Afghanistan – Walter Koenig, Senior Commercial Officer

Market Overview & Opportunities

The Government of Afghanistan (GIRoA), with significant donor support, is improving the country’s physical infrastructure and is committed to providing more basic services and humanitarian assistance to its growing population. The international community remains committed to Afghanistan's development, pledging more than $67 billion at nine donor conferences between 2003 and 2010. In July 2012, donors at the Tokyo Conference pledged an additional $16 billion in civilian aid through

2015, and sustaining support, through 2017, at or near levels of the past decade to respond to the fiscal gap as estimated by the World Bank and the Afghan Government.

Business opportunities are largely driven by Afghanistan's need to renovate its infrastructure. Substantial opportunities for U.S. firms have typically been linked to military spending, donor and international finance institutions (IFIs), including the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, that fund reconstruction efforts. Companies are advised to monitor donor and IFI programs for current potential opportunities.

The security economy generates significant demand for goods and services, equipment and operations and maintenance of the national army and police forces.

Afghanistan is working to achieve compliant status in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) by October 10, 2014. The Afghanistan Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (AEITI), under the Afghan Ministry of Finance, is funded by the World Bank and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). Should Afghanistan attain EITI compliance by the 2014 deadline, it will send a strong, positive signal to potential mining investors. The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum plans to offer several new minerals tenders, of varying scale, for bidding by investors over the next few years, following the long-awaited passage of an investor-friendly Minerals Law.

Commercial Sectors (in-depth market research provided at link below)

  • Construction Services
  • Construction Materials
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation and Logistics
  • Mining and Power
  • Labor-intensive Manufacturing
  • Opportunities and Resources

Agricultural Sectors

  • Dried Fruits and Nuts
  • Dairy Products
  • Skins and Leather
  • Meat Processing
  • Cotton and Sugar
  • Mills and Baking
  • Non-traditional Products
  • Processing and Packaging
  • Cold Storage and Transportation

Source: CCG & Chapter 4: Best Prospects for U.S. Exports

Algeria – Kamal Achab, Commercial Specialist

Market Overview & Opportunities

U.S. exporters can find substantial opportunities in Algeria if they have effective Algerian agent or distributor to help translate these opportunities into sales. U.S. companies dominate Algeria‘s oil and gas sector.

The United States enjoys a positive image in the Algerian market. U.S. goods and services are respected for high quality and U.S. companies are well regarded for their after-sales service. The country‘s agricultural production is far below demand, and Algeria continues to import large volumes of bulk agricultural products and packaged foodstuffs.

Algeria’s significant consumer base of 37 million people and its hydrocarbon wealth offer U.S. exporters significant sales opportunities in consumer goods, high technology, and construction services.

Commercial Sectors (in-depth market research provided at link below)

  • Oil and Gas - Hydrocarbons
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Public Works, Infrastructure Development, and Water Resources
  • Healthcare

Source: CCG & Chapter 4: Best Prospects for U.S. Exports

Angola – Jim Wilson, Senior Coordinator for Trade Promotion and Commercial Affairs Office of Economic and Policy Staff, Bureau of African Affairs

Market Overview & Opportunities

Angola is currently the second largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa, with average production in 2012 of 1.75 million barrels per day. Angola joined OPEC in 2007, but OPEC quotas have not significantly limited Angola’s production. Some offshore blocks are well established, such as Block 0 operated by Chevron, while production from other blocks began after 2005. Angola’s future oil production will come from deepwater and ultra-deepwater blocks and in the mid-term, may come from off-shore pre-salt oil and new onshore fields. Its current production capacity is estimated at 1.8 million barrels per day.

Commercial Sectors

  • OIL/GAS FIELD MACHINERY (OGM) / OIL, GAS, MINERAL PROD/EXPLOR

SERV. (OGS)

  • MINING INDUSTRY EQ. (MIN)
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQ. (TEL)
  • FINANCIAL SERV. (FNS)
  • COMPUTERS/PERIPHERALS (CPT)
  • AUTOS/LIGHT TRUCKS/VANS (AUT)

Agricultural Sectors

  • AGRICULTURAL MACH. & EQ. (AGM)

Source: CCG & Chapter 4: Best Prospects for U.S. Exports

Egypt - Ann Bacher, Senior Commercial Officer

Market Overview & Opportunities

Egypt has traditionally been an attractive market for U.S. firms thanks to its unique mix of demographics and commercial links to the broader world, strategic location and a demonstrated ability to innovate and compete in global markets. Egypt remains the third largest export market for U.S. products and services in the Middle East. Globally, Egypt is the 42nd largest export market for the U.S. with bilateral trade reaching $8.48 billion in 2012.

The U.S. is Egypt’s second largest trading partner and the second largest foreign investor after the U.K. Roughly two-thirds of total U.S. investment is in the oil and gas sector, but also includes investment in areas such as consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, automobile production, franchises and financial services. Egypt is a significant importer of American agricultural commodities, machinery, and equipment.

Egypt is a major oil and gas producer and investment needs in power infrastructure remain substantial. Significant sectors of interest to U.S. companies include: construction, architectural and engineering services, healthcare, telecommunications, water and waste water, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, renewable energy, education and training services, electric power generation, port and shipbuilding equipment, consumer goods and safety and security equipment. Consumer goods provide the highest profit margins for U.S. companies at this time.

