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Regional trade seminar for policymakers and private sector to promote integration and expansion

Regional trade seminar for policymakers and private sector to promote integration and expansion

A three-day seminar in Livingstone, Zambia, in the last week of June 2018 will focus solely on cross-border trade to strengthen regional trade in southern Africa. The seminar is organised by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), together with Nasdaq-listed risk management and trade advisory company, INTL FCStone.

Strategic seminar sessions will tackle commodity challenges and outline a viable roadmap for inter-regional trade in Africa.

The Southern African Structured Trade Seminar will take place at the Avani Victoria Falls Resort in Zambia from 26-29 June 2018. The three-day event will provide a platform where experts from private equity firms, financial institutions, commodity exchanges, mineral and agribusiness companies will discuss investment match-making and business-to-business facilitation.

The seminar will help delegates to gain economic advantage, mitigate trade risks, develop commodity marketing, all while structuring and packaging commercially viable finance. Regulators will be able to develop and implement regulatory frameworks that enhance market efficiency and stability, while policymakers will look at national best practices.

“It is envisaged that the seminar will boost trade and investment in Southern Africa, drive commercial expansion, and address gaps in trade finance. It is hoped that, through this constructive engagement, Africa’s ability to trade and drive economic growth will be profoundly strengthened,” stated USAID when announcing the seminar.

The USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub (SATIH), which works closely with regional governments and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on trade policy,
continually engage local partners to deepen regional economic integration, promote reciprocal trade with the US, and attract investment to drive commercial expansion.

The Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub encourages the diversification of exports beyond natural resources, and promotes a governing environment conducive to business.

Seminar Programme

Day 1 – Foundations:
The opening day will examine commodity markets, institutions and the value they add, informed by case studies from around the region and internationally. Deep drill assessment will examine instruments and opportunities in the realms of trade, finance and risk management, and the prerequisites to unlock these opportunities. The day will culminate in interactive breakout sessions with specific focus on the needs of individual interest groups including financiers, investors, agribusiness, regulators, policymakers, and minerals chains players.

Day 2 – Transactions:
The intermediate day will include hands-on guidance for structuring transactions in the realms of trade, finance and risk management, and includes the seminar’s flagship participatory simulations involving cross-border flows on regional platforms. Participants will be split into groups to formulate and execute strategies within the context of a simulated ‘live’ market environment, with specific roles within the simulation for the various interest groups relating to their position.

Day 3 – Investments:
The final day will draw together lessons and identify opportunities to support the continued growth of structured trade in the region going forward. To achieve the required growth, investment opportunities and ecosystem requirements will be mapped out, and – based on investment plans submitted in advance – matchmaking will take place between companies, banks and investors. A business to business trade facilitation session will also be conducted.



About The Author

SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.