26 October 2012 With the continued gloomy outlook in eurozone countries and a slowdown in growth in a number of developing economies, a rapidly growing sub-Saharan Africa holds clear opportunities for South African businesses, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Thursday. Tabling his Medium Term Budget Policy Statement in the National Assembly in Cape Town, Gordhan said opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa had benefited many South Africa mining, manufacturing and retail companies. The IMF’s World Economic Outlook, released earlier this month, estimates that sub-Saharan Africa will grow by 5% this year and 5.7% next year – compared to growth of just 1.3% in advanced economies and 5.3% in developing countries this year. South Africa’s exports to the EU fell 0.9% year-on-year in the second quarter, while exports to the US remained flat, and those to China and India grew by just 1.1% and 0.7% respectively. By contrast, exports to Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries grew 2.7%.SADC now SA’s second-largest export market Gordhan said the SADC was now South Africa’s second-largest export market after the EU, which is expected to account for 21% of South Africa’s exports this year. The SADC region is expected to account for 12.2% of SA exports this year, up from 9.8% in 2000 and putting it just ahead of China, which the National Treasury expects will account for 12% of SA exports this year. The Medium Term Budget Policy Statement says the share of manufactured exports to the southern African region (21.8%) have increased rapidly over the past few years on the back of demand for chemical products, machinery and appliances, particularly mining equipment. It says that, with strong growth forecast for the next five years, the SADC region could become South Africa’s biggest market for manufactured exports.Fall in exports, rise in imports Overall, South Africa’s export volumes fell by 6.3% in the second quarter compared with the same period last year, after a decline of 1.5% in the first quarter. Over the first eight months of the year, the value of exports of platinum fell by 21.9%, while exports of coal and chemical products remained robust. In the first eight months of the year, however, imports increased by 20%, driven by strong increases in oil, machinery, vehicles and appliances. Imports are now 4% above 2009 levels, while exports are 13% below their highs. With the fall in exports and rise in imports, South Africa’s current account deficit has widened sharply over the past year and is expected to average 5.9% this year, up from 3.3% in 2011. Over the next three years, the current account deficit is expected to moderate to 5.5%. Source: SANews.gov.za
china, the worst country in the world*, recently sentenced a 46-year-old woman one year in a labor camp for a sarcastic tweet. or as they call it “disturbing social stability.”back in october, cheng jianping under the twitter wangyi09, rt’d a post from her fiance hua chunhu with a few words of editorializing. the post mocked chinese protesters who smashed japanese products during a recent demonstration.eleven days later, on the day the couple planned to marry, ha chunchi was taken away by police from his office. he was released five days later, only to find that cheng was missing. family members told him the police had taken her away the same day they came for him. she was sentenced to a year in the henan province labor camp.in her twitter feed, cheng has also supported imprisoned nobel peace prize laureate liu xiaobo.via cnn* there are certainly more dangerous totalitarian regimes out there, but china is the only one who is a true emerging super power. one which has a near-unbreakable symbiotic economic relationship with the west. one which national american politicians refuse to publicly condemn due to the sheer amount of economic debt china holds. if china wants to be a true global player, they are going to have to break away from their backwater mental shackles and grow up. this is some unnecessary third-world stuff.
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RELATED VIDEO: Evan Smith on Climbing the Corporate LadderEvan Smith, longtime editor and executive vice president of Texas Monthly, has been named president, the magazine’s publisher, Emmis Communications, announced today.Smith will replace Michael Levy, the magazine’s founder and publisher, who is retiring.”There is no doubt in my mind that Evan is the perfect choice,” Levy said in a statement. “He will do a phenomenal job going forward, taking the magazine my colleagues and I created in 1973 and making it even stronger. … The magazine is in great hands.” Smith joined the magazine as a senior editor in 1992, and promoted to deputy editor a year later. He became editor in 2000 and added the title of executive vice president in 2002.During is tenure as editor, Texas Monthly has been nominated for 14 National Magazine Awards, including winning the Ellie award for general excellence in 2003.”Texas Monthly has been my home for more than 16 years, and in that time it’s been an honor to work alongside our extraordinary staff and for my great friend, Mike Levy,” Smith stated. “There’s no replacing Mike, but I’ll do everything I can to preserve his legacy and take the magazine he loved so much to new and loftier heights.”