Tuesday, 7 July 2015
The performance of the 2014 Fortaleza Summit is on a par with the BRICS four-year average of 70%, according to the report prepared by the BRICS Research Group.
The report presents the results of the monitoring study focused on BRICS countries’ compliance with eight priority commitments selected from the total 68 commitments made at the Fortaleza Summit in July 2014. It covers actions taken by the BRICS members from 15 July 2014 to 28 June 2015 to fulfil those promises. At 100%, the highest level of compliance was registered for the commitment to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity. All five members took concrete actions to protect endangered species and addressed economic and social aspects of the environmental agenda.
In second place, at 90%, were the commitments on attaining the education-related Millennium Development Goals, moving towards universal primary education and gender equality, and strengthening international anti-corruption cooperation, including law enforcement cooperation, in accordance with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.
Most BRICS countries took steps to implement the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in all four of its priority areas, achieving a score of 80%.
The same score of 80% was achieved on complying with the commitment to ensure sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights for all. Brazil, Russia and South Africa fully complied, which was manifested, inter alia, in maintaining no restrictions on the number of children in a family.
The commitment to enhance cooperation on addressing tax base erosion and information exchange for tax purposesachieved a score of 60%. BRICS members actively collaborated with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and have begun incorporating the norms in the Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting into their national legislation. Most members have announced the launch of the automatic exchange of tax information in accordance with the OECD standards.
The average compliance score for the commitment to support Afghanistan’s stabilization also amounted to 60%. Russia, India and China provided assistance to ensure security, socioeconomic development and effective governance.
The only commitment on which BRICS countries failed to make any progress was the one on the reforming the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Despite long-standing support of multilateral trade and the WTO’s primacy, BRICS members were unable to advance negotiations on DSU reform during the monitoring period.
The results of the compliance assessment carried out by the BRICS Research Group confirm the importance of enhancing “the efficiency of BRICS by improving the reporting process for previous commitments assumed by member countries,” as emphasized in the Concept of the Russian Federation’s Presidency in BRICS in 2015-2016.
The full 58-page report in English is available for download at http://www.brics.utoronto.ca/compliance/2014-fortaleza.html.
Sunday, 5 July 2015
Ghana’s President Mahama urges strengthened support from Afreximbank
Afreximbank President Designate Dr. Benedict Oramah (right) with Ghanaian President John Mahama.
Accra, 03 July 2015 – Ghanaian President John Mahama today in Accra urged the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to further strengthen its trade finance support to the Ghanaian business sector, particularly in the areas of agro-processing and pharmaceuticals.
Speaking when Dr. Benedict Oramah, President Designate of the Bank, paid him courtesy call, President Mahama highlighted the increasingly important roles of those sectors in the country’s economy and also called on the Bank to increase its involvement in Ghana’s manufacturing, construction, renewable energy and other key sectors.
He commended Dr. Oramah on his appointment as the next President of the Bank and pledged Ghana’s continued commitment to working with Afreximbank to achieve its objective of promoting intra and extra-African trade.
Earlier, Dr. Oramah announced that Afreximbank had approved financing totaling about $2 billion for the Ghanaian government, corporates and financial institutions since 1993, with annual approvals increasing from $6.5 million in 1994 to $280 million in 2014.
“As at October 2014, Ghana was the sixth largest beneficiary of the Bank’s funding programmes,” said Dr. Oramah, who noted that the support had been mainly directed toward the energy sector, the financial sector, the agro-processing and industrial development sectors and to the promotion of higher local value-added in Ghana’s extractive industries.
The credit facilities provided by the Bank included a $150 million loan facility to the Volta River Authority to support capacity expansion and refurbishment activities and a further $300 million facility under negotiation; $70 million to a Ghanaian company to enable it offer mining and engineering services to international mining companies; $100 million to the Bank of Ghana to address short-term liquidity challenges; and $70 million to two Ghanaian-owned cocoa processing companies, he said.
Dr. Oramah announced that Afreximbank was considering a framework to scale up its intervention in the Ghanaian economy in recognition of the opportunities offered by the relatively stable socio-political and economic environment.
“The package shall include foreign exchange liquidity support to facilitate essential imports and deal with the transitory challenges as well as term funding to strategic sectors towards the realization of the country’s long-term development agenda,” he explained.
Dr. Oramah was accompanied on the visit by Kofi Adomakoh, Director of Afreximbank’s Project and Export Development Finance Department, and Joy Albright of the Legal Department.
President John Mahama of Ghana (centre) joined by (L-R) Mona Quartey, Deputy Finance Minister, Kofi Adomakoh, Director, Project and Export Development, Afreximbank, Dr. Benedict Oramah, Afreximbank President Designate, and Joy Albright of Afreximbank Legal Department