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Growing the Export Tradition in North Carolina

June 10, 2015

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Wayne Cooper is the Chair of the District Export Council of North Carolina, a Marketing Partner for the Trade Winds-Africa Business Forum and Trade Mission.

Wayne Cooper

Wayne Cooper

As long as North Carolina has been a state, it’s been an exporter.

One of our first main exports was pine tar, and one rumor has it that our use of pine tar in the Revolutionary War is how we became known as the Tar Heel State. But I’m not writing to talk about rumors, or about the past.

What I want to talk about is the future, and for companies here in North Carolina and around the country, the future is global. We’re on a winning streak here in this state, and I’m not talking about college basketball. North Carolina has set goods export records for four straight years, hitting $31.3 billion in 2014.

Our globally engaged companies are reaping the benefits of that success: finding more revenue, hiring more people, expanding their inventories, their services, and their companies.

Why wouldn’t your company want to find that kind of success?

At the North Carolina District Export Council, the importance of exporting is always top of mind for us. What we want is to help get more North Carolina companies on board.

That’s why we are so glad to work with the U.S. Commercial Service, and it’s why we are partnering on the Trade Winds—Africa Forum. When we talk about the future of global business, it would be folly to not talk about Africa. In development, population, spending power, and just about any other measure, few regions can compete with the growth in Africa.

I hope that companies across the state, from the beautiful sands of the Outer Banks to the highest peak of the Appalachian Mountains, will take a look at opportunities in Africa, and at the Trade Winds mission. If there is any way your company can best take advantage of the opportunities in that continent, it’s with the help of the Commercial Service team.

I want more companies to find the success that our state’s exporters already enjoy, because we all know that there aren’t many places in the world that compete with North Carolina when it comes to manufacturing, building, selling, or providing quality products and services.

Now let me say this in my best North Carolina voice: I hope to see y’all in South Africa!

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Export Success Series: Chilean Exports Save Thirty Plus Jobs

June 5, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

In recent years, American Emergency Vehicles (AEV), a custom ambulance production company based in North Carolina, has increased exports to several countries—namely, Chile. Addressing the growing demand for safe, custom-made emergency vehicles, Chile has become a vital partner with AEV.

With the help of the U.S. Commercial Service and ExportTech, all backed by U.S. and Chilean free trade negotiations under the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement, AEV views “Chile as a critically important market for our long-term global sales strategy,” says Randy Barr, AEV’s Sales Manager. AEV’s advantageous relationship with Chile is not limited to production sales; it also translates to increases in prospective jobs.  “Overall, the business we gained from expanding into exporting allows us to keep the people we have,” Barr explains. Exporting has saved up to 30 jobs within AEV since 2012. AEV hopes to expand its production, which would result in an additional 30 new jobs created. For this rural-based firm, the U.S.-Chilean trade agreements allow for mutually beneficial sales and increased employment opportunities.

The United States economy requires the swift negotiations of these free trade agreements on a global scale to ensure a fair playing field for all firms and workers. Without the Chilean free trade agreement, for example, AEV would not be able to work so closely with Chile both in generating exports for products as well as jobs. Exports are extremely valuable in strengthening our economy; thus, improving export relations will help the U.S. stay globally competitive. Find out more about how free trade agreements assist in expanding the United States economy at http://www.trade.gov/FTA/.

Making trade and investment a bigger part of the DNA of U.S. businesses and increasing opportunities for American companies like AEV by opening new markets globally is a key pillar of the Department’s Open for Business Agenda. Later this month, Secretary Pritzker will travel to South America to help American companies learn about potential opportunities in the region and make important contacts with business and government leaders.

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Secretary Pritzker Discusses Importance of Travel and Tourism Industry at IPW in Orlando

June 4, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Secretary Pritzker Discusses Importance of Travel and Tourism Industry at IPW in Orlando | Department of Commerce

Secretary Pritzker Discusses Importance of Travel and Tourism Industry at IPW in Orlando

Secretary Pritzker Discusses Importance of Travel and Tourism Industry at IPW in Orlando

On Monday, Secretary Pritzker traveled to Orlando and spoke at the U.S. Travel Association’s annual IPW event. IPW is the world’s largest travel and tourism trade show dedicated to the sale of U.S. goods and services. During her remarks, she also issued the 2015 Spring Travel Forecast, which showcases America as a premier travel destination with continued international visitation growth through 2020.

The Administration recognizes the vital importance of the travel and tourism sector to the economic health of the United States. In 2014, nearly 75 million people from around the world visited the United States, spending about $221.6 billion, on hotels, cars, food, and entertainment, and supporting 1.1 million American jobs. With global competition to attract international visitors rising,  the Department of Commerce and the Administration are focused on efforts to keep visitors coming back to the United States.

