May 24, 2011
Agoa forum to focus on infrastructure for tradeBack
LUSAKA|Africa|Export-Import Bank|Ports|Roads|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 Infrastructure News
Article contains comments
Article contains comments
Recent Research Reports
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.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
This Week's Magazine
The South African new vehicle market is likely to reach around 630 000 units in 2014, down from the 650 000 units recorded in 2013, says Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) president and CEO Dr Johan van Zyl. Van Zyl is also president of the National Association of...
Efforts by the Kenya government to increase energy generation by 5 000 MW over the next three years received a major boost following the award of a $2-billion contract to build a coal power plant in Lamu. Despite allegations of irregular tendering process, the...
Using crafty wordplay on a well-known Internet meme, brilliant South African-born US entrepreneur and businessperson Elon Musk announced that Tesla Motors would not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wanted to use its technology. Instead,...
August new vehicle sales declined by 1.4%, to 55 722 units, compared with the same month last year. Assisted by the car rental market, the South African new passenger car market, at 37 953 units, contracted by 1 047 units, or 2.7%, compared with August last year.
With South Africans facing the challenge of reducing electricity consumption, the biennial Eskom Energy Efficient Lighting Design Competition, to encourage the integration of energy efficient lighting in architectural, engineering and interior design, received a...