TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

USTDA continues to forge partnerships within the AGOA Forum

Monday, 23 May 2011

Source: Times of Zambia

United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) will continue to forge partnerships within the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) forum and help develop infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa.

The agency will also help diversify the agriculture support programme, which started last year.

USTDA director Leocadia Zak said the agriculture programme, which was started last year under AGOA, was a success.

Addressing African journalists through telephonic briefing at the American Embassy in Lusaka, Ms Zak said one of the biggest constraints of trade in Africa was lack of infrastructure. As a result, the agency's goal was to help sub-Saharan Africa countries develop infrastructure for trade.

"We will match US technology for key to Africa infrastructure that will contribute to building capacity as well as to create lasting business partnership between our African partners and US private sector," she said.

Ms Zak said under the financing programme, the agency would provide grants for feasibility studies for both the public and private projects.

"We also focus on the international business partnership programme. This programme was created as a national export imitative and part of this initiative is with the Export Import Bank (Exim Bank) together with other US government agencies.

"What we will do is to provide carefully-planned visits where we bring delegates from our partner countries, particularly from the sub-Saharan Africa countries to the United States to meet with US business people and also for them to observe how manufacturing goods are done," Ms Zak said.

She said there was need to develop a lasting partnership with US business to achieve the objectives of the US government for Africa and trade in Africa.

"USTDA was excited to have been participating in the AGOA forum in the last four to five years, and what we are going to be doing at the upcoming AGOA is to provide the support. We will be focusing on several initiatives and announcing our programmes in respect to those initiatives," Ms Zak said.

USTDA would also be focusing on the East African broadband connectivity, which is an important infrastructure for trade.

"Part of the AGOA is to build relationships between the US private sector and African partners in order to develop infrastructure and help Africa become globally competitive," Ms Zak said.

The Agency advances economic development and US commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries.

The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, orientation visits and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment.

USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance support funds sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries and creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development.

In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from US exports of goods and services.




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