THE Congress of South African Trade Unions has urged Namibia to follow South Africa and Angola’s footsteps in refusing to sign the much-debated Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union, alleging that the purported agreement has a ‘hidden’ agenda.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) is celebrating the rejection of European Union-SADC Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA) negotiations by the governments of South Africa and Angola and is mobilising for a political intervention in the whole agreement negotiations.
A bilateral investment treaty between Zimbabwe and South Africa could not be signed last week after Harare requested more details on the accord before it could commit itself, Industry Minister Welshman Ncube said.
Threats to the global liberal order are usually identified with illiberal states. That’s why China, with its repressive domestic regime and its see-no-evil (unless related to the United States) foreign policy attracts so much attention these days.
The European Union is likely to move towards the official signing of an interim economic partnership agreement, known as an EPA, with countries of the Southern African Development Community that will exclude South Africa.
In South America, serious pressure is building against the Israel-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement (FTA), threatening to derail it entirely. South American social movements, who have years of experience fighting against free trade, have integrated Palestine solidarity into their general work.
EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton visited several nations in Southern Africa last week, where she held talks with key governmental leaders. Although the general purpose of the trip was to promote bilateral and regional trade relations, Ashton also hoped to make progress on a potential Economic Partnership Agreement, or EPA, between members of the South African Development Community (SADC) and the European Union.
There is need to address the prevailing trade imbalance between Kenya and South Africa in order to enhance trade relations between the two countries Trade Permanent Secretary Dr (Eng) Cyrus Njiru has said.
Brussels officials have rejected calls from three southern African governments for a reassessment of a new trade accord with the European Union.
South Africa, Namibia and Angola have sent the European Union a letter — on an official South African letterhead and signed by the three countries’ ambassadors — reiterating concern about the interim economic partnership agreement and urging the EU to allow more time before the pact is signed.
The European Commission has made a major concession in trade talks with the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu), offering a deal that should avert the break-up of the customs union. It proposed a tariff deal that would align the bloc’s controversial Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the bilateral trade agreement under which SA trades with the EU. If accepted, the offer would essentially allow Sacu to maintain its common external tariff and keep the customs union intact.
A trade analyst says SA’s objections to an economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU) were “smoke and mirrors”, and that SA’s stance was damaging to the region.
Global euphoria over the election of Barack Obama as US President George Bush’s successor has been tempered somewhat by the realisation that the Democrats have not historically been overly keen on free trade.
Several hundred product lines, mostly in the agricultural, agro-processing and fishing sectors in South Africa, may face increased competition from the European Union.
With the aim of enhancing co-operation between India, Brazil and South Africa in the field of Small Industries, the Third Tri-nation Summit for Small Business Development began in Faridabad. Inaugurating the Summit the Union Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Shri Mahabir Prasad raised hope that the summit will help the small industries of IBSA countries to meet global challenges.
Last month, captains of industry from India, Brazil and SA (Ibsa) descended on the Indian capital for the third summit of the Ibsa Trilateral Business Council.
Institutional development is considered important in empowering the Southern African Customs Union’s (Sacu’s) secretariat to play a significant role in regional policy development and the associated policy-making structures.
The figures are undoubtedly impressive. A total combined gross domestic product (GDP) in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms of more than $5,28- trillion, or 8% of the total global PPP GDP of over $65,6-trillion. A total population of more than 1,39-billion people, or just under 21% of the global population of more than 6,7-billion. These numbers show the combined weight of India, Brazil and South Africa (Ibsa), the three member countries of the Ibsa Dialogue Forum.
Can India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) together make more money than they can spend? This was the fervent of the South African High Commissioner Francis Moloi at the third IBSA Business Summit 2008 that recently took place in New Delhi. Considering the three countries lie in different continents, connectivity is a major issue. In fact, integrating the three economies may be the ideal way to combat the global downturn.
Developing countries have talked of the philosophy of South-south cooperation for development for a very long time. A number of initiatives was launched during the 1960s and 1970s. However, progress was modest because of lack of resources and institutional weaknesses in developing countries. With the emergence of countries like Brazil, India and South Africa in this millennium with considerable capabilities and collective development experiences that South-south cooperation has begun to be seen as a viable strategy.