Archive for the ‘Service Industries’ Category

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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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Destination: Sports! How Sporting Events like the NCAA Tournament Support U.S. Travel Exports

March 27, 2014

Ron Erdman is the Deputy Director of the International Trade Administration’s National Travel and Tourism Office.

Sporting events are a huge draw for travelers. The first competitive event for major international events like the Olympics and the World Cup is between the global cities competing to be host.

Major sports events draw visitors from all around the world and that can be a huge contributor to a region’s economic growth and development.

For tonight’s start to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16, Memphis, Anaheim, Indianapolis, and New York will host thousands of college basketball’s biggest fans, visiting from all around the country. Those visitors are buying tickets, purchasing meals, getting hotel rooms – all supporting these cities’ local economies.

Among those visitors will likely also be some international travelers.

This is another way that sporting events like the NCAA Tournament support export industries. Our data show that of the 51.2 million international visitors the United States hosted in 2011, nearly 8 percent of them attended a sports event while they were here. That means more than 4 million people attended U.S. sports events while visiting from overseas.

We estimate that in 2013, that number increased to 4.4 million people.

Those are huge numbers and significant contributors to U.S. exports. Recently released data show travel and tourism exports totaling a record $180.7 billion in 2013, accounting for about 8 percent of total national exports.

Those numbers matter because behind them are the jobs supported by both international and domestic travel and tourism. The industry supports 7.7 million jobs throughout the country according to the most recent data.

Travel and tourism exports are much like education exports in that they never leave U.S. borders. But since the sports tickets, food, and lodging costs are paid for from sources outside the United States, they are considered exports.

So when you watch the games this weekend, remember that even if your team is no longer alive, the 16 teams still playing are helping draw crowds and creating exports.

That’s something we should all cheer for!

Want to learn more about the Travel and Tourism industry? Check out our website for more data and subscribe to our newsletter!

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March Madness Earns an A in Economics

March 24, 2014

Chris Higginbotham is a Public Affairs Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs.

This infographic from the International Institute of Education shows that more than 819,000 international students studied in the United States in 2013.

Institute of International Education. (2013). Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. Retrieved from http://www.iie.org/opendoors

If you’re anything like me, you spent the weekend locked in front of the television, watching the NCAA Tournament. Hearts were broken (including mine), underdogs were victorious, and former champions were sent packing.

Perhaps the best part of it all is that we were supporting the U.S. economy the entire time!

Maybe you didn’t realize it, but the NCAA Tournament, one of the pinnacle sporting and cultural events in the United States, is a tremendous supporter of several export industries.

One obvious industry the Tournament supports is education. The athletes competing in this event are students representing some of America’s great universities.

The education industry is a huge part of the American economy, supporting jobs and fostering research and innovation.

Education is also a major service export. The United States has some of the world’s best universities, hosting hundreds of thousands of foreign students. Those students pay tuition and living expenses, including room and board, transportation, books, and health insurance. Since most of those expenditures come from sources outside the United States, they are considered exports.

Commerce data show that international students contributed a record $24.7 billion to the U.S. economy, part of a record $682 billion in services exports.

The NAFSA Association of International Educators says that education exports support 313,000 jobs in the United States, a 6.2 percent increase from 2012 and a crucial contributor to our economic growth.

Here are some more key highlights about education exports from the Institute of International Education:

·         A record 819,644 international students studied in the United States in 2012-2013;

·         The top two fields of study for international students are business and engineering;

·         The University of Southern California hosts the most foreign students, at 9,840.

Outside of the classroom, you’ll also see some international students competing on the basketball court.

The standout is Kansas University’s Andrew Wiggins, the Canadian player who was a top basketball recruit last year. There’s also NC State’s Jordan Vandenberg from Australia, UCLA’s Sooren Derboghosian from Iran, and Notre Dame’s Natalie Achonwa from Canada, among others.

As NAFSA points out, the benefits of international students studying in the United States last a lot longer than the road to the Final Four. Foreign students bring unique perspectives into American classrooms, broadening horizons for everyone involved. The relationships formed and cultural exchanges made help build bridges across borders.

So just remember the next time you watch a game, even if your team loses, you’re helping the U.S. economy win!

For more information about the education industry and how the International Trade Administration supports it, check out our updates on the ITA blog.

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Valentine’s Day “Suites” Support U.S. Exports

February 14, 2014

Amy Wasserbach is an intern in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs. She majored in International Studies at Colorado State University.

During the Valentine’s season, people all around the world take time out of their daily routine to show affection toward each other.

We embody this special occasion through exchanging gifts, sharing a meal, or making cards, but what better way to spend the holiday than a romantic get-away with your “suite-y”?

