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Trade (555)

‘Cui bono?’ or ‘Who benefits?’ is a question often asked by well-known political economist Susan Strange. This was also the guiding question of a recent SAIIA study on the tropical timber trade in Africa’s Great Lakes region. The report, entitled Timber Trade in Africa’s Great Lakes: The road from Beni, DRC to Kampala, Uganda focuses on international, regional and local demand-side drivers of tropical timber exports from the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to and through Uganda.
The SADC summit in Maputo, Mozambique, this week will consider approving the regional infrastructure development master plan. It aims to deal with the region’s deficit in road, rail, ports, power, communication and water infrastructure. The deficit is estimated to be about $100-billion.
There has been an explosion of attention given to China's interests and activities in Africa and on the wide spectrum of Chinese actors involved in countries across the continent, but the terms and implications of the China-Angola partnership remain unclear.
13 August 2012: Diplomatic relations between SA and US have been under scrutiny during the visit of US secretary of State Hillary Clinton to South Africa. Joining Karima Brown in studio on CNBC Africa's Political Exchange show to unpack both trade and diplomatic issues underpinning South Africa's relationship with the US is Dr Scot Firsing from Monash University, who is also a SAIIA Bradlow Fellow, and Tom Wheeler, a Research Associate with SAIIA.
The theme of the African Union (AU) summit in January this year was “Boosting Intra-African Trade”. African heads of state and governments reaffirmed their commitment to the acceleration and deepening of Africa’s integration by approving an action plan and setting timelines.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 118, July 2012
07 August 2012: South Africa-US relations are under the spotlight as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits South Africa. Her visit is emblematic of her commitment to the US-South Africa Strategic Dialogue which was launched in April 2010. Dr. Scott Firsing, a Bradlow Fellow with SAIIA, reviews the history of trade and diplomatic relations between the two countries, and offers some insights for the future on an episode of CNBC Africa's Beyond Markets show.
The Secretary of State of the United States of America is expected to visit South Africa from 4 to 7 August 2012. Little has been said, officially, about her engagements during the visit, but many expect the visit to further the aims of the bilateral US-South Africa Strategic Dialogue, launched in April 2010.
Rapid economic growth in South Africa must be accompanied by policies to boost job creation and training opportunities, particularly among youths, according to a report launched today.
Wednesday, 25 July 2012

SADC Business Case Studies

A new set of case studies, looking at the barriers to doing businesss faced by firms in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, has just been released.
The South African Institute of International Affairs, Eastern Cape Branch, invites you to a public seminar to be addressed by Dr. Martin Zimmermann, President and CEO Mercedes-Benz South Africa, on "Smarter is better than Bigger: Economic Growth VS Sustainable Development."
SAIIA Report No 11, July 2012  Download - English [.pdf] (2.82 MB) Governance of Africa's Resource Programme The report provides a political economy analysis of the trade in tropical timber from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to and through Uganda via the Northern Transit Corridor. The study focuses on international, regional and local demand-side drivers for tropical timber exports from the eastern DRC to and through Uganda.
A new report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) finds that global trade rules are outdated, in light of changing realities. The study, called The Shifting Geography of Global Value Chains: Implications for Developing Countries and Trade Policy was conducted by the WEF’s Global Agenda Council on the Global Trade System. It examines how shifts in global value chains are likely to impact on developing countries and international trade policy.
How can World Trade Organisations rules be advanced in the absence of a conclusion of the Doha round? Other approaches need to be explored, including plurilateral or small group negotiations under the auspices of the WTO.
05 July 2012: Inefficient cross border customs procedures are costing the southern African region around 48 million dollars per year, according to African Development Bank. The trade barriers are not only dampening potential trade between African countries, but between Africa and the Rest of the world.
China's economic slow-down has been somewhat overshadowed recently by the Eurozone crisis and the threat of a 'Grexit'. The 'Chindown' remains a concern however with fear and apprehension continuing to grow over the exact implications of this decline for the rest of the world, fresh out of one global economic crisis, and with Europe seemingly teetering on the brink of a full blown meltdown. International financial institutions are reducing their growth estimates for China. This week there were further weaknesses highlighted by the slow-down in China's manufacturing sector. While the timely implementation of stimulus measures managed to tide China through…
20 July 2012: A new report by the World Economic Forum has found that global trade rules are frankly outdated. The world of trade and investment has changed fundamentally in recent years, leaving policy and regulatory approaches behind in many ways. It goes as far as suggesting that global value chains be given central role in trade negotiations.
One of the defining features of trade policy in South Africa today is its demotion from being a key driver of growth to the use of trade policy as a mere tool of industrial policy. This is not really surprising. In the sustained economic slump since the global financial crisis, most developing – and even developed countries - have become somewhat cynical of trade liberalisation and are looking inward for solutions to their economic woes. Nevertheless, as we pursue our bold economic vision as embodied by the New Growth Path and the National Development Plan there is still a case…
Indian President Pratibha Patil was in South Africa this month, accompanied by a business delegation that is looking to explore the potential for opportunities. President Jacob Zuma stressed the importance of enhancing relations with India in both infrastructure and trade.
The on-going economic crisis facing the Eurozone does not only have potential ramifications for the single currency and the future trajectory of the European Union itself, but also for the rest of the world. Recent decisions by the eurozone members have increased international confidence in the ability of the Union to weather the storm.
Making Key Business Constraints in SADC Tangible: Experiences of the Private Sector Harare, Zimbabwe
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 114, March 2012
On March 29th BRICS Heads of State will gather in Delhi. Forging a common trade and investment platform is a challenging proposition. It is easier for the leaders to focus on what unites them in international economic negotiations, rather than what divides them in bilateral relations. However, some attention will have to be paid to those differences if their cooperation on the international stage is to be fruitful.
The South African Institute of International Affairs, the Deutsche Gesellschaft furInternationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the African Development Bank are delighted toinvite you to the Regional Trade in Services RoundtableJohannesburg
The SADC Secretariat, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit – GIZ – and the South African Institute for International Affairs (SAIIA) would like to invite you to participate in the launch of a series of business case studies documenting theTOP 10 business constraints in SADC region in a tangible way.Johannesburg
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 111, March 2012