This week on trade, stimulus to finally lift the world economy out of recession as the G-
20 summit meets in Seoul, Republic of South Korea, will take center stage. At the summit,
trade imbalances will also be treated in other to balance the asymmetrical trade relationship
between the North and South.
G-20 Summit: opportunities for Nigeria, Africa
The G-20 is believed to be reminiscent of the Breton woods conference which shaped
the present world economic order. The present world economic order is believed to be
asymmetrical as there is level of inequality in geographical representation. South Africa is the
only representative from the Africa region. The theme of this year’s summit which is holding in
South Korea is “Shared growth beyond crises” and is expected to treat the issue geographical
unequal representation and this was collaborated by the chair of the presidential committee
for 2010 G-20 summit Sakong II, who stated that there is overall agreement in the G-20 that
Africa is under-represented and that this will addressed at the summit promising to reach
out to non G-20 members. The objectives of the summit will be to promote the framework
for co-coordinating the long term economic policies among G-20, promoting and maintaining
balanced and steady growth which will stabilize global economy and fashion out more balanced
solution to global development.
Source: (Thisday of Thursday, 11 November)
Ghana is Sweden’s third largest trade partner –Swedish trade Minister
According to the Dr Ewa Bjorling Swedish trade Minister, Ghana is the country’s third largest trade partner in sub-Saharan Africa. Trade between both countries has grown significantly in recent years, owing to some policies which seem to reduce red tape and other trade barriers.
He said this while leading a delegation of Swedish trade experts to Ghana who are in the country to further expand collaboration and explore untapped business opportunities. Ghana was represented at the summit by Ms Hannah Tetteh, the Minister of Trade and Industry.
ECOWAS Launches regional electricity regulatory Authority
In a bid to boost productivity, upgrade infrastructure and facilitate Trade, ECOWAS has launched an independent entity for the regulation of cross-broader trade of electricity and provide support to national regulators of electricity in the region. The project known as ECOWAS regional electricity regulatory authority (ERERA) was launched amidst fanfare in Accra, Ghana. ERERA was established in 2008 to provide uniform technical rules for the management of the exchanges between interconnected systems in other to maximize their technical efficiency. According to Celestin Talakin ECOWAS commissioner for infrastructure, ERERA will enhance the development of institutional framework that will boost productivity and attract
investors to the region.
Nigeria Strike goes ahead despite Presidential talks
Trade in Nigeria was brought to its knees as the two biggest labour and trade unions embarked on a three day strike to press for upward increment of the minimum wage. The unions
namely Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) went on strike after government refused to increase the minimum wage to N18,000 ($120). This they say was as
a result of rise in the prices of goods and services. Despite presidential plea for the unions to suspend the strike action until after negotiations, the action still went ahead and trade in goods
and services were paralyzed as schools, Banks as well as Ministries, Department and Agencies equally remained shut.
Africa could be third largest producer and exporter of oil by 2011
According to a forecast made by Price water coopers, Africa will surpass North America to
become the third largest oil producer behind Middle East and Central/east Europe by 2011.
This forecast is based on the immunity which the region has against global recession and
price uncertainty which has led to cancellation and deferral of projects, layoffs, cost cutting
measures and general re-evaluation by many oil companies in North America as new strategy
(ies). The forecast said that international oil consumption shrunk by 2% in 2009, yet Africa
was not affected but instead is expected to grow further by around 2% this 2010. Recent
successes made in new exploration sites such as the Rift valley oilfield in Uganda and Jubilee
offshore oilfield in Ghana are some of the important oil reserves which will help Africa meet the
Africa Minerals to raise $800 million for Iron ore project
One of the core Iron ore investors in Africa, is to raise about $800 million through listing on the
stock exchange and debt fundraising. The money is being raised to fund the development of
its flagship iron ore project in Sierra Leone. It hopes to raise £191million through share placing
and another $500 million through a loan facility. The company is to be listed at London stock
exchange and the fundraising is aimed at boosting production and aiding diversification.
West Africa’s transport system, costliest in the world
A study by USAID rates transport in the West Africa sub-region as the costliest in the world.
This is owing to excessive regulation which hampers competition and raises tariffs payable. This
was made known by USAID transport advisor, who said that lower prices will boost production
by farmers because there will be high rate of return on investment and this acts as incentive
for extra production. One example of anti-competitive regulation is the so called “two thirds,
one third” rule, which actually states that a quota of two third of cargo destined for landlocked
countries be transported by a haulage company in the receiving company and one third to
the coastal country. Regional economic blocs in the form of ECOWAS and UEMOA have both
discussed eliminating the rules that allow these regulations to exist and action discussed is
expected in 2011.
EU Trade assistance to Nigeria hits €6.5 billion
According to the first secretary of the EU to Nigeria, trade related assistance to Nigeria is
around €6.5billion.Massimo de Luca stated this during the EU day at the Lagos international
trade fair. He said that the trade assistance is done mostly through European Investment Bank
(EIB) with CBN’s co-operation. Furthermore, EU makes sure its financial intervention doesn’t
go into the pockets of institutional actors rather agencies are used and that EU is ready to
help Nigeria in the area of trade, policy definition, good governance and security as well as
strengthening institutional structures and combat policy implementation challenges.
60 Chinese firms exhibit at Lagos trade fair
Lagos international trade fair as is expected will boost bilateral and multilateral trade relations
between Nigeria and its trade partners as 60 Chinese firms will be participating at the Lagos
international trade fair. This was stated by Fa Frank general manager of Brightway international
company Ltd, the fair’s technical partners. The Chinese firms will be displaying products ranging
from Heavy duty trucks to House hold effects.
U S and West African states seek to enhance Trade and investment
U S and West Africa trade representatives scheduled the next U S and UEMOA, Trade and
investment framework agreement (TIFA) council meeting which is also the sixth since the
creation of the multilateral union. Objectives of the meeting is to discuss the advances
already made in multilateral Trade and investment relations and decide on future initiatives
to further boost trade flows under the TIFA. The implementation status of the African Growth
and opportunity act(AGOA) co-operation initiatives to be jointly presented at the WTO and
trade related African regional integration topics namely; Business, climate and investment,
infrastructure and trade capacity building. The U S delegation was led by deputy trade
representative of USTR, Ambassador Demetrios Marantis while UEMOA was led by Mr. Kone,
commerce minister of Burkina Faso. Trade between UEMOA and the U S is estimated to be in
the region of $1.2billion.