Plans by African leaders to launch an ambitious Free Trade Area comprising of 26 countries and backed by over 600 million people next month are in the right direction for the private sector.
Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) Chairman, Dr Simon Nyantahe, said the FTA which will have a combined 1.0 trillion US dollars in gross domestic product will be one of the world’s biggest markets for local manufacturers.
“In order for these opportunities to become realistic, the government and CTI members must address a number of challenges that adversely affect industries in Tanzania mainly being; high cost of doing business and unfriendly legal and regulatory framework,” Dr Nyantahe noted. Read more. Source | Daily News
Trade, poverty reduction and protecting the environment go hand in hand, says UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General
Participating in a high-level panel on the global environment and trade, UNCTAD Deputy-Secretary General Joakim Reiter highlighted that 20 years after the creation of the WTO, fears about trade taking precedence over environmental sustainability have been proved unfounded.
Time has shown that multilateral cooperation has been successful in avoiding such conflicts, he said. However, some environmental concerns linked to trade and economic growth remain, Mr. Reiter said.
The international community is increasingly aware of this and has been looking into managing the interaction between trade and environment legal regimes through greater mutual supportiveness and synergies. Nonetheless such coherence is not the same as helping countries implement such hard or soft laws and benefit from them with scaled up assistance. Environmental protection and poverty alleviation through trade must go hand in hand. Read more. Source | UNACTAD
ITC recently signed an MOU with COMESA aimed at greater cooperation with a view to boosting intra-Africa trade. What are the main contours of such cooperation, and how is it being implemented?
With the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), we have pledged to cooperate in a variety of areas, such as regional integration, trade facilitation, improving the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and enhancing the trade and investment climate, with emphasis on the agricultural and services sectors.
We are, in fact, already working with the COMESA Secretariat to identify specific areas of collaboration in line with the bloc’s strategic priorities for regional integration and private sector development. Read more. Source | International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development
International trade creates wealth and opportunities around the world. But the richest countries must take care to foster, not weaken the poorest, writes Anabel Gonzalez the World Bank Group’s Senior Director for Trade and Competitiveness and the former Trade Minister of Costa Rica.
Just months into 2015, the world is poised to reset the stage of international trade. A new negotiating agenda is gaining momentum. Leaders are striking up important conversations about trade openness and making progress in mega-regional trade deals. This is good news. But if 2015 is the year of action in trade, let’s make sure all are included. Read more. Source | EurActiv
Trade among 26 African countries is set to increase as their Regional Economic Communities meet this June to sign the Tripartite Free Trade Area Agreement.
The RECs, namely the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), East African Community (EAC) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) if they accent to the FTA, it will make doing business amongst 26 member states easy. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, known for bringing together stakeholders to examine issues and offer policy insight, recently released a report that recommends a new approach in US-Africa trade relations under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). They recommend that American businesses tap into the growing African agriculture and food market, expected to reach $ 1 trillion by 2030.