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Trade News

Africa poised to benefit from strong European backing in its recovery  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th November 2020 Despite this year having been the worst year of growth for the global economy in the past 40 years, and with sub-Saharan Africa facing its first recession in 25 years with a 3.1% gross domestic product (GDP) contraction expected, there remains a strong case for a rebound, as international... 

Indaba aims to encourage sector growth

By: Darren Parker     27th November 2020 Revitalising and growing manufacturers is the theme of this year’s Manufacturing Indaba, which aims to get the South African manufacturing industry stakeholders together to unpack the way forward towards growing their businesses. This year’s event was originally slated to take place on June 9 and... 

Indaba aims to  encourage sector growth
THIS TIME IT’S VIRTUAL This year’s Manufacturing Indaba will be entirely virtual and, therefore, free to attend

What the end of the UK–EU transition period means for UK–SA trade

By: Rebecca Campbell     27th November 2020 With effect from January 1 this year, the UK left the European Union (EU). But that day also inaugurated the start of a transition period, during which the UK remained part of the EU customs union and single market. That transition period ends on December 31 and thereafter the UK is free to... 

What the end of the UK–EU transition period means for UK–SA trade

Counterfeit goods a costly threat to sector

By: Darren Parker     27th November 2020 An influx of inferior-quality competitive electrical connector products into South Africa is a threat to the local manufacturing industry, owing to their unreliability, says electrical connector supplier Alexander and Poole area manager Juanita Fisher-Hill. “The greatest offenders are companies... 

Counterfeit goods a costly threat to sector
JUANITA FISHER-HILL Counterfeit parts neither carry a warranty or guarantee nor do they contain any of the inherent safety features

AfCFTA to provide business opportunities for African countries

By: Yvonne Silaule     26th November 2020 The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) will provide business opportunities that will enable African countries to lift citizens of the continent out of poverty post Covid-19, Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) Trade and Invest Africa chief director John Rocha has... 

Johannesburg, Cairo and Cape Town top African performers in competitiveness report

By: Donna Slater     26th November 2020 Of the 13 African cities included in management consulting firm Kearney’s recently released yearly Global Cities report, Johannesburg had the highest ranking, at number 55. The report provides an analysis of the ranked global cities index (GCI) which uses a multitude of metrics to ascertain city... 

S African-Italian trade dips but remains adequate

By: Darren Parker     20th November 2020 Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, a respectable $1.4-billion worth of goods has been exchanged between South Africa and Italy since January, according to Italian-South African Chamber of Trade and Industries (ItalchamSA) secretary general Pamina Bohrer. She explains that the bulk of this trade... 

S African-Italian trade dips but remains adequate
TRADE-OFF Since Italy and South Africa were both subjected to strict lockdowns, trade between the two countries is expected to be significantly lower this year

Stronger advocacy needed to protect European business interests

By: Darren Parker     20th November 2020 The impact of Covid-19 on South Africa and Italy has highlighted the need for strong action to ensure that European business interests are protected in South Africa, according to a statement by Italian-South African Chamber of Trade and Industries (ItalchamSA) secretary-general Pamina Bohrer... 

Stronger advocacy needed to protect European business interests
PAMINA BOHRER European business interests need to be protected in South Africa

Partnership improves dry-type transformers access in Africa

By: Darren Parker     20th November 2020 Access to dry-type transformer technology has been boosted throughout Africa, following the partnership of South African transformer supplier Trafo Power Solutions with Italian transformer manufacturer TMC Transformers at the end of 2018. “The business prospects for TMC in Africa are quite good... 

Partnership improves dry-type transformers access in Africa
DAVID CLAASSEN Dry-type transformer technology is safer and requires less maintenance

Heavy vehicles maker begins LNG testing

20th November 2020 Heavy commercial vehicles manufacturer Volvo Trucks Southern Africa has brought in two liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks to be used for local testing. 

Heavy vehicles maker begins  LNG testing
GREEN AMBITIONS Volvo Trucks' vision is that trucks from Volvo will eventually have zero emissions, although the way of achieving that is not by one single solution

Automaker notes industry decline, expands African footprint

By: Mamaili Mamaila     20th November 2020 Global automotive company Isuzu Motors South Africa – a subsidiary of Isuzu Motors Limited – expects that domestic vehicle sales will decline by around 30% this year, compared with those of 2019. 

Automaker notes industry decline, expands  African footprint
BILLY TOM Isuzu has maintained its number one position in Kenya, to which it exports semi-knocked down bakkies

Rough road ahead for VUCA-plagued trucking industry

20th November 2020 It is going to take at least five years for South Africa’s economy to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, says Road Freight Association (RFA) chief executive Gavin Kelly. 

