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Business News of Wednesday, 26 March 2003

Source: The Evening News

US Opens West Africa Trade Hub in Ghana

A West African Trade Hub for Global Competitiveness has been opened in Accra. It was funded through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and will serve as a contact point for the US government’s Trade for African Development Enterprise (TRADE) Initiative in the region.

The Hub will utilize the expertise of various US government agencies, including the Department of State, Agriculture, Commerce, treasury, USAID and the Office of the US trade Representative.

The TRADE Initiative aims at promoting regional integration and economic growth by strengthening the ability of African countries and businesses to expand their exports.

A press release from the Public affairs section of the US Embassy in Accra, said the West African Trade Hub, which was opened jointly by Ms Nancy Carlin Yates and Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, the Trade Minister, would work with the public sector in the region in building capacity for increase understanding and participation in the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The project, it said, would also assist governments who implement effective visa systems to access apparel benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

AGOA provides tariff and quota free access to the US market to nations that implement open market reforms and it is now helping African companies to increase exports to the US, while the VISA is a certification stamp for eligible AGOA products to enter the US.