U.S. Company Inks Deal During Africa Trade Trip
Teras Cargo Transport of Houston signed a partnership with the South African firm Grinrod Limited during a U.S. government-sponsored trade mission to sub-Saharan Africa last month. Under the deal, Teras will expand its shipping services to southern and eastern Africa and Grinrod will provide stevedoring services at regional ports.
In all, representatives from 14 American companies, including General Electric and Honeywell International, met with counterparts from Mozambique, South Africa and Kenya in an effort to form trade partnerships. The trade mission which was led by Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Assistant Secretary of Commerce Arun Kumar.
The government’s campaign called Doing Business in Africa offers U.S. companies opportunities to expand their reach with African partners. In 2014, U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa reached a record $25.4 billion, an increase of over five percent.
“This is one of the missions of the Commerce Department,” said Kumar, “to promote a sense of global awareness to create the capability of global fluency, to get more and more U.S. companies to export beyond their borders.”
Kumar noted that many jobs rely on the ability to plug into global supply chains. “It is very difficult to build an entire product in one country and be competitive,” he said. “It is very possible to build a component of a product and supply that globally and be competitive. So we encourage the integration of supply chains, and in particular with interest in integrating integral supply chains in small and medium enterprises.”
In late July, President Obama will attend the sixth Global Entrepreneurial Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, in an effort to show the U.S. Government’s support for innovation and economic development around the world. In September, a U.S. government program called Trade Winds will sponsor a business development conference in Johannesburg and a trade mission that will bring 70 U.S. companies to eight countries in Africa.