The clock ticks on US, China tariff truce

Time is running out for the US and China to come up with a deal that will bring an end to the trade tariffs. The two biggest economies in the world came to a truce late last year with both countries suspending new tariffs on each other, to allow room for negotiations to take place.

The deadline for the truce is coming closer as both sides still have yet to come to an agreement. This is leaving markets and business worried that new tariffs could be imposed.

According to cnbc.com China’s economy is also forecasted to slow down due to tariffs which will affect the US economy and to a larger extent the global economy.

Many in the business community do not believe that the US and China can make enough progress on their issue in a little over a month. US officials have expressed optimism that a consensus will be reached before the truce expires in March.


By Mokgethi Mtezuka

South Africa to host mining investment roundtable

South Africa is to host a mining investment roundtable. Minister of Trade and Industry Dr. Rob Davis is expected to address mining investment roundtable on the sidelines of the African Mining Indaba, next week in Cape Town. Mineral Resources Minister, Gwede Mantashe and the General Manager of Research at Brand South Africa, Petrus de Kock are also to address the investment roundtable.  

The Mining Indaba will be held under theme ” Championing Africa’s Sustainable Economic Development, ” from 4 February to 7. According to African News Agency, more than 750 investors and dealmakers are expected to be among the estimated 7,000 delegates expected to gather in Cape Town from across the globe.

Held on the margins of the 25th investing African Mining Indaba, the South African roundtable will be under the theme “theme Invest in South African Mining”.Canada, the United States, India, China, and Russia are among the countries invited to the roundtable as prospective investors.

 

 

 

Source: African News Agency

THE NEW PRESIDENCY OF BRAZIL AND THE UPCOMING CHALLENGES

Brazil enters a new phase of politics since it democratized itself again in 1985, after 21 years of a military dictatorship that had been stimulated by Operation Condor, from the United States of America, and that influenced the directions of all of Latin America. Jair Bolsonaro represents a jump in the dark because, in addition to a much below average parliamentary career, was elected under a strong scheme of fake news illegally funded by enterprises throughout social media.

Even before the start of 2018 election campaign, Bolsonaro gained notoriety for exposing a line of reasoning completely out of modern world’s reality. He spoke against the brazilian black people on several occasions, against women, against the LGBT population. He positioned himself in favour of innocent death in wars, methods of torture, cursing women reporters and parliamentarians in front of the cameras. He honored the main torturer of the military dictatorship political police several times.

Curiously, after all Bolsonaro was elected without attending the traditional presidential debates, only by the force of the fake news and the algorithm manipulation in the social networks. This makes it very difficult to know what to expect from the next government. Bolsonaro, however, gave some rather significant signals about the political course that Brazil is expected to follow in the next few years. During campaign he had salute the US flag and promise to deliver natural resources and military strategical structures to the Americans.

A few days after elected, Bolsonaro continues to demonstrate his inability to gauge the consequences of his speeches and generates negative repercussions worldwide. He has already announced the end of the ministry of labor, the intention to charge monthly fees at public universities, to create distance learning schools over the internet, and to give police forces freepass to kill. He announced on facebook the persecution of teachers, student organizations and even the press who opposed the new government.

In international politics it has not been different. He has already spoken against Mercosur, the common market of South American countries that is important for regional development, against China that is the main commercial partner of Brazil, showed signs of distancing from the BRICS cooperation initiative and announced the change of the Brazilian embassy in Israel, from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Recent announcements have created tensions in Brazil’s diplomatic relations with South America, the European Union, BRICS and the Arab countries.

There is also a delicate issue that is unfolding on the border with Venezuela. NATO sends troops to Colombia, while the United States military, in addition to donating tanks to the Brazilian army, carries out unprecedented military exercises in Brazilian territory, near Venezuela. Donald Trump is airing the possibility of military intervention in the Bolivarian Republic and one of Bolsonaro’s son, who is a federal deputy, has already spoken openly about the war with Venezuela. In other words, due to the 2018 election, there is a more favorable conjunctural alignment for military aggression against Nicolas Maduro.

So, what is expected for the upcoming years is a Brazil, once again, on its knees before the traditional western politics, the withdrawal of historical rights won through the workers’ struggle and a substantial surrender of the national patrimony to foreign interests and of the public patrimony to the greedy private initiative that wants to increase the rates of profit by suppressing the Brazilian people’s dignity. There was a complete reversal of the role that Brazil had been ready to fulfill in recent years.

The Brazilian people are facing a new moment of struggle for sovereignty, self-determination and the maintenance of peace. A new moment of resistance begins for the consolidation of a multipolar world where Brazil can fulfill the active role that has always fulfilled in the articulation of the new world.

