Posted: October 22, 2019
the dti to Host Economic Policy Dialogue On African Continental Free Trade Area in Gauteng
|The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) will host an Economic Policy Dialogue on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) under the theme Making it Happen for South Africa, at the Saint George Hotel, Pretoria on Wednesday 23 October 2019.
The Economic Policy Dialogue platform was established to advance the economic and public policy view of the dti on current economic affairs and matters. The relevant debate that will impact the economy post June 2020 revolves around the AfCFTA, and therefore this call from the dti for an engagement between itself and broader South Africa.
According to the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Fikile Majola the dialogue will focus on the possible trade and economic spin-offs for South Africa from AfCFTA. He is of the view that one should not ignore the potential challenges, specifically referring to transport and other forms of infrastructure.
“The expectation is that this dialogue will expand on the possible areas of gains and identify potential areas where losses for South Africa might be expected. The upshot of this is the creation of a solid platform for South African policy makers to intervene in areas of economic policy, in order to derive maximum gains while reducing the possible losses to a minimum,” says Majola.
He adds that this should be done on the principle that there will be a fair and equitable spread of economic development across the African Continent, so that all its inhabitants may exploit the conditions to strive for a better life.
“The dialogue is envisaged to engage on the opportunities and challenges of the AfCFTA for South Africa, and to have a discourse on the importance of this agreement for South Africa’s industrial and overall economic development,” he says.
Representatives from business, academia and government are expected to attend the dialogue and be part of the vital engagement where participants will be addressed by a panel of renowned economic and trade experts. Keynote speakers include Deputy Director General for International Trade and Economic Development at the dti, Ambassador Xavier, Director at the Nelson Mandela School of Governance and former Ambassador to the World Trade Organisation Ambassador Carim, Professor Faizel Ismail, and the Executive Director at the Trade Law Centre (Tralac), Ms Trudi Hartzenberg,