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Trade (559)

Friday, 23 June 2017

Brave new world

We are a far cry from the 1800s and the so-called glory days of the British Empire, but sentimentality over ‘making Britain great again’ fuelled the British vote to exit the European Union (EU).
The Kingdom of Lesotho is a country of extremes: breath-taking beauty and widespread poverty. It’s classified by the UN as one of the least developed countries in the world.
Industrialisation is a key driver of sustainable development. It creates jobs, adds value and promotes trade through greater integration into global value chains. At the same time, entrepreneurship and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are critical to every economy by creating jobs and innovative goods, promoting a competitive environment and economic growth, and facilitating income distribution. The South African government recognises the need for entrepreneurship and SMEs’ engagement with industrialisation efforts to address some of the key socio-economic challenges in the country, particularly poverty, inequality and unemployment. However, South African entrepreneurs still face a number of constraints that hinder greater…
Earlier this year, president Xi Jinping strode the world stage at Davos with his statement that 'We should commit ourselves to growing an open global economy… Pursuing protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room.'
The latest issue of the South African Journal of International Affairs Vol 23.4 is now available online.
SAIIA Policy Insights No 41, March 2017
On 23 June 2016, voters in the United Kingdom decided that their country should leave the European Union (EU). Politics has moved quickly since that day. The UK has a new government, and a new Prime Minister, Theresa May. And preparations are underway for a negotiation which will see the UK exiting the EU.
If the first two months are anything to go by, 2017 will be an unusual year for Africa as two of its largest trading partners – China and America – are undergoing major political and economic transitions.
After his inauguration on Friday, Donald Trump is now the 45th president of the United States. His decidedly short inauguration speech evoked his central narrative of populism and domestic focus, with very little foray into policy detail.
The Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will be visiting five African countries this month namely Madagascar, Zambia, Tanzania, Republic of Congo and Nigeria. This would mark the Foreign Minister's first overseas destination.
China has published a notice that the processing and sale of ivory and ivory products 'will be stopped by December 31, 2017.' Following a decision taken at the latest Convention on International Trade in Endangered Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) conference to end all domestic trade in ivory, China has duly made a credible commitment to this end.
Sponsored by the Australian Government, SAIIA and the Institute for International Trade Australia hosted a one-day workshop on Harnessing Gender for Inclusive Trade Workshop.
The unexpected presidential win by Donald Trump has sent shock waves across the globe, largely because during his presidential campaign a series of highly controversial statements were made by the Republican candidate on women, the fight against terrorism, migration and global warming.
In the run-up to this year’s presidential elections in the US, SAIIA’s experts will be providing weekly updates on the key developments, with a view to how the issues at stake might affect South Africa and Africa.
The Public Forum is an annual three-day event organised by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to facilitate discussions and debates from global actors on issues facing trade and development. This year's event, held from 27 to 29 September 2016, focused on 'Inclusive Trade' as a way to harness trade for the economic empowerment of the most marginalised members of society, and finding innovative ways to make trading conditions easier for them.
This week the United States (US) hosted African nations for the annual African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) forum under the theme: ‘Maximising AGOA now while preparing for the future beyond AGOA'. AGOA, a unilateral development programme offering African countries duty free access for select exports to the US, is set to expire in 2025.
The TRADE research entity at the North-West University and SAIIA jointly held a workshop on 'Navigating Global Economic Headwinds and Tailwinds: New Directions for Industrial and Trade Policy'.
SAIIA and the Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa held a panel discussion on 'Reflections on how to create a transparent and sustainable location for doing business in the commodities sector: the Swiss case.' This discussion was led by H.E. Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, Swiss State Secretary for Economic Affairs.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international regulatory treaty between 182 member states. It was formed in 1973 and regulates the international trade in over 35,000 wild species of plants and animals.
The 11th G-20 Summit in Hangzhou, China closed earlier this week, focusing on the 'New' Industrial Revolution and technological changes, such as big data, robotics, and cloud computing. Innovation has been China’s key area of interest throughout their G-20 Presidency, dedicating many discussions to how new industries could invigorate the global economy.
The international investment landscape has been shifting over the past two decades. Governments are increasingly realising the potential for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to achieve not only economic growth, but developmental objectives as well.
SAIIA Policy Insights No 34, August 2016
Three countries in southern Africa have banded together to press for the ban on international trade in ivory to be lifted. South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe have submitted a joint proposal to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). They are asking for permission to trade in ivory without which, they argue, there are no positive incentives to conserve elephants or their habitats.
A meeting on the SADC Regional Investment Framework is taking place in Johannesburg this week, to look at, amongst other priorities, investment in regional and global value chains. These discussions will take place against the background of slowing global economic growth and a decline in commodity earnings for African countries.
SAIIA, the Economic Policy Forum (EPF) and the Southern-African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAGCC) held a Business Breakfast Discussion on 'Regional Drivers and Barriers to Business' on 26 July 2016.
The Beitbridge border between Zimbabwe and South Africa, the busiest border post in Southern Africa, has been rocked by unprecedented violent protests since June. The protests largely concern the restrictive trade measures unexpectedly introduced by the Zimbabwean government, which included banning the importation of basic commodities like body creams, baked beans and bottled water.
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