US Commerce secretary visits Ghana, Kenya

US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross is expected to lead a delegation from the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA) on a fact-finding mission to Ghana later this month.

Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Gilbert Kaplan, will head the delegation on stops in Ethiopia, Kenya and Côte d’Ivoire, as well as accompany Secretary Ross in Ghana.

These visits provide an opportunity for the delegation to gather insight into market opportunities and challenges faced by U.S. businesses in these fast-growing economies.

The PAC-DBIA will use this information to provide President Trump with reliable and actionable recommendations to deepen commercial relationships in these countries.

“President Trump and I firmly believe that American companies, working in conjunction with the African business community, will help African countries develop and ultimately take their rightful place within the international economic system,” said Secretary Ross.

“US companies can supply both cutting-edge technology and superior know-how regarding corporate governance and project management to emerging markets across Africa.”

This mission underscores the Trump administration’s commitment to both advance opportunities and to eliminate trade barriers to strengthen the U.S.-Africa commercial relationship.

During the trip, PAC-DBIA members will gather country-specific information for use in making recommendations to the President to resolve issues related to underdeveloped capital markets, non-transparent and price-based procurement processes and workforce development.

The delegation will comprise PAC-DBIA representatives from companies such as Acrow Bridge, Amethyst Technologies, APR Energy, Bechtel, Black Rhino, Caterpillar, Citi, Computer Frontiers, Inc., Dow Chemical Company, DSC Dredge, GE, IBM, Insta-Pro International, Kosmos Energy, Shea Yeleen, Synnove Energy, UPS, Varian Medical Systems, Vermeer, Visa Inc. and Weber Shandwick.

PAC-DBIA members have prioritized the four markets based on the potential to improve the U.S. trade relationship with each nation.

While the government of Ethiopia is making significant investments in infrastructure and is open to foreign investment, that of Kenya is progressive in promoting business and actively seeks more US companies in its power, aviation, healthcare, transportation and agribusiness sectors as Côte d’Ivoire’s pro-business government seeks more U.S. companies in the country’s transportation and energy sectors.

Members selected Ghana due to the country’s stable political environment and pro-market government focused on rail, road, mining and manufacturing development.

Chaired by Secretary Ross, the PAC-DBIA advises the President on ways to strengthen commercial engagement between the United States and Africa.

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