East Africa Trade Mission 2019
Multi-Sector + Travel & Tourism
KENYA. RWANDA. ETHIOPIA. | JANUARY 20 – FEBRUARY 1, 2019
13 Days | 3 Countries | B2B Meetings
The World Trade Center Arkansas is launching a multi-sector mission with an emphasis on travel and tourism to position Arkansas as a leader in this new frontier. Upon registration, the World Trade Center Arkansas will conduct research for participating companies to determine potential business opportunities and arrange business-to-business meetings for each segment of this trade mission. Please complete the Interest Form on their website to begin the registration process.
Kenya is the economic, financial, and transport hub of East Africa. Kenya’s real GDP growth has averaged over 5% for the last decade. While Kenya has a growing entrepreneurial middle class and steady growth, agriculture remains the backbone of the Kenyan economy, contributing to one-third of GDP.
Tourism also holds a significant place in Kenya’s economy and in spite of political turmoil throughout the second half of 2017, tourism was up 20 percent, showcasing the strength of this sector.
Rwanda and Arkansas have a strong framework for cooperation built by the successful endeavors of global business leaders from Arkansas. These endeavors include elevating coffee farmers out of poverty, creating sustainable agriculture practices to fight the food crisis and developing human capital to fight brain drain.
Rwanda President Paul Kagame took the input of these leaders to establish business reforms, taking a strong stance to end corruption, to ensure the equal application of the rule of law and to create a beneficial tax and regulatory environment for businesses.
These reforms and the partnership with Arkansas leaders means that our state is in a favorable position to do business in Rwanda and this segment of the tourism and travel mission intends to utilize that relationship.
Ethiopia – the second most populous country in Africa – is a one-party state with a planned economy. For more than a decade before 2016, GDP grew at a rate between 8% and 11% annually – one of the fastest growing states among the 188 IMF member countries. This growth was driven by government investment in infrastructure, as well as sustained progress in the agricultural and service sectors. More than 70% of Ethiopia’s population is still employed in the agricultural sector, but services have surpassed agriculture as the principal source of GDP.
The banking, insurance, telecommunications, and micro-credit industries are restricted to domestic investors, but Ethiopia has attracted roughly $8.5 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI), mostly from China, Turkey, India and the EU; US FDI is $567 million. Investment has been primarily in infrastructure, construction, agriculture/horticulture, agricultural processing, textiles, leather and leather products.