Rough road ahead  for VUCA-plagued trucking industry
DRIVING LEGITIMACY Road freight operators should transport efficiently, safely and refuse to operate in non-sustainable circumstances

UK launches export help scheme for Southern African, especially women-owned, firms

By: Rebecca Campbell     19th November 2020 The British government has launched a £8.9-million programme to help businesses in the Southern African Customs Union, plus Mozambique (SACU+M), to enter and grow their export markets. Known as Trade Forward Southern Africa (TFSA), the initiative is part of the UK Prosperity Fund Global Trade... 

Prospective franchisees urged to consider brands’ readiness for the post-Covid world 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     19th November 2020 Prospective franchisees should not only consider those franchises that were successful before the Covid-19 pandemic, but rather those that have successfully adapted to the current environment. Restaurant chain Nando’s licensed markets CEO Trudi van Niekerk on November 18 said that the business... 

Prospective franchisees urged to consider brands’ readiness for the post-Covid world
PetroCONNECT co-founder Sbonelo Mbatha outlines the importance of transformation in the franchise sector, and how the company’s academy aims to engender this

French companies stand ready to help in South Africa’s investment, economic recovery goals

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     17th November 2020 French companies are ready to participate in the third South Africa Investment Conference (SAIC) and the country’s economic recovery amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the French Embassy in South Africa has noted in a statement. President Cyril Ramaphosa is hosting the third SAIC on November 17 and 18. 

Trade Minister stresses Britain’s commitment to values-based free trade

By: Rebecca Campbell     13th November 2020 UK Secretary of State (Cabinet Minister) for International Trade Liz Truss has highlighted the “evangelical” commitment of the British government to free trade and reaffirmed the importance of free trade in increasing prosperity in the UK and around the world. In a recent speech at Chatham House... 

Infrastructure recovery roadmap mulled

By: Mamaili Mamaila     13th November 2020 If South Africa is to have any hope of economic recovery, no sector can afford to do things the way it did before 2020, says the International Zinc Association (IZA). 

Infrastructure recovery roadmap mulled
REFINED STRUCTURES The construction of a new zinc refinery will reduce dependence on special high-grade zinc imports, and provide a much-needed boost for the construction industry

Online hub launched to boost home-grown mining equipment development 

By: Donna Slater     12th November 2020 To increase local manufacturing and the attractiveness and attention thereof, the Mandela Mining Precinct (MMP) and the Mining Equipment Manufacturers of South Africa (Memsa) have launched the Technology Availability and Readiness Atlas (Tara). The launch on November 12 coincided with the... 

Online hub launched to boost home-grown mining equipment development

B4SA proposes alternatives to another hard lockdown in event of a second wave

By: Donna Slater     10th November 2020 To restore and boost investor and consumer confidence in South Africa, Business for South Africa (B4SA) is requesting certainty from government that there will not be another “hard economic lockdown” – such as those of Alert Levels 3 to 5 – in South Africa in the event of a second wave of... 

African informal sector is disproportionate 

By: Donna Slater     6th November 2020 The informal employment sector within Africa is diverse and presents a range of challenges, notably with a higher percentage of women being employed and a correlation between the informal sector and skills, Ghana-based African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET) research and policy... 

African informal sector is disproportionate
African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET) research and policy engagements senior director Dr Edward Brown discusses the informal business environment in Africa.

DTIC reiterates importance of quality standards in South Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     5th November 2020 The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) has reiterated the importance of adhering to institutional and technical standards as a means of boosting localisation in South Africa. In so doing, the manufacturing sector’s contribution to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) will... 

Changing geopolitical landscapes present opportunity for stronger Indian-African collaboration

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th November 2020 At a time of global challenges caused by Covid-19 and a changing geopolitical landscape, a resurging India and a rapidly progressing Africa can provide a boost to South-South cooperation. Panelists addressing the first day of the Indo-Africa Summit, on November 4, agreed that India and Africa... 

UK Trade Minister stresses her country’s commitment to values-based free trade

By: Rebecca Campbell     30th October 2020 UK Secretary of State (Cabinet Minister) for International Trade Liz Truss has highlighted the “evangelical” commitment of the British government to free trade and re-affirmed the importance of free trade in increasing prosperity in the UK and around the world. In a speech on Thursday at Chatham... 

UK Trade Minister stresses her country’s commitment to values-based free trade
UK Secretary of State for International Trade Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Truss

Prosper Africa launches virtual deal room, online toolkit

By: Donna Slater     30th October 2020 The US government’s Prosper Africa initiative has launched its new virtual deal room, where both businesses and investors can access actionable information and actively engage on up to 150 active Prosper Africa deals, says Prosper Africa initiative COO Victoria Whitney. Prosper Africa is an... 