Commercial Sectors (in-depth market research provided at link below)

  • Architecture/Construction/Engineering Services
  • Education/Training Services
  • Electrical Power Systems
  • Medical Equipment
  • Port Shipbuilding Equipment
  • Renewable Energy Equipment
  • Security and Safety Equipment
  • Telecommunications Equipment
  • Water Equipment Resources and Service

Agricultural Sectors

  • Dairy
  • Red Meats
  • Tree Nuts

Source: CCG & Chapter 4: Best Prospects for U.S. Exports

Ethiopia – Shannon Cazeau, Political & Economic Officer

Market Overview & Opportunities

With a population of over 90 million, a growing middle-class, urban consumer base, and an overall GDP growth of between 8% and 12% between 2005 – 2013, Ethiopia offers a wide range of long-term investment and business opportunities.

A central driver of this economic growth, the Government of Ethiopia is heavily involved in the country's economic development, guided by its 5-year development plan, the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP). The GTP development goals focus on improving the quality of social services and infrastructure, ensuring macro-economic stability and enhancing productivity in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. The GTP also puts a significant emphasis on developing local production to lessen Ethiopia’s dependency on imported goods.

Given the ambitious economic growth targets, Ethiopia is actively seeking significant inflows of foreign investment. Pertinent to foreign investors, these goals have translated into:

  • Telecommunications, rail and road expansion projects forecasted to improve in-country logistics by 2015;
  • Extensive alternative energy projects (including hydro, wind, solar and geothermal) to increase total available energy supply for domestic use and export;
  • The establishment of special industry zones and tax advantages for manufacturing facilities;
  •  Improved foreign investment registration processes, including a "one stop window" at the Ethiopian Investment Agency.

While some sectors remain restricted to Ethiopian nationals, areas of high potential growth include export-oriented sectors such as textiles/garments, leather/leather products, cut flowers, fruits and vegetables, and agro-processing. Construction, aviation, and health will also continue to be important growth sectors in the coming years.   

Commercial Sectors

  • Renewable Energy
  • Road Construction
  • Tourism
  • Telecommunications
  • Aviation

Source: CCG & Chapter 4: Best Prospects for U.S. Exports

Ghana - Paul Taylor, Senior Commercial Officer

Market Overview & Opportunities

Wealthy with natural resources, Ghana has roughly twice the per capita output of the poorest countries in West Africa. Even so, Ghana remains heavily dependent on international financial and technical assistance. Gold and cocoa production and individual remittances are major sources of foreign exchange. The domestic economy continues to revolve around agriculture, which accounts for about 43 percent of GDP and employs about 55 percent of the work force, mainly small landholders.

With the 2007 confirmed discovery of commercially viable offshore oil reserves in Ghana (Jubilee Field) and production which begun in December 2010, there has been increased international interest in the Ghanaian market on the part of both oil and gas and auxiliary services sectors – as well as companies from unrelated sectors anticipating future economic growth in the country. Further oil and gas exploration continues and optimism is high for further discoveries.

As oil and gas production flourishes, opportunities for auxiliary services to the industry are increasingly on the rise. Although Nigeria remains the sectorial hub for West Africa, the relative ease of doing business in Ghana combined with relatively pleasant living conditions, may attract a greater number of companies to establish a local presence in the market.

The mining sector, particularly gold, as well as bauxite, manganese and diamonds, are a significant part of the Ghanaian economy. Goods and services to this sector represent a significant opportunity for U.S. companies. The Ghanaian government is also hoping to encourage the expansion of local value added processing.

The Ghanaian construction industry keeps growing with major construction activities in the roads, highways and bridges sectors, coastal works and residential accommodation. Construction equipment, particularly re-conditioned equipment, is likely to continue to be a promising sub-sector.

Liberalization of the telecommunications sector by the government has brought about significant growth. Popular imports include switching and transmission equipment, telephone and fax machines, radio and television equipment and cellular telephones.

Commercial Sectors (in-depth market research provided at link below)

  • Oil and Gas Industry
  • Energy Sector
  • Telecommunications
  • Automobiles/Light Trucks/Vans
  • Construction and Earth Moving Equipment
  • Mining Industry Equipment

Agricultural Sectors

  • Rice
  • Wheat
  • Poultry

Source: CCG & Chapter 4: Best Prospects for U.S. Exports

India - Camille Richardson, Senior Commercial Officer

Market Overview & Opportunities

The Republic of India is one of the world’s most politically-active democracies and the tenth largest economy. It is the third largest Asian economy after China and Japan. Among the major emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS), India ranks second in terms of economic growth with the IMF forecasting a GDP growth rate of 5.7 percent for 2013. It is the second most populous country in the world with approximately thirty percent of its 1.2 billion inhabitants residing in urban areas. India's industrialized economy encompasses diverse manufacturing sectors (steel production, oil and gas refining, auto, plastics, textiles) that contribute just 18 percent to a GDP that also includes traditional village farming, agriculture, and handicrafts. The services sector, especially information technology, continues to be the major source of economic growth. Services account for more than half of India's GDP output and employ less than one third of its labor force, currently estimated to be 471 million workers, making it the second biggest workforce on the planet.