From the snowy peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the tropical beaches of Hawaii, America has many romantic vacation spots to offer foreign visitors. More and more people around the world are taking the opportunity to share a romantic sunset or a candlelight toast in the United States. The United States hosted 4.4 million international visitors in February 2013, six percent more than the same month in 2012.

Travel and tourism exports totaled $180.7 billion in 2013, an increase of more than 9 percent when compared to 2012. This makes the United States number one globally for world travel receipts and second in international visitors.

Tourism and travel are a vital part of the US economy, making up 26 percent of service exports in 2013. The travel and tourism industry is a combination of sectors (e.g., traveler accommodations, food and beverage establishments, air transportation, etc.) that collectively supported nearly eight million American jobs last year. More than one million of those jobs were supported by international visitors alone.

Historically the largest numbers of international visitors enjoying a vacation in America came from Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom in. In 2014, the number of international visitors is expected to reach 71.8 million. Your travel and tourism business could benefit from this consistently growing industry through international exports!

ITA’s National Travel and Tourism Office can help guide U.S. Travel and Tourism industry businesses to connections with their perfect international market match. Let ITA help your  travel and tourism business to sweep America’s future Valentine visitors off their feet!

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‘Tis the Season For a Movie!

January 2, 2014

Andrea DaSilva is a Senior Analyst for Media & Entertainment Industries in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Digital Services Industries.

For the movie industry, this weekend is considered the official end of the holiday season.

For me, the holidays aren’t complete until I’ve caught a couple of new releases at the movie theater.  I’m not alone on that; box office sales are normally higher in November and December. According to Box Office Mojo, movie ticket sales during the 2012 holiday season were more than 26 percent of total box office sales for the year, totaling more than $2.6 billion. That’s a lot of movie tickets over a two-month period!

The film and television industry does more than just entertain us during the holiday season; it also supports the U.S. economy. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, the industry directly supports 284,000 American jobs in fields like marketing, production, and distribution. The industry also supports more than 350,000 jobs in related businesses, from caterers to hardware suppliers.

As in other business sectors, exports are a huge contributor to the entertainment industry. U.S. exports of film and television recordings in 2012 were more than $16.2 billion.

We at the International Trade Administration are working hard with the film and television industry to support U.S. exports. Our staff based at Export Assistance Centers across the U.S. and at embassies and consulates around the world, as well as in-house export programs such as the International Buyer Program and the Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP), serve to connect American producers with global buyers, licensors and distributors.

We worked closely with the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) at industry trade shows Filmart in Hong Kong and the American Film Market in Santa Monica. IFTA has been working hard to support exports of film and television products and we’ve been glad to support the organization through the MDCP.

We’ll continue to work with American producers to make sure that global consumers always have access to American creative content. That way, movie viewers around the world will always be able to enjoy their favorite new films over any holiday.

If you have questions about how the American media and entertainment industry competes overseas, please visit our website or contact me at andrea.dasilva@trade.gov.

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Export Promotion Makes U.S. the Destination for One-Stop Shopping

December 9, 2013

Richard Swanson is the Pacific South Regional Network Director for the International Trade Administration’s U.S. Commercial Service.

Werner Escher, far right, receives the Peace Through Commerce Medal Award from Deputy Under Secretary Ken Hyatt at the IPW Tourism Summit in June 2013. At far left, Roger Dow, President of the U.S. Travel Association.

Werner Escher (right) receives the Peace Through Commerce Medal Award from then-Acting Deputy Under Secretary of International Trade Ken Hyatt (center) at the IPW Tourism Summit in June 2013. At far left is Roger Dow, President of the U.S. Travel Association.

It is no accident that guests travel from countries like China, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, or regions like Middle East to seek out top brands, fashion, and dining in the United States.

Werner Escher has understood this for four decades. As the director of domestic and international markets for South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif., Escher has implemented a strategic plan to cater to international visitors.

His efforts have made South Coast Plaza a major shopping destination for foreign visitors to Southern California, and he was recognized this year by the Department of Commerce with a Peace through Commerce Medal.

“The number one activity of people who travel is shopping,” Escher explains. “We chose to expand South Coast Plaza’s global reach and in so doing placed the retail sector as an integral part of attracting in-bound travelers to the United States.”

That is a customer base that continues to grow. Travel and tourism exports experienced a seven percent increase in the first half of 2013 over the same time period in 2012, totaling $87.1 billion.

What began as several modest promotional trips to Japan in the 1970s blossomed into a truly global marketing effort. In 1987, South Coast Plaza launched its “California Dream Promotion,” one of the largest overseas promotions in the history of the state. It put the shopping center on the map next to other Southern California attractions like movie studios, amusement parks, and zoos.

