Meeting of the Presidents Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa
I will, call the session, to order my name is Jay Ireland. Chairman. Of the PAC DBIA, and, CEO. Of GES, operations, in Africa I don't, have a gavel so. That's. That'll, do I would like to welcome, you all to our, second. Meeting with, the secretary, and and. The. Team and we're. Very excited about, talking today about the trip and and some of the recommendations, that we have so. We'll. Just get started then I'll turn it over to Aaron, Walsh Assistant. Secretary of Commerce. Meats. Is. Another, type. Sorry. You know the. Testament of the importance, of the commercial relationship in, Africa, before. Turning, the, meeting over to secretary Ross I'd like to take a moment to introduce our new undersecretary. For international. Trade administration, Gilbert. Caplan, today. Marks Gil's fourth week in office but he's no stranger to ITA. He. Spent almost five years in ITA during the Reagan administration. Gill. Was the acting assistant secretary, and deputy assistant secretary for, the import, administration the. Predecessor. To, Commerce's. Enforcement, and compliance unit. Gil. Is a skilled trade negotiator. As a partner, at King & Spalding where he just came from he. Focused on trade and trade cases and policy. We. Have been anxiously. Awaiting, his arrival of, the Department, of Commerce and are thrilled to have him here today. Thank. You Erin and welcome, to all of you to this, very important meeting. The, president, has laid out the top-line goals that drive his administration's. Work one. Of these is promoting, American. Prosperity, in, that. Concept, context. The international, trade administration ITA. Has, a key role to play in promoting free. Fair. And, reciprocal. Economic. Chips. Specifically. ITA. Will, pursue this goal through one. Strengthen, strengthening. The competitiveness of. US industry, to. Ensuring. Fair and restrict reciprocal. Trade through. The rigorous enforcement of, our trade laws and trade agreements. Three. Growing. Exports, of both products, and services, for. Attracting. Investment, in u.s. communities, and, finally. Transforming. American, trade policy, I am. Pleased to be back at the ITA to lead this process, of strengthening our national security by. Bolstering our, Economic, Security I. Am. Also glad to have the opportunity, to engage with the council, as it provides guidance to the President, on how, to expand, the US commercial presence. In African, markets, for. Me this, harkens, back to my first endeavors, in international, affairs. Years. Ago as a student I had the opportunity, to visit Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, at.
The Time I was a volunteer with. Operation, crossroads Africa. A precursor, to the Peace Corps I recall. Driving, north from Accra Ghana and then, over, into Cote d'Ivoire where. I spent eight weeks working. In the town of ODS okay I was. Quite, impressed to have the opportunity, to, meet there twice, the. President, of the Cote d'Ivoire Felix. Who fouette Wang Yi during. My stay. Returning. To the present day I am extremely. Pleased, to introduce Commerce. Secretary Wilbur, Ross under. Whose sponsorship. The council is meeting today. The. Secretary, on behalf of President Trump has. Taken a keen interest in, leveraging, the work of the PAC DBIA. To. Deepen trade and investment, relationships, between the United States and African, countries. You. All know that the secretary, is one, of the core members of the president's, team in this. Context. He is working tirelessly and. Vociferously. To. Promote American, industry, and American, exports. Secretary. Ross has taken the lead on improving, trade and commercial ties with Africa, even. Tomorrow he. Will be giving keynote, remarks at the u.s. Morocco, trade forum, at the. Annual meeting of the Export, Import Bank for, which Africa, is an important market and at. A meeting of the US Nigeria, Council, I know. The secretary, looks forward very, much to leading the trip by council, members to Ethiopia. Kenya Cote. D'Ivoire and Ghana as a concrete, manifestation. Of the, Trump administration's. Commitment to, close. Deals, and to eliminate trade, barriers, to, strengthen, the u.s. African. Commercial. Relationship. Secretary. Rose. Thank. You thank you Gil and thank, you Erin as well, thank. You Jay