India is the 18th largest export market for U.S. goods. Led by civil aircraft, engines, equipment and parts, U.S. goods exports to India in 2012 reached $22.3 billion, up 3.9 percent from the previous year. Preliminary data show that U.S. exports of private commercial services (i.e., excluding military and government sales) to India stood at $12 billion in 2012

Commercial Sectors (in-depth market research provided at link below)

  • Defense and Civil Aviation
  • Education Services
  • Environment and Water
  • Franchising
  • Healthcare and Medical Equipment
  • Transportation Infrastructure (Roads, Ports, Railways)
  • Mining and Mineral Processing Equipment
  • Plastics
  • Power and Renewable Energy
  • Travel and Tourism

 

Agricultural Sectors

  • Cotton
  • Tree Nuts and Dry Fruits
  • Wood Products
  • Fresh Fruits
  • Pulses
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Planting Seeds
  • Snack Foods
  • Hides and Skins

Source: CCG & Chapter 4: Best Prospects for U.S. Exports

 

Iraq - Keith Curtis, Senior Commercial Officer

Market Overview & Opportunities

Under the 2013-2017 National Development Plan adopted by the Council of Ministers in May 2013, Iraq hopes to mobilize approximately $400 billion in investment over the next five years. Priority sectors include oil, electricity, agriculture, transportation, telecom, education, health care, construction, and the industrial sector. Non-oil sector growth will be dependent on the reconstruction and development of decrepit infrastructure throughout the country. Improving electricity generation capacity, which currently stands at around two-thirds of estimated demand, is critical to non-oil sector growth.

The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research is funding 10,000 graduate scholarships. As of 2012, approximately 850 Iraqi students registered at U.S. educational institutions, about double from just two years earlier.

Over the next five to ten years, the total export value for the Iraqi defense market is estimated to be $10 billion. With the departure of the U.S. military, Iraq urgently needs to close its gaps in Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.

The government’s 2012 budget increased funding for the Ministry of Electricity (MOE) by over 30%. Of the $5.6 billion provided to the MOE, more than 70 percent is for capital investments. Even greater sums are expected to be spent in 2013.

In the transport sector, the government has announced plans to develop several new railway lines including cross-border links to Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Kuwait and Iran. The government also plans to double Baghdad’s airport capacity and build a number of new facilities, such as the Middle-Euphrates airport, to serve Karbala and Najaf. The government is planning to upgrade existing roads.

Commercial Sectors (additional information provided at link below)

  • Oil and Gas Equipment & Services
  • Defense Sales
  • Health Care, Medical Equipment & Supplies
  • Construction and Engineering Services
  • Education and Training Services
  • Telecoms
  • Transportation

 

Agricultural Sectors

  • Wheat
  • Rice
  • Poultry
  • Planting Seeds

Source: CCG & Chapter 4: Best Prospects for U.S. Exports

Israel - Maria Andrews, Senior Commercial Officer

Market Overview & Opportunities

The U.S. is Israel's largest single country trade partner. Since signing a Free Trade Agreement in 1985, Israel–US trade has grown eight-fold. Since 1995 nearly all trade tariffs between the U.S. and Israel have been eliminated.

Hi-tech and defense dominate Israel's trade numbers, and Israel remains a global center for hi-tech design and R&D. Hi-tech continues to provide opportunities for U.S.-Israel commercial partnerships, specifically in ICT technologies, safety and security equipment and services, natural gas and renewable energy technologies, defense equipment, medical technologies and biotechnology products. Power generation and education/training also represent other good opportunities.

U.S.-Israeli commercial linkages often consist of U.S. firms providing electronic inputs which Israeli firms integrate into final products that are often re-exported, and vice versa.

Road technology and infrastructure projects could offer millions of dollars’ worth of export opportunities for U.S. firms over the next five years, especially since Israel adopted U.S. standards in intelligent transportation systems.

Commercial Sectors (in-depth market research provided at link below)

  • Automotive Aftermarket Parts and Equipment
  • Electronic Components
  • Electricity
  • Homeland Security
  • Intelligent Transportation Systems
  • Medical Equipment
  • Telecommunications
  • Travel & Tourism

Source: CCG & Chapter 4: Best Prospects for U.S. Exports

Jordan - Geoff Bogart Senior Commercial Officer

Market Overview & Opportunities

Jordan is strategically positioned at the crossroads of the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region, centrally located between Europe, Asia, and Africa. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is only one of two Arab countries to have signed a peace agreement with Israel, and in 2001, it became the first Arab country to sign a Free Trade Agreement with the United States. The U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which came into full effect in 2010, continues to create advantages for U.S. exporters, who are able to sell high-quality products at more attractive prices, as tariff barriers on the majority of goods traded between the United States and Jordan have been eliminated. Because of the FTA, bilateral trade has surged ten-fold over the past 13 years.

Regionally, Jordan remains a haven of stability for business interests and serves as a business hub in the region.  Jordan has strong, cooperative relations with its neighbors and the wider international business community.  Imports into Jordan include: mineral fuels and crude oil, industrial machinery, transportation equipment, food and agricultural products, textiles, manufactured goods such as rubber products, paper and cardboard, yarns, chemicals, clothing and footwear. 

Jordan is beginning to invest heavily in alternative and renewable energy, including wind and solar. The renewable energy market for equipment and services is around $40 million and the U.S. share is five percent. The energy sector, particularly power generation, municipal gas systems, and oil shale development, are key sectors of growth.

ICT sector is the fastest growing sector in Jordan’s economy with a 25 percent growth rate.  The sector accounts for more than 84,000 jobs, contributing 14 percent of the GDP.  There are 400 companies in telecom, IT, online and mobile content, business outsourcing, and games development.  

