Browsing: FDI

Brazil's agriculture revolution

According to Statista, agriculture contributes at least 4% of the annual value added to the gross domestic product of Brazil. It accounts for at least 9% of the people who are employed and able to work. On the face of it reading numbers 4% and 9% seem like they are nominal until one considers the sheer size of the country of Brazil in terms of land mass. Brazil is one of the largest countries in the world in terms of land area. It sits on no less than 8.5 million square kilometres.

Of this land mass, approximately a third is used for agriculture. For perspective’s sake, Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world after Russia, Canada, China, and the United States. The Brazilian Report states that all the countries that make up the European Union would fit inside Brazil’s borders!

To bring the perspective much closer to home, the land mass Brazil sits on is reportedly seven times larger than South Africa. Zimbabwe would fit twenty-two times into Brazil’s land mass, and Kenya would fit 15 times into the South American country. The country is large. The land it uses for agriculture purposes alone would be larger than some countries and continents.

Southern Africa, East and West Africa saw their flows of FDI rise in 2021. It was only in Central and North Africa that flows of foreign direct investment were flat or declined, respectively. Flows to North Africa fell by 5 per cent to $9.3 billion.

Egypt saw its FDI drop by 12% as large investments in exploration and production agreements in extractive industries were not repeated. Despite the decline, Egypt has the second highest flows of FDI in 2021 on the continent.

UNCTAD reports that it expects FDI flows to increase in North Africa owing to pledges of as much as US$ 22 billion to the region from Gulf states. In Egypt, according to the UNCTAD World Investment Report 2022 tripled green field projects of US$ 5.6 billion and real estate projects of US$ 1.5 billion.

In Morocco, FDI flows increased by 52% to US$ 2.2 billion. This was driven by a large international project finance deal announced in that country to finance the construction of a power line.

AfCFTA will be a game changer for Africa, but its success depends on certain enablers being present. The first and most obvious impediment and an obstacle to the initiative will be mustering the political will of the signatories to implement the necessary reforms to enable its success.  This may not always be politically feasible or possible.

The less obvious enablers and the financial institutions on the African continent. Their presence and activities have a direct and strong bearing on the success of AfCFTA. One of the foremost bankers on the African continent, Sim Tshabalala, the chief executive of the continent’s largest banking institution by assets, is fond of saying that banking is a derived business. This means that banks butter their bread from the activities of economic agents.

If AfCFTA is to succeed in its quest to merge the various comparative advantages of the countries that constitute Africa it will need champion banks to support the intra and intercontinental trade activity from there being a single market and all participants, both local and foreign looking to make money. Africa will need champion banks to facilitate the flow of capital to worthwhile projects and ensure that the capital deployed into various activities earns the best returns for its providers.

Interestingly, of the US$1.5 trillion in foreign direct investment recorded in 2021, 53% of that money was channelled towards developing economies. Africa made a very strong showing in terms of foreign direct investment in 2021.

According to the report, Africa attracted US$ 83 billion in foreign direct investment compared to the US$ 39 billion it achieved in 2020. Of the global investment flows that landed on African shores in 2021 US$ 41 billion went directly to South Africa.

Despite the positive developments that occurred in 2021 in foreign direct investment, the UNCTAD report concludes by stating that the growth and momentum in FDI flows in 2021 will not be sustainable given the adverse economic developments that have occurred in 2022.

UNCTAD expects these developments will either put downward pressure on the flow of FDI or flatten the curve.

UNCTAD World Investment Report 2021 specifically states that “Greenfield investments in industry and new infrastructure investment projects in developing countries were hit especially hard.”

These financial flows of investment dollars have deep-rooted implications for Africa in the sense that they are vital for sustainable development in less developed and poorer countries.

The decline in investment flows was disproportionately skewed towards developed countries where FDI fell by 58 per cent according to UNCTAD. Investment flows in developing economies fell by a moderate 8 per cent mainly because of resilient flows in Asia.

AIM 2022 comprises a broad array of features and activities that give real value to all participants and stakeholders of the conference, including AIM Pre-conference Workshop & Seminar, AIM 2022 Conference, AIM 2022 Exhibition, AIM 2022 Innovation Showcase, Startup Hackathon,  Startup Live Pitching Sessions, Site Visits, B2B, G2B, & G2G Meetings, Exclusive Breakfast, High-level Networking Lunch, Gala Dinner, AIM Global 2022 Investment Awards, AIM 2022 Startup Pitch Competition, and AIM 2022 Future City Awards, among other features.

With the Annual Investment Meeting’s 6 Pillars providing value to all the event’s participants, therefore, attending AIM is imperative for all stakeholders of the global investment landscape.  

The details and topics of the meeting are available on the AIM website and for participation or questions regarding AIM, you can contact Angie Marhan.

The report notes that figures reveal that the region’s share of Dubai total trade grew considerably over the years. In 2020, it was the emirate’s third-largest trading partner in Africa, with total trade value hitting US$12.2bn. This was a 24.4 per cent share of Dubai’s trade with Africa.

East Africa’s trade with Dubai is relatively balanced.

Imports accounted for 43 per cent of trade activity, while re-exports and exports made up 42 per cent and 15 per cent in 2015-2020. Imports grew 22 per cent in the same period, while exports grew 15 per cent, and re-exports 3 per cent. 

Also of significance is the February 2019 deal that saw US$300 million set aside for a 10-year plan to develop Port Sudan’s facilities, while a new Chinese-built seaport for shipping livestock in Haidob, south of Port Sudan, is nearing completion.
The Chinese-built port for shipping livestock from Sudan’s Red Sea coast is a component of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative and is primed to help transport camels, cattle and sheep targeted for the Asian markets.