South Africa to push for 15-year extension of Agoa

first_img29 July 2014South Africa will push for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) to be extended for a 15-year period when its current period expires next year, and for its own inclusion in the programme’s rollover, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.Briefing reporters in Pretoria on Monday ahead of the United States-Africa Leaders’ Summit that takes place in Washington next week, Davies said South Africa believed that Agoa “has been a useful platform for cooperation between Africa and the US, and we are calling for an extension for 15 years”.African trade ministers will meet with US Trade Representative Michael Froman ahead of next week’s summit to discuss Agoa, which enables 39 eligible sub-Saharan African countries to export most products duty-free to the United States.The programme has seen total African exports to the US more than quadruple, and US exports to sub-Saharan Africa more than triple, since its inception in 2000.Davies said that a 15-year extension would “allow certainty for investments that are going to be made in African countries to take advantage of the Agoa opportunities. We believe that a rollover for that period of time on more or less the existing architecture would be a mutually beneficial and developmental decision that could be taken by the US.”On the question of South Africa’s possible exclusion from Agoa because of its perceived middle-income status, Davies said the government was arguing for South Africa’s continued inclusion.“The existing trading relationship with the US, including Agoa, has supported a growing, diversified and relatively balanced trading relationship,” Davies said, adding that South Africa’s economy was still characterised by high levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality.According to the Department of Trade and Industry, combined trade between South Africa and the US has shown consistent growth, increasing from R88-billion in 2009 to R130-billion in 2013.“It’s reasonably balanced,” Davies said. “Our view is that this relationship has been underpinned by Agoa, and therefore this is an arrangement that isn’t broken and doesn’t need fixing. It needs to be continued.”In addition, Davies argued, when the US Congress meets to decide on Agoa’s future, it should look at the issue of South Africa not “line by line” but holistically, taking into account that, when negotiating any kind of trade agreement, South Africa does so as part of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), which includes Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland.To exclude South Africa while including the other members would undermine the coherence of the SACU, Davies said.President Jacob Zuma will lead the South African delegation to the summit, which will be preceded by a meeting of US and African business executives, as well as the Agoa ministerial meeting.Davies said one aspect of the summit would focus on trade and investment, while the other focused on security and human development.Source: read more

Former India cricket captain Pataudi passes away

first_imgFormer India cricket captain Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, who was suffering from lung infection succumbed to his illness on Thursday.Earlier in the day he was admitted to the ICU at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, where his condition was stated to be critical.Seventy-year-old Pataudi was admitted to the hospital last month following severe lung infection.After investigations, he was found to be suffering from interstitial lung disease, a condition in which the passage of oxygen to the two lungs is less than normal.He was being closely monitored by a team of pulmonologists and critical care specialists, the bulletin said.Pataudi, regarded as one of the finest Indian captains, played 46 Tests for the country, scoring 2,793 runs for an average of 34.91 with an unbeaten 203 being his highest score.In all, he smashed six centuries and 16 fifties in his career.last_img read more

Hurricane Watch issued for the Southeast Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands

first_img FortisTCI announces bid to hike electricity bills, cites record $42m response to hurricanes as destabilizing Related Items:#HurricaneIrma, #HurricaneWatch, #magneticmedianews Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, September 5th, 2017 – Nassau – The Southeast Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands have been placed under a Hurricane Watch and can feel impact of Hurricane Irma within 48 hours.The Bahamas Department of Meteorology has issued Alert #3 on Tuesday September 5, 2017 at 12 noon. The potentially catastrophic Category 5 Hurricane Irma is moving toward the Leeward Islands.A Hurricane Watch is now in effect for the Southeast Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.  This includes the islands of Inagua, Acklins and Crooked Island, Mayaguana, Long Cay, Samana Cay, Ragged Island and the Turks and Caicos Islands.A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions could affect the Southeast Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands within 48 hours.At 11am, the center of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 16.8 degrees north and longitude 58.4 degrees west or about 225 miles east of Antigua, 920 miles southeast of the Turks and Caicos Islands, 1025 miles Southeast of Inagua, 1080 miles southeast of crooked island and 1363 miles southeast of New Providence.Hurricane Irma is moving toward the west at about 14 mph and this general motion is expected to continue today followed by a turn toward the west-northwesttonight.  On the forecast track, the extremely dangerous core of Irma is forecast to move over portions of the Leeward Islands tonight and early Wednesday.Maximum sustained winds are near 180 miles per hour with higher gusts.  Irma is an extremely dangerous category five hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category four or five hurricane during the next couple of days.Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 160 miles from the center.Residents in the Southeast Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands should continue to make preparations as they can begin to experience the effects of Hurricane Irma by Thursday afternoon. Residents throughout the remainder of The Bahamas are advised to seriously begin making preparation for Hurricane Irma should the need arise.Extensive flooding can be expected as Irma is forecast to produce up to 6 inches of rainfall.Storm surge up to 10 feet above normal tide can be expected.Small craft operators throughout The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands should begin to seek safe harbour for their vessels. Recommended for you August 30th – One Year since Hurricane Irma named Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp New, stringent posture on illegal construction makes fines, personal demolition and possible deportation legal says PDM Minister, law now passedlast_img read more