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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.

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.  
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.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014

G-20 and Africa Monitor: Updated

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.'
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.
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.
The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), through its Economic Diplomacy Programme, held a Scoping Workshop on South Africa’s foreign investment framework, 23 September 2014. The papers from this workshop will be presented at a high level public forum in Cape Town in the first quarter of 2015.
A new project, coordinated by SAIIA, is exploring how multilateral trade negotiations can be revitalised to overcome both existing and emerging challenges.
A new project, coordinated by SAIIA, is exploring how multilateral trade negotiations can be revitalised to overcome both existing and emerging challenges.
A new project, coordinated by SAIIA, is exploring how multilateral trade negotiations can be revitalised to overcome both existing and emerging challenges.
A new project, coordinated by SAIIA, is exploring how multilateral trade negotiations can be revitalised to overcome both existing and emerging challenges.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 198, August 2014
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).
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.  
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.
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.
The UP Department of Political Sciences and the South African Institute of International Affairs hosted a two-week winter school on global economic governance on the UP campus from 4 to 15 August.
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.