Author Archive

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¡Hola Investors! The SelectUSA Mexico Road Show is Coming Your Way!

April 16, 2014

Austin Redington is a Communications Specialist with the SelectUSA Program.

Our team in Mexico is standing by to support our efforts to increase foreign direct investment in the United States.

Our team in Mexico is standing by to support our efforts to increase foreign direct investment in the United States.

Spring is officially here and along with the new blossoms and sunshine come new events and opportunities to help investors bring their business to the United States. It’s already been a busy season, with recent visits to Japan, Korea, Austria, and Germany for the Hannover Messe trade show, and there’s much more on the horizon. 

As part of SelectUSA’s mission to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) to the United States, we’re launching several SelectUSA Road Shows aimed at connecting investors in specific markets with U.S. economic development organizations (EDOs). 

One exciting Road Show that is just around the corner is taking place in Mexico on May 20-21, 2014. U.S. Commercial Service staff members in Mexico are eager to connect U.S. EDOs with investors who are looking for opportunities. The Road Show is a two-day event, covering two of Mexico’s most important business centers: Querétaro and Mérida, Yucatán. 

Why Mexico?

In a word—opportunity! As our third largest goods trading partner and one of the fifteen largest sources of FDI into the United States, Mexico is home to hundreds of businesses looking to expand their operations. 

Mexico’s investment in the United States has been growing at a rapid pace over recent years, more than doubling its total FDI stock of $12.6 billion in 2010 to $29.2 billion in 2012. Clearly, Mexican companies are increasingly finding the U.S. market as an attractive place to do business. We couldn’t agree more!

Where the Investors Are

The Road Show’s two stops, Querétaro and Mérida, are among Mexico’s largest commercial and manufacturing hubs. 

Among Mexico’s most dynamic economies, Querétaro is recognized for its stable public finances, safe environment and competitive economy. Located 130 miles north of Mexico City, transportation is convenient with direct highway connections to the United States. The region has a strong presence in advanced manufacturing industries, including aerospace, automotive, and appliances, as well as the biotechnology and information technology industries. 

Yucatán may be the most important business region in southern Mexico, and is conveniently located to serve as a platform for commercial routes with the United States. Mérida, the state’s capital, is among competitive cities in southern Mexico and hosts a variety of investors and companies looking for growth opportunities. Primary industries in this region include construction, professional services, textiles, and transportation and logistics.

Register Today!

As everything is coming together for this event, we’re just missing one thing: YOU! The Mexico Road Show is coming up soon and we’d love to see you there. We’re still recruiting state, regional, and local U.S. EDOs, but space is limited and time is running out, so don’t delay! For more information or to sign up, click here or contact Rebecca Torres

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SelectUSA: Investing in the United States, Creating Jobs, and Spurring Economic Growth

April 10, 2014

This post originally appeared on the White House blog.

Jeff Zients is Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy. Secretary Penny Pritzker is the Secretary of Commerce.

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla join Lufthansa's August Wilhelm Henningsen and German Ambassador Peter Ammon in a signing ceremony for an agreement to create a new Lufthansa Aviation Facility in Puerto Rico.

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla join Lufthansa’s August Wilhelm Henningsen and German Ambassador Peter Ammon in a signing ceremony for an agreement to create a new Lufthansa Aviation Facility in Puerto Rico.

Today, Lufthansa Technik announced a significant new investment in Puerto Rico that demonstrates how efforts to deploy the full resources of the federal government to win job-creating investments in U.S. states and territories pay off. Through the advocacy of several high-level U.S. officials, including the Vice President and the Secretary of Commerce, as well as the work of SelectUSA, the government of Puerto Rico was able to secure this new investment, which will create up to 400 permanent jobs and strengthen Puerto Rico’s burgeoning civil aviation sector.