In 2012, President Obama launched the first-ever National Travel and Tourism Strategy, establishing the goal of welcoming 100 million international visitors to the United States and having them spend $250 billion in 2021. Through stronger public-private partnerships, the Administration has made progress on a number of efforts to improve the experience of traveling to the United States, including:

  • Reducing visa wait times at our embassies and consulates around the world
  • Expanding preclearance into nine new countries (including Belgium, Dominican Republic, Japan, Netherlands, the United Kingdom), which will allow passengers to have a better, faster, and more efficient experience entering the United States
  • Instituting Trusted Traveler Programs like Global Entry, which expedites the entry of pre-approved, low-risk American citizens and lawful permanent residents into the country
  • Expanding the Visa Waiver Program to 38 countries
  • Creating Brand USA, a first-of-its-kind partnership that brings the public sector together with nearly 500 organizations to collaborate on consumer campaigns, to cooperate on marketing programs, and to facilitate travel and trade outreach
  • Released a series of Airport Action Plans that will simplify and streamline entry for visitors at 17 of our top U.S. airports

America remains a premier travel destination for international visitors and the Administration is committed to working hard to maintain the best-in-class experiences for all guests coming to our nation’s shores.

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SelectUSA Greater China Roadshow Connects U.S. Economic Development Officials With Hundreds of Potential Investors

June 4, 2015

Tim Truman is the supervisory public affairs specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs.

Assistant Secretary for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service Arun Kumar (center) joined representatives from 24 U.S. economic development organizations and their partners for the SelectUSA Greater China Roadshow stop in Guangzhou.

Assistant Secretary for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service Arun Kumar (center) joined representatives from 24 U.S. economic development organizations and their partners for the SelectUSA Greater China Roadshow stop in Guangzhou.

Economic development officials from 11 states and the District of Columbia just spent 12 days visiting nine cities throughout greater China recruiting potential partners and investors to complete important projects in their local areas. The SelectUSA Greater China Roadshow wrapped on May 29 in Shenyang after 470 meetings and matchmaking sessions between U.S. and Chinese officials and business leaders.

“I’m very pleased that our national effort to attract foreign investment into the United States is creating jobs and strengthening state and local economies across the nation,” said U.S. Consul General from Shenyang Scott Weinhold. “The United States welcomes investments from our Chinese colleagues and we look forward to continuing to work together to ensure a brighter future.”

China is among the fastest-growing sources of investment in the United States, with a compound annual growth rate (2009-2013) exceeding 41.5 percent. This Roadshow event followed closely on the heels of the 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit in March, where the Chinese delegation was the largest international group for a second consecutive summit.

This was the second time the U.S. Commercial Service and SelectUSA hosted U.S. economic development organizations and their partners seeking investors in China. In 2014, the inaugural SelectUSA Pearl River Delta Roadshow made stops in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Shunde, and Guangzhou. This year’s event launched in Hong Kong, and featured stops in Shenzhen, Dongguan, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Dalian, Anshan, and Shenyang.

“The SelectUSA China Roadshow provided the unique opportunity to make business connections with companies in areas of China where our state hasn’t previously spent extensive time,” said South Carolina Deputy Secretary of Commerce Jennifer Noel. “As a result of the well-organized, meaningful program, our team was able to continue to introduce and promote South Carolina in the global marketplace.”

“This is the second time we have participated in the SelectUSA Greater China Roadshow,” said Enterprise Florida China Office Director Emma Yeung. “We are very excited that this year’s program expanded to include more cities, bringing us close to different investors across the country. We very much look forward to the next one!”

“I expected to meet investors interested in California and indeed I did, but I did not expect to meet so many interesting, experienced and savvy delegates,” said Ken Petrilla, executive director of the California-China Office of Trade and Investment. “This was an added bonus.”

The United States is home to more direct investment than any other country in the world, with a total stock of $2.8 trillion, and has been ranked No. 1 in the A.T. Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index for a third straight year in 2015.

For more information about SelectUSA, visit www.selectusa.gov.

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International Visitors Choose New York, Florida, and California as Favorite Destinations in 2014

June 3, 2015

Safwaan Brown is an intern in the Office of Public Affairs.

New York, Florida, and California topped the wish list for overseas visitors to the United States in 2014 – each setting records for international visitation last year. In fact, New York was the most visited state by overseas travelers for a 14th consecutive year. Florida and California registered 18 and 11 percent increases in visitors from 2013, according to the 2014 Survey of International Air Travelers (SIAT) released by the International Trade Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Office on June 1. SIAT estimates are currently available for 23 states.

Hawaii, Nevada, Texas, Massachusetts, Illinois, Guam, New Jersey and Pennsylvania (tied) complete the top 10 states visited in 2014. Ten states experienced double-digit increases in visitors, with Georgia and Washington posting the highest growth rates at 22 and 21 percent, respectively. In addition to New York, Florida, and California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Washington, Utah, and Virginia set records for overseas visitation from 1997-2014.

