Archive for the ‘Trade Finance’ Category

h1

NEI/NEXT Priority Objective: Expand Access to Finance for U.S. Exporters

July 10, 2014

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

Yuki Fujiyama is a trade finance specialist with the Office of Finance and Insurance Services Industries in the International Trade Administration.  He serves on the Department’s liaison team to the U.S. Export-Import Bank and he is the author of The Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters.

Attendees at the Seminar learned the best ways to get paid from export sales, as part of a continued effort to support U.S. exporters.

Attendees at the Seminar learned the best ways to get paid from export sales, as part of a continued effort to support U.S. exporters. You can learn about this in our Trade Finance Guide.

The U.S. government is focusing on expanding access to finance for U.S. exporters, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and their foreign buyers.

On June 30, the U.S. Department of Commerce partnered with a number of local organizations and federal agencies to present The Global Connect: Arlington Trade Finance Seminar at Arlington Economic Development in Northern Virginia.

Expanding access to export financing is one of the five priority objectives under NEI/NEXT, the next phase of the President’s National Export Initiative, a customer-focused initiative to ensure that more American businesses can fully capitalize on markets around the world.

Despite recent improvements in the economy, many U.S. businesses, especially SMEs and minority-owned firms, still face significant challenges in financing their export transactions.  The Arlington seminar helped local SMEs learn ways to overcome such challenges by following NEI/NEXT’s three key trade finance strategies:

  1. Engage and educate more commercial lenders and private-sector partners on U.S. government export financing and insurance programs.
  2. Educate more U.S. businesses on how to utilize the government and commercial trade finance resources that can help turn their export opportunities into actual transactions.
  3. Streamline services provided by U.S. government export financing and promotion agencies.

In addition to these finance strategies, participants also explored:

  • getting paid from export sales;
  • getting paid in foreign currencies;
  • taking advantage of  export assistance resources and U.S. Government export financing programs;
  • identifying U.S. export opportunities in Latin America; and,
  • finding global business development resources for U.S. Hispanic and Other Minority-Owned Businesses.

With the new knowledge gained from Global Connect Arlington, participants are now more equipped to enter, grow and succeed in global markets!

Do you need more info on trade finance? Our Trade Finance Guide is a great place to start!

h1

How to Get Paid for Your Aerospace Exports

June 17, 2014

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

Fred Elliot is a Trade Specialist with the Aerospace Team at the International Trade Administration.

Photo of an airplane engine.Have you ever wondered if you should extend credit to your overseas customers in the same way you do your national customers? Or whether your banking relationships are solid enough to allow this type of credit?

Now’s the time to start getting some answers. Register now for the July 24th Trade Finance Webinar for U.S. Aerospace Exporters and gain expert insight about topics such as:

  • Dos and don’ts of export finance;
  • Methods of payment from overseas customers;
  • How the Export-Import Bank and the Small Business Administration (SBA) can help finance aerospace exports, and;
  • Ways the U.S. Department of Commerce is helping aerospace manufacturers learn about export opportunities and how to take advantage of them.

Companies in southern Ohio are welcome to participate in-person in Cincinnati, where you can meet one-on-one with finance experts from the Export-Import Bank, SBA, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, and PNC Bank, who can answer any questions you may have.

Both webinar and in-person attendees will leave this event better prepared to succeed in global business.

You can register or find more details online, or contact Howard Thompson of the Ohio Aerospace Institute at (440)-962-3237.

h1

Global Connect: Arizona Trade Finance Seminar: A Must Attend Seminar to Learn How to Access Capital and Financing for Exports

February 13, 2014

Yuki Fujiyama is a trade finance specialist with the Office of Finance and Insurance Industries in the International Trade Administration.

The Arizona Trade Finance Seminar takes place Feb. 21, 2014 at the Thunderbird School of Management.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is partnering with a number of local organizations and federal agencies in offering The Global Connect: Arizona Trade Finance Seminar at the Thunderbird School of Global Management on February 21 in Glendale, Ariz.

This seminar will be available in person and via teleconference, covering a series of important export finance subjects:

  • How to get paid from export sales;
  • Ways to approach and work with banks to enter and grow in global markets;
  • Steps to access export working capital and trade credit;
  • How to increase export sales;
  • Methods of receiving payment in foreign currencies;
  • U.S. government export assistance resources; and
  • Global business development resources for minority-owned businesses.

Global Connect: Arizona will bring together experts from both the public and private sectors to discuss resources available to U.S. exporters. This applies to businesses of any size for their financing needs.

One-on-one counseling sessions are also available to provide export finance guidance specific to the needs of your organization.