as always, for, your continued, leadership of. The, president's, Advisory Council, and doing business in Africa, I'm. Sorry, Laura can't be here today but. I'll send her in absentia. My. Thanks, to her for her dedicated, work as vice, chairman, of the Council, thank. You also to the staff of the National Security, Council, for, hosting, the fifth meeting of, the pact DBIA. Today. We're at the White House under the auspices, of the NSC, their. Budget, can afford it mine cannot. The. Trip. This. Provides, you with, a clear, indication. Of the, importance, the Trump administration. Places. On the, US relationship. With Africa and so, I thank you to my US government, colleagues for. Your involvement, in these deliberations. At. Our last meeting in November, I was, interested in learning about the issues, the, council identified. As, the top obstacles. For US companies, in doing. Business with African, customers. I also. Asked, you to take a step further and develop, recommendations, of. Actions, US. Government, can take to, eliminate those. Obstacles, in. Parallel, as. Representatives. Of the American, private, sector, I asked. You to determine for. African, countries that. Would be of greatest interest, for. A fact-finding. Trip as, a means, to provide insights, into how. We can promote US. Trade, throughout, the continent, I agreed. To lead the, council members, on such a trip given. The importance, of Africa, to, the future, of, global commerce. You've. Merged those two tasks, and developed, a set of recommendations. Tailored. To the four countries you. Proposed for the trip this summer, Kenya. Koated were. Ethiopia. And Ghana. Developing. Closer commercial. Ties between. American. Companies, and African. Customers, is, becoming, increasingly, important. And. I hope that this trip will, not only be a, fact-finding. Trip but, a fact, making. Trip. We, need some deliverables, we, need some things to announce and, I think we'll get more into that as the meeting, progresses.
Meanwhile. We, recognize, that Africa. Is home to, six of the, 10 fastest-growing. Economies. In the, entire world and, it's, projection. Print population. Is, projected. To double, by. 2050. To, 2.4. Billion people. It's. A fast-growing market with, many young consumers, but. It has been targeted. By. Authoritarian. Countries, intent. On exploiting. Its, natural, resources in, raw, materials. We. Stand ready to help, counter. These threats and. To. Help Africa, achieve. Sustainable. Growth and development, through. Strong. Trade, relationships. But. We have our work cut out for us as you know US. Exports. To sub-saharan, Africa. Have, declined, by 44. Percent, over. The past four, from. 26, billion in. 2014. To, 14, billion in. 2017. Driving. This trend. China's. Exports, to Africa have. More than doubled, since 2009. Growing. At an average of 14, percent, annually. Since. 2010. We. Must reverse, these two, trends. In. Addition, Chinese. Lending, has ballooned, and that's, no small portion. Of the, reason, for the swing in numbers, so. I'm very happy to see Ray Washburn from. AI D come. In where are you very, good. Ray, is going to be going to Africa also, this summer and, we're looking to him to help close the funding gap and, the product, gap so, thank you for coming right, this. Morning, IMF. Noted, that, Chinese, lending. Globally. Has, surged, from one point seven, trillion dollars, in, 2001. To. An incredible. Twenty, five point, five trillion, in. 2016. With. The one belt one Road I'm sure it'll be quite a bit bigger in. 2017. That. Accounts, for 3/4. Of the increase, in, global debt over, the period, so. We realized that's a big hurdle to operate. Against, but, we're gonna do what we can and much. Of their effort as you know is increasingly. Focused. On Africa. I. Was. Just down in the. Conference, in Lima and they're also pushing, Latin. America, pretty, hard as well so, it's something that's a global, contest. That we have with them but. In response we, must develop and implement a real strategy, to. Build US commercial, ties with, the continent, to, open markets, to u.s. made exports. And. Strengthen. Our cultural, exchanges. Based, on our common and deep. Historical. Bond. We. Must work together to, make it possible, for all, American. Companies, to succeed, in, Africa. And, to spread knowledge about, the opportunities.
