Wednesday, November 29, 2023
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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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EAC : a possible model for implementing other Customs Unions in Africa?

A paper from the Overseas Development Institute helps to understand how the EAC Customs Union model works, so to draw lessons for other Regional Economic Communities (RECs) wishing to undertake steps in the establishment of similar forms of economic integration.


The recipe for Africa’s growth: focus on industrialization, but without forgetting services

An interesting article published on the International Growth Centre (IGC) blog analyses the role of services in Africa in the economic transformation of the continent, raising the question of whether this sector can drive the growth of the African economies and at a rate comparable to manufacturing. Indeed, despite the remarkable economic growth of many of its economies in the latest years, Africa has not yet been able to replicate so far the rapid and sustained gains in incomes experienced by Asiatic countries during their race to industrialization.


Africa admitted to G20, what does it mean?

The Group of 20 of the world’s leading economies has agreed today to admit the African Union (AU) as a permanent member of the G-20. The AU asked to become a member of such a Forum about seven years ago, but it was never considered by the other economies, not even as an observer. Until now, South Africa was the only African country member of the G-20.


New study proves that flexible Product-Specific Rules of origin increase global trade

Rules of Origin (RoO) aim at avoiding the practice of introducing into preferential trade areas products originating from third countries through the territory partner that applies the lowest tariff, from where they are shipped to the destination country, thereby circumventing the higher tariffs of the latter. In addition to general rules describing the basic criteria to be used to determine the origin of goods, Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) also contain a series of rules called Product-Specific Rules (PSR), also known as “list rules”, which describe the minimal working or processing operations that must be carried out on non-originating materials used in the manufacture of a certain product, so that the latter can obtain the originating status of one of the PTA partners.


Which opportunities for product diversification in Africa?

A common theme underlying the recommendations that are usually addressed to African countries to stimulate the structural transformation of their economies and increase resilience is the need for export diversification. A study published by UNCTAD in 2022 argued that Africa is the second least diversified geographical region in the world (after Oceania), hosting economies such as Guinea-Bissau that exports only 178 product lines in total. A new paper, always from UNCTAD, identifies the sectors offering the greatest opportunities for export diversification and that can therefore drive productivity and production growth in the continent. The study argues that the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) gives new momentum to promote export diversification at the continental level by providing a larger market and reducing trade costs, revealing that the product diversification potential greatly varies from country to country, but with some commonalities.


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