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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                     (Johannesburg, South Africa)
For Immediate Release                                     March 28, 1998


The Ron Brown Commercial Center, operated and funded by the Department of Commerce, is one of the only four Commercial Centers worldwide. The center, in Johannesburg, will provide support for American companies looking to enter or expand into the sub-Saharan African market. It will promote export through a range of support programs. The Commercial Center also will serve as a base for other agencies such as the Export-Import Bank, the Trade Development Agency and USTR to expand their assistance to business. The Center is staffed by three Foreign Commercial Service officers, an American administrator and 17 local staff.

An internet-linked commercial information resource center is staffed to answer trade-related queries from U.S. and African businesses and will serve as a repository for economic and commercial reports from State Department officers stationed throughout Africa.

At the dedication of the Ron Brown Commercial Center, the President will announce several new initiatives and enhancements to his existing Partnership for Economic Growth and Opportunity. These include:

Greater Market Access

Targeted and Enhanced Assistance

Spurring Private Investment

Enhanced Debt Relief

Increasing Bilateral Trade Ties

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