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  • Where

  • McCormick Place Convention Center
    2301 S Lake Shore Dr
    Chicago, Illinois 60616 
    (312) 567-8152 

U.S. Africa Business Summit 2003. ......Photos 1 ...Photos 2

Flashback: African Aviation Conference at U.S. Africa Business Summit in Washington, DC

Panel: Jack Edlow - Moderator (left), *H.E. Levy P. Mwanawasa,, President of Zambia (center), Susan McDermott, Deputy Assistant Secretary (right)

Partnering for the Future
U.S. Opportunities in the Aviation Sector in Africa

Mission Statement : The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, feasibility studies, training, orientation visits and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment.

USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. Operating at the nexus of foreign policy and commerce, USTDA is uniquely positioned to work with U.S. firms and host countries in achieving the agency's trade and development goals. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services

How TDA Operates

TDA funds project planning activities that directly influence the procurement decisions related to major industrial or infrastructure projects in developing and middle-income countries - projects that typically represent millions of dollars in U.S. export potential. From radar for airports in Asia to process controls for refineries in Latin America, hundreds of goods and services are required to implement a project. TDA works to ensure that the services and products needed for projects will be stamped "Made in the U.S.A."

All TDA activities are carried out by U.S. firms. The following is a brief summary of the activities that TDA funds:

ELIGIBLE COUNTRIES - TDA is active in more than 40 nations around the world. At times, statutory, resource, and policy constraints limit the availability of TDA programs in certain nations. Contact us directly to determine the status of TDA assistance.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT - TDA reviews the environmental impact of each project. We will decline funding for projects that have an adverse impact on the environment of the host nation.

EFFECT ON U.S. JOBS - Our program is designed to increase American jobs through increased exports as well as to support the economic development of the host nation. TDA will not fund a project if it develops jobs overseas at the expense of jobs here at home.

WORKING WITH OTHER TRADE PROMOTION AGENCIES - TDA learns of many viable public and private sector projects from the Commerce Department's U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS) and the State Department's economic and commercial officers. We work closely with these agencies to identify projects and gauge the likelihood of their implementation. TDA-funded feasibility studies often are used by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im). Proposals often dovetail with OPIC and Ex-Im requirements.

RELATIONSHIPS WITH FINANCING INSTITUTIONS - TDA maintains trust funds at six multilateral development banks (MDBs): the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank and its private sector arm, the Inter-American Investment Corporation, and the African Development Bank. These funds can be used for technical assistance or feasibility studies. Most are known as "Evergreen Funds." TDA maintains a minimum balance that is available for funding project proposals by U.S. firms or to help U.S. businesses take advantage of time-sensitive projects. Since MDBs finance many of the capital projects in the developing world, TDA's close relationship with them is advantageous for the U.S. business community. In addition to the valuable project information that is gained through the MDBs (which TDA passes on to American firms), working on bank projects ensures that a potential funding source has been identified.

COST SHARING & SUCCESS FEES - Costs associated with feasibility studies of private sector projects are shared between TDA and the U.S. firm developing the project. Cost sharing may also be requested on certain public sector projects. In addition, in private sector projects, co-production agreements, and other appropriate situations, TDA has adopted a policy that requires reimbursement of the agency's investment in the project. This "success fee" is collected when the project is implemented and the U.S. firm involved in the study obtains a "significant economic benefit."

FEASIBILITY STUDIES - TDA's primary tool for getting U.S. firms in on the "ground floor" of major projects abroad is the funding of feasibility studies. Feasibility studies examine the technical, legal, economic, and financial aspects of a development project in the concept stage.

Study grants are signed directly with the host country project sponsor on the condition that an American firm will be selected to perform the study.

When U.S. companies compete in project development, they are likely to be selected when the contracts are awarded to supply goods and services to implement the project.

DEFINITIONAL MISSIONS & DESK STUDIES - Almost all feasibility studies are preceded by either a Definitional Mission or a Desk Study. TDA contracts directly with a small or minority U.S. business to provide preliminary information about a proposed study and project.

Definitional Missions (DMs) are comprised of teams of technical specialists contracted for a short-term visit to a host country. Their task is to gather additional information on the project.

Desk Studies (DSs) also involve information gathering and analysis; however, they do not require overseas travel by the specialist.

Based on the recommendations contained in the definitional mission or desk study, the advice of the U.S. Embassy, TDA's internal analysis, and budget capabilities, the agency decides on funding requests by feasibility studies.

TDA also sponsors conferences and reverse trade missions called "orientation visits." Both of these activities familiarize foreign decision makers with American-made products and services, build business relationships, and encourage U.S. companies to export to developing and middle-income countries.

In certain regions, TDA also funds trade-related training, which enables host country project personnel to receive technical and managerial training when a U.S. firm is selected to implement a project. Technical assistance is funded by TDA in some situations where the complex demands of a given project require expertise that is unavailable from the host country.

Feasibility study on the construction of a cement plant to accommodate Nigeria's enormous growth in government, transportation and civil works projects. Orientation visit Indian telecommunications officials to present upcoming cellular, rural telephony, internet protocol, satellite communications, spectrum management and convergence projects. Training grant to present the U.S. company Radian International's unique method of breaking down solid waste to Lebanese officials eager to clean up the Normandy Landfill. To date, $34 million in exports have been associated with this project. Hosted the Emergency Preparedness for the Americas Conference, which featured 25 major disaster mitigation and preparedness projects from Central and South America. Feasibility study evaluating potential pipeline routes to carry natural gas to Kazakhstans' northern regions. Pilot project to demonstrate cutting-edge internet protocol technology to help Hungarian Railways restructure its communications systems. Feasibility study on the development of a clean petroleum products terminal at Chile's Port of Ventanas.

Contact Information

Questions about TDA? Contact us at or by fax 703-875-4009 or phone 703-875-4357.

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