Posts Tagged ‘infrastructure’

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Upcoming Trade Mission Highlights Key U.S. Economic Partnerships

January 13, 2014

Headshot of Danny Sebright, President of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council.

Danny Sebright is President of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council.

The Middle East is an excellent regional market for U.S. companies looking for opportunities overseas. U.S. merchandise exports to the region have grown by more than 50 percent since 2009, totaling $69.6 billion in 2012.

To help American companies achieve further success in the region, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker is leading a business development mission to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar to help American companies learn about potential opportunities and make important contacts with business and government leaders.

We spoke with Danny Sebright, President of the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council, to get perspective on our important economic relationship with the U.A.E. and the Middle East as a whole. The Council is committed to the advancement of the commercial relationship between the United States and the United Arab Emirates, and it has made trade and foreign direct investment one of its key priorities in its advocacy efforts.

ITA: It looks like trade between the United States and the United Arab Emirates has risen pretty dramatically since 2010 – exports to the U.A.E. have almost doubled and imports from the UAE have more than doubled. Are there any specific catalysts for that trend? Do you expect continued growth?

Sebright: This rise began even before 2010, with the U.A.E. serving as the largest export market for U.S. goods and services in the broader Middle East, from Marrakesh to Bangladesh, for the last five years running. U.S.-U.A.E. trade, expected to exceed 2012’s record of nearly $25 billion in bilateral commerce, is a key contributor to President Obama’s National Export Initiative – launched in 2010 – and the Emirati leadership’s active and visionary efforts to diversify the federal economy and open U.A.E.’s corporate climate to increased foreign direct investment. The economic and trade relationship between the United States and United Arab Emirates has grown exponentially and solidified itself as a key pillar driving commercial and diplomatic engagement thanks in part to an active public sector and industry efforts. As a result, the U.A.E. is largely appreciated as a crucial destination, transit point, and supply chain link for America’s global businesses.

ITA: Are there any specific sectors that should be especially appealing for U.S. businesses in the U.A.E. and in the Middle East?

Sebright: The U.A.E.’s global position as a crossroads for business, trade, and travel has risen dramatically in recent years, with the U.S. playing a significant commercial role in delivering cutting-edge technology, industry thought leadership, and world-class infrastructure to the Emirates. This growth is a direct result of the country’s plans to position the U.A.E. as a global commercial hub by executing ambitious economic development and diversification goals across the industrial spectrum. A few key sectors highlighted in these comprehensive plans that present a wealth of opportunities for U.S. industry include: Infrastructure Development & Green Build; Energy Development (Renewable, Nuclear, Oil & Gas); Aerospace, Defense, Security; Civil and Commercial Aviation; Media, Tourism and Culture; Healthcare and Medicine; and Education.

ITA: What are some challenges for American businesses seeking opportunities in the U.A.E.?

Sebright: The governments of both countries are actively working hand-in-hand with private industry to open the doors for increased U.S.-U.A.E. trade and business – effectively tackling many new and traditional challenges along the way. The biggest challenges for American companies include: navigating the corporate and regulatory landscape of the U.A.E. before setting up shop, conducting thorough due diligence to establish necessary connections with a local partner in the U.A.E., and appreciating the cultural differences between an American boardroom and an Emirati one. Thankfully, turnkey services provided by the Commerce Department and other U.S. agencies geared toward promoting trade and investment are readily available. I would also encourage U.S. firms to plug-in to industry groups like the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council to learn more about opportunities and utilize as a resource when issues arise that affect business practices.

ITA: For businesses interested in infrastructure opportunities in the U.A.E. and Middle East, how will this trade mission help them take advantage of the opportunities available? What are the advantages of working with the Department of Commerce and partner organizations like the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council?

Sebright: It is truly an incredible time for U.S. infrastructure companies looking to do business in the U.A.E. and broader Middle East region – where market-driven consumer demand for world-class infrastructure is rising and opportunities abound. Let me first focus on opportunities in the Emirates. The nation’s leadership has committed hundreds of billions of dollars to airport expansion projects; the development of a federal multi-modal rail system in the U.A.E. set to ultimately link to neighboring countries; boost production from an active and diverse energy grid; and fund ongoing nation-wide road, clean water, and other infrastructure initiatives underway to drive economic growth. The recent awarding of World Expo 2020 hosting duties to Dubai will only cement these efforts. Preparations necessary for Dubai and the U.A.E. to host Expo 2020 are expected to require $500 billion in additional infrastructure investment, directly create approximately 250,000 local jobs, and boost federal efforts to increase global tourism traffic to the Emirates to 20 million by 2020.

