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Trade News

Slump in global goods trade to deepen with coronavirus, WTO says

By: Bloomberg     17th February 2020 Global trade in goods will likely stay weak in coming months as disruptions from coronavirus in China staunch the movement of international commerce already slowed by tariffs and uncertainty, according to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The Geneva-based body’s latest forward-looking Goods... 

US–Kenya trade talks seen a risk for Africa regional pact

By: Bloomberg     17th February 2020 A possible US-Kenya free-trade agreement could undermine an existing continent-wide commerce pact and limit Africa’s power to negotiate with the US. Washington announced on February 7 that it intended to start trade negotiations with Kenya. President Donald Trump’s administration doesn’t favor... 

Post-EU Britain seeks to promote and defend global free trade

By: Rebecca Campbell     14th February 2020 UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has proclaimed that, now that his country has left the European Union (EU), it will campaign for global free trade. He did so in a speech early this month at the National Maritime Museum, at Greenwich, east of London.  

Renewed call to ban disposable cylinders

By: Darren Parker     14th February 2020 Despite various heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) industry participants contesting the banning of disposable gas cylinders in South Africa for years, there is no indication of a decision on the matter being reached. South African Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning... 

Renewed call to ban disposable cylinders
TIME TO SCRAP THIS PRACTICE Disposed cylinders create about 3 150 m3 scrap metal and can explode if not thoroughly evacuated

KfW, DBSA renew MoU

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th February 2020 German development bank KfW has renewed its memorandum of understanding (MoU) with development finance institution, the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), to continue their successful collaboration on the financing and implementation of programmes. The signing of the MoU took place on... 

Trade conditions remain tight, says Sacci

By: Simone Liedtke     13th February 2020 Trade conditions remained tight in January, with 57% of the respondents to the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) Trade Conditions Survey having experienced negative conditions. Fifty-four per cent of the respondents also expect conditions to remain depressed in the next... 

Seifsa, Busa welcome Mene’s appointment as AfCFTA secretary-general

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th February 2020 Wamkele Mene has been elected as first secretary-general of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Mene – who was South Africa’s chief negotiator in the AfCFTA and a former diplomat at the World Trade Organisation – will be inaugurated along with other members of the AfCFTA secretariat... 

South Africa, Zimbabwe to operate one-stop border post in 2024

By: Bloomberg     12th February 2020 A one-stop border post that will fast-track trade between South Africa and Zimbabwe will be fully operational at Beitbridge in 2024, according to South African Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi. The crossing is one of Africa’s busiest land borders, with about 25,000 people and 500 trucks... 

Patel asked to brief lawmakers on government’s response to ongoing steel job cuts 

By: Terence Creamer     11th February 2020 The opposition Democratic Alliance has written a letter to Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel calling on him to brief lawmakers about developments at steel group ArcelorMittal South Africa, which recently warned of additional job cuts at the company. AMSA confirmed on February 6 that,... 

Patel asked to brief lawmakers on government’s response to ongoing steel job cuts

US revokes WTO subsidy preferences for some developing nations

By: Bloomberg     11th February 2020 The Trump administration is changing a key exemption to America’s trade-remedy laws to make it easier to penalize about two dozen so-called developing countries including China, India and South Africa. The US on Monday narrowed its internal list of developing and least-developed countries in... 

US revokes WTO subsidy preferences for some developing nations

Air freight: African sector does well, but rest of world performs poorly

By: Rebecca Campbell     6th February 2020 The African air freight sector bucked the global trend last year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has reported. While, globally, air freight was down for the year, in Africa it showed a strong rise. Measured in freight-(metric) ton-kilometres, global air cargo demand declined... 

Air freight: African sector does well, but rest of world performs poorly
Photo by Bloomberg
Cargo being loaded on to a freighter aircraft

Brexit does not pose immediate threat to South Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st January 2020 Although the implementation of Brexit from Friday evening marks a historic fork in the road in economic relations between the UK and the European Union (EU), not much will change for South Africa in the immediate future, says North West University (NWU) Business School Professor Raymond Parsons.... 

UK displays optimism about Africa’s future at summit

By: Rebecca Campbell     31st January 2020 January 20 saw the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London, attended by representatives of 21 African countries, including the Presidents of Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda. That South African President Cyril Ramaphosa chose to pull out of the conference to focus on the country’s... 

