Posts Tagged ‘ASEAN’

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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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U.S. Exporters Learn About Opportunities in Southeast Asia at Baltimore Event

December 7, 2011

U.S. companies looking to export to Southeast Asia were recently able to get a detailed look at opportunities in the region thanks to a two-day event in Baltimore, Maryland. It served as a prelude to a trade mission to the region that the Department of Commerce is leading in May 2012.

Paul Matino is an international trade specialist, and Christopher Goudey an intern, in the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

A recent visit to Indonesia by President Barack Obama was a clear indication of the economic importance of Southeast Asia. The region, which includes 10 countries that are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), is the United States’ fourth largest export market. Overall, it is the world’s ninth largest economy.

In order to help U.S. companies tap into this burgeoning market, the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS), a unit of the International Trade Administration, is organizing a trade mission to Southeast Asia on May 14–22, 2012. Called “Trade Winds—Asia,” the nine-day program will enable U.S. companies to meet with USFCS representatives from 14 different Asian markets, as well as conduct business-to-business meetings in Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

The Trade Winds -- Asia highlights 14 different Asian markets. (Photo courtesy istock/PeskyMonkey)

The Trade Winds -- Asia highlights 14 different Asian markets. (Photo courtesy istock/PeskyMonkey)

Two-day Preview

To offer a preview to companies contemplating participating in Trade Winds—Asia, the USFCS recently welcomed more than 75 companies to the “Southeast Asia Now Business Conference” that was held November 9–10 in Baltimore, Maryland. The two-day event was hosted by the Baltimore Export Assistance Center and attracted participants from throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. It featured nearly 30 speakers representing government agencies, the private sector, and trade associations.

Among the presenters was the keynote speaker, Marc Mealy of the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council. Other featured speakers at the event included current and former USFCS commercial officers in Vietnam, Singapore, and Thailand.

Aside from presentations, conference attendees were able to participate in interactive Exportech workshops, which assessed export readiness and helped provide guidance to exporters with respect to decisions about market suitability. They were also able to take part in one-on-one consultations with export counselors to discuss immediate export opportunities and financing options.

Realities of Doing Business

Attendee Gary Hall of Immediate Response Technologies of Glenn Dale, Maryland, found that the event was an excellent opportunity to learn about the realities of doing business in Southeast Asia. “The information was extremely helpful in providing me [with] pertinent facts on many Southeast Asia countries where our company is looking to expand our business. The economic facts and cultural nuances presented will be extremely valuable to [us] as we move forward.”

Southeast Asia Now was organized with the support of a number of other organizations, including the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Maryland-D.C. District Export Council, and the World Trade Center Institute.

For More Information

Trade Winds—Asia is a nine-day trade mission that will make stops in five countries in Southeast Asia. It will be led by a senior Department of Commerce official. Applications to participate will be accepted until March 30, 2012. Visit the Trade Winds forum for complete information regarding the application process, fees, and itinerary.

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