In the broader region, commercial globalization and domestic economic development initiatives centered on building new hospitals, educational institutions, and energy diversification projects are creating opportunities for American businesses to bring knowledge and technology to the market. In Qatar, the country is focused on building world class infrastructure to support the 2022 World Cup. In Saudi Arabia, the leadership is focused on providing education and jobs for an increasingly youthful population, nearly 60 percent of whom are under the age of 24.

ITA: Is there any one piece of advice you’d offer to a business looking for opportunities in the U.A.E.?

Sebright: It is important for representatives of American industry operating, or looking to operate, in the U.A.E. to understand and appreciate that most transactions or corporate partnerships develop only after a personal rapport and a clear commitment to the Emirati partner and consumer has been established. In the U.A.E., the prevailing view is that a deal is only as good as the person, or people selling it.

ITA: What would you tell a business that hasn’t considered the U.A.E. as a potential export market?

Sebright: The U.A.E. provides an open corporate environment for American firms to conduct regional and global business in line with international standards and best practices. On top of that, the U.A.E. is centrally located within an eight hour flight of 60% of the world’s key emerging markets, developing local capacity to link up to many of the world’s supply chains, and actively looking to the U.S. as a key commercial and trade partner. Both stable and lucrative, the U.A.E. is a primed business destination with immense potential yet to be tapped.

ITA: Why is the U.S. economic relationship with the U.A.E. and the Middle East region so important?

Sebright: The economic relationship between the U.S. and U.A.E., in particular, is founded in mutual respect and complements close strategic ties formed over years of supporting global efforts to maintain regional security and political stability. U.S. economic engagement with the broader Middle East is incredibly important because the development and cultivation of a successful commercial relationship can boost diplomatic efforts already in motion to establish wider cultural understanding between key consumers and global citizens. Much of the recent political turbulence in the region has been intrinsically linked to communities featuring disenfranchised youth with few economic prospects or opportunities. As the U.A.E. has exemplified, political stability and economic stability go hand in hand.

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Secretary Pritzker to Lead Business Development Mission to Middle East

December 12, 2013

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will lead a senior-executive Business Development Mission to the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar March 8-14, 2014.

The trade mission is critical to building on export growth and furthering the Obama Administration’s efforts to help U.S. businesses compete and succeed in the global economy. It is also an important component of the Department of Commerce’s “Open for Business Agenda,” which prioritizes trade and investment.

This mission will highlight export opportunities for U.S. businesses in three leading industry sectors with an emphasis on project management and engineering (including construction, architecture and design), renewable energy (solar, wind, waste-to-energy), smart grid and energy efficiency, and environmental technologies (including water/wastewater; air pollution control; and waste management).

Participating U.S. companies will meet with prescreened potential partners, agents, distributors, representatives, and licensees.  The agenda will also include meetings with high-level national and local government officials, networking opportunities, and country and industry briefings.

Connecting U.S. businesses with opportunities in new markets is a fundamental to the mission of the Department of Commerce and its ‘Open for Business Agenda. This is a particularly exciting time to be looking toward the Middle East and countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar as a destination for U.S. exports, especially in the infrastructure sector. Exports now support nearly 10 million U.S. jobs, up 1.3 million since 2009.

Businesses interested in participating in the upcoming business development mission, please visit the mission website to apply.

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Long Term Opportunities for U.S. Companies in Egypt

April 29, 2013

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

Anne Novak and Nancy Luther are Project Officers for the Department of Commerce’s Trade Mission to Egypt.

Acting Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade Ken Hyatt (center) poses with participants in the Egypt trade mission.

Acting Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade Ken Hyatt (center) poses with participants in the Egypt trade mission.

The April 2013 U.S. Department of Commerce Business Development Mission to Egypt reaffirmed the U.S. private sector’s continued interest in the Egyptian market. Led by Acting Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade Ken Hyatt, the mission built on the positive trade relations between the countries.

