Monday, March 30, 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).

After a ‘gloom and doom’ Mid-Term Budget Policy Statement in October last year, it was hoped that Finance Minister Nene’s recent Budget Speech would allay concerns that South Africa’s public finances are in dire straits.
Published in Opinion & Analysis
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 14:36
Policymakers in Pretoria, Nairobi and Maseru are holding their breath as the latest renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) makes its way through the partisan gridlock of the US congress. AGOA offers duty free access to the richest market on the planet on 1800 tariff lines, generates over 62,000 jobs in South Africa alone, and sustains apparel industries in countries such as Lesotho and Mauritius.
Published in Opinion & Analysis
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 07:55
Negotiations for an extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) have been in the headlines recently, as the Act's September 2015 expiration deadline looms. This non-reciprocal trade preference programme provides duty-free access to the US market for certain products from eligible sub-Saharan African countries.
Published in Multimedia
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 15:25
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 210, February 2015
Published in Occasional Papers
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 09:06
Recent events confirm that South Africa’s perceived receptiveness towards foreign direct investment (FDI) is declining. Consequently some foreigners are disillusioned, and look to better growth prospects elsewhere in Africa.
Published in Opinion & Analysis
Tuesday, 10 March 2015 16:07
SAIIA, in partnership with the International Development Law Unit at the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies at Wits University, hosted a Guest Lecture by Dr Julie Maupin, Senior Research Fellow at the Max-Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg, Germany.
Published in Events
Tuesday, 10 March 2015 15:26
The leaders of the African continent declared their resolve to follow through on their 'Agenda 2063' vision at the 24th African Union (AU) Summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia last month.
Published in Opinion & Analysis
Thursday, 05 March 2015 12:36

Making AGOA Work for Africa

By Christopher Wood
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 127, February 2015
Published in Policy Briefings
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 16:03
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 126, February 2015
Published in Policy Briefings
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 15:51
The Economic Diplomacy Programme at the South African Institute of International Affairs with support from the British High Commission, invited South African and international government representatives, investors, academics, experts, and practitioners to an open seminar on investment regulation, promotion and protection on Monday, 16 February 2015 in Cape Town.
Published in Events
Monday, 16 February 2015 11:32
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
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