Archive for the ‘Service Industries’ Category


Exports in Higher Education–Finding Qualified Students in Central Europe

November 23, 2015

Jennifer Moll is a Senior International Trade Specialist at the International Trade Administration’s Detroit Export Assistance Center.

If you work in higher education, your institution may be actively recruiting international students. Successful international recruiting involves finding students abroad; venues to conduct effective outreach; forming international partnerships; ensuring international students meet the school’s qualifications; and connecting with scholarship and financial aid options domestically and internationally. In the spring, we’ll host an event designed to help your institution explore all of these important elements in the growing higher education market of Central Europe.

The U.S. Commercial Service at the U.S. Embassies in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary, is partnering with EducationUSA and the Fulbright Commission, to organize education fairs in their respective countries from April 18-22, 2016.

The fairs are much more than shaking hands with foreign diplomats. In each market, event participants will have access to:

  • Briefings from the U.S. embassy in each country about the education environment and market factors;
  • One-on-one appointments with potential partners;
  • A student fair; and
  • Networking events in the respective country (Prague, Warsaw, or Budapest).

Central Europe has experienced amazing development in the last 20 years, including growth in the field of higher education. Across the region there is a strong tradition and interest in quality education that U.S. institutions can tap into. Prague, Warsaw, and Budapest each have unique characteristics that make them suitable targets for overseas recruitment efforts:

  • The Czech Republic has great recruitment potential. High-quality educational programs, coupled with English as the standard second language, produce a large pool of highly qualified candidates for both undergraduate and graduate studies in the United States. Also, an increase in study abroad programs and institutional cooperation has given rise to several new private foundations that have the potential to be sources for student scholarships.
  • Poland is unquestionably a prime target for U.S. educational institutions to successfully recruit undergraduate and graduate students. This market not only represents the sixth largest country in the European Union in terms of population, but it also has a population heavily skewed toward young students interested in higher education.
  • In Hungary, studying abroad is seen as an absolute must for many students, with one-third of students having the goal of study overseas. Summer camps, as well as special English language and mentoring programs all contribute to a large, highly-qualified pool of applicants that will be of great interest to U.S. colleges and universities.

To expand your institution’s international reach to these growing markets, visit the event page to learn more. Be sure to sign up for our related webinar, ‘Best Practices and Opportunities for Student Recruitment in the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary’, on December 2nd at 11 a.m. EST.

There’s never been a better time to explore the higher education market in Central Europe. Our team would love to help your institution succeed!

*For more information or questions, email Jennifer at



Back-to-School Means More International Trade in Education

September 10, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog

Student in University Classroom

Student in University Classroom

Guest blog post by John Siegmund, International Trade Specialist, International Trade Administration

As the summer comes to an end, millions of students are returning to campuses all over the country.  A good portion of these students are coming from abroad. Did you know that the tuition and living expenses of foreign students make up an important services export?  In 2013 the total came to $27 billion in U.S. exports, roughly twice the amount of a decade ago.  The total number of international students has also grown steadily.

The Department of Commerce recently released the Top Markets Report on Education.  The report highlights market dynamics, trends and key challenges to studying in the United States.

About 886,000 foreign students were studying at colleges and universities in the United States in 2013/14. The top five sending countries that year were; China (274,000 students), India (101,000 students), South Korea (68,000 students), Saudi Arabia (54,000 students), and Canada (28,000 students).

The report also projects future export opportunities based on research and trends. The eight markets that offer potentially the best opportunities to increase foreign enrollments in the years ahead are Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam.  Selection of these key markets, described in the report’s methodology, is based on the number of students from a given country studying in the United States, the total number studying abroad, and historical growth rates of students studying in the United States.

Enrollment of international students is important to U.S. institutions, but they face competitive challenges, notably (1) growing competition from other English-language countries primarily the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia; (2) competition from English-language programs in countries where English is not the language of the country; and (3) the perception of difficulties and delays in getting U.S. student visas.

The report also offers reasons that students choose to study abroad.  Demographics, economics, secondary school completion rates, tuition costs, household income, and employer needs all play a role.  The most popular fields of study include business and management, and the STEM fields.

