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Africa: booming business opportunity for U.S

In one of the toughest global economic downturns in decades, the African continent continues to be one of the leading foreign direct investment destinations for U.S. businesses, according to the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA).

Recent data released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), reveals that while other regions of the world are experiencing economic decline, Africa has experienced significant economic growth over the past five years and is expected to maintain a positive growth rate of 3.5% for 2009.

While global foreign direct investment inflows worldwide fell by an estimated 21% in 2008, FDI inflows to Africa grew by 15% to $61 billion in 2008.
Africa contributes more than 19% of U.S. crude oil imports and many analysts predict that it will provide more than 25% of U.S. imports by 2015. In 2008, Nigeria, Algeria, Angola, Chad, Libya, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon were respectively the top sources of U.S. oil and petroleum product imports from Africa.

“The reliable growth that we are seeing in Africa is due not only to the wealth of opportunities available in Africa, but also due to its continued efforts for greater political stability and an unprecedented level of government reform to attract foreign investment,” said CCA President and CEO Stephen Hayes.
“Africa has proven itself to be an essential asset for companies across many business sectors.”

Certain industries such as finance, health, energy, power, tourism, agri-business and technology all show signs of promising growth, and hence have all been identified as investment opportunities.

“American businessmen and women don’t always think of Africa as an attractive and potentially lucrative market,” said Hayes.
“Yet, we know that international trade between the U.S. and many African countries is increasingly becoming an important part of a company’s portfolio.

The U.S. also benefits when we import goods from Africa, which leads to enhanced consumer choice and job creation here at home.”

To advance trade and investment flows between the U.S. and Africa; CCA is hosting a summit in September. The three-day event will focus on the most promising business sectors on the continent.

The future of the world is Africa

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