South Coast Plaza now actively markets in a half-dozen countries, and its foreign language assistance program has translators that speak more than 40 languages.

South Coast Plaza has recently turned its attention toward the growing number of visitors from China. Escher has teamed up with the U.S. Commercial Service to conduct training sessions for retailers on hosting visitors from China, and has spearheaded South Coast Plaza’s annual Lunar New Year celebrations, drawing visitors from China and throughout Asia.

Further solidifying the role of retail in tourism promotion, South Coast Plaza has also actively supported the Orange County Tourism Council’s new China marketing office that opened in Shanghai earlier this year.

South Coast Plaza annually welcomes more than 22 million visitors and a significant number are from overseas. According to Escher, approximately one-third of South Coast Plaza’s annual travelers come from the visitor market segment. South Coast Plaza’s gross sales, approaching $2 billion, is among the highest in the United States and supports thousands of American jobs.

South Coast Plaza has become an important tourism promotion asset in Southern California, contributing to the marketability of the region as a key destination for international visitors. Escher and his team work with the Orange County Tourism Council, the State of California and Brand USA to promote tourism to the United States from across the globe.

In June of 2013, Werner Escher was recognized for “exceptional vision and leadership in growing travel and tourism for the United States in support of President Obama’s National Export Initiative” when he was presented with the Peace through Commerce Medal by then-Acting Deputy Under Secretary of International Trade Ken Hyatt in a ceremony at the International Pow Wow (IPW) Tourism Summit in Las Vegas.

Werner Escher and the South Coast Plaza are excellent examples of the clients that ITA’s Commercial Service help expand their exports and increase their revenues.

Whether you are exporting travel & tourism services, or another product or service, please contact us to find out how we can help your firm achieve success in international markets!

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Leading 29 Colleges and Universities to Southeast Asia

November 18, 2013

Melissa Branzburg is an International Trade Specialist at the Export Assistance Center in Boston, Mass.

John McGinnis of Birmingham Southern College speaks to high school students in Kuala Lumpur during a Department of Commerce education trade mission in Southeast Asia.

John McGinnis of Birmingham Southern College speaks to high school students in Kuala Lumpur during a Department of Commerce education trade mission in Southeast Asia.

I had the chance to recruit and bring representatives from 29 higher education institutions to Southeast Asia in October, along with my teammate David Edmiston from Minneapolis. This was the fifth education-focused trade mission led by the U.S. Department of Commerce in the last three years.

Missions like these help support a key U.S. export sector. Education exports in 2012 totaled nearly $23 billion. A recent study shows a record number of students are now studying in the United States, so that number could grow even higher in 2013.

This particular mission was by far one of the best projects of my Commerce career. Our goal was to help U.S. schools recruit students from these countries to study here. The delegation included a wide variety of institutions, from the largest state universities to small liberal arts schools and community colleges. It was definitely a showcase of all that America’s higher education system has to offer!

We surpassed our attendance goals for the mission, more than doubling the number of students coming to meet these school representatives than we had expected. Also, part of the program included sessions with the State Department’s EducationUSA advisors and the foreign ministries of education to help us better understand the students. To give the students a leg up, the consular sections held seminars on the ins and outs of getting that ever-important American visa.

But beyond the programming, it was a chance to help amazing students explore their choices that made the experience truly unforgettable.

Carolyn Lanier at Western Connecticut State University later said to us:

“I just wanted to let you know how great the education trade mission to Manila and KL was! Thank you for organizing such a well thought-out trip. We had an amazing time! We learned so much about not only international education programs, but also about our university and what we need to do to offer competitive programs that will be of interest to students in the Philippines and Malaysia. Your efforts in this endeavor were (and continue to be) greatly appreciated!”

Our embassies and consulates around the world are celebrating International Education Week. Our trade mission was just a small part of all that is going on to support international students finding their way to the United States.

Best of luck to all the students we met with on this mission. I hope to see many of you studying here soon!

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Opportunity for U.S. Manufacturers of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients

October 22, 2013

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

Farah Naim is an International Trade Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Health and Consumer Goods.

The European Union (EU) is taking action against substandard and falsified medicines, and it could present an opportunity for U.S. pharmaceutical manufacturers to increase exports to the region.

As of July 2, shipments to any EU country of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) — the ingredients that make medications work — have had to be certified by the EU. Certification requires that the APIs be manufactured under standards at least equivalent to EU manufacturing practices. These standards include considerations for quality management, production reviews, and regular internal audits of manufacturing facilities.