After two days of meetings with private sector and governmental counterparts, the U.S. delegation of companies in the alternative energy, infrastructure, and safety and security sectors came away optimistic about long-term commercial and investment opportunities in Egypt.

The largest country in the Arab world with a population of more than 80 million, Egypt has historically been an attractive market for U.S. firms seeking to do business in the region. Long-term prospects remain good; American brands are highly visible, and U.S. products and technology are respected.

The International Trade Administration’s office in Cairo, headed by Regional Senior Commercial Officer Ann Bacher, arranged more than 100 customized business-to-business and business-to-government meetings.

Hyatt also held a range of bilateral meetings with key government officials, including Under Secretary Mohamed Omran of the Ministry of Electricity and Energy, who welcomed more involvement from U.S. companies in power generation projects as well as in technical training on managing power plants.

U.S.-Egyptian cooperation in electrical and solar energy projects was a key topic of discussion throughout the mission. U.S. businesses on the mission—with their innovative technologies and services—are well-positioned to support Egypt’s electrical and alternative energy projects.

This mission opened doors for new business opportunities for U.S. companies and continued Commerce’s efforts to strengthen bilateral economic and commercial relationships with the Egyptian Government.

This is the second group of U.S. businesses Hyatt has led to Egypt over the last seven months. In September 2012 he accompanied a U.S. Chamber of Commerce delegation of more than 50 U.S. companies exploring the Egyptian market.

A trade mission could be a key step to helping your business compete overseas. Your next customers could live in one of the countries we’ll be visiting on an upcoming mission.

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Building Exports in the Construction Industry

April 24, 2013

Kit Rudd is the Senior International Trade Specialist responsible for Construction Machinery in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Transportation and Machinery.

When it comes to export The U.S. pavilion at the baum 2013 trade show.growth, U.S. manufacturers of construction machinery and related equipment are building something special.

With more than $47 billion in exports in 2012, and 89 percent growth since 2009,  the sector is strongly supporting President Obama’s National Export Initiative goal of doubling American exports by the end of 2014.

Infrastructure growth around the world is driving demand for construction machinery and related equipment. When it comes to trade promotion in this field, there are few better venues than bauma 2013, the International Trade Fair for Construction Machinery, Building Material Machines, Mining Machines, Construction Vehicles, and Construction Equipment.

Held April 15-21, in Munich, Germany, this year’s event attracted more than 3,200 exhibitors, including 288 from the United States. The International Trade Administration (ITA) was there to support U.S. exhibitors, counseling more than 30 U.S. companies on how ITA can help them compete and succeed globally.

Senior International Trade Specialist Kit Rudd of the Manufacturing and Services (MAS) Machinery Team, and Commercial Service (CS) Specialists Bettina Capurro of Munich and Marino Konno of São Paulo represented ITA, working with American companies and arranging presentations on the construction markets in Brazil and Chile.

If your business is new-to-market, new-to-export, or even if you’re already a successful exporter, ITA can help you build a foundation and grow your business. Visit export.gov to get started.

(note: 2012 trade data is based on North American Industry Classification System [NAICS] codes 333120 [Construction Machinery]; 333131 [Mining Machinery and Equipment]; 333618 [Other Engine equipment]; 333995 [Fluid Power Cylinders and Actuators]; and 333996 [Fluid Power Pumps and Motors])

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Growth and Opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa

June 14, 2012

Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale is the Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services within the International Trade Administration

This week I am participating in the 11th Annual U.S.-Sub-Saharan Trade and Economic Forum, hosted this year in Washington, D.C. The event is mandated by the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and is the U.S. Government’s premier high-level, bilateral event with Sub-Saharan Africa. This year’s theme is “Enhancing Africa’s Infrastructure for Trade.”

The AGOA Forum brings together over 600 participants, including senior U.S. and African officials, as well as U.S. and African members of the private sector and civil society.

Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Serivces Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale delivers opening remarks during the 11th annual AGOA forum held at the State Department June 7-8. (Photo Commerce)

Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Serivces Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale delivers opening remarks during the 11th annual AGOA forum held at the State Department June 7-8. (Photo Commerce)

I am honored to be co-chairing a session with Humberto Brito, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Energy, Cape Verde focused on ways to create an attractive regulatory environment to attract renewable energy investment.

