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Morocco Doubles Vehicle Exports to Saudi Arabia1 minute read

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Trade exchange between Morocco and Saudi Arabia rose 37.14 percent during the first nine months of 2018 to reach MAD9.64 billion (USD1.01 billion) compared to MAD7.03 billion (USD740 million) the previous year.

This resulted from a 41 percent rise in Saudi exports to Morocco to MAD8.54 billion due to the increase in oil prices.

Meanwhile, Moroccan exports to Saudi Arabia rose around 10.4 percent due to Riyadh’s doubling of passenger vehicles, especially those manufactured in Morocco.

The total value of Moroccan exports to Saudi Arabia reached MAD995 million (USD105 million).

The trade deficit between the two countries reached MAD7.64 billion (USD804 million), rising 46 percent, compared to the same period last year.

In some sectors, Morocco’s exports to the Kingdom saw a sharp rise, such as the vehicle industry, which witnessed an increase of 94 percent and reached MAD163 million (USD17.2 million). 

The vehicle industry ranked second behind the Phosphoric acid exports that totaled MAD460 million (USD48 million) – a rise of 8.5 percent.

Moroccan product exports to the Kingdom witnessed a sharp rise, especially Zellige tiles, flowers, olive oil and dried and citrus fruits.

Furthermore, Saudi exports to Morocco included mainly petroleum products, such as gas oil and fuel, whose value saw an increase of 70 percent due to the rise in oil prices. 

Moroccan purchases of Saudi sulfur also sharply rose 452 percent, reaching MAD865 million (USD91 million).

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Ethiopian Prime Minster confirms funding from World Bank

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Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has confirmed that Ethiopia will receive $3 billion from the World Bank to help strengthen reforms in his country. The International Monetary Fund states that it has reached a preliminary agreement for a three-year $2.9 billion financing package to support Ethiopia’s economic reforms.

Abiy did not give more details on the World Bank funding. He wrote on his Twitter account that unnamed development partners have pledged more than $3 billion in addition to the World Bank and IMF funding. The money will go towards macroeconomic, structural and sectoral reforms. Abiy adds that both Governments’ and donors’ partnership is a step to transform Ethiopia into a prosperous and peaceful nation.

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First Quantum Minerals Launches Arbitration Against Zambian State Miner

Proceedings follow a criminal complaint made by ZCCM-IH against alleged unauthorized transfer of money

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First Quantum begins arbitration proceedings against Zambian State Miner
First Quantum begins arbitration proceedings against Zambian State Miner

First Quantum Minerals has begun arbitration proceedings against Zambian state miner ZCCM-IH to try to resolve a dispute. The dispute is over a money transfer to the parent company of Kansanshi Mining. The parent company is majority-owned by First Quantum Minerals, a Toronto-listed group.

The arbitration proceedings follow a criminal complaint made by state-owned ZCCM-IH against the alleged unauthorized transfer of money by Kansanshi Mining to First Quantum’s local subsidiary.

The state miner had launched action in October 2016 to sue First Quantum for $1.4 billion over claims that the Canadian company borrowed $2.3 billion from its Zambian copper mining subsidiary Kansanshi Mining Plc without informing ZCCM-IH, a minority shareholder.

The transfer in the latest case was made between Kansanshi Mining and Kansanshi Holdings. The Holding company is the Zambian registered vehicle through which First Quantum Minerals owns its majority stake. Kansanshi Mining is 80% owned by First Quantum and 20% owned by ZCCM-IH. 

Arbitration is expected to take place in London.

The Canadian miner has been embroiled in a dispute with the Zambian government after being handed a $5.8 billion bill for unpaid import duties last year.

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EAC intra-trade to grow by implementing joint policies

Work permit restrictions have been relaxed and professionals and companies are able to expand across the regional bloc

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EAC intra-trade to grow by implementing joint policies
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Intra-trade between partner states of the East African Community is projected to grow between five to eight per cent annually if the countries fully implement joint policies and regulations, exploit individual competitive edge, and eliminate non-trade barriers.

While speaking at the bloc’s 20th anniversary, the chairman of the East African Business Council, Nicholas Nesbitt, said East Africans, especially private sector players, need to reflect on how far they have lived up to the ethos of regional integration.

Nesbitt said; “the private sector should be a key partner in the integration process, providing the agenda for economic and social integration. Most importantly, the region should look to becoming a single trading bloc.”

He added that both the partner states and private sector should accelerate the domestication and implementation of harmonised policies.

The EABC chairman further commended the progress made so far in the cross-border trades and easy migration, stating that it is now easier to access cross border markets.

However, he said intra-EAC trade volumes have not reached the desired levels, at just 12 per cent.

Nesbitt said the EAC is yet to exploit the power of numbers to create more jobs and income opportunities that will improve the purchasing power of citizens, thereby spurring further economic growth.

He recommended value chain collaboration between manufacturers to exploit each country’s competitive advantage.

Work permit restrictions have been relaxed and professionals and companies are able to expand and establish their customer base across the regional bloc.

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