The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), recently awarded a grant to the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) in Madagascar to boost trade and investment in the region. AMCHAM Madagascar will work with public and private sector stakeholders to increase awareness of export opportunities under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), with the goal of growing exports to reach the level they were before Madagascar lost its AGOA eligibility status. A major component of the grant is an AGOA market access training and knowledge management center project, which will provide exporters with U.S. market requirements and information, and facilitate business linkages.
AGOA Resources Center : The Project
Duration: One year – April 2016 to March 2017
The AGOA Resources Center in Madagascar (ARC-M) will specialize in market access training and knowledge management.
The timing for setting up this center aims to follow the implementation timeframe of the National Development Plan for 2015 to 2019, and is meant as a private sector initiative to help promote trade and competitiveness and ultimately foster economic growth, by sharing strategic export-related information on a large basis.
The center will additionally address the need to quickly lighten the administrative burden to implement the AGOA procedures, with tailored practical training and information sessions directed to administrative agents.
The overall expected outcome is to help achieve the objectives of the National Development Plan of reaching more than an annual export of 500 million USD under AGOA in the coming years. Note that this figure was actually never attained in the years of AGOA in Madagascar, since the best year so far for exports under AGOA was 2004, with about 300 million USD annual exports under AGOA.
- at least 60 exporters sensitized on AGOA Act opportunities
- at least 40 firms trained on custom procedures, and U.S. market access requirements on products from various sectors (textile and apparel, handicraft, specialty food, home decor and jewellry)
- at least 300 subscribers for a quarterly newsletter publishing lead research centers articles on Africa-U.S. trade and AGOA
- at least 5 buyer/seller linkages established in export capacity signed from international Trade Show.