Lufthansa Technik, a wholly owned subsidiary of Germany-based Lufthansa AG, is making a significant new investment in Puerto Rico to build a maintenance, repair, and operations facility. Thanks to the persistent support of the Administration through our SelectUSA investment initiative, local efforts led by Governor Garcia Padilla of Puerto Rico, and the strengths of Puerto Rico’s growing aviation industry, the United States won this new investment despite strong competition.

SelectUSA – launched in 2011 and housed in the Department of Commerce – is the first-ever federal effort to bring job-creating investment from around the world to the United States in partnership with state and local economic development organizations. Today, Ambassador-led teams at our posts overseas directly support foreign investors looking to make investments in the U.S. by providing resources and information, and when needed, connecting them to investment experts at the Department of Commerce and throughout the SelectUSA interagency network.

Each investor, and investment case, gets tailor-made attention from our case managers at SelectUSA, who rely on ombudsman efforts to answer questions, as well as a sophisticated advocacy network that leverages key Administration officials all the way up to the President of the United States. Lufthansa is a perfect example of our coordinated efforts to bring job-creating investment here to the United States. In addition to Vice President Biden and the Secretary of Commerce and her team, SelectUSA involved other key federal officials, and coordinated with several federal agencies to provide the needed assistance to secure the project. And, when it came time to seal the deal, SelectUSA coordinated an effort across the federal government, including the support of the President’s Taskforce on Puerto Rico, to present Lufthansa with the case for locating their investment in the United States.

The Lufthansa investment is yet another example that demonstrates that the United States is an increasingly attractive location for job-creating business investment from around the world. Last year, for the first time in a decade, global business executives ranked the United States the number one destination for foreign investment. And the Department of Commerce released new data showing that foreign direct investment flows into the United States and our territories rose from $160 billion in 2012 to $187.5 billion in 2013.

With our booming natural gas sector, our skilled workforce, our status as home of the some of the top research universities and innovation hubs, and our resurgent manufacturing communities, the United States is primed for business investment. Businesses increasingly cite the U.S. open investment climate, rule of law, the ability to efficiently export their goods, access to high-quality supply chains, and proximity to robust consumer markets as key factors to locate their operations in the United States. And now, with the help of SelectUSA, the federal government is undertaking a coordinated and concerted effort to showcase our strengths and make the case with even more investors that the United States should be their top choice.

To put it simply, the United States is Open for Business.

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Making It Easier to Clear Customs in Latin America

April 10, 2014

Diana Alvarez recently completed an internship in the International Trade Administration’s Office of South America.The Look South campaign is encouraging companies to seek export opportunities in Latin America.

More than 40 percent of current U.S. exports go to Mexico, Central America, and South America. Both its geographic proximity and the presence of 11 free trade agreements in the region make these markets attractive for U.S. businesses.

As the U.S. government continues to support businesses expanding in Latin America through the Look South Initiative, one key aspect being addressed is working through potential barriers to trade.

Issues like long customs-clearance times, inconsistent interpretation of customs regulations, and subjectivity of customs inspectors can add to the time and cost of the exporting process. These costs can especially affect small business exporters.

To address these problems, the International Trade Administration is working alongside U.S. Customs and Border Protection, governments across Latin America, and other public and private sector partners on the Customs Modernization and Border Management Reform Program.

This program brings business and government together to discuss the challenges faced at the border and to develop solutions that will make clearing customs easier, faster, and more efficient.

The program began in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Honduras and has already helped create a simpler and more efficient border-crossing process:

  • Honduras extended its operating hours at many border posts and harmonized them across the many different border agencies.
  • El Salvador eliminated several administrative requirements for express shipments, saving companies time and money.
  • Costa Rica recently launched its one-stop web portal that will allow companies and government agencies to submit and review all customs-related documents in one place.

As part of a second phase of the program, training workshops and dialogues were held in Peru and the Dominican Republic in March, with events in Guatemala and Uruguay scheduled to take place soon.

We’re excited to see more businesses expand to Latin America under the Look South Initiative, and we look forward to being a part of a smoother trade process under the Customs Modernization and Border Management program.

