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US, sub-Saharan Africa trade $72b goods in 2012 – USTR

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The United States and the sub-Saharan African region traded $72 billion worth of goods among themselves in the year 2012, according to a senior US trade official.

The official says US exports to sub-Saharan Africa were up almost 7% from the year before.

“In 2012, US and sub-Saharan African goods trade totalled $72 billion,” Ms Florizelle Liser, US Trade Representative (USTR) for African Affairs said at an event in the US April 6, 2013.

Ms Liser was speaking on US-Africa trade relationship at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s 2013 Black Policy Conference.

In her remarks to the students, Ms. Liser, whose office coordinates, develops, and implements US trade policy for Africa, addressed the current trends and changing dynamics in US trade and investment policy towards sub-Saharan Africa, a statement issued by her Office cited.

According to Liser, a recent McKinsey and Co. study found that African countries, compared to other developing nations, offer the highest rate of return on foreign direct investment. She said “that high return on investment could account for the billions of dollars (currently almost $80 billion per year) in private investment flowing into the region in recent years.”

“Africa is a trade and investment destination that can no longer be ignored,” she said

The Assistant USTR mentioned that Africa is an increasingly important market for US firms and small businesses indicating that six of the ten fastest growing economies in the world were found in Africa.

Ms Liser hinted that the Office of the USTR is implementing several trade and investment initiatives in Africa, including the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) as well as the US Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) for sub-Saharan Africa.

By Ekow Quandzie

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