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For Immediate Release: March 15, 2010
Contact: Mary Trupo  (202) 482-3809


WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, Suresh Kumar, led eight American companies to Dakar, Senegal and Johannesburg, South Africa March 7-12, 2010. It was the first Obama Administration trade mission to Sub-Sahara Africa.

The International Trade Administration mission is the first Commerce-led trade mission to Senegal, the main portal for business in Western Africa, and the third to South Africa in the last ten years. In 2009, U.S. exports to Senegal totaled $176 million, and exports to South Africa topped $4.5 billion.

“Growing and diverse economies, pro-business environments, and major infrastructure needs put Senegal and South Africa among the world’s most promising markets for U.S. businesses and suppliers. The participants have made business and government contacts, solidified exporting strategies and advanced specific projects, leading to increased trade in the region,” Kumar stated.

While on the mission, companies had more than 70 successful meetings with government and business officials in Senegal alone. In South Africa, companies had 58 meetings and participated in video conferences to neighboring countries such as Namibia, Mozambique, and Angola. 

Kumar engaged in several constructive meetings with high-level officials in the Senegalese and South African government, advocating for the interests of the U.S. business community

“Both Senegal and South Africa have surging demands for high-end products and increasing numbers of higher-income earners,” said Kumar. Senegal and South Africa have well-developed infrastructures, including ports, airports, and telecommunications systems, with opportunities for upgrading and credit financing is available through their multiple lending institutions.

The participating companies represent a cross-section of industry sectors and include: the Boeing Company, Ely Energy, Empire Machinery, Ervin Equipment, Fyfe Group, Natural Enrichment Industries, Oshkosh Corporation, and the Solsustech Incorporated.


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International Trade Administration

The International Trade Administration (ITA) is the premier resource for American companies competing in the global marketplace. ITA has 2,100 employees assisting exporters in more than 100 U.S. cities and 77 countries worldwide. For more information on ITA visit