Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’

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U.S.-Africa Business Success Stories: A Kodak Moment: How the Department of Commerce Brokered a Deal between Eastman Kodak and an Egyptian Bank

July 25, 2014

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

When the Department of Commerce helped Eastman Kodak broker an exporting deal with one of Egypt’s largest state-owned banks, it was a true Kodak moment. American businesses like Kodak are becoming increasingly engaged in exporting to Africa, and the reasons why are clear:

  • Africa has made great strides towards achieving sustainable economic growth and widespread poverty alleviation.
  • Gross domestic product (GDP) in Africa is expected to rise 6 percent per year over the next decade.
  • Africa is set to have a larger workforce than India or China by the year 2040.
  • According to the World Bank, almost half of Africa’s countries have attained middle-income status.

Africa’s potential as the world’s next major economic story is why businesses in the United States, like Kodak, want to offer their products, services, and expertise to help unlock even more of Africa’s potential – and the Obama Administration and Department of Commerce are committed to helping these exporting businesses each step of the way.

Kodak, the company best known for pioneering photographic film products, has been an active client of the nearby Rochester U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC) for decades. This long-standing relationship connected Kodak with one of the largest state-owned banks in Egypt, Banque Misr. When the bank was about to place an order to purchase Kodak Scanners, Banque Misr was told that Kodak had encountered a financial problem not familiar to many outside the U.S.: Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

To better understand Kodak’s financial situation, Banque Misr contacted the U.S. Commercial Service in Egypt, which then contacted the Rochester USEAC. The Rochester USEAC  was able to confirm that Kodak was still operational and headquartered in Rochester. With the help of Tim McCall, a trade specialist in Rochester, and the U.S. Commercial Service, the bank received the proper paperwork and placed an order to Kodak which amounted to roughly $185,000 in export sales.

The Obama Administration and the Department of Commerce believe that Kodak’s and Banque Misr’s example can encourage other U.S. companies to do business in Africa. That is why, last year, President Obama announced the launch of Trade Africa, a partnership between the United States and East African Community (EAC) – Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. Trade Africa aims to increase exports from the EAC to the U.S. by 40 percent, reduce the average time needed to import or export a container from African ports by 15 percent, and decrease by 30 percent the average time a truck takes to transit certain borders, making it easier for businesses on both side of the Atlantic to trade.

Businesses interested in learning more about exporting should contact their local U.S. Export Assistance Center.

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Long Term Opportunities for U.S. Companies in Egypt

April 29, 2013

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

Anne Novak and Nancy Luther are Project Officers for the Department of Commerce’s Trade Mission to Egypt.

Acting Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade Ken Hyatt (center) poses with participants in the Egypt trade mission.

Acting Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade Ken Hyatt (center) poses with participants in the Egypt trade mission.

The April 2013 U.S. Department of Commerce Business Development Mission to Egypt reaffirmed the U.S. private sector’s continued interest in the Egyptian market. Led by Acting Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade Ken Hyatt, the mission built on the positive trade relations between the countries.

After two days of meetings with private sector and governmental counterparts, the U.S. delegation of companies in the alternative energy, infrastructure, and safety and security sectors came away optimistic about long-term commercial and investment opportunities in Egypt.

The largest country in the Arab world with a population of more than 80 million, Egypt has historically been an attractive market for U.S. firms seeking to do business in the region. Long-term prospects remain good; American brands are highly visible, and U.S. products and technology are respected.

The International Trade Administration’s office in Cairo, headed by Regional Senior Commercial Officer Ann Bacher, arranged more than 100 customized business-to-business and business-to-government meetings.

Hyatt also held a range of bilateral meetings with key government officials, including Under Secretary Mohamed Omran of the Ministry of Electricity and Energy, who welcomed more involvement from U.S. companies in power generation projects as well as in technical training on managing power plants.

U.S.-Egyptian cooperation in electrical and solar energy projects was a key topic of discussion throughout the mission. U.S. businesses on the mission—with their innovative technologies and services—are well-positioned to support Egypt’s electrical and alternative energy projects.

This mission opened doors for new business opportunities for U.S. companies and continued Commerce’s efforts to strengthen bilateral economic and commercial relationships with the Egyptian Government.

This is the second group of U.S. businesses Hyatt has led to Egypt over the last seven months. In September 2012 he accompanied a U.S. Chamber of Commerce delegation of more than 50 U.S. companies exploring the Egyptian market.

A trade mission could be a key step to helping your business compete overseas. Your next customers could live in one of the countries we’ll be visiting on an upcoming mission.

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