Not surprisingly, the top five most-visited cities by overseas travelers were found to be New York (New York City), Florida (Miami, Orlando), and California (Los Angeles and San Francisco). Las Vegas, Honolulu, Washington, D.C., Boston, and Chicago round out the top 10 most popular cities among overseas visitors. Fifteen cities posted increases in visitation in 2014, with 11 of the 23 surveyed destinations achieving double-digit growth. San Diego (25 percent) and Atlanta (24 percent) registered the largest visitation increases.

In rank order, New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Boston, San Diego, Houston, Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.), Atlanta, Seattle, and the Florida Keys all set overseas visitation records between 1997 – 2014.

Upticks in leisure travel and visiting friends and relatives accounted for the overall increase in visitors, according to the survey. Overall, the average length of stay and total travel party size increased in 2014, as did the number of overseas travelers coming to the United States on business. The survey also noted an increase in travel by automobile and cruises.

The SIAT, launched in 1983, estimates overseas visitor volumes to destinations (states and cities) and provides traveler characteristics of those visitors from overseas and Mexico (air) to the United States and its destinations.

 

 

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The 2015 Spring Travel Forecast

June 1, 2015

Jennifer Gardner is an intern in the Office of Public Affairs.

Today, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker attended the U.S. Travel Association’s IPW conference where she spoke on the continued strong growth for international travel to the United States.  Secretary Pritzker announced the 2015 Spring Travel Forecast which projects the United States will see 3.8 to 4.6 percent annual growth rates in visitor volume during the 2015-2020 timeframe. By 2020, this growth would produce 96.4 million visitors, an increase of 21 million visitors when compared to 2014.

More than 1,000 U.S. travel organizations from every region of the nation, and more than 1,300 international and domestic buyers from more than 70 countries are gathered this week at IPW in Orlando, Florida. This conference is the travel industry’s premier international marketplace and the largest generator of travel to the United States.

Travel to the United States supported 1.1 million jobs and brought in $221 billion in 2014. As the visitor volume is expected to increase 3.8 percent in 2015, the amount of visitors staying one or more nights is projected to reach 77.6 million.

It’s no surprise that the top two markets generating visitors to the United States are Canada and Mexico. Expected to grow by 6.3 million from 2014 to 2015, Mexico would set another record volume level. Canada is also expecting a 15 percent increase.

The Asia-Pacific region is projected to generate a 49 percent increase in visitors by 2020. With these projections, China would account for the second-largest number of additional visitors behind Mexico.

Europe and South America are also anticipated to realize a 21 and 34 percent increase in visitors to the United States by 2020, respectively.  Europe is projected to reach 16.7 million visitors with the largest growth coming from the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany. South America will generate nearly 1.9 million more visitors. Visitors from Brazil, the largest source market in the South American region, are expected to increase 38 percent by 2020.

See the full 2015 Spring Travel Forecast at http://travel.trade.gov/view/f-2000-99-001/index.html.

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Trade Winds – Africa Offers Opportunities, Tips, and Intel to U.S. Firms

May 29, 2015

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Chris Higginbotham is a Communications Specialist in the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Northern Virginia.

Trade Winds Africa Business Development Conference and Trade Mission
Africa is a huge potential market for almost any U.S. exporter, but there are several factors for any business to consider before exporting to the continent:

  • What is your market potential?
  • How should you enter the market?
  • Who can you partner with on the ground?
  • How will you protect your intellectual property?

Good news: the Trade Winds—Africa Business Development Conference and trade mission in September 2015, will answer these questions and connect your company directly to the opportunities on the ground.

Check out the conference program and you’ll see that it runs the gamut of intelligence necessary for U.S. companies to take advantage of opportunities and find success in Africa.

U.S. Commercial Service officers from the region and expert guest panelists will explain how to mitigate business risk, brand your business, take advantage of government support, and access the growing middle class in these important emerging markets.

Click to register by June 15, 2015

Africa is one of the most promising regional markets in the world:

  • Regional economic growth has outpaced the world average and is forecast to continue.
  • A growing middle class means there’s an expanding pool of potential customers.
  • The regional focus on infrastructure development helps simplify the export process.
  • African leaders and consumers recognize and seek out quality American-made goods.

Don’t forget that in addition to the conference, there are also trade mission stops in eight growing African markets, where you will be connected directly to potential partners on the ground.

When you register for Trade Winds, our team will help identify the best markets for you, so you can make the most of your trip.

Are you ready to find your next customers and grow your business? Join us at Trade Winds! To get more information or if you have questions, contact us at tradewinds@trade.gov and follow the conversation on Twitter: #TradeWinds15.

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