h1

Business Opportunities in West Africa: Attend the Trade Mission to the Canary Islands & Africagua

August 20, 2015

John Saylor is the Chair of the District Export Council of Virginia and Washington, D.C.

The Canary Islands may not be huge in geography, but they are becoming an economic force in West Africa.

Located just 62 miles off the coast of West Africa while providing all the infrastructures, services, and advantages that Europe has to offer, the Canaries are an ideal location for operational centers:

  • Top logistic services and maritime connectivity with more than 40 ports in Africa
  • A competitive local labor market
  • Maximum guarantee of legal security and transparent fiscal regulations from a fully integrated EU legal system
  • A 4 percent corporate tax regime and multiple tax exemptions in indirect taxation

Why should your business export to West Africa?

At more than 5 percent GDP, West Africa had the strongest economic growth of the continent in 2014. This rapid growth is generating opportunities and prosperity in all industry sectors.

The Trade Mission to the Canary Islands & Africagua will help your firm access West African markets, find regional business partners, and highlight the advantages of setting up an operation in this booming hub.

The mission will include:

  • Expert briefings by U.S. Commercial Service and regional government officials about the opportunities and challenges of the region and advantages of setting up an operation in the Canary Islands
  • B2B business appointments with pre‐screened potential partners
  • Technical site visits in the islands of Gran Canaria and Tenerife
  • Exclusive networking receptions with local industry and government leaders
  • Optional participation in the Africagua Conference (island of Fuerteventura) for renewable energy and water sector firms to meet with Ministers and other government decision‐makers from 6 West African countries

To find your next customers and grow your business, join the Trade Mission to the Canary Islands & Africagua on November 16 – 20, 2015. I hope you’ll join us on this mission.

h1

Commercial Service Taiwan Completes U.S. Trade Day and Select USA Roadshow

August 19, 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.

CS Taipei Senior Commercial Officer, Ireas Cook (second from right) with state representatives at the U.S. Trade Day opening ceremony.

CS Taipei Senior Commercial Officer, Ireas Cook (second from right) with state representatives at the U.S. Trade Day opening ceremony.

Earlier this month, I participated in the U.S. Trade Day and Select USA Roadshow in Taipei, Taiwan. The Commercial Service Taipei office, part of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), co-organized U.S. Trade Day, currently in its 4th year, in conjunction with the Taiwan Bureau of Foreign Trade’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Taiwan External Trade Development Council.

U.S. Trade Day has served as an effective platform for U.S. companies to understand the Taiwan business environment and meet with potential buyers and partners.  During the opening ceremony, AIT Director Kin Moy highlighted the burgeoning trade relationship between the U.S. and Taiwan, noting that Taiwan was the U.S.’s 10th largest trading partner in 2014 with total bilateral trade in goods exceeding $67 billion. Among the driving forces for trade growth between Taiwan and the U.S. is foreign direct investment.  The U.S. is currently Taiwan’s largest foreign direct investor, and Taiwan is taking significant steps to reciprocate, as indicated by their strong presence at the 2013 and 2015 Select USA Investment Summits in Washington, DC.

U.S. Trade Day also served as the venue for the first day of the Select USA Taiwan Roadshow, the first event of its kind ever in Taiwan.  With stops in Taipei and Kaohsiung, this roadshow featured five states and one city.  Idaho, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, McKinney (Texas), and Virginia – participated to introduce their respective investment destinations to potential Taiwan investors.  CS Taiwan staff also arranged networking events and B2B meetings between representatives of the participating U.S. states and Taiwan businesses.

The U.S. delegates expressed praise for the quality and value of these events and appreciated the chance to promote their investment opportunities to such a large Taiwan audience.

h1

The International Trade Administration Signs New Partnership Agreement with FirstMerit

August 18, 2015

Cody Dietrich works in the Strategic Partnerships Office at the International Trade Administration

FirstMerit & ITA celebrate new partnership agreement.

FirstMerit & ITA celebrate new partnership agreement.

The International Trade Administration (ITA)  recently signed a Strategic Partnership agreement with FirstMerit Bank at FirstMerit’s headquarters in Akron, Ohio .

This agreement was made possible through ITA’s Strategic Partnership Program, designed to collaborate with private corporations, trade associations, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations and educational institutions to create a force multiplier effect—increasing our marketing channels, industry expertise, logistical capabilities, and, ultimately, our value in bringing more U.S. companies the assistance they need to grow their exports. Working cooperatively, ITA and partners conduct outreach activities to the U.S. small to medium sized business community and international buyers about ITA programs and services to help them grow international sales.

Here at ITA, we knew FirstMerit’s programs and services could be a crucial resource for businesses looking to go global. FirstMerit’s International Banking Division helps U.S. businesses compete in global markets by providing export financing services. These services include letters of credit, documentary collections, foreign exchange advisory and payments services and U.S. government-guaranteed working capital loan programs.