By Henrique Domingues

Meet our issue 7 guest editor – Aurélie Adam Soule Zoumarou

Aurélie Adam Soule Zoumarou is knowledgeable and skilled Telecommunications and ICTs professional who built up an experience in the ICT industry (SFR France, Accenture France, ARCEP Benin, GSMA Afrique).

She returned to Benin in 2008 and devoted her time and work at the Regulator’s Office ARCEP BENIN, where her responsibilities included: but not limited to; radio-communications and radio frequencies management.

In addition to all these, she played an active role in the participation of Benin and Africa in the 2015 ITU World Conference in 2015. Past challenges have led to earning a legitimate place in the team in charge of the GSMA’s involvement with Governments, Regulators and Regional Organizations in the African region.


She obtained a Master’s degree with a focus on Telecoms and ICT Engineering from Telecom Sud Paris and also holds a Certificate in Management of Public Policies and Leadership from Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public affairs of Syracuse University (New York).


She has enrolled in a Ph.D program in Information Science and Communication at Ecole Doctorale Montaigne – Humanités de l’Université Bordeaux Montaigne in France since August 2017 and has been working on the thesis: “Analysis of Public Policies and the advent of Telecommunication Networks and ICTs Services in rural Africa”.


In October 2017, the President of the Republic of Benin, His Excellency Patrice Talon appointed her as state Minister in charge of Digital Economy and Communications with the motive of: ​Making Benin a digital services platform provider for West Africa, in order to accelerate growth and achieve social inclusion.​


Mrs Zoumarou is also BRICS Journal’s guest editor for our new print issue 7, she provides insightful knowledge as to why it is crucial for Africans to play a leading role in the second machine age, and the proactive steps Benin has taken to secure the future of its citizens.

India, Japan & US key to Indo-Pacific stability

The chairman of the Nippon Foundation, Yohei Sasakawa, believes for increased stability and peace in the Indo-Pacific region India, Japan, and US cooperation will be a key element. This comes as China growing presence in the South China Sea becomes more prevalent.

India, Japan, USA, and Australia are a quartet working to strengthen ties and coordinate their activities in the Indo-Pacific which stretches from the east coast of Africa to the east coast of Japan. China’s One Belt One Road project, as well as growing influence in the South China Sea, has caused new tension in the region which has prompted the reestablishment of the quad in 2017.

Sasakawa believes that it may be already too late to contain a rising China as they are building massive projects in around the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean and on African coasts. The Chinese Overseas Development Aid (ODA) is seen by many critics as loans used to trap countries into debt.

Sikkim’s lone Lok Sabha MP P.D. Rai has referred to the relationship between India and Japan has been described as the bedrock of stability which could maintain stability in South Asia and East Asia in the years to come.

Source:indiatimes.com

NDB Successfully Registers RMB 10 Billion Bond Programme In China Interbank Bond Market

The New Development Bank (NDB) has successfully obtained the Letter of Registration (Zhong Shi Xie Zhu, 2019 No. RB1) of an RMB bond programme in the China Interbank Bond Market from the National Association of Financial Market Institutional Investors (NAFMII) on January 9, 2019. The NDB has been granted approval to raise up to RMB 10 billion in the China interbank bond market within 2 years of the Programme registration date. The proceeds of the Programme will be used to finance infrastructure and sustainable development projects in the Bank’s member countries.

The NDB is the first issuer to establish an onshore RMB bond programme according to the Interim Measures for the Administration of Bond Issuance by Overseas Institutions in the National Interbank Bond Market under the People’s Bank of China and Ministry of Finance Announcement [2018] No.16 (the Measures) issued on September 25, 2018.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited, Bank of China Limited, Agricultural Bank of China Limited and China Construction Bank Limited have been appointed as the joint lead underwriters of the Programme.


Bond offerings under the Programme will be eligible to institutional investors in the China Interbank Bond Market as well as offshore RMB investors through the Bond Connect scheme between Mainland China and Hong Kong.
Registration of the Programme reiterates the Bank’s commitment to becoming a regular issuer in China with a strong credit history in order to ensure better liquidity and diversification for investors.

“NDB will contribute to the development of financial markets in its member countries and raise funds not only in hard currencies but also in local currencies,” said Mr. Leslie Maasdorp, NDB VP & CFO. “We view China Interbank Bond Market as a very promising market that will offer the NDB an additional source of liquidity on an ongoing basis, supporting the growth of our investments in infrastructure and sustainable development projects in line with the Bank’s mandate,” he added.

In July 2016, the NDB successfully issued the first onshore bond in China for an amount of RMB 3 billion (approx. USD 450 million) and a tenor of 5 years. It was the first time that an international financial institution issued a green financial bond in the China interbank bond market and it was also the first time for the NDB to tap the capital market. The issuance was regarded as a great success, with the total subscription amounting to more than RMB 9 billion and the participation of more than 30 investors.


