Wednesday, January 28, 2015
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Economic Diplomacy

Economic diplomacy is concerned with setting the ‘rules of the game’ for the conduct of economic policy. Effective economic diplomacy requires understanding both the domestic political economy environment and the external negotiating environment, and the constraints of each.

Economic diplomacy matters to Southern Africa because the rules of the game shape domestic economic policy in important ways, and in an increasingly multi-polar world international economic negotiations are growing in importance across a number of fronts. These may shape domestic and regional economic policies in ways that could be inimical to pursuing sustainable outcomes. Therefore it is necessary to ensure regional interests are articulated and understood.

SAIIA’s primary purpose is to assist with the articulation of such interests by conducting high-level analytical work and making it publicly available in digestible forms to key Southern African actors and their international counterparts.


The project is funded by the British High Commission in South Africa (BHC) the Danish International Development Agency (Danida), the Department for International Development (DFID), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

SAIIA Policy Briefing No 118, December 2014
Published in Policy Briefings
Monday, 12 January 2015 12:28

The G-20 and Development: Ensuring Greater African Participation

By Emmanuel Nnadozie and Catherine Grant Makokera
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 117, November 2014
Published in Policy Briefings
Sunday, 11 January 2015 13:51
It is hoped that African countries will soon be signing a new free trade agreement that will take the continent one step closer to its goal of economic development.The Tripartite Free Trade Area (T-FTA) spans from Cape Town to Cairo and it will bring together three existing regional groupings in Southern and Eastern Africa: the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the East African Community (EAC) and the Community for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). Its aim is to open the markets of up to twenty-six member countries with a total of 530 million people whose current GDP is approximately 58%…
Published in Opinion & Analysis
Thursday, 18 December 2014 10:49

Mega-Regional Trade Agreements: Strategic Implications for South Africa

By Peter Draper, Simon Lacey and Yash Ramkolowan
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 206, November 2014
Published in Occasional Papers
Monday, 15 December 2014 11:47
The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) is collaborating with the Centre for the Study of the Economies of Africa (CSEA) and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) to host this event that will explore Africa’s involvement in global economic governance.
Published in Events
Monday, 08 December 2014 14:59
The Department of Political Sciences and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) are holding a conference on 'Alliances Beyond BRICS: South Africa’s role in global economic governance.'
Published in Events
Thursday, 04 December 2014 12:02
Dr Bheki Mfeka, Special Economic Adviser to the President, and South African G-20 Sous Sherpa, today addressed the Third Annual African G-20 Conference. His full speech is now available online.
Published in Events
Tuesday, 02 December 2014 11:49
In July 2014, the BRICS grouping (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), announced the creation of a new, US$100 billion New Development Bank to lend money to developing nations for investments. There is much speculation about the role the Bank might play, and the motivations of the BRICS members in establishing it.
Published in Multimedia
Thursday, 27 November 2014 09:06
In 2011, the SADC Secretariat in collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) initiated a research and dialogue project to identify the most significant constraints to doing business in the SADC region. The idea was to make these more tangible – beyond the desk research stage, by conducting firm-level case studies on the identified constraints.
Published in News & Announcements
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 19:11
The South African Institute of International Affairs and the Economic Policy Forum are holding a Roundtable Discussion on 'Drivers of Regional Integration.'
Published in Events
Tuesday, 25 November 2014 17:22
On 24 November 2014, the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town and the South African Institute of International Affairs, hosted a conference on 'Development Banks of the Developing World: Regional Roles, Governance and Sustainability.'
Published in Events
Monday, 24 November 2014 17:32
The South African Institute of International Affairs, the University of Pretoria and the US Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa will be holding a discussion with Catherine A. Novelli, United States Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment. This event is by invite only.
Published in Events
Thursday, 13 November 2014 13:16
On 12 November 2014, Oxfam South Africa and the Global Economic Governance Africa project, a joint initiative by SAIIA and the University of Pretoria, held a Media Briefing and panel discussion on the upcoming G-20 Summit. A video of the briefing is now online.
Published in Events
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 17:13
Is the Group of 20 (G-20) working for Africa? A special resource, the G-20 and Africa Monitor, assesses how well G-20 decision-makers have served African interests since the grouping was first established. A new update has just been released, summarising the key outcomes of the 2013 St Petersburg Summit, and the impact for Africa.
Published in News & Announcements
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 08:55
Group of 20 (G-20) Summits are a magnet for expectations. Ever since the grouping was formed in the turbulent early days of the 2008 global financial crisis major stakeholders have pinned many hopes on the ability of the group to steer the globe back to growth. The ongoing impact of the crisis has brought into perspective the relationship between issues which previously were tackled in isolation such as growth, energy, tax, reform of global institutions, corruption, employment, investment, trade, infrastructure, and financial regulation. An unexpected consequence of the crisis was the realisation by financial and political elites that many of…
Published in Opinion & Analysis
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 09:58
Ahead of ninth annual Summit of the Group of 20 (G-20) nations, to be held in Brisbane from 15- 16 November, SAIIA has made a range of useful materials available. From the facts about the G-20, to the issues likely to arise at the Summit, the experts and resources below can assist journalists, commentators and researchers prepare to follow the event.
Published in News & Announcements
Monday, 10 November 2014 17:19

