ATPC Weekly Digest 22 April 2019

 

NOTE

We regret to inform you that we cannot provide the French version of the Digest due to transitional arrangements. The French version will resume in May 2019.

Nous regrettons de vous informer qu’on ne pourra pas fournir la revue de presse quotidienne du Centre africain pour la politique commerciale (CAPC) en version française en raison d’arrangements transitoires. La version française va reprendre en mai 2019.


 

EVENTS THIS WEEK

23 - 26 April: 2019 Forum on responsible mineral supply chains, Paris, France (Link)

24 - 25 April: ECA Inception Meeting on Preventing Trade Mis-invoicing in Selected African Countries, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (Link)

28 April: International Conference on Belt and Road Initiative: Sharing of Policy Experiences, Beijing, China (Link)


 

INTERNATIONAL

BRICS Accounts for 30% of Iranian Non-Oil Trade - Iran traded 43.94M tons of non-oil commodities worth $23.68BN with BRICS nations during the 11 months to Feb. 19, registering a 9.47% and 8.34% decline in tonnage and value respectively compared with last year’s corresponding period. Latest data released by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration show Iran’s exports totaled 36.69M tons worth $10.49M during the period, indicating a 10.49% and 2.22% decrease in tonnage and value respectively year-on-year. (21 April, Financial Tribune)

Keywords: BRICS, Iran, Non-oil trade

China isn’t cheating on trade - News reports suggest that in the coming weeks, the United States and China will sign an agreement that repeals the tariffs the two nations have been levying on each other’s goods for the past nine months. If past behaviour is any guide, Donald Trump will call it the greatest deal ever, and global markets will breathe a sigh of relief. But the deal will likely constitute only a modest pause in Washington’s growing hostility toward Beijing. (21 April, The Atlantic)

Keywords: China, USA, Trade deal

PAN AFRICAN

Africa’s first minerals trading platform brings transparency to mining - Sawa Minerals has created and launched a platform that will transform how gold is mined and sourced across Africa and the developing world. The platform has been designed in such a way that it is easy to buy ethically mined gold from artisans and small scale miners (ASM) across Africa and the developing world. (16 April, Mining Review)

Keywords:  Africa minerals, Trading platform, Transparency

Commonwealth seeks new relevance with trade focus - Under the leadership of secretary general Baroness Patricia Scotland, a Dominican-British barrister, the Commonwealth is attempting to recast itself as a global champion of free trade and economic opportunity in an era where African member states look to multilateralism as a ticket to multi-billion dollar infrastructure deals. (17 April, African Business)

Keywords: Commonwealth, New relevance, Trade focus

As the world moves towards protectionism, Africa could be on the brink of a free trade boom - In a world where protectionism and tariffs are being used as economic weapons by the US, EU and China, Africa is making decisive steps to liberalise trade and open up its markets. The ambitious plan aims to double intra-Africa trade flows by 2022, create a single market for goods and services, allow free movement and establish a customs union. (21 April, Telegraph)

Keywords: Protectionism, Africa, Free trade boom

 

CENTRAL AFRICA

President Paul Biya and Vera Songwe invigorate Cameroon - ECA relations, spotlight Free Trade Agreement - On her first official visit to Cameroon after her appointment as UN Under Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ECA – Ms. Vera Songwe met with President Paul Biya and explored pathways to the country’s emergence via: improved macroeconomic policies for diversification and job creation; leveraging the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), unleashing the power of the digital economy and firming up the ‘tripod of peace, security and development.” (19 April, UNECA)

Keywords: Cameroon, ECA, AfCFTA

 

EAST AFRICA

Kenya’s flower growers to share Brexit pain - Kenyan flower exporters currently enjoy zero tariffs on cut flowers sold to the EU. WTO tariffs would apply to Kenyan imports to the UK in the case of a No Deal Brexit, meaning that roses would immediately become more expensive. The Traidcraft Exchange and the Fairtrade Foundation say that Kenya could face WTO tariffs of between 8.5% and 12%. (17 April, The Africa Report)

Keywords: Kenya, Flower exports, EU markets, Brexit

Mauritians eyeing more investments in East Africa - East Africa has recently seen a surge in investments from Mauritius, with banking, insurance, agriculture, telecoms, trade as well as the oil and gas sectors receiving most of the capital. Global consultancy firm Binder Dijker Otte says that investors from the Indian Ocean island nation are also eyeing the retail, real estate and hospitality sectors. (21 April, The East African)

Keywords: Mauritius, East Africa, Investments

Lawmakers want States sanctioned for EAC cash snub - The Kenyan Parliament wants sanctions instituted on East African Community (EAC) partner States that default on their contributions to the economic bloc. Kenya says some EAC member States delay remitting their share of contributions to the bloc thereby resulting in default of their financial obligations. (21 April, Business Daily)

Keywords: EAC, Share of contributions, Delay

 

NORTH AFRICA

Egypt’s exports of cement hit $19M in 2 months - Egypt’s exports of cement declined during the first two months of 2019 to $19M, compared to $23M during the same months of 2018, according to Export Council for Building Materials (ECBM). ECBM clarified in a report that cement exports in February recorded $8M, compared to $9M in the same months of 2018. (21 April, Egypt Today)

Keywords: Egypt, Cement exports, Increase

Trade minister extends fees on crust leather exports for 1 year - Trade and Industry Minister Amr Nassar has extended fees on crust leather exports for one year to start May 2. The decision is meant to meet local demands for crust leather, said Dr Amany el Wassal, head of the agreements sector at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Sunday, adding that this should also help increase the value added of national products.   (21 April, Egypt Today)

Keywords: Egypt, Leather exports, Fees on crust

 

SOUTHERN AFRICA

Namibian economist applauds Namibia-China trade relations - Omu Kakujaha-Matundu, a renowned Namibian economist and University of Namibia academic said that financial ties between Namibia and China are bearing fruits as indicated by an increasing export earnings from Namibia from the Asian power house. He reiterated that the two countries have benefited immensely from trade diversification as well willingness to actualize deals that were signed in the past. (17 April, Xinhua)

Keywords: Namibia, China, Trade relations

Air Namibia gateway to South Africa - The general manager, Air Namibia, Wimpie Van Vuuren, has observed that with 10 aircraft operated by Air Namibia, the country was extremely positioned to be a gateway to South Africa. Speaking at the unveiling of the visa processing office of Namibia in Lagos recently, Vuuren said, “Very soon we will increase our operations and we will operate jointly with Lagos and Accra routes.” (21 April, Leadership)

Keywords: Namibia, South Africa, Aviation

 

WEST AFRICA

Ghana pledges support for ECOWAS’ programmes - President Nana Akufo-Addo has pledged his country’s continued support for the Economic Community of West African West African States (ECOWAS) programmes that have direct bearing on the people of the sub-region. He gave the assurance when he received the ECOWAS Parliament Joint Committee on Trade, Finance, Customs and Free Movement of Goods and Persons in Accra. (21 April, The Guardian.ng)

Keywords: Ghana, ECOWAS programmes, Support

Review of Nigeria’s trade policy imperative for economic development - Prof. Johnathan Aremu of the Department of Economics and Development Studies, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, has called for an immediate review of policy documents guiding current trade relations with the outside world as a pedestal to revamp and boost economic development. (21 April, Independent)

Keywords: Nigeria, Trade policy, Review