Posts Tagged ‘health care’

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Exports Stimulate Sales of a Vitamin Distributor

April 9, 2014

Doug Barry is a Senior International Trade Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Global Knowledge Center. 

When you’re exporting vitamins, you’re supporting healthy customers as well as a healthy bottom line for your business.

You’re also working within a framework of laws that regulate manufacturing quality, sanitation, ingredients, labelling and other considerations. These laws are necessary to protect consumers, but can sometimes be overwhelming as they change from market to market.

For vitamin-producer Transfer Point and owner Marilyn Becker, support from the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Commercial Service has helped the company navigate regulations for new markets, leading to successes in Europe and Asia. Now the company is looking to expand in Latin America, where the United States has 11 free trade agreements.

She shared her story with Doug Barry, a trade specialist with ITA’s Global Knowledge Center.

Barry: Tell us about your company and where it is today.

Becker: Transfer Point was established to distribute dietary supplements for the immune system, and we only distribute what is best in its class and a very quality product. We started by accident, or by email communication, with the very small country of Croatia, and then started to intentionally seek sales.

Barry: What countries are you in today?

Becker: Several in the EU: Belgium, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, and now of course, very recently Croatia. And then a few in Asia: Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and very recently South Korea.

Barry: How did the International Trade Administration help you succeed in China?

Becker: The U.S. Commercial Service has helped us by guiding us regarding many regulations for the labeling, for packaging, for contents. They helped us do the translation of the label, they provided the information of what was required to be on the label, and they did background checks on the Chinese company that we were dealing with–to verify that we were with a legitimate entity.

Barry: So your cares and concerns about exporting seemed to have fallen away one by one.

Becker: This is true! I can’t say that we have always been successful in what we’ve tried to do. There are some countries we have not yet succeeded in. But boy, we’ve gotten every bit of assistance we could have. South Korea came here to Columbia, South Carolina to meet us and to get to know us better. We had three Commercial Service representatives join us at that meeting and make a presentation on our behalf, which tremendously helps credibility. I could give example after example of the support that we received from the U.S. government.

Barry: Has exporting helped your bottom line?

Becker: Oh, certainly. It’s a third of our sales. And it provides a stable, steady income. When the state’s economy crashed in 2008, we didn’t feel it. Our sales went up, particularly in the EU. We did just fine during that whole period. And that was because of the international market.

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Thinking Globally: The Strength of the U.S. Health IT Sector

July 12, 2013

Justin Fisk is an intern in the International Trade Administration’s Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee. He’s a graduate of the University of Georgia, taking graduate courses at the George Washington University. David Collier is an intern in ITA’s Office of Public Affairs, studying International Relations at the University of Missouri.

For some Health Information Technology businesses, exporting their products globally may seem even more difficult than creating them. That’s why the International Trade Administration (ITA) exists: to help U.S. companies compete in the global marketplace.

As part of that mission, the White House and Business Forward hosted a roundtable on the international Health IT market, bringing together industry stakeholders and exporters. The event featured discussions about the opportunities for increasing Health IT exports, and how resources from ITA and the U.S. government can help businesses take advantage of those opportunities.

The U.S. Health IT sector is a dynamic and important part of the economy, and the global market is expected to grow to $250 billion by 2015 as a result of increased investment in healthcare and health systems around the world.

That’s why the Administration has made this sector a priority for the National Export Initiative (NEI), which President Obama launched in 2010 with the goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014.

The NEI is part of the President’s plan to strengthen America’s economy, support additional jobs here at home, and ensure long-term, sustainable growth.

Representatives from more than 40 companies attended the roundtable, including executives from Oracle, Intel, and Dimensional Insight. Many of these firms, from large corporations to small businesses, have successfully taken advantage of government resources to help find new markets and export to growing foreign markets.

ITA’s resources can help companies export for the first time, and help find new markets for more experienced exporters.

Events like the recent roundtable is that it allows the ITA to meet face-to-face with companies, and design new resources based on the concerns of private industry.

Although these companies represent diverse subsectors of the Health IT industry, they are united in their desire to share their story. These firms understand that exporting can be challenging, but in an increasingly globalized world, companies must think globally. Fortunately, U.S. firms of all sizes are not alone. The government is ready to help.

If your company wants to think global, please visit your nearest U.S. Export Assistance Center for assistance.

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