Preparatory Visit to the 18th African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum

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PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release 

ABIDJANCôte d’Ivoire will host the 18th forum of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).  The theme of this year’s forum is “AGOA and the Future: Developing a New Trade Paradigm to Guide U.S-Africa Trade and Investment.” The forum will take place from August 4-6 in Abidjan.

In preparation for this important meeting, a delegation of U.S. government officials from Washington visited Côte d’Ivoire from June 24 – 28, 2019.  Headed by Bennett Harman, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa, and Katherine Brucker, Chargé d’Affaires, the U.S. team had numerous productive meetings with an Ivoirian team, led by Guy M’Bengue, the President of the Technical Organizing Committee for the 2019 AGOA Forum, and Kaladji Fadiga, Vice-President of the Technical Organizing Committee, who are representatives of Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, Prime Minister and Chairman of the National Committee of the AGOA Forum’s Steering Committee, as well as Mr. Souleymane Diarrassouba, Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Promotion of SMEs and Deputy Chairman of the National Committee of the AGOA Forum’s Steering Committee, accompanied by representatives from the government, the private sector, and civil society.

The various working sessions and site visits allowed the two teams to share information and views on each party’s agenda and on the host country’s current state of preparation.

At the end of this mission, the American delegation welcomed the commitment of Ivoirian authorities to make the AGOA 2019 forum a real success.  In turn, the government of Côte d’Ivoire expressed its appreciation on behalf of Prime Minister Gon Coulibaly to the U.S. government for its close cooperation with Côte d’Ivoire in planning for the forum.

Both parties appreciated the cordiality of the exchanges and agreed to continue this collaboration to ensure a successful organization of the 18th AGOA Forum.

AGOA, enacted in 2000, provides preferential access to the U.S. market for exports from eligible African countries, which currently number 39.

The AGOA legislation calls for annual forums to promote discussions and deeper trade ties between the sub-Saharan Africa and the United States. The forum venue alternates between an AGOA beneficiary country and the United States.