FirstMerit will work with ITA on programs covering exporting trends, geographic information and industry-specific intelligence.

FirstMerit will work with ITA on programs covering exporting trends, geographic information and industry-specific intelligence.

The Strategic Partnership was signed at FirstMerit’s headquarters in Akron, Ohio. “We are pleased to be recognized by the Department of Commerce as a financial resource partner for Midwest businesses currently exporting or looking to export their goods around the world,” Paul G. Greig, chairman, president and CEO of FirstMerit.  FirstMerit’s expertise in helping small businesses tap into export potential will further ITA’s goals of strengthening the competitiveness of U.S. industry and expand access to export financing.

h1

Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews Promotes Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Pittsburgh

August 14, 2015

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Earlier this week, Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews traveled to Pittsburgh to engage with the city’s up-and-coming entrepreneurs and see how the Steel City has become an innovation hub by bringing together its research institutions, incubator and accelerator partners, and technology associations.

To begin the day, Deputy Secretary Andrews joined leaders from Pittsburgh’s innovation sector in launching the next installment of Startup Global, an initiative designed to help more startup firms think global from the earliest stages of a company’s growth. The event was hosted by Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute, Idea Foundry, Innovation Works, Pittsburgh Technology Council, and Thrill Mill and attracted dozens of early-stage companies looking to gain technical assistance on selling their goods and services worldwide.

In his remarks, Deputy Secretary Andrews stressed that 96 percent of the world’s customers live outside our borders and that early-stage companies should plan for international success from the start. The Startup Global pilot initiative aims to help more American startups scale their businesses quickly and internationally by collaborating with local partners. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced Startup Global in February, and Pittsburgh is the third in the pilot program’s series of educational events.

Deputy Secretary Andrews then met with leadership from Innovation Works, the single largest investor in seed-stage companies in the region. In addition to being a member of the Pittsburgh Startup Global Steering Committee, Innovation Works was also a recipient of a Commerce Department’s Economic Adjustment Assistance grant and an i6 Challenge winner. During the discussion, he stressed the vast resources the Commerce Department can offer and how Commerce can work alongside new businesses to shape the next great era of American entrepreneurship and innovation.

Later in the day, Andrews joined Congressman Mike Doyle on a tour of Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute highlighting the technical leadership role the Robotics Institute has had in fostering innovation and incubating entrepreneurs in the robotics industry.

Andrews and Congressman Doyle then met the CEOs of 4Moms, Blue Belt Technologies, and Astrobotics,  companies who developed their company from technology shared at CMU, and are now promoting business and job growth not only in the Pittsburgh area, but across the nation and around the world. During a roundtable discussion with the three companies, Deputy Secretary Andrews highlighted ways in which the Commerce Department can continue to support the development of an advanced manufacturing sector in Pittsburgh.

As “America’s Innovation Agency,” the Department of Commerce prioritizes its support of startups, entrepreneurship and business incubators through intellectual property protection, collection and dissemination of data that helps build businesses, and investments in local economic development. We are constantly evolving to operate at the speed of business, and providing resources at each step of the business lifecycle to ensure our nation’s entrepreneurs succeed.

h1

Partnering to Bring More Businesses to Some of the World’s Most Promising Markets

August 12, 2015

Denis Csizmadia is a Senior International Trade Specialist in the U.S. Commercial Service’s Export Assistance Center in Greenville, SC.

I’ll be blunt: we are about five weeks away from one of the most important trade missions in U.S. history.

Trade Winds—Africa will be the largest-ever U.S. government-led trade mission to the continent, and the U.S. Commercial Service will connect more than 100 companies to business opportunities in eight of the world’s fastest-growing markets.

We’ll have local market experts, Fortune 500 companies that are already succeeding on the continent, innovative U.S. small businesses, and key government decision-makers all under one roof and with one objective: to connect U.S. companies to the most promising business opportunities on the continent.

The best part is, your company can have its name and logo all over it.

We’re currently recruiting Marketing Partners to join the mission and be a part of our Business Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa. Representatives from your company can join the Forum and receive all the benefits of attendees, plus additional benefits as a marketing partner:

  • Key networking sessions,
  • One-on-one business counseling,
  • Access to local thought leaders,
  • Your corporate logo on promotional materials,
  • Display space at the Forum.

The United States is all in on doing business in Africa, and more and more companies are targeting the market with help from U.S. government assistance. This is a great opportunity for your company to get ahead of the curve and establish itself as a leader in the trend of doing business in Africa.

Officials on the continent have told us that they are ready for more U.S. companies to do business in their markets. Consumers are actively seeking the Made-in-America label. U.S. companies large and small are increasing revenue and making an impact in developing markets.

I’d like to thank all the great companies, organizations, and agencies that have signed up as Trade Winds Marketing Partners and I hope many of you will join us on this important mission. There’s never been a better time to do business in Africa, and our team would love to help yours succeed.

