President Obama has made it clear that his main focus is on that of small business expansion; and to that end the White House is examining a variety of ways to provide assistance to companies to create revenue opportunities both domestically and internationally. In fact the creation of jobs in the United States, through doubling exports over the next five years, is the goal of President Obama’s Executive Order. Thus, in support of the Obama administration’s National Export Initiative (NEI), the Africa Trade Office (ATO) partnered with the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Baltimore to host “Opportunities in Africa”, a prime-networking event held in Baltimore, Maryland earlier this week.
The event offered attendees an ambitious program beginning with the Honorable Benjamin L. Cardin, U.S. Senator (D-MD), a long time champion and advocate of small business, international business development and The Africa Trade Office who provided introductory remarks. Following this address, regional experts from the Federal Government provided an update on the progress of National Export Initiative (NEI), and shared information on the international business environment and opportunities in West, Central, East, and Southern Africa. After a short break attendees were then given information on financing and private equity. Afterward, attendees had the opportunity to select from several afternoon sessions presented by Embassy Trade Attaches, U.S. Department of Commerce and The Millennium Challenge Corporation. Sessions were entitled Trade Opportunities in Angola, Nigeria, and Ethiopia; Most Recent Millennium Challenge Corporation Compacts in Africa and How To Find and Bid on Contracts; How to find Distributors and Market Your Company in an International Market; and Partnering and Teaming in International Markets.
Though understanding cultural differences in business is always key when doing international business, “Opportunities In Africa” offered the necessary practical tools to enable companies to navigate through the complexities of doing business in Africa, and successfully achieve their business goals. “Africa has a wealth of opportunities for U.S. businesses to explore and is one of the world’s fastest-growing regions,” explains Patricia Hayes Parker, Vice President of the Economic Development Corporation, and Director of the Africa Trade Office. “And the subject matter experts [at our event] provided valuable information to expand their markets and deliver bottom line results.”
The Africa Trade Office was the primary sponsor for this event. Its mission is to identify trade and investment opportunities and facilitate strategic partnerships, teaming and deal closure between African companies and U.S. companies. For those not able to attend the event, resources are listed at www.africatradeoffice-usa.com <http://usa.com> <http://usa.com/>
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