UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration Washington, D,C, 20230
Dear Member ofthe U.S. Business Community:
It is my pleasure to extend to you an invitation to join a roundtable discussion on the proposed U.S.-East African Community (EAC) Commercial Dialogue under the White House EAC Initiative. The meeting will be hosted by my office, the Market Access and Compliance Unit of the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration on Thursday, February 23, 2012, from 9:00am to 10:00am. It will be held at the U.S. Department of Commerce, which is located at 1401 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room 1414. In addition to Assistant Secretary Michael C. Camufiez chairing the roundtable, schedule permitting, it will include representatives from the United States Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of State.
We have proposed the Commercial Dialogue because of the importance of the EAC and the need for sustained engagement to ensure the best business cl imate for U.S. trade and investment in the region. The EAC brings together 127 million people and links the economies of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi amounting to a combined GOP of $73 billion. The EAC economies are among the fastest growing in the world. In fact, 20 II real growth rates are predicted to surpass those of Russia, Brazil, and the United States combined. EAC Governments are committed to seeing this growth through, as evidenced by their investment in their respective countries as a percent of their GOP, which is higher than that of the United States and Brazil. Additionally, growth is being driven by an increased focus on private sector development and massive investment in infrastructure and human capital.
The goal of the roundtable is to further our dialogue with our vital private sector partners about how best to implement and utilize a U.S.-EAC Commercial Dialogue to achieve our shared goals. Interested members of U.S. companies wi II have the opportunity to hear directly from U.S. Government experts in the region, as well as relate their experiences and views on both a country and regional level. The structure of the Commercial Dialogue will also be on the table for discussion. Finally, we will seek your recommendations regarding a potential agenda for a proposed U.S. regional business forum that is being organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce in Nairobi, Kenya, scheduled for May 2012.
I hope that you can join us.
Office of Africa Market Access and Compliance International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce