Archive for the ‘Trade Missions’ Category

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Commercial Service Philippines Completes Renewable Fuels Association Trade Mission

July 28, 2015

Andrew Edlefsen is the Director of the Las Vegas U.S. Export Assistance Center and currently serves as Global Asia Team Leader. He has been with ITA for eight years.

Glacial Lakes Energy in B2B meeting

Glacial Lakes Energy in B2B meeting

As part of my summer 2015 Asia Team outreach, I went to Manila, where the U.S. Renewable Fuels Association, along with six U.S. ethanol companies, met as part of a U.S. Commercial Service-organized trade mission. The objective of the mission was for U.S companies to gain a deeper understanding of the ethanol market and business potential in the Philippines. The U.S. Embassy Commerce, Economic and Agriculture officers and local government agencies provided in-depth presentations on the renewable fuel environment, rules and regulations, and business opportunities.

As part of the trade mission, the Commercial Service Manila office arranged more than 50 B2B meetings between the U.S. delegates and local Philippine companies to discuss industry trends and potential opportunities for partnership.

On the evening of the first day, a reception was held gathering the mission delegates to mingle with local businesses, organizations, and industry practitioners.  Day two included a tour of the International Container Terminal Services at the Manila port, followed by an up-close and personal meeting with the President of the San Miguel Corporation, one of the Philippines’ most diversified conglomerates in beverages, food, packaging, fuel, oil, power, mining and infrastructure.

The six mission participants represented some of the U.S.’s leaders in ethanol production, namely: Buffalo Lake Advanced Biofuels; Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company; CHS, Inc.; Glacial Lakes Energy, LLC; Lakeview Energy LLC; and Renewable Products Marketing Group.

Commercial Attaché Totayo introduces U.S. companies at reception

Commercial Attaché Totayo introduces U.S. companies at reception

Commercial Attaché Aliza Totayo and the Commercial Service Manila staff worked diligently for several months to organize this important trade mission. As a result, the delegates expressed praise for the quality and value of the trade mission and referred to the excellent business potential and insights provided into the Philippine ethanol market.

Find out about upcoming trade missions.

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Growing the Export Tradition in North Carolina

June 10, 2015

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

Wayne Cooper is the Chair of the District Export Council of North Carolina, a Marketing Partner for the Trade Winds-Africa Business Forum and Trade Mission.

Wayne Cooper

Wayne Cooper

As long as North Carolina has been a state, it’s been an exporter.

One of our first main exports was pine tar, and one rumor has it that our use of pine tar in the Revolutionary War is how we became known as the Tar Heel State. But I’m not writing to talk about rumors, or about the past.

What I want to talk about is the future, and for companies here in North Carolina and around the country, the future is global. We’re on a winning streak here in this state, and I’m not talking about college basketball. North Carolina has set goods export records for four straight years, hitting $31.3 billion in 2014.

Our globally engaged companies are reaping the benefits of that success: finding more revenue, hiring more people, expanding their inventories, their services, and their companies.

Why wouldn’t your company want to find that kind of success?

At the North Carolina District Export Council, the importance of exporting is always top of mind for us. What we want is to help get more North Carolina companies on board.

That’s why we are so glad to work with the U.S. Commercial Service, and it’s why we are partnering on the Trade Winds—Africa Forum. When we talk about the future of global business, it would be folly to not talk about Africa. In development, population, spending power, and just about any other measure, few regions can compete with the growth in Africa.

I hope that companies across the state, from the beautiful sands of the Outer Banks to the highest peak of the Appalachian Mountains, will take a look at opportunities in Africa, and at the Trade Winds mission. If there is any way your company can best take advantage of the opportunities in that continent, it’s with the help of the Commercial Service team.

I want more companies to find the success that our state’s exporters already enjoy, because we all know that there aren’t many places in the world that compete with North Carolina when it comes to manufacturing, building, selling, or providing quality products and services.

Now let me say this in my best North Carolina voice: I hope to see y’all in South Africa!

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Trade Winds – Africa Offers Opportunities, Tips, and Intel to U.S. Firms

May 29, 2015

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

Chris Higginbotham is a Communications Specialist in the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Northern Virginia.

Trade Winds Africa Business Development Conference and Trade Mission
Africa is a huge potential market for almost any U.S. exporter, but there are several factors for any business to consider before exporting to the continent:

  • What is your market potential?
  • How should you enter the market?
  • Who can you partner with on the ground?
  • How will you protect your intellectual property?

Good news: the Trade Winds—Africa Business Development Conference and trade mission in September 2015, will answer these questions and connect your company directly to the opportunities on the ground.