Opportunities abound in e-health, with current pilot programs in three hospitals and a model based on electronic health solutions. Medical tourism is beginning to draw large numbers of patients to Jordan as a growing medical destination.    

Commercial Sectors (in-depth market research provided at link below)

  • Healthcare Technology and Medical Devices
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Renewable Energy
  • Safety and Security Equipment
  • Green Build
  • Environment Technologies
  • Agricultural Sectors

Source: CCG & Chapter 4: Best Prospects for U.S. Exports

Kenya - Chip Peters, Senior Commercial Officer

Market Overview & Opportunities

Kenya is the dominant economy in Eastern Africa. GDP reached USD 40 billion in 2012, a 10 percent increase over USD 35.8 billion in 2011. Given its position as the economic, commercial, and logistical hub of East Africa, private equity capital is now flowing into Kenya, and more U.S. companies are investing in Kenya and setting up local and regional operations to take advantage of Kenya’s strategic location, comprehensive air routes, and status as a regional financial center.

In ICT, the computer and peripherals industry remains one of the fastest growing business sectors in Kenya. Kenya imports 100% of its computers and peripherals. American built computers are available and popular in the market with brands such as Dell, HP and Apple being clearly visible. According to Business Monitor International (BMI), Kenya’s telecoms market is one of the most dynamic and rapidly growing in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Energy presents major opportunities across various subsectors as the government seeks to meet rising demand and fuel Kenya’s economic growth prospects. One of the areas of particular opportunity for foreign suppliers includes renewable energy such as wind and geothermal energy. The government is also focused on developing the geothermal potential in the country with a 10-year US$2.6bn geothermal exploration plan that will involve sinking 566 wells in the Rift Valley.

Construction and infrastructure development will also present new opportunities, especially with the passage of the new public-private partnership (PPP) law which will make government procurements more transparent and less risky. According to industry analysts, increased government spending on major infrastructure projects in the country and lending to the private sector for real estate development boosted activity in the construction sector in 2012 and leading to an expansion of 9.6% in real terms. Across the period 2013-2016, the sector is anticipated to realize an average annual growth rate of 8.8%.

Consumer Lifestyle Reports in Kenya have noted increased consumer expenditure, on eating, drinking habits and shopping especially among the urban population, as a result of growing disposable income.

Commercial Sectors (in-depth market research provided at link below)

  • Construction Equipment (CON)
  • Aircraft and Aircraft Parts (AIR)
  • Telecommunications Equipment (TEL)
  • Computers and Peripherals (CPT)
  • Medical Equipment (MED)
  • Electrical Power Systems (ELP)
  • Agricultural Chemicals (ELP)

Agricultural Sectors

  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Rice, Rough
  • Animal Genetics
  • Sugar

Source: CCG & Chapter 4: Best Prospects for U.S. Exports

Kuwait - Dao Le, Senior Commercial Officer

Market Overview & Opportunities

Kuwait is situated in the northwestern corner of the Arabian Peninsula, at the head of the Arabian Gulf. Bordered to the north and west by Iraq, to the south and west by Saudi Arabia and to the east by the Arabian Gulf, Kuwait occupies a strategic position in this vital region. Kuwait is a member of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Kuwait’s economy is dominated by the oil industry and government sector. The country’s crude oil reserves are estimated at nearly 105 billion barrels, approximately 9% of the world’s reserves, and account for nearly half of Kuwait’s GDP, 95% of export revenues, and 90% of government income. Given that oil is the country’s main natural resource, Kuwait’s industries are dominated by oil refining and downstream petrochemical processing.

Kuwait imports most of its capital equipment, processed foods manufacturing equipment, and consumer goods. The U.S. remains a leading and strategic partner of Kuwait. As Kuwaitis frequently travel to and have studied in the United States, Americans and their products receive one of the warmest welcomes in the Middle East in this small economic powerhouse. Although Kuwaitis are extremely price-conscious, they are also avid consumers.

The traditional export sectors of automotive, oil and gas, computers/ITC, telecommunications equipment and construction equipment remain strong. The Ministry of Education is revising curriculum for primary and secondary schools, there is a shortage of high quality health care facilities, and most building materials are imported. All these factors bode well for high-end exports that already have GCC exposure.

The U.S. Commercial Service in Kuwait has identified other project opportunities coming on board over the next years. These projects include a multi-billion dollar investment in homeland security infrastructure, a proposed $10 billion expansion in needed electricity generation capacity, investment in environment cleanup projects, and continued expansion in the lucrative logistics market serving U.S. military forces in the Middle East.

Transportation equipment (including automobiles, auto parts and accessories) accounted for 1/3 of the $2.7 billion U.S. exports in 2011. U.S. high-end medical equipment has great promise in Kuwait, as private clinics and hospitals are upgraded. Oil and gas field equipment, electric generator sets, building materials and supplies, aircraft and parts, and information technology are also leading American export sectors. The Kuwait Petroleum Company and its subsidiaries are actively pursuing new U.S. sources for equipment and service products.

