian Cable Manufacturers Seek AfCFTA Market Opportunities (Business Post)
The Cable Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has tasked the federal government to play a crucial role in breaking tariff barriers for Nigerian companies to maximise the opportunities present for it in the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
This was made known by the Chief Operating Officer of MicCom Cables and Wires, Mrs Bukola Adubi, while speaking on a panel at the recent 2022 Practical Nigerian Content (PNC) Forum, which was held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
“But then, my concern is with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) trade liberalization scheme. It doesn’t work. And the reason it doesn’t work is that there are so many issues regarding government policies – the tariffs and member country bureaucratic red tape. So, first and foremost, the governments have a huge role to play in terms of breaking these barriers to facilitate effective trade,” she said.
State-owned freight utility Transnet and the Minerals Council South Africa have agreed to form joint collaborative structures to ensure all possible actions are taken to stabilise and improve the throughput of South Africa’s rail and ports systems.
The parties agree that stabilisation and recovery of the ports and railways are in the interest of all parties in the value chain.
The entities will establish an oversight panel and a recovery steering committee, as well as continue with the work being done through channel optimisation teams for each of the country’s major commodities – coal, iron-ore, manganese and chrome.
Uganda’s trade balance within the East African Community during October 2022, indicates that merchandise trade resulted in a surplus of $114.54 million (about Shs418.337 billion), an increase from a surplus of $71.05 million (about Shs259.497 billion) recorded a year ago.
The above development demonstrates how trade activity has picked up in the region after suffering a decline in the past two years due to Covid-19.
The Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development said in the performance of the economy report for the month of November 2022 released Monday that over the same period, exports to EAC increased by 11.8 per cent whereas imports decreased by 22.5 per cent.
Afreximbank launches TRADAR Club network to transform African trade and investments (Journal du Cameroun)
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has in Cairo operationally launched the Afreximbank TRADAR Club, a prestigious member-driven network aimed at empowering international businesses and executives to transform trade and investments in Africa through trusted trade intelligence and advisory services. According to Afreximbank, TRADAR Club, launched on December 15, 2022, will deliver innovative digital tools and networking opportunities, helping members to discover new markets; grow their business; save time; access dedicated expert support; post and respond to new business opportunities; network; meet business/trading partners; and more.
The regional investment said that the unit was conceived to address one of the key barriers to intra-African trade – the lack of comprehensive African trade and investment information.
“Afreximbank’s Trade Intelligence Solutions is an end-to-end, integrated trade intelligence offering – supporting clients that are seeking to enter new markets in Africa or expanding into the continent.
YouLead Summit 2022 focuses on digital access and future of work (African Business)
The 6th edition of the YouLead Summit in Arusha highlighted the importance of empowering African young entrepreneurs and support them in accessing opportunities generated by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Under the theme “Digital Access & the Future of Work”, the five-day Summit is organized by YouLead Africa and supported by the International Trade Centre (ITC), East African Community (EAC), East Africa Business Council (EABC), act!onaid Denmark, the Independent Continental Youth Advisory Council on the AfCFTA, and others. The Summit brings together young leaders from across the African continent to share knowledge, exchange ideas, and create change.
Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre said: “Africa’s well known young demographic dividend is the continent’s biggest resource – a treasure chest of innovative solutions to harnessing the full potential of the AfCFTA. It is in youths’ hands to generate ideas and solutions on how to deliver on the trade and industrialization aspirations contained in the AU Agenda 2063 – The Africa We Want.”
The Republic of Burundi will host the 23rd edition of the EAC Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise in December 2023. The announcement was officially made during the winding up ceremony of the 22nd EAC MSME Trade Fair Sunday, December 18, 2022, at the Kolola Independence Grounds in Kampala, Uganda.
Uganda’s Minister of State for EAC Affairs, James Magode Ikuya urged the East African Community (EAC) Partner States to seek local solutions to the huge gap in financing facing Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises in the region and to address the limited skills for production and poor standards and quality of products among others.
The Minister, as mentioned in the press release, said that to ensure the full implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol and maximize intra-regional trade, Partner States should harness their comparative advantages by focusing their efforts on the production of specific commodities and services at a lower cost than their trading partners even as he called for value addition to items destined for the regional and international market.
WTO members accept UAE, Cameroon offers to host Ministerial Conferences (World Trade Organization)
At a meeting of the General Council on 19 December, WTO members agreed to a proposal from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Cameroon to host consecutive Ministerial Conferences. Under an arrangement agreed between the two countries, the UAE will host the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) the week of 26 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi and Cameroon will host the 14th Ministerial Conference (MC14) at a date still to be determined.
WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala thanked the UAE and Cameroon for the “partnership, pragmatism, and flexibility they exhibited in trying to get together and agree on a mutually acceptable outcome. They provide an example to all of us as we work to move this organization forward.”
The Ministerial Conference, which is attended by trade ministers and other senior officials from the organization’s 164 members, is the highest decision-making body of the WTO. Under the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the WTO, the Ministerial Conference is to meet at least once every two years.
Africa House, a project that convenes the best and brightest entrepreneurs, initiatives, and opportunities from Africa to leaders across industry and government, is excited to announce the successful completion of a high-level event held in Washington D.C. last week. Nikkole-Charlene Wilkerson, in collaboration with Africa House, brought together U.S. Black Mayors, top American business leaders, and investors in a private gathering with African ministers, organization heads, and executives.