That, Exists, there your. Recommendations. Will, be taken, under very careful, consideration by. All, of the agencies, represented. Here today all. Of us in government will, work together to, determine, how to, implement. These ideas, the. Ideas are great but, implementation. As we all know is the key, and, that's the face we really have to move into now, and, it's imperative, that we do so I, look. Forward to the discussion but. Before, I turn it over I want to highlight a recent, win for. American, businesses, in, Africa, just over. A week ago the, yatra. LED, albertine. Graben, refinery. Consortium. Sir, assigned, a project framework. Agreement. With, the government of Uganda for. The development. Construction and. Operation. Of the new oil refinery. This. Project, is a joint venture with. The Ugandan national. Oil company, and is, financed, in part by, the Africa, Development. Bank the, international. Finance. Corpus. Thank. You right and we're, friends in the US Trade and Development Agency. Valued. At two point eight five billion, with. One point five five billion, in expected. U.s. content. This. Project, will support more, than 8,000. US, jobs, and it's the kind of scale of activity. That, we really have to see more, of the. Deal is a major win, for US, commercial, interests, in Uganda. Our. Advocacy. Team did an outstanding job. Countering. Attempts, by, Chinese, state backed enterprises. To, influence, the, decision. God-knows-what. Techniques, they were using. In the process I wrote. Two letters on, behalf, of the consortium. To President. Museveni and. Called. The president, a week before, the signing of the PFA, to. Highlight, u.s. support, for the project we. Had a very good and very long conversation. And. I promised, him it was just the start of many such, begging. By, me. These. Are the types of deals we hope to strike on our, trip, this, summer it. Represents. What we can achieve when. Government. Acts as a facilitator. Not. Just, as a regulator. Now. I turn it over to our host, Cyril. Sitar, for. Any opening. Remarks. I'd. Also like to thank your other. Colleagues, here from Commerce, Department. Like. Just thank. Jay for his leadership. In, chairmanship. And like. To thank secretary. Ross for. His vision not. Just with the pact DBIA, but, for his other efforts, to. Promote. The importance, of Africa. Within. The. Administration. We. Do need to develop a real strategy, for, Africa, and we are working, on one in this meeting is. Very much a part. An integral. Part of that overall strategy. Well. Enough. Money to, pull together a shindig, like this and invite all of you we. In fact do. Have very. Limited resources, when. It comes for. Developing. In. Africa. Agenda. So. That means our, ability. To collaborate. Efficiently. And to. Coordinate, to. Coordinate, within the US government and, to. Collaborate and coordinate between. The US government and. All. Of you here and, this industry. That's. Gonna be our critical. Comparative. Advantage, in. Working. To. Build a US presence, in Africa. And to in some ways. If. Not, quite counter, but. To compete vigorously, with. China. Russia. And even. Some Middle East players on the continent. So. Two. Pillars of the president's. National. Security policy. Are. Promoting. Prosperity. As. Mr. Kaplan has identified and, advancing. US, influence, and I. Think the work that you all have been doing and what. You will achieve later. This year in your, visit to Africa, again. Are, going to be. Fundamental. In, advancing. Those. Pillars, and advancing.
Our Strategy. For Africa, so. I want to thank you all for, your ongoing work, and I, want to ensure you, that, the. NSC. Africa, Directorate, are our. Door, is open to you we, welcome your phone calls in any way in which we can assist. You and we, will be your partners as you move forward in this, endeavor. Thank. You. Thank. You very much Cyril and, secretary, Ross. I want to thank you as being a member, our company, being a member of that consortium, in. Uganda. That your, help was instrumental. In. Pushing. It over the line along with some negotiating, tactics, from the ambassador, as, well as others so it was very helpful so thank you so I'd, like to move to the. Presentation. Of, our of our findings, from the last meeting. To. That point I think they, form, in three main categories, one. Is looking, at procurement. Practices. Within. The countries, that we'll be visiting and what what the government, US government can help us to. Will be skills development, and capacity building, across. Those four countries but across the, rest of the African continent as well and, I think probably the most important, is we look forward to really combatting. Other. Countries, as the secretary is mentioned is really a holistic, and encompassing, u.s. approach to. Drive