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J.P. Bilbrey, president and CEO of The Hershey Co., has been appointed 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 bolstering commercial relationships between the United States and African nations.
"Africa is home to some of the fastest-growing economies and represents an exciting opportunity for our government and U.S. businesses," noted Bilbrey. "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 is one of 15 private-sector members of the council, which will provide expert guidance to the president on strengthening partnerships with African countries to leverage opportunities for U.S. companies.
"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," explained U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Commerce and Bloomberg Philanthropies co-hosted the inaugural U.S.-Africa Business Forum, at which President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order to promote broad-based economic growth in the United States and Africa by encouraging U.S. companies to trade with, and invest in, Africa. The E.O. directed the Secretary of Commerce to create the PAC-DBIA.
Hershey, based in Pennsylvania, has about 13,000 employees around the world and more than 80 brands, including Hershey's, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Jolly Rancher and Ice Breakers.