Mission seeks inroads in African trade

The purpose of a trade mission currently in South Africa is so that the U.S. gains ground on export competitors that are better established in that area.

“The Brazilians, the E.U. are already established down here, so we’re using this opportunity to make sure that the African countries and our partners here are aware of the great products that we have,” said Krysta Harden, Deputy Secretary at the USDA, who is leading the delegation.

Despite the misconception that trade in the region is difficult and risky, Darci Vetter, USDA Deputy Under Secretary, says this week’s mission has instead revealed an ease of doing business in Africa.

“What we’re seeing is that the real modernization in Sub-Saharan Africa has changed the dynamic and it’s time for our folks, who are well equipped, to jump in,” said Vetter, during a conference call Tuesday. “They have experience dealing with a lot of other markets that have a similar profile.”

The delegation, traveling through Friday, includes 17 U.S. agribusinesses and 15 commodity groups.

AUDIO: USDA trade mission conference call (12 min. MP3)

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  • There are a lot of opportunities for Americans in Angola. To be even more specific, the US Ex-Im Bank really wants to engage Angola and support the country with lines for cheaper credit. On Angola’s side, agriculture is an industry the government has recognised as a priority in the country’s fight for economic diversification and against poverty.

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