The past several years have been challenging for businesses across the globe. During previous periods of economic difficulty, many governments – including the United States government – have been lured by the false comfort of turning inward and closing off markets. Bearing that historical lesson in mind, we have been working, with success, to avoid the temptation of protectionism this time around. Trade creates jobs and stimulates further economic growth, both for the U.S. and our trading partners; and can speed the delivery of transformative ideas and technology.

I am proud that our Embassy, led by the Economic and Commercial Section, continues to play a leading role in developing U.S.-Senegalese business linkages. The future is bright. Compared to 2010, U.S. exports to Senegal in 2011 rose over 20 % as more and more American companies began to enter the West African market. The American brand is strong in Senegal with many American companies already well-established and on their way to success in the region.

As President Barack Obama has stated, our goal is to help countries build healthy and educated communities, reduce poverty and develop markets to generate wealth for their citizens.  The most lasting change, however, will come from the positive influence of a growing private sector, and the demands of business people for open and attractive commercial markets in which to obtain real, competitive returns on investment.  Looking ahead, we will continue to promote trade opportunities in Senegal.  Think of Senegal as the gateway to the continent – a transportation hub with daily direct flights to the U.S., a deep-water port and the best telecommunications infrastructure in West Africa.

My colleagues in the Economic and Commercial Section and I stand by to support your market entry – and expansion – efforts in Senegal.

U.S. Ambassador to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau

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