Archive for the ‘Trade Missions’ Category

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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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ITA Leads Largest Ever Civil Nuclear Trade Policy Mission to Vietnam and China

June 13, 2013

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

Under Secretary of International Trade Francisco Sánchez and U.S. delegation members meet with Vietnamese Minister of Science and Technology Nguyễn Quân and others in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Under Secretary of International Trade Francisco Sánchez and U.S. delegation members meet with Vietnamese Minister of Science and Technology
Nguyễn Quân in Hanoi, Vietnam.

This May, I was able to lead the largest ever U.S. Civil Nuclear Energy Trade Policy Mission to Hanoi, Vietnam, and Beijing and Ningbo, China. This mission enabled us to address important policy issues and highlight how U.S. civil nuclear technologies and services can help Vietnam and China meet their civil nuclear energy goals.

The U.S. government delegation included representatives from the White House, Department of Energy, U.S. Export-Import Bank, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and of course the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. The industry delegation included 11 American companies in Vietnam and 15 in China.

Vietnam and China offer abundant opportunities to U.S. civil nuclear companies:

  • Vietnam is steadily developing its nuclear power program and its civil nuclear market is estimated to be worth $10 billion and expected to grow to $50 billion by 2030;
  • China is the world’s fastest growing civil nuclear market. 29 of the 65 reactors under construction globally are in China and the country’s nuclear industry is expected to grow to nearly $300 billion by 2020.

In Vietnam, our delegation met with government officials and also participated in a Best Practices workshop attended by 50 representatives from Vietnamese ministries, state-owned utilities, and regulatory agencies. Delegates shared their expertise on a variety of topics including safety improvements post-Fukushima, and how nuclear regulators and industry can cooperate to enhance nuclear safety.

In China, we met with eight ministries and companies to discuss policy issues such as liability, local content, and intellectual property rights. The mission concluded with a visit to China’s Sanmen nuclear power plant site, where the world’s first AP1000 reactor – designed by U.S. company Westinghouse – is being built.

Our trade mission also lined-up with other important events recognizing the value of our economic relationship with Asia.

This week, the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council is holding a series of meetings with U.S. businesses. I was also able to speak about the importance of Asia at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s Think Asia Think Hong Kong symposium in New York.

I am proud to contribute to our important trade relationship, and to have led such a distinguished delegation to these key civil nuclear export markets. This is another example of our efforts to help U.S. exporters find new opportunities to sell their goods and services and support American jobs.

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Developing Foreign Business is Easier than You Think

May 29, 2013
Cody Friesen is the founder of Fluidic Energy

Dr. Cody Friesen

Today on the Department of Commerce Blog, Dr. Cody Friesen discusses the recent infrastructure trade mission to Latin America. Missions like these are one way the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Administration (ITA) help U.S. businesses develop contacts and find export opportunities in expanding markets.

As Friesen points out, the barriers for a business looking to export are not as high as one might think. Services from ITA and the Department of Commerce can help your business find qualified buyers, conduct market research, and develop contacts in foreign markets.

One of our upcoming trade missions may be the next step for your company to find a new market overseas. You can read more of Dr. Friesen’s advice on the Department of Commerce Blog.

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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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