Trade diplomacy

Africa fund intends to raise $2b in 2014

Beijing: The China-Africa Development Fund, the nation's largest equity fund focused on African investments, will raise another $2 billion in 2014 to boost the continent's agricultural and steel sectors and upgrade its industrial development. Chi Jianxin, president of the fund, said China has been looking to invest in different ways in Africa instead of focusing only on building infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, ports and cement plants. The fund became operational in 2007, with a target of raising $5 billion. It raised an initial $1 billion, with a second tranche of $2 billion being contributed by the China Development Bank in 2012.

Africa Trade Network statement on the Bali Package

Bali:  Whatever the expectations with which African countries came to Bali, they are leaving virtually empty-handed. There is hardly anything of substance in the just adopted Bali package that addresses Africa’s developmental imperatives. The agreed text on trade facilitation is the very opposite of what African countries need to address the fundamental and peculiar challenges that they face in moving goods and services across national borders.

China aims to establish network of high-level FTAs

Beijing: China plans to build a high-level network of free trade agreements while pledging to act as a firm supporter of the multilateral trade system under the World Trade Organization, trade officials said on Wednesday. "China has basically established a platform of free trade agreements covering neighboring regions and FTA networks radiating the continents," Yao Jian, spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce, told reporters in Beijing. In the comprehensive reform plan released in November, China vowed to speed up its FTA strategy based on trade pacts with neighboring economies and to develop a global and high-standard FTA network.

The India-Brazil-South Africa Forum a decade on: mismatched partners or the rise of the south?

Oxford:  Groupings between countries from the South have evolved greatly over the past fifty years. In the 1960s, coalitions and voting blocs like the Non Alignment Movement and the G77, gathered the majority of countries defining themselves as from ‘the South’ and placed themselves in opposition to ‘the North’. By the 2000s, they evolved into more selective mini-lateral groupings comprising mainly of rising powers from the South. The birth of the IBSA Dialogue Forum bringing together India-Brazil-South Africa in 2003 and the BRICS forum in 2008 are some of the most important of these initiatives. Policymakers in these emerging states prefer to join or create mini-lateral selective groupings as they consider the bigger inclusive groupings like the G77 to be less productive and the emerging states to have similar global aspirations.

Chasing globalisation: Germany's economic relations with the BRIC countries

Warsaw: The Eurozone crisis has forced German exporters to speed up their expansion onto the emerging markets, in particular Brazil, Russia, India and China. The development observed in those countries has become an important substitute for the consequences of the economic slowdown in Europe. To illustrate the scale of cooperation between Germany and the BRIC countries, it is enough to quote figures concerning Germany’s trade. Between 2000-2011 the share of trade with the BRIC states in the entire German trade exchange rose from 5.5% to 13.3%.

Addis Ababa Declaration on WTO Issues

Addis Ababa:  We, the Ministers of Trade of the Member States of the African Union meeting in Addis Ababa on the 24th and 25th October 2013 in the Eighth Ordinary Session of the AU Conference of the Ministers of Trade in order to review the progress made so far in the WTO negotiations in the lead up to the 9th Ministerial Conference of the WTO (MC9) from 3 to 6 December 2013, in Bali, Indonesia;

Western Cape trade and investment seminar: Asia and Middle East

Cape Town:  The idea of this trade seminar emanated from recommendations made by the National Development Plan to our Department to improve on economic diplomacy. In order to comply with the NDP, since from 2012, DIRCO began a series of trade and investment seminars to expose the economic opportunities our country can offer to our trading partners. Up to this stage, the seminars that were already conducted took place in the Provinces of Kwazulu-Natal, Free State and North West. We aim to cover all the provinces in due course. It is important that we put this seminar in the larger global trade and investment context.

Chinese manufacturers feel their way in African market

Beijing:  Passengers leaving the airport in Johannesburg, one of Africa's busiest hubs, can see a long billboard near the baggage-claim area: "New choice, new life. Haier-inspired living." Haier, a widely known Chinese brand of home electronics and appliances, has entered Africa as part of a long-range strategy to compete with other international manufacturers in the global marketplace. Comment about China's engagement with Africa, now a subject of international attention, has in the past tended to focus on the country's involvement in infrastructure — the construction of roads, bridges, dams, stadiums and harbors. Claims have circulated, as well, that China's interest in Africa is mainly about access to the continent's natural resources.

South Africa investment law overhaul sparks concerns

Cape Town:  A new South African investment law should come into force next year to replace a raft of individual, 20-year-old treaties but foreign investors are adequately protected and have nothing to fear, trade minister Rob Davies said on Monday.  Pretoria let bilateral treaties agreed with European nations shortly before the end of apartheid lapse last month, to the concern of some foreign investors who are unsure whether the replacement law will offer the same protections. The draft Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill, published last week, rolls over existing guarantees against state seizure of assets but narrows the definition of expropriation, analysts say.

India beats China in Kenya trade deals

Nairobi:  India has extended by Sh30 billion the gap between it and China as the biggest source of Kenya’s imports in the first eight months of the year, latest official trade data shows.  The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics import figures for up to August show that Kenya bought goods worth Sh144.1 billion from India, compared to purchases worth Sh114.9 billion from China. During a comparative period in 2012, India exported goods worth Sh122.1 billion to Kenya, with imports from China worth Sh113.3 billion in the same period.


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