Posts Tagged ‘Discover Forum’


Get Real: A Discussion About e-Commerce

August 5, 2015

Anna Flaaten and Martin Herbst are Senior International Trade Specialists at the International Trade Administration’s Export Assistance Center in Phoenix.

Last week, ITA hosted a webinar featuring speakers Aparna Lahiri from eBay’s Global Shipping Team and Chris Ko, Owner and Managing Partner of Nationwide Surplus. The webinar is a result of a strategic partnership between ITA and eBay. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker formalized the agreement to use strategic resources to support U.S. exporters last year.

e-commerce strategies

Join us Oct 8-9 in Dallas to learn about e-commerce strategies

“International e-commerce is at the heart of what we do here at eBay” and “enabling cross-border trade is key to our success” said Lahiri during the webinar. About 190,000 entrepreneurs on eBay are selling to four continents and those that are export-oriented grew a whopping 91% versus businesses that focused only on the domestic market at 58%. Here are some interesting facts we learned during the webinar:

  • Selling internationally isn’t as complicated as you think – the emergence of the internet can simplify the process. Intermediary partners including online marketplaces, secure payment collection, shipping and customs support can make life easier for the entrepreneur.
  • Mobile is here to stay– buyers are purchasing goods more from their smart phones than the traditional PC. A seamless presence across various devices is critical, especially for consumers in emerging markets.This is especially true in China and India, and eBay is seeing similar trends in Latin America where mobile usage has tripled over the past year.
  • There is tremendous demand for just about everything in the global online marketplace. Buyers online are finding inventory more affordably from US sellers and/or looking for a variety of products that are not available to them locally.

Nationwide Surplus, a company that specializes in refurbishing computers and electronics, provided the small business perspective on marketing and selling products online. The company exports 21% of their products to over 100 countries. Ko started his business in a small warehouse with a desk and a computer. He now has 47 employees and is opening a second warehouse location.

Here are some of his insights:

  • Photos, photos, photos – include detailed photos online including 360 degree angles if possible. Nationwide Surplus even disassembles their products to capture interior component images.
  • Understand the international marketplace – purchase prices overseas can exceed those of the US market if the international consumer does not have local access to certain products. AND, there may be a demand for your products internationally even if there is no US consumer demand.
  • Handling returns – understand and plan for returns as they can be expensive depending on the duties, taxes, and shipping costs, etc… involved.
  • Correct paperwork is critical – accurately identifying harmonized tariff codes, for example.
  • Export assistance – “I didn’t realize how much export assistance is out there” stated Mr. Ko, and of particular value is the assistance provided by the US Department of Commerce.

To learn more about international e-commerce, network with other entrepreneurs and US Commercial diplomats, register for our upcoming Discover Global Markets: E-Commerce Strategies event taking place in Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX on October 8-9, 2015. Early bird discount ends August 14th.

The content will resonate with any company interested in e-commerce and social media as key drivers for international business development.


Exporting Might Be the Only Thing Better Than College Basketball

October 30, 2014

The ACC is to college basketball what the Americas are to global export markets.

Chris Higginbotham is a Public Affairs Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs, and a proud UNC alumnus.

Imagine my surprise yesterday…

There I am, walking around the venue for our DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: The Americas business forum, when I walk upstairs and am all-of-a-sudden surrounded by an ESPN crew.

There’s a row of radio reporters on the wall next to me. Bright lights, video cameras, and lots of tall kids.

Our forum shared a venue with the Atlantic Coastal Conference (ACC) college basketball media day. Players, coaches, and staff from some of the nation’s top college basketball programs were right above us.

And the appropriateness of the coincidence struck me last night, because the ACC is to college basketball what the Americas are to global export markets.

I’m an East Coast guy – a North Carolina native – so I don’t say that lightly.

Every year, the ACC is among the top conferences in basketball. Just like how every year, markets throughout the Western Hemisphere present some of the best global opportunities for U.S. exporters.

And as the basketball teams of the ACC compete through the fall and spring, I think that many of the companies here at DISCOVER will be increasing their sales by competing and winning in markets throughout the Americas.

During the next two days, we’ll be helping businesses from 31 states learn about free trade agreements, tariff rates, market opportunities, trade financing, industry trends, e-commerce, and more. We’ll give them the tools they need to gain every advantage when competing in growing markets in the region.

We’re connecting companies directly to a delegation of energy industry buyers from Mexico – a delegation of leaders who know that the quality of U.S. products and services is unmatched in the global market.

If you couldn’t make it to this event, I hope you’ll follow the action and the updates on Twitter using #DGMCharlotte.

You should also look into upcoming DISCOVER events in Atlanta Nov. 5-6, and Minneapolis Nov. 17-18.

Being a U.S. exporter won’t get you drafted in the NBA. There’s no uniform, no conference rivalries, and no fight songs.

But there is opportunity, and that opportunity can take your business to the next level of success.

I hope we’ll see you at an upcoming event, and that we’ll see your business growing through exports very soon.