private, sector and US government, maximum, impact so with that I'm going to turn it over, we'll. First talk about our about, Ethiopia, and with that our, first recommendation to, Fred Sisson. Fred. Thank. You Jay, mr., secretary the, we, as we looked, across the different, markets in Africa we saw a huge opportunity in Ethiopia, we've. Got a country, that I'm, sorry can-can, is this better. In Ethiopia we've, got a country with a hundred and five million people, sixty. Percent under, the age of 30, GDP. Of say over seventy eight billion dollars, in 2017. And an average growth rate of over ten percent over, the last 12 years so. We've got a rapidly, growing market with a with, a large young population. Ethiopia. The Ethiopian, government has, been struggling. To to. Keep. Its. Economy growing fast enough to, put, those people that work it's. Been able to facilitate the. Rapid growth and infrastructure, and other investments, in the country largely through borrowing, but. At this point the the borrowing, is over sixty percent of its GDP and, borrowing, is is, now limited, by. The government's. Own balance, sheet, the, government is currently looking, at other opportunities, to, to, continue the growth curve and they're looking towards private sector we. Now new have a new prime minister in in, Ethiopia, that's very. Open and willing to to, Western partnerships, in addition. To that and I think that this is probably one of the more important, things we, have decades of strong. US, intervention in Ethiopia. Help, that the the help. And goodwill that the US people. In the US government has, put into Ethiopia, and so, that helps, proprieties. Potential. Partnerships, and I think that that pose is a great opportunity for, with. The council is recommending, as we're recommending a, government-to-government. Memorandum. Of Understanding. Focusing, on strategic. Industrial. Sectors these, sectors are, currently. Sectors. That are identified, by. The Ethiopian government but. They're also sectors, that agencies, US agencies, and US. Businesses of help prioritize over, the last couple decades in, particular over the last five years and. They've now managed, to move into the, into. The policy, of the Ethiopian, government the. Sectors that were we, were, recommending, are infrastructure, transportation. Logistics. Agricultural. Processing, power. Generation. Pharmaceuticals. And financial. Services, this, last one financial. Services, is a relatively, new one under, the old prime minister though an, old government there, was a resistance to opening up the financial services, sector the. New prime minister is now indicating. A willingness to, open up the financial services, sector so that they can help clear some of the Forex issues.
One. Of the biggest challenges, in Ethiopia, is actually, getting. Paid, you. You have money in bir but, you can't do anything with that outside of Ethiopia, and they, realize that this is a constraint to infrastructure, growth and just to their growth of their economy and now they're opening it up and I think the US has some, of the strongest financial, institutions, paired, with some of the best technology providers, and I think we really have a good strategic, position, in. Short. Where we're recommending is, that we, we're. Recommending that, US agencies. Participate. And put together an. MoU that can be executed during their june trip. We. Think that it's great timing within, the within the market we, think that there'll be both bilateral, support from. Both our, folks on the ground there as well as the Ethiopian, government and, we. Think that there's a backlog of u.s. projects, that, that can take, advantage of this very quickly and start proving it out as a. As a positive as, a positive policy. Move. On. That. That's, Derrick. Perhaps that's, wraps up our recommendation, for him you great, thanks Fred I'd. Like to recognize some administration. Officials, that will provide comments, Gil, please, thank. You and thank. You Fred those growth numbers, and the opportunities. You present are very, persuasive. In terms of what we want to do the. Government of Ethiopia has, defined a path for the country's development in, its growth and transformation plan. And it's moving aggressively to. Reach its target as you, noted key to this has been heavy public, investment, underpinned. By foreign, loans but. The government, is keenly aware this, is not sustainable, at, the, same time US, companies are eager to increase their footprint, in Ethiopia. Sub-saharan. Africa's, fastest, growing economy. This. MOU, is the ideal, mechanism. To, help the government, of Ethiopia and, US, companies meet their goals, by. Creating, a more attractive business, environment. And ensuring. That US companies are aware of Ethiopian, government priorities.
