Archive for the ‘Service Industries’ Category

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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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What Happens in Vegas… Is Good for the Economy

June 11, 2013

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

Calynn Jenkins is an intern in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs. She is studying political science at American University. 

Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade Ken Hyatt, and LVCVA President/CEO Rossi Ralenkotter sign a Memorandum of Agreement between ITA and LVCVA.

Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade Ken Hyatt, and Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority President/CEO Rossi Ralenkotter sign a Memorandum of Agreement to support Nevada’s tourism industry.

The United States’ growth in travel and tourism exports is the result of more than just a roll of the dice. Export success in this industry requires partnerships. Partnerships among government agencies as part of President Obama’s National Travel and Tourism Strategy have helped, and government leaders took another step earlier today.

Tuesday morning, Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Kenneth Hyatt signed a Trade Promotion Partner Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA). This agreement between the International Trade Administration (ITA) and LVCVA creates a strategic partnership in order to strengthen Nevada’s tourism sector.

“LVCVA and ITA share a common mission to increase travel and tourism in the United States in order to boost our economy and create jobs,” said Hyatt. “I am pleased to commemorate our new partnership that will be instrumental in helping the Southern Nevada region increase the number of international visitors it attracts.”

Signing this agreement with Las Vegas makes sense; Las Vegas is a key destination for international travelers, with 39.7 million visitors in 2012. LVCVA has a goal of increasing the percentage of international visitors to Nevada from 17 to 30 percent.

“We will leverage the strength of the Las Vegas brand and the Las Vegas Convention Center’s World Trade Center designation to further position Las Vegas as a global business destination,” said LVCVA President/CEO Rossi Ralenkotter.

“Tourism drives the economic vitality of Las Vegas and supports nearly half of all the jobs in Southern Nevada,” said Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins. “The business community understands the importance of the industry.”

Not only will this agreement help the state of Nevada’s tourism sector and economy, but it supports nationwide growth in the industry. Travel and tourism supported 7.5 million jobs for American workers in 2012.

The International Trade Administration is committed to the continued growth of the U.S. travel and tourism sector. To learn more about our efforts visit the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries and for detailed information on international travel and tourism visit the 2012-2018 forecast.

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