Posts Tagged ‘efficiency’

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Twelve U.S. Companies Participate in the First-Ever Energy Themed Trade Mission to Russia

June 5, 2012

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

Russia’s impending accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) has sparked a boom of foreign business interest in the Russian economy. Couple this with the Russian governments’ concentrated investments in energy technology and you have a situation ripe for trade deals between American and Russian companies. As such, I am leading a trade delegation of American energy companies to Moscow, the first such energy-themed mission in the history of U.S.-Russian relations.

Under Secretary Sánchez welcomes members of a 12-company U.S. trade delegation to Moscow for the first stop on an energy efficiency trade mission to Russia. The delegation will meet with public and private sector officials in Moscow and St. Petersburg to discuss export opportunities in a growing sector

Under Secretary Sánchez welcomes members of a 12-company U.S. trade delegation to Moscow for the first stop on an energy efficiency trade mission to Russia. The delegation will meet with public and private sector officials in Moscow and St. Petersburg to discuss export opportunities in a growing sector

Representatives from 12 American energy firms are accompanying me on a business tour of Moscow in search of export opportunities for American energy firms. The Russian market represents incredible potential and invaluable relationships – opportunities that America cannot afford to neglect. Successful investments in the Russian energy market could spur a windfall of job creation and economic growth at home while American companies rake in profits from these beneficial partnerships.

We’ve watched U.S. merchandise exports to Russia double from 2005 to 2010, and then grow nearly another 40 percent in 2011 alone. American business exports to Russia now top $8 billion dollars a year. This is a market we must capitalize on. Recognizing this growth and potential, the Department of Commerce led an automotive technologies mission to Russia in April and was eager to do so again.

The Russian government is implementing an Energy Strategy that calls for energy efficiency, sustainable development, energy development and technological development, as well as improved effectiveness and competitiveness. The demand for affordable and efficient energy will only grow as the global economy evolves, a phenomenon that will continuously stimulate demand for high-quality, energy-efficient products and services. Appropriately, the companies on this trade mission can supply exactly that. As I highlighted in an opinion piece in The Moscow Times, many U.S. businesses on the mission have a particular interest in Russia’s focus on smart grids, green-building and road infrastructure.

This mission is a historic event for both the American and Russian energy industries. U.S. companies, manufacturers, and workers already are global leaders in clean technology production and services. And that is why I am privileged to lead this mission to expand exports to the region, exports that will create jobs at home. As a nation, we should be proud of the expertise our companies offer, as well as the innovation and advancement we are known for. These investments today will pay dividends to our citizens tomorrow.

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ITA is Doing Our Part to Promote Efficient Spending, Improve Efficiency

April 23, 2012

Jim Donahue serves as the Deputy Chief Financial Officer and has been with the International Trade Administration since 2001.

Even before the President issued Executive Order 13589 entitled Promoting Efficient Spending the International Trade Administration (ITA), and indeed, all of the Department of Commerce, had been on a mission to reduce spending in areas where savings could be generated without reducing program effectiveness.

Status report on ITA’s various categories of administrative savings

Status report on ITA’s various categories of administrative savings

Thanks to suggestions and input from numerous ITA staff representing the entire agency ITA has been particularly successful in identifying potential areas where savings are possible and actually following through and capturing the savings.  As the ITA administrative savings team ramped up and started generating successes the novelty of the project breed additional enthusiasm and momentum that became contagious throughout the organization.

The ITA savings target for fiscal year 2012 is $10 million and we are on schedule to hit the target. Unlike most federal actions, the savings that are contributing to the target are extraordinarily diverse in size and description.  They range from a $4,100 savings associated with a redesigned car lease to $360,000 in rent savings by tightening our belts and improving our utilization of space within the Hoover Building here in Washington,D.C.

My personal favorite savings item is the $167,000 ITA saved by using office supplies left over from the 2010 decennial census. ITA staff pitched in this winter to coordinate the delivery and distribution of 50 boxes of pens, paper, files folders and other miscellaneous supplies that could be put to productive use in ITA.

Savings like these are not inconsequential. They save both precious money and reduce waste. Like every businesses around the country, these savings add up. And I am proud to tell you that these are just a few examples of how ITA is taking efficiency spending seriously – and there will be many more examples to come.

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