Discovering Greater China Through Long-Term Plans, Serious Relationship-Building, Finding Good Partners

October 9, 2014

Jim Cox is the Regional Director of the U.S. Commercial Service’s Northeast Network, which is part of the International Trade Administration.

Image of three people meeting at a table and having a discussion at Discover Global Markets in New York

Our DISCOVER forums feature individual counseling sessions between your business and U.S. commercial diplomats who can help develop export strategies for specific markets.

When it comes to exporting to China, there is a world of opportunities for U.S. companies.

But there are also many hurdles to overcome.

That’s why our Commercial Service team brought together dozens of industry experts, U.S. commercial diplomats, and successful exporters for the DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: Greater China event in New York City this week.

With more than 300 innovative and ambitious U.S. business representatives in attendance, we discussed market intelligence, best practices, and strategies to compete and win in some of the world’s fastest-growing markets.

Through one-on-one counseling sessions, we helped more than 90 individual companies develop their strategy for entering new markets.

And we learned some great information from business leaders that are already doing business in the region.

Like that when you’re vetting a potential partner in China, a great way to find information about them is to do a web search for their fax number.

Or that Chinese people are very guarded about trusting potential business partners, so you’ll have to put a lot of work into developing a trusting personal relationship in order to create a successful business relationship.

Our District Export Council told us some great information about etiquette, like that Chinese business leaders see a business meal as a place to relax and break the ice, so working through meals can actually harm your chances of striking a deal.

Bottom line: The markets of Greater China aren’t always the easiest to enter, but they do offer a return that could be well worth the investment of time your business will have to make.

To the panel members, marketing partners, and attendees who made our event the success that it was, I give many thanks. I am certain that we will see some great success stories about businesses creating new business in Greater China.

If you couldn’t make this event, trust me – you need to check out the upcoming DISCOVER events. Register for them. And succeed because of them.


For World Octopus Day, 8 Reasons to Attend a DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS Business Forum

October 6, 2014

Our team is in New York now, supporting our DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: Greater China business forum. While we’re here, we’ll also celebrate World Octopus Day (of course) on Oct. 8.

In honor of the day, here are eight reasons your business should attend an upcoming DISCOVER event:

  1. One-on-One Counseling: One size doesn’t fit every business, and that’s why we offer the opportunity for you to meet one-on-one with our commercial diplomats. Get a tailored plan for your business, taking into consideration your industry, your target market, your goals, and your resources.
  2. Networking: Find new partners, make new connections, secure new business. That’s what our networking sessions help you find, and our events feature some of the world’s leading companies. It’s a great opportunity for you!
  3. U.S. Commercial Diplomats: These folks live and work in your target markets and there’s no one with more knowledge of opportunities, regulatory considerations, market potential, and business contacts than our team.
  4. Focus on Key Markets: We didn’t pick our markets out of a hat. These forums focus on the markets that present the most opportunity for your business: free trade partners, the Americas, Africa, and China. Like the octopus that picked so many winners in the 2010 World Cup, our team can pick the winning markets for your business.
  5. Focus on Industry: Our upcoming events in Minneapolis and Silicon Valley focus specifically on healthcare and sustainable industries. For our region-specific events, we have a variety of industry experts to support you. So no matter which event you choose to attend, we will have the expertise there for your industry.
  6. Buyer Delegations: For many of these events, we bring opportunities to you when qualified, pre-screened buyer delegations from major markets come to DISCOVER to meet your business. What better return on investment for attending an event than a newly signed business deal?
  7. Opportunities: Not every business inks a deal at our forums, but every business does learn about new opportunities. Come join us at an upcoming event in Charlotte, Atlanta, or Minneapolis and let us help you find new opportunities.
  8. Intelligence: Whether it’s details about a developing market or details about a new government program, DISCOVER events provide your business the intel it needs to take the next step on its export plan.

So what are you waiting for? Learn more about our upcoming events and register now!


Soaring Energy Demand Means Opportunities for U.S. Companies in Latin America

September 24, 2014

Marjorie Baker recently completed a summer internship with the International Trade Administration’s Office of the Western Hemisphere.

Register now for discover: the Americas

Energy consumption in Latin America is expected to more than double between 2010 and 2013.

More Latin Americans than ever are now members of the middle class, and sustained economic growth in the region has led to increased demand for energy.

Energy consumption is projected to more than double in Latin America between 2010 and 2030, and this will transform the continent’s energy sector, creating new opportunities for U.S. companies.

As part of the federal government’s Look South initiative, the International Trade Administration (ITA) has published a series of best prospect sector reports for our 11 Free Trade Agreement partners in Latin America (Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Peru).

Our on-the-ground experts have identified the following countries as especially attractive for U.S. energy sector exporters:

We are also leading several U.S. companies on a renewable energy trade mission to Peru in November, and we look forward to new opportunities and new business deals as a result of that mission.

The energy sectors of these countries face challenges in terms of generating, distributing, and transmitting power, and that means there are a wide variety of opportunities for U.S. companies.

One way to learn about these opportunities and how to take advantage of them is at the upcoming DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: The Americas forum in Charlotte, N.C., Oct. 29-31.

