TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

AGOA envoys should consider investing in Africa

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Source: Times of Zambia

The more than 300 investors from the United States of America (USA) who will be in Zambia for the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) forum this year should consider investing in Africa.

Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Felix Mutati said the American investors should be lured into investing in Africa as the continent offered a bigger market.

Mutati, who is the 10th AGOA forum chairperson, said AGOA should not only be seen as an opportunity for African investors to penetrate the American market but as an opportunity for American companies to invest in Africa.

He said the AGOA conference should, therefore, be seen as a forum that would open Africa up to American investment as there were opportunities on the continent as well.

Zambia hosts the 10th AGOA forum in June this year, which will attract representation from about 300 companies from the USA.

"The COMESA region alone has more than 400 million people and that is more than the American market. So if American companies could come and invest in Africa under AGOA incentives, then we shall all be growing," he said.

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is the economic grouping of countries in Africa which share a number of trade incentives, including exempted tax on exported materials.

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The USA, which is made up of 52 states, has a population of about 300 million.

Mr Mutati said if US companies set up plants in Africa, they would have a big market to export to which goes beyond the COMESA region into the entire continent.

He said the same goods could be exported to the more familiar US market enjoying the AGOA incentives.

Mr Mutati said Zambia was ready to host the AGOA conference which would attract the 38 member countries, including the USA which would have the biggest delegation.

The US team to the AGOA forum is expected to be led by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.




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