If you’re ready to increase your business’s presence in Latin America, contact your nearest Export Assistance Center or visit export.gov/looksouth.

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Exports Stimulate Sales of a Vitamin Distributor

April 9, 2014

Doug Barry is a Senior International Trade Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Global Knowledge Center. 

When you’re exporting vitamins, you’re supporting healthy customers as well as a healthy bottom line for your business.

You’re also working within a framework of laws that regulate manufacturing quality, sanitation, ingredients, labelling and other considerations. These laws are necessary to protect consumers, but can sometimes be overwhelming as they change from market to market.

For vitamin-producer Transfer Point and owner Marilyn Becker, support from the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Commercial Service has helped the company navigate regulations for new markets, leading to successes in Europe and Asia. Now the company is looking to expand in Latin America, where the United States has 11 free trade agreements.

She shared her story with Doug Barry, a trade specialist with ITA’s Global Knowledge Center.

Barry: Tell us about your company and where it is today.

Becker: Transfer Point was established to distribute dietary supplements for the immune system, and we only distribute what is best in its class and a very quality product. We started by accident, or by email communication, with the very small country of Croatia, and then started to intentionally seek sales.

Barry: What countries are you in today?

Becker: Several in the EU: Belgium, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, and now of course, very recently Croatia. And then a few in Asia: Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and very recently South Korea.

Barry: How did the International Trade Administration help you succeed in China?

Becker: The U.S. Commercial Service has helped us by guiding us regarding many regulations for the labeling, for packaging, for contents. They helped us do the translation of the label, they provided the information of what was required to be on the label, and they did background checks on the Chinese company that we were dealing with–to verify that we were with a legitimate entity.

Barry: So your cares and concerns about exporting seemed to have fallen away one by one.

Becker: This is true! I can’t say that we have always been successful in what we’ve tried to do. There are some countries we have not yet succeeded in. But boy, we’ve gotten every bit of assistance we could have. South Korea came here to Columbia, South Carolina to meet us and to get to know us better. We had three Commercial Service representatives join us at that meeting and make a presentation on our behalf, which tremendously helps credibility. I could give example after example of the support that we received from the U.S. government.

Barry: Has exporting helped your bottom line?

Becker: Oh, certainly. It’s a third of our sales. And it provides a stable, steady income. When the state’s economy crashed in 2008, we didn’t feel it. Our sales went up, particularly in the EU. We did just fine during that whole period. And that was because of the international market.

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Join the Conversation on Investment

April 9, 2014

Vinai Thummalapally is the Executive Director of the SelectUSA Program. 

Vinai Thummalapally is the Executive Director of the SelectUSA program

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

This month, SelectUSA is really upping our game when it comes to online engagement around investment.  We hope you’ll join the conversation on Twitter at #SelectUSA!

Our colleagues across the Commerce Department will be sharing their thoughts on how innovation, data and hard work contribute to job creation. We’re collaborating with our friends at the State Department’s Economic & Business Affairs Bureau, as well as with our Commerce and State colleagues throughout the United States and globally at our embassies and consulates.

But we’re not stopping with Commerce and State. We’re reaching out across the U.S. federal government through the Interagency Investment Working Group (IIWG), to more than twenty other agencies.  (You can find all of our Commerce and IIWG twitter profiles here.)

This is a big conversation, but most importantly, we hope to be hearing from YOU.

We’re broadening the conversation at #SelectUSA to talk about how investment in the United States drives job creation and how we can work together to attract even more jobs.

Did you know that, as of 2011 (the most recent data available), U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies employed more than 5.6 million workers and paid an average annual salary of $77,600?  According to preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows totaled $187.5 billion in 2013, rising from $160.1 billion in 2012.  The United States also recently took back the top spot in A.T. Kearney’s FDI Confidence Index.

What do these numbers mean to you?  Are you an investor looking to expand your operations in the United States?  Are you seeking to attract more investment to your town, city, county or state?  How can SelectUSA assist you?  