Sub-Saharan Africa is a continent of opportunities for U.S. businesses with overall projected growth rates of approximately six percent in 2012 – some of the highest in the world. In looking at the world’s ten fastest growing economies from 2001 – 2010, six were in Africa. This trend accelerates in 2011-2015 with seven of the ten world’s fastest growing economies being in Africa. In the World Bank’s Doing Business 2012: Doing Business in a More Transparent World an impressive 36 out of 46 economies in Sub-Saharan Africa improved business regulations this year – a record number since 2005. Of the economies that improved the most in the ease of doing business in 2010/2011, with improvements in three or more areas of regulation measured by Doing Business, four of the twelve are Sub-Saharan African countries.

While a plethora of opportunities exist, they must be balanced with the market barriers that can inhibit development. The challenges to doing business in this part of the world are well-known – graft and corruption, weak legal frameworks, customs issues, weak enforcement of intellectual property rights, and lack of infrastructure, among others. The Department of Commerce works diligently on behalf of U.S. companies to not only help U.S. businesses pursue opportunities, but also to facilitate the elimination of these barriers.

The United States Government has been proactive in promoting increased opportunity in Africa. The Department of Commerce led a trade mission of 19 companies to South Africa last fall, and a trade mission to South Africa and Zambia is planned for November this year. In February of this year the State Department also led an energy trade mission to Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana. These missions are ideal opportunities to encourage private sector linkages which in turn underscore economic development as a path towards prosperity, sustained economic growth, and increased trade and investment.

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Exploring 4,600 Miles of Opportunities

February 29, 2012

Marsha McDaniel is a Commercial Officer in the Mumbai, India office of the Commercial Service.

Led by the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Francisco Sánchez, the first-ever Ports and Maritime Technology Trade Mission to India introduced twelve U.S. companies to the entire maritime territory of India, spanning from Kolkata in the east, to Chennai in the south, and ending in Ahmedabad and Mumbai in the west.

Under Secretary Sanchez and Commercial Service staff with the Trade Mission delegates

Under Secretary Sanchez and Commercial Service staff with the Trade Mission delegates

India, with its vast coastline of 4,600 miles, offers abundant opportunities for U.S. ports and maritime technology companies.  During their visit the trade mission delegates traveled nearly 2,000 miles within India and they participated in more than 200 customized business meetings.

The participating organizations included two premier U.S. seaports – the Port of Baltimore and the Port of San Diego – as well as ten leading U.S. companies that provide port technologies including dredging, port security, and logistics.

Starting in Kolkata on February 17th seven participating companies visited the eastern region of India to explore commercial opportunities at the Haldia Port.  This was the first major U.S. trade mission to visit Kolkata since 2008, and the delegates were warmly received by the local business community and the Commercial Service Kolkata team.

The official trade mission kicked-off in Chennai on Monday February 20, where Under Secretary Sánchez, Commercial Service India’s Minister Counselor Judy Reinke and the Commercial Service Chennai team welcomed the full delegation of twelve companies.  Also participating in the mission were representatives from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

While in Chennai the Under Secretary and the delegates met with India’s Minister of Shipping, Shri G.K. Vasan, and participated in matchmaking sessions organized by local business chambers.

The second stop for mission participants was Ahmedabad, selected for its location in the state of Gujarat, which has emerged as a major maritime hub for India.  In Gujarat one of the trade mission delegates – the Port of Baltimore – signed a sister-port MOU with the Ahmedabad-based Adani Group .

The Commercial Service Ahmedabad team orchestrated a series of meetings for the delegates with various Gujarati ports while the Under Secretary participated in government meetings with state officials.  Under Secretary Sánchez ended his trip to Ahmedabad with a visit to the Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University where he engaged in a lively discussion with nearly 200 students.

Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, was the final stop of the mission.  On February 23rd the delegates participated in a busy day of customized business meetings with potential Indian partners.  While in Mumbai Under Secretary Sánchez participated in a SelectUSA event with leading Indian IT companies and he later inaugurated the new Commercial Service Trade Center at the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai.

Trade Mission delegates visit Mumbai’s JNTP Port

Trade Mission delegates visit Mumbai’s JNTP Port

The mission participants received a special access comprehensive tour of the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNTP), thanks to the efforts of the Commercial Service teams in New Delhi and Mumbai. During the tour, delegates had an intimate meeting with the JNTP Port Chairman during which they discussed specific commercial opportunities related to dredging and port security.

