Free trade agreements won’t hold favourable implications for Namibia’s weaner industry and the opportune thing for local producers along with government, is to get together and have a round table discussion to come up with plans on how to convert potential challenges into opportunities.
Several countries are reviewing these agreements, prompted by the number of cases brought by foreign companies who claim that changes in government policies affect their future profits.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) has recently been a hot topic in South Africa, following the government’s unilateral cancellation of bilateral investment treaties with the European Union and the release of the draft Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill. But what is FDI, and why is it important?
A stir greeted last year’s announcement by the South African government that it would not be renegotiating bilateral investment agreements with major trading partners such as the EU. However, it now seems as if a lot of dust has settled around the Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill, which is set to replace the agreements.
Late last year, the African cyberspace was buzzing with rumours that the region’s oldest trade agreement, the Southern African Customs Union or SACU was about to be finally killed off by South Africa. From Windhoek to Cape Town to Mbabane, trade policy wonks were debating what the most recent moves from Pretoria regarding SACU really meant.
In the last couple of years, South Africa has become the unlikely champion of the anti-BIT movement.
As the nation looks to move on from the loss of Nelson Mandela, these moves to regain control over foreign investment will prove valuable.
Is there something the EU trade guys know that they’re not telling the rest of us? Have they got wind of a dastardly ANC plan to expropriate all European-owned assets in South Africa?
Proposed legal framework to replace previous BITs
The Swiss government says it regrets South Africa’s decision to terminate the bilateral investment treaty between the two countries.
1st of November 2013 is an important date if one wants to get rid of this outdated treaty which poses growing risk to policy making in the public interest
South Africa last week cancelled its bilateral investment treaty with Germany, one of its most important trading partners, amid protests by German businesses.
SOUTH Africa is scrambling to convince Germany and its other European trade partners that its unilateral scrapping of bilateral investment treaties is not a risk to their investments in South Africa.
This is the second BIT terminated as part of South Africa’s planned review of its investment treaties
Namibia’s principled refusal to get bullied into an agreement against what it considered its own best interests has served as an example for other countries originally more willing to give in to the pressure exerted by EU
"South Africa has confronted a dilemma in which it was no longer possible to renegotiate investment treaties with individual EU member states and if we did not move towards termination, the existing treaties would be automatically extended for another 10 years," writes Trade Minister Rob Davies.
If a Free Trade Area were negotiated between Africa’s two largest economies, South Africa and Nigeria, it would have a powerful effect across the sub-continent. However, there are concerns that such an FTA would give one-sided benefits to the South Africans.
Dispute settlements between investors and states saw 62 new cases initiated last year, the highest number of known treaty-based disputes filed in a year, according to a report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) in March.
The South African Poultry Association, which has applied to the International Trade Administration Commission for a general tariff increase against chicken imports, also plans to seek protection against imports from the European Union.
A French company’s attempt to claim "rooibos" as its own intellectual property has galvanised the South African government into action to protect the term under its talks with Brussels over the EU-South Africa EPA.