U.S. Chamber Joins Congressional Delegation for Business Council Launch in South Africa

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - 7:00pm

Solidifies U.S. Business Community’s Commitment to Investment in Southern Africa

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s U.S.-South Africa Business Council joined with a congressional delegation led by Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) for the Business Council’s South African launch in Johannesburg today.  This week, the Chamber’s Vice President of African Affairs and International Operations Scott Eisner and members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives are meeting with senior government and business representatives to explore opportunities to expand the commercial relationship between the two countries.  The Business Council’s U.S. launch took place in Washington, DC in December 2012.

“This week’s events further formalize the commitment of the American business community to long-term growth and investment in the economies of southern Africa,” said Eisner. “U.S. companies understand that they are late to join their counterparts from Europe and Asia in recognizing the opportunities that exist here, but that only serves to make our commitment now more deliberate and vigorous than ever before.”

Eisner joins U.S. Senators Coons and Jonny Isakson (R-GA) and U.S. Representatives Karen Bass (D-CA) and Terri Sewell (D-AL) in a joint business and government delegation trip, highlighting the importance of South Africa as the economic hub for the entire southern region of the continent.

The Business Council will work to expand the commercial relationship between the two countries, and highlight the critical role that South Africa plays in America’s commercial interests on the continent.

The Council will focus on a growth agenda by advancing policies in Washington that support trade with Africa; sustaining a dialogue between the U.S., South Africa and the Southern African Development Countries on a trade and investment initiative; pushing for continued clarity and increased consistency on the scoring of the equity equivalency requirement of Black Economic Empowerment; protecting intellectual property rights as a foundation for investment; and working to ease labor broker laws to allow American companies to hire temporary workers for projects that support growth in South Africa.

The Chamber, the Business Council and the broader American business community hope to jumpstart increased bilateral trade and outperform other countries already investing in the region by offering superior goods and services to the growing economy in South Africa.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.