Archive for the ‘Trade Missions’ Category

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Trade Winds Asia 2013

May 10, 2013

Francisco J. Sánchez is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

Logo for Trade Winds Asia, a business development conference in Southwest Asia May 9 through 17, 2013.

Trade Winds missions have led to nearly $110 million in reported export successes.

One thing we understand in international trade is the importance of partnerships.

Asia has been a great partner to American business and offers immense opportunities for companies looking to expand into new markets. As the 2013 Trade Winds Asia mission goes on through May 19, U.S. businesses will learn about opportunities in a wide range of industry sectors across many regions in Asia.

It’s a great event for World Trade Month as we continue to promote U.S. goods and services around the world.

The mission visits five major cities in the Asian market: Hong Kong, Manila, Seoul, Taipei, and Tokyo. These cities represent regions with expanding global sales potential for U.S. business, and play a major part in our recent export success.

  • The United States exported more than $387 billion of goods to Asia in 2012;
  • The top three export categories were computer and electronic products, chemicals, and transportation equipment;
  • U.S. exports to Hong Kong have more than doubled since 2005;
  • Exports to Japan have increased every year since 2009; and
  • U.S. exports to countries with which we have trade agreements, including Korea, increased by 5.8 percent in 2012.

These figures show the great partnership we have with Asia, and the potential that remains for future business. The figures also represent jobs back here at home; $387 billion in merchandise exports to Asia supports nearly two million American jobs.

Trade Winds missions around the world contribute to export success. Companies who report back to us on their successes tell us they’ve achieved nearly $110 million in exports as a result of participating in Trade Winds missions.

I’m honored to lead this mission and I’m proud of the work my colleagues at the International Trade Administration have put in to making the mission as successful as possible. I am proud to be working with the business leaders participating in Trade Winds Asia – and I hope we can help many more on one of our upcoming missions.

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Long Term Opportunities for U.S. Companies in Egypt

April 29, 2013

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

Anne Novak and Nancy Luther are Project Officers for the Department of Commerce’s Trade Mission to Egypt.

Acting Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade Ken Hyatt (center) poses with participants in the Egypt trade mission.

Acting Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade Ken Hyatt (center) poses with participants in the Egypt trade mission.

The April 2013 U.S. Department of Commerce Business Development Mission to Egypt reaffirmed the U.S. private sector’s continued interest in the Egyptian market. Led by Acting Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade Ken Hyatt, the mission built on the positive trade relations between the countries.

After two days of meetings with private sector and governmental counterparts, the U.S. delegation of companies in the alternative energy, infrastructure, and safety and security sectors came away optimistic about long-term commercial and investment opportunities in Egypt.

The largest country in the Arab world with a population of more than 80 million, Egypt has historically been an attractive market for U.S. firms seeking to do business in the region. Long-term prospects remain good; American brands are highly visible, and U.S. products and technology are respected.

The International Trade Administration’s office in Cairo, headed by Regional Senior Commercial Officer Ann Bacher, arranged more than 100 customized business-to-business and business-to-government meetings.

Hyatt also held a range of bilateral meetings with key government officials, including Under Secretary Mohamed Omran of the Ministry of Electricity and Energy, who welcomed more involvement from U.S. companies in power generation projects as well as in technical training on managing power plants.

U.S.-Egyptian cooperation in electrical and solar energy projects was a key topic of discussion throughout the mission. U.S. businesses on the mission—with their innovative technologies and services—are well-positioned to support Egypt’s electrical and alternative energy projects.

This mission opened doors for new business opportunities for U.S. companies and continued Commerce’s efforts to strengthen bilateral economic and commercial relationships with the Egyptian Government.

This is the second group of U.S. businesses Hyatt has led to Egypt over the last seven months. In September 2012 he accompanied a U.S. Chamber of Commerce delegation of more than 50 U.S. companies exploring the Egyptian market.

A trade mission could be a key step to helping your business compete overseas. Your next customers could live in one of the countries we’ll be visiting on an upcoming mission.

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Timely Trade Policy Mission to Japan Yields Insights on Renewable Energy and Smart Grid Business Opportunities

December 27, 2012

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

Cora Dickson is a Senior International Trade Specialist in ITA’s Office of Energy and Environmental Industries.

On a windy morning in early December, I stood on an observation platform gazing out over the sea of solar modules, and beyond that, the Pacific Ocean– or more precisely, Matsushima Bay, one of Japan’s “three most scenic spots.”  I was joined on the platform by several U.S. companies, officials and colleagues from the International Trade Administration (ITA) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and workers from the Tohoku Electric Utility who were taking us on a tour of their solar power station.  The view was so breathtaking that it was hard to believe that in March 2011, the land where the solar panels now existed was covered by over 16 feet of water and debris from the tsunami.

