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What is the SelectUSA Academy?

February 26, 2015

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

By Genilson Brandao, Outreach and Communications Senior Specialist, SelectUSA

SelectUSA Summit Academy: March 22, 2015, 2:00pm-6:30pmThe 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit is fast approaching and the excitement around it continues to build. To date, there are more than 2,100 registrants from almost 80 international markets and nearly every U.S. state. The Summit will bring together high-profile business leaders, investors, state and local representatives, and government officials to network and discuss the latest investment trends.

New this year is an important addition for participants who are looking to make the most of their Summit experience: The SelectUSA Academy.

The Academy is an intensive, practical pre-Summit orientation that will give companies, state and local governments, and economic developments organizations (EDOs) the basics on investing in the U.S. market and strategies to attract investment to their locations.

The sessions will offer indispensable analytical tools and information to help participants navigate regulations and investment incentives, investor visas, current foreign direct investment (FDI) and reshoring trends, and more—see the Academy agenda for more details on the sessions and speakers.

You can participate in the Academy in two different tracks:

  1. The Investor Track is designed for potential investors and companies of all sizes who want to learn the basics of investing in the United States.
  2. The EDO Track is tailored to state/local governments and EDOs looking to develop specific strategies for attracting FDI and discuss the latest trends and resources in economic development.

Participants in the SelectUSA Academy will not only gain valuable, first-hand insight from experienced investors, economic developers, and government officials to boost their investment strategies, but they will also have a chance to meet and mingle the night before the Summit. Following the Academy sessions, there will be a special networking reception on Sunday evening for all Academy participants and speakers.

Want to jumpstart your 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit experience? The Academy has already sparked great interest from international firms, exhibitors, and U.S. EDOs, but there’s still time to join us. To sign up for the Academy, first register for the 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit at www.selectusasummit.com/registration and then select the “SelectUSA Academy” add-on option. If you are already attending the Summit and want to update your registration to include the Academy, please contact our Summit event planner at info@selectusasummit.com.

About the SelectUSA Summit: The 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit will be held on March 23rd and 24th and the SelectUSA Academy will be held on March 22nd in the Washington, D.C. area at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. More than 2,500 participants will find the practical tools, information and contacts they need to move investments forward. To learn more and register, visit www.selectusa.gov.

About SelectUSA: Housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce, SelectUSA promotes and facilitates business investment into the United States by coordinating related federal government agencies to serve as a single point of contact for investors. SelectUSA assists U.S. economic development organizations to compete globally for investment by providing information, a platform for international marketing, and high-level advocacy. SelectUSA also helps investors find the information they need to make decisions; connect to the right people at the local level; navigate the U.S. federal regulatory system; and find solutions to issues related to the U.S. federal government.  More information at http://www.selectusa.gov.

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Secretary Pritzker Joins Bipartisan Roundtable on the Benefits of Trade During National Governors Association Winter Meeting

February 24, 2015
Secretary Pritzker Joins Bipartisan Roundtable on the Benefits of Trade During National Governors Association Winter Meeting

Secretary Pritzker Joins Bipartisan Roundtable on the Benefits of Trade During National Governors Association Winter Meeting

 

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Yesterday, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker joined a bipartisan roundtable at the White House on the importance of trade and new trade agreements. The meeting was part of the National Governors Association (NGA) Winter Meeting in Washington. NGA is the bipartisan organization of the nation’s governors, and its members include the 55 states, territories and commonwealths of the United States.

Governors John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Gary Herbert of Utah, and Terry McAuliffe of Virginia attended the roundtable, along with Secretary Pritzker, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and White House officials.

During the discussion, Secretary Pritzker highlighted how trade has helped drive the nation’s economic recovery and proven beneficial to state’s economies. For example, more than 5,000 Colorado businesses, both large and small, are counted among the ranks of America’s exporters. Exports from Virginia to our free trade agreement partners have grown by 74 percent over the past 10 years, and in Ogden, Utah, exports drove more than 100 percent of growth out of the recession.

Overall, exports support 11.3 million American jobs – which pay up to 18 percent higher than jobs not related to exports. In addition, the Commerce Department announced earlier this month that American exports had hit an all-time high for the fifth year running – sending $2.35 trillion worth of goods and services overseas.

That is why the Obama Administration has set an ambitious trade agenda focused on building on this progress. It will ensure U.S. businesses in every state can access more global markets with fewer barriers.