Indaba to shape Africa energy policies

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     31st January 2020 The Africa Energy Indaba conference provides a yearly programme that shapes energy policies for the continent. The conference will take place this year from March 3 to 4 at the Sandton Convention Centre, in Johannesburg. 

Indaba to shape Africa energy policies
LIZ HART The Africa Energy Indaba 2020 will shed light on what is required of municipalities

Prowling lions, corrupt officials block roads to Africa trade

By: Bloomberg     30th January 2020 Nyoni Nsukuzimbi drives his 40 t Freightliner for just over half a day from Johannesburg to the Beitbridge border post with Zimbabwe. At the frontier town – little more than a gas station and a KFC – he sits in a line for two to three days, in temperatures reaching 104F, waiting for his documents... 

Predictability, resilient funding critical for business growth

By: Simone Liedtke     29th January 2020 Having a sense of predictability and a resilient line of funding available is critical for businesses in South Africa to grow, particularly as currency volatility and ageing debtors’ books present key challenges, says financial services company Investec for Business corporate accounts head Dr... 

Predictability, resilient funding critical for business growth
Investec for Business corporate accounts head Dr Greg Cline

South Africa will caution Trump against ‘premature’ trade review

By: Bloomberg     29th January 2020 South Africa’s government will tell President Donald Trump’s administration that its review of a preferential trade agreement that could put as much as $2.4-billion in exports at risk is premature and potentially damaging for both economies. The US Trade Representative will start public hearings... 

South Africa will caution Trump against ‘premature’ trade review

Global sights set for export association

By: Mamaili Mamaila     24th January 2020 Steel industry association the Steel Tube Export Association of South Africa (Steasa) and some of its members will participate at the national pavilion at the International Wire and Tube Trade Fair 2020. 

Global sights set for export association
SOARING HIGHER Exports of high-carbon and low-alloy steel tubes and pipes remain on an upward trajectory and are resilient amid export competitiveness challenges

Recovery of global economic growth remains sluggish, despite stabilising 

By: Simone Liedtke     23rd January 2020 The recovery of global economic growth remains sluggish, even though it has stabilised, with the slowdown in the US and China expected to be more than offset by improvement in some of the large emerging markets, the UK and the Euro region, says integrated insurance solutions provider Alexander... 

Recovery of global economic growth remains sluggish, despite stabilising
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
(Left to Right) Lebo Thubisi, Isaah Mhlanga and Gyongyi King

As Brexit nears, UK's Johnson pushes for deeper trade ties with Africa

By: Reuters     20th January 2020 Prime Minister Boris Johnson will call for deeper investment ties between Britain and Africa at a summit for leaders of 21 African countries on Monday that comes days before his country will leave the European Union. After securing Britain's departure from the EU, the world's largest trading... 

As Brexit nears, UK's Johnson pushes for deeper trade ties with Africa
Photo by Bloomberg
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Growing trade networks bode well for South Africa, Scotland

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th January 2020 The Africa–Scotland Business Network (ASBN) has, since its launch in November, achieved great success in bringing trade opportunities to South Africa. Since the network’s launch in Cape Town during the Africa Oil and Gas Week, it has grown organically to a membership of 86 and counting.  

Growth initiatives to continue in 2020 as new laws come into effect  

By: Simone Liedtke     9th January 2020 Initiatives to drive growth and stabilise the economy will continue to be a focus in the coming year, especially as efforts to root out corruption and State capture progress, law firm Webber Wentzel says. Robust corporate governance for listed companies will also remain a focus area for the JSE,... 

Growth initiatives to continue in 2020 as new laws come into effect

Global economic growth forecast at 2.5% in 2020 – World Bank

By: Simone Liedtke     8th January 2020 Global economic growth is forecast to edge up to 2.5% this year as investment and trade gradually recover from last year’s significant weakness but downward risks persist, the World Bank says in its January 2020 ‘Global Economic Prospects’ report, published on Wednesday. Growth among advanced... 

UK needs 'proper, long-lasting' Brexit trade deals – carmaker Rolls-Royce

By: Reuters     7th January 2020 Britain needs to strike "proper, long-lasting" post-Brexit trade deals with both the European Union (EU) and the rest of the world, the boss of carmaker Rolls-Royce told Reuters on Tuesday. Britain is due to leave the EU by the end of the month, guaranteeing a transition period until the end of... 

