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Desiderio Consultants Ltd. è una think tank ed una rete di consulenti internazionali per lo sviluppo indipendenti costituita per promuovere ed influenzare politiche doganali e commerciali nei Paesi Africani, al fine di raggiungere riforme di facilitazione del commercio che favoriscano la crescita degli scambi commerciali a livello internazionale e regionale
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Notizie

New report shows growing interest for Africa for investments by the logistics industry

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The recently issued Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index report 2024 shows that logistics businesses are looking at the massive population growth and trade expansion spurred by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) for increasing their logistics investments in the continent. Despite the speed and ease of doing business in Africa is improving via investment promotion agencies and one-stop shop solutions, improved governance, growing transparency, improved rule of law, and stronger protections for property rights, the report also notes that infrastructure gaps and high logistics costs are still a challenge in the continent that need to be urgently addressed. We highlighted the potential of Africa for attracting investment in logistics services in this post on our blog.

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Rules of origin (RoO): which ones cause highest compliance costs on companies?

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Rules of origin (RoO) represent an important chapter of preferential trade agreements (PTAs). They aim at preventing the entry in the PTA of products originating from third countries through the partner that applies the lowest tariff, for being subsequently circulated in the entire PTA duty-free (a phenomenon known as ‘trade deflection’). However, also unilateral trade arrangements have their own RoO. The Generalized Systems of Preferences (GSPs) or the US AGOA programme for instance, are preferential trade arrangements adopted unilaterally by some industrialized countries to offer mark access (without reciprocity) to developing and less developed countries from selected countries. A new paper published by FERDI (Fondation pour les Études et Recherches sur le Développement International) shows that the adoption of more flexible product-specific rules of origin within preferential agreements would give a significant boost to global trade.

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AfCFTA and protection of labour: time to consider the development of a dedicated Protocol?

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A paper published in the last edition of the African Human Rights Yearbook edited by the Pretoria University Law Press (PULP) raises an interesting issue, concerning the lack of social clauses in the AfCFTA framework to protect labour standards and the rights of workers for the new jobs that will be hopefully created by the trade liberalisation process triggered by the AfCFTA. This exposes such workers at further risk of job loss (for unlawful dismissal) and exploitation. If, on one hand, extensive research has been conducted so far to estimate the potential job creation effects arising from the implementation of the AfCFTA, studies aimed at analyzing the quality of jobs that will be generated are very limited. There is a risk that these workers will not be guaranteed with decent working conditions, the paper warns, and that the liberalisation of trade that the AfCFTA will stimulate will undermine the quality of employment, leading to lower wages, less job security, health and safety problems, longer working hours and increased workloads.

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Green energy and trade in services among the areas with the highest potential for AfCFTA and Africa's participation in internation al value chains

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In an interview published on CEO Magazine, the Global Director for Trade, Investment and Competitiveness of the World Bank talks about the objectives and the possible gains that Africa could achieve through the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). According to the World Bank report “Making the Most of the African Continental Free Trade Area”, this agreement has the potential to double intra-African trade by 2035, lifting 50 million people out of extreme poverty, with income gains totaling US$571 billion. However, the report also warns that for this scenario to materialize, the AfCFTA needs to go beyond trade liberalization. Elimination of tariffs and NTBs, as well as implementation of trade facilitation measures are daunting, yet important tasks – especially in the light of the fact that African countries tend to over-rely on protectionist policies to support domestic industries - but is a recipe that is not sufficient for success.

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From the WEF an Action Plan to Accelerate Global Business and Investment in Africa

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Today, 17 January 2024, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has published, jointly with the Forum Friends of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), a white paper identifying a series of goals, initiatives and commitments proposed by industry leaders in four priority sectors (automotive, agriculture and agro-processing, pharmaceuticals, and transport and logistics), that are considered critical for accelerating business and investment in Africa. Such sectors, all together, are estimated to have a combined value of $130 billion. The white paper builds on a previous report published by the same organizations in January 2023 with the aim to give to global businesses and investors an overview of the investment opportunities in the four priority sectors above, considered among those with highest returns in Africa. We described such report here.

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