EDITOR'S NOTE: The U.S. Trade & Development Agency (USTDA), an independent White House agency, in recent weeks awarded several contracts and separately launched multiple initiatives in nations including Colombia, Egypt. Nigeria, South Africa, Vietnam, and Turkey. U.S. Trade & Aid Monitor posts these news briefs to encourage readers to ponder -- and comment on -- the question: are these relatively small expenditures a worthwhile investment of U.S. taxpayer dollars to promote global U.S. trade, or are they unjustifiable transfers of wealth from the taxpayer to businesses and to U.S. client states? We leave it up to the reader to decide. Your feedback is welcome. Intelligently crafted comments will be considered for publication as featured posts if you are interested. Both pro and con positions are welcome and will be given equal weight.
NIGERIA: The recently formed Nigerian Ministry of Communications Technology is having difficulties developing nationwide policies, and has requested USTDA assistance in accomplishing that task; consequently, USTDA has embarked upon a "definitional mission" to assist the Ministry (Solicitation #RFQ-CO201211060). On Jan. 19 the agency awarded a $65,000 contract to Washington Strategic Advisors, LLC, to perform a feasibility study before the U.S. government proceeds further with the project (Contract award #USTDA-CO201211060).
Additionally, the Southwestern Nigeria Gas Pipeline Project Feasibility Study will be paid for with a $446,000 USTDA grant to assess a Nigerian gas utility plan to expand its natural gas transmission and distribution network. (Solicitation #2012-11003A).
Separately, a USTDA contractor recently completed a feasibility study of a proposed project to help the Nigerian Stock Exchange move from a paper-based to a digitized record-keeping system.
TURKEY: USTDA will fund a $450,000 pre-project feasibility study to assist Turkey in diversifying its energy supply, a measure that the government-owned Turkish Hard Coal Enterprises (TTK) intends to pursue through a Coal Bed Methane Recovery and Utilization project. The agency recently extended its contractor bid-submission deadline to Feb. 7. (Solicitation #2012-21004A).
SOUTH AFRICA: As U.S. Trade & Aid Monitor previously reported (Monitor, 12/16/11), the agency is offering a $758,000 grant to the South African government and the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) to pay for a feasibility study of an anticipated airport upgrade project. USTDA on Jan. 18 extended the bid-submission deadline to Feb. 3.
EGYPT: A USTDA project exploring opportunities for U.S. information and communications technology companies to pursue business ventures in Egypt led to a $50,ooo contract for RGITC of Centreville, Virginia (Contract #TDA-CO201221021A). The company will perform a feasiblity study of the Egyptian ICT sector, which USTDA acknowledged could lead to additional contracting opportunities to perform more in-depth studies of such business opportunities. (Solicitation #RFQ-CO2012221021A).
COLOMBIA: The Cartagena Wastewater Treatment System Start-Up Project entails a $513,000 grant for a feasibility study of a project that the Government of Colombia is spending $300 million of its own funds to implement (Solicitation #2012-51001A).
VIETNAM: The Preparatory Study for the Development of Chu Lai International Airport involves a $538,000 grant for a feasibility study prior to possibily expanding that airport (Solicitation #2011-31025A).