The World Trade Center Arkansas is inviting Arkansas companies on a trade mission to Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia from Jan. 20 to Feb. 1 to grow bilateral trade and tourism opportunities for the state, grow international sales and build partnerships. Companies that are interested in joining this trade mission for business-to-business meetings can visit arwtc.org/africa2019 to complete an initial interest form.
“The United Nations now sees Africa as the world’s next economic frontier,” says Denise Thomas, director of Africa and Middle East trade for the World Trade Center Arkansas. “Africa is rapidly growing, and our trade mission is the perfect opportunity for Arkansas companies to take advantage of this dynamic region.”
Africa is home to six of the 10 fastest growing countries in the world and U.S. trade with Africa tripled over the past 10 years. The International Monetary Fund also projects sub-Saharan African economies to grow between 5 and 6 percent annually.
“As economic development increases, we can expect to see a similar situation as we have with China over the past two decades: a growing middle class with consumers hungry for American products,” Thomas says. “We’re emphasizing travel and tourism in this mission because it’s a strong, fast-growing sector in Arkansas and Africa. Tourism also serves as a strong catalyst for future economic development.”
The East Africa Trade Mission 2019 hopes to position Arkansas companies and travel agents before buyers, businesses and government officials to establish partnerships and networks needed to increase their exports and grow their business.
Companies will be expected to pay for their travel upon registration. The World Trade Center Arkansas will offer consultations and conduct research for participating companies to determine potential business opportunities and arrange business-to-business meetings for no charge.