His Excellency Daouda Diabate, Ambassador of Cote d'Ivoire to the U.S. addresses the audience at the 2012 Ivory Coast in L.A. Business Conference and Expo on July 6 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Photo credit: Malcolm Ali/FinaImage
Rare visit by sitting African Ambassador to West Coast Welcomed
LOS ANGELES – Ivory Coast U.S. Ambassador His Excellency Daouda Diabate hosted a delegation of senior Cabinet Ministers and business leaders from the Ivory Coast in Los Angeles for the first annual Ivory Coast in L.A. Business Conference and Expo. With the theme “Discovering the Potential of the Ivory Coast,” the event was presented by the Greater Los Angeles Cote d'Ivoire America Chamber of Commerce (GLACIACC) and kicked off Friday, July 6 at the Los Angeles Convention Center with the aim to promote the country’s opportunities in the areas of agribusiness, industry, infrastructures, housing, trade, tourism, transportation, mining, oil, and gas. Los Angeles host committee members and speakers included Rep. Laura Richardson (CA-37), Hon. Jerome Horton, Chairman, Board of Equalization, Dr. Claude N. Zaho, President of the GLACIACC, and Gary L. Toebben, President and CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
“This Los Angeles exhibition is a great opportunity for Los Angeles and California to discover what Cote d’Ivoire has and to invest in the new Cote d’Ivoire, a land of opportunity,” said His Excellency Ambassador Daouda Diabate. “The time is now, Cote d’Ivoire’s eligibility to the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) offers a lot of business opportunity.”
“The economy of Ivory Coast is stable and currently growing. It is largely market-based and depends heavily on the agricultural sector”, explained GLACIACC President Dr. Claude Zaho. “Almost 70% of the Ivorian people are engaged in some form of agricultural activity. Principal exports are petroleum, cocoa, coffee, pineapples, tuna, rubber, and tropical woods. Principal U.S.exports to Cote d’Ivoire are rice, wheat, plastic materials and resins, kraft paper, agricultural chemicals, telecommunications, and oil and gas equipment.”
“Direct foreign investment plays a key role in the Ivoirian economy. For this reason, the first Ivory Coast Trade Expo at Convention Center L.A. is a great opportunity for Ivory Coast to show its skills and potentials to the US community leaders and investors in order to increase its economic perspective, project itself in the business field, commercial and industrial, along with strengthening its international position and leadership in West Africa.”
Established in 2010, the Greater Los Angeles Cote d'Ivoire America Chamber of Commerce (GLACIACC) is a non-profit organization with the mission of promoting an environment of direct trade and business prosperitybetween the Ivory Coast and the Greater Los Angeles area. GLACIACC providesfree business seminars to local minority business owners. The training courses range from the process of starting and sustaining a business to the techniques of effective business development.
The GLACIACC has partnerships with government trade related organizations and local non-profits as well as a strong network in the local business community. They are a resource for information on U.S. and Africantrade policy, and an advocate bringing attention to Africa’s increasing trade potential. The Chamber continues to work closely with local, state, and federal elected officials who are interested in African trade. The GLACIACC supports the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA).
The majority of the GLACIACC members are African immigrants who currently reside in the Greater Los Angeles area. They are working to build and strengthen business capacity for African Immigrants and Refugees residing in California. Many are business owners who are interested in developing business opportunities with their homeland. The GLACIACC also has an activeAmerican membership that is interested in developing trade and investment opportunities in the many emerging markets across Africa and specifically in the Ivory Coast.