BRICS leaders declared their common stand on the reform of the World Trade Organization following a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Buenos Aires on 30 November. Read more
BRICS countries are committed to strengthening their institutions and enhancing collaboration in infrastructure and financial cooperation, South Africa's National Treasury said in a document sent to media. The 2018 BRICS Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Outcomes is available here. Read more
In closing the G20 Leaders’ Summit, Argentine host President Mauricio Macri said “what is being proposed is trade that is fair”. He also spoke about climate change: “We agreed that every one of us has to continue addressing their commitments giving strong support to renewable energies, a sector in which Argentina is betting heavily.” The Leaders’ Declaration is available here. Read more
“Today, we are going to discuss how to build fairer and more inclusive societies, achieve climate sustainability and bring a global response to climate change,” said Argentine President Mauricio Macri when he opened the plenary session on the second and final day of the G20 Leaders’ Summit on 1 December in Buenos Aires. Read more
Radical economic transformation is urgent in the least developed countries, which have the challenge of accumulating productive capacities at an unprecedented speed, in the face of the rapid reorientation of global production and digital transformation, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes annual meeting marked the widespread rollout of automatic exchange of financial account of information.
The Sustainable Blue Economy Conference, hosted by Kenya and partnered with the World Bank, will identify the economic benefits of healthy waters and capture donors’ commitment to help the world transition to a blue economy. It will be held on 26-28 November 2018, in Nairobi, Kenya. Read more
Global co-operation to fight tax evasion and avoidance has grown rapidly over the past few years. Tax transparency and exchange of information between tax authorities about financial assets and activities of their taxpayers abroad, which has proved to be a valuable tool in this fight, will be discussed at the eleventh meeting of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, to be held on 20-22 November 2018 in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
Borrowing by low and middle-income economies from external official and private creditors surged to $607 billion in 2017 from $181 billion the previous year, the highest level in three years, as net debt inflows surpassed equity inflows for the first time since 2013, the World Bank’s International Debt Statistics 2019 shows.
This transversal approach has ensured gender perspectives have been taken into account in all work streams, which has led to concrete progress towards achieving fair and sustainable development.
On 30 November and 1 December, world leaders will meet in the Argentine capital to conclude G20 Argentina 2018.
The Seminar on Intellectual Property and Knowledge Flows in a Digital Era, which took place at the WTO in Geneva on 5-6 November, provided concrete data that could be used to further develop the understanding of the complex role of IP in the contemporary world and highlighted the value of presentations to better understand the link between IP and trade in services, particularly in terms of measuring knowledge flows.
IORA member states should focus on strengthening the region’s contribution towards global security, economic growth and sustainable development, said South African International Relations and Co-operation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu at the IORA Council of Ministers meeting in Durban on 2 November. The association aimed at strengthening regional co-operation and sustainable development, and it could become “a beacon of hope for multilateralism”.
African presidents were saluted for embracing the continent’s economic growth project, with organisers of the inaugural Africa Investment Forum saying this would go a long way in attracting tangible investment. The current crop of African leaders was described as being the chief executive officers of their countries by African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina, who was speaking at the forum in Johannesburg on 7 November. “African leaders are doing business differently. We are seeing our leaders as CEOs of their own corporations, if you will,” he said.
Governments around the world set a new record in bureaucracy busting efforts for the domestic private sector, implementing 314 business reforms over the past year, says the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform report, released on 31 October. The reforms, carried out in 128 economies, benefit small and medium enterprises as well as entrepreneurs, enabling job creation and stimulating private investment.
The Pan-African Parliament and the African Tax Administration Forum signed a memorandum of understanding on 29 October in Kigali in a bid to strengthen tax legislations in Africa and combat illicit financial flows. The five-year agreement is to formalise co-operation between the institutions on tax policy and tax administration reforms on the continent.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa reinforced co-operation between the governments of South Africa and Germany on bilateral and global issues at the G20 Investment Summit and the G20 Compact with Africa Conference in Berlin. He underscored the critical importance of German investment to South Africa’s efforts to stimulate sustainable and inclusive economic growth, the Presidency said on 31 October.
Investment was needed in hard infrastructure such as roads and broadband connections in developing countries if they were to prosper in the new digital economy and attain the Sustainable Development Goals, speakers said at the World Investment Forum’s Global Leaders Investment Summit on 24 October. But stable regulatory and fiscal regimes were a precondition of attracting such investment.
The Cotonou Agreement, signed in 2000, regulates relations between the EU and the 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, but it is set to expire in 2020. Negotiations for a new treaty have been under way since the end of September. “But these are not self-fulfilling,” warns Evita Schmieg from Germany’s German Institute for International and Security Affairs.
The African Union declared 2018 the year of combating corruption in Africa, and the chairperson of the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption, Bégoto Miarom, revealed that 40 nations had already signed the convention on anti-corruption. They were now collectively looking to implement strategies and share information that could be effective across the continent.
The GEGAfrica project has been funded by UK aid from the UK government; however the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK government’s official policies.