US industrialist Martin Trust is visiting Ghana and Uganda later this week to explore apparel sourcing and investment opportunities following the recent expansion of the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

Mr Trust is chairman of Brandot (USA), LLC, a holding company engaged in the production of clothing and textile products.

He previously served as founder/president and chief executive officer of Mast Industries Inc, a billion-plus dollar manufacturer, importer and wholesaler of women's apparel and wholly-owned subsidiary of Limited Brands.

In Ghana, Mr Trust is scheduled to meet President John Agyekum Kufuor and the Ministers of Finance and Trade.

He will take part in a roundtable with industry representatives and visit apparel factories as well as an export zone established specifically for apparel and textile manufacture.

In Uganda, Mr Trust will see President Yoweri Museveni. He will have a roundtable discussion with executives from Phoenix Apparel, Tri-Star, the Madhvani Group and Southern Range, along with representatives of the Trade Ministry, Finance Ministry and the Ugandan Investment Authority.

Rosa Whitaker, president of The Whitaker Group, has helped set up the meetings to help firms realise the full benefit of the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

Ms Whitaker was founder and co-chair of the coalition which successfully lobbied for the recent extension of AGOA.

Susan Muhwezi and her AGOA office are coordinating the Trust program in Uganda.

Mr Trust's global interests include two garment factories in Madagascar known as Cottonline and Colombia Clothing Company (CCC).

Cottonline focuses on production for US retailer Gap, while CCC works with Liz Claiborne, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Express. CCC recently received its first order from Sears.