Commercial Sectors (in-depth market research provided at link below)

  • Oil Field Equipment and Services
  • Automobiles, Light Trucks, Vans and Utility Vehicles
  • Automotive Parts and Supplies
  • Education and Training
  • Medical and Surgical Equipment
  • Homeland Security Infrastructure, Equipment and Services
  • Environmental Technologies and Services
  • Information Communication Technology
  • Building and Construction Equipment

Source: CCG & Chapter 4: Best Prospects for U.S. Exports

Lebanon - Naaman Tayyar, Commercial Specialist

Market Overview & Opportunities

In 2012, the United States is ranked as Lebanon’s number one trading partner ahead of Italy, China, France and Germany. According to Lebanese Customs statistics, major U.S. exports to Lebanon were mineral fuel and oil ($1.498 billion), vehicles ($218 million), machinery and electrical instruments ($170 million), products of chemical industries (154 million), prepared foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco ($71 million), and vegetable products ($39 million).

The U.S. Government has signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with the Government of Lebanon to help promote an attractive investment climate, expand trade relations, and remove obstacles to trade and investment between the two countries. Since 1999, Lebanon has had observer status at the World Trade Organization (WTO). In 2006, Lebanon signed an association agreement with the European Union.

The Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR) is the government’s executive body responsible for tendering major projects, procuring financing for these projects, and supervising their execution. Major projects lie in transportation, electricity, telecommunications, education, solid and water waste.

These projects are listed at www.cdr.gov.lb. CDR, in coordination with the concerned ministries, launches these projects.

The Ministry of Energy and Water is also expected to invest millions of dollars for dams, water and waste water projects in the coming few years. For more information about electricity and water projects, visit the Ministry of Energy and Water website at www.energyandwater.gov.lb.

Significant investment opportunities also exist in Lebanon’s offshore oil and gas exploration. On April 30, 2013, the Ministry of Energy and Water launched the first licensing round for the offshore oil and gas exploration projects with a November 4 deadline for submission of bids. Forty-six international companies, including four U.S. firms, were shortlisted to participate in Lebanon’s offshore exploration. Bid contracts are projected to be signed in February/March 2014; however, the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Mikati in March 2013 and the delay in forming a new cabinet could potentially push back this timetable. More information about Lebanon’s oil and gas opportunities can be found at www.Lebanon-exploration.com.

Commercial Sectors (in-depth market research provided at link below)

  • Apparel (APP)
  • Automotive (AUT)
  • Drugs/Pharmaceuticals (DRG)
  • Medical Equipment (MED)
  • Education Services (EDS)

Source: CCG & Chapter 4: Best Prospects for U.S. Exports

Libya - Fathi Hamidan, Senior Commercial Specialist

Market Overview & Opportunities

Libya is one of the largest countries in North Africa – boasts large oil and natural gas reserves and a consumer market of almost 6 million. Since the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Libya in 2004, the United States has lifted economic sanctions against the country with these new developments Libya is now more accessible to U.S. companies.

With proper planning and foresight, U.S. companies can take advantage of commercial opportunities in almost every sector, from oil and gas to agriculture to telecommunications and tourism. The Libyan economy depends primarily upon revenues from the oil sector, which contributes roughly 95% of export earnings, about one-quarter of GDP, and 60% of public sector wages. The recent highs in global crude prices have allowed Libya to accumulate foreign exchange reserves estimated at $50 billion. Oil production stands at 1.7 million barrels a day and the government plans to increase these figures to three million barrels a day by 2010. Libyan authorities estimate that it would take between $7-10 billion in new investments in the oil and gas sector to reach their stated production goals.

Libya is hoping to reduce its dependency on oil as the country's sole source of income, and to increase investment in agriculture, tourism, fisheries, mining, and natural gas.  The non-oil manufacturing and construction sectors, which account for about 20% of GDP, have expanded from processing mostly agricultural products to include the production of petrochemicals, iron, steel, and aluminum. Libya's agricultural sector is a top governmental priority. Climatic conditions and poor soils severely limit agricultural output, and Libya imports about 75% of its food. Hopes are that the Great Man Made River, a $30 billion project, will reduce the country's water shortage and its dependence on food imports. 

Best Prospects for U.S. Companies

Only one fourth of Libya has been explored for natural resources such as oil and gas. The return of American companies to the oil fields of potentially one of the biggest oil-producing nations in the world is well under way.

Libyan gas production and exports are also increasing, with the opening of the “Greenstream” pipeline to Europe in late 2004 and plans for additional pipelines and LNG expansion. Similarly, Libya’s electricity demand is expected to increase rapidly in coming years, meaning that the country needs to invest billions of dollars in new generating capacity.

Although Libya is earning high oil export revenues, gasoline import costs are rising rapidly due to Libya’s outdated refining sector, which requires substantial upgrading. Sectors of particular growth and interest to U.S. companies include, but are not limited to: telecommunications, information technology, banking services, electric power generation, construction and engineering, health and medical services, wastewater treatment, desalination, agriculture technologies, transportation, tourism, education and training, and manufacturing. Libyan government officials particularly highlight telecommunications as a sector in which Libya aims to modernize quickly. 

Source: Doing Business in Libya

Morocco - Doug Wallace, Senior Commercial Officer

Market Overview & Opportunities

The U.S.-Moroccan Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which went into effect in 2006, is one of the most comprehensive free trade agreements that the U.S. has ever negotiated. Morocco is the second Arab and first African nation to have an FTA with the U.S. The FTA provides U.S. exporters increased access to the Moroccan market by eliminating tariffs on 95% of currently traded consumer and industrial goods and levels the playing field with European competition. It provides enhanced protection for U.S. intellectual property, including trademarks and digital copyrights, expanded protection for patents and product approval information and tough penalties for piracy and counterfeiting.