International Trade Administration and Department of Energy employees pose for a photo with trade mission participants and workers from the Tohoku Electric Utility on an observation platform above Matsushima Bay in Japan in December 2012.

International Trade Administration and Department of Energy employees pose for a photo with trade mission participants and workers from the Tohoku Electric Utility on an observation platform above Matsushima Bay in Japan in December 2012.

This was the final stop in our “Tohoku (Northeast) Tour” to Fukushima and Miyagi, prefectures that are committing themselves to rebuilding with green technologies after being hit hard by the earthquake and tsunami.  The U.S. companies that signed up for the U.S.-Japan Renewable Energy Policy Business Roundtable in Tokyo on December 3 were given the option to take this tour, which also included courtesy call meetings with officials of both prefectures.

Led by ITA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing Maureen Smith and DOE’s Deputy Assistant Secretary Phyllis Yoshida, the trade policy mission accomplished its goals: to gain insights into the evolving policy and regulatory landscape for renewable energy and smart grid in Japan.  It was tied to our bilateral discussions, known as the U.S.-Japan Clean Energy Policy Dialogue, allowing private sector input to guide the direction of cooperative activities between our governments.

Prior to the trade mission, my office published a market intelligence brief, “Japan’s Electricity Market and Opportunities for U.S. Renewable Energy and Smart Grid Exporters,” to highlight the complexity yet attractiveness of this burgeoning market.  While Japan is no stranger to renewable energy, it has revisited its policies and incentives due to several factors, including the March 2011 disaster that led to a shutdown of all but two nuclear plants in the country.  There is even talk of structural reform in the electricity sector.

Cora Dickson of the International Trade Administration stands by a sign indicating the high water mark of the floodwaters at the Tohoku Electric Utility's liquified natural gas plant following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Cora Dickson of the International Trade Administration stands by a sign indicating the high water mark of the floodwaters at the Tohoku Electric Utility’s liquified natural gas plant following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Another opportunity for U.S. renewable energy and smart grid companies to explore Japan’s market is coming up February 27-March 1 at the World Smart Energy Week in Tokyo, a Commerce certified trade show.  Please contact Takahiko Suzuki if you would like more information.

We will continue to shore up our alliance with the Government of Japan as well as Tohoku communities to promote clean energy.  The Tohoku Tour allowed us to talk with local people about how they envision renewable energy and smart grid technologies will help them manage their energy needs in the wake of the disaster.

On the same grounds of the solar plant in Tohoku, we also briefly visited the 400 MW liquefied natural gas plant operated by the same utility. It had been converted from a coal plant years earlier.  The plant was strong enough to withstand the tsunami, though the workers told of how they retreated to the third floor for several days until the floodwaters receded.  They had no power and they could not contact their families because all the phone towers were also destroyed.

As our bus rolled back towards the city where we would catch the bullet train to return to Tokyo, we saw newly reconstructed houses on the coastline as well as abandoned foundations.  These were solemn reminders that Japan is both vulnerable and resilient, and will take proactive steps towards a better future.  We hope U.S. companies can partner with them to reach their goals.

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Turkish Market Holds Opportunity for U.S. Businesses

December 13, 2012

Kristin Najdi is a Senior International Trade Specialist at the International Trade Administration

Last week, I had the opportunity to accompany Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez as he led a trade mission of 18 aerospace and defense companies to Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey. The trade mission helped connect U.S. businesses with Turkish partners to identify export opportunities, but also to strengthen the commercial and strategic ties between our two countries.

Strategically positioned at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Turkey is a high priority market for the United States. With a population of more than 70 million, Turkey continues to be a vital economic hub for the region—with real GDP growth estimated at 8.2 percent in 2011, making it one of the fastest growing economies in the G-20.

President Obama’s April 2009 visit to Turkey – his first overseas trip – emphasized the importance of closer commercial ties between our two countries and continues to reap economic benefits. In fact, total bilateral U.S.-Turkey merchandise trade reached nearly $20 billion last year – an all-time record – and a 34 percent increase over the previous year.

Here at the International Trade Administration (ITA), we take pride in playing a key role in making it easier for U.S. companies to do business around the world, including in Turkey.  To support this effort, Under Secretary Sanchez spoke at “The Ease of Doing Business Symposium” in Ankara, which was co-organized by ITA.  During his presentation he highlighted challenges and opportunities in the Turkish market, and proposed concrete reforms.  He also held various bilateral meetings with his counterparts in the Turkish government to discuss ways of further strengthening our bilateral commercial relations.

