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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.

Contact the programme on edip[@]saiia.org.za.

As the city of Maputo prepares itself to host the World Economic Forum African summit this week under the theme Engaging Business in Development it is apt to reflect on the economic track record of Africa.
Tony Blair's Africa Commission is due to make its report public on how to assist African development early next year. What should this report contain? The problem for Blair and his fellow travellers is not that they lack the best intentions. The commission's establishment is an indication of the priority the UK prime minister has attached to Africa, which, he has said, is a "scar on the conscience of the world".
A recent survey by the South African Institute of International Affairs on the experience of South African companies and subsidiaries operating in Egypt found that most regard it as a promising market.
Ghana's New National Patriotic Party government is facing a keenly awaited political contest in December when Ghanaians go to the polls to elect a new president and parliament. But Ghana's robust economic growth over the past four years under President John Kufuor's leadership is the government's trump card.
EGYPT faces the first contested presidential elections in its history next Wednesday. President Hosni Mubarak’s ruling party, the National Democratic Party (NDP), is poised to win. Mubarak’s liberalisation of the economy, the introduction of fiscal, monetary and institutional reforms, and the country’s relative political stability are his trump cards. For international and local investors this means a continuation of investment-friendly policies.
MINING in Africa appears to be the lifeline for the viability and sustainability of SA’s mining giants, which are facing rising costs related to deep-level mining and ageing mines. A recent survey by the South African Institute of International Affairs, conducted among South African mining firms on their African operations, has found that most respondents see the continent as a promising market.
Although Africa boasts some lucrative emerging markets and oil and gas fields that, once fully operational, could be geo-strategically important for the North (given the volatility of the Middle East), the continent is off the radar screen of most foreign investors. In fact, its natural and mineral resources have been more bane than boon. It is up to African governments to lead they way in ensuring that Africa is put on the international business map.
Ghana has emerged as the hub for SA companies seeking to do business in West Africa. This is at the expense of the larger Nigeria, which is still seen as a risky investment destination, and Côte d'Ivoire, which descended into civil war two years ago.
THE World Economic Forum meeting in Cape Town will discuss the role that the private sector, and specifically SA, can play in supporting the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad).
With its capital and principal port of Dakar located on the westernmost point of Africa, Senegal is poised to become the gateway to Francophone west Africa. The semi-arid former French colony is regarded as the economic success in the region with its strong commitment to the rule of law and democratic institutions.
A prevailing dilemma for leaders from the Group of Eight (G8) and Africa centres on the future prospects of the much-hailed New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad).
22 April 2005, Business Day DEVELOPING Asia is moving up SA’s strategic agenda. In recent months China and India have dominated the headlines as we move to start free-trade negotiations with them. Those processes, particularly that with China, are proving contentious. Partly in consequence, little attention has been paid to southeast Asia.
China has captured the world's attention. There are two reasons for this: 1.3 billion people and a rate of economic growth doubling the economy every five years since 1980.
READERS of these pages should be aware of the regular statistical consommé on China and the effect of its economic growth. For example, if the People’s Republic had to reach US car ownership levels, it would consume more oil than is currently produced daily and the 600-million cars on China’s roads would be more than all the cars in the world today; and if the Chinese annually ate as much fish per capita as the Japanese, they would consume the entire world fish harvest.
Africa needs China. As in other parts of the developing world, China’s insatiable appetite for natural resources is creating unprecedented demand for commodities, pushing prices to new highs and fuelling economic growth across the continent.
By Dianna Games Business in Africa Report, No 1, 2004 SAIIA: 2004ISBN: 1-919969-21-7Published by SAIIA & funded by the Royal Danish Embassy, Pretoria. In less than a decade, South Africa has become one of the top 10 investors in, and trading partner of, many African countries. This report looks briefly at four sectors and four countries. The sectors are banking; telecommunications; retail and food; and mining. The countries are Morocco, Ghana, Mozambique, and Uganda.
Thursday, 17 April 2008

Development through Trade

Established in March 2003 SAIIA's Development through Trade Programme has three principle objectives: Facilitate consultation between governments and civil society over trade and investment policies and negotiations; Facilitate "dialogue" between trade, investment and foreign policies; Broaden public debate over trade and investment policies. 
Edited by G Mills and G Shelton, 2003ISBN: 1-919969-12-8Pages: 85This book, a compilation of papers presented at a conference at the South African Institute of International Affairs on The Asia-Pacific and Africa: Realising Economic Potential, highlights the areas of opportunity in South and Southern Africa’s commercial relations with countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
In late February a diplomatic flurry in the regional trading firmament erupted.  Our Foreign Minister stated in Parliament that the EU, out of fear over the Chinese trade "threat", is using Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the EU to lock in old colonial trading relationships. Subsequently Peter Mandelson, EU Trade Commissioner, descended on Pretoria and Gaborone. What is going on? 
The 4th IBSA Summit The 4th India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) trilateral summit will be held in Brazil on 15 April 2010. Established in 2003, the trilateral forum aims to improve relations between the three countries in a host of spheres. SAIIA’s Emerging Powers Programme explores key policy issues in this expanding South-South relationship. Some of these can be viewed here:
SACU turns 100 This year the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), the oldest customs union in the world, marks its 100th anniversary.  This centenary comes amidst upheavals in global economics, paralysis in the multilateral trading system, and the organization’s own trials notably the split precipitated by the Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations with the European Union. In a historically unprecedented move SACU heads of state and government met for the first time ever on April 22nd and issued a joint communiqué reaffirming their confidence in SACU’s future.
Sir Nicholas Stern, from the British High Commission, is undertaking an international tour to promote The Stern Review and his economic message on the urgency of tackling climate change through active dissemination of the key issues. The Review was launched on 30 October 2006 and it has received significant and positive media coverage around the world. He will be at the institute where he will discuss his findings under the topic 'The Stern Review: Economics of Climate Change' at Jan Smuts House at 7pm. A copy of the Stern Review is available at www.sternreview.org.uk RSVP: Pumla Moguerane on (011) 339-2021 or mogueranep@saiia.wits.ac.za Venue: Jan Smuts House
by Dianna Games Business in Africa Report, No 3, 2004Business in Africa Project SAIIA: 2004ISBN: 1-919969-28-4Published by SAIIA & funded by the Royal Danish Embassy, Pretoria.     In the rush for markets into the rest of Africa after the country's 1994 democratic elections, South African companies did not regard Nigeria as a most favoured destination. However, it was not long before South African companies recognised that despite the perceived difficulties of the country, Nigeria was a market to be reckoned with. This report is based on a series of interviews conducted both in Nigeria and South Africa over several…
Business in Africa Report, No 2, 2004 by Neuma Grobbelaar SAIIA: 2004ISBN: 1-919969-23-3Published by SAIIA & funded by the Royal Danish Embassy, Pretoria Based on a survey conducted in November 2003 of 20 South African companies doing business in Mozambique, this publication tracks the experience of South African firms in that country. Although South Africa is a leading investor representing 49% of total foreign direct investment (FDI) from 1997-2002, the sizeable number of South African businesses does not imply that the country offers a trouble-free, uncomplicated business environment.
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