Posts Tagged ‘Algeria’

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More from the Libya and Alegeria Trade Mission

February 24, 2010

Nicole Lamb-Hale is Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services.

Saturday, Feb. 20th

After a string of successful meetings in Algeria, I traveled with the companies to Libya, where I was again humbled and inspired by the very warm welcome I received.  This is the first trade mission to Libya since our countries resumed diplomatic relations, and you can sense its historic nature everywhere we go.  All around us, we sense the opportunities for U.S. companies to extend their products and services here.  This emerging market has huge potential and the government has tremendous liquid capital to fund and support programs and partnerships with U.S. businesses.  The Libyan Economic Development Board offered us an overview of the commercial climate and of their interest in infrastructure programs focusing on transportation, communications, housing, utilities, health-care, education and energy/power services.  In Libya, foreign direct investment can be wholly foreign-owned or part of a shared partnership.  However, it is clear the government will support joint partnerships as well as businesses that want to create long-term investments in the country.  I am excited to dig into the details in the days ahead…

Sunday, Feb. 21st

We scheduled over 150 meetings between our companies and various public and private sector partners in the days ahead.  Kudos to the excellent local Commercial Service staff who organized so busy, useful and, ultimately, productive schedule for our trade mission participants!  Most of our meetings are “small group forums,” during which companies from a particular sector meet with local high-level decision makers and government officials who oversee the local development of that sector.  For example, we brought in our companies that build hospitals and create high-tech health-care technologies to meet with the Minister of Health and his team who are modernizing the Libyan health-care industry.   We brought in our military and defense contractors to meet with the Minister of Public Security (sort of a mix of our Interior and Homeland Security Departments) to discuss procurement processes and what our companies could offer in terms of products and training.  Our construction companies met with the Ministry of Housing and Utility Projects…I think you get the idea here, and it is inspiring to see the happy faces on our companies after we facilitate these connections!

Monday, Feb. 22nd

This is my last full day on this trade mission.  While I am excited to return to the United States, I will be missing my new Algerian and Libyan friends, as well as the wonderful people I have met from the U.S. private sector.  I look forward to follow the progress of the new partnerships and new investments we helped jumpstart in North Africa.  While formal meetings can generate many successes, the less formal dinners and receptions at times make for better networking opportunities.  Let me just share one such instance.  At a dinner sponsored by the Libyan Businessmen’s Council, I sat next to the Under Secretary for Economy and Trade, the charming Mr. Sarkez, and we were joined by the CEO of Libyan Airlines.  While discussing Boeing, one of our companies on this mission, my Libyan colleagues became so eager to learn more that they secured new meetings for Boeing with the Minister of Transportation for the following day.  The company’s representatives extended their stay!  Other companies had the same experience.  These fantastic connections that came out of this historic trade mission make me want to stay and do more to promote the development of trade and business…but tomorrow it is back to the USA for me!

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More from the Libya and Algeria Trade Mission

February 24, 2010

Nicole Lamb-Hale is Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services.

Saturday, Feb. 20th

After a string of successful meetings in Algeria, I traveled with the companies to Libya, where I was again humbled and inspired by the very warm welcome I received.  This is the first trade mission to Libya since our countries resumed diplomatic relations, and you can sense its historic nature everywhere we go.  All around us, we sense the opportunities for U.S. companies to extend their products and services here.  This emerging market has huge potential and the government has tremendous liquid capital to fund and support programs and partnerships with U.S. businesses.  The Libyan Economic Development Board offered us an overview of the commercial climate and of their interest in infrastructure programs focusing on transportation, communications, housing, utilities, health-care, education and energy/power services.  In Libya, foreign direct investment can be wholly foreign-owned or part of a shared partnership.  However, it is clear the government will support joint partnerships as well as businesses that want to create long-term investments in the country.  I am excited to dig into the details in the days ahead…

Sunday, Feb. 21st

We scheduled over 150 meetings between our companies and various public and private sector partners in the days ahead.  Kudos to the excellent local Commercial Service staff who organized so busy, useful and, ultimately, productive schedule for our trade mission participants!  Most of our meetings are “small group forums,” during which companies from a particular sector meet with local high-level decision makers and government officials who oversee the local development of that sector.  For example, we brought in our companies that build hospitals and create high-tech health-care technologies to meet with the Minister of Health and his team who are modernizing the Libyan health-care industry.   We brought in our military and defense contractors to meet with the Minister of Public Security (sort of a mix of our Interior and Homeland Security Departments) to discuss procurement processes and what our companies could offer in terms of products and training.  Our construction companies met with the Ministry of Housing and Utility Projects…I think you get the idea here, and it is inspiring to see the happy faces on our companies after we facilitate these connections!

