Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Daily News


tralac Daily News

tralac Daily News

Trade Statistics for March 2023 | South African Revenue Service

South Africa recorded a preliminary trade balance surplus of R6.9 billion in March 2023. This surplus is attributable to exports of R192.2 billion and imports of R185.3 billion, inclusive of trade with Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and Namibia (BELN).

The year-to-date (01 January to 31 March 2023) preliminary trade balance deficit of R6.2 billion is a deterioration from the R61.9 billion trade balance surplus for the comparable period in 2022. Export flows for March 2023, at R192.2 billion, were 3.2% higher compared to March 2022 (R186.3bn) whilst import flows were 30.9% higher having increased from R141.5 billion in March 2022 to R185.3 billion in the current period.

Tunisia: Textile and apparel exports post 16.78% rise in Q1 2023 (ZAWYA)

Textile and apparel exports grew 16.78% during the first quarter of 2023, to TND 2,626.6 million, the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy said on Wednesday. In euro terms, the growth of exports in this sector reached 14.61% compared to the same period of 2022, to €788.3 million, or an estimated coverage rate of 145%.

These results exceeded the value of exports achieved in the same period of 2019 (before the COVID-19 pandemic), by 22.11% in dinars (TND 2,151.1 million) and 26.64% in euros (€622.5 million).

Exports went up by 16.72% to 926.4 million dinars in March 2023. In euros, the increase reached 14.38% to €278.2 million.

Africa can be solution to world’s net zero ambition, says Osinbajo (TheCable)

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says Africa has the potential to become the solution to the net zero ambition of the world.

Speaking on Sunday, in Nairobi, Kenya at a meeting tagged ‘Africa-Europe Earthshot: 2023 Milestone Map’, Osinbajo said he endorses the idea of setting the agenda for the Africa-Europe cooperation on just energy future.

The theme of the meeting was “Unlocking Investment for a Just Energy Future.’’

“I think that agenda is important — the climate positive growth agenda — that we have heard. And I think in the past couple of days, it has been exciting to hear President William Ruto speak so eloquently and so articulately,” Osinbajo said.

Indonesia and Kenya set to recover their lost trade revenue (Business Insider Africa)

This comes after its commerce with Kenya decreased in value in 2022 from $560 million (76.2 billion sh) to $501 million (Sh68.2 billion). The Indonesian Embassy claims to diversify its shipments into the Kenyan Market from conventional palm oil to increase these earnings.

The decline in trade value was ascribed to COVID-19, which paralyzed shipping and transportation. According to Rendra Kusumawardana, the Secretary of Economic Affairs at the Indonesian Embassy, the Asian nation will seek to boost its exports in the food and beverage sector.

United States and Africa: increased engagement regarding trade creating opportunities in the African free trade area (ZAWYA)

There was more good news for the successful implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement in December 2022, when a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the United States (US) Trade Representative and the AfCFTA Secretariat at the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit (Summit) in Washington DC. The MoU covers expanded engagement between the two regions and intends to “promote equitable, sustainable, and inclusive trade; boost competitiveness; and attract investment to the continent.”

It was also announced at the Summit that US intended to invest USD 55 billion in Africa over the next three years, and that USD 15 billion would be deployed in “two-way trade and investment commitments, deals, and partnerships that advance key priorities, including sustainable energy, health systems, agribusiness, digital connectivity, infrastructure, and finance.”

The trade partnership between the US and Africa has been strengthening for some time. In July 2021, the Biden Administration announced that it would renew the US Prosper Africa initiative, started in 2019, with a focus on increasing reciprocal trade and investment between the US and African countries. At the time, the US said that the initiative would focus on improving trade and investment in sectors such as infrastructure, energy and climate solutions, healthcare and technology. Seventeen US government agencies working as part of this initiative were given a mandate to, among other things, empower African businesses, offer deal support and connect investors from the US with those in Africa. The renewed Prosper Africa initiative also focuses on projects that support women, and small and medium enterprises in Africa. It was further announced at the December 2022 Summit that, through the Prosper Africa initiative, plans were being made to boost African exports to the US by USD 1 billion through investments and partnerships, and to mobilise an additional USD 1 billion in US investment in Africa.

Ports are key to Africa’s global trade promise (Semafor)

South Africa was the only African country to rank among the Top 20 countries on the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index, which is dominated by European countries, the United States and China.’

The ports at Africa’s most advanced economy compared favorably with some wealthier countries where the average dwell time for containers between May and October 2022 was three days for India and Singapore and four for the United Arab Emirates and South Africa but seven for the United States and 10 for Germany.

On average it about 5.3 days (including processing time) to get a container through a South African port according to the report. It takes fewer days in Mauritius (4.3 days) but South Africa does better overall on the index because of superior infrastructure, customs processes, and logistics processes. HighlightTrack This PhraseMute This PhraseSearch FeedlyTweet (327 chars)Post to WordPressClip to EvernoteSave to OneNoteSearch Google38 duplicates removed

PAPSS and ASEA forge strategic partnership to revolutionize cross-border payment of Stock Exchanges in Africa (Afreximbank)

The Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) and the African Stock Exchanges Association (ASEA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance collaboration and cooperation in promoting cross-border payments of Capital Markets infrastructure in Africa. The MoU was signed on 14 April 2023 during the ASEA 2023 Building African Financial Markets Seminar held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, which brought together Stock Exchanges and capital markets stakeholders from across Africa to discuss ways to deepen integration and connectivity of African capital markets.

For a long time, investors doing business in Africa have struggled with making and settling cross-border payments. Payments take a long time to complete, are expensive since the existing environment necessitates the use of correspondent banks outside of the continent, and are done in foreign currencies (USD or Euro). Because of this, African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat developed PAPSS, which enables instant cross-border payment in local currency.

Experts move for improved local manufacturing of drugs (The Guardian Nigeria)

Experts have called for boost in local production of drugs to strengthen Nigeria’s healthcare system.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mahmuda Mamman, led the call at the launch of Nigerian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Quality Improvement and Capacity Building, a World Health Organisation (WHO) Pre-Qualification programme, in Lagos.

Mamman advised pharmaceutical manufacturers to leverage the project to increase their capacities for local manufacturing, thereby, strengthening the health system for better epidemic preparedness and response.

Measuring the value of E-commerce (UNCTAD)

Producing statistics on the digital economy and society is an increasingly important component of the work programme of national statistical organizations. The demand for such statistics continuously rises as more countries seek to design, monitor and review national policies and strategies to take advantage of information and communications technologies (ICTs).

One area in which there is very limited information available concerns the monetary value of e-commerce transactions. Measuring this has become increasingly important, not least as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic during which a shift to making online purchases supported economic resilience.

Better statistics on the value of e-commerce are needed to understand its economic role and contributions to GDP, employment and development, as well as for evidence-based policymaking. Because of this, UNCTAD member states have indicated that developing guidance and support on measuring e-commerce is a key priority.


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