And The Associated project. Opportunities. Both. Parties, benefit, with. The additional, long term benefit, of Ethiopia. Transferring. Receiving. American, know-how technology. And standards. It, is. The early access, to, Ethiopian. Ministry, Development, Goals and spending, plans that is critical, here getting. This information, in front of us companies, with, technologies. And services, get. That can fill the project, needs. With. A recent appointment of Ethiopia's. New prime minister ahmed and the progressive, economic, reforms, he proposes, this. MOU, could not come at a better time. Thanks. Good, right. Hi. I'm ray Washburn I'm the CEO of overseas. Private Investment Corporation and. OPEC. Currently has 22, billion dollars, in 90, countries around, the world 675, projects. 25%. In Africa but only three million dollars in Ethiopia. An MOU would serve as a signal to the business community that the United States is serious. And Ethiopia is open for business the lack of infrastructure. In. The, country is something at OPIC is posture. To support, power, agriculture. And health care if. The Prime Minister opens, a financial, services. Sector OPIC. Will be prepared to look at that market as well we. Are actively seeking projects, new, projects, today and if we get the MOU done we would be prepared to execute something soon thank you, thanks. Ray Cheryl Anderson. Cheryl. Anderson from the Africa, Bureau of USAID. Let, me say at the outset that, we're. Very pleased to be a key. Interagency. Player, working. Closely with Department. Of Commerce and the Advisory, Council we note. That the pact DBIA, itself. As well as the recommendations. Here fit. Very well with our administrators. Vision. Of working. With countries on their journey to self-reliance. As well as enterprise. Driven, development so. On, the, on, the MOU. We. I, think, this we're. Supportive. Of the MOU I. Think. The highlighted, sectors, are appropriate, and we've. Shared it with our team on the ground we've got a pretty, substantial, USA. Team, in. Ethiopia, and I, think they would really welcome further discussion. About. The focus of the MOU and possibly, opening, it up to other sectors where we have common objectives. And. I would add that through the, power. Africa. Interagency. Initiative. We. Did enter, as a US government into an MoU with, government, of Ethiopia in. 2013. And this. MOU, had, the intent that. Was similar to what the what, the what, we're talking, about today it. Presented, a whole-of-government approach. In. Partnering, with the government of Ethiopia to, develop its energy, sector, in. A way that challenged, the government. Of Ethiopia to, make critical reforms to. Increase, private sector participation, so, maybe. As a, bonus, on, the trip we. Thought maybe it would be an opportunity, to revisit, that MOU from 2013. And. We. Might want. To make. Sure that any additional mo use with the government of Ethiopia take, into account the existing, mo use, that.
The US government already has in place. And. I guess I would just add as a as. An agency that has some experience with mo use with African. Governments we. Would. Caution that any mo you should include. Specific. Deliverables. And very. Clear commitments. That are achievable, by both parties. Excellent. Points, at the end I agree a hundred as the secretary, just said and the same a great, CD are you mr.. Secretary mr. chair thank you for attending the CD Glenn with the u.s. African Development Foundation. ADF. Is supportive, of the establishment, of the u.s. Ethiopian, government MoU, focusing, on strategic sectors. U.s.. ADF currently provides grant financing, and business, management support, to. Ten ethiopian. Small and medium sized solar and wind energy firms, our provision. Of grant financing, small grants, to local early-stage, enterprises. Linked. To the, development of private investment, projects, has the potential for significant, US, imports, especially. In the agriculture, and energy sectors, which, both US ATF and the Ethiopian. Government have, prioritized, our focus. On local enterprise development, provides linkages, to the local market and opens. Up marketing, and distribution channels. For US. Energy. Related businesses, the. Foundation's core, continent-wide. Competency. Is in the agriculture, sector and, under, a prospective government-to-government, MOU, we would use the fact-finding, trip to assess. Provision, of our support, to, Ethiopians, grassroots, agricultural, production and processing. Sectors. As. Well as to expand, and enhance our investments, in the energy sector lastly. As a member. Of the power, Africa interagency, team I'd, like to acknowledge that, the, u.s. African Development Foundation is, Co funding and investing, in, solar. Energy in, Ethiopia. Alongside pact. I remember, GE. And we appreciate, GE Africa, and we appreciate, that collaboration. Thank you. Thanks. IDI jesse law from Exim. Thank. You ex-im bank has a congressional, mandate for. Sub-saharan Africa. And when the Senate allows XM to become fully functional, by confirming our board nominees we will be active in supporting the transactions, across the continent, but. Not operating, since 2015, XM. Has established a pipeline of 14 billion dollars in sub-saharan, Africa which would, in fact double our. Export, capacity at the stroke of the pen. With, as. Our USD partners can can, confirm there are many opportunities that have in fact been lost, but. We do look forward to XM, functioning, again. You. Know XM supports, the facts fact-finding. Trip to, counter the challenge from China and other countries across the continent, with a realistic and purposeful, whole-of-government, approach. That. Includes mo use the USTDA global, procurement initiative and the trade facilitation efforts. It's. Well, known that the made-in-the-usa brand, is recognized in Africa for quality and better value and through, these whole of government initiatives, we at XM want to make sure that US companies can compete and secure. The contracts on a level playing field. Our. Competitors, are well ahead of us though with. Their exports, and leading the pack is China. Which. Is Africa's largest single trading partner having overtaken the United States since 2009. Yet. It's not only China we are fully aware of the competition from European, and other Asian countries, these. Countries are playing with a game that we refuse to acknowledge as a superior, game plan at least in some ways until, now and. How, do we know it's superior they've. Been winning on the field. The. Chinese. Companies and the, other countries are, using more sophisticated tactics, more blended financing, weaponizing. Trade finance, is a national, strategy to promote their domestic, export products and, deploying.
