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Business / Trade in South Africa

  • The EU-Africa summit is now the AU-EU summit. Why the upgrade matters

    BOTSWANA, 2018/01/13 African and European heads of government gathered last week in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, for their 5th summit since 2000. For the initial time, the African Union (AU) rather than “Africa”, officially appears as the European Union’s partner. While plenty has been discussed about youth, migration, security and governance less is being said about the shift from an EU-Africa to an AU-EU summit. Is this just a case of semantics? Next all, the AU has been the key organiser of these triennial summits since they started in 2000. Or are there larger implications? We think there are. The AU-EU summit coincided with the January 2017 statement on the reform of the African Union prepared by Rwandan President Paul Kagame. The statement recommends rationalising “Africa’s” a lot of international partnerships by having the continental body take the lead. This means that the previous, current and next AU chairpersons, plus the AU Commission chairperson and the chairperson of the Regional Economic Communities, would represent the AU, rather than all its member states.
  • The Mixed Fortunes of the BRICS Countries, in 5 Facts

    CHINA, 2017/09/04 This weekend, the BRICS countries—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—will convene in the Chinese city of Xiamen for their annual summit. It wasn’t long ago that the BRICS were heralded as the future of the globalized economy. Then, for a variety of reasons, the group lost a bit of its luster. Now’s the time to check back in with them. 1. BRICS straddle one quarter of the world The story of the BRICS—or technically, BRIC countries (South Africa joined in 2010)—begins with Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neill, who wrote a paper in 2001 arguing that these were the emerging superstars most likely to dominate the 21st century globalized economy. Taken together, these five countries cover 40 percent of the world’s population and more than 25 percent of the world’s land. The sky seemed the limit.
  • Africa: USA-Africa - No Policy? Bad Policy? or Both?

    BOTSWANA, 2017/08/30 "Africa is terra incognita for the Trump Government: a continent it cares little - and understands even less - about. With no dyed-in-the-wool Trumpian Africa hands available, the government appears ready to cede Africa policy making to career civil servants and a few mainstream Republican appointees." - Matthew T. Page The headline to Page's article in Quartz Africa states that "Donald Trump could be getting his US-Africa policy right by simply not having one." His view is actually additional nuanced, in judging that no policy would likely be only "less bad" than explicitly "bad policy" that may result from better White Home interest in Africa.
  • South Africa: Trade Mission to Zambia a Success

    SOUTH AFRICA, 2017/07/28 The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) has concluded a successful Trade and Investment Mission to Zambia. Director of Export Promotion at the dti, Seema Sardha, said the 20-member South African business delegation that were part of the mission, identified countless mutually beneficial business opportunities that exist between the two nations. The two-day investment mission that got underway on Monday, as well identified a need to create much needed partnerships towards addressing the structural challenges relating to poverty, unemployment and inequality.
  • South Africa Angola Review Bilateral Relations

    ANGOLA, 2017/07/16 South Africa and Angola are set to review evolution made in the consolidation of their bilateral relations, inclunding the implementation of bilateral projects. The two nations will as well exchange views on current regional and international issues of mutual concern at the same time as they meet in Luanda, Angola, for the fourth Session of the Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC).
  • Africa: 'Market Information Gap Threatens U.S.$400 Billion Intra-Africa Trade'

    BOTSWANA, 2017/07/14 Access to data across African economies, which has been hindered by the fragmented nature of the respective markets, is currently threatening a $400 billion intra-Africa trade potential. Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) said the present transactions price at $170 billion remained their due to wide gap in market data, which presently needs to be closed to foster accelerated trade integration. Meanwhile, the size of intra-African trade could be doubled from the current level of about $170 billion per year to almost $400 billion by addressing the issue of availability of market data on the continent.
  • Forging US Response To Russian Soft Power And Gangster Capitalism In Africa

    UNITED STATES, 2017/07/08 Russia is actively promoting an authoritarian world order and a re-assertion of itself as a dominant geopolitical force on the international stage. For U.S. policy in Africa, this requires a re-examination of pro-democracy and human rights strategies that have been core pillars of American policy in Africa since the end of the Cold War. The current aggressive Russian propaganda war mocks U.S claims of upholding democratic ideals and seeks to negatively highlight any and all shortcomings in the American social fabric. The anti-American tenor of Russian propaganda can be seen from even just a quick viewing of Russian national-owned Russia Today (RT) TV. Russian diplomats are as well carrying the message to African leaders that they should find their own solutions to African problems and not be forced to model themselves on the systems of non-African nations, a clear effort to encourage a rejection of liberal democratic ideals.
  • Tripartite Free Trade Area plods along slowly in Africa

    BOTSWANA, 2017/06/24 Trade between African nations has long been outstripped by intra-regional trade in other parts of the world – for Africa as a whole, intra-regional trade is between 10% and 13% of total trade. This is far lower than in regions such as the EU, where about 60% of trade is between member states, and the Association of South-east Asian Nations, which has a rate of about 25%. Intra-regional trade in North America is put at about 40%. However, the ratification of the Tripartite Free Trade Sector(TFTA) – potentially later in 2017 – could help change that and push the development of additional intra-regional trade increase. A pan-regional free-trade zone, the TFTA stretches from Cairo to Cape Town and encompasses 26 African nations. Africa’s Tripartite Free Trade Area would reduce regional tariffs and create a pan-African single market, to aid development and cash in on a growing middle class in the continent. But with member countries often belonging to multiple economic areas, progress is both complex and slow, as Kit Gillet reports.  
  • Importers threaten to increase prices of goods if government implements tax to fund African Union

    BOTSWANA, 2017/06/15 Importers have threatened to increase the prices of goods if the government implements the 0.2% import tax to fund the AU. Mr Samson Awingobit Asaki, Executive Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association, told the Ghana News Agency that the implementation of the tax would increase the cost of operation for importers. Mr Asaki added that at the same time as it happens like that, they would have no other choice than to transfer the cost onto the prices of goods for the consumers.
  • Indonesia to discuss trade agreements during IORA meetings

    INDONESIA, 2017/03/06 The Trade Ministry will approach six nations, mostly non-traditional markets, to try and expand Indonesian exports and discuss the potential of sealing trade agreements during a series of high-level meetings with members and partners of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) next week. The six nations are the United Arab Emirates (UAE), South Africa, Bangladesh, Iran, the United States and the United Kingdom (UK). The UAE, South Africa, Bangladesh and Iran are IORA members, while the US and the UK are IORA partners that will participate in the meetings from March 5 to March 7.
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