International Trade

Symposium on the Economic Impacts of Data Localisation in Africa: The Economic Impact of Data Localisation Policies on Nigeria's Regional Trade Obligations

The unrestricted movement of data is a key enabler of the digital economy. However, the development of data protection and data localisation policies is becoming one major area of concern for international trade and investment. Among the mechanisms for protecting individuals is data localisation. This requires that data or a copy thereof (both personal and non-personal) should only be stored and processed locally and should not be exported for processing. The import of this, for instance, is that all data generated within Nigeria must be confined to the boundaries of Nigeria, effectively restricting the flow of data. While localisation of data has significant economic and social benefits, it is also associated with several unintended (negative) consequences, especially from an economic perspective. This is especially true for developing countries like Nigeria that is moving towards greater data localisation with several policies skewed in that direction. This contribution briefly examines the implications of Nigeria’s increasing move towards data localisation on its regional obligations for the promotion of free trade in Africa.

Symposium on the Economic Impacts of Data Localisation in Africa: Introduction

The limit of cross border flow of personal data is broadly referred to as data localisation and is often justified based on five main concerns. These include the protection of personal data, access to data by local law enforcement, ensuring national security, advancing local economic competitiveness and levelling the regulatory playing field. However, a closer look at these justifications reveal the impact of data localisation on free trade, increase in transaction costs and the efficiency of corporations, stifling of innovation, and hampering of economic growth. With global data flows raising global GDP, it is necessary to ask, what policy trade-offs are necessary to balance the legitimate concerns of countries against the unintended consequences that the impact of data localisation causes? There are four issues relating to the economic impacts of data localisation that emerging regulation in Africa needs to address. These are data ownership and its value, competition, trade, and foreign direct investment.

Afronomicslaw Academic Forum Guest Lecture Series: Trade Facilitation - The Key to a Borderless Africa

On the 22nd day of May 2021, AfronomicsLaw Academic Forum held a Guest Lecture titled 'Trade Facilitation: The Key to a Borderless Africa'. The esteemed speakers were Dr Tsotang Tsietsi and Mr Craig Merito, who addressed the role of trade facilitation as a mechanism to enhance intra-African trade. Dr Tsietsi, the first speaker, is a Senior Lecturer at the National University of Lesotho. She holds an LLM from the University of Cambridge and a PhD from the University of Cape Town. Mr. Craig Merito is an international trade expert and consultant with over 25 years of experience. This piece will reflect on the issues raised by Dr Tsietsi before proceeding to those encompassed by Mr. Merito.

Japan: An Ardent Ally of ISDS, What Lies Beneath?

In an era of interconnectedness, it appears that Japan’s approach towards investment liberalization is rather detrimental. Its stance hinders important causes such as safeguarding the environment and related policies that are being pursued by, both, developed and developing countries. Furthermore, while Japan’s approach towards trade and investment may not pose an immediate and significant threat to the entirety of global rules-based systems, it may cast a serious doubt on Japan’s ability to take an active role on the global stage and to foster global rules-based system.

In Pursuit of Transparency for Trade Facilitation in Southern Africa

The Southern African States are encouraged to continue with their laudable efforts of implementing transparency measures. They should strive to meet the implementation deadlines that they have set for themselves. They should seek assistance to mitigate any capacity constraints that are preventing them from making necessary reforms. Fortunately both the TFA and the AfCFTA recognise the importance of special and differential treatment (S&DT) and technical assistance to improve prospects of compliance. This gives some assurance that members will continue to achieve greater success in improving transparency going forward.

Tax Evasion in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Urgent Call for Attention in the Most Unequal Region in the World

The primary objective of this post is to highlight the importance and gravity of the existing tax evasion in Latin America and the Caribbean today. A study conducted by Santiago Diaz de Sarralde Miguez reports that Latin America and the Caribbean are characterized by a relatively low tax burden, which averages 22.8% of GDP. That is 11.5% less than the OECD (2015). While it is true that there are large differences between countries, as the tax burden varies from 12.4% in Guatemala to 38.6% in Cuba.

Azerbaijani practice of taxing cross-border digital supplies: Needs for Improvement

Technological progress and trade liberalization dramatically increased electronic trade and opened new chapter for the businesses to remotely supply services and intangibles to the customers anywhere around the world. Such rise of e-trade and emergence of global economy created new challenges for the policy makers in applying goods and services tax (GST) on cross-border business to consumer (“B2C”) transactions.