The Hershey Co. has announced President and CEO J.P. Bilbrey’s recent appointment by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to the newly established President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA). The private-sector advisory council will focus on strengthening the U.S.’s commercial relationships with African nations.
“It is a great honor to be selected and to serve on this advisory council to our President,” said Bilbrey. “Africa is home to some of the fastest growing economies and represents an exciting opportunity for our government and U.S. businesses. The Hershey Co. has a long history in West Africa through sourcing our most important commodity, cocoa, and more recently through our important work to help improve the livelihoods of cocoa families and communities in the region.”
Bilbrey joins 14 other private sector leaders on the council, which will provide expert guidance to the president on strengthening partnerships with African countries to leverage opportunities for U.S. companies committed to supporting the continent for the long term.
“Economic growth on the Continent will continue to drive demand for U.S. exports, which will ultimately help create jobs at home and provide valuable investment opportunities for U.S. businesses,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Commerce and Bloomberg Philanthropies co-hosted the first-ever U.S.-Africa Business Forum. As part of his commitment to deepen engagement between the United States and Africa, President Obama signed an Executive Order (E.O.) at the Forum to promote broad-based economic growth in the U.S. and Africa by encouraging U.S. companies to trade with and invest in Africa.
The E.O. directed the Secretary of Commerce to establish the PAC-DBIA. The PAC will provide information, analysis, and recommendations on U.S.-Africa trade and investment priorities, including U.S. and Africa job creation; developing and strengthening commercial partnerships to increase U.S. public and private sector financing in Africa; and analyzing the effect of policies in the United States and Africa on U.S. trade and investment interests in Africa.