|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 2011
Thomas R. Hardy | (703) 875-4357
USTDA ANNOUNCES NEW BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP ACTIVITES FOR AFRICA AT AGOA FORUM
Lusaka, ZAMBIA – During the first day of the African Growth and Opportunity Act Forum, Deputy Director Peggy Philbin announced USTDA's commitment to support multiple programs that will facilitate broad economic development across sub-Saharan Africa. These programs build on a track record of success of engaging senior public and private sector officials in the region by introducing them to U.S. technologies, goods and services that can help them achieve their development goals.
"In just one year since our International Business Partnership Program was announced, USTDA has doubled the number of reverse trade missions and greatly increased Africa's exposure to U.S. companies," said Deputy Director Philbin. "The success of this program is the result of listening to Africa's needs and working towards a goal of mutual economic benefit."
USTDA announced the launching of the Southern Africa Regional Rail Initiative, which will promote regional integration and intra-Africa trade in Southern Africa. The program will commence with a technical workshop for key stakeholders from the rail sector, and will be followed by a number of reverse trade missions to the United States to introduce senior rail officials to U.S. goods and services that can help increase rail capacity and efficiency.
USTDA also announced a reverse trade mission for 12 public and private sector representatives from sub-Saharan Africa's agribusiness sector. These officials will include large-scale agricultural producers with harvesting, planting, irrigation, storage and distribution infrastructure needs, along with government officials responsible for agricultural development. The visit will include a business briefing for the delegates to address the U.S. business community to detail their expansion plans, as well as site visits to farms to highlight innovative agricultural practices in the United States.
In South Africa, USTDA is expanding a highly successful energy efficiency initiative that has already led to the deployment of demand-side management upgrades to Durban's power system. Building on this success, USTDA announced funding for a Smart Grid technical workshop to be held later this year in South Africa, which will be followed with a reverse trade mission to support the implementation of such projects in South Africa.
Last, USTDA announced a reverse trade mission for East African Community (EAC) officials to meet with U.S. financial entities and U.S. companies to address the information and communication technology infrastructure requirements associated with trade-related financial transactions and regional integration. This visit follows a similar visit for Kenyan officials evaluating technology options to increase the security of their financial system.
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The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project planning activities, pilot projects, and reverse trade missions while creating sustainable infrastructure and economic growth in partner countries.
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