African countries need policy space to diversify, industrialize and transform their economies in order to integrate into the global economy, South African Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies has said.
Speaking at the 14th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), that is currently underway in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, Davies noted that African countries participated in the global economy mainly as suppliers of primary products and called for concerted effort to be put in place to ensure that countries move up the value chains.
The trade minister noted that providing affordable sources of finance for manufacturing was critical for the survival of African industries in a globalised trade environment and added that Africa needed to create larger continental markets to support its own industrialisation and improve it’s prospects of attracting investment.
Multinationals must pay taxes. Some have exploited tax havens and this is not healthy. I think the issue of taxation remains a major challenge in developing countries.
“International trade rules should therefore not constrain policy space required by developing countries, including African countries to industrialise,” Davies said.
The SA minister stated that in support of this development integration agenda, the African continent needs investment that promotes inclusive growth and contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. As such it needs to attract investors that are committed to good business practices, responsible business conduct and are not involved in illicit financial flows.
“Multinationals must pay taxes. Some have exploited tax havens and this is not healthy. I think the issue of taxation remains a major challenge in developing countries,” he noted.