South Africa and Taxation: Dennis Davis

By SAIIA’s Economic Diplomacy Team
The 2014 Group of 20 (G-20) Summit, to be held on 15 to 16 November, is expected to outline implementation plans for the automatic exchange of tax information. South Africa is the only African member of the G-20. SAIIA, in cooperation with the Mandela Institute, School of Law at the University of Witwatersrand, held a pre- G-20 Summit Study Group on 20 October 2014 focused on the progress made by the G-20 on tax under Australia as the 2014 Chair. Judge Dennis Davis, Chair of the Davis Tax Committee, addressed this Study Group. He spoke to SABC News about key taxation issues…
Published in Multimedia
Tuesday, 21 October 2014 09:16
The Economic Diplomacy Programme at SAIIA and the Mandela Institute, School of Law at the University of Witwatersrand hosted a public G-20 Study Group on 'Ensuring South African and Other Developing Nations Benefit from the G-20's Work on Tax.'
Published in Events
Monday, 20 October 2014 17:02
The growth of the private sector is recognised as crucial to unlock economic growth in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). But there are numerous barriers to trade in the region. Supported by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), SAIIA has undertaken research to identify the top 10 barriers to doing business in the SADC region.
Published in Multimedia
Thursday, 09 October 2014 13:32
The Institute for International Trade (Australia) and the South African Institute for International Affairs together hosted a one-day workshop on “Aid for Trade Priorities for Africa and the Role of the Private Sector”, 3 October 2014.
Published in Events
Friday, 03 October 2014 11:47
A new project, coordinated by SAIIA, is exploring how multilateral trade negotiations can be revitalised to overcome both existing and emerging challenges.
Published in News & Announcements
Monday, 22 September 2014 09:01

Ethiopia, Regional Integration and the COMESA Free Trade Area

By Tewodros Makonnen and Halellujah Lulie
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 198, August 2014
Published in Occasional Papers
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 11:14

SADC leaders must show zeal

By Catherine Grant Makokera
The heads of state and government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) members are ensconced in the resort town of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. This is for the annual summit of the regional economic community (17-18 August) that includes countries from as far north as Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Published in Opinion & Analysis
Monday, 18 August 2014 09:36
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of State and Government will meet for the 34th Ordinary Summit at the resort town of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, from on Sunday 17 August to Monday 18 August.  
Published in Media
Thursday, 14 August 2014 17:16
The US-Africa Leaders’ Summit, 4 to 6 August 2014, is the first such event of its kind and the largest event any US President has held with African heads of state and government. At its core, it is about fostering stronger ties between the US and Africa, and is expected to advance the Obama Administration’s focus on trade and investment in Africa.
Published in Multimedia
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 11:35
This week African leaders have descended on Washington, DC for the first ever US-Africa Leaders Summit. African leaders are expected to arrive with a long list of items to address with President Barack Obama, with the need to expeditiously reauthorise the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) near the top of the list.
Published in Opinion & Analysis
Tuesday, 05 August 2014 10:06
On September 30, 2015, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) will expire. The act provides duty free access to the US, and if it lapses could threaten 62,395 jobs in South Africa alone.
Published in Opinion & Analysis
Monday, 04 August 2014 10:20
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 100, July 2014
Published in Policy Briefings
Friday, 01 August 2014 13:15
The US-Africa Leaders’ Summit takes place from 4 to 6 August, and is the first such event of its kind. The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) has been following developments in US-Africa relations in recent years, and has put together a set of resources to help observers and the media understand the dynamics at play.
Published in Media
Thursday, 31 July 2014 18:18

The African Growth and Opportunity Act At a Glance

By Michael Carr and Christopher Wood
In the lead up to the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit, taking place from 4 to 6 August, all eyes are on the future of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). South Africa currently qualifies trade preferences under the Act, along with 38 other African states. But just what is the Act, why is it important, and what is the current state of trade between the US and Africa?
Published in Opinion & Analysis
Thursday, 31 July 2014 14:50
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