What's happening in Mediterranean & Africa





Developing a robust Asia-Suez/Med-US east coast route with bigger ships and shorter transit times

Given that oil is cheap and plentiful and Suez Canal fees have been rising, it is not surprising that the Cape route has a newfound backhaul popularity during the Wuhan flu scare that has depressed shipping volumes worldwide.

While this has been true in recent times, the expansion of the Suez Canal, allowing greater transit volumes, will eventually have a downward influence on pricing when canal throughput again approaches usual levels after the flu scare recedes.

Two views on the prospects of President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative in the development of trade in Africa

Two views emerge each from a western perspective on the value and prospects of China's Belt and Road Initiative in Africa.

The first is from Dylan Yachyshen, a young researcher publishing in Philadelphia's Foreign Policy Research Institute's website, saying there is much for West to fear in China's Belt and Road Initiative. The other is from the more seasoned Minxin Pei, who lectures at Claremont McKenna College near Los Angeles, who says in his article in Japan's Nikkei Asian Review, that China's signature foreign policy initiative is now a spent force - a "flop".

How a diplomatic break in Nigeria over trucking in South Africa can be resolved to benefit Africa as a whole

High tension has come to taint relations between Africa's richest and most powerful nations - mineral-rich South Africa and oil-rich Nigeria. If this condition worsens, it can only bode ill for prospects of trade between Africa's two richest and most powerful economies.

Moreover, South Africa’s relations with several African nations, but notably Nigeria, have become even more strained after Nigeria deported 600 South Africans following the attacks on its truckers and other truckers from sub-Saharan states over jobs.

What was said of China, can be said of Africa: Let us not be so dazzled by coast lest forget the interior

When one speaks of foreign direct investment in Africa, the shipping community tends to forget landlocked states where much of the future wealth of the continent is likely to be found.

Not long ago, Germany's shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd made public a white paper that had been considering ideas along these lines. By focusing on the coastal states, as one so often does, the Hapag-Lloyd paper noted that Africa is a massive continent, and that several countries are completely landlocked.


Mediterranean & Africa
Trade Specialists

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