May 24, 2011
Agoa forum to focus on infrastructure for tradeBack
LUSAKA|Africa|Export-Import Bank|Ports|Roads|Sustainable|Africa|United States|Zambia|USD|Building|Communication Networks|Energy|Logistics|Services|Underdeveloped Trade-supporting Infrastructure|Alice Albright|Barack Obama|Hillary Clinton|Infrastructure|Leocadia Zak|Rail|Ron Kirk|Timothy McCoy|Broadband|US Technologies
© Reuse this
The forum, which is assembling for the tenth time, could attract up to 800 African and US government, business and civil society leaders, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Trade Representative Ron Kirk.
Convening under the theme ‘Enhanced trade through increased competitiveness, value addition and deeper regional integration’, the gathering will take place from June 7 to 10, 2011, with a Ministerial session scheduled for June 9 and 10.
In 2010, the US exported goods and services worth $17,1-billion to Africa, while its imports from the region were $64,3-billion – steady growth from exports of $5,9-billion and imports of $23,4-billion prior to the implementation of the Act in 2000. Therefore, the US continues to regard Agoa as the “centrepiece” of its African trade and investment policy and President Barack Obama’s administration is seeking to again extend the Act beyond its 2015 expiration date to 2025.
As with previous forums, the focus will be on promoting trade, business and investment opportunities. But the Lusaka event will also interrogate ways for the 37 sub-Saharan African beneficiaries of Agoa to more fully exploit the favourable terms on offer from the world’s largest economy.
There is a broad acceptance that Africa’s underdeveloped trade-supporting infrastructure – from roads and rail, through to ports and communication networks – is continuing to limit uptake.
Speaking ahead of the gathering, US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) director Leocadia Zak indicated that the agency is prioritising programmes designed to address these infrastructure deficits.
She reports that the USTDA will use the upcoming forum to create an awareness of its three key priorities for the region. These include building the infrastructure for trade, especially clean energy, logistics networks and broadband networks; matching US technologies to Africa’s infrastructure programmes, and developing sustainable business partnerships.
The US’s official export credit agency, the Export-Import Bank, is also keen to used the Lusaka meeting to highlight its plans for Africa, with executive VP and COO Alice Albright noting recent growth trends in its activities on the continent.
The bank’s exposure has expanded to $3,6-billion, with yearly activity having climbed from historical levels of around $400-million, to $812-million in 2010.
Albright expects Africa-linked distributions to US exporters to increase to between $1-billion and $1,5-billion in 2011, given the current “strong pipeline” in infrastructure.
Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) VP of business development Timothy McCoy says there has also been a marked increase in US business interest in Africa, which is increasingly seen as a potential growth market.
He says US firms will participate in the trade fair and the private sector days planned to coincide with the summit, which will take place at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre.
CCA, a nonprofit association of 160 US firms, aims to encourage business relations and plans to use the event to “shine light on business opportunities in Zambia and the rest of the region”.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Construction News
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
This Week's Magazine
South Africa remains an important manufacturing and export platform for Ford Motor Company, says executive chairperson Bill Ford. However, he adds that other countries on the continent are “becoming interesting”, and that the US carmaker is casting its net wider for...
Germany’s Max-Planck-Society (MPG) and the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPlfR) are investing €11-million (about R150-million) into South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope array programme. The money will be used to design, build and install S-band radio...
Infrastructure spend in sub-Saharan Africa will grow from $70-billion in 2013 to $180-billion by 2025, says PwC capital projects and infrastructure Africa leader Jonathan Cawood. This is one of the findings of PwC’s Capital Projects & Infrastructure report on East...
Private-owned defence and aerospace manufacturer Paramount Group and the Ichikowitz Family Foundation unveiled its Anti-Poaching Skills and K9 Training Academy in Magaliesburg last month.
The inclusion of Bluetooth to provide sub-three meter accuracy and heightened functionality for users is one of the ways to change existing wireless networks into engagement networks. An engagement network differs from common wireless networks in that it enables the...