Register now for discover: the Americas

This forum will be the premier international business conference for U.S. executives to explore new market development strategies in the Americas, featuring:

  • One-on-one appointments with a buying delegation from Mexico;
  • Opportunities to meet with commercial diplomats who work in these markets every day; and
  • A breakout session focusing specifically on energy opportunities across the hemisphere.

We hope to see many U.S. companies taking advantage of the promising opportunities in Latin America!


Historic Forum Yields Significant Gains for Africa-U.S. Business Ties

August 29, 2014

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

Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Stefan M. Selig speaking with Elizabeth Littlefield, President & CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum

Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Stefan M. Selig speaking with Elizabeth Littlefield, President & CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation at the U.S.-Africa Business Forum.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Commerce and Bloomberg Philanthropies co-hosted an event showing that Africa is one of the world’s next great sources of economic growth.

The first-ever U.S.-Africa Business Forum brought together American and African business leaders with the heads of nearly 50 African nations to exchange ideas and create partnerships that will promote trade, accelerate job growth, and encourage investment.

And this was not just an academic discussion. We built the kind of relationships that will help usher in a new level of success for the growing economies and businesses of Africa, as well as spur real gains for U.S. companies.

Several American companies, among others, announced new partnerships in Africa, resulting in multi-million and multi-billion dollar deals:

Also, as part of the White House’s Power Africa initiative—which pledges to invest $7 billion and create an additional 10,000 megawatts of cleaner electricity over the next five years— American company Contour Global secured a $120 million contract to rehabilitate an existing Senegalese power site and construct a new one. That deal will provide another 53 megawatts of electricity to Senegal’s citizens.

As excited as my colleagues and I are about these deals, contract signings weren’t the only highlights of the forum.

The Obama administration, Commerce, and ITA announced several programs and initiatives to help American companies have continued access to opportunities in Africa:

  • President Obama signed an executive order establishing the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, which will include private sector guidance in expanding the U.S.-Africa commercial relationship.
  • The DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: Sub-Saharan Africa Forum that will take place in Atlanta on November 5th and 6th will connect U.S. business leaders to even more opportunities in some of the world’s most promising markets.
  • The Commerce Department’s U.S. Commercial Service will more than double its presence in Africa, increasing our ability to support businesses with market insight and business matchmaking. We will open offices in Angola, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Mozambique, and expand offices in Kenya, Ghana, Morocco, and Libya.
  • Commerce and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency will lead 20 African trade missions by 2020.
  • Commerce launched a new website highlighting African market information, export financing tools, and potential projects, contacts, and business resources.

I would like to thank Mayor Bloomberg and Bloomberg Philanthropies for all the hard work they put into the Forum. Without their leadership and support, the event wouldn’t have been nearly as successful.

If your company is ready to support economic, infrastructure, or business development in Africa, there’s never been a better time than now to contact your nearest Export Assistance Center.

I look forward to working with Secretary Pritzker, the Commerce team, and American and African business leaders as we continue to support the world’s next great economic success story.


Automotive Exports to Latin American Free Trade Agreement Partners on the Rise

August 14, 2014

Leif Anderson recently completed an internship in the International Trade Administration’s Office for Export Policy, Promotion, and Strategy.

The DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: Free Trade Agreements Conference in Detroit will be a premier event for any business looking to expand exports in free trade markets.

This is especially true for U.S. auto exporters who are looking for new opportunities in increasingly attractive free trade markets in Latin America.

Mexico is the largest growing U.S. auto/auto parts export market in the world, with growth of $8.2 billion from 2009 to 2013 – that’s a 13 percent annual increase.

Mexico recently passed Brazil as the top Latin American car producer, increasing demand for automobile parts from the United States.

Robots In a Car Factory

The DISCOVER: Free Trade Agreements forum will be a great event for U.S. auto exporters.

Auto parts/supplies exports to other Latin American markets have also grown since 2009:

  • Chile – 15.3 percent,
  • Colombia – 14.7 percent,
  • Peru – 16.2 percent,
  • Dominican Republic – 10 percent, and
  • Panama – 9.2 percent.

This growth can be largely attributed to strengthening free trade agreements in the region which have reduced or eliminated most import taxes on U.S. products. These markets also have vibrant middle classes and industrial demand.

The DISCOVER: Free Trade Agreements event will be a great event for U.S. auto exporters looking to expand in these markets.

The event features insights from some of the most successful exporters in the industry, including:

  • Mustafa Mohatarem, Chief Economist at General Motors, and
  • Michael S. Sheridan, Director of Global Trade Strategy with the Ford Motor Company.

The Federal Government is also supporting U.S. exporters expanding into Latin American free trade markets through the Look South campaign.

Businesses can find best prospect automotive industry market snapshots cutting across eight of our eleven Look South free trade agreement partner countries – along with similar market research on 20-plus industry sectors.

Looking forward, growing demand and fewer trade barriers have made this region an ideal destination for any the products of any U.S. business. We encourage you to start taking advantage of this great opportunity.


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