Tuesday January 11, 2011
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Shannon de Ryhove
Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has proposed that the target for bilateral South African/Indian trade be increased to $15-billion a year by 2014.
Speaking in Johannesburg, he reported that bilateral trade is growing so fast that the current target of $10-billion annually, which was meant to have been achieved by 2012, will actually be achieved by the end of this financial year (March 31).
He highlighted that “the balance of trade is happily and heavily in favour of South Africa and will remain so”. This is owing to large-scale Indian imports of South African gold, diamonds and coal, among other products.
He also praised South Africa for providing leadership within the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) in the negotiating of a preferential trade agreement between Sacu and India.
Côte d’Ivoire’s presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara would form a unity government with members of incumbent Laurent Gbagbo's party, as long as Gbagbo steps down first, the country's ambassador to the United Nations (UN) said.
World powers and African states have heaped pressure on Gbagbo to cede the Presidency to Ouattara after the provisional results of a November 28 election showed Ouattara won with an 8% point margin.
The Côte d’Ivoire’s UN’s envoy Youssoufou Bamba said that Gbagbo "has followers, he has competent people in his party. Those people, we are prepared to work with them in the framework of a wide composite cabinet.”
But he said that the formation of a unity government was only possible if Gbagbo stepped down first.
The International Marketing Council said that South Africa's invitation to join the Bric group of countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) is an affirmation of its role in the world economy and will boost trade and investment.
The council added that "it can expect to boost investment and trade opportunities for the country, as it has done for the other four States comprising the informal grouping."
According to the International Monetary Fund, Bric will account for 61% of global growth in three years.
The council said that the fact that South Africa had the opportunity to be affiliated to the group underlined two main points – the country was recognised as a developing economy of significance and was the gateway to Africa.
Also making headlines:
The United Nations may have sounded the alarm about soaring global food prices, but in Africa a string of bumper harvests and a changing diet means the political fallout may be more muted compared with past price bumps.
At least 36 people have died in clashes between tribespeople and Arab nomads near Sudan's north–south border, leaders in the contested Abyei region have said.
And, according to a report, increased trade is one of the best ways to fight poverty, so rich countries should do more to open their markets to goods from developing countries.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.