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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 Occasional Paper No 216, April 2015
The bill to extend the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the United States’ cornerstone African development initiative, has finally arrived in Congress in the form of the AGOA Extension and Enhancement Act of 2015.
The BRICS alliance seems to have yielded limited tangible economic benefits for South Africa. Should South Africa therefore explore alternative groupings in global economic governance fora? A new set of papers has been commissioned by SAIIA on the theme 'South Africa Beyond BRICS', looking at just such a question.
The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) will be hosting a Speaker’s Meeting to be addressed by Dr Andreas Dombret, Member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank, on 'Monetary Policy and Financial Regulation in Europe.'
A new set of papers has just been released, looking at BRICS and Development Finance Institutions.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) has recently been a hot topic in South Africa, following the government's unilateral cancellation of bilateral investment treaties (BITs) with the European Union and the release of the draft Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill. But what is FDI, and why is it important?
At the recent University of the Witwatersrand’s Mandela Institute Conference on the Private Security Industry Regulatory Act Amendment Bill, commonly known as the Security Bill, National Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa provided the keynote address. From the various presentations at the Conference, held on 19 March 2015, it became apparent that there is a disconnect between South Africa’s national security imperatives and its trade and investment policy.
The South African government wishes to take a more interventionist approach towards inward foreign investment. Its view is that the current system is biased towards big multinationals and it wants more room to pursue the country’s social and economic goals.
On 31 March 2015, the South African Institute of International Affairs hosted a G-20 Study Group on 'Turkey and the G-20 Presidency: Implications for Africa.'
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