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Opportunity Issue 96

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  • Investors
  • Trade
  • Africa
  • Investment
  • Developments
  • Business
  • Industry
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable
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  • Economic
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Opportunity, endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) is the mouthpiece for business in Southern Africa. The aim of the publication is to inform potential investors both nationally and internationally of the most relevant business news: trade, investment, financial, market-related information for each business sector, as well as to inform of the latest developments in business legislation from both the public and private sector.

TRADE & INVESTMENT

TRADE & INVESTMENT AfCFTA LAUNCHES TRADE The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement commenced on 1 January 2021. This development is good news for the continent because it is likely to boost intra-African trade. The AfCFTA journey has been a long one since the signing of the Treaty in 1991 and the establishment of the African Economic Community in March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda, which was followed by the signing of the agreement by 44 countries. To date, 54 countries have signed the agreement, except for Eritrea. Of these countries, 34 have ratified the legal instrument on AfCFTA. The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) Chief Economist Chifipa Mhango says that most African economies have grown at rates of 5% on average over the last 10 years, but they remain impoverished in terms of the World Bank classification, with the majority of their populations living below the poverty line. He reveals that it is important for these countries to have an integrated approach to dealing with challenges if they are to grow economically. “Africa has a wealth of mineral deposits and vast fertile land for agricultural production. However, the continent’s trade composition is dominated by exports of unbeneficiated raw materials. For this situation to change, Africa needs to develop its own path towards industrialisation and promote trade among its own countries,” he states. Mhango contends that the South African Metals and Engineering (M&E) sector has enjoyed a positive trade balance on the continent, with the latest figures suggesting a net trade balance of R22-billion in the first quarter of 2020 (pre-Covid-19 lockdown). The most dominant products were plastic and ___ __ While information security . 24 | www.opportunityonline.co.za

announcement small business S The Foundation of Economic Recovery and Sustainability Following the unprecedented challenges of 2020, SMMEs will be the crucial drivers of economic recovery SMME VIRTUAL ROADSHOW The SMME Roadshow, supporting developing businesses since 2014, is being relaunched by Global Africa Network in a virtual format in 2021. • Focus Hubs will cover key topics covered including: • Access to funding • Access to markets • Covid-19 relief • Training and skills development • Compliance and regulatory • Business and technology support WHY A VIRTUAL EVENT? · Increased flexibility and access · Greater opportunity for interaction · Monitoring and recording of attendance and interaction Regional Hubs will provide provincially-specific support and information Virtual rooms allow organisations to present their offerings to the SMME community. The SMME Virtual Roadshow will be an important driver of economic growth and job creation Contact info@gan.co.za for further information on participation (for SMMEs) and sponsorship opportunities (for organisations providing support to SMMEs)

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