The meeting sought to bolster economic relationships and access to capital, aligning with the Biden and Harris Administration’s focus on economic growth and development in Africa, including the African Continental Free Trade Area, and development financing and grants throughout the continent, according to a release.
“This meeting represents a significant step forward in strengthening economic ties between Africa and the U.S., specifically the African Diaspora,” said Wilkerson, who organized and hosted the event.
U.S. struggles to lure African nations over from China (Nikkei Asia)
KAMPALA, Uganda -- The U.S. pledge last week of $55 billion in development aid to Africa over the next three years surpasses similar pledges in recent years of $40 billion from China and $12.5 billion from Russia.
In contrast to China and Russia, the U.S. is likely to have included its payments to the World Bank and IMF as part of this $55 billion figure. Many African governments are concerned about these organizations' performance, particularly their track record of providing and facilitating major African infrastructure and industrialization projects.
For Shingirayi Kondongwe, an African Union Commission scholar from Zimbabwe, "the idea to lure African leaders away from China might not be practical at all," given the sheer size of the Chinese infrastructure investments across the continent.
Beijing has vowed to go all out next year to save its Covid-hit economy by boosting consumption and loosening control over private industry, including the struggling tech and property sectors. The new pledge marks a big shift from leader Xi Jinping’s years-long effort to rein in private businesses, which were perceived as too powerful and “disorderly.”
The world’s second biggest economy faces multiple challenges. Covid infections are surging in China after leaders unexpectedly eased its restrictive Covid policy earlier this month. At the same time, its exports have been hurt by a slump in global demand.
Dubai Trade and Dubai Chamber of Commerce (DCC), one of three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, have simplified trade services for exporters and re-exporters in the country by collaborating together to provide membership and Certificates of Origin (COO) services through the Dubai Trade portal.
The integration of the COO on Dubai Trade platform is part of their agreement, signed in March, to cement Dubai’s position as a leading global business hub and streamline the trade process for more than 180,000 customers.
Saif Al Hattawi, Executive Director of Digital and Commercial Services at Dubai Chamber of Commerce said: “Dubai Chamber of Commerce is constantly working to strengthen Dubai’s position as a global gateway for trade that supports business growth and enables local companies to access business opportunities in target markets. Certificates of Origin are crucial to facilitating and driving international trade.
U.S. imports are poised to top $3 trillion for the first time this year, despite a trade policy that has tried to get in the way for six years.
Imports have continue to come this year despite the tariffs on Chinese imports, the lack of a functioning WTO appellate body to settle trade disputes and high inflation that has been stubbornly slow to squash business and consumer demand.
Gulf countries eye Africa for trade (cgtn.com)
The African Continental Free Trade Area has increased the appetite of Africa’s trading partners and the rush to secure more economic cooperation opportunities. The United Arab Emirates is leading the pack of Gulf countries who are eyeing such opportunities with the African continent.
William Stenhouse Chief Executive Officer at Stenhouse and Associates said that looking at the United Arab Emirates and specifically Dubai, it has become the epicenter when it comes to trade and investment in Africa.
For the UAE, Africa home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies represents the future, thanks to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement expected to create the world’s largest single market with some 1.3 billion people and synergies in food security— crucial for the UAE which imports the majority of its food.
At a time when the contraction of global economic growth, high energy prices and inflation are dominating the public agenda, a high-level meeting of CEOs and government officials in Paris in mid-December offered a few glimpses of optimism and underscored the continued importance of global trade.
"The future economy will still be globalised even if some supply chains are a little more distributed," Soren Toft, CEO, MSC said in a panel session on Charting a New Economy. "Trade has brought hundreds of millions out of poverty, enabled local producers to tap international markets and empowered local communities through economic prosperity."
Following the bust and boom volatility of the pandemic markets when consumers ploughed money into physical goods, the commercial shipping market has been normalising in the second half of this year compared with the extraordinary freight rates witnessed during the pandemic. "Nonetheless, container demand has shown a slight resurgence in recent weeks and countries will continue to trade, potentially still producing some modest growth in 2023," Soren said.
The Biden administration hosted the second U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, Dec. 13–15, in Washington, D.C.; this event was the corollary to a similar summit hosted by President Obama in 2014. The summit, which included participation from 50 African country leaders, signals a return of U.S. foreign policy focus on Africa, which in part is aimed at strengthening U.S. partnerships in Africa to counter China’s growing role as a trade and diplomatic partner to the region. Over the course of the three days, the administration announced a number of new initiatives to grow two-way trade and investment, bolster African health systems, engage the diaspora and foster technological innovation in African countries, announcing plans to invest over $55 billion in Africa over the next three years. President Biden also announced he, as well as Vice President Harris and Secretary Blinken, would travel to Africa in 2023, although an official itinerary or timing of the trip has not been disclosed.
The wide range of new investments and projects will require a significant administration effort to operationalize the new programs, with President Biden appointing Ambassador Johnnie Carson, former assistant secretary of the State Department for African affairs and ambassador to Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe, to serve as the presidential representative for U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit Implementation and key administration official to coordinate these efforts. Many of the newly announced investments will also require congressional approval, leaving it unclear whether all of the programs announced during the summit will be fully endorsed by the upcoming divided Congress.
In a White House fact sheet, the spate of new initiatives were broadly classified into several categories, including global governance and diplomatic engagement, people-to-people ties, and technology and innovation, with an emphasis in the number of new announcements given to initiatives geared toward trade, investment and inclusive economic growth.