U.S. unveils New African Trade Capacity Building Initiative at AGOA forum

09:38, June 10, 2011      

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The United States on Thursday announced here an additional commitment to helping African countries build their trade capacity.

The announcement was made by U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk at the opening ceremony of the 2011 African Growth and Opportunity Act forum.

In accordance with this initiative, the United States will provide the African countries per year for four years up to 30 million U.S. dollars, subject to availability of funds, to boost trade capacity in Africa.

The funds will be directed to the African Trade Hubs through the African Competitiveness and Trade Expansion Iniative (ACTE).

The Unites States said the initiative reflects its continuing commitment to supporting African trade capacity building and helping Africans to use trade to advance economic growth and development.

The 2011 forum also marks the 10th year that government officials, business leaders and civil society from African countries and the United States will convene to promote trade, business and investment opportunities that sustain economic development in Africa.

AGOA, the centerpiece of the U.S. government's trade policy with sub-Saharan Africa, was signed into law on May 18, 2000, offering tangible incentives for African countries to continue their efforts to open their economies and build free market.

AGOA provides trade preferences to 37 sub-Saharan African countries that are making progress in economic and political reforms.

Initially, AGOA was set to expire in 2008. Then the U.S. Congress passed the AGOA Acceleration Act of 2004, extending the legislation to 2015.

Every year an AGOA forum is held which brings together government officials, business leaders and civil society from the African countries and the United States.

Source: Xinhua
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