Although the United States is the largest destination country for international students, the U.S. percentage share of international students has eroded over the past decade. The number of international students worldwide has increased faster than has the number of international students coming to the United States. I would encourage you to take a look at the Top Markets Report on Education to learn more about this surprising industry!


Cloud Computing Exports Drive Growth at Home and Abroad

August 27, 2015

Brian Larkin is a Senior Policy Advisor in ITA’s Office of Digital Services Industries.

Cloud computing, which allows companies of all sizes to easily and inexpensively access computing resources, has become a key enabling tool for firms in many global markets. It should therefore come as no surprise that corporate cloud spending may reach $191 billion by 2020, more than triple the 2013 total, according to Forester Research. U.S. providers have leveraged technological expertise, innovative approaches, first-mover advantages, and other strengths to earn leading international positions in the delivery of cloud services. While they are sure to benefit from growing demand, these trendsetting firms still face challenges in some critical markets.

The 2015 Top Markets Report on Cloud Computing explores this global landscape. International Trade Administration (ITA) policy experts and embassy staff contributed to the report, which features profiles of countries in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, as well as an overall ranking.

All but a few of the world’s top enterprise cloud providers are based in the United States. These firms may specialize in bits and bytes instead of the physical shipments that trade discussions often evoke, but they are major contributors to our nation’s exports. In fact, digitally-deliverable services, a category that includes cloud computing, have accounted for over 60 percent of U.S. service exports in recent years and been an area in which the United States enjoys a substantial trade surplus.

The U.S. economy is far from the only one benefiting from the popularity of cloud services, however. These make it easy for companies, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to quickly access advanced computing resources without having to invest in and manage costly technical infrastructures. They unlock technologies and platforms that could otherwise be out of reach, enabling firms in all industries to enhance business processes, lower expenses, and raise productivity – a key contributor to broader economic growth. And for those digital startups looking to launch the next must-have app, they provide a host of useful tools. It’s thus little wonder that foreign technology groups like Rovio, Spotify, and Shazam chose U.S. cloud providers to help them achieve global success.

Despite the clear benefits of cloud adoption, some countries are considering or have enacted policies that would limit their domestic companies’ access to these services. These include rules preventing data from moving freely across national borders, such as from an SME in one country to a cloud provider with servers in another, such as the United States. Data flow restrictions undercut economies of scale and make it extremely difficult for cloud firms to offer affordable, reliable access to productivity-boosting resources.

Among other justifications, policymakers may believe that by requiring data to be stored locally, they can stimulate the growth of their domestic technology sector. However, these mandates are far more likely to make it impractical for cloud providers to continue supplying local firms, potentially cutting off a wide array of enterprises from the most sophisticated services available. Accordingly, the European Center for International Political Economy has found that recently proposed or implemented data localization rules in several countries would cause GDP losses.

ITA is a leading voice in the U.S. Government’s global engagement on regulatory issues affecting U.S. cloud providers, such as data localization. Every day, ITA engages with foreign leaders and policymakers, analyzes fast-changing market dynamics, and works with inter-agency colleagues to help ensure that U.S. firms receive equitable market access overseas.

We also strive to provide useful information to U.S. cloud providers big and small as they seek specific export opportunities. We believe that this year’s Top Markets Report on Cloud Computing does just that, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts on it.


U.S. Health IT Companies Experience a Boost in Export Opportunities

July 29, 2015

By Matthew Hein, International Trade Specialist in the Office of Health Information Technology at the International Trade Administration.  

The Health Information Technology (Health IT) sector has become an important, dynamic sector reshaping the healthcare system in the United States.  As other countries increase investments in their healthcare systems, they are interested in investing in digital products and services, driven by computers and mobile phones, rather than through paper-based systems. As a result, U.S. Health IT companies have become prime candidates to offer the technologies and services needed to meet the requirements of the 96 percent of patients based outside of the United States. The International Trade Administration (ITA) is committed to providing U.S. Health IT exporters the data-driven market intelligence they need to succeed globally – whether finding a company’s next export market or comparing opportunities for first-time exporters.

