My Weblog: kutahya web tasarim umraniye elektrikci uskudar elektrikci umraniye elektrikci istanbul elektrikci satis egitimi cekmekoy elektrikci uskudar kornis montaj umraniye kornis montaj atasehir elektrikci beykoz elektrikci
Delegates at the 12th African Growth and Opportunity Act Forum in Addis Ababa called on US policy makers to consider providing incentives for US companies to invest in Sub Sahara Africa.
The forum focused on finding ways to increase exports from the 39 Sub Sahara countries to the US, the biggest and most lucrative market in the world.
It also included proposals to extend the existing duty-free scheme for another 15 years after the current system expires in 2015.
Although the US government has allowed Sub Sahara African countries to export duty-free since 2000, few countries have seen the benefits.
During the five-day conference, the African states represented agreed that they would need an extension to this system of at least 15 years.
Many developing countries in Africa are recognized as needing this long to earn middle-income status and become able to compete with the rest of the world in trading terms.
The AGOA working group of African Ambassadors recommendations included: extending the agreement by a minimum of 15 years; arranging high-level talks to achieve this; increased trade and market access; more US investment in Africa and US involvement in capacity-building.
The existing US duty-free scheme is set to expire on September 30, 2015.
Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, said that the major source of foreign exchange for the continent is still by remittance as the U.S hosts many Africans.
“It is against this backdrop that African Ministers of Trade are recommending that the AGOA framework be expanded to include political dialogue and exchange of high level visits by both sides,” he said.
“I believe we are also in agreement that there is a need to carry out a thorough review of progress and gaps in AGOA utilization, as well as in the implementation of other African trade and regional integration strategies,” said Tedros Adhanom, Minister of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday.
He underlined the importance of finding a quick agreement on the extension.
“We cannot afford to risk loss of orders and loss of jobs by delaying it until the last minute,” he said.
African ambassadors in Washington will continue to work with the U.S administration and the U.S Congress to ensure the timely reauthorization of AGOA, according to Doctor Debretsion Gebremichael, Head of the Economic Cluster with the rank of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Communication and Information Technology (MoCIT).
The forum organizers said more than 30 meetings were held during the five-day conference.
“Investment, health and other infrastructures issues have been part of the ministerial meetings. On the other hand, African countries have recommended that American policymakers consider new incentives for US private sector investment in the region, which will contribute to rapid growth” said Geremew Ayalew, General Trade Relation and Negotiation Directorate General of the Ministry of Trade.
Investors from Asian countries like China and India have also benefitted from the AGOA scheme, as it allows them to export products to the US market at duty-free cost.
“During this meeting, African ministers have explained to the American delegation that the US government should provide more incentives for US companies to invest in the region and export their products back to the US market via the AGOA scheme,” Geremew told Capital.
Since its enactment, AGOA has created 1.3 million jobs, of which 350,000 are direct and the rest indirect.
The total amount of money traded via AGOA is more than USD three trillion. Ethiopia is the first pilot country to undertake a strategic initiative to draw up an AGOA strategy aimed at helping enhance its benefits from the Act.
Yacob Yala, State Minister for Trade, recently told Capital that this strategy is an integral part of the country’s Growth and Transformation Plan.
The Ethiopian Ministry of Trade, in cooperation with the African Trade Policy Center of UNECA, has developed a National AGOA Response Strategy to identify key supply side constraints that impede the performance of the export sector and suggest possible interventions to help overcome these constraints.
It identified sector-specific constraints in selected priority areas and the appropriate support programs and policy interventions to overcome them.
The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), enacted in May 2001, is a signature US trade initiative that provides Sub Sahara African Countries with liberal access to the U.S. market.
Since 2000, exports under AGOA have increased more than 500 percent, from USD 8.15 billion in 2001 to USD 53.8 billion in 2011.
AGOA was signed into law on May 18, 2000 as Title 1 of The Trade and Development Act of 2000.
Alongside the event, the Ethiopian government said that the forum helped build the country’s image. Dina Mufti (Amb), spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), said the event benefitted Ethiopia in political and diplomatic terms.
He told Capital that eco tourism will also benefit from the event.