New Training Exchange Program with Russian Business Leaders LaunchedDecember 20, 2011
Becky Long is an International Trade Specialist at Special American Business Internship Training (SABIT) in the International Trade Administration’s Market Access and Compliance unit.
For more than 20 years the Special American Business Internship Training Program, or SABIT has been promoting economic development in the countries of the former Soviet Union and encouraging business ties between these countries and the United States. Today SABIT continues to put a strong emphasis on the development of Eurasian countries and is at the same time expanding its reach into other regions by hosting groups from Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The SABIT office, under the International Trade Administration’s Market Access and Compliance unit, annually hosts 12 to 15 delegations of professionals from emerging market countries in industries such as airport development, cargo transportation and logistics, niche tourism, intellectual property rights, construction, and energy efficiency just to name a few. These delegations come to the United States for three to four weeks to meet with their industry counterparts in the private sector, government, associations, academia, and other relevant organizations. All of the meetings are arranged entirely by the SABIT staff based on their industry knowledge and the participants’ interests, resulting in programs that are tailor-made for each delegation.
SABIT’s professional development training programs directly support economic development by encouraging market-based reforms, while generating valuable export and investment opportunities for U.S. companies. Since 1990, over 1,500 U.S. companies and organizations have hosted more than 5,000 international trainees through SABIT, resulting in more than $850 million in export revenues.
This Fall, SABIT launched the new U.S.-Russia Presidential Management Training Exchange Program (PMT) by hosting two delegations Russian professionals in the information technology and energy efficiency sectors for three weeks. PMT aims to provide unique professional development and business networking opportunities that help facilitate business relationships, economic development, and international trade.
PMT is being implemented under the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, which is dedicated to identifying areas of cooperation and pursuing joint projects that strengthen strategic stability, international security, economic well-being, and the development of ties between the Russian and American people. The PMT exchange program was created as a result of an agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the United States in the Area of Training of Management Personnel which was signed by former Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Minister of Economic Development Elvira Nabiullina in November 2010.
In October 2011, PMT’s Russian energy efficiency group met with Michelle O’Neill, Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade and U.S. Coordinator for the Business Development & Economic Relations Working Group to celebrate the completion of the pilot phase. During their three-week program in the United States, the 8 delegates participating in the energy efficiency group visited companies and organizations such as the Alliance to Save Energy, Greater Philadelphia Clean Cities and Philadelphia Electric Company, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Johnson Controls, Bentley Systems, U.S.-Russia Business Council, and the World Green Energy Symposium, where delegate Ivan Bragin spoke about the state of the green energy sector in Russia. The participants also had a chance to mingle with Michael Nutter, the Mayor of Philadelphia, at the symposium’s opening night reception, where the mayor highlighted Philadelphia’s green initiatives.
The 13 delegates who participated in the information technology group met with U.S. companies and organizations such as the Software & Information Industry Association, New Jersey Institute of Technology-Enterprise Development Center, the social gaming company CrowdStar, and the Northern Virginia Technology Council. Delegates also attended training seminars on innovation management and software project management.
For the second phase of PMT, SABIT plans to send the first group of American businesspeople to Yekaterinburg, Russia this spring. Given the success of the pilot trainings, plans for future exchanges with Russia are under discussion.
U.S. companies interested in hosting SABIT’s international delegations may contact the SABIT office at 202-482-0073 or firstname.lastname@example.org.