Cotonou – March 14, 2023- The American Business Club resumed operations in Cotonou after a period of suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The club provides a platform for American companies to connect with each other and with the business community in Benin. In his remarks, U.S. Ambassador to Benin Brian Shukan addressed three key topics: Benin’s current economic environment, services offered by the U.S. government to promote bilateral trade opportunities, and economic cooperation between the United States and Benin.
On bilateral cooperation, the Ambassador emphasized the importance of economic cooperation between the United States and Benin, which dates back several decades. Through the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the United States has been investing in Benin since 2006. The current agreement (expected to end in June 2023) will increase the capacity of Benin’s electricity grid fivefold. The United States also signed MCC’s first-ever regional agreement with Benin and Niger. The regional pact with Benin and Niger will expand and rehabilitate road networks to allow the transportation of goods towards markets.
MCC programs complement other U.S. and international development programs and create an enabling environment for private sector investment. The United States is also investing in Benin’s agricultural sector through the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF). Benin is eligible for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which provides duty-free access to the U.S. market for over 1,800 products.
Speaking of Benin’s current economic environment, Ambassador Shukan first commended the Beninese government for its remarkable efforts to create a resilient economy and an investor-friendly environment; hence improving the business climate. He also appreciated the government’s actions to cut the administrative burden and promote private sector-led growth.
U.S. Embassy’s cooperation with the American Business Club strengthens commercial ties between the United States and Benin and creates prosperity and peace in both countries.
Event’s photos are available at https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjAvQat