The US Embassy in Addis Ababa arranged for 30 Ethiopian businessmen to travel to the United States in January 2014 to participate in International Buyer Programs (IBP).
IBPs are a joint US Government -private industry programs which welcome thousands of international buyers from around the world to the United States for business-to-business matchmaking with US firms exhibiting at major industry trade shows.
A delegation of 25 members from Ethiopia attended the World of Concrete IBP, which provided hands-on demonstrations of US equipment and meetings with US construction companies. The trip also included a tour of the Hoover Dam which proved educational for the Ethiopian contractors working on hydro-power projects here in Ethiopia.
An additional delegation of 5 Ethiopian businesspeople attended the DistribuTECH exhibition and conference. DistribuTECH is the leading annual smart grid event, and includes exhibitors from the utility sectors working in automation and control systems, Information Technology, Transmission and Distribution engineering, power delivery equipment and water utility technology. The IBPs provide opportunities to see high-quality and technologically-advanced US products through demonstrations and workshops. These programs create networking opportunities with US companies, their CEOs and other senior executives that "would have been impossible to do online," according to one of the delegates. These events often lay the groundwork for future business transactions.
The US Embassy in Addis Ababa expects future IBPs will focus on the construction, agribusiness, and energy sectors.