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U.S. Chief Agricultural Negotiator Islam Siddiqui Speaks at CEO Roundtable in Kansas City , MO as part of 2010 AGOA Forum

Today U.S. Chief Agricultural Negotiator Islam Siddiqui spoke at the CEO roundtable entitled, “Agribusiness: Successfully Linking Value Chains for Trade and Investment” in Kansas City , Missouri . Ambassador Siddiqui’s participation in the AGOA conference in Kansas City highlights the Office of the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) efforts to increase agricultural trade between the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa, as well as U.S. investment in Africa ’s agricultural sector.

The CEO roundtable was a discussion between U.S. and African business leaders and government officials about opportunities for U.S. businesses to invest in sub-Saharan Africa , as well as for African businesses to export their goods to American markets. Ambassador Siddiqui was one of the featured speakers. He noted that sub-Saharan countries have continued to export millions of dollars of agricultural products to the United States under AGOA and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program even in the midst of a global recession. However, Ambassador Siddiqui also observed that AGOA-eligible countries can do more to make the most of AGOA and other global trade opportunities and should continue efforts to enhance their agricultural productivity. Other speakers included Zambian Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Felix Mutati and former Ugandan Minister of Finance Ezra Sabiti Suruma.

AGOA provides duty-free access into the United States for nearly all African agricultural products. In 2009, the U.S. imported $290 million worth from African countries under AGOA and GSP.

Ambassador Siddiqui at CEO Roundtable in Kansas City, MO