We offer services to U.S. and international investors, as well as to U.S. economic development organizations (EDOs.)  If you need information on the U.S. investment climate, related federal resources, and the latest trends – we’re happy to help.  Are you looking for the right contact at the state or local level?  Could you use some assistance on the ground in more than 120 countries?  Do you have a question or problem related to investment and federal rules or regulations?  We’re here to help you get the answers you need.

Tell us what you think on Twitter by following us at @SelectUSA and using the hashtag #SelectUSA.  What are your challenges?  What are your successes?  How is your company creating jobs by investing in the United States?  How is your location attracting investors and jobs?

We look forward to hearing from you at #SelectUSA!

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An Economist’s View: Using Trade Data to Predict the Final Four

April 4, 2014

Natalie Soroka is an economist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Trade and Economic Analysis. She spends more time focusing on international trade statistics and trends than on basketball…

Economist Natalie Soroka used trade data and an unorthodox equation to predict the winner of the Final Four. Her prediction is Wisconsin beating Florida.

Economist Natalie Soroka used trade data and an unorthodox equation to predict the winner of the Final Four.

The emotional whirlwind of March Madness is nearing a close, with the Final Four teams getting ready to face off this Saturday. Brackets have been busted, face paint smeared with tears, hearts have been broken, and our Cinderellas have turned into pumpkins, but it’s not over yet!

Who will be victorious? Is there anything in the trade data that can give us a clue? Let’s give it a try, shall we?

Methodology:

One can reason that there are several aspects (“variables”, if you will) that can help a team attain the title of national champion:

  • skills or talent,
  • nutrition to keep players healthy,
  • healthcare and medicine to take care of injuries, and
  • supplies for actually playing the game.

In other words, to be a little “mathy” about it (just bear with me):

Winning = ƒ(skills, nutrition, healthcare, supplies) + ε

Translation: Winning is a function of the variables listed above, plus that little “ε” at the end, which would be the error term indicating that there are various things we aren’t able to account for (Mercer, anyone?).

So if we were to try and look at these four variables in an extremely simple analysis, using the very same publicly available data we use to counsel U.S. exporters, can we predict a winner?

 

Skills and Talent:

We may not have data readily available on “skill” or “talent,” but as these players are all represent educational institutions, we can assume that the state’s educational services industry plays a role.

Among the four states represented in the Final Four, Florida has the largest educational services industry by far, amounting to nearly $8 billion in 2012, topping Connecticut’s respectable $4.7 billion. On the Midwest/West side, Wisconsin’s $2.7 billion educational services industry tops Kentucky’s $1.1 billion.

But what about exports? After all, we are the International Trade Administration. The Institute of International Education collects information on foreign students hosted by U.S. universities, which can be used as a proxy for higher education exports. While not all players are international students, one could reason that a school (or state) that has international appeal is also one that would be able to pull the best talent.

Using the IIE’s data (which we also highlighted in a blog post last week), the University of Florida tops the list with 5,961 foreign students. The University of Wisconsin again has the upper hand over Kentucky here, with 5,291 international students. Finally, we can take into account each university’s seed at the beginning of the tournament as an indicator of the team’s record and other skills not captured above. Who comes out on top?

Winners:

University of Florida v. University of Connecticut: Florida

University of Wisconsin v. University of Kentucky: Wisconsin     

Nutrition:

Healthy eating makes for healthy people and athletes. Looking at state import data, Florida tops the list for its imports of products such as meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, and grains. However, isn’t Wisconsin in the Midwest, the home of those “amber waves of grain”? In fact, with its $4.5 billion farming industry in 2011, Wisconsin does come out on top among these states, followed by Florida, Kentucky, and Connecticut.

Finally, we can take a look at who imports the most processed foods, the “bad guy” du jour when it comes to health. Despite being known for its citrus fruits and water springs, Florida blows its competitors out of the water with $1.9 billion in processed foods imports in 2013, worsening its overall nutrition rating. Instead, Kentucky comes out on top with only $233 million of processed foods imports.

