News Search

SA business organisation asks president to delay enactment of two Bills to ensure continued US trade benefits

Business organisation Sakeliga has requested President Cyril Ramaphosa to delay the enactment of two Bills of Parliament, which it says could potentially jeopardise 40% of South Africa’s exports to the US. The relevant Bills are the Copyright Amendment Bill (B13B-2017) and the Performer’s Protection Bill (B24B-2016). Sakeliga’s open letter on Monday follows an announcement made last week by the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) of a review of South Africa’s eligibility for tariff exemptions under the Generalized...

28 October 2019 | SIMONE LIEDTKE

R35 billion in South African exports to the USA are at stake in a 'review' just triggered by SA's copyright reform efforts

South African exports to the United States worth some R35 billion last year will be at stake when the Office of the United States Trade Representative launches a review of SA's eligibility for duty-free imports under the US system known as the Generalized System of Preferences, or GSP. The US federal government announced plans for the review on Friday. The exports threatened include – but go beyond – exports to America under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Agoa exports are predicated on participating...

27 October 2019

US announces a review of South Africa's place in its biggest preferential trade scheme (GSP)

The United States plans to review South Africa's eligibility to participate in its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), the largest and oldest American scheme to allow duty-free imports from less developed countries. The South African review is "based on IP [intellectual property] protection and enforcement concerns", the Office of the United States Trade Representative said in an announcement on Friday. [See announcement here]. Dates for hearings on South Africa's involvement have yet to be...

26 October 2019

SA agro-processing products on show in the US

As part of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (dti) efforts to create market access for South African value-added products in the North American market, 17 South African agricultural companies are currently on an Outward Selling Mission (OSM) to the country. Delegates exhibited at the New York City Wine and Food Festival, which was attended by thousands of local and international buyers, foodies, chefs and industry professionals. The mission is set to conclude tomorrow at the Fresh Food Summit in California, and according to...

16 October 2019

USAID Southern Africa to support upcoming Swakopmund international trade expo

The USAID/Southern Africa will collaborate with the government and the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) for the upcoming 7th Swakopmund International Trade Expo (SWAITEX). Dr Takele Tassew, Agriculture and Trade Advisor for the USAID/Southern Africa Regional Economic Growth Office, confirmed in a statement that this partnership is possible because of a meeting they had with the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and SME Development at the 18th Annual African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum held in Abidjan, Cote...

03 October 2019 | Donald Matthys

Report calls for joint marketing of EAC as investment destination and eradication of NTBs

A report of the recently concluded high level conference on trade integration notes that there is a downward trend on the profile of the East African Community (EAC) as an attractive investment destination. The report calls for the EAC Partner States to market EAC jointly, further consolidate free trade by eliminating individual State exemption lists, liberalize and allow free movement of trade and services, eradicate non-tariff barriers (NTBs), fully harmonize the Common External Tariff (CET) and domestic taxes and make business immune...

28 September 2019 | George Mangula

Blog: 'It’s Time for AGOA 2.0'

The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is set to expire in 2025. That may be the distant future for some but given the time required to pass trade legislation in the U.S. Congress, it’s the functional equivalent of tomorrow’s mid-day meal. Preparation for the post-AGOA trade relationship between the U.S. and Africa needs to begin now. AGOA has had important successes but improvements need to be made to the program. The legislation, which removed all tariffs on 6,400 products available for export to the U.S., helped to move the...

25 September 2019 | Witney Schneidman

Kenya: Businesswomen urged to form joint ventures to exploit US market

Kenyan businesswomen have been urged to form joint ventures with American partners to exploit the US market and take advantage of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). This was said during a US-Kenya business and networking summit, the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Programme (AWEP) held on Wednesday at United States International University – Africa. Themed, ‘Doing Business With America,’ the summit sought to enlighten women in business on how to export duty-free from Kenya to the US under the Agoa and bidding on US...

17 September 2019 | James Wanzala

Botswana: AGOA dream dims for local textile sector

Local textile and apparel producers appear to be giving up hope of exporting to the United States under the duty-free AGOA provisions, preferring instead to focus on the local and regional markets, BusinessWeek has established. AGOA is a trade arrangement between the US and sub-Saharan Africa running till 2025 and providing relaxed access to the American market. Textiles are Botswana’s primary export under AGOA. From a peak of P1.8 billion in textile AGOA exports by local firms in 2008, the figure last year was estimated at about...

30 August 2019 | MBONGENI MGUNI

'Beyond AGOA – Prosper Africa'

The 18th AGOA Forum that took place earlier in August was once again a reminder to business not only to make the most of AGOA, but also to start thinking beyond it. South Africa, along with the majority of countries in sub-Saharan Africa, is able to export more than 6,000 types of products to the United States without paying US import tariffs. This is thanks to a preferential trade dispensation offered by the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the US Generalised System of Preferences (GSP). First...

21 August 2019 | Karen Bosman

Kenya: Riddle of jobs boom in export zones amid gloom in economy

If your perception of Kenya’s labour market is that of a glass half empty, you could blame it on recent media headlines. But if you want to see it as a glass half full, then you might want to walk up to the offices of Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) and have a little chat with one of the officials. Even as the country’s major industries continue to shed jobs, the EPZs seem to be creating more employment opportunities. True, some EPZ firms, like many others in a slow economy, might also be slashing workers from their payrolls,...

20 August 2019 | Dominic Omondi

Nigeria can harvest $2bn from yearly spices export

Professor Haruna Dikko Ibrahim is the Director-General Raw Material Research and Development Council (RMRDC) Abuja. In this interview, he explains the huge potentials Nigeria can generate from the export of spices.  Excerpts: Can you give us an idea into the global trade of spices? The global seasonings and spices market is on an upward trend.  The spice market was valued at about USD 15.11 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach approximately USD 20.99 billion by 2024, a growth rate of about 5.0% per annum between 2018 and...

18 August 2019 | Hussein Yahaya

A look back on the East Africa USAID Hub as the project comes to an end

After five years, the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub), a USAID project, is coming to a close. This is an expected end as USAID projects typically run for five years. Since the USAID Hub began in 2014, we have been fortunate to work with dedicated entrepreneurs, private sector organizations, governments and development partners. Together, we have supported eastern Africa’s private sector to access and leverage economic opportunities in this dynamic region. These efforts have provided businesses with the enabling environment...

14 August 2019