U.S. Chamber Launches West African Business Initiative

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - 3:00pm

Initiative Aims to Drive Trade Between U.S. and ECOWAS Community

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched today the U.S.-ECOWAS Business Initiative (USEBI), which will serve as a trade and advocacy coalition created through a partnership between the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). USEBI will aim to promote trade and strengthen economic and commercial ties between the United States and ECOWAS.

“We applaud West African public and private sector leadership, the ECOWAS commission, and the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce & Industry for the implementation of the existing policies that promote competitiveness and enable an environment for investing,” said Scott Eisner, vice president of African Affairs at the U.S. Chamber. “The launch of USEBI is the next step in fully implementing harmonizing policies to increase investment interests in the region.”

“Improved connectivity and infrastructure amongst African countries—like superior rail, air, and water transportation systems—will set the stage for U.S. businesses to engage in key sectors that will drive economic growth in those countries in a mutually beneficial manner,” added Eisner.

USEBI is a bilateral organization composed of American and West African companies engaged in increasing two-way trade, removing or reducing commercial barriers, fostering a better understanding of respective investment climates. USEBI intends to accomplish these objectives by developing policies in concert with relevant arms of West African and U.S. governments, along with ECOWAS participating members.

The initiative will focus on advocating for trade agreements, removing obstacles to trade and investment opportunities, launching policy-driven initiatives to promote bilateral trade and foreign direct investment, and strengthening U.S-ECOWAS cooperation on energy.

International trade and investment are key components of the Chamber’s 2015 American Jobs, Growth, and Opportunity Agenda, an ambitious plan to help revitalize the American economy, create jobs, spur growth, and lift incomes.

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. Its International Affairs division includes more than 70 regional and policy experts and 25 country- and region-specific business councils and initiatives. The U.S. Chamber also works closely with 117 American Chambers of Commerce abroad.