The USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (the Hub) promotes two-way trade with the U.S. under AGOA and facilitates investment and innovative technologies to drive East African trade growth intra-regionally and to global markets. The Hub is helping Madagascar rediscover the U.S. market through AGOA.
In June 2014, in anticipation AGOA-eligibility reinstatement, the Hub teamed up with Madagascar’s free-trade zone partners to lead the workshop, “How To Approach the U.S. Market: Opportunities for Madagascar.” Immediately following Madagascar’s AGOA-eligibility reinstatement, the Hub wrote a Madagascar National AGOA Strategy to support Malagasy firms leverage AGOA opportunities.
The Hub now works with public and private sector stakeholders to increase awareness of export opportunities under AGOA. The goal: reach or surpass Madagascar’s previous level of exports through AGOA. The Hub does this through AGOA preparedness workshops and through its partnership grant with the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) in Madagascar. A major component of the grant is an AGOA market access training and knowledge management center, which provides exporters with U.S. market requirements and information, and facilitates business linkages.
In 2015, the Hub supported 20% of Madagascar’s $43M in exports through AGOA. The Malagasy government estimates that AGOA reinstatement has helped create 26,600 new jobs, in part, thanks to the Hub. The Hub captured the sourcing and investment opportunities that Madagascar provides in a short, professional video. The Hub shows the video to potential buyers at trade shows and shares the video with the wider cotton, textile and apparel industry. The premiere trade publication for apparel and textile executives, Sourcing Journal, has featured the Hub’s video in its updates.