More Personnel, from their respective financing, agencies on the, ground to get involved, in whatever, projects, exists. These. Other countries are responding, to this new dynamic and ever-changing, competitive. And landscape. By, being fully engaged with government-to-government agreements. In support of their exporters, with financing, and other commercial means, so. We at XM are committed, to the same in the support of US jobs and realize Africa's, potential. America's. Exporters, and their supply chain need a coach, to. Make our halftime game adjustment, so. We can lead and mount a comeback, the. Fact-finding, tour for XM and from our perspective is, that first official, step in that direction, and, I, do hope that it. Will help us learn what our African friends would, like to see the USG do to be more competitive and, with. Those around the room and the leadership that we have I am convinced that we can adjust our game plan in the direction of success. Thank. You Jessie, is. There any other comments. From the council on on this specific. Recommendation. Okay. I would also like to echo, the support. Of getting a fully functioning, XM it's, absolutely. Critical, let's, go to the second. Require. Our. Recommendation. Which is around a USTDA, global, procurement initiative and, bill clean. Thank. You Jay Thank You mr. secretary. This is a topic, that's near and dear to acro. Many. Of you may not know we supply, steel bridges around the globe and, we're, pretty. Much daily trying to demonstrate to people or teach. People the. Importance. Of looking, at lifecycle, cost and what, they're getting in. The numbers that they're being, presented, and. Recently. Very. Recently there, was a glaring example of this in, one country where they're. Rebuilding, for the fourth time the, same design bridge and the bridge has collapsed four, times now in about, a year and a half so. We've. Tried to explain to them that the. Bridge is not being built, correctly, and that there are issues and, they're. Still going to move, forward with the Forth Bridge of the same design that being said, the. Recommendations. That I've been asked to convey. By. The council. Here are that first. The. USTA. The. USTDA, has. Already developed with the energy or the electric power company, procurement, man manual, so.
We're. Looking for the US government to request. Of the board, of the Power Company to formally adopt the the. Manual. The. Second, item is to update the manual. Utilizing. The, services of USTDA, World Bank the DLC. To. Update it with more additional language on the lifecycle. Cost. Then. The, DLC. Is to, go. Out to US. Companies to educate them on the ethiopian manual, and how, they can work within the parameters of this. Procurement, manual. Finally. There's an, issue of translating. The existing, manual, which is in if. I pronounced right Amharic, and. To. Translate. That to the more, universal, language of English and, then. The final, recommendation. Is training. Ethiopian, procurement. Personnel. On. Lifecycle. Cost and and that is a challenging. Issue so. With, that Jay I'll give it back to you thanks. Bill Thomas. Hardy from thank. You Tom, Hardy from the US train development agency I couldn't agree more with the, council's. Recommendation. To place a focus, on improving. Procurement, practices, in. Ethiopia's. A means of doing more business in Africa USTDA, is actually supported, Ethiopia's, procurement, reforms, since 2015, and, those, projects, that support is paying dividends, we've. Hosted. Recently, we hosted a delegation, of aviation, officials from throughout East Africa, and introduced. From the US companies. Us technologies, goods and services, but, as part of that visit, we included, a program focused, on, best. Value procurement. Rather, than focused, on quality not lowest, cost and so were directors. All of that training that USTDA provided, to the ethiopians US, companies have secured, over 20 million dollars in contracts, of u.s. exported, goods and services, as, was. Just mentioned by bill, we've, were also worked with the et Pia's electric power to, develop a. Manual. To help help. Them make informed decisions based, on quality infrastructure not the lowest price that currently is going through the final clearance, processes, by, EEP and we're hoping that that is approved before before. We arrive in Ethiopia, we. Look forward to the adoption of this manual, as it, will provide a transparent. Best, value approach for, procurement, standards, they'll. Help Ethiopia make good investment, decisions, they're, necessary, to develop a fair and open and free. Market, for us, goods and services. Thanks. Time secretary. Thank, you Jane Tong as. To, the. Translation. Of the manual, I find. It incredible. That all these years have gone by and, people interested in Ethiopian. Government our, government haven't. Kicked in together and, done it how much could have possibly cost I mean. Are we talking hundreds. Of thousands, of dollars millions, of dollars I can't imagine. It's a vast sum. Why. Don't we just get together. Put, a pot, together and do it I think. It's ridiculous, to, have that, kind of a structural, impediment, and just. Complain, about it, and not fix it so let's, start with we're, going to pass the Hat with. Letters to all of you as we get finished here let's. Let's put a kitty together, let's get this thing done, okay. But. The, topic, of, procurement. Is obviously. An important, one for, US companies, three. Out of the ten council. Recommendations. Focus. On procurement, processes in Africa. And I think that's no accident, it's a big dollar item, it's, an item, that needs fixing, and so, I think you're right to focus, on it a transparent. Efficient, and well-functioning. Procurement. Process, is, perhaps the, best tool we have and. For eliminating, corruption in.
