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USAID conducts Origin Africa campaign in Asia & Europe
Nov '12
The COMPETE Trade Hub recently returned from a high-profile Origin Africa awareness and market linkages campaign in Europe and Asia. The Trade Hub participated in three international trade shows and organized Origin Africa Pavilions in the home décor and fashion accessories sector at the Tendence show in Frankfurt, Germany (August); the Ethical Fashion Show in Paris, France (September); and  Interstoff Asia Essential in Hong Kong (October). 

Ten companies from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania exhibited their products, securing orders worth $200,000 and gaining many new accounts:  Eileen Fisher, Anthropologie, Edun and Red Cats are a few of the companies that have recently established business relationships with Trade Hub beneficiaries.

In Frankfurt, the Trade Hub participated in a Premium Quality – Sourcing Made in Africa symposium in collaboration with Messe Frankfurt and Africa Chic. The Trade Hub gave a presentation on home fashion trends, and Trade Hub Director, Finn Holm-Olsen, spoke about Origin Africa and its initiatives to help beneficiary African companies capture niche markets.

The Trade Hub’s participation in Interstoff Asia Essential exposed companies from East Africa to prominent Hong-Kong based buyers, including the sourcing offices of many premier U.S. apparel companies.  This activity built upon a first intervention at Interstoff in March 2012. 

The Trade Hub also delivered a Symposium: “Evolving Africa - Duty Free Access to the US Market for Fabrics and Garments”, which reinforced opportunities under AGOA’s third-country fabric provision that was recently extended until September 30, 2015. 

Outreach and market linkages in Hong Kong fills an important but largely untapped activity for African apparel exporters - both in terms of accessing the U.S. market under AGOA and diversifying its own sourcing options for textiles and other inputs, which the recent extension of the third country fabric provision affords.

Since 2009, the Trade Hub has facilitated nearly $100 million in exports to the U.S. under AGOA. Through its Origin Africa campaign, the Trade Hub is changing perceptions about Africa and demonstrating that innovation and creativity are an integral part of Africa’s future.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) East Africa COMPETE program is intended to increase food security and economic growth in East and Central Africa. The project has three integrated components designed to: Reduce barriers to regional and international trade; Facilitate the efficiency and competitiveness of key value chains; Ramp-up trade and investment between the United States and East Africa.

United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

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