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Trade mission to Nigeria set

OW Staff | 4/23/2013, 5 p.m.

The U.S. Commercial Service and the Nigeria-USA Chamber of Commerce are co-hosting a trade mission to Nigeria June 2-8.

The mission will include stops in Lagos and Port Harcourt where American business owners will have appointments with Nigerian enterprises that have been pre-screened by the U.S. government to meet specific requirements.

The trade mission will focus on the following industry sectors: Agricultural products, automotive parts/services, automobile/light truck/vans, computers/peripherals, electrical power systems, healthcare services, mining industry, oil/gas field machinery, oil/gas/mineral production/exploration services, and telecommunications.

The participation fee (not including travel costs) is $5,495 for small and medium businesses and $6,995 for large companies.

Those in Ohio may qualify for a 50 percent reimbursement of some fees. Funds may also be available in other states. Check with your local U.S. Export Assistance Center to see if financial assistance is available.

The deadline to apply for the trade mission is May 1. However, based on space availability, entrepreneurs may be able to secure a spot after that point.

This trade mission is part of a Doing Business in Africa Campaign launched last November by the U.S. Commerce Department. According to www.Export.gov, Africa is home to six of the 10 fastest-growing countries in the world. American trade to and from Africa has tripled over the past decade, and U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa now top $21 million. The International Monetary Fund projects the region will grow between 5 and 6 percent annually for the next two years.

A series of Africa Global Business summits will be held throughout the year to give U.S. companies the opportunities to hear directly from U.S. ambassadors and senior commercial officers about potential in the area.

A dedicated online Africa business portal--http://export.gov/africa--will direct businesses to federal resources they need to succeed in African markets and will also present export and investment opportunities on the continent.

Additionally, President Barack Obama has created a specific "U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa" plan. Announced last June, the president said the strategy must be a comprehensive one that is "proactive, forward-looking, and that balances (America's) long-term interest with near-term imperatives."

The four pillars of the U.S.-Africa strategy are to strengthen democratic institutions; spur economic growth, trade and investment; advance peace and security; and promote opportunity and development.