Assuring. A level, playing field for, us, come, newse Ethiopia. Has begun, some procurement. Reforms, but, a lot more needs to be done. Commerce's. Commercial, law development, program, does, a lot of expertise. In this area in, USTDA. There's. A key partner. Ethiopia. Is already, a member, of, US TDA's global. Procurement, initiative in. These suggestions, are, very, good follow-on, to, those efforts. We. Reached out, to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia last. August, to, address our concerns and. Before, our trip, I will. Prepare a follow-up, message to, drive the point home to. The new prime minister obey, Ahmed you. Also recommend, that, the government of publicized. Ethiopia's. Improve, procurement. Practices, to, American, companies, and. We're, looking at options for. A tangible, event, focused. On this goal during. Our trip this, is part of what I meant in my introductory. Marksman. Has said there, should be not just fact-finding. But, fact creating. Because. That's, what, will help us communicate, brought. More broadly what's. Going, on. We're. Working closely with African. Ministries, to get actionable. Market, intelligence at, an early stage. Even, before tenders. Are announced, I think that's been one, of our weaknesses. Historically. That. By the time it gets announced somebody, else has had a big head, start, sometimes. Accidentally. A lot of times deliberately. We, have to close the knowledge time gap. When. We will work with interagency. Partners, around the table today we've. Got to ensure we're, providing all the, support, we can so. US, companies, can close deals, so. Those are my responses. To it let's, get tangible. Let's get precise, let's. Get functional. Thank. You Secretary I agree. With you on those points, and. From, your point on the translation, I would say let's hire, some Ethiopian. Law school, interns, it'll keep the cost down and. That. Is a contribution, from, GE. And. You want to say something. Great. So I'd like, to turn our. Recommendations. Over to the next country that will be visiting, which is going to be Kenya, and I'd. Like to turn it over to Andrew Patterson, a fellow resident. Of Nairobi, with me. Thank, You Jane Thank, You Secretary I'm pleased to be here today and, please, be talking about Kenya which is currently our new home for. Bechdel's corporate headquarters for Africa, or, celebrating, a year of setting up our office there and through, that year being. On the ground really does make the difference it's one of the things we've been talking about as, part of attracting. US businesses, is being on the ground being engaged, we've. Had some good traction we've, had a lot of support from the US government from from youth secretary, from Commerce Department, Oh pick, us. X and, State, Department on securing. A contract, to build a new expressway from Nairobi, to Mombasa, we're. Working on closing that financing, and hopefully we'll be in a position during, that trip to, be able to have some type of ceremony to start that project. So. The project is this around 3.8, billion dollars, for. 473. Kilometers, of an expressway and. We hope that this will clearly demonstrate the. American, quality the. Local content engagement, of delivering. A true, international standard, of Road there which. They they desperately, need if anyone's ever spent any time driving.
