by FOX News Rising

Charlotte, NC - There a move underway to build an economic relationship between Charlotte and Africa.  The Charlotte Regional Partnership is at the forefront of the effort.  The President of the group, Ronnie Bryant says there are lots of business opportunities in Africa.  But when it comes to specific Charlotte industries he says "The energy sector, that is one they're very much interested in."

    Lauri Elliott with Afribiz says much of the investment energy in Africa is rooted in the energy sector.  "93 billion dollars is going to be needed for infrastructure every year, at least for the next 10 years in Africa.  That means it presents huge opportunities." says Elliott. 

     An official agreement is already in the works to start the process of trade and economic development with South Africa.  This fall, North Carolina is expected to send its first official trade delegation to the continent.  But right now, most of the business focus is on South Africa.  Byant says, ""If you're interested in Africa, South Africa is where you need to start.  It's the major commerce center. But most definetly there's no reason you need to stop there."

     Bryant also points out, travel access to Africa is a challenge for Charlotte area businesses.  He says there are already talks being had about the potential of a non-stop or one stop flight between Charlotte Douglas and South Africa.  Bryant says, "Bringing South Africa into the discussion about the globalization of Charlotte isn't a maybe, this is happening and its real now."

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