The Cargo Show! Reply

Sonja_The cargo show

This week Dr Sonja Grater and her post-graduate students attended The Cargo Show, Africa 2016 where she spoke on the topic:”New trade routes and trade corridors in Africa”.

Jacob van Rensburg (Master’s candidate) and Anita Schaap (PhD candidate) were there to learn more about this world of logistics, transport and infrastructure. Jacob’s study is about the factors influencing port selection and Anita is looking at one-stop border posts as a way to facilitate trade in Southern Africa.

Agricultural economists at IFAMA 2016 Reply

Ernst Flippie by IFAMA 2016

Flippie and Ernst on stage

Drs Flippie Cloete and Ernst Idsardi is in Aarhus, Denmark this week to present papers at the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association’s (IFAMA) world congress. The theme of the Congress is Food Security 2050.

The research that they will be talking about is:

  • Trends and Determinants of Foreign Direct Investment in Africa’s Agro-food Sector – by Ernst Idsardi, Flippie Cloete, & Henri Bezuidenhout.
  • Breaking the ‘big data’ barrier when selecting agricultural export markets: An innovative approach – Wilma Viviers, Martin Cameron, & Ezra Steenkamp (presented by Ernst Idsardi).


What Brexit can mean for South Africa Reply


‘If the United Kingdom opts in favour of a Brexit in its referendum on June 23, it will generate a significant additional period of uncertainty for the SA economy’, say Professor Raymond Parsons, of the NWU School of Business and Governance and Professor Wilma Viviers, WTO Chair and Director of the TRADE research entity at NWU. Based on a preliminary internal study of the economic implications for SA of a possible Brexit next week, the two economists believe that in the event of a Brexit SA should immediately start drawing up contingency plans to best use the two-year period within which the UK would have to negotiate its exit from the EU. SA would then need to reassess several of its key trading commitments and their future. There was now almost general agreement that a Brexit would not only have a negative economic impact on the UK and EU, but also have ripple effects on many other economies. First prize globally would be if the UK decides to remain in the EU. ‘For SA the possibility of a Brexit also does not come at a propitious time for the domestic economy’, they add.

The two economists emphasize that wide-ranging authoritative assessments of the consequences for the UK itself of a Brexit range from the Bank of England fearing it may eventually precipitate a recession in the UK economy to Nobel Economics Prize winner Professor Paul Krugman’s warning that there could be a sustained 2% of GDP loss to the British economy. Whether the actual number is smaller or larger, the result will be a definite drop in UK GDP. The UK is the fifth biggest economy globally. A setback of that magnitude in its economy could have adverse spill-over effects for many economies linked either directly or indirectly to Britain’s economy, including SA and other members of the SACU – Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland.


Firm-level analysis research Reply


Marianne Matthee and Carli Bezuidenhout was part of a research group who participated in a public seminar held by the WITS Business School on Monday 6 June 2016. The theme of the lecture was “A New Analytical Frontier: Firm Level Analysis Using SARS Administrative Record Data”. This seminar showcased research utilising newly available administrative records data. This initiative was driven through a collaborative effort between SARS, the Economic Policy Division of the National Treasury and the World Institute for Development Economics Research of the United Nations University (UNU-WIDER). Marianne, Carli and Neil Rankin’s (from Stellenbosch University) research focuses on manufacturing exporters in South Africa.

Marianne Matthee participated in a SARB/National Treasury/UNU-WIDER workshop held at the Reserve Bank on 7 June 2016. The focus of the workshop was to investigate why South Africa’s productivity is so low. Marianne’s presentation gave insight into the productivity levels of manufacturing exporters. Her presentation highlighted that participation in export markets is low and that very few firms specialise in exporting. Other presentations included an overview of aggregate productivity by Channing Arndt (UNU-WIDER), an investigation into productivity growth in South African and other EMs by Carol Newman (UNU-WIDER and Trinity College), competition and productivity by Nicola Viegi (University of Pretoria) and trade and intermediaries by Lawrence Edwards (University of Cape Town). The keynote speaker at the workshop was Paul Schreyer, Deputy Chief Statistician of the OECD.