Each individual pharmaceutical manufacturing facility now needs a compliance certificate for every API that it produces.

Countries can request assessment of their national manufacturing standards, to determine if they meet the EU’s standard. If they do, then individual manufacturers in those countries will not need a compliance certificate. As of September, Australia, Japan, Switzerland, and the United States have applied for and met the standard.

This presents an opportunity for U.S. innovative and generic pharmaceutical manufacturers. As global manufacturers apply for EU certification, and other nations apply for and strive toward EU standards, American-made pharmaceuticals can fill gaps created by the certification processes.

All of us here on ITA’s Health Team are dedicated to enhancing the global competitiveness of the U.S. health industry, and making sure it has every advantage when competing abroad.

For more information on this and other health-related trade matters, please visit ITA’s Health Industries page or contact me at Farah.Naim@trade.gov.

More information on the new rules, enacted in Directive 2011/62/EU, can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/health/human-use/quality/index_en.htm.

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Can Next-Generation Education Have an Effect on U.S. Education Exports?

September 27, 2013

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

Stella Mach recently completed an internship in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Service Industries. She studied Economics and Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia.  

Education is a huge American service industry, and a major contributor to U.S. exports. Foreign students studying in the United States accounted for nearly $23 billion of U.S. exports in 2012.

The International Trade Administration (ITA) works closely with the education industry to support these exports and continue to draw foreign students to the United States. While supporting traditional models of education, ITA is also closely watching the industry evolve and is paying close attention to new avenues of education.

One trend we are watching closely is the proliferation of massive open online courses (MOOCs).

Bill Gates, whose foundation has been heavily involved in education, said in July that he sees MOOCs as “a global phenomenon.” They have added an interesting new dimension to education, allowing classes to reach across the globe to students around the world.

In less than two years, MOOCs have attracted millions of students from around the globe and partnered with dozens of top-ranking schools worldwide.

It’s interesting to note that 72 percent of the student body at Coursera, one company getting involved in MOOCs, comes from outside the United States. Further, 42 percent of these foreign students come from countries outside of Europe and BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China).

So, the growth of these courses could result in a measurable increase in U.S. education exports, and could increase exports to non-traditional markets.

ITA is closely monitoring this new industry as MOOCs continue to evolve. Our team of education services specialists regularly partners with the education industry, leading trade missions and partnering with education organizations. We’re excited to see how this new education service will affect the industry and support new U.S. exports.

To learn more about MOOCs and ITA’s efforts to increase U.S. education exports, visit our website, or contact Education Services Specialist John Siegmund. Whether or not MOOCs will indeed be the next “global phenomenon,” stay tuned with ITA to find out!

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Thinking Globally: The Strength of the U.S. Health IT Sector

July 12, 2013

Justin Fisk is an intern in the International Trade Administration’s Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee. He’s a graduate of the University of Georgia, taking graduate courses at the George Washington University. David Collier is an intern in ITA’s Office of Public Affairs, studying International Relations at the University of Missouri.

For some Health Information Technology businesses, exporting their products globally may seem even more difficult than creating them. That’s why the International Trade Administration (ITA) exists: to help U.S. companies compete in the global marketplace.

As part of that mission, the White House and Business Forward hosted a roundtable on the international Health IT market, bringing together industry stakeholders and exporters. The event featured discussions about the opportunities for increasing Health IT exports, and how resources from ITA and the U.S. government can help businesses take advantage of those opportunities.

The U.S. Health IT sector is a dynamic and important part of the economy, and the global market is expected to grow to $250 billion by 2015 as a result of increased investment in healthcare and health systems around the world.

That’s why the Administration has made this sector a priority for the National Export Initiative (NEI), which President Obama launched in 2010 with the goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014.

The NEI is part of the President’s plan to strengthen America’s economy, support additional jobs here at home, and ensure long-term, sustainable growth.

Representatives from more than 40 companies attended the roundtable, including executives from Oracle, Intel, and Dimensional Insight. Many of these firms, from large corporations to small businesses, have successfully taken advantage of government resources to help find new markets and export to growing foreign markets.

ITA’s resources can help companies export for the first time, and help find new markets for more experienced exporters.

Events like the recent roundtable is that it allows the ITA to meet face-to-face with companies, and design new resources based on the concerns of private industry.

Although these companies represent diverse subsectors of the Health IT industry, they are united in their desire to share their story. These firms understand that exporting can be challenging, but in an increasingly globalized world, companies must think globally. Fortunately, U.S. firms of all sizes are not alone. The government is ready to help.

If your company wants to think global, please visit your nearest U.S. Export Assistance Center for assistance.

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