4 months ago

Opportunity Issue 103

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Opportunity magazine is a niche business-to-business publication that explores various investment opportunities within Southern Africa’s economic sectors. The publication is endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).


BETTER BUSINESS Unique offerings from SACCI ATA Carnet and Certificates of Origin are practical cogs in making business work better. ATA Carnet is a guarantee given through the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) by the World Chambers Federation (WCF). It is an instrument that enables business to use the carnet for purposes of reimportation of goods that are temporarily moved out of the country. The cover is for taxes and duties that would normally apply to the goods moved cross border. The ATA Carnet System is an International Customs facilitation scheme for the temporary admission of the goods into member countries. ATA stands for the French and English combination, “Admission temporaire/temporary admission”. Carnets are “Merchandise Passports” for the temporary importation of commercial samples, professional equipment and trade fairs/ exhibitions. In South Africa, South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry is the National Guaranteeing Association to be the sole Issuing and Guaranteeing Association for ATA Carnets. Advantages of ATA Carnet: • Saves time, effort and money as they may be used for unlimited exits and entries into South African and foreign countries, within a period of one year. • It is accepted in over 85 countries and territories. • Eliminates the VAT, duties and posting of security required at the time of importation. • Carnets simplify customs border crossing and cut red tape by allowing importers and exporters to use a single document for all customs formalities. New agency to issue Certificates of Origin under SACCI Authority An agency has been established to issue Certificates of Origin (nonpreferential). EA Cargo Agents is the name of the agency. When the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic) formalised an MOU with SACCI on CoOs, the department emphasised that it wanted open competition in the marketplace to the benefit of the end consumer. The SACCI CEO gave a mandate to the team to promote black economic empowerment within the newly-formed agencies, with the encouragement of young black females to encourage small business formations. The team at SACCI selected a group of logistics companies and approached them with regards to this innovative idea. PCA Logistics was the organisation with the foresight to invest in developing an agency along the lines promoted by SACCI, and EA Cargo Agents was formed. By announcing this breakthrough, we are encouraging the market and specifically users of Certificates of Origin to make use of the services of our agency, EA Cargo Agents. Both Engi Khumalo and Calin Stoltenkamp from EA Cargo agents have been formally trained to SAQA standards and will be issuing authentic, encrypted, real-time Certificates of Origin to their clients thereby providing a higher level of service to the export and logistics sector. Engi Khumalo, currently completing a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a major in Accounting, is leading the team. SACCI is fully committed to supporting the legitimate issuers of Certificates of Origin, recognising that the SACCI office is inundated with overseas requests on fraudulent certificates of origin. By ensuring that our certificates fall under the agreement with government, we ensure the legitimacy of our trading system. SACCI looks forward to working with these young dynamic ladies at EA Cargo Agents and believe that this will encourage others to approach SACCI and EA Cargo Agents on a model that can be replicated in other areas. For further information on this exciting new initiative, you can contact Engi Khumalo (left) and Calin Stoltenkamp (right): Engi Khumalo: Calin Stoltenkamp: 12 |

BETTER BUSINESS SACCI produces reliable economic research A Business Confidence Index and a Trade Survey are among the reliable information regularly shared with the business community. The SACCI Business Confidence Index (BCI) serves as a reliable and useful reference point for tracking the economic climate at specific points throughout the year. Based on monthly assessments of 14 indicators and a base score of 100, the BCI gives a score to capture the state of confidence within the business community at a given point in time. These business climate indicators that are used to track confidence: Energy supply; Manufacturing; Exports; Tourism inward; Imports; Vehicle sales; Retail sales; Construction – buildings; Inflation; Share prices; Real private sector borrowing; Real financing cost; Precious metal prices; Rand exchange rate. The September 2022 SACCI BCI, under the heading “The Buffeting Effects of International Fuel Price Instability”, included the following: The September 2022 SACCI BCI measured 110.9 and implies that business confidence remains resilient and at a better level than the average for 2020 and higher than the March 2020 level of 103.9 before the Covid pandemic struck and economic lockdown was imposed. Half of the fourteen sub-indices monitored in compiling the SACCI BCI reflected a negative impact on the business climate between August and September 2022. Higher real interest rates, lower share prices, and the real value of building plans passed had the most notable short-term (month-to-month) negative effect on the BCI. On the positive side inward overseas tourism and merchandise import and export volumes came in support of business confidence in the short-term (month-to-month). Inward tourism and increased merchandise import volumes in particular also had positive year-on-year impacts on the BCI while increased retail sales and output activity of the manufacturing sector as major employers were also positive on a year-on-year basis. The BCI uses reliable sources such as StatsSA and the SA Reserve Bank and the report includes an “economic review”, giving readers a broader view of the global and local situation. See the full BCI report on Trade Conditions Survey The regular SACCI Trade Conditions Survey that was published in September 2022 came with a sobering introduction, which read as follows: External adverse events had a damaging effect on certain businesses and a number of regular respondents went out of business. The results should therefore be interpreted with the necessary circumspection. However, the Trade Conditions Survey (TCS) continues to receive regular replies from many correspondents in various sectors, and provides a useful snapshot of trading conditions in South Africa. Under the heading, “Cooling off Trade Conditions”, the first two paragraphs of the August 2022 Trade Conditions Survey read: The number of businesses that experienced improved trade conditions increased from 35% to 48% over the last six months even though (56%) just over half of the respondents experienced better trade conditions in August 2022 than a year ago. The power constraints and fuel price hikes would inevitably impact on this picture to the negative. Output growth in the trade, catering and accommodation sector slowed to 0.7% y/y in the 2nd quarter of 2022 compared to 6% y/y growth in the 1st quarter of 2022. Although 59% of the respondents had optimistic expectations in April 2022, expectations in August for the next six months declined to 56% positive respondents. All components of trade activity including sales, new orders and the backlog on orders improved over the six months prior to August. It is notable that 49% of respondents are employing more staff than the 28% in March 2022. In general trade conditions had stabilised over July and August but the slowing down is already evident. A trade activity index (TAI) is the composite index of sales volumes, new orders, supplier deliveries, inventory levels and employment and that is measured in relation to a baseline of 100. The final paragraph of the report gave some hope for an uptick in the economy to come: The trade conditions (still subdued with TAI below 50) although fragile, still managed to notch up an increase in employment with 49% of respondents increasing their staff in August 2022. After only 43% of the respondents in July expected to hire more staff over the next six months, some 45% in August intended to increase staff over the next six months.

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