BIZweek n°369 19 nov 2021
BIZweek n°369 19 nov 2021
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  • Parution : n°369 de 19 nov 2021

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  • Editeur : Capital Publications Ltd

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  • Nombre de pages : 9

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VENDREDI 19 NOVEMBRE 2021 BIZWEEK ÉDITION 369 Mali 2020  : $2,2m Exporte to 444. Guinea 2020  : $10m Expions to AGOA. n fo GrQvall C111-4:1 Opporkmity ACTA PUBLICA AFRICA AGOA eligibility requirements under review in Ethiopia, Guinea and Mali In November, the United States announced that Ethiopia, Guinea and Mali would be terminated from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade preference program, unless they took urgent action to meet eligibility criteria by 1 January 2022. An unconstitutional change in governments in Guinea and Mali and human rights violations in Ethiopia, due to conflict in the country, were given as the reasons for the termination. AGOA eligibility requirements include, among other things, that countries must follow the rule of law and implement economic policies that reduce poverty and combat corruption and bribery. Countries must also protect internationally recognized human and worker rights, and must not engage in activities that undermine national security interests On 2 November 2021, US President Joe Biden announced that three African countries would be terminated from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade preference program, unless they took urgent action to meet statutory eligibility criteria by 1 January 2022. The three countries listed were Guinea, Mali and Ethiopia. The US administration cited unconstitutional changes in governments in Guinea and Mali and human rights violations in Ethiopia, due to conflict in the country, as reasons for the termination. The statement announced the intention to provide all three countries with a clear benchmark and pathway towards reinstatement so that valued trading partnerships could be resumed. AGOA eligibility criteria is reviewed annually to ensure that countries qualify to continue to receive the benefits of the trade preference scheme. Requirements for eligibility include, among other things, that countries must be making substantial progressin establishing a market-based economy, as wellas following the rule of law and implementing economic policies that reduce poverty and combat corruption and bribery. Countries must also protect internationally recognized worker rights, and must not engage in activities that undermine US foreign policy or national security interests. Countries must not be found to have committed gross human rights violations. Withdraw or suspend If countries are not making progress with AGOA eligibility requirements, they may be terminated as beneficiaries of the trade preference scheme. Alternatively, the US administration may withdraw or suspend the duty-free treatment of products for a particular country to facilitate compliance with AGOA. The most recent statistics available, from 2019, indicate that US trade with all three of these countries is not balanced in terms of its reciprocity. According to the Office of the US Trade Representative, Ethiopia was the 84th largest goods trading partner with the US in 2019. In this year, goods exported from Ethiopia to the US were valued at USD 1 billion, and goods imported from the US into Ethiopia were valued at USD 572 A million. The US goods trade surplus with Ethiopia was USD 442 million in 2019. In the same year, Guinea was the 161st largest goods trading partner with the US. Goods exported from the US into Guinea amounted to USD 128 million and US goods imported into Guinea totaled USD 9 million. The US goods trade surplus with Guinea was USD 119 million in 2019. Mali was the 178th largest goods trading partner with the US in 2019. Goods exported from Mali to the US totaled USD 68 million and goods imported from the US into Mali totaled US 5 million. The US goods trade surplus with Mali was USD 63 million in 2019. To expire in 2025 The US administration recently announced the renewal of its Prosper Africa Initiative, with a message that it would reinvigorate reciprocal trade between Africa and the US. The initiative focuses on improving trade and investment between the US and Africa in sectors such as infrastructure, energy and climate solutions, healthcare and technology. The Biden Administration is reportedly also supportive of the African Ethiopia 2020  : $525m Exporte ta U.S. Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA) - a continent-wide free trade agreement. The non-reciprocal AGOA, which allows duty- and quota-free exports from eligible African countries into the US, is due to expire in 2025. It was thought that it might be replaced with new, reciprocal trade agreements between the US and African countries that follow the free trade policies of the AfCFTA agreement, as wellas the more reciprocal trade relationships promoted as part of the Prosper Africa initiative. However, it appears that adherence to the strict statutory obligations of AGOA membership might continue to be implemented as an effective governance tool, ensuring that AGOA eligibility requirements, which include commitments to constitutionality, the rule of law and human rights, are closely followed in every country that wishes to benefit from duty free trade with the United States. Whether this will change in 2025 and be replaced with more reciprocal trade agreements remains to be seen. [Baker McKenzie – 10.11.2021] 6
