The U.S. Secretary of Commerce will lead an Infrastructure Business Development Mission to Brazil, Colombia and Panama that will highlight export opportunities for U.S. businesses in a broad range of infrastructure related sectors: project management and engineering services (including construction, architecture and design); transportation (including road/highways, railways, airports and intelligent transportation systems); energy (including distribution, transmission and smart grid); and safety and security. This mission advances the 2010 launch of President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which aims to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014, supporting economic and job growth.
An Incredible Business Opportunity
While a number of U.S. companies have been successful in Latin America, the U.S. Department of Commerce recognizes that some companies need assistance negotiating the foreign markets to take advantage of the great opportunities that exist. The mission will assist U.S. businesses in initiating or expanding exports to region by making business-to-business introductions, providing market access information, and facilitating access to government decision makers.
Zambia is a politically stable, multi-party democracy, rich in natural resources. Zambia has a population of approximately 13 million with a growing middle class, particularly in urban areas. Its relatively open economy has averaged more than six percent real GDP growth over the past eight years and was ranked one of the fastest growing economies in the world in a recent report by The Economist magazine.
Exporting is good for American business, good for American workers and good for American jobs. Ninety-five percent (95%) of the world’s customers lie outside the United States and Minority Business Development Agency is committed to working with U.S. companies to help American-made goods and services succeed in the global market.
Minority businesses have a competitive advantage in global trade based on their cultural ties, language skills and nimbleness. The 2007 Survey of Business Owners reveals that among firms with export sales representing 20 percent or more of their overall receipts, minority-owned businesses are twice as likely to export compared to non-minority firms. In addition, minority firms are more than three times as likely to have businesses generating 100 percent of all their sales in exports compared to non-minority respondent firms. This finding is quite substantial because it can support the Administration’s goal of doubling the nation’s exportsby the end of 2014. Minority businesses can play an important role in meeting that goal through exports.