Archive for the ‘Export Assistance’ Category


Doing Business in Burma – A Webinar Highlighting Key Opportunities and Challenges

January 21, 2015

Eduard Roytberg is a Senior International Trade Specialist at the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Ontario, California, and a member of U.S. Commercial Service’s Global Asia Team.

Geoffrey Parish is a Commercial Officer currently assigned to the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Boston, Massachusetts and is a member of the U.S. Commercial Service’s Global Asia Team.

In 2011, the Government of Burma embarked on a series of reforms aimed at opening Burma’s economy to the global marketplace. In response to this reform effort, the United States waived many of its economic sanctions on Burma. These policy changes opened the door for U.S. businesses to trade and invest in the country.

The United States supports the Burmese Government’s ongoing reform efforts, and believes that the participation of U.S. businesses in Burma’s economy can be a model for responsible investment and business operations, encouraging further change, promoting inclusive economic development, and contributing to the welfare of the Burmese people. Increasing U.S. trade and investment in Burma—a key priority for the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon—brings substantial benefits to both countries.

Last year, ITA’s U.S. Commercial Service opened its first-ever office in Rangoon, Burma. With U.S. merchandise exports to Burma more than doubling from 2012 to 2013, Burma is becoming a rapidly growing market for American products and services. Establishing a permanent ITA presence in Rangoon will enhance the critical role that ITA plays in supporting U.S. businesses seeking to grow and expand in foreign markets, and also supports the Commerce Department’s Open for Business Agenda.

A country of 51 million people, Burma boasts a rich natural resources base, a young labor force, and a prime geographic location. It has attracted strong interest from the international business community and our global competitors are already focused on the unique opportunities the country presents in a variety of sectors.

To help U.S. exporters better understand the business opportunities and challenges in this dynamic market, the U.S. Commercial Service will host a webinar on doing business in Burma on Wednesday, February 4, at 7:30pm EST. The webinar will provide a market overview and highlight key opportunities and challenges to help U.S. exporters working in a various industries.

The webinar will be led by James Golsen, the Senior Commercial Officer at the newly opened U.S. Commercial Service office in Rangoon. Golsen and his team are ready to assist U.S. exporters with market entry or expansion through a range of services, including market intelligence, international partner searches, trade counseling and business matchmaking with potential partners.

To register or for additional details about the webinar, visit


Competing to Win: How We Can Help U.S. Exporters Succeed at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games

December 10, 2014
Fans from many countries watch a sporting event.

Fans are ready for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and U.S. businesses should get ready for export opportunities related to the games.

Athletes around the world have already begun their preparations for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

For U.S. businesses looking to take advantage of export opportunities, preparations should also begin now.

The good news (for most of us anyway) is that preparations for businesses don’t require any sprints, hours in the pool, or extraordinarily difficult-looking skills on a pommel horse.

Actually, the best advantage for a U.S. company looking to win in Brazil is help from the International Trade Administration’s Commercial Service. We have teams on the ground in Brazil actively working with U.S. industry to identify opportunities presented by Rio 2016 and overcome challenges to capitalizing on these opportunities.


Rio 2016 presents new opportunities for U.S. exporters in a broad range of sectors. Spending tied to the Games between 2010 and 2016 will reach close to $50 billion and includes new investments in sectors including:

  • Construction and Engineering,
  • Transportation,
  • Public Security,
  • Education and Training,
  • Sporting Goods, and
  • Telecommunications.

In addition, new infrastructure-related investments for the Rio 2016 Games will reach $15 billion, targeting major airports throughout the country, new transportation corridors and intelligent transportation systems, and port revitalization. Subcontracting opportunities will also be available to U.S. firms.

The Organizing Committee for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games will also have a separate budget of $1.3 billion to acquire products and services such as temporary construction for sports venues, mobile equipment, video and broadcasting equipment, marketing, and catering services. U.S. firms, especially those with proven success at previous Olympics and major sporting events are welcome to bid.

What this all adds up to is enormous opportunity for U.S. companies, and the Commercial Service team in Brazil is working closely with the Olympics Organizing Committee to make sure U.S. companies know about all of these opportunities.

Action Plan

The first step for potential suppliers is to register at the Rio 2016 Suppliers Portal website. After registration, U.S. companies will be able to view all available tenders and steps to place a bid.

U.S. companies interested in Rio 2016 opportunities should visit CS Brazil’s website

for information about the games and bidding opportunities.

U.S. firms can also directly visit the Rio 2016 website as well as the Rio 2016 Committee website for information.

The Commercial Service in Brazil is ready to assist you in this process. Please feel free to reach out directly to CS Rio Principal Commercial Officer Mark Russell,, or Commercial Officer Jay Carreiro, for further information.