Monday, Feb. 22nd

This is my last full day on this trade mission.  While I am excited to return to the United States, I will be missing my new Algerian and Libyan friends, as well as the wonderful people I have met from the U.S. private sector.  I look forward to follow the progress of the new partnerships and new investments we helped jumpstart in North Africa.  While formal meetings can generate many successes, the less formal dinners and receptions at times make for better networking opportunities.  Let me just share one such instance.  At a dinner sponsored by the Libyan Businessmen’s Council, I sat next to the Under Secretary for Economy and Trade, the charming Mr. Sarkez, and we were joined by the CEO of Libyan Airlines.  While discussing Boeing, one of our companies on this mission, my Libyan colleagues became so eager to learn more that they secured new meetings for Boeing with the Minister of Transportation for the following day.  The company’s representatives extended their stay!  Other companies had the same experience.  These fantastic connections that came out of this historic trade mission make me want to stay and do more to promote the development of trade and business…but tomorrow it is back to the USA for me!

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Libya/Algeria Trade Mission Led by Nicole Lamb-Hale

February 19, 2010

(This post contains external links.  Please review our external linking policy.)

Nicole Lamb-Hale is Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services.

Monday, February 15

It was a great honor and joy to be confirmed by the Senate late Thursday night and sworn in late Friday afternoon to serve as the United States International Trade Administration’s Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services.  And I have hit the ground running!  I left on Sunday evening for my first official assignment – to lead a trade mission to Algeria and Libya.  This important trade mission is not only my first – it is the first one in history for the U.S. government to these two countries.  These exciting hallmark initiatives, as well as the fact that ITA has also placed its first permanent commercial officer in Algeria, demonstrate the importance that the United States places on the trade relationship with North Africa.  U.S. businesses can find tremendous opportunities here, and Algeria and Libya can develop their technology, infrastructure, product availabilities, employment opportunities and overall economy.  I will be joined by 24 companies representing a wide-range of industries – from construction, transportation, and telecommunications, to water purification, aerospace, and medical devices.  Some of the companies are global giants – others are small businesses.  Some are already doing business in these countries, others have never operated in the region at all.  Some are looking for local partners and distributors, others for local government contacts.  Whatever their past or current standing and experience, this diverse group of companies understands the significant potential to increase U.S. exports and investment in the region.  Ever since landing at the Algiers airport this afternoon, I have received a very warm welcome and we are all excited for this historic trade mission.

Tuesday, February 16

My first full day in Algeria has been great.  The highlight of my day was visiting a local “Access School,” a program funded by the U.S. embassy here in Algeria.  This is one of many schools in the country and region where disadvantaged youth, ages 14 – 17, have the opportunity to learn English and develop their leadership and civic skills.  I was so impressed with the students – all of them now speak at least 3 languages (French and Arabic are spoken in Algeria), and they spoke English beautifully.  Even more inspiring than their linguistic abilities were their thoughtful, engaging questions on the commercial and cultural ties between our two countries.  Ranging from questions on the economic recession to the impact of trade, the students offered smart questions and ideas – and it was great prep for the press conference tomorrow! Many of the students were involved with local service projects, and all of the students demonstrated a clear desire to serve their country.  I know the future of Algeria is in good hands with these talented, young leaders.

The remainder of the trade mission participants arrived today, and we have been discussing the various goals of each company – I am excited for our official meetings to begin tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 17

This morning I visited a Pfizer manufacturing plant here in Algiers, representing one of the largest investments made by a firm in the country outside of the hydrocarbon industry.  One of the main goals of the trade mission is to diversify our commercial relationship with Algeria, which currently is dominated by the oil and gas industries.  The plant, which produces a variety of pharmaceutical products, ranging from anti-cholesterol medication to anti-depressants, is managed entirely by Algerians, and the 47 employees generate over $100 million in revenue each year.  Everything about the operation impressed me and every member of the delegation.  In the afternoon, I was honored to meet with His Excellency, Minister of Commerce Djaaboub.  We agreed on the importance and mutual benefits of strengthening and diversifying our trade relationship and creating an environment to attract more foreign investment.  To that end, we agreed to resume the next round of Trade and Investment Framework Agreement talks soon, and we committed to helping them with their goal of joining the WTO.  These goals would make it easier for U.S. companies to invest in the exciting opportunities in this developing and growing market.

Thursday, February  18

Today I had more productive bilateral meetings, speaking with the Ministers of Trade, Foreign Affairs, and Finance, each in their respective ministries.  We discussed how we could strengthen the commercial ties between our countries and make the region attractive for U.S. investment.  Our participating companies are also finding great success in their meetings.  Each of the representatives of the 24 companies is operating on a schedule that we have designed for them individually to help them achieve their goals on the trade mission.  Let me share one of the many success stories that I have already enjoyed hearing: Marco Costalonga is on the trade mission representing Electrolux – the company that makes all of those wonderful washing machines, refrigerators, vacuums, and other household appliances, among many other things.  Electrolux generates about 6 BILLION in sales from U.S. offices alone, and they are here on this mission to find distributors for their products in Algeria.  We set up four meetings today for Marco to meet with local distributors.  He told me that two were very successful, and with very good potential for partnering on their products.  These new distributors would open up the potential for millions of new dollars in sales, according to Marco, while providing the Algerians with high quality, much desired products at home.  These connections and new opportunities are what this trade mission is all about.

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