Check out the conference program and you’ll see that it runs the gamut of intelligence necessary for U.S. companies to take advantage of opportunities and find success in Africa.

U.S. Commercial Service officers from the region and expert guest panelists will explain how to mitigate business risk, brand your business, take advantage of government support, and access the growing middle class in these important emerging markets.

Click to register by June 15, 2015

Africa is one of the most promising regional markets in the world:

  • Regional economic growth has outpaced the world average and is forecast to continue.
  • A growing middle class means there’s an expanding pool of potential customers.
  • The regional focus on infrastructure development helps simplify the export process.
  • African leaders and consumers recognize and seek out quality American-made goods.

Don’t forget that in addition to the conference, there are also trade mission stops in eight growing African markets, where you will be connected directly to potential partners on the ground.

When you register for Trade Winds, our team will help identify the best markets for you, so you can make the most of your trip.

Are you ready to find your next customers and grow your business? Join us at Trade Winds! To get more information or if you have questions, contact us at tradewinds@trade.gov and follow the conversation on Twitter: #TradeWinds15.

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Smart Growth Trade Mission to Guangzhou: The Start of Something Great

May 19, 2015

Tim Truman is the supervisory public affairs specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs. 

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall witness the signing of an agreement between Cummins, Inc., and the Guangzhou No. 1 Public Transit Co., during the Smart Cities-Smart Growth trade mission stop in Guangzhou, China, on April 17.

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall  witness the signing of an agreement between Cummins, Inc., and the Guangzhou No. 1 Public Transit Co., during the Smart Cities-Smart Growth trade mission stop in Guangzhou, China, on April 17.

The next time someone asks me to name my favorite city in China, I won’t say Beijing or Shanghai. I will immediately say “Guangzhou”! Known as Canton in 1784, Guangzhou, the beautiful capital city of the Guangdong Province, is the original hub of international business between the United States and China. The city was recently recognized for a second time as the No. 1 city for business in China by Forbes China. It was also the final stop on the Smart Cities – Smart Growth Trade Mission jointly led by Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall in April.

I was honored to help our Commercial Service Guangzhou (CS Guangzhou) team welcome representatives from 24 U.S. companies to Guangzhou. CS Guangzhou secured meetings with an unprecedented roster of provincial and municipal government officials—including the Guangdong Party Secretary, Guangdong Governor, Guangzhou Party Secretary and the Guangzhou Mayor—for the visit. The team also arranged a full day of matchmaking meetings with potential clients for the delegation. In all, the U.S. companies held 162 important matchmaking meetings with Chinese businesses from six provinces in China seeking their world-class products and services.

The delegation’s full schedule during their short visit to Guangzhou kept everyone busy and brought with it some early results that offer a glimpse of future growth in the Pearl River Delta region. A few immediate successes include:

  • Commerce Secretary Pritzker and Energy Deputy Secretary Sherwood-Randall witnessed Cummins, Inc., sign a long-term Cooperation Memorandum with Guangzhou No. 1 Public Transit Co., Ltd., (GZPT) the primary municipal bus company of Guangzhou. The agreement includes GZPT purchasing Cummins natural gas engines to promote clean public transportation in Guangzhou City and Guangdong Province.‎
  • The Digit Group, Inc., announced that it will open a four-person office in Guangzhou as a direct result of the interest it received in preparation for the stop in Guangzhou. The company provides Smart City solutions in the form of Master Architectural Design Services and the development of cloud-based software and hardware.‎
  • The Guangdong Development and Reform Commission (GD DRC) invited Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., to join the Guangdong Governor’s Economic Advisory Conference. Later this year, Qualcomm will be one of 10 companies to participate in an exclusive, high-level international consultancy conference to solicit ideas, suggestions, and proposals on the Guangdong province’s economic development and modernization plans.

In addition, there was a special signing ceremony to finalize a major investment by a Chinese firm in the United States. Amer International Group, a leading Chinese multinational non-ferrous metals company, signed a contract with General Moly International – its U.S. counterpart – that finalized an initial $700 million investment in a mining deal in Nevada. This investment – the first of what will eventually be a multi-billion dollar deal – will create 1,200 jobs in the United States.

These early successes only scratch the surface of potential exports to south China. Opportunities abound for U.S. companies in a variety of industry sectors—from energy and aviation, to information and communications technology, and travel and tourism—in this region that covers a significant part of China’s manufacturing heartland.

Guangzhou and the Guangdong Province have a great deal to offer U.S. companies. Guangdong is China’s largest province by population (106.44 million) and GDP ($1.10 trillion). If Guangdong were a country, its GDP would rank 16th in the world just behind Mexico in 2014. It would also, on its own, be the sixth largest trading partner of the United States, with last year’s total trade volume totaling $121.76 billion.