VENDREDI 19 NOVEMBRE 2021 BIZWEEK ÉDITION 369 INTRA-AFRICAN TRADE FAIR POST SCRIPTUM Let’s push the African Continental Free Trade Area as a sure-fire way to a golden « made in Africa » label Speakers at the Trade Fair said such promise was especially relevant as the continent tries to rebuild in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic That history repeats itself need not be a bad thing in Africa, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa stressed during the opening ceremony of the second Intra-African Trade Fair in Durban, South Africa. Speaking on Monday, the president recalled that for centuries in pre-colonial times, Africa was a thriving trade hub. Now the continent is « taking concrete steps to write its own economic success story. » « I think many of us long to see that wonderful and golden label ‘made in Africa’not made anywhere else in the world. This is critical if we are to change the distorted trade relationship that exists between African countries and the rest of the world, » Ramaphosa told the audience in Durban, home to one of the busiest harbors in Africa. The biennial Intra-African Trade Fair was launched in 2018 to be a springboard for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Organized by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in collaboration with the African Union (AU) and the AfCFTA Secretariat, the Fair brings together development, trade and investment communities to negotiate deals and agree on the steps required to promote intra-regional trade. A starting point The AfCTA, which became effective this year, aims to become the world’s largest trade zone since the World Trade Organization in 1994, with the potential to boost African incomes by billions of dollars in the next decade. Speakers at the Trade Fair said such promise was especially relevant as the continent tries to rebuild in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Citing successful deals from the maiden Trade Fair, Afreximbank CEO Benedict Oramah dismissed skepticism about African countries’ability to significantly boost trade among themselves, which currently stands at around 18% of total goods that cross national borders. Oramah said Afreximbank was 100% behind Africa’s trade pact. « This fair is a starting point. The other reasons why they are wrong  : Today, we have a strong and dynamic AfCFTA secretariat with knowledge and energy to drive the AfCFTA agenda. » The 2018 Trade Fair delivered deals worth about $32 billion, of which around $25 billion had been implemented and another $2.5 billion are being processed. Its offshoots include a young Nigerian entrepreneur who now produces drones for agricultural use in Singapore, a major solar power scheme roll-out by an Egyptian company in South Sudan, and a 2,100 MW hydroelectric project in Tanzania, fully funded by African banks. Not without the private sector The 2021 Trade Fair is expected to produce deals worth about $40 billion. Future events will feature an auto show as part of a larger strategy to capitalize on the industrialization potential of the sector. Oramah pointed out that the average vehicle boasts over 30,000 components, creating room for industries such as rubber in Nigeria, Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire, not to mention petrochemicals. Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of the AfCFTA secretariat, said the pact would not succeed without the private sector, smalland mediumenterprises, and young entrepreneurs. Citing the case of the European Union, he said the journey to market integration was difficult and took time. « We as Africans will have to rollup our sleeves, work hard, and ensure that we overcome the challenges. I’m very positive about the prospects of the future of our continent, based on the very first steps that we’ve taken to overcome the challenges of market fragmentation, » Mene said. To become a vital component Mene recently met with African Development Bank Group President Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, who said implementing the free trade area would become a vital component of the Bank’s lending program. During a panel discussion on Monday, Adesina reiterated the Bank’s support. « The African Development Bank Group is a staunch supporter of the African Continental Free Trade Area. Especially now, as we build back better from the Covid-19 pandemic, the need to boost intra-regional trade has never been greater, » Adesina said in a video message. « Together, there is no limit to what we can achieve. » African leaders who attended the ceremony included Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe, Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera, President Hussein Mwinyi of Zanzibar, Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, and Rwandan Prime Minister Édouard Ngirente. The 2021 Intra-African Trade Fair closes on Sunday, 21 November. It has attracted 1,100 exhibitors and 11,000 registrations. The next Trade Fair will be held in 2023 in Côte d’Ivoire. [Source  : African Development Bank, 17 November 2021] 7

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