Export-Import Bank of the U.S. Chair Lewis Joins Atlanta Phambili Event, Emphasizes Importance of U.S.-South Africa Trade and Investment

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Export-Import Bank of the U.S. Chair Lewis Joins Atlanta Phambili Event, Emphasizes Importance of U.S.-South Africa Trade and Investment

Atlanta, Georgia – Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) President and Chair Reta Jo Lewis traveled to Atlanta this week as part of Prosper Africa’s Atlanta Phambili mission, which was hosted by U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Reuben E. Brigety II. A U.S. mission in South Africa, Atlanta Phambili aims to deepen bilateral ties between the United States and South Africa.

Taking place over four days, the focus of the event was trade and investment, and saw participation from U.S. Trade and Development Agency Director Enoh Ebong, Prosper Africa Coordinator British Robinson and Isobel Coleman, Deputy Administrator for Policy and Programming at USAID.

“It was an honor to travel to my home state of Georgia as part of Prosper Africa’s Atlanta Phambili initiative, reaffirming EXIM’s commitment to the African continent,” said Chair Lewis. “The discussions that took place will be critical as we continue our work with our partners in South Africa to identify more opportunities to leverage EXIM’s financing tools to support a broader and more fruitful state of U.S.-South Africa relations.”

On her first day, Chair Lewis delivered remarks and participated in an investor roundtable at Spelman College where she underscored the ways EXIM can leverage its financing capabilities to enhance U.S.-South Africa trade and investment. The roundtable featured a presentation from Dr. Anthony Costa, Investment Lead at the Private Office of the President, Republic of South Africa, and was attended by Spelman College President, Dr. Helene Gayle, representatives from major U.S. companies, South African banks, including Standard Bank Group CEO Sim Tshabalala, South African government officials and local Atlanta government officials.

Following the roundtable, Chair Lewis, alongside the Atlanta Phambili delegation, met with Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens. The meeting focused on exploring the rich connections between the City of Atlanta and South Africa, while working to identify potential investment opportunities.

Chair Lewis closed out the day at Coca-Cola headquarters, participating in a discussion co-moderated by the heads of the American Chamber of Commerce in South Africa and the South African Chamber of Commerce USA to explore the business opportunity environment in South Africa and amplify EXIM’s financing tools and how they can de-risk investments.

Chair Lewis concluded her time in Atlanta delivering remarks at a trade innovation forum at Georgia Institute of Technology, which brought together 150 U.S. and South African business leaders to explore opportunities for economic growth and partnership. During her remarks, Chair Lewis focused on the strategic importance of Georgia-South Africa trade as it relates to the overall state of U.S.-Africa relations while sharing her personal history in Atlanta. She closed out by reaffirming EXIM’s dedication to building upon its recent work to support U.S. exporters in South Africa.

During the forum, Prosper Africa announced the launch of its Africa Trade Desk, a U.S.-Africa buyer-supplier network that will link new payment platforms and demand-pull market innovations and provide African producers and suppliers access to over 12,000 U.S. retail outlets.

The event was capped off with a business-to-business matchmaking event co-organized by Atlanta-based chambers of commerce aimed at driving trade and investment between Atlanta and Africa.

Group posing for pictureChair SpeakingChair posing wth business leader

About EXIM:

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) is the nation’s official export credit agency with the mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating U.S. exports. To advance American competitiveness and assist U.S. businesses as they compete for global sales, EXIM offers financing including export credit insurance, working capital guarantees, loan guarantees, and direct loans. As an independent federal agency, EXIM contributes to U.S. economic growth by supporting tens of thousands of jobs in exporting businesses and their supply chains across the United States. Learn more at www.exim.gov.