While Guangzhou may not immediately come to mind as the place to do business in China, there are at least 24 U.S. firms that will not soon forget this city on the Pearl River. It might just become their favorite city in China, too.

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Three Reasons Africa Should Be Your Business’ Next Export Market

May 12, 2015

Shannon Christenbury is an International Trade Specialist at the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Charlotte, NC. More and more American companies are looking outside the United States to find new customers. Expanding to new markets leads to increased revenue and more growth – great results for any American business. For many companies I work with in Charlotte, growing markets in Sub-Saharan Africa are some of the most promising markets to explore. In fact, a number of area businesses are already growing because they have taken advantage of opportunities on the continent. Here are three reasons U.S. companies need to consider Africa as an export market:

  1. There’s never been a better time to do business there. Years of steady economic growth have created a growing middle class, and that means there are more consumers looking for quality goods and services. And an increased focus on the market is making the export process simpler.
  1. African leaders and consumers are seeking the Made-in-America label. Not only do customers appreciate the quality of American products, they also recognize the positive contributions U.S. companies make through corporate social responsibility programs.
  1. Support from the International Trade Administration’s Commercial Service is an unparalleled advantage. We have increased staff on the ground in Africa and an unequaled amount of expertise on the market, so there’s no better way for your company to have success on the continent than to work with us.

The best way to get started in taking advantage of opportunities in Africa is to join us at Trade Winds—Africa in September. Our team is leading the largest-ever U.S. trade mission to Sub-Saharan Africa, and we will connect your company to qualified, vetted partners who can help your business succeed. We will give you access to the African leaders and decision-makers that can give you the access you need.

register now button

Are you ready to find your next customer and grow your business? Join us at Trade Winds! To get more information or if you have questions, contact us at tradewinds@trade.gov and follow the conversation on Twitter: #TradeWinds15.

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A Year of Progress in Central China: April 17, 2014 – April 17, 2015

April 30, 2015

Tim Truman is the supervisory public affairs specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs.

Celebrating the official opening of ITA’s U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service Office in Wuhan, China, on February 3, 2015, are (left to right): Sara Kemp, Minister Counselor of Commercial Affairs, U.S. Embassy, Beijing; Patrick Santillo, ITA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for China; Mr. LI Zuoqing, Director General of the Wuhan Department of Commerce & Deputy Secretary General of Wuhan Municipal Government; Joseph Zadrozny, Consular General, U.S. Consulate Wuhan; and James Rigassio, Principal Commercial Officer, U.S. Consulate Guangzhou.

Celebrating the official opening of ITA’s U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service Office in Wuhan, China, on February 3, 2015, are (left to right): Sara Kemp, Minister Counselor of Commercial Affairs, U.S. Embassy, Beijing; Patrick Santillo, ITA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for China; Mr. LI Zuoqing, Director General of the Wuhan Department of Commerce & Deputy Secretary General of Wuhan Municipal Government; Joseph Zadrozny, Consular General, U.S. Consulate Wuhan; and James Rigassio, Principal Commercial Officer, U.S. Consulate Guangzhou.

April 17 has become an important date for the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service in China, specifically the teams at the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou and Wuhan.

It was just a year ago – on April 17 – that U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker laid out the commercial and economic details of the Obama administration’s rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region. Secretary Pritzker acknowledged the work of ITA’s Foreign Commercial Service, and announced that as part of the Department’s emphasis on this critical region, new Commercial Service (CS) offices would be opened in Wuhan, China, and Rangoon, Burma.

Pritzker noted that “the day-to-day work of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service is incredibly important to building prosperity…each day this team helps American companies break into overseas markets, expand, and find new customers.”

With the challenge set, the U.S. Commercial Service in Guangzhou (CS Guangzhou) took the lead to open a new Commerce Department office in Wuhan (CS Wuhan). By August 2014, the first Commerce local national was in place. By February 2015, the second local staff member was in place – temporarily based in Guangzhou. By mid-2016, the first Principal Commercial Officer will arrive at the post.

The local staff at CS Wuhan has hit the ground running. Since August 2014, the team has:

  • Organized a series of SelectUSA seminars in both Hunan and Hubei provinces to meet with potential investors and to promote investment in the United States.
  • Recruited a delegation of central China companies that attended the 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit in March.
  • Hosted representatives from 10 California colleges and universities to meet with local education authorities and schools, and deliver information about their programs to local parents and students.
  • Arranged a series of road shows in Hunan and Hubei to promote the United States as a tourism destination. The team continues to work with China South Airline and Dynamic Airways to promote a direct flight from central China to the United States.

