The visiting U. S. acting secretary of commerce, Rebecca Blank, on Wednesday launched a "Doing Business in Africa" campaign to enhance investment and trade ties between the two sides.
According to the World Bank, U. S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa totalled 21.3 billion dollars in 2011, while importing African products of 74.3 billion dollars, up from 17.1 billion dollars and 65 billion dollars respectively in 2010.
"We are still far from reaching the full potential of U. S.- African trade as well as investment," Blank said at a ceremony organized by the Business Unity South Africa and the Corporate Council on Africa in Johannesburg.
"We can and must do more," the U. S. official said.
The launch followed a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to South Africa in August, during which she announced that her country wished to expand and deepen its commercial relationship with South Africa and the region.
Blank said Washington views South Africa as a crucial gateway to the rest of sub-Saharan Africa.
According to the U. S. Department of Commerce, Washington is keen on working with such organizations as the Corporate Council on Africa and the Business Council for International Understanding to launch a series of "Africa Global Business Summits" in the United States in 2013, during which ambassadors and commercial service officers are expected to discuss specific African prospects for business.