-New Development Bank 

SA, India to strengthen cooperation in agriculture

 

Image source: Illumina 

The governments of South and India have agreed to strengthen cooperation in the fields of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries.

The two countries made the commitment during a bilateral meeting between South Africa’s Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana and Indian Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Parshottam Rupala, in New Delhi, India last week.

The bilateral meeting was aimed at strengthening cooperation in agriculture, forestry and fisheries with a special focus on the areas of crop and animal production, research, food and nutrition security, agroforestry, aquaculture, and agro-processing.

The meeting was a culmination of technical discussions which took place at the 4th Joint Working Group on Agriculture between the two countries.

During a meeting, Zokwana and Rupala recognized the importance of agriculture to the economies of their respective countries and committed to continue deepening bilateral trade in agricultural commodities.
South Africa gained market access for persimmons and mangoes in 2016. Work is currently at an advanced stage to gain market access for avocados, litchis, and pickled sheep and goat skins.

The ministers recognized the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Agricultural Research and Education between the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research in 2018. They urged both institutions to expedite the finalization of a work plan to outline a programme of action on cooperation in research and education.

The areas to be covered in the work plan include crop breeding, silk production, agricultural biotechnology, post-harvest technologies, and agriculture education and training.

They also agreed to explore opportunities in the area of the bamboo value chain.

Addressing poverty and hunger
Further agreements were made on working together on mutual food and security initiatives directed towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with specific reference to SDG 1 – addressing poverty; SDG 2 – addressing hunger, and sharing their experiences in the development of drought-resistant varieties and bio-fortified varieties.

Both Ministers further noted the importance of the soil-water-energy relationship and committed to intensifying initiatives in this nexus to address sustainable agricultural systems.

Revolutionary agricultural development
Experiences were shared in extension services on the importance of it in the Fourth Industrial Revolution to ensure revolutionary agricultural development was emphasized.

Furthermore, the Ministers agreed on convening an inaugural bilateral seminar on the extension. The seminar will be a platform to share best practices and set a new bilateral agenda on extension and technology transfer.

South Africa will host the first seminar, where a joint action plan will be crafted. In strengthening the marketing of commodities, the National Agricultural Marketing Council of South Africa and the National Institute of Agriculture Marketing of India will sign a Memorandum of Understanding.

 

 

– SAnews.gov.za

Russia to host African leaders

Russia announced that it will be hosting African leaders in business and politics in October in a summit in Russia’s southern coastal city, Sochi. According to the summit official organizer, Roscongress, the summit is aimed at raising Russia’s economic profile in Africa. 

The Africa-Russia summit is a tool used research Africa’s business climate, accelerate investment and partnership possibilities in Africa, an advisor the Russian President said.

Anton Kobyakov further said that the summit will be unique in the history between Russia and African countries, and will plot the vector for further development of bilateral and multilateral relations.

 

Source: The exchange

South African and India look to progress old partnership

The South Africa president Cyril Ramaphosa met with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India over the weekend. The meeting comes as President Ramaphosa was invited to India’s 70th Republic Day Parade on 26 January 2019. India and South Africa have had strong ties and a relationship spanning over 25 years.

READ MORE:Ramaphosa, Chief Guest at Republic Day of India

The two leaders used the opportunity to further strengthen their relationship, SA-India relations has resulted in over 150 Indian companies based in South Africa, $10 Billion in investment and almost 20 000 South Africans employed. 

SA-India cooperation does not just stop at a business level but also expands into the science and technology sectors. Indian scientist contributed strongly in the design and development of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) in the Northern Karoo in South Africa.

There is also a joint project which honors the iconic leaders of both Countries. The Mandela centenary and Gandhi’s 150th celebration – a technical skills centre established by India in South Africa.  The Gandhi-Mandela Centre of Specialisation for Artisan Skills will be based at the Tshwane South campus, Pretoria.

READ MOREIndia to establish a technical skills centre in South Africa

 

Source: iol.co.za

Brazil and South Africa discuss increased partnership between countries

Brazilian and South African leaders held a bilateral meeting on Thursday (January 24) to discuss ways to expand trade partnerships between the two countries. Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro and his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa, met in Davos (Switzerland) on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum.

Bolsonaro presented the economic measures that will be taken by his administration to make the Brazilian economy more open and competitive, expanding trade partnerships. The leaders will also seek to strengthen cooperation ties to address challenges common to both countries, such as unemployment and social inequality.

During the meeting, the South African president said he has no doubt that he will find transformations underway in Brazil when he comes to the country for the BRICS (a group formed by Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) Summit, during which leaders of the group will be passed on to Brazil.

 

– Brazil gov news