Support for Hispanic-Owned Businesses

This training is open to businesses Across the United States, there are 2.3 million Hispanic-owned businesses, according to the latest data, and more than 10 percent of Arizona businesses are Hispanic-owned.

Data also show that minority-owned businesses are twice as likely to export as other U.S. firms. As Hispanic-owned businesses in Arizona and across the country look outside U.S. borders for more sales, it will be important for them to understand their finance options.

This session will be a crucial educational tool for these business leaders, and a great augmentation to the International Trade Administration’s Spanish-language Trade Finance Guide. 

Co-Sponsors and Partners

This session is made possible through cooperation among several local, state, and federal organizations:

We hope to see you at the event, so be sure to register today! For more information, please visit the Office of Finance and Insurance Industries.

h1

How Are Escrow Services Used In International Trade Transactions?

September 25, 2013

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

Andrew K. Sokol is General Manager of Emerging Markets at Escrow.com, an International Trade Administration Strategic Partner.

The Trade Finance Guide is a helpful guide for U.S. companies that want to learn the basics of trade finance.

The Trade Finance Guide is a helpful guide about the basics of trade finance.

About a year ago, Professor David Wyld, Robert Maurin Professor of Management at Southeastern Louisiana University, wrote an article titled, “Securing the Transaction: The Advantages of Using Online Escrow Services Versus Letters of Credit in International Trade.” In that article, Professor Wyld predicts that with the use of escrow services, “we will see a growth in exporting (and importing) activities around the globe.”

The question is…what is an escrow service and how is it used in international trade transactions?

The International Trade Administration’s Trade Finance Guide (TFG) says an escrow service is a cash-in-advance option available to exporters and importers that reduces the potential risk of fraud. It acts as a trusted third party that collects, holds and disburses funds according to exporter and importer instructions.

Here’s how it works: the importer sends the agreed purchase amount to the escrow service. After payment is verified, the exporter is instructed to ship the goods. Upon delivery, the importer has a pre-determined amount of time to inspect and accept the goods. Once accepted, the funds are released by the escrow service to the exporter. The escrow fee can either be paid in full by one party or split evenly between the exporter and the importer.

The TFG also points out that, as an exporter, any sale is a gift until payment is received. And, because getting paid in full and on time is the ultimate goal for the seller in each sale, an appropriate payment method must be chosen carefully to minimize the payment risk while also accommodating the needs of the buyer.

But, as illustrated in the TFG, different payment types present different risks to exporters than to importers. And for a variety of reasons, not all of the identified methods of payment are available, or desirable, to either exporters or importers. Here’s how the risk levels are illustrated in the TFG:

For exporters, the most secure payment method is cash in advance, followed by letters of credit, documentary collections, open account and consignment. For importers, the list is reversed in a measure of security. More information is available in the Trade Finance Guide.

The Trade Finance Guide shows how some payment methods are more secure than others, depending on whether you are an importer or an exporter.

For the first time, however, the new 2012 edition of the TFG includes escrow services for “transactions with importers who demand assurance that the goods will be sent in exchange for advance payment” and states that “escrow in international trade is a service that allows both exporter and importer to protect a transaction by placing the funds in the hands of a trusted third party until a specified set of conditions are met.”

In other words, escrow services can offer a mutually beneficial cash-in-advance method for both parties. Plus, offering escrow services as a method of payment can actually add potential importers to U.S. exporters. In many cases, deals just don’t happen due to a payment related “issue” – and one example might be that you, as the exporter, require payment in full and up-front but the importer is reluctant to send the money until they receive the goods. In this case, by offering escrow services, both parties can be satisfied, the payment issue is resolved, and the deal closes. Cross-border escrow services are offered by international banks and firms that specialize in escrow and other deposit and custody services.

Like with any new business opportunity, if you are considering the use of escrow services, do your due diligence and make sure the one you choose is licensed and accredited. You can also verify the service you choose to do business with via:

(Editor’s Note: This post focuses on one of several possible methods for receiving payments for exports. It is not intended to be an endorsement of escrow services or any organization that provides escrow services. More information is available in the Trade Finance Guide.)

h1

ITA and FCIB’s Commitment to International Trade Finance Continues

September 28, 2012

Yuki Fujiyama is a trade finance specialist with the Office of Financial Services Industries in the International Trade Administration. He is the author of The Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters

Increasing access to financing for U.S. exporters and their foreign buyers is one of the top priorities of the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI). One of the private-sector organizations that is actively supporting such efforts, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the Finance, Credit and International Business Association (FCIB),  a globally recognized association of international credit and trade finance professionals. Established in 1919, FCIB enjoys an international reputation as a prominent business educator of credit and risk management professionals in exporting companies ranging in size from multinational to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Attendees at the 2011 FCIB Annual Global Conference (Photo FCIB)

Attendees at the 2011 FCIB Annual Global Conference (Photo FCIB)

FCIB is currently working with the Commerce Department on the development of the third edition of The Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters and its inaugural Spanish language version scheduled for release at FCIB’s 23rd Annual Global Conference on November 11-13, 2012 in Philadelphia, PA.