This agenda includes the completion and implementation of new trade agreements including the Trans Pacific Partnership, which the U.S. is negotiating with 11 other nations. Once completed, TPP will give American businesses free trade arrangements with 40 percent of global GDP.

Secretary Pritzker stressed to the attending governors that in today’s global economy, American prosperity is directly tied to our ability to reach new markets and new customers beyond our borders. Today’s roundtable gave Secretary Pritzker an opportunity to urge the nation’s governors to support trade policies like TPP, and explain why they are essential to the growth of the economy, to the creation of good jobs, to the economic security of American families, and to the competitiveness of our businesses.

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Chamber of Commerce Exec Remains Confident About Middle East Prospects

February 20, 2015

Douglas Barry is an International Trade Specialist for ITA in the Office of Communications and Digital Initiatives, Global Markets.

Discover Global Markets Business ForumDavid Hamod, President & CEO of the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC, remains optimistic that the Arab world will solve its problems and that U.S. companies have an important role to play in the region. Last year, Hamod brought that message to the DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: Africa, the Middle East, & India conference. This month, U.S. Commercial Service Officers based in Saudi Arabia and the UAE reiterated that importance when they met with hundreds of U.S. businesspeople at DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: Sustainable Solutions in Santa Clara, California.

Despite ongoing conflict and instability in the region, Hamod said that a major success has been the cooperation councils in the Arabian Gulf. “They’ve been successful in attracting a lot of investment to the region,” he said. “They have some marquis events coming like the Expo 2020 in Dubai, [and] the World Cup 2022 in Doha that will further enlarge the attractiveness to U.S. companies.”

Hamod advises looking at the data carefully to see where help is needed and opportunities abound, noting that U.S. exports to the area are doubling every four years. “Our longer term forecast suggests by the year 2018, U.S. companies will be exporting almost $250 billion worth of goods and services to the region,” he noted. Additionally, there’s a perception that the Arab world has a favorable view of the United States, especially when it involves where to educate their children, get good health care, and take vacations. Hamod believes that people in the region like to do business with Americans.

“They like the fact that Americans are straight forward, and we have something called the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act that helps to cut down on the…under-the-table type of business which serves nobody.”

Hamod said he’s often asked by U.S. companies if the opportunities are only in oil and gas. The answer is an emphatic ‘no’. “For every country in the region, there is a keen effort right now to diversify away from oil and gas.”

“Not every country had it to begin with,” he said. “This area is diversifying, becoming more creative, looking at the natural assets that it has. It is in these efforts to diversify that many different kinds of U.S. suppliers of goods and services will find opportunity.”

One of the best things going for the region, he explained, is its location, with most of the world’s population within an eight-hour flight. “When you look at how the local airlines are now serving the U.S. market, I think it’s going to revolutionize the relationships that we’ve historically had with this part of the world. And you put the new railway lines that are being developed on top of that—there’s going to be a whole new world for U.S. business.”

Hamod advises U.S. exporters to attend future DGMs, noting that it can cost $25,000 to send two people to an area without knowing whether there is a market for your product. It’s better to get expert advice in the United States before you go abroad. For more information, call the nearest U.S. Export Assistance Center to get the ball rolling.

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Recognizing U.S. Exports; Celebrating U.S. Exporters

February 11, 2015

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

Antwaun Griffin is the International Trade Administration’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for U.S. Operations.

ITA’s Eric Johnson (left) and Antwaun Griffin (center) presented Jeff Carson from House of Cheatham with an Export Achievement Certificate in 2014 to honor the company’s growth in international business.

ITA’s Eric Johnson (left) and Antwaun Griffin (center) presented Jeff Carson from House of Cheatham with an Export Achievement Certificate in 2014 to honor the company’s growth in international business.

When it comes to U.S. exports, there has been a lot of good news this month. For the fifth consecutive year, the United States has set a record for exports, and that trend continues to support our economic recovery.

The trend is part of a concerted effort under the National Export Initiative (NEI) and the NEI Next strategy to support more American companies looking to compete overseas.

I love what the data means for our economy! But what I love more are the business leaders behind those numbers. It is a pleasure to meet these folks and see how exporting is changing their businesses, and helping them grow and add more jobs.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to meet John Gray and Nick Carlino from MDI, a wholesale grocery store distributor based in North Carolina. MDI started working with our Export Assistance Center in Charlotte in 2006, and has now achieved five straight years of double-digit export growth. The last two years have seen more than 25 percent growth, a huge feat for a small business. I hope MDI can continue to see that kind of success.