Another key outcome of this trip was Under Secretary Sánchez’s announcement of the new U.S. private sector members of the U.S.-Turkey Business Council.  The Council is made up of senior-level executives from the United States and Turkey and provides joint policy recommendations to both governments on ways to strengthen bilateral economic relations.

U.S. businesses on this mission—with their innovative technologies and services—are well- positioned to help support Turkey’s aerospace and defense sectors. For example, the mission included a world leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of thermal imaging and stabilized camera systems; a company with a strong set of businesses specializing in global infrastructure and finance; and well-known commercial jet and military aerospace manufacturers.

Our mission delegation was especially enthusiastic about the Turkish market for U.S. suppliers seeking joint-venture opportunities, including expanding opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises in the United States to support the continued modernization of the Turkish Armed Forces.

We also focused on the growing civil aviation market. Turkey, with its strategic geographic location, is located three hours by plane to 1.5 billion people and $23 trillion in GDP, and Turks have increasingly come to rely on domestic and international air service over the past years. Since 2002, there has been a 372 percent increase in domestic passenger traffic, a 77 percent increase in international passenger traffic and a 153 percent increase in total (domestic & international) passenger traffic. Overall, 329 private airline companies operate in the Turkish aerospace industry, 17 of which are Turkish. These companies are creating demand for aircraft parts as well as safety equipment, training and management – all of which are goods and services U.S. companies are well-poised to provide.

This trip was a great success in many respects.  It opened doors for new business opportunities for U.S. companies and continued Commerce’s high-level engagement with the Turkish Government to strengthen our bilateral economic and commercial relationship.

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An Infrastructure Trade Mission to Two Developing Markets

December 4, 2012

Adam S. Wilczewski serves as the Chief of Staff of the International Trade Administration.

Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sanchez (L) speaks on a panel in Hanoi, Vietnam on November 14, 2012 with (L-R) Ambassador David B, Shear, Leocadia Zak of the U.S. Trade Development Agency and John Moran from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sanchez (L) speaks on a panel in Hanoi, Vietnam on November 14, 2012 with (L-R) Ambassador David B, Shear, Leocadia Zak of the U.S. Trade Development Agency and John Moran from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Asia is home to many of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Countries like China and India readily come to mind. The impressive development of other Asian nations, however, should not be overlooked.

Two countries that have made big economic strides in recent years are Indonesia and Vietnam. They are among the fastest growing countries in the region, with growth rates of 6.5 and 5.9 percent, respectively, in 2011.

Both are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the bloc of 10 states that forms the United States’ fourth-largest trading partner, making Indonesia and Vietnam important to the U.S economy.

For this reason, the U.S. government is committed to further improving trade relations with both of them.  Under Secretary for International Trade, Francisco Sánchez, recently led an Infrastructure Trade Mission there, underscoring these countries importance.  This trip marked Sánchez’s third visit to Vietnam in 20 months.  Our U.S. Government partners at the U.S. Trade Development Agency and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) joined the ITA on this trip for a true whole-of-government effort.

Eight U.S. infrastructure companies – Black and Veatch, Cisco Systems, General Electric Company, Honeywell International, Inc., Oshkosh Corporation, The Shaw Group, Westinghouse Electric Company, and WorleyParsons, LLC – took the opportunity to explore these two foreign markets. Both countries have pressing infrastructure needs due to their high growth rate, offering exciting prospects for U.S companies in that field.

While in Jakarta, Indonesia – our first stop – the delegation met with public and private sector leaders to discuss opportunities that would be mutually beneficial to both of our economies.

Here, OPIC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indonesian Infrastructure Guarantee Fund (IIGF). The organizations pledged to work more closely together to promote private sector infrastructure investment in the world’s fourth most populous country.  A supportive Under Secretary Sánchez stated that “increased investment in infrastructure supported by OPIC will help to accelerate Indonesia’s already-rapid economic growth.”

In Vietnam, the participants met with numerous government officials and representatives from the private sector. Highlights on the agenda included an encounter with the Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and an American Chamber of Commerce hosted lunch in Hanoi.

Most discussions during the trade mission focused on the potential for collaboration on infrastructure projects in areas such as energy, aviation, environmental technology, architecture, construction and engineering.

This Infrastructure Trade Mission is another example of how the U.S. government is working to meet the National Export Initiative’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014.

Southeast Asia is an export market with great potential for U.S. businesses. This growing economic and political importance was underscored by the fact that President Obama chose to visit the region in November directly following his reelection.

Together, working in partnership with the U.S. business community, the International Trade Administration and the entire U.S. Government hope to continue to make progress in meeting infrastructure needs abroad in order to support good-paying jobs here at home.

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