Strategically located along the Strait of Gibraltar just a seven-hour flight from JFK and three hours from Paris, Morocco is seen more and more as a regional hub in North Africa for shipping logistics, assembly, production and sales. The moderate Mediterranean climate on 2,750 miles of coastline and its developing infrastructure make Morocco an attractive location for both business and leisure. Morocco’s Association Agreement and Advanced Status with the European Union (EU) and the FTA with the U.S. have spurred development of manufacturing. Morocco relies on these key trade agreements to stimulate economic growth and to foster the job creation necessary to facilitate social and educational reform.

Commercial Sectors (additional information provided at link below)

  • Renewable Energy
  • Building & Construction
  • Safety & Security Equipment
  • Water Management

Agricultural Sectors

  • Wheat
  • Soybeans
  • Cotton

Source: CCG & Chapter 4: Best Prospects for U.S. Exports

Mozambique – Jim Wilson, Senior Coordinator for Trade Promotion and Commercial Affairs Office of Economic and Policy Staff, Bureau of African Affairs

Market Overview & Opportunities

Mozambique’s economy, benefiting from macroeconomic reforms and large foreign investment projects, grew an average of 8% per year during 1994-2009 – one of the best growth records for any non-petroleum economy in sub-Saharan Africa over this period. Foreign direct investment, exports and revenue collection all increased markedly during this time. Mozambique had a real growth rate in 2010 of 6.8%, with a projected 7.2% real growth rate in 2011 according to the IMF. The 12-month inflation rate decreased to 7.8% at the end of September 2011. The estimated per capita GDP is $946 at purchasing power parity.

Mozambique’s GDP reached $10 billion in 2010. Mozambique’s rapid development began at a low base as its economy was in ruins at the end of a devastating civil war in 1992. Its infrastructure, however, is weak and the population of approximately 23 million is largely rural. Thus, maintaining a high level of growth hinges on many factors such as the success of several major foreign investment projects, the expansion of agriculture/agribusiness, continued economic reform, and investments in transportation and infrastructure, energy and tourism sectors.

Commercial Sectors

  • Natural Gas and Petroleum Exploration and Development
  • Mining
  • Electric Power Generation
  • Telecommunications
  • Construction Equipment
  • Ports and Railroads
  • Agricultural Equipment
  • Food Processing and Packaging Equipment
  • Autos, Light Trucks and Vans

Agricultural Sectors

  • Agricultural Sector
  • Wheat
  • Edible Oils
  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Processed Food
  • Horticulture, Nuts

Source: CCG & Chapter 4: Best Prospects for U.S. Exports

Nigeria - Brian McCleary, Senior Commercial Officer

Market Overview & Opportunities

Nigeria’s annual growth rate averaged over seven percent during the past decade. As a result, the country is regarded as one of the fastest growing economies in the world. To sustain this annual growth rate, the Government of Nigeria (GON) is privatizing important sectors of Nigeria’s economy, promoting public-private partnerships and encouraging strategic alliances with foreign firms especially for infrastructure development and technology acquisition in critical sectors such as security, power generation, transportation, and healthcare. Nigeria also ranks as Africa’s largest oil producer and the twelfth largest in the world, producing high-value, low-sulfur content crude oil.

Over the next two to three years, U.S. exporters of power generation, transmission and distribution equipment and services have significant trade opportunities in Nigeria. The GON recently announced that Nigeria requires more than $3.5 billion to improve its power generation, transmission and distribution capacity from less than 5000 MW to 20,000MW by 2016. U.S. exporters of electrical components and parts have growth opportunities here as well.

In the construction sector, the GON has identified a number of road projects that present opportunities to U.S. exporters. Some of these projects will connect key hubs of economic activity and add an additional 5,000 km to the national network of paved roads in Nigeria, including the construction of a 2nd Lagos Outer Ring Road to relieve traffic in the Lagos metropolitan area and improve movement of goods from Lagos Sea Ports.

Significant trade opportunities exist for U.S. exporters in other leading industry sectors such as aerospace (aircraft and parts); agricultural products (wheat, dairy, poultry and packaged food) and equipment; automobiles, trucks, buses, automotive parts and accessories; computer hardware and software; education; environmental services; security and safety equipment, accessories and services; franchising; healthcare services and medical equipment; marine vessels; and telecommunications equipment and services.

Domestic currency commercial lending interest rates remain very high (ranging from 20 to 35%) despite government efforts to lower them. This is fueling demand for U.S. Ex-Im Bank’s financing and credit facilities by Nigerian importers. As of December 2012, Ex-Im Bank’s credit exposure in Nigeria exceeded $178 million. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.

Commercial Sectors (additional information provided at link below)

  • Aerospace (aircraft, services and parts)
  • Agricultural products and equipment
  • Automobiles, trucks, buses, automotive parts and accessories
  • Computer hardware and software
  • Construction and earth moving equipment
  • Education
  • Electricity and power generation
  • Environmental services security and safety equipment
  • Franchising
  • Healthcare services and medical equipment
  • Marine vessels
  • Oil and gas equipment
  • Security and Safety equipment
  • Telecommunications equipment and services

 

Source: CCG & Chapter 4: Best Prospects for U.S. Exports

Oman – Emily Shaffer, Economic/Commercial Officer

Oman is a regional actor as a member of the Arab League as well as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain. In 2009, Oman entered into a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States. The government views expanding Oman’s infrastructure as vital for economic growth and continues to allocate a substantial portion of its budget toward investments in ports, rail, airports, highways and petroleum facilities. The government has also sharply increased spending in the education and health sectors in recent years. 