We’ve Got Your Six: Vets Go Global Initiative Connects Veterans to Global Markets

December 9, 2014

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy. Murat Muftari is an International Trade Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service working out of the Long Island, NY U.S. Export Assistance Center.

Our Vets Go Global team met with veteran-owned businesses at the National Veterans Small Business Engagement to provide export counseling.

Our Vets Go Global team met with veteran-owned businesses at the National Veterans Small Business Engagement to provide export counseling.

As a former U.S. Special Forces soldier with multiple combat tours abroad, I can say with certainty that the camaraderie and trust that exists between soldiers is second to none. The title “We’ve Got Your Six” references what lies behind someone on the battlefield, their most vulnerable blind spot that is covered by their teammate. Here at the Department of Commerce, we want to help veterans out by watching their six as they start and grow their businesses. Throughout government, we have been working to support veterans as they transition into civilian life, helping them get back to work through the Veteran Employment Opportunity Act and Veteran Recruitment Act. A number of veterans, me included, have found a home as International Trade Specialists in the U.S. Commercial Service, consulting with U.S. companies on international business development and growth through our global network of trade professionals. Now, the veteran hires of the U.S. Commercial Service have united together to create Vets Go Global, an initiative that proactively engages veteran-owned businesses to connect them to global markets. Our team will work diligently to support veteran-owned businesses and help them grow their business by:

Update: Follow the Vets Go Global team on Twitter for news about upcoming initiatives!

Our Vets Go Global team believes in veteran-owned businesses and the important business skills they bring to the table — like adaptability, attention-to-detail, discipline, intercultural communications, objective-based focus, leadership, and perseverance. Those are the skill-sets that increase any company’s probability of success in international business. As veterans, we look forward to bringing back that battlefield camaraderie to our work with veteran business owners. To the veteran-owned business community, we’ve got your six in the global marketplace. Let us help you expand your exports and increase your bottom line. Contact your nearest Export Assistance Center to get started.


Is Your Company Ready to Export?

November 24, 2014

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Don Aberle has one piece of advice for companies looking to export: Commit to it.

It may take time, but the marketing manager from Titan Machinery Outlet says that commitment can pay off, and “good things will happen.”

That’s the theme of a new video from the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA), which provides tips from successful exporters about how a company can become a global player.

Young companies should also be paying attention to and taking advantage of global opportunities. Startups actually can have an important advantage when it comes to pursuing exports, in that engaging in foreign markets early can make global business a continuing part of your company’s culture.

And that can set your company up for continued success in the global economy.

Here are a few tips that can help your young business find success in exporting:

  • Do Your Research: Find the right markets for your company and have a well-defined strategy for approaching them.
  • Differentiate Yourself: Everyone says their company makes the best products and provides the best customer service. Your company needs to explain – from a consumer’s perspective – why someone would want to buy your products.
  • Be Patient: Jon Engelstad of Superior Manufacturing says there are companies he’s worked with for up to three years in order to make them customers of his company. That means a lot of work for an exporter, but it also creates a strong relationship between you and your consumer.
  • Work with ITA’s Commercial Service: Our team can help you find the right research, plan your strategy, and find the most qualified partners to work with.

Just because your company is young doesn’t mean exporting is out of reach for you. If you’re ready to get started, contact your nearest Export Assistance Center.


Connecting Entrepreneurs to the Global Marketplace

November 13, 2014

The Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration works hard to help companies that are ready to export compete and succeed in global markets.

We want to emphasize that it’s never too early for entrepreneurs to start thinking about exporting – determining financing needs, targeting markets, conducting research, etc.

As we’ve worked with global startups, we’ve learned it can be difficult for entrepreneurs to connect to existing resources to help them go global. We realize that start-ups differ in their capabilities at various stages of the business development process, but want to help young businesses incorporate export plans into their business model as early as possible.

One great way to get started is to be a part of ExporTech, which can help your company develop its export plan, then have it vetted by a panel of experts. More than 575 companies have participated in Exportech, with an average sales increase or retention of $770,000.

Here are four more tips for the busy entrepreneur to help address specific needs to start exporting:

  1. Secure Access to Capital: Many local and state governments have seed capital and investment programs just for their states’ entrepreneurs and start-ups. Many states have small business development programs or start-up-specific outreach programs designed to assist entrepreneurs to access capital — as well as educate them on best practices. On the federal level, there is the Small Business Administration, which has programs like the U.S. Small Business Investment Company program. A list of other loans directed towards helping small businesses go global can be found here.
  2. Secure your Intellectual Property: In order to increase the confidence a startup requires for going global, we need to ensure they know about what our U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is doing to protect American start-ups’ intellectual property. Here are five simple steps to get started, and you can find more information at
  3. Do your Research: One important thing you need to figure out is the right target market for your exports. Understand the market trends and figure out your company’s competitive advantage. You can find market research reports on or by visiting your nearest Export Assistance Center. Here are some other important questions you should answer from the start.
  4. Find the Right Partners: Every market is different, and having a good partner on the ground — whether it’s your legal representation, a distributor, or a sales representative – can make a huge difference in your company’s success. Consider ITA’s Gold Key Matchmaking Service to help you find the right partner for your needs.

