The year 2009 saw the country being plunged into its first recession in 17 years. As the country seeks to recover from this recession and also find ways of bolstering its exports, trade policy has become one of the major focus areas.
Venue: Southern Sun Cape Sun Hotel
Trade policy in South Africa seems to be set for a major overhaul. The year 2009 saw the country being plunged into its first recession in 17 years. As the country seeks to recover from this recession and also find ways of bolstering its exports, trade policy has become one of the major focus areas.
Through its recently cabinet – approved Trade Policy and Strategic Framework, the Department of Trade and Industry recommends a “developmental approach” to trade policy, where import tariffs are used to support industrial development, increased exports and employment growth. Arguing that previous trade liberalisation drives have not supported the above objectives and, most importantly, have not supported product diversification in exports, the DTI intends to subordinate trade policy to, and also use it as an instrument of, industrial policy.
Drawing on the discussion from last year’s Forum, this Forum will attempt to further illuminate the issues around trade policy reform in South Africa. Consequently it focuses on the global trends affecting trade policy; the contours of South Africa’s trade policy debate; and the costs and benefits of protection versus liberalisation for South Africa.
Ms Catherine Grant, SAIIA Programme Head Economic Diplomacy
09H35-11H15 Panel 1 – Global perspectives on trade policy reform
The purpose of this panel is to provide a general overview of global trends in trade policy and frame the appropriate responses to the challenges. The panel will focus specifically on the global economic and financial crises and how these have affected trade policy worldwide; the challenges and opportunities that the crises have created for trade policy. The panel will also consider how, looking forward, South Africa should position its trade policy in light of these global trends.
Moderator: Mr Nic Dawes, Editor, Mail & Guardian
Speaker: Dr Razeen Sally, London School of Economics, ECIPE, and Senior Research Associate, SAIIA –
Discussants: Dr Chris Loewald, National Treasury
Dr Mills Soko, UCT Graduate Business School and SAIIA Research Associate
11H30-13H30: Panel 2: The Direction of the Trade Policy Debate in South Africa
This panel will consider how the trade policy debate is taking shape in South Africa. It will consider the factors influencing the debate; the main positions expressed, and will assess the scope for consensus on the future of trade policy in the country. It will also explore the compatibility of the likely trade policy direction with WTO rules and regulations, with specific reference to subsidies.
Moderator: Mr Ben Turok, ANC Member of Parliament
Speaker: Ms Niki Cattaneo, Rhodes University, Download Presentation
Discussants: Dr Brendan Vickers, Department of Trade and Industry
Prof. Loretta Ferris, University of Cape Town and Senior Research Associate, SAIIA
Mr Etienne Vlok, SACTWU
14h30-16h30: Panel 3: Trade protection in South Africa – costs versus benefits
This panel will focus on two issues. First, it will address the economic trade-offs caused by trade policy in the South African economy, with specific focus on the channels through which the country’s trade policy impacts on the economy. Secondly, the panel will address some of the key industrial and trade policy initiatives in South Africa, weighing up the costs and benefits of such policies and how they contribute to South Africa’s economic and social welfare.
Moderator: Mr Shibe Maruatona, Business Leadership South Africa
Speaker: Prof. Andreas Freytag, Friederich Shiller University, Jena
and Senior Research Associate SAIIA, Download Presentation
Discussants: Mr Siyabulela Tsengiwe, International Trade Administration Commission
Mr Marthinus Havenga, Business Unity South Africa
Mr Cedric Gina, President of NUMSA
16H30-17H00: Summary and Closing Remarks
Mr Peter Draper, SAIIA Research Fellow