So who wins the “healthiness” battle? Looks like those amber waves really help.

Winners:             

University of Florida v. University of Connecticut: Florida

University of Wisconsin v. University of Kentucky: Wisconsin     

Healthcare:

As we’ve all seen, injuries sadly do occur. When these unfortunate events take place, good healthcare services and medical supplies are necessary to fix up young players and get them back on the court.

Again, we see Florida rising to the top over Connecticut with its $67.5 billion healthcare services industry in 2012, and Wisconsin topping Kentucky at $23.5 billion. With regards to medical supplies, Kentucky tops the rest of these states when it comes to imports of pharmaceutical products, with $4.6 billion of imports in 2013. However, for medical and surgical instruments, Florida again tops the list with nearly $2.3 billion of imports in 2013, followed by Wisconsin’s $1.5 billion of imports.

Overall, Florida wins on healthcare, driven by its large industry and imports of medical instruments.

Winners:             

University of Florida v. University of Connecticut: Florida

University of Wisconsin v. University of Kentucky: Wisconsin     

Sports Supplies:

What good is a basketball team if there’s no basketball to dunk?

Kentucky topped these states when it comes to imports of inflatable balls (including basketballs), at $35 million in 2013. As for other supplies, Wisconsin rose to the top in imports of athletic footwear, coming in at $70 million in 2013.

Finally, to keep the athletes in shape off the court, Wisconsin again topped the list with $105 million in imports of general gym equipment, pushing the state to the top of this category.

Winners:             

University of Florida v. University of Connecticut: Florida

University of Wisconsin v. University of Kentucky: Wisconsin     

So where does that leave us? If we average out the “scores” for each state/team, we wind up with one state’s economy pushing its team to the top:

University of Wisconsin (Go Badgers!)

However, if my personal bracket is any indication, that “little ‘ε’” isn’t quite so little, so you may be best off just throwing a dart and picking one at random. Generating purely random scores for the Final Four teams, we wind up with (……drumroll…….):

University of Florida (Yay Gators!)

Using random selection, Natalie's bracket points to Florida beating Kentucky in the championship.

How will this analysis fare? Will data help the Badgers win the day, or is the championship at the mercy of the court gods? I suppose there’s only one way to find out.

Enjoy the games!

 

No economists were harmed during the creation of this off-the-cuff and highly spurious analysis. The author drew on extensive basketball experience gained from middle-school gym class, casual sports viewership, and years of practice using the esteemed “mascot method” of bracket picking.

Domestic production data is the latest available from the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ Regional Economic Accounts. State import data was retrieved from ITA’s TradeStats Express platform: http://tse.export.gov/stateimports.

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German FDI in the United States – Investor Confidence on the Rise

April 3, 2014

Amy Zecha is an International Investment Specialist with SelectUSA. Her portfolio covers Central and Eastern Europe, including Germany.

Image shows two businessmen meeting face to face. Are you an international investor based in Germany? Meet with SelectUSA representatives and U.S. states, cities, and counties to find new investment opportunities!

Are you an international investor based in Germany? Meet with SelectUSA representatives and U.S. states, cities, and counties to find new investment opportunities!

Ranking as the third largest investor in the United States, Germany plays an important role in the U.S. economy with more than 10 percent of all FDI in the country.  Of the $2.7 trillion in FDI stock recorded in 2012, Germany accounted for more than $272.2 billionSelectUSA has identified Germany as a key focus market and will lead multiple delegations of economic development organizations (EDOs) to Germany throughout the coming year, including groups to Hannover Messe in April, and Automechanika in September.

The German American Chamber of Commerce does an annual survey of German-owned subsidiaries in the United States called the German American Business Outlook. This report indicated there was a five-year high in investor confidence, with 98 percent of German firms in the United States expecting to see business growth in 2014. This level of confidence is reflected by the 31 percent of respondents planning the launch of new product lines and 75 percent anticipating making new hires for the coming year.

