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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.

Youth and migration will be central to discussions between African and European heads of state at the upcoming AU-EU Summit from 28 to 29 November in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.
The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), in collaboration with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) will host a roundtable discussion on 'Investment in Africa: Infrastructure and Regional Value Chains'.
The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), in collaboration with the Institute for International Trade, Australia cordially invites you to a one-day workshop on 'The Challenges of Regional Integration, Trade Facilitation and Gender Equity for Africa'. 
Global and regional value chain theory and analysis has mushroomed in recent years. Theorists point out that over the past decades world trade has increasingly been characterised by the fracturing of manufacturing and production processes, with different goods and services produced in different geographical locations, ultimately forming part of a single commodity. Specialisation in certain component parts of the whole has become more important than being able to produce and entire product. Lead firms manage to source inputs from across the globe.
As South Africa’s Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba prepares for his inaugural Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement on 25 October, one issue will weigh heavily on his mind: how to increase government expenditure to further stimulate growth at a time when the government’s fiscal environment remains heavily constrained.
Head: Economic Diplomacy Programme
Wednesday, 13 September 2017

AGOA: It’s time to move on

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has been the cornerstone of US-Africa trade relations since its inception in 2000. AGOA, which provides sub-Saharan African countries duty-free access to the US market for more than 6,000 product lines, has benefited parties on both side of the Atlantic. But recent developments suggest that AGOA may no longer be best suited to promote economic relations. The US and African countries should now devise an alternative arrangement for when the Act expires in 2025.
Has China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) usurped Brics as China’s flagship forum? And if so, what does this mean for future Brics co-operation? These are key questions leaders Michel Temer (Brazil), Vladimir Putin (Russia), Narendra Modi (India) and Jacob Zuma have had to consider at the meeting with their heads-of-state counterpart, China’s Xi Jinping, at the group’s annual summit in Xiamen, China.
Global headlines in the run-up to the 9th BRICS summit were dominated by the North Korean missile crisis and the stand-off in Doklam, high in the Himalayas, in Bhutan. The former had a direct bearing on the interests of Russia and China, as they share a border with North Korea, but positioned them on the same side in calling for a de-escalation in tensions between the US and North Korea. In the case of the latter though, it pitted two BRICS members, India and China, against each other.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 265, September 2017
SAIIA invites members of the media to our special briefing on the 9th BRICS Summit.
As the 37th SADC Summit kicks off, the longstanding question of how to best spur industrial growth and development in the region is at the top of policymakers’ agendas. Greater integration of countries into global and regional value chains is a key focus area given the summit’s theme: Partnering with the private sector in developing industry and value chains.
The South African Institute of International Affairs, in partnership with the Deutsche Bundesbank and the University of Pretoria, cordially invite you to a public address on 'The future of Europe and the Euro – what monetary policy can do and cannot do' with an address by Dr Andreas Dombret, Member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank.
The rapid expansion of Africa’s cities over the past decades has meant an increasing demand for infrastructure, service delivery and jobs. At the same time African policymakers, urban planners and researchers are clamouring to find innovative solutions to meet these demands. The onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution – which will see a fusion of technologies that blur the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres – will compound these challenges and experts need to plan adequately for the disruptions.
The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), in partnership with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), cordially invites you to a public address on 'The 2017 OECD Economic Survey of South Africa and Key Challenges for South Africa and the Region' with an address by Mr Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General.
As part of the G20 initiatives last week, the World Bank’s Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, or We-Fi, was launched. This was an idea initiated by Ivanka Trump at the April 'Women 20' meeting in Germany. We-Fi seeks to avail over US$1 million to empower women entrepreneurs in developing countries through access to finance, mentorships and technical training, as well as public policy advocacy and reforms on gender equality.
The 12th Summit of the G20 will take place on 7-8 July in Hamburg, representing the culmination of the German presidency of 2017. As expected the German government ran an effective presidency giving substance to the guiding theme, ‘Shaping an Interconnected World’ and building consensus under leading topics of ‘building resilience’, ‘improving sustainability’ and ‘assuming responsibility’.
South Africa has made strides over the last 20 years to promote economic growth and address unemployment, inequality and poverty. Facilitating greater trade, investment and industrialisation is a key part of this strategy.
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…
Sonke Gender Justice and SAIIA researchers Matebe Chisiza and Yarik Turianskyi explore how Rwanda has managed to be the world’s leading example in terms of female representation in politics.
The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Global Economic Governance Africa (GEGA) Programme invite you to a conference on Finance and Development: Experiences in south-south collaboration from Africa, Asia and Latin America
SAIIA and the Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA), together with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), hosted a workshop at the Beshale hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
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