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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.

SAIIA Policy Insights No 9, March 2015
On 27 March 2015, the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), the Centre for Africa's International Relations (CAIR),  the Embassy of Japan, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) jointly hosted a Seminar on 'Policy lessons from Asia for Industrialisation in South Africa.'
SAIIA Policy Insights No 8, March 2015
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 211, March 2015
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 131, March 2015
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.
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.
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.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 210, February 2015
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.
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.
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.
Since President Mbeki's administration gave way to President Jacob Zuma's one, South Africa has taken a back seat on international issues. This does not bode well for a country like South Africa with so much political capital accrued over the past two and half decades.
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 127, February 2015
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 126, February 2015
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.
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 118, December 2014
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 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.
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.'
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.
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.
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.
The South African Institute of International Affairs and the Economic Policy Forum are holding a Roundtable Discussion on 'Drivers of Regional Integration.'
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.'
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.