Tuesday, January 18, 2022
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Desiderio Consultants Ltd. is a think tank and a network of independent professional international development consultants established to promote and influence customs & trade-related policies in African nations to achieve trade facilitation reforms aimed at improving international and regional trade
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Recent research shows Kenyan products whose export potential is higher

Despite the pandemics, in 2020, Kenyan exports managed to register a 3.3% growth to $6 billion, driven by continued world demand of Kenyan tea, coffee, fruits and vegetables, and a quick rebound in demand for garments. The good level of diversification of Kenyan exports and of their destination markets is one of main assets and a resilience factor of the East African country, that during the past two decades has witnessed a continuous growth of its imports and exports (except in periods of external shocks). Nonetheless, the contribution of exports of goods and services to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has gradually decreased, from 23.6% in 2011 to 10% in 2020, suggesting that Kenya’s exports need to be further expanded in order to further diversify its economy and sustain its development plans.

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Monitoring congestion at border points: a possible model for Africa

The COVID-19 crisis has impacted strongly on road transport in Africa, with long queues at borders and trade proceeding at a slower pace almost everywhere all over the Continent. To keep freight moving freely and efficiently across the EU, the European Commission developed in 2020 the so-called ‘green lanes’, i.e. border crossings open to all freight vehicles carrying goods where any checks or health screenings should take, in principle, no more than 15 minutes. EU Member States have accepted to minimise the control procedures involved in crossing these border points by implementing a number of rules, and primarily two: 1) checks and controls at border posts need to be carried out without drivers having to leave their vehicles; 2) drivers of goods vehicles cannot be asked to produce any additional document other than their driving license and other personal ID and, if necessary, a letter from their employer, with the possibility of submitting them electronically to border agencies.

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AfCFTA tariff book waited within February 2022

In February 2022, the AfCFTA Secretariat will release an AfCFTA Tariff Book inclusive of Rules of Origin (RoO) applicable for each product of the Harmonised System (HS). This publication will allow traders to identify their products with the product-specific RoO that is necessary to fulfil in order they can qualify for preferential trade under the AfCFTA.

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Zimbabwe cuts its trade deficit after exports register a boom

According to the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency (Zimstat), the country’s trade deficit reached 36 million U.S. dollars in November 2021 from 177 million in the previous month to due to a 20.93 percent rise in exports. The major contributors to the outstanding export performances of Zimbabwe were food and beverages and transport equipment, which were valued at 19.7 million and 2.84 million U.S. dollars, respectively. However, the leading export commodity remains precious minerals: semi-manufactured gold , in particular, which accounted for almost a third (32.8 percent) of total exports, followed by nickel, mattes, ores and concentrates which accounted for 29.8 percent and then tobacco at 13.1 percent.

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New survey reveals African companies struggle to find information on how to trade under the AfCFTA

Although the majority of business leaders across Africa are optimistic about the economic benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), detailed information on how to concretely benefit from the new agreement is still lacking. This is one of the main findings of a survey conducted by the Pan-African Private Sector Trade and Investment Committee (PAFTRAC) from August to October 2021 in 44 African countries plus the Americas and the Middle East, which has been recently published. The survey reveals that although 71% of respondents are persuaded that AfCFTA will encourage them to invest to grow their business (with only 2% of participants believing that the free trade area will have a negative impact on their business), almost two-thirds of respondents (62%) do not know where to access information about the AfCFTA.

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