tralac Daily News
South Africa should prioritise its decarbonisation strategy, as it has a carbon intensity much higher than most countries, and $1.5-billion of exports to the European Union (EU) are at risk in the short term.
That figure is likely to increase when more products are covered under the EU's Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), said policy development research institution Trade and Industrial Policies Strategies (TIPS).
The EU is one of South Africa’s major export destinations, accounting for 19% of its total exports in 2019. The CBAM is a carbon border tax on embedded greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions of carbon-intensive products imported into the EU.
Buyers transporting avocadoes in open pick-ups will be arrested in the government’s latest move to ensure the sale of quality products.
Speaking during a sensitization forum in Murang’a County, director of horticultural crops directorate Benjamin Tito said transporting the fruit in open pick-ups breaches the crops and horticultural regulations of 2022 that provide that they should be well packaged in crates and transported in well-designed vehicles to maintain their quality.
Kenya is Africa’s top exporter of avocados and the sixth-largest exporter of fruit globally. The country accounts for 81.6 percent of EAC avocado fruit produce. The Hass variety which is the most grown variety in Kenya has generated a lot of interest in the export markets owing to its long shelf life and taste.
The Citrus Growers Association (CGA) has again written to Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Patel Ebrahim, requesting with urgency that he convene a World Trade Organisation (WTO) panel to adjudicate on the European Union’s (EU’s) new citrus import regulation.
The CGA says it is grateful for the support shown by the national government, including the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, requesting consultations at the WTO level with the EU over the new regulations.
However, these consultations have not resolved the current impasse, and so the CGA urges Patel to put further pressure on the EU by calling for the establishment of a WTO panel to adjudicate on the matter before the 2023 export season starts at the end of the month.
Mpumalanga, Mozambique bolster agri ties (Food For Mzansi)
The National African Farmers Union (Nafu) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the National Federation of Agrarian Associations of Mozambique (Fenagri). The MOU is aimed at improving agricultural collaboration between South Africa and the East African country.
The president of Nafu in Mpumalanga, Jabu Mahlangu, said they recently visited Mozambique to engage with the leadership of Fenagri.
“The collaboration agreement between Nafu and Fenagri is meant to improve the collaborative environment in, and between the two agrarian communities in the respective countries,” Mahlangu told Food For Mzansi.
Exporters of processed woods have intensified efforts to reap from the exportation of the product with market value put at over $152.94 billion for the year 2023 following the recent lifting of ban for its exports by the Federal Government.
They are also targeting the exportation of charcoal with a current market value put at over $5.41 billion respectively.
The government has conditionally lifted the ban on charcoal and processed wood export in a bid to revamp businesses, especially those converting waste to wealth and thereby increase the country’s foreign exchange earnings.
South Africa is set to see a shift from air freight as importers and exporters eye tumbling sea freight rates and improved ocean reliability.
The automotive industry in particular will rely less on air, delegates heard at last week’s Air Cargo Africa event in Johannesburg.
“The market has been very volatile,” explained Renaj Moothilal, executive director of South Africa’s component manufacturer association, NAACAM. “The component market depends on a globally integrated value chain. You can’t have 99% of components, you need 100%.
Niamey, 2 March 2023 (ECA) - The 9th Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development held in Niamey from 28 February to 2 March featured a session to discuss progress, challenges, opportunities, and priority actions needed to accelerate the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 9 (SDG 9).
Representatives from various African countries and organizations, including the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA), and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), were in attendance.
The session called for increased efforts to help firms increase exports, attract foreign direct investment, and facilitate technology transfer. Participants also urged countries to build resilient regional value chains to develop productive and competitive economies that can take full advantage of the opportunities to implement the Agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area.
African companies prefer trading with non-African countries, ignoring local FTAs (North African Post)
African exports to other continents surpass the continent’s intercontinental trade, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has found, with Africans preferring import tariffs provided by the United States, European Union, Canada, and Japan (the “Quad nations”).
Despite growing calls for increased intraregional trade, companies in Africa are taking advantage of preferential trade deals with the other continents and ignoring local free trade accords. African traders are taking advantage of favorable import tariffs provided by the so-called “Quad nations” under different preferential trade agreements (PTAs), which has led to significant exports to these quad nations.
A research, conducted by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), has also revealed that enterprises are not fully utilizing comparable advantages under local regional economic communities.
Nairobi, Thursday, 02 March 2023: The Steering Committee of the programme on Enhancement of Governance and Enabling Environment in the ICT sector (EGEE-ICT) in the Eastern Africa, Southern Africa, and the Indian Ocean region (EA-SA-IO) meeting began today in Nairobi, Kenya to review the programme’s performance, since it was launched two years ago.
The eight million euros programme aims at enhancing the governance and enabling environment in the ICT sector in the EA-SA-IO region. It supports the review and development of regional policy and regulatory frameworks in a harmonized manner, thus contributing to enhanced competition and improved access to cost effective and secure ICT services. The four-year programme is funded by the European Union.
The Principal Secretary, Ministry of Information, Communication, and Technology and the Digital Economy in Kenya Eng. John Tanui opened the meeting. He urged countries in the region “to seize the significant socio-economic opportunities that digital technologies offer.”
The Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa has rallied developing countries to jointly reject what he described as unfair trade and deceitful practices by the European Union.
Speaking at the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) Parliamentary conference in Brussels, Belgium, Tayebwa condemned the EU member states for exporting banned pesticides and products to developing countries.
He rallied ACP member states to speak as a team against the double standard arrangement citing the "vulnerability we all have".
The United Nations Economic Commission For Africa (UNECA) says the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) increased trade between countries in the region by 20 percent in 2022.