Although oil and gas production will remain the backbone of Oman’s economy for years to come, the non-oil sector of the economy is making great strides. Growth areas include: infrastructure design and engineering; water and power projects; medical equipment, services and supplies; higher education consulting and tuition; information technology; and aquaculture. The Ministry of Finance announced that, as part of the 2011-16 Eighth Five Year Plan, RO13bn ($33.8bn) would be spent on infrastructure, e.g., ports, highways, rail and airports, with RO8bn (S20.8bn) focused on financing oil and gas projects, to achieve 15-17% growth in the sector and RO3.4bn ($8.84bn) for the electricity sector in order to keep pace with 7-10% annual demand growth fueled by tourism and industry. RO700m ($1.8bn) has been allocated to the tourism sector, which is aiming for 11% growth, with a focus on meetings, industry conventions, and exhibitions (MICE); RO 500m ($1.3bn) is directed toward resorts and conference centers while RO 200m ($520m) is earmarked for infrastructure.

Under the “national treatment” provisions of the U.S.-Oman Free Trade Agreement, American companies may register as an Omani firm, with 100% American ownership, and no requirement for local ownership or partners.

Oman offers stability, security, a predictable investment climate, respect for free markets, property rights, and rule of law; access to capital, good health care and schools, easy access to global markets through a modern infrastructure network, and a commitment to intellectual property rights enforcement.

Commercial Sectors:

  • Oil and Gas
  • Transportation/Infrastructure
  • Water and Environmental Technology
  • Medical Equipment & Services
  • Manufacturing
  • Power
  • Franchises
  • Telecommunications
  • Aquaculture
  • Higher Education

Source: CCG & Chapter 4: Best Prospects for U.S. Exports

Qatar - Robert Dunn, Senior Commercial Officer

Market Overview & Opportunities

Commercial ties between the United States and Qatar have been expanding at a rapid pace over the last seven years. The Government of Qatar (GOQ)will continue to maintain high levels of capital spending on education and health. The government’s  strong commitment to invest in economic diversification through public spending on transportation, health care, education and housing projects will create multiplier effects on the rest of the economy, contributing to increased consumption and demand for better quality housing, office and retail facilities.

Energy Sector: Qatar has attracted an estimated $100 billion in investment, with approximately $60-70 billion coming from the U.S. It is estimated that Qatar will invest over $120 billion in the energy sector in the next ten years. Qatar is committed to diversifying within the hydrocarbon sector and developing its petrochemical industries in particular. Construction: It is estimated that Qatar will invest $200 billion in roads, rail, port and other infrastructure development, housing and real estate, health/medical and sanitation projects in the next decade. The GOQ and private sector are actively seeking project designers, engineers and managers, in addition to needed production inputs like cement and heavy machinery and equipment.

Qatar imports over 90 percent of its food. Major food suppliers to Qatar include the EU, Australia and Saudi Arabia. Most of Qatar’s food product imports transit through the United Arab Emirates.

Other sectors with significant opportunities include: Education and Training Services, Information Communication Technologies, Architecture, Construction, Engineering Services, Air Conditioning Equipment, Safety and Security, Defense Sales, Oil and Gas Equipment and Services, Medical Equipment and Services, and other sectors.

Commercial Sectors (additional information provided at link below)

  • Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Equipment
  • Architectural/Construction/Engineering Services
  • Automotive
  • Construction Equipment and Tools
  • Defense Sales
  • Education and Training and Equipment
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Medical Equipment and Services
  • Oil & Gas Equipment and Services
  • Security and Safety Equipment
  • Travel and Tourism

Source: CCG & Chapter 4: Best Prospects for U.S. Exports

Saudi Arabia - Amer Kayani, Senior Commercial Officer

Market Overview & Opportunities

Economists forecast continued real GDP growth to remain at approximately 4.9% per annum through 2016 given continued Government of Saudi Arabia spending and continued private sector growth given major infrastructure, economic cities and other major projects.

Saudi Arabia, the construction leader in the Gulf area, has budgeted US$385 billion on roads, airports and energy projects for the five-year period from 2010 to 2014. The government continues to make significant investments in construction. Major rail and airport expansion projects are also under way.

All three of Saudi Arabia’s GSM operators are in the process of implementing higher data transmission speeds over their 3.5G networks. This development should stimulate increased demand for mobile broadband services in the long term.

Saudi Arabia’s ambitious rail plans are fuelling activity in the infrastructure sector, with US$30 billion worth of contracts under way or at the bidding stage. Major projects include the North-South railway, the Saudi Land Bridge, and the Mecca-Medina railway.

Saudi Arabia is the third largest consumer of water per capita in the world, but has limited groundwater to tap. Desalination forms the backbone of the government’s water strategy. The Saudi government has committed US$6bn a year to bolstering the water sector over the next two decades. The state-owned utility Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) intends to invest US$70 billion by 2018 to add 22MW to the nation’s power-generating capacity in order to meet the growing demand from a rapidly increasing population. SEC’s goal is to reach a power- generation capacity of 65,000 MW by the end of the year 2018.