There’s also Atlanta’s House of Cheatham, a hair care and beauty products company, which has been a trailblazer in many smaller global markets, and several markets in Africa. In 2004, international revenues comprised 10 percent of the company’s total revenue. In 2014, that number hit 40 percent. In 2015, I hope the company hits even higher plateaus in global business.

I want to thank and congratulate all the companies that are succeeding in the global marketplace, from California-based CTC Global to Florida-based Hann Powerboats and every company in between.

If you’re ready to join these companies in the global marketplace in 2015, please consider:

  • Attending an upcoming Discover Global Markets business forum to learn how to take advantage of export opportunities across sectors and in a number of promising global markets.
  • Joining us for the Trade Winds—Africa trade mission in September. This is the largest-ever U.S.-government led trade mission to the continent, and Africa is home to seven of 10 the world’s fastest-growing economies. That spells opportunity for your business.
  • Contacting your nearest Export Assistance Center. Our team has a number of helpful events across the country throughout the year, from export workshops to trade shows, and our market research can help you find and succeed in the right markets for your company.

To all the trade specialists and commercial officers in ITA’s Commercial Service, all our state partners, the chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, trade associations and other groups working to support U.S. exports, I say thank you and congratulations on another great year.

I look forward to meeting more of our country’s great exporters in 2015, and to celebrating another great year of Made in America goods and services making their way around the globe.

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Cyber Security in Central and Eastern Europe: business opportunities and challenges explored in upcoming webinar and trade mission

February 9, 2015

Gemal Brangman is a Senior International Trade Specialist in ITA’s Trade Promotion Programs office; and a member of the U.S. Commercial Service Global ICT Team.

Pompeya Lambrecht is a Senior International Trade Specialist at the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Northern Virginia; is a member of the U.S. Commercial Service Global ICT Team, and leads the Cyber Security sub-team.

Cyber security plays an important role in ensuring the protection of an organization’s vital security properties against security risks in the ever-expanding cyber environment. The damaging effects of cyber threats can be felt throughout many levels in a business or organization, and the effects can quickly spill over across borders. It is because of these threats that nations in Central and Eastern Europe have begun to dedicate more federal government and private sector resources to deal with these complex cyber threats. The increase in resources is evident in the innovations and demand for cyber defense equipment and service technologies.

Recent events in Central and Eastern Europe have heightened the importance of improving cyber security protection. As a result, governments across the region have made cyber security a policy priority, creating task forces and working closely with the United States government to improve their defenses. With the ascending growth, sophistication, and intensity of cyber-attacks in recent years, strict compliance and unified security packages are in demand to protect the critical data, infrastructure, and safety of governments, military, public utilities, banking, financial services, ports, hospitals, and other businesses.

Due to the importance of the cyber security industry in Europe, the International Trade Administration (ITA) is organizing an executive-led Cyber Security Business Development Mission to Poland and Romania from May 11-15, 2015. The purpose of the mission is to introduce U.S. firms and trade associations to Central and Eastern Europe’s information and communication technology security, and critical infrastructure protection markets. In addition, the mission will look to assist U.S. companies in finding business partners and exporting their products and services across the region.

During the trade mission, participants can also take advantage of ITA’s Commercial Service network to arrange matchmaking opportunities with companies and governments in the region that are participating in the program.

The U.S Commercial Service will help U.S. exporters better understand the business opportunities and challenges in this dynamic market through a webinar on Cyber security opportunities in Poland, Romania, and other neighboring countries on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 11 a.m. EST. The webinar will provide a market overview and highlight key opportunities and challenges to help U.S. exporters working in a various countries including Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia, and Romania.

Apply for the Cyber Security Trade Mission at http://www.export.gov/trademissions/cybersecureeurope/index.asp

Register today for the webinar at http://export.gov/california/ie/tradeevents/europecybersecurity/index.asp

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A Record Year for American Exports, Further Proof of American Greatness

February 5, 2015

Stefan M. Selig is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

Under Secretary Stefan M. Selig (second from left) discusses the importance of exports as part of a panel discussion hosted by the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC on February 5, 2015.

Under Secretary Stefan M. Selig (second from left) discusses the importance of exports as part of a panel discussion hosted by the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC on February 5, 2015.

“The shadow of crisis has passed,” the President declared in his State of the Union two weeks ago, and the export data we released today goes to the heart of that very point.

The Commerce Department announced today that the U.S. economy hit a new annual record for exports, with $2.35 trillion in goods and services shipped in 2014.