Have questions? Feel free to contact us.

h1

Brazil’s Water Challenges Calls for Enhanced Bilateral Commerce

August 11, 2015

Commercial Specialist Teresa Wagner and Commercial Officer Tom Hanson assist U.S. exporters of environmental technologies industry solutions at the U.S. Commercial Service in São Paulo.

Last week, Commercial Service (CS) Brazil  counseled United States exporters during FENASAN, one of Latin America’s most influential trade events in the water and wastewater industry. The central theme of the event was “The Water Crisis and its Consequences in the 21st Century”. With more than 200 million citizens and the world’s eighth largest economy, the continent-sized nation of Brazil is enduring profound drought conditions, the worst in over 80 years. It is affecting the wealthiest, most populous and industrial regions including Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city.

FENASAN

FENASAN is one of Latin America’s most influential trade events in the water & wastewater industry

The Association of Engineers of the Sao Paulo state water utility has been organizing FENASAN for the past 26 years in an effort to showcase system technologies and equipment for aeration, automation, control/measurement, pumps and centrifuges. Joining the list of international exhibitors at last week’s event were Commercial Service Brazil clients Xylem, GE Water, and Koch Membranes.The leading trade association of water quality professionals, Water Environment Federation (WEF) also participated, hosting an international pavilion.

Despite the downturn of the Brazilian economy this year, the high number and quality of both exhibitors and visitors confirms the increased importance of sanitation in Brazil, due to the drought in the southeastern region of the country.  Historically, the sanitation sector has not been a priority and has received little investments, creating a significant repressed demand for new technologies, often not available in Brazil.  A challenge for technology suppliers is to educate the utilities in Brazil of the benefits    of their products, vis-à-vis the traditional water and wastewater ponds. Here is where Commercial Service Brazil’s team, located in five offices countrywide, can counsel U.S. exporters on the great opportunities to be found amidst Brazil’s giant water challenges.

The demand for infrastructure expansion and modernization, crisis management, and conservation is high and comes during trying economic times. Yet, this brings opportunities for US experts with proven success in industrial, agricultural, and urban supply strategies. Brazil has, without a doubt, a dynamic Water and Wastewater industry.

The team at CS Brazil is standing by to help U.S. exporters tap into this new opportunity. ITA’s Top Markets report on environmental technologies is one of many useful resources we have available for U.S. exporters looking to expand.

For more information on opportunities for companies in the United States with water technology solutions, read an article that we co-authored in WEF’s international trade publication, World Water; and refer to CS Brazil’s Country Commercial Guide.

h1

Startup Global Pittsburgh: Preparing Early-Stage Exporters for the Global Marketplace

August 10, 2015

Evi Fuelle is an intern in the International Trade Administration’s Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee Office.

Shark Tank is no longer the only place where startups can go with the hope of expanding their business.

Announced in February, the Startup Global pilot program is a series of seminars held around the country that provide focused export assistance and information to early-stage companies. In collaboration with U.S. incubators and accelerators, the International Trade Administration (ITA) provides workshops—organized through local U.S. Export Assistance Centers—to address the most pressing global issues startups face.

The next installment of Startup Global will be held tomorrow in Pittsburgh, where U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews will deliver the keynote remarks to kick off the event. Several of Pittsburgh’s research institutions, incubator and accelerator partners, and technology associations are coming together for the August 11 event.

Attendees will hear from peer startup companies that have found success in the global marketplace, as well as specialists from ITA’s global network, including Foreign Commercial Officer Richard Stanbridge, currently based in the United Kingdom, who will provide a pan-European overview of market opportunities. Topics for the workshop include intellectual property protection; legal considerations when exporting; international e-commerce; and trade financing, including guidance on how to manage different currencies and international transactions.

ITA launched Startup Global to bring together startups and private companies from all across America that have one thing in common: they are all on the cutting edge of innovation. More than 25 startups participated in the first event in June at 1776 in Washington, D.C., and last month, 40 budding companies joined an event with the Nashville Entrepreneurship Center.

Each pilot event features panel discussions and Q&A sessions on topics including finding buyers and partners, lessons learned from local companies, intellectual property protection, and global trends.

Startup Global participants acknowledge that their perspectives change after attending pilot events. In fact, many were surprised that the U.S. government has an array of services and information available to help companies grow their business internationally.

The Startup Global program grew from the Obama administration’s broader national export strategy, the National Export Initiative (NEI)/NEXT, which aims to make the export process easier and help more U.S. companies start exporting or expand international sales. The NEI/NEXT strategy prioritized the launch of the Startup Global pilot initiative because many technology-enabled businesses are in a reactive position when international sales opportunities arise, and many are unaware of where to go for assistance and best practices.

By engaging early-stage exporters, Startup Global demonstrates the Obama administration’s commitment to ensuring American entrepreneurs have the tools they need—and know where to go for help—to prepare for global business from day one.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 512 other followers