Rules of Origin a key issue for continuing African free trade area talks

By: Rebecca Campbell     28th October 2020 African Union Ministers of Trade held their 12th meeting, undertaken virtually, on Tuesday. This was the second such meeting to be chaired by South African Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel, and was focused on concluding essential elements that remain to be agreed in the... 

EU backs Nigerian candidate for WTO leadership - EU official

By: Reuters     27th October 2020 The European Union (EU) is backing former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to head the World Trade Organization (WTO), sending a signal of trust in Africa, an EU official said on Monday. Okonjo-Iweala and South Korean trade minister Yoo Myung-hee are vying to be the first female... 

UK announces support for Southern and East African trade

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd October 2020 UK Minister for Africa James Duddridge visited Zambia earlier this month to discuss British support to boost trade across Southern Africa and between Zambia and East Africa. He held talks with Zambian Finance Minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu as well as with trade bodies and businesses. “From farmers... 

Experts urge govt to prioritise informal-trading-friendly policy 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd October 2020 With 60% of South Africa’s economic activity happening in the informal sector, national, provincial and local government alike need to realise the importance of empowering these entrepreneurs to contribute more to the gross domestic product of cities, University of the Witwatersrand associate... 

Experts urge govt to prioritise informal-trading-friendly policy
Witwatersrand associate Professor Margot Rubin talks about informal trade barriers

Hundreds of trucks parked at borders stall African trade pact

By: Bloomberg     16th October 2020 Hundreds of trucks have been parked at Benin’s border for more than a year since its eastern neighbor Nigeria abruptly curbed imports. To the west of Benin, officials in Ghana’s capital have shut Nigerian-owned stores to comply with a law that curbs foreign participation in its retail trade. Such... 

UK’s latest business risk guidance for SA highlights both good and bad

By: Rebecca Campbell     16th October 2020 The UK Department of International Trade released its updated “Overseas Business Risk – South Africa” guidance at the end of last month. The concise document provides political and economic overviews, and covers key economic developments, the business environment, human rights, bribery and... 

CDC extends market offering beyond SA borders

By: Donna Slater     13th October 2020 The Eastern Cape-based Coega Development Corporation (CDC) – which operates the 9 003 ha Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ) – has extended its market offering beyond South Africa's borders into Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR) and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) under the... 

UK announces support for Southern and East African trade facilitation

By: Rebecca Campbell     9th October 2020 UK Minister for Africa James Duddridge visited Zambia this week to discuss British support to boost trade across Southern Africa and between Zambia and East Africa. He held talks with Zambian Finance Minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu as well as with trade bodies and businesses. “From farmers selling... 

Nigerian, South Korean women to vie for WTO leadership

By: Reuters     8th October 2020 Former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and South Korean trade minister Yoo Myung-hee are the final candidates to head the World Trade Organization, ensuring the 25-year-old WTO will have its first female leader. The WTO said on Thursday that the two women were the remaining... 

Pandemic provides opportunity for African countries to grow domestic tourism

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th October 2020 The pandemic and the lockdown measures implemented to mitigate its spread, have hit the tourism sector the hardest; however, there is an opportunity for African countries to better promote their tourism attractions and grow their tourism sectors. This was indicated by speakers at the Africa Brand... 

Bombardier says Transnet contract ‘uninterrupted’ as 10-64 dispute resolution continues 

By: Terence Creamer     7th October 2020 Bombardier Transportation, one of four companies to secure a contract to supply 1 064 electric and diesel  locomotives to Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) in 2015, reports that it is continuing to execute on the contract, despite the fact that a dispute resolution process is ongoing. In 2019, Transnet... 

Bombardier says Transnet contract ‘uninterrupted’ as 10-64 dispute resolution continues
The TRAXX AFRICA locomotives delivered to date have been deployed to support the export of manganese ore

South Africa’s exports to China were surprisingly better in the 'pandemic quarter'

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th October 2020 While South Africa had seen on overall decline in exports during the lockdown, exports to China had grown by just more than 2% year-on-year during the second quarter, says research institute Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies. The result is that, during the quarter, China’s dominance as South... 

South Africa’s exports to China were surprisingly better in the 'pandemic quarter'

UK’s latest business risk guidance for South Africa covers both strengths and weaknesses

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th October 2020 The UK Department of International Trade released its updated “Overseas Business Risk – South Africa” guidance at the end of last month. The concise document provides political and economic overviews, and covers key economic developments, the business environment, human rights, bribery and... 

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