Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

May 2017
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EDITO
Monday, 29 May 2017

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has provided over 30 million U.S dollars to support South Sudan’s membership in the African trade, insurance and development body and also strengthen electricity distribution networks. AfDB said in a statement on Thursday evening it has approved 18.15 million U.S. dollars to Juba to help with required resources to support its membership in the African Trade Insurance (ATI) and Trade and Development Bank (TDB). AfDB also approved a supplementary loan of 14.57 million dollars to rehabilitate and expand the electricity distribution networks in the South Sudanese capital Juba.

South African group Shoprite plans to invest US$571.7 million in the expansion of its supermarket and distribution network in Angola under an investment contract signed with the Technical Unit for Private Investment (UTIP). The project involves opening 15 shopping centres over the next five years, 22 supermarkets (three already in operation since 2015), a warehouse and two residential structures for staff, as well as improvements in four supermarkets. The investment will cover 11 of Angola’s 18 provinces and includes the creation of 5,613 jobs for Angolans, of which 3,278 in Luanda.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

A key matter before the Pacific Islands Forum economic ministers who are meeting in Suva is how to set up a regional finance facility. The ministers have had the idea of such a facility before them for several years as they look to ways to pay for development in the region. Don Wiseman spoke with the Forum's trade commissioner to China, David Morris, who's at the meeting and began by asking if the ministers have in mind an agency like a Pacific version of the Asian Development Bank.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

On Tuesday, March 7, the ASPI Independent Commission on Trade Policy released its new report, Charting a Course for Trade and Economic Integration in the Asia-Pacific, at the Embassy of Australia in Washington, D.C. The event featured a panel of speakers, including report coauthors Wendy Cutler and Peter Grey, three Asia-Pacific ambassadors to the U.S., and moderator Shawn Donnan of the Financial Times.

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Wednesday, 05 April 2017

The ability of sugar industry in the region to survive after the removal of production quotas in the European Union (EU) on 30 September, 2017, will depend on improved competitiveness and pragmatic diversification options, according to a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat official. The end of EU's quota management for sugar is expected to lead to a fall in prices towards the international sugar price and a decrease in sugar imports from the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states, with particular impact on Caribbean producers. In an address on 23 March to the opening of a regional policy workshop in Kingston, Jamaica, that addressed the Caribbean Sugar Industry Post-2017, CARICOM Secretariat programme manager, agriculture and industry, Nisa Surujbally, said that securing more remunerative markets, value addition and an enabling policy regime within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) were also very important to the industry's survival.

Monday, 03 April 2017

Between 26 March and 11 April 2017, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, Flavia Schlegel, is visiting Samoa, the Cook Islands, New Zealand and Fiji. High on her agenda will be a ministerial meeting on 29 and 30 March in Apia, Samoa, with representatives of 13 developing Pacific island nations

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Western multinationals used cheaper labour in underdeveloped countries to manufacture products that relied on inputs from all over the world and technologies developed in their more expensive labour markets. Studies now suggest these advantages are being lost. Labour is no longer as cheap in many places.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

“Significant amounts of lost revenue and foreign exchange earnings to the state due to trade misinvoicing (underinvoicing and overinvoicing) have devastating implications for African countries – most of which are commodity dependent,” says Prof Charles Adjasi, head of the Development Finance programmes of the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB). A study published by UNCTAD last year revealed huge discrepancies in trade accounting in South Africa, Zambia, Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire. Adjasi says the report shows that records of trade data (both exports and imports) over a period of 14 to 20 years by the respective developing countries did not match those of their reported trading partners (destination) for selected commodities.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Tanzania wants a study conducted on the impact of the Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union on the East African Community, ahead of the Summit of Heads of State scheduled for next month. The demand reiterates Tanzania's position that Kenya and Rwanda should not have signed the EPA last year and, given the inadequate time before the summit, there won't be much progress on the matter before April 1, when the EU expects the EAC to sign up to the accord.

Monday, 27 February 2017

The Guyana-based Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat says the 15-member regional integration movement has reached an agreement with Cuba on the expansion of preferential access to each other’s markets. In a brief statement, the secretariat said that the agreement was reached during the 10th meeting of the Joint Commission established under the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement between CARICOM and Cuba held in Guyana late last month.