Wednesday, September 28, 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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Overview of findings of the fourth mid-year coordination meeting between the AU and RECs

A recent article published on the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) website gives an overview of the findings of the fourth mid-year coordination meeting between the AU, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and regional mechanisms (RMs) for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution held on 17 July in Lusaka, Zambia. Such meetings were established by the Heads of State and Governments Assembly Decision AU/Dec.635(XXVIII) adopted at the 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of 30 - 31 January 2017. Art. 5/c/iii of the Decision establishes that in place of the June/July Summit, the Bureau of the African Union Assembly “shall hold a coordination meeting with the Regional Economic Communities, with the participation of the Chairpersons of the Regional Economic Communities, the AU Commission and Regional Mechanisms”. The first coordination meeting was held on 8 July 2019 in Niamey, Niger.

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The Whitehouse reveals its strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa

With one of the world’s fastest growing population, vast and untapped natural resources, the presence of some of the largest free trade areas in the world, most diverse ecosystems, and one of the largest regional voting groups in the United Nations (28% of votes in the General Assembly), Africa is attracting increasing attention from the outside world, including the United States. After the Trump-era, characterised by a limited attention to the theme of development of trade and investment ties with Africa, the Whitehouse - as announced by the President Biden at the beginning of its mandate - reframes the US relationships with the continent by designing a strategy that articulates the vision for reviving the US-Africa partnership in the 21st Century.

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First arbitration dispute concluded on safeguard measures adopted within EU's EPAs

A clause that is present in all the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPAs) concluded by the EU is the one on the measures of trade defence. Such Agreements offer each Party the possibility to activate antidumping and countervailing duties, as well as safeguard measures, to protect their local industries against unfair practices. Safeguard measures, in particular, can consist of temporary quantitative import restrictions (trade quotas) or of duty increases and are actionable in cases where a surge in imports of the counterpart’s products provokes a perturbation of local markets. These measures, although actionable only in exceptional circumstances, offer therefore protection to each EPA party from cases where imports from their counterpart grow too quickly in their respective markets, posing a threat for their domestic productions.

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Culture and Creative Industries can accelerate structural transformation in Africa, according to AfreximBank

The African Export-Import Bank, a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade, also known as Afreximbank, published the 2022 edition of the African Trade Report. The document examines trade and economic developments in Africa and other parts of the world during 2020 and 2021, a period during which the global economy witnessed a global downturn triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. African GDP expanded by 6.9 percent in 2021, recovering from the 1.6 percent contraction in 2020 that marked the first recession of the continent after 25 years of continuous growth. Despite this strong rebound, Africa however still remains a peripheral contributor to both global trade and growth, accounting for just about 2.6 percent of global trade and less than 3 percent of world GDP.

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Australian Productivity Commission report warns on the dark side of PTAs

Bilateral and regional Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) are usually praised by their supporters for being essentially trade-creating (as they reduce or eliminate barriers to trade across international borders), and for the opportunity they give to their participants to move more closely and more quickly to free trade than could be expected on a multilateral level. However, an aspect that is less known about these agreements is the cost of compliance they entail for businesses.

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