Fast forward one year – April 17, 2015. On this day, Secretary Pritzker was on the ground in Guangzhou, China, directly helping U.S. companies explore business opportunities with this critical trading partner.

CS Guangzhou hosted the last stop on the Smart Cities – Smart Growth Trade Mission jointly led by Pritzker and Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall. The CS Guangzhou and CS Wuhan teams planned a full-day of meetings and events with key government and private-sector leaders from six south and central China regions for Pritzker and her delegation of 24 U.S. companies.

Throughout the day, Secretary Pritzker learned about the south China region’s commitment to clean energy and reversing the impact of climate change. She introduced the U.S. companies to provincial and municipal government officials, initiating a process that could result in the companies exporting their world-class goods and services to the region.

The Secretary also witnessed a signing ceremony for a trade mission participant to sell its natural gas engines to the major public transportation company in Guangzhou. In addition, she celebrated the announcement of a $700 million investment from a Chinese mining company into Nevada that will create 1,200 jobs. By the end of the mission, early successes were reported and critical introductions were made.

CS Guangzhou and Wuhan have spent the past year operationalizing the commitment Secretary Pritzker and President Obama made to U.S. companies eager to do more business in the Asia-Pacific region. And these teams are just getting started.

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Exporting: Mission Possible – Two Companies’ Stories

March 3, 2015

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

Laura Ebert is a Trade Specialist at the International Trade Administration.

First Choice Marine Supply CEO Craig Ruda and interpreter Gabriela Schulten meet with potential distributor Maress Supply in Santiago, Chile

First Choice Marine Supply CEO Craig Ruda and interpreter Gabriela Schulten meet with potential distributor Maress Supply in Santiago, Chile

At the end of last year, 14 companies from the Tampa Bay area in Florida traveled to Santiago, Chile on a trade mission. Led by the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation, the companies came armed with market assessments and meeting agendas prepared by the U.S. Commercial Service in Chile. Their mission: to find new export opportunities in Chile.

Joining a trade mission is a great way to learn firsthand about new export markets and meet face-to-face with potential partners and clients. Increasingly, city, state, and regional organizations are teaming up with the U.S. Commercial Service to offer tailored missions for local companies. What is it like to participate in a trade mission? To find out, we recently spoke with two companies that participated in the mission to Chile.

Hydro-Dyne Engineering is a manufacturer of screening and grit removal equipment for water and waste water treatment plants. The company began exporting to help diversify its sales base. Initially, joining the mission was a hard sell to President Jay Conroy. “I was afraid that going down with a government contingency could slow us down and thought we could do it on our own,” said Conroy. “The biggest surprise was how well the mission was organized. Even putting a lot of resources behind it, we wouldn’t have done as good a job on our own.”

Conroy joined the mission with the goal of interviewing and selecting a representative in Chile. For Hydro-Dyne, this kind of long-term commitment is necessary to market its products, provide design and installation support, and build momentum in a market. Conroy was impressed with the quality of the meetings that were scheduled for him. “We went on the mission to find a representative and I am confident we will have one now because of the trip,” Conroy stated. “The icing on the cake was getting to meet with customers who have already asked for proposals on equipment for specific projects.”

His biggest surprise about Chile? How modern it is. “Most water services are privately operated and run like a business looking for a return,” Conroy added.

First Choice Marine Supply designs, manufactures, and distributes solar lighting for the commercial and industrial marine industry, among others. CEO Craig Ruda came across the mission while doing research on expanding to Brazil. He decided to turn his attention to Chile when he learned of the relative ease of doing business there—especially with the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the United States and Chile in place. “Given the FTA, Chile’s growing economy, and their interest in new, energy efficient technologies, it just made sense,” said Ruda.

Ruda went to Chile looking to gather market intelligence and to meet a diverse client base. For him, nothing beats face-to-face interactions for getting an assessment of the true capabilities of a potential agent and for establishing trust with clients. He was impressed by how comfortable Chilean companies were with importing and surprised by the strength of the infrastructure there. Does he consider the mission a success? “Yes, we met all our objectives,” Ruda said enthusiastically.

After all the time and effort put into exploring markets halfway around the world, has exporting been good for business? “Absolutely. Exporting has increased our sales and allowed us to hire,” says Conroy. Hydro-Dyne has doubled its staff over the last two years as exporting has become a larger part of the company’s sales. Exports have driven growth at First Choice Marine as well. “About 50 percent of our market is served through exports. Every one of our people has relationships in other countries on a daily basis,” Ruda added.

If you would like to explore export opportunities for your company and learn more about upcoming trade missions led by the International Trade Administration (ITA), visit our trade mission page. For trade missions to Latin American FTA markets led by ITA and state and local partners, visit our Look South events page.

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