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Emerging markets to drive global growth in 2018 – World Bank

The global economy is set to expand by
3.1 per cent in 2018, slightly up from three per cent last year.

This will mark the first year since the 2008 Great Recession that it will
near or achieve full growth potential, the World Bank said on Tuesday.

In an update of its twice-yearly economic report, the World Bank however
warned that the economic upswing this year was temporary unless governments
adopted policies that would focus on increasing workforce participation.

The pace of world growth was expected to moderate to three percent in 2019
and 2.9 per cent in 2020, it said.

Most of the growth will be driven by emerging economies, in particular
commodity exporters, with growth rates for the group as a whole rising to
around 4.5 per cent in 2018 and an average of 4.7 per cent in 2019 and 2020,
the Bank said.

By contrast, growth in developed economies is projected to slow to 2.2 per
cent in 2018, from 2.3 per cent last year, as central banks gradually remove
their post-crisis accommodation and investment levels off.

“Over the longer term, slowing potential growth – a measure of how fast
an economy can expand when labor and capital are fully employed – puts at risk
gains in improving living standards and reducing poverty around the
world,” the Bank said in its January 2018 Global Economic Prospects.

The fastest-growing region in the world, according to the World Bank, is
East Asia and the Pacific with China’s economy expected to grow at a 6.4 per
cent clip this year before slowing to 6.3 per cent next year.

In India, GDP growth is expected to reach 7.3 per cent in 2018 before
strengthening slightly in 2019/2020 to 7.5 per cent, the World Bank projected.

In poorer countries in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia,
economic growth is expected to expand to 5.4 per cent in 2018 as commodity
prices firm but not as much as previously expected.

Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is forecast to reach 3.2 per cent this year and
3.5 per cent in 2019, the Bank said.

Ghana is the fastest-growing economy in Africa with gross domestic product
growth seen reaching 8.3 per cent in 2018, followed by Ethiopia at
8.2 per cent.

In Latin America, the strongest growth is expected to come from Panama at a
clip of 5.6 per cent, while Venezuela’s economy is expected to contract 4.2 per
cent in 2018.

The Bank projected that global oil prices would average $58 a barrel in
2018, edging up to $59 per barrel in 2019.

Source: The Star Kenya

Nigeria: Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inaugurates New Council and New President

Prince Adetokunbo Kayode (SAN) has
assumed office as the New President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry
with chief Chris Ndibe also elected into the fifteen man council of the

Prince Kayode, until his assumption of
office was the first Deputy President of the chamber to Barr. Tony Ejinkeonye.
Following the already established succession process, he succeeded Tony
Ejinkeonye who completed his 3-years term in office.

Prince Kayode holds Bachelor of law
degree from the University of Lagos and was counsel to the federal Government,
the People’s Democratic Party and the independent Electoral commission. He was
a Minister of Culture and Tourism, Labour and Productivity, Defence, and Attorney
General of the Federation.
ACCI newly elected President Prince Adetokunbo Kayode delivering his inaugural speech

At the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of
the Chamber which took place in Abuja, the legal luminary said he was
overwhelmed at the show of solidarity extended to him by Council, Executive,
members, partners, management and staff of the chamber during the years he
served as the First Deputy President pointing out that he will use the wealth
of experience gathered from his track record of private legal practice, public
service as well as the key roles he has played in the Organized Private Sector (OPS)
to elevate the Chamber to enviable heights.

At the same occasion, the Executive
Secretary of African Free Zone Association and the Chairman/CEO of Carlcon
Group, Chief Chris Ndibe was elected member of the council of the chamber.

Chief Chris Ndibe holds a First and Master’s
Degree from University of Nigeria, Nsukka with a second Master’s from University of
Abuja. He worked and retired as a General Manager of Nigeria Export Processing
Zones Authority before setting up his own businesses. He is a Free Zones
Consultant and publisher of the first two books on Free Trade Zone in the

He also promised to bring his wealth of
experience in Public Service and business, especially in International Trade
Promotion, to the affairs of the chamber.
ACCI newly elected President with members of the Council and Executives.


Calabar Free Zone in Calabar, Nigeria

Before we start delving into other areas of
important facts on Free Trade Zone, like linking the Free Trade Zones/ Special
Economic Zones to local industries, and critical analysis of the ecosystem of
the scheme, Let us further expound the definition of Free Zone for the benefit
of other significant publics that may not be well knowledgeable about the
scheme but have part to play in the development and growth of the scheme in

FREE ZONES have existed for several centuries. They
were established to encourage centre pot trade, mostly in the form of city wide
zones located on international trade routes. Examples cited by experts include:
Gibraltar (1704), Singapore (1819), Hong Kong (1848), Hamburg (1888), and
Copenhagen (1891).

The World Bank publication on Special Economic Zones
(2008) stated that the modern Free Zones are variants of these traditional,
commercial zones. The principles underlying the basic concept of a Free Zone

Geographically delimited area, usually
physically secured

Single management/administration

Eligibility for benefits based upon
physical location within the Zone

Separate customs area (duty-free
benefits) and streamlined procedures.

The fundamental concept of a Zone is that it is an
alternative policy framework, developed by government, to promote policy
objectives of government. Sometimes this involves a specific geographical
region, often involves specific industry such as banking or insurance, or
companies with some common behavior such as export orientated, high technology

Free Trade Zones are generally established within a
country, although there are few examples of cross border zones, where free
trade areas are established between countries.

The Free Zones of today are quite different from the
Free Zones of the past. Although they serve a largely similar purpose, they
have grown increasingly complex and are thus involved with an increasing volume
and variety of economic transactions. Contrary to the view of the Trade Bureaucrats
and Liberal Trade economists, the liberalization of trade has not eliminated
the need for Free Zones, but rather expanded their roles. As globalization
takes place the formation of Free Zones continues at an increasing rate (Robert
Haywood, 2000). It encourages export manufacturing.

As was stated in our first post and for matter of
emphasis, Free Zones are defined as “outside the customs territory” for the
purposes of the assessment of import duties and taxes. Free Zones typically
allow for duty-and tax-free imports of raw and intermediate materials and, in
many cases capital equipment. This is to lower the cost of production so as to
enable the product compete favourably at the international market.

Welcome to Africa Free Zone blog!!!

This blog focuses on the activities and happenings
around the free zones in Africa and the world. The blog will be educating and
informing the free zone operators, managers, opinion leaders and other
stakeholders about the scheme in the continent.
You will be getting information from these segments;

  • Experts corner;
  • News;
    CEO’s voice; coming from the office of
    the Executive Secretary of  African Free
    Zone Association (AFZA) and the Chairman/CEO of Carlcon Group (the owners of
    the blog). 


Chris Ndibe at Tanger Med Free Zone, Morocco

For the purpose of enlightenment, Free Zone is
defined as a strategy for economic development usually characterized by a
special regulatory and incentive regime, often in an enclave clearly delineated
and administratively thought of as being outside a nation’s Customs and trade
regime to attract both local and foreign investment. The special regulatory and
fiscal regimes allows for freedom of operation at competitive costs.

The concept of Free Trade Zone is very powerful,
that is why more and more countries are recognizing the new paradigm of Free
Trade Zones. While the old Free Trade Zone was often described as a static,
labour- intensive, incentive driven, and an exploitative enclave. The new zone
paradigm is more dynamic, investment-intensive, and an integrated economic
This blog therefore will enable you understand the
concept and better manage free zone in your country.
Come along with us in our weekly posting!!!