That also represents the fifth consecutive year that our economy yielded record exports, going back to 2010 when the President launched the National Export Initiative.

If you take a deeper dive into the numbers, you see that exports are an important chapter in the larger story of our economic recovery.

Last year, we achieved record annual goods exports with Canada ($312 billion), Mexico ($240 billion) and China ($124 billion). In fact, the U.S. economy had record goods exports with 52 countries in 2014.

It was also a banner year when it came to goods exports with our free trade agreement (FTA) markets. You would expect that our exports to these countries would be strong. But last year saw enormous year-over-year growth in a variety of FTA markets throughout the world: up 7% with South Korea, 9% with Guatemala, 10% with Colombia, 11% with the Dominican Republic, and 28% with Oman.

Our services industry also enjoyed a banner year in 2014, hitting an all-time high of $710 billion.

Travel and tourism remained our strongest service export (it is easy to forget that every dollar a foreign visitor spends on airfare, lodging, and entertainment counts as an export dollar) coming in at $182 billion.

It was also a record year for goods exports, exceeding $1.6 trillion. When you take a look at individual sectors, it is easy to see a compelling story.

Exports of passenger cars represented our third-largest source of year-over-year growth—$61 billion in exports—an increase of more than $4 billion. Our three leading export markets for U.S. passenger cars were Canada, China, and Germany.

The second largest source of growth in 2014 was industrial machines. Strong increases to Canada, South Korea, Mexico and China led the U.S. to a $5 billion increase in this category.

Then, there is crude oil exports, which rose by a staggering 136%—$7 billion—between 2013 and 2014. That represented the largest export increase of any single category.

When you look at these three points, it is clear that they speak to more than exports. They all speak to our impressive recovery and to the sources of our enormous economic strength: a resurgent auto industry, a robust manufacturing sector, and a booming domestic energy market.

The data we see today prove what I often say: that trade is not a threat to American greatness. It is an expression of it.

We export the best goods and services in the world, produced by the best workforce in the world. These exports support more than 11 million American jobs in 2013. 1.6 million of those jobs emerged since the President took office in 2009.

And I am proud to say that ITA is the leading agency in the world when it comes to helping businesses compete in the global marketplace.

The shadow of crisis has indeed passed. The numbers reflect the strength of our exports, our economy and the prospect for a bright future for American workers and American businesses.

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African Ambassadors Make the Case for U.S. Companies to Do Business in Africa

February 5, 2015

Bill Fanjoy is the Director of the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Northern Virginia.

H.E. Ambassador Girma Birru of Ethiopia discussed the bilateral benefits of U.S.-Africa trade at a networking event with business leaders at the Embassy of Ethiopia.

H.E. Ambassador Girma Birru of Ethiopia discussed the bilateral benefits of U.S.-Africa trade at a networking event with business leaders at the Embassy of Ethiopia.

It was our honor for the International Trade Administration to join the Virginia-Washington D.C. District Export Council and Ambassadors from three of Africa’s fastest-growing economies at a recent networking event focused on U.S. companies doing business in Africa.

The message from the Ambassadors from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania was loud and clear: “We are ready for your business to come to Africa.”

It’s not just these Ambassadors who think your business should be looking at Africa. The facts support them:

  • Six of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world are in Africa.
  • Consumer spending is expected to reach $1.4 trillion by 2020, up from $860 billion in 2008.
  • Programs like Trade Africa and Power Africa under the President’s Doing Business in Africa campaign make it easier than ever for U.S. companies to take advantage of opportunities.
  • Demand is growing across sectors, from infrastructure to mining to retail.

That’s why we were glad to be a part of this networking event, and why we’re taking it a step further this year with Trade Winds—Africa, the largest-ever U.S. government-led trade mission to Africa.

Participating in Trade Winds is a great opportunity to connect your business directly to opportunities in eight of the continent’s most promising markets. Our team will introduce you to the government leaders you need to know, connect you with the most qualified local partners, and provide you with the market insight to put you on the right track.

With Africa’s steady supply of resources, a growing population, an expanding consumer base, and increasing demand across sectors, there’s opportunity for almost any company—and there are a number of ways for you to take advantage:

Still not convinced? Stay tuned for details on an upcoming networking event at the South African Embassy, and let more African ambassadors tell you the truth—that Africa is ready for your business, and that there are few markets in the world as ready to help take your business to the next level.

(This post was edited on February 9, 2015 to include a link to the Doing Business in Africa website.)

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