Is Africa Going to Be the New Asia?

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Aug. 5 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker discusses African economies, infrastructure and commerce with Bloomberg LP majority owner Michael Bloomberg and Bloomberg’s Hans Nichols on “Bloomberg Surveillance.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Business opportunities in africa as well as ways that u.s. companies can compete on the continent.

The president and the administration are 100% committed to getting xm bank reoffer is a bit of an absolutely fundamental tool that we need to help american businesses sell their goods around the world.

60 other countries have similar xm banks.

We do not want to give up a financing tool for whatever reason i do not understand.

This is really important, and there are american jobs on the line, and that is what seems crazy to me.

There is clearly opportunity.

The president wants to spend $7 billion, but five of that billion dollars is from the ex-im bank.

I think we will be successful on capitol hill because every district in this country have a company that is selling something around the world that if it is not their product that is getting ex-im financing, they're supplying to a product that is getting ex-im financing.

Should be administration have a plan b if the reauthorization does not happen?

If something doesn't happen, look, we cannot have a plan b for everything.

In this case, i think penny is 100% right.

This is not a political thing.

This is something that every other country does.

If we are going to be competitive, we have to do it.

If you think that we should not do it and you can get all of the countries to stop, then we will have a level playing field.

We will not have as much business because it is a catalyst and gives people the ability to buy now and pay later, but it is the competitive aspect i worry about.

We talk about growth, infrastructure is one of them.

The ge announced another $2 billion today.

They sell big-ticket items on infrastructure on the basis of building roads and cities.

Where are the opportunities?

I lead a trade mission to ghana and to nigeria just a few months ago.

There is enormous opportunity.

There are companies that are helping, one from north carolina is helping the ghana electric company get the most out of their grid.

How they make it a smart grid, how they do more to get electricity out of their infrastructure.

There is so much opportunity in terms of power, electricity, technology, solar.

And what we know and what does the president know and why has he been pushing power to africa?

You need power in order for your economy to continue to grow, and africa is underpowered.

Everywhere you look at it, i do not care how you analyze it.

They need hundreds of billions of dollars of infrastructure, particularly power.

And you will hear the president -- the president will announce not only deals but a greater intention around power.

Obviously power important, so our roads, getting to and from places.

When you look at cities, mr.

Mayor, what cities are investing in the right way and their infrastructure?

You mentioned nigeria, it is a pretty tough town to get across if you want to get from center of town to the airport, it can take a good day.

Look, there are clearly not enough roads for a lot of places in the world, including some cities, it is tough to get around in some american cities, and that impedes the ability to get to a place for education or medical care or commerce and that sort of thing.

One of the things you have got to look at is technology is different today.

You don't have to have the same infrastructure that you used to have to have.

Today, 50% of the people in africa have a smart phone.

They did not go and run telephone lines all over the continent.

You do not have to do that in this day and age.

There are satellite communications, cellular communications, and the same thing is true for commerce, there is air today, which you did not have before.

And recently in south africa, cape town, johannesburg, bus cities.

Do they have poor people who need help?

Absolutely.

So do we and we have to take care of our poor, and they have got to take care of theirs, and sometimes we can help each other, but they have the spirit.

You look on the street and you say wait a second, these cities are going to be real competitive.

Urbanization africa, big cities, potential for finance -- is africa going -- when you look at finance, investment vehicles, are they going to be the new asia?

What is the next hong kong and africa?

It is going to take a wild.

South africa -- the generation, 20 years, that goes pretty quickly, but there are stock exchanges alter africa.

They traded derivatives.

There is all sorts of financing that will let you have different risk profiles and payment profiles, cash flow profiles.

This day and age, things are happening much more rapidly than what they did before.

Can i build on that?

When we were in africa, one of the places we visited was meltwater, where they are training young innovators and entrepreneurs, african innovators and entrepreneurs how to take an idea and make it into a business plan, created entity, get it financed and get out and build a new business.

That is a key part of the opportunity in africa.

Help the entrepreneurs begin to build their businesses with the kind of infrastructure that we are talking about.

That becomes more and more possible.

It is very exciting to see the innovation that is going on in africa, and what is really cool is you do not need anymore to have significant personal infrastructure to be able to invent and create him a let's say, a new app, a new game, new products that the market takes up on his cell phone.

It is amazing what is going on there, and i think it is one of the reasons to be very excited.

It is enormous opportunity for

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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