Survey respondents expressed some concerns about the lack of a skilled workforce in the United States, but still remained positive about the overall outlook in 2014. This upbeat outlook may be due in part to the various efforts by both the United States and Germany to address workforce issues, including the German Skills Initiative.

This collaborative effort between the German Embassy and the U.S. Department of Commerce focuses on bringing the German dual-track vocational training to the United States, concentrating on areas where high-skilled manufacturing clusters are located. The program matches German and American businesses with educational institutions to help create workforce training programs that will help produce workers with the specific skill sets demanded by the businesses of today – and tomorrow.

Register now for the Hannover Messe 2014 investment event

The commitment to workforce development and working with the German business community is demonstrated at all levels of the U.S. Department of Commerce. In November 2013, Secretary Penny Pritzker traveled to Munich, Germany to meet with German CEOs interested in establishing facilities (or expanding existing operations) in the United States. During her trip, she visited with business leaders from BMW, Frauenhofer, and iwis Motorsystems to learn more about their best practices for training and apprenticeship programs.

These kinds of relationships and exchanges on best practices will only enhance the attractiveness of the United States to international companies. As future workforce and training initiatives and partnerships come online, we expect to see growing interest in the U.S. market – not just from German companies, but others around the world.

Author’s Note: For potential investors interested in speaking directly to SelectUSA representatives and meet with U.S. states, cities, and counties, we will be hosting the USA Investment Center at Hannover Messe 2014. To schedule an appointment, please visit http://selectusa.tema.de/.

To learn more about SelectUSA and our global programs for both EDOs and international investors please visit www.selectUSA.gov or follow us on Twitter at @SelectUSA

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From Westerns to Dance Dramas, U.S. Filmmakers Pitch Their Projects to Chinese Investors

April 2, 2014

Marsha McDaniel is a Commercial Officer at the U.S. Consulate for Hong Kong and Macau.

Our team met with U.S. film producers and Chinese investors at Hong Kong Filmart to support investment.

Our Commercial Service team met with U.S. film producers and Chinese investors at Hong Kong Filmart to support investment in upcoming projects.

What do cowboy shows, hip hop dancer dramas, and adventure thrillers have in common? These are some of the exciting projects that U.S. filmmakers pitched to Chinese investors during SelectUSA’s debut at Hong Kong’s Filmart, Asia’s largest film and media trade show and the third largest film industry trade show in the world.

Commercial Service staff at the U.S. Consulates in Hong Kong and Guangzhou jointly organized this first-ever SelectUSA event at the trade show. The event, which was titled “China’s Pearl River Delta: Opportunities to Finance U.S. Productions” introduced investors to some of the exciting projects that U.S. filmmakers are currently developing.

A Captivated Audience

Five independent U.S. production companies presented a broad range of film projects to a captivated audience of roughly 30 investors. Audience members were clearly excited as U.S. filmmakers pitched numerous movie and television ideas, all with significant revenue potential.

According to Scott Shaw, Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Hong Kong: “It is an exciting time for U.S. and China movie producers to work together as U.S.-China co-production benefits both the U.S. and Chinese film industries.”

Jim Rigassio, Principal Commercial Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China, noted: “From a diplomatic perspective, activities such as this help to bring our two countries closer together, and I hope to see more U.S.-China coproduction in the future.”

Filmmakers: Opportunity to pitch in 2015

Based on the fantastic feedback from participants, Commercial Service teams in Hong Kong and Guangzhou will explore hosting a similar event at the 2015 Filmart show in Hong Kong. U.S. filmmakers with an interest in seeking investment and co-production opportunities are encouraged to get in touch with our Commercial Service staff to learn more.

This was the first of many events that will be organized under the Commercial Service’s Pearl River Delta Initiative, which aims to assist U.S. companies tap into south China’s $1 trillion dollar economy.

How else can we help you?

SelectUSA, along with our teams in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, work with investors and U.S. economic development organizations to facilitate investment into the United States. We provide information and counseling, help you connect to the right people, and serve as an ombudsman to resolve issues related to the federal regulatory system. We also create platforms, such as our upcoming Pearl River Delta Road Show, to bring investors and economic developers face to face.

