Tag: Trade

Africa’s agricultural production systems need a radical change – ECA’s Karingi

“Regardless of the approach or transformative pathway chosen to change food systems and trade regimes, African countries need to undertake radical change in agricultural production systems, adopt agribusiness and promote regional agricultural value chains as a vein for regional integration.” The statement was made by Stephen Karingi, Director of the ECA’s Regional Integration and Trade Division this week in Cote d’Ivoire, at the opening of a symposium themed: Implementing Agro-Industrialization and Regional Value Chains for Africa’s Agricultural Transformation.

“Despite a handful of landmark political commitments, Africa is the only region in the world that has witnessed an increase in the number of food insecure people and has a mushrooming agricultural and food trade deficit,” said Karingi.

A call to arms underlines the opening of the Africa Trade Facilitation Forum

The Africa Trade Facilitation Forum segment of the ongoing Africa Trade Week opened here today with a rallying call to urgently address trade facilitation gaps that impact on trade and the movement of goods in order to boost intra-African trade, deepen integration and transform African economies.

“Time is running out,” was the resounding warning at the high-level opening, where speakers stressed that “the global trading landscape is rapidly changing in ways that could leave Africa marginalized if steps are not urgently taken to boost African producers’ competitiveness and integration into international markets.”

AFTER DEATH OF TPP, CHINA MAKES MOVES TO DOMINATE ASIA WITH NEW TRADE PACTS

For all the horrible chapters and faults of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), it seems President Obama was right about one thing – without the trade pact, southeast Asian countries are now looking to China for economic opportunity.

This past week at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Peru, Barrack Obama spent his time addressing the representatives assuring them that the United States and the southeast Asian countries would continue to find a way to cooperate economically. Yet despite Obama’s optimism, the real winner that seems to be emerging from the summit is China.

The Iran-Russia-China Strategic Triangle

The developing economic, political and military links binding Iran, China and Russia in what I see as an emerging Golden Triangle in Eurasia, are continuing to deepen insignificant areas. This, while it seems to be US geopolitical strategy in a prospective Trump Administration to distance Washington from both Iran and from China, while dangling the carrot of lessened confrontation between Washington and Moscow–classic Halford Mackinder or Kissinger geopolitics of avoiding a two-front war that was colossally backfiring on Washington by trying to shift the power balance. At present, the dynamic of the past several years of closer cooperation by the three pivotal states of the Eurasian Heartland is gaining strategic momentum. The latest is the visit of China’s Minister of Defense and of Russian senior officials to Teheran.

On November 14-15 in Teheran, during a high-level visit of the Chinese Defense Minister, General Chang Wanquan, with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan, the two major Eurasian nations signed a deal to enhance military cooperation. The agreement calls for intensification of bilateral military training and closer cooperation on what the Iran sees as regional security issues, with terrorism and Syria at the top of the list. Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, said Iran is ready to share with China its experiences in fighting against the terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria. Dehghan added that the agreement represents an “upgrade in long-term military and defense cooperation with China.”