Antonio Pedro, acting executive secretary of UNECA, spoke on the success of the AfCFTA project on the sidelines of the 9th session of the Africa regional forum on sustainable development in Niamey, Niger Republic.
The commission, in 2018, estimated that the AfCFTA would increase intra-Africa trade by 52 percent by 2022.
Speaking on whether the objective of 52 percent intra-African trade was achieved, Pedro said the level of trade had increased but not up to its target.
UNECA adopts payment mechanism for AfCFTA (The Sun News Online)
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), has adopted a system of payments for proceeds made from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Antonio Pedro, the Acting Executive Secretary of UNECA, said this on the sideline of the ongoing 9th Session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development in Niamey, Niger.
The Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) is a cross-border, financial market infrastructure enabling payment transactions across Africa. Pedro said that the continent has many currencies and PAPSS was a platform to make intra-African trade easy.
Help remove trade barriers, Tanzania contractor asks Ruto (The Star Kenya)
The Tanzanian contractor working on the LPG plant project at Dongo Kundu in Mombasa has appealed to President William Ruto to help remove trade barriers hampering businesses in the EAC region.
Rostam Aziz, the brains behind Taifa Gas Investment SEZ Limited that's undertaking the Sh16 billion Liquefied Petroleum Gas project said it's cheaper to import goods from say China to Tanzania than from Kenya.
"Cross-border business between our countries is hard and faces a lot of barriers. It is way cheaper to import goods from China, India or Dubai but importing goods from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda is a very hard task. Mr President this is not okay, we should not be like this," Aziz said.
COMESA Holds Jumia Accountable for Third-party Goods Sold on its Platform (Investors Kind Ltd)
Jumia, Africa’s largest e-commerce platform, has been notified by the Common Markets for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) that it will be held accountable for goods sold by third-party merchants on its platform.
The regional economic community in Africa has compelled Jumia to review its clauses and disclaimer and amend its terms and conditions. This means that Jumia will have to recall any defective or unsafe products sold by third-party agents and will be held responsible when customers cannot get a refund or replacement from vendors.
COMESA’s statement said that Jumia had disassociated itself from the transaction, even though the consumer deals only with Jumia, as it is the one that receives the orders, payments, and delivers on behalf of the seller.
Tax bodies agree on measures to boost Uganda-South Africa trade links (The Independent Uganda)
Uganda and South Africa have eased tax procedures for exporters on both sides, aimed at enhancing the movement of goods between the two countries.
During the South Africa Uganda Business Forum in Pretoria, the two countries’ revenue bodies signed a Mutual Recognition Agreement on Authorities Economic Operators, AEOs.
The deal between Uganda Revenue Authority-URA, and the South Africa Revenue Services was described as vital for trade facilitation among the two African countries as AEOs from either country will access faster controls and reduced supervision for customs clearance.
According to the World Customs Organisation, an AEO is “a party involved in the international movement of goods that has been approved by, or on behalf of a national customs administration as complying with WCO or equivalent supply chain security standards.”
The WTO Secretariat on 2 March published a Trade Monitoring Update providing a brief factual overview of trade policy developments following the outbreak of the war in Ukraine on 24 February 2022. The note sheds light on trade measures introduced in the context of the war, in particular in the food, feed and fertilizer sectors.
The information contained in the note — entitled “A Year of Turbulence on Food and Fertilizers Markets” — is based on research undertaken by the WTO Secretariat in the context of the WTO Trade Monitoring Reports circulated on 13 July and 22 November 2022, including trade measures submitted or verified by WTO members and observers, and continuous monitoring of trade policy trends.
The note points out that immediately following the outbreak of the war, several export restrictions on wheat, barley, sugar and seeds from Ukraine and the Russian Federation were implemented. Together, Ukraine and the Russian Federation are major food and agricultural exporters and ranked in 2021 amongst the top exporters of wheat, maize, rapeseed, sunflower seed and sunflower oil. Additionally, the Russian Federation is a top supplier of fertilizers.
The war in Ukraine is having a major impact on the global supply of agricultural fertilizers, potentially undermining food security around the world.
Russia, together with Belarus, is one of the world’s largest sources of mineral fertilizers. After its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, many nations, including the United States and the European Union (EU), imposed sanctions on the country.
Although there were specific exemptions in the sanctions regime to permit Russia and Belarus to continue to supply fertilizers, exports have fallen foul of other measures designed to isolate the region.
The World Economic Forum’s 2023 Global Risks Report ranked a looming food supply crisis as one of the top four threats facing the world, predicting that “the lagged effect of a price spike in fertilizer” would hit food production across the world in 2023.
Uk Food and Drink Sector Saw Record High Exports In 2022, FDF Data Finds (Grocery Gazette)
The UK food and drink industry reported has seen a record breaking number of exports in 2022, new data of the UK’s largest manufacturing sector has revealed.
According to the Food and Drink Federation’s (FDF) full-year trade snapshot, there has been a huge resurgence in food and drink exports as most categories now exceed pre-pandemic levels, reaching a record £24.8 billion.
The organisation reported that exports to Europe rose 22% to £13.7 billion – with fast-growing economies like Vietnam nearly doubling compared to this time last year. For the very first time, exports to non-EU markets have broken through the £10 billion barrier, hitting £11.1 billion.
Taipei, March 3 (CNA) Taiwan and the United States will be signing an agreement under a trade initiative "in the coming weeks" that would pave the way for a full-scale bilateral trade agreement (BIA) should Washington wish to explore that option, said a senior Taiwan government official familiar with trade talks on Thursday.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters in Taipei that both sides would be signing a deal under the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade "very soon."
The sealed deal will be a "de facto BIA" without touching on the issues of tariffs and free trade. It will be the first trade-related pact that U.S. President Joe Biden has signed with a foreign country since assuming office in January 2021, the source added.