Commercial Sectors (additional information provided at link below)

  • Engineering & Architectural Services - ACE
  • Construction Equipment - CON
  • Electrical Power Systems – ELP
  • Dental Equipment - DNT
  • Water Resources Equipment - WRE
  • Safety & Security - SEC
  • Education & Training Services - EDS
  • Telecommunications Services - TES
  • Medical Equipment - MED
  • Oil & Gas Field Machinery - OGM
  • Chemical Production Machinery – CHM
  • Defense Industry Equipment – DFN
  • Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Equipment – ACR
  • Pollution Control Equipment – POL
  • Automotive Parts, Services & Equipment - APS

Agricultural Sectors

  • Retail Foods
  • Grain and Feeds

Source: CCG & Chapter 4: Best Prospects for U.S. Exports

South Africa - Larry Farris, Senior Commercial Officer

Market Overview & Opportunities

South Africa is well integrated into the regional economic infrastructure as formalized by membership in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). In addition, the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) agreement with Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, and Swaziland facilitates commercial exchanges. South Africa is a WTO member. In 2011, South Africa joined Brazil, Russia, India and China as the only African country in the leading emerging market group, BRICS.

Opportunities for U.S. exporters and investors in South Africa reflect its growing consumer base, and efforts to upgrade and develop its infrastructure to fuel economic growth.

 

Factors benefiting U.S. exports include:

  • Sophisticated financial services and legal services sectors
  • Infrastructure improvements
  • South Africa’s position as an entryway to other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • The strong reputation enjoyed by U.S.-branded goods
  • South African Government-owned utilities such as Eskom (electric power) and Transnet (transportation) have formalized capital expenditure plans amounting to more than $70 billion

 

In general, the best prospects for exports are in capital goods, though opportunities exist in a wide range of consumer products and services as well.

 

Commercial Sectors (additional information provided at link below)

  • Green Technologies
  • Electrical Power Systems
  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Telecommunications
  • Mining Equipment
  • Pollution Control Equipment
  • Aerospace
  • Green Building Technologies
  • Automotive Aftermarket: Specialty Equipment
  • Transportation Infrastructure
  • Agricultural Equipment
  • Medical Devices
  • Franchising

Agricultural Sectors

  • Grains
  • Vegetable oils
  • Oilseed meals
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Poultry

Source: CCG & Chapter 4: Best Prospects for U.S. Exports

UAE - John Simmons, Senior Commercial Officer

Market Overview & Opportunities

Despite a modest population of just over 5 million, with expatriates comprising about 85% of this total, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a leading commercial center serving the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. Reflecting the country’s role as a major regional commercial center, a significant portion of the UAE’s import volume is ultimately re-exported. Dubai in particular plays a central role as a regional trade facilitation, logistics and tourism hub.

Leading export sectors for American firms include commercial aircraft, power generating equipment, defense equipment, computers and electronic equipment, and transportation and infrastructure related goods and services. Demand for imported goods is currently being fueled by a number of factors, including a rapidly expanding UAE civil aviation sector; implementation of major infrastructure and transportation projects; as well as oil and gas industry modernization and expansion.

 

Oil and gas production remains critical to the UAE economy, contributing about one-third of GDP and generating $75 billion in UAE exports last year. The industry is set for expansion as the UAE seeks to increase daily production from approximately 2.7 million to 3.5 million barrels a day by 2017. Major downstream projects are also planned including petrochemicals and plastics. American firms are major players in new onshore and offshore projects currently being implemented, including the $10 billion Shah Gas Field project and modernization of production at the Upper Zakum offshore field where daily production of 750,000 barrels of oil is targeted.

Commercial Sectors (additional information provided at link below)

  • Aircraft Parts/Services
  • Automotive
  • Construction
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Cosmetics
  • Education
  • Franchising
  • Healthcare Services
  • Oil and Gas Field Machinery and Services
  • Power Generation/Water Resources

Source: CCG & Chapter 4: Best Prospects for U.S. Exports

West Bank & Gaza (Palestinian Territories) - Assad Barsoum, Senior Commercial Specialist

Market Overview & Opportunities

Ample opportunities for doing business exist within the Palestinian market. The information technology sector is a growing area of this market, as are cellular and landline telephone services. International donor investment in basic and social infrastructure in West Bank will continue to present opportunities for U.S. contractors. Projected major projects include an electric power generation plant and a national electricity distribution company in the West Bank; expansion of telecommunications infrastructure and services; sanitation upgrades and expansion, waste disposal, and water services; and road upgrades.

Expansion can be expected in the local production of processed foods, olive oil, pharmaceuticals, textiles, hardware, wood and cane furniture, plastics, and housewares. Construction inputs, such as cement and steel products, also could see heavier demand.

 

Franchising and distributorships are popular, with the best prospects in fast food.

 

Imports of healthcare products, such as medical equipment and disposables, are increasing due to international donor support.

Commercial Sectors (additional information provided at link below)

  • Franchising (FRN)
  • Telecommunications Equipment (TEL)
  • Computers/Peripherals & Business
  • Equipment (CPT/BUS)
  • Processed Foods (FOD)
  • Building Materials/Construction Equipment (BLD/CON)
  • Furniture (FUR)
  • Medical Equipment (MED)
  • Energy (ENR)
  • Education Training Services (EDS)

 

Agricultural Sectors

  • Wheat and Feed Grains
  • Rice
  • Dried Legumes
  • Processed Oils
  • Sugar
  • Frozen Fish

Source: CCG & Chapter 4: Best Prospects for U.S. Exports