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Inside Southern African Trade (INSAT)

Published by the Southern Africa Global Competitiveness Hub

Issue 1

May 2005

SARPN acknowledges the Southern Africa Global Competitiveness Hub as the source of this document:
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Welcome to INSAT, the new quarterly publication of the Southern Africa Global Competitiveness Hub. INSAT aims to:

  • Provide timely and accessible trade-related information for the private sector, policy makers and broader civil society; and
  • Enhance understanding of the many trade-related issues in the sub-region.
We seek to highlight the many success stories and good practices that facilitate increased growth, trade and investment in the region, and we strive to profile and promote the work of the Trade Hub.

INSAT aims to provide objective, authentic and timely coverage of trade-related news. Our primary audience is policy makers, the private sector and its representative organizations, donor agencies and others who are interested in, and working for, enhancing Southern Africa’s trade competitiveness.

We strive to demonstrate success, but we don’t shy away from highlighting challenges and ways to overcome them. We try to tell stories from differing perspectives – with the aim of increasing understanding and stimulating debate. We aim to be concise, clear and consistent.

To achieve these objectives, we have divided the newsletter into a number of sections that are standard to each issue. In the fi rst section, ‘Around Southern Africa’, we highlight news from the sub-region. The range of topics covered in sub-sections includes news about bilateral and multilateral trade agreements; topical briefs on key issues; the private sector; and donor activities in the region.

In this issue, we give you the latest on the SACU-US FTA negotiations and we shed light on the reasons behind the slow progress in these talks. We also bring you the latest on EPA negotiations, the region’s first “one stop shop” for transport services in Namibia, and a potential project in the region that would explore alternatives to certification in agriculture.

Then we cast the scope wider to roundup global trade-related news that is of relevance to Southern Africa before looking at what’s been happening at the WTO. In this issue, we bring you news about measures taken by the US and Europe to restrict Chinese textile exports, a move that many African countries support. We also bring you the latest on, among other issues, agricultural trade talks; the proposal of the African group on eliminating cotton subsidies; and the EU’s critical decision to open its markets to GMOs.

We have created ‘INSAT Focus’ and ‘We Speak To...’ to explore a regionally relevant trade issue in more depth. The analysis, while explaining the challenges, will also seek to highlight solutions. We supplement our own reporting with an interview with a leading policy-maker, trade or economic analyst, business champion, or someone else who can speak authoritatively on the topic and who represents a broader constituency. In this issue we take a close look at the experience of Lesotho’s textile industry and examine the reasons behind the diffi culties it has been facing. For the most part, the industry’s troubles have been blamed on the end of Multi Fiber Arrangement, but our article suggests that there is more to the story when one looks behind the headlines.

In ‘Guest Perspective’ we feature articles from trade experts or policy makers, analysts or business people, from inside and outside the region. With this section we aim to provide you with a different view on an issue; present a comparative experience; or simply stimulate debate. In this issue, our guest is a chief negotiator from the Central American Region, who has been involved in free negotiations with the US. We hope that the insights offered by Dr. Quiros are useful and relevant to the region’s experience in negotiating the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU.

The ‘Resource Section’ contains references to other sources of information on trade-related topics. We refer you to useful websites, other publications and important databases. We will also inform you of upcoming events that might be of interest to you or your organization.

Last but not least, we tell you a bit more about ourselves. Who we are. What we are involved in, and what we hope to be doing for you next!

Look out for this newsletter every quarter. Read it; pass it on to your colleagues; keep it on your coffee table.

E-mail the editor, at . org, with your contributions, suggestions or comments, or if you would like to subscribe to receive the newsletter by e-mail.

This newsletter is sponsored by USAID under their regional trade expansion project, Trade Facilitation and Capacity Building (TFCB), being run from the Southern Africa Global Competitiveness Hub.

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