AGOA in Uganda, visa chaos in South Africa, and business development
South Africa, where ⅓ of the population is unemployed, risks losing investment due to the “chaos” of the visa process and system failure. European companies warn about the lack of qualified employees, threatened development plans and the inability to create new jobs. In South Africa, there is a great need for, among others, engineers, scientists, information technologists and management-level personnel. At the same time, between 2015 and 2021, South African authorities rejected 52% of visa applications for workers with crucial skills.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has downplayed the United States’ decision to exclude his country from the American trade bill – The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The U.S. warned it could decide to do it after Uganda passed an anti-homosexuality law. AGOA, introduced in 2000, provides eligible sub-Saharan African countries with duty-free exports to the U.S. for more than 1,800 products. Gabon, Niger and the Central African Republic are also to be excluded from the deal.
Malta is scheduled to come under European Union budgetary surveillance in 2024 as the state budget shows a persistent dependence on borrowing, adding to the country’s already high debt levels. Malta’s total debt currently exceeds EUR 10 billion. Meanwhile, the free trade agreement between Serbia and China signed in October this year will cease to apply on the day Serbia becomes a member of the E.U. because it violates the rules for joining the European Union.