In 2007, FCIB assisted the Commerce Department in the development of this well-received publication, a concise and easy-to-understand guide designed to help SMEs learn quickly how to get paid from their foreign customers in the most effective manner. Subsequently, in recognition of its contributions to the development and promotion of the Guide, FCIB was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the Under Secretary for International Trade, the head of the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA).  With more than 200,000 copies distributed to the public since its release in 2007, the Guide has grown to become one of the most popular export assistance resources published by ITA. The Guide is actively utilized by many international credit, banking, and trade finance professionals to help promote basic trade finance literacy among new-to-export SMEs. In support of the NEI, FCIB will continue to promote the new Guide to help advance international trade and facilitate U.S. exports.

Another recent partnership example is FCIB’s “Doing Business In” series  that focus on country-specific exporting issues. This series features experts from various nations providing expertise on some of the most vital ins and outs of profitable sales of products and services in both established and developing economies. FCIB is currently working with the Commerce Department to expand its “Doing Business In” series through the participation of selected ITA’s country desk officers and commercial service officers who work at U.S. embassies overseas.

In 2004, in partnership with Commerce Department and Michigan State University, FCIB developed, designed and launched the first course of its kind–International Credit & Risk Management (ICRM) online course. The course comes to exemplify the level of respect and cooperation between FCIB and the Commerce Department in the shared mission to promote the growth of U.S. exports and advancement of international trade. FCIB’s 13-week ICRM online course is designed to educate credit, trade finance, and international business professionals about the various intricacies of global credit and risk management.

In September 2012, FCIB launched the latest session of its ICRM online course. Now approaching its second decade of service to the global credit and business communities, more than 1,700 professionals in credit and finance have earned the ICRM program’s prestigious Certified International Credit Professional designation. A Commerce Department partnership awarded through the Market Development Cooperator Program was of critical importance in getting the ICRM online course program off the ground.

FCIB is a two-time recipient of the President’s “E” Award,  which recognizes the significant contributions that companies and organizations have made to increasing American exports.

  • In 1970, FCIB was awarded the President’s “E” Certificate for Export Service for its role in stimulating increased interest in exporting within the U.S. business community from 1967-1969.
  • In 1982, FCIB was awarded the President’s “E Star” Award in recognition of its outstanding work and continuous support of the export credit community.

Now in its 93rd year, FCIB continues to develop easily-accessible services to facilitate the role that its membership and other credit and trade finance professionals play in the growth of U.S. exports and the advancement of international trade.

FCIB’s parent, the National Association of Credit Management, is a non-profit organization that represents nearly 16,000 businesses in the United States and is one of the world’s largest credit organizations. More information on FCIB is available at www.fcibglobal.com.

h1

ITA is Doing Our Part to Promote Efficient Spending, Improve Efficiency

April 23, 2012

Jim Donahue serves as the Deputy Chief Financial Officer and has been with the International Trade Administration since 2001.

Even before the President issued Executive Order 13589 entitled Promoting Efficient Spending the International Trade Administration (ITA), and indeed, all of the Department of Commerce, had been on a mission to reduce spending in areas where savings could be generated without reducing program effectiveness.

Status report on ITA’s various categories of administrative savings

Status report on ITA’s various categories of administrative savings

Thanks to suggestions and input from numerous ITA staff representing the entire agency ITA has been particularly successful in identifying potential areas where savings are possible and actually following through and capturing the savings.  As the ITA administrative savings team ramped up and started generating successes the novelty of the project breed additional enthusiasm and momentum that became contagious throughout the organization.

The ITA savings target for fiscal year 2012 is $10 million and we are on schedule to hit the target. Unlike most federal actions, the savings that are contributing to the target are extraordinarily diverse in size and description.  They range from a $4,100 savings associated with a redesigned car lease to $360,000 in rent savings by tightening our belts and improving our utilization of space within the Hoover Building here in Washington,D.C.

My personal favorite savings item is the $167,000 ITA saved by using office supplies left over from the 2010 decennial census. ITA staff pitched in this winter to coordinate the delivery and distribution of 50 boxes of pens, paper, files folders and other miscellaneous supplies that could be put to productive use in ITA.

Savings like these are not inconsequential. They save both precious money and reduce waste. Like every businesses around the country, these savings add up. And I am proud to tell you that these are just a few examples of how ITA is taking efficiency spending seriously – and there will be many more examples to come.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 435 other followers