Around Nairobi, or driving down to the coast which is a death, it, can be a very dangerous situation. So. I'd, like to say thank you for all the support and we hope we were able to make an announcement on that, really. That the framework, of that deal was based around the. Commerce MOU. And with, the direct procurement under, a government-to-government, framework. Which, we talked about in Ethiopia, we're. Going talk about on other countries. And, we'll talk about specifically, about updating it here and I think that's a real testament, to, engaging. Under, an MOU and the work that can come out of that and, we would encourage not, only in Africa but other parts of world for, commerce. In, the US government to engage in these areas some. Specific, recommendations to, get in for the trip, we. Talked about this a little bit last time around local, content requirements and, how they can be a real, obstacles, obviously. Governments, are very focused, on building their capacity with. Their, supply, chains and their skill sets and, this is one of the areas I think the the. Chinese have not, done a good job at and this what gives an opportunity for American, businesses to, do well but, there are challenges when, governments, sometimes overreach. On local, content programs. Including. In in Kenya there can be cases where, you, need to bring in skilled. Labor and and, even, what would be deemed unskilled, labor but people have experience, in the construction industries. To, be able to set up the job get, the job going, manufacturing. Facilities, in, technology, areas and it's quite important, and there's, a lot of restrictive, requirements. In. Kenya, around this areas although, we're able to bring in top managers, like like, Jay I'm sure has no problem getting his visa and Kenya, when. You're looking at larger teams to deliver these projects, it becomes, a bit more complicated and this is an, area of focus that, we would like to talk about, additionally. That they've issued a new procurement act. In 2016. Which, really puts a bias on on Kenyan, companies, securing. Work and. Restricting, the ability in, some cases smaller, American, companies of securing, technologies. Or, supplying. Materials and. Skill sets in Kenya. There's. Also particular. Areas, of carve-outs, that restrict, the, US companies to be able to compete fairly, on this and give us a price advantages, to Kenyan, market of, course we understand, the desire, to build the Kenyan base but, being able to get American, companies, at all levels, small, and big in these 10 and, like such, as Kenya and working with local companies is really, gonna be able to build the local capacity and, skill transfers, that's. A that's an area that we'd like to focus it on. The. Some, of the market barriers are specifically. Around these local contents, the procurement, acts the. Government. Of Kenya and. The president, has set out new objectives. Of the big four and, these big four actually, I'd. Say compliment. For what US businesses, want to do in Kenya, within, the industries, and manufacturing, but some of the specific, big fours is they, want to increase 15 percent of GDP to come from manufacturing, build, over 500,000. Affordable, new houses a hundred. Percent food, and, nutrition. Security and a hundred percent universal. Healthcare this, is an area that I think we, as US companies, can come and help support these big force obviously, the backbone, of the the big four is infrastructure. And energy and having, a reliable, network and hopefully, the expressway. Will start soon and delivering. That will create the opportunity to expand, on these these big force energy. Sector and stability of energy is very important in bringing down those price points so our, recommendation. Is, given, the increase of local, content policies, in, the market access, barriers we'd. Like to see USDA are to engage, with. The Kenyan government and, see, if we can come, up with flexible. Local. Content programs specifically. To support us. Companies coming in to the market, and. Being able to allow us to bring in the right skill sets to be able to deliver these the. Second recommendation is. Around, the MOU it was, a successful, Emmel year in 2015, with. With the new big four objectives with, increased presence from US companies we, think renewing, this this MOU and. Signing an updated, one would be strategically. Important, around. This, highlighting. The benefits of, bringing an OPEC USX, some similar. To the Ethiopia, have specific, targets of, what, can, be included there are things that we can include in local content including, sorry in the MOU such as local content policies, being. Flexible, and. Maybe. Some some areas around the restrict, Shinzon procurement, to. Allow us, smaller US companies, and technologies, to be able to come in and and compete.
The. Third area is, really. The, a Goa is very. Much Kenya. One way and we'd like to see that coming, both ways and the, opportunity. For us, companies to compete more the, delivering, of infrastructure, and energy is critical, to that so. Getting these types of projects such as a highway some. Power projects. We've. Also been discussing gas to power solutions, there these, are the type of things that can create. An environment to, allow, more US companies to come set up operations, there and. Then the fourth area is is to engage with USA agencies. US government agencies, such as opaque US X some USTDA, MCC. USAF. To, collaborate, and work together to. Find solutions for US companies to deliver these infrastructures, and in, addressing, the local content and procurement, issues.