If you have questions about foreign investment or if we can help you at all, visit the SelectUSA website for more information!

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Six Ways to Make Your Next Trade Show Count

April 1, 2014

Ken Mouradian is the Director of the International Trade Administration’s Export Assistance Center in Orlando.

Our team can help you maximize export opportunities at trade shows.

Our team can help you maximize export opportunities at trade shows.

You’re walking the floor at a major trade show and, glancing to your right, you see two people seated deep in their booth checking e-mails on their phones. This closed off demeanor wastes two precious resources their company invested on this show, time and money.

To get the best possible return on investment from your next trade show, here are six simple suggestions that don’t cost much money and will attract traffic to just about any booth:

  1. Stand. Believe it or not, you seem more open to engagement if you’re standing, smiling, and looking at people as they pass.  By contrast, people are reluctant to distract you when you appear busy by sitting.
  2. Stage a conversation.  If there are two of you in your booth, make it appear that one of you is learning about your company from the other.  Believe it or not, people will look at something if someone else is looking; and for no better reason than that.  This works less effectively if you’re wearing clothing that brands you as working for the same company or if you’re exhibiting alone.
  3. Never leave your booth unattended.  If you need to go to lunch or the bathroom, unless you’re alone, there should always be someone in your booth.
  4. Raffles are better than hand-outs.  People will take candy or pens without actually engaging with you.  You can’t make connections and build a database if you don’t know who’s visiting your booth.  You’ll get a lot more traffic to your booth if you raffle something of value – maybe something like a tablet – than you would otherwise. You’ll also be “buying” a contact list for the cost of the item that you’re raffling.  For your raffle, it’s probably better to scan badges than to collect business cards because, to have their badges scanned, visitors to your booth will have to engage you.  Also, for a raffle to work, people need to know about it, so advertise at your booth, conduct targeted mailings/e-mailings, and advertise in the show guide and directory.
  5. Conduct targeted outreach BEFORE the show.   If you have a customer list, mail/e-mail your customers to remind them of your presence at the show and your booth number.  Similarly, you can purchase contact lists (from the U.S. Embassy, from private vendors) and send marketing collateral with your booth number to qualified potential buyers before the show.  And, don’t forget to mention your raffle!
  6. Advertise in the Export Interest Directory.  Not every show participates in the International Buyer Program; however, for those that do, you can arrange one-on-one meetings with the leaders of foreign buyer delegations.  If there’s a match to one of their delegates’ needs, they’ll bring their delegate to your booth to meet you.  Similarly, foreign buyers use the Export Interest Directory to find potential suppliers.  The easiest way to identify International Buyer Program shows is to contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center.

Remember, trade shows are an investment of both money and time. Don’t waste either. Use these six tips to maximize your investment, and be sure to call your local Export Assistance Center to learn more about how to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way.

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U.S. Automotive Industry Driving Exports

March 28, 2014

Eduard Roytberg is a Senior International Trade Specialist at the International Trade Administration’s Export Assistance Center in Ontario, California. He is the leader of ITA’s Commercial Service Global Automotive Team.File photo of workers building a car.

The U.S. Commercial Service’s auto team is dedicated to increasing U.S. automotive exports and supporting American automotive manufacturers doing business around the world. The automotive industry is crucial to the American economy as one of the largest employers and manufactured goods export sectors.

We’re happy to report that 2013 was an excellent year for the industry! Here are some highlights:

It’s clear this industry is running on all cylinders! We expect continued success for American businesses in this sector, so contact your nearest Export Assistance Center if you’re ready to bring your automotive products into the global market.

Our Global Automotive Team has specialists throughout the country and at US Embassies and Consulates in 72 countries. We are ready to help your company achieve its export goals.

Be sure to follow our team on Twitter @cs_autoteam to learn more about our automotive industry initiatives, upcoming events and other updates.

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