Special parking tariffs available to travellers at four South African airports

By: Simone Liedtke     13th December 2019 Parking tariffs for stays of seven days and longer at South Africa’s four largest airports have been slashed for the peak holiday season, from December 13 to January 13, 2020. The reduced tariffs will apply at OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport, King Shaka... 

Election in UK brings some certainty, but Brexit deal remains concerning, says Parsons

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th December 2019 North West University business school economist Professor Raymond Parsons says the now re-elected Conservative Party government in the UK provides a strong political mandate to pass the necessary legislation in time to leave the European Union (EU) formally on January 31. Britain will then move... 

Higher trade barriers hitting jobs and growth – WTO

By: Reuters     13th December 2019 More than 100 new trade restrictions imposed during the year to mid-October affected goods and services worth an estimated $747-billion, the highest level for a 12-month period since 2012, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) said on Thursday. New measures including tariffs, quantitative... 

Trade conditions to remain subdued for foreseeable term

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th December 2019 The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) says trade conditions remained in negative territory in November. The seasonally adjusted Trade Activity Index (TAI), as a measure of recent trade conditions, improved by one point to 43 in November.  

Transnet reiterates commitment to developing East London port

By: Simone Liedtke     9th December 2019 Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has reiterated its commitment to developing the Port of East London in a bid to support economic growth in Buffalo City. The announcement was made during an address at the recent Buffalo City Investment Conference in East London, an initiative of the... 

Local sugar industry critical, master plan being developed

By: Tracy Hancock     6th December 2019 The local sugar industry is in decline and could be described as “being in the intensive care unit”, says South African Sugar Association (SASA) executive director Trix Trikam. Subsequently, SASA is discussing the development of a sugar industry master plan with government and downstream users... 

Local sugar industry critical, master plan being developed
SWEET ESCAPE To ensure sustainable development of the sugarcane sector, there needs to be diversification into sugar ethanol fuel and other cane-derived products

PwC warns third-quarter GDP data likely to be ‘disappointing’

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd December 2019 Of the 14 indicators in analyst firm PwC’s sectoral insights, published ahead of the release of gross domestic product (GDP) data on Tuesday, only wholesale trade and civil construction showed improvements in the third quarter. This, PwC said, “sends a clear warning” that GDP data for the third... 

South African trade surplus shrinks in October

By: Reuters     29th November 2019 South Africa's trade surplus narrowed to R3.09-billion in October from a revised R4.53-billion surplus in September, data from the revenue service showed on Friday. Exports were up 11.9% on a month-on-month basis to R123.4-billion while imports jumped 13.7% to R120.3-billion, the South African... 

Government sets ambitious growth targets for SA defence industry

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th November 2019 The South African Government has set growth targets it hopes that the local defence industry will achieve over the next few years, reported Secretary of Defence and Military Veterans Dr Sam Gulube. He was delivering the keynote address at the recent 2019 Aerospace, Maritime and Defence... 

Future structure of Denel starts to emerge as turnaround plan advances

By: Rebecca Campbell     29th November 2019 Denel Chief Financial Officer Carmen Le Grange has indicated the businesses that the State-owned defence group was exiting or was planning to exit, as part of its turnaround strategy. She did so in an address to the 2019 Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Conference in Pretoria.  

Partnerships help pull domestic cotton industry out of doldrums

By: Donna Slater     29th November 2019 The South African cotton industry was in decline, having reached crisis point in about 2013. On the verge of collapse, a chain of events from three seemingly unassuming roleplayers set off a chain reaction that resulted in explosive growth and substantial redevelopment for the sector into an... 

Partnerships help pull domestic cotton industry out of doldrums

South Africa’s auto sector most likely to attract more German investment  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     28th November 2019 Through the Southern African–German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the German government on Thursday hosted a Baden-Württemberg Meets Gauteng business forum, to promote further trade and investment. Baden-Württemberg is the third-largest state in Germany and has as a gross domestic product... 

Truck traffic congestion at Durban port being addressed, says TNPA

By: Simone Liedtke     27th November 2019 The Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) says it is addressing “serious truck traffic congestion” in the Port of Durban’s Bayhead precinct, which began on Tuesday and continued overnight into Wednesday morning. Consequently, TNPA has arranged for the urgent deployment of the South African... 

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