U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez is leading a trade mission this week, Nov. 26-30, in Zambia and South Africa.
Some of the 14 companies that sent representatives on the trade mission are Case New Holland, Dow Chemical, Electro-Motive Diesel, and General Electric.
The delegation arrived in Lusaka, Zambia, on Monday, and has met with public and private sector officials to discuss potential partnerships and projects that will support economic growth in both countries.
U.S. exports to Zambia have increased more than 27 percent to nearly $111 million thus far in 2012 when compared to the same period last year. U.S.-Zambia total bilateral trade more than doubled in 2011, according to the Commerce Department.
The trade mission continues to South Africa with stops in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
“Expanding our trade and investment relationship with Sub-Saharan Africa continues to be a critical component of President Obama’s commercial diplomacy strategy,” Sánchez said in a statement. “Zambia and South Africa both offer extraordinary opportunities to U.S. companies seeking to introduce their quality products and services to important emerging markets.”
In the first half of 2012, U.S. goods exports to Sub-Saharan Africa increased by 4.6 percent from the same period in 2011. South Africa is the largest U.S. export market in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2011, total U.S.-South Africa trade was $16.7 billion, up from $13.9 billion in 2010.
In addition, this week Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank will launch the “Doing Business in Africa” campaign, an Obama administration initiative to help American businesses identify opportunities that will further the United States’ commercial, trade, and investment relationship with Africa.
“As President Obama has said, Africa is a region of growing opportunity and promise, and it has the potential to be the world’s next major economic success story,” she said.
On June 14, 2012, the president issued the U.S. “Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa,” under which the United States will pursue four objectives in the region:
- Strengthening democratic institutions.
- Spurring economic growth, trade and investment.
- Advancing peace and security.
- Promoting opportunity and development.
As part of spurring economic growth, trade and investment, the strategy calls for the development of a “Doing Business in Africa” campaign. “This campaign will leverage the federal government’s trade promotion, financing and strategic communications capabilities to help U.S. businesses identify opportunities in Africa, and to help them overcome any challenges they face to establishing business relationships with Africa,” the Commerce Department said.