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Virusha Subban

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Virusha Subban is a Partner in Baker McKenzie, Johannesburg office.

Bilateral trade between China and Africa is increasing year on year. While COVID lockdowns have resulted in logistics bottlenecks, trade between the two regions has not been severely impacted, especially in terms of exports from Africa into China. China has continued to import African agricultural goods and raw materials, with food security and materials needed for the energy transition considered to be a priority. The ties between these two regions continue to strengthen, and are expected to be further bolstered as free trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area takes hold.

Baker McKenzie’s international trade compliance lawyers from around the world discussed the major global legislative, judicial and administrative activities and trends in export controls, trade sanctions, customs compliance, and import requirements in nine 75 minute sessions which took place from 16 to 18 November 2021.

Our Banking & Finance, Competition & Antitrust, Mergers & Acquisitions and Trade partners in Johannesburg outline ten reasons to turn your attention to African trade and investment opportunities in the coming year. Some of these reasons include the rise in commodity prices, shifting patterns and alternative financing, digitization and competition law and enforcement.

In November, the United States announced that Ethiopia, Guinea and Mali would be terminated from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (“AGOA”) trade preference program, unless they took urgent action to meet eligibility criteria by 1 January 2022. AGOA eligibility requirements include, among other things, that countries must follow the rule of law and implement economic policies that reduce poverty and combat corruption and bribery. Countries must also protect internationally recognized human and worker rights, and must not engage in activities that undermine national security interests.

We are pleased to invite you to our annual virtual Global Year-End Review of Import/Export/Trade Compliance Developments. Our international trade compliance lawyers from around the world will review the major global legislative, judicial and administrative activities and trends in export controls, trade sanctions, customs compliance, and import requirements which will be 16-18 November 2021.

Trade between China and Africa almost doubled between 2020 and 2021, and over the last 20 years trade between China and the region has increased twenty-fold. Challenges, such as Africa’s over-dependence on natural resources and vast lack of essential infrastructure, must still be addressed, but the African Continental Free Trade Area is gearing up to provide a further boost for all of the continent’s major trading partners.

New rules dealing with South African Revenue Service client accreditation are set to streamline the customs and trade process for trading partners and allow a much more efficient and cost-effective movement of goods across South Africa’s borders. The rules, which became effective in July this year, entirely replace the old accredited client status rules under section 64E of the Customs and Excise Act, and are of interest to importers and exporters who wish to apply for accredited client status in South Africa.

The Virtual Global Trade Conference is a virtual offering for all our clients and friends worldwide. Baker McKenzie’s international trade compliance lawyers from around the world discussed the major developments impacting international trade, in nine one-hour sessions which took place from 13 to 15 July 2021.