By helping America’s high-growth start-ups go global, trade will become a broader part of doing business in the United States. The International Trade Administration and the Department of Commerce are committed to enabling our next generation of globally fluent businesses.

Contact your nearest Export Assistance Center to get started.


Exporting Might Be the Only Thing Better Than College Basketball

October 30, 2014

The ACC is to college basketball what the Americas are to global export markets.

Chris Higginbotham is a Public Affairs Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs, and a proud UNC alumnus.

Imagine my surprise yesterday…

There I am, walking around the venue for our DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: The Americas business forum, when I walk upstairs and am all-of-a-sudden surrounded by an ESPN crew.

There’s a row of radio reporters on the wall next to me. Bright lights, video cameras, and lots of tall kids.

Our forum shared a venue with the Atlantic Coastal Conference (ACC) college basketball media day. Players, coaches, and staff from some of the nation’s top college basketball programs were right above us.

And the appropriateness of the coincidence struck me last night, because the ACC is to college basketball what the Americas are to global export markets.

I’m an East Coast guy – a North Carolina native – so I don’t say that lightly.

Every year, the ACC is among the top conferences in basketball. Just like how every year, markets throughout the Western Hemisphere present some of the best global opportunities for U.S. exporters.

And as the basketball teams of the ACC compete through the fall and spring, I think that many of the companies here at DISCOVER will be increasing their sales by competing and winning in markets throughout the Americas.

During the next two days, we’ll be helping businesses from 31 states learn about free trade agreements, tariff rates, market opportunities, trade financing, industry trends, e-commerce, and more. We’ll give them the tools they need to gain every advantage when competing in growing markets in the region.

We’re connecting companies directly to a delegation of energy industry buyers from Mexico – a delegation of leaders who know that the quality of U.S. products and services is unmatched in the global market.

If you couldn’t make it to this event, I hope you’ll follow the action and the updates on Twitter using #DGMCharlotte.

You should also look into upcoming DISCOVER events in Atlanta Nov. 5-6, and Minneapolis Nov. 17-18.

Being a U.S. exporter won’t get you drafted in the NBA. There’s no uniform, no conference rivalries, and no fight songs.

But there is opportunity, and that opportunity can take your business to the next level of success.

I hope we’ll see you at an upcoming event, and that we’ll see your business growing through exports very soon.


Discovering Greater China Through Long-Term Plans, Serious Relationship-Building, Finding Good Partners

October 9, 2014

Jim Cox is the Regional Director of the U.S. Commercial Service’s Northeast Network, which is part of the International Trade Administration.

Image of three people meeting at a table and having a discussion at Discover Global Markets in New York

Our DISCOVER forums feature individual counseling sessions between your business and U.S. commercial diplomats who can help develop export strategies for specific markets.

When it comes to exporting to China, there is a world of opportunities for U.S. companies.

But there are also many hurdles to overcome.

That’s why our Commercial Service team brought together dozens of industry experts, U.S. commercial diplomats, and successful exporters for the DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: Greater China event in New York City this week.

With more than 300 innovative and ambitious U.S. business representatives in attendance, we discussed market intelligence, best practices, and strategies to compete and win in some of the world’s fastest-growing markets.

Through one-on-one counseling sessions, we helped more than 90 individual companies develop their strategy for entering new markets.

And we learned some great information from business leaders that are already doing business in the region.

Like that when you’re vetting a potential partner in China, a great way to find information about them is to do a web search for their fax number.

Or that Chinese people are very guarded about trusting potential business partners, so you’ll have to put a lot of work into developing a trusting personal relationship in order to create a successful business relationship.

Our District Export Council told us some great information about etiquette, like that Chinese business leaders see a business meal as a place to relax and break the ice, so working through meals can actually harm your chances of striking a deal.

Bottom line: The markets of Greater China aren’t always the easiest to enter, but they do offer a return that could be well worth the investment of time your business will have to make.

To the panel members, marketing partners, and attendees who made our event the success that it was, I give many thanks. I am certain that we will see some great success stories about businesses creating new business in Greater China.

If you couldn’t make this event, trust me – you need to check out the upcoming DISCOVER events. Register for them. And succeed because of them.


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