The delegates completed the mission feeling optimistic about the commercial opportunities in this sector.  The companies realize that doing business in India is a long-term proposition and this will be the first of hopefully many visits to India that the companies will make.  The Commercial Service team in India is standing by to assist U.S. firms create lasting partnerships that will help bring American port and maritime technology solutions to India.

This mission was the first of several infrastructure-related events that will take place in India this year.  The U.S. Secretary of Commerce, John Bryson, will lead an infrastructure trade mission to New Delhi, Jaipur, and Mumbai during March 25-30.

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Port of Baltimore Partners With India’s Mundra Port To Expand Exports, Trade

February 23, 2012

David McCormack is an International Trade Specialist in the U.S. Foreign and Commercial Service.  Russell Adise is an International Trade Specialist in the Office of Service Industries.

On February 22, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez witnessed the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between two major world ports – the U.S.’ Port of Baltimore and India’s Mundra Port – that will facilitate maritime cooperation, exports and trade flows between the U.S. and India.

The two-way trade between India and the U.S. grew to $58 billion in 2011, and this upward trend is expected to continue in 2012.  This MOU is a perfect example of the U.S. and India working together to meet India’s infrastructure needs while supporting American jobs.

Sister port MoU signed between the Port of Baltimore and the Adani Group’s Mundra Port. U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Francisco Sánchez witnessed the signing of the MoU in Ahmedabad. (photo American Center Mumbai)

Sister port MoU signed between the Port of Baltimore and the Adani Group’s Mundra Port. U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Francisco Sánchez witnessed the signing of the MoU in Ahmedabad. (photo American Center Mumbai)

For U.S. seaports, sister port partnerships are an important tool for expanding their trade links, trade routes, port marketing, and infrastructure development activities throughout the world.  The Port of Baltimore’s new agreement with Mundra Port follows similar agreements with ports in Taiwan, Poland, China, Russia, Italy, Ghana, Egypt, The Netherlands, and France, illustrating Baltimore’s importance as an international trade port.

U.S. seaports are a critical conduit for U.S. exports.  More than $455 billion in exports flowed through America’s sea ports in 2010.  Ocean transport carries more U.S. international merchandise than air cargo, trucks, railroads, and pipelines combined.  More than 75 percent of U.S. merchandise trade by volume – and more than 36 percent by value – leaves the United States by water, making U.S. seaports a critical component of our national and global economy.

In addition to their participation in the Trade Mission, U.S. seaports such as Baltimore are also partners in an important ITA initiative aimed at meeting the President’s NEI goals.  In July 2011, Under Secretary Sánchez traveled to the Port of Oakland to launch the Partnership with America’s Seaports to Further the National Export Initiative.  This partnership between ITA and the American Association of Port Authorities is helping U.S. seaports to leverage federal and local resources to help small and medium-sized firms to achieve export sales.

Under Secretary Sánchez is in Ahmedabad for the second stop of the Department’s first-ever Ports and Maritime Technology Industry Trade Mission to India.  This Trade Mission is furthering President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) by raising the profile of the U.S.’ world-leading ports and maritime technology sector among Indian commercial counterparts.
The trade mission participants include dredging companies, port security companies, scanning technology providers, and transportation and logistics companies.  The Port of Baltimore is one of twelve U.S. private sector and municipal organizations participating in the trade mission, which will conclude in Mumbai on February 24.

The Trade Mission is the first in a series of events planned for 2012 that are designed to expand U.S. export opportunities within India’s infrastructure sectors.  In particular, Commerce Secretary John Bryson will lead a high-level trade mission to Delhi, Jaipur, and Mumbai on March 25-30.  It will be Bryson’s first trade mission as Commerce Secretary.

For more information on the Trade Mission, please contact Trade Specialist David McCormack at david.mccormack@trade.gov, (202) 482-2833.

Additional information on the Trade Mission can be found on the India Ports Trade Mission’s website.

For more information on the ITA-AAPA Partnership With America’s Seaports to Further the National Export Initiative, please visit the Partnership’s website or contact Trade Specialist Russell Adise at Russell.Adise@trade.gov, (202) 482-5086.

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