This is the first Top Markets Report on the Health IT sector, providing exporters with analysis of future export opportunities, and possible barriers companies may encounter overseas. The Health IT Top Markets Report, part of the larger Top Markets Series, includes a methodology used to rank 80 potential export markets, eight country case studies, and several charts and graphs which show the market potential for the sector. The Health IT Top Market Report is forward looking, using data and analytics to project the strongest markets for future export growth; designed to help exporters compare opportunities across borders, identify opportunities for market expansion and/or market entry; and help exporters prepare effective strategies for entering or expanding their presence in foreign markets.

So what does the future hold for the sector? With approximately $7 trillion in healthcare expenditures worldwide, the opportunities available for the Health IT sector are vast. However, since the rules and regulations governing the sector may not be keeping up with the innovations being developed, companies would greatly benefit from counseling and guidance from ITA when exploring opportunities overseas, both from the Top Market Report, but also through the ITA network of resources located worldwide.

Here are some important findings in the report:

  1. Japan, Switzerland, Netherlands rank 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the Export Market Rankings.
  2. Several smaller countries (such as Kenya, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore) profiled in the Report offer exciting export opportunities for Health IT companies. Health IT market access for exporters to Low- and Middle-Income Countries may be easier than that found in larger, more developed countries.
  3. A high rating of physician worker density/capita (as a proxy for healthcare workers) may result in a less intensive need for Health IT solutions in a country.
  4. Current data on mobile phone penetration rates offers an incomplete (and potentially inaccurate) picture of mobile health/telehealth potential in a country.
  5. A high prevalence of prepaid mobile phone plans in a country can be a significant encumbrance to widespread adoption of mobile health and telehealth solutions.
  6. A high level of healthcare expenditures (used as a proxy for Health IT expenditures) in a country did not necessarily result in a high ranking for a country using the Report’s methodology.

This post has only touched on some of the analysis you’ll find in the full report. I invite you to download the full report for our in-depth market analysis; and welcome feedback on our methodologies, viewpoints, and rankings.


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.


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.




Enjoy All that America Has to Offer – Celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week!

May 6, 2015

Kelly Craighead is the Executive Director of the International Trade Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Office. 

Many tiny images highlighting U.S. travel destinationsThis post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

It’s National Travel and Tourism Week and there is a lot to celebrate! Last year, 74.7 million international visitors to the United States generated $220.6 billion dollars in spending – a record number of visitors and a record year. Overall, the travel and tourism industry generated $1.5 trillion in total sales in 2014, which supported 7.8 million U.S. jobs.

If you’ve ever wondered why the U.S. Department of Commerce is interested in travel and tourism, the reason is simple: Commerce wants to help more U.S. businesses export. Travel and tourism, considered a services export, generates export dollars when international visitors to the United States spend their money on U.S. flag carriers to get here, or when they spend money on travel related items including lodging, food, attractions, shopping or use transportation within the country.

When people visit the United States to explore our cities and visit our attractions, they experience the unique diversity of our people, geography, and products. These visitors return to their home countries with an affinity for the USA brand and may seek out American goods sold in their home countries that remind them of their travels across the United States. Thus, new opportunities for U.S. companies to sell their products in international markets are created and U.S. exports increase.

Recognizing the important role of travel and tourism to the U.S. economy, in our National Travel and Tourism Strategy, we set a lofty goal: to attract 100 million international visitors annually by the end of 2021. With the full support of the Obama administration and an actively engaged set of vital industry partners, I’m pleased to say we are on track to meet this ambitious goal.

To that end, during this auspicious week, for all we have done together—and the more we have to do—I, along with my colleagues at the Commerce Department, salute each and every travel professional for the impactful contributions their organizations make to the U.S. economy.

I encourage all Americans to assist the United States in welcoming our visiting international guests. Help them see the beauty and wonder in your hometown, your state capital or your favorite American attraction. Consider pitching in to spruce up the public lands and waterways in your area or be a “voluntourist” and lead nature hikes or birding quests. You can also visit a museum or historic house. Get out a map and see what you can experience for yourself within a day’s drive of your house!

Enjoy all that America has to offer. Celebrate our nation’s great places, great spaces, and great faces. Discover this land like never before.

For information on travel and tourism, please visit For great ideas about visiting the United States, please visit


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