Posts Tagged ‘Market Development Cooperator Program’

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‘Tis the Season For a Movie!

January 2, 2014

Andrea DaSilva is a Senior Analyst for Media & Entertainment Industries in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Digital Services Industries.

For the movie industry, this weekend is considered the official end of the holiday season.

For me, the holidays aren’t complete until I’ve caught a couple of new releases at the movie theater.  I’m not alone on that; box office sales are normally higher in November and December. According to Box Office Mojo, movie ticket sales during the 2012 holiday season were more than 26 percent of total box office sales for the year, totaling more than $2.6 billion. That’s a lot of movie tickets over a two-month period!

The film and television industry does more than just entertain us during the holiday season; it also supports the U.S. economy. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, the industry directly supports 284,000 American jobs in fields like marketing, production, and distribution. The industry also supports more than 350,000 jobs in related businesses, from caterers to hardware suppliers.

As in other business sectors, exports are a huge contributor to the entertainment industry. U.S. exports of film and television recordings in 2012 were more than $16.2 billion.

We at the International Trade Administration are working hard with the film and television industry to support U.S. exports. Our staff based at Export Assistance Centers across the U.S. and at embassies and consulates around the world, as well as in-house export programs such as the International Buyer Program and the Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP), serve to connect American producers with global buyers, licensors and distributors.

We worked closely with the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) at industry trade shows Filmart in Hong Kong and the American Film Market in Santa Monica. IFTA has been working hard to support exports of film and television products and we’ve been glad to support the organization through the MDCP.

We’ll continue to work with American producers to make sure that global consumers always have access to American creative content. That way, movie viewers around the world will always be able to enjoy their favorite new films over any holiday.

If you have questions about how the American media and entertainment industry competes overseas, please visit our website or contact me at andrea.dasilva@trade.gov.

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Partnership Helps U.S. Businesses Find Opportunities in Brazil

September 3, 2013

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

Achilles Arbex is the general manager of the Association for Manufacturing Technology's Sao Paulo Technology Center.

Achilles Arbex

Brazil is becoming an increasingly important partner for the United States. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, and Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez all visited Brazil in August to discuss growing U.S.-Brazil ties in trade and education.

For U.S. exporters, Brazil’s machinery manufacturing sector represents an attractive opportunity. Taking advantage of that opportunity, however, requires familiarity with the country’s often challenging customs and tariff systems, local content requirements, and legal procedures for establishing a business.

That’s where Achilles Arbex can help. Arbex is the General Manager of the Association for Manufacturing Technology’s (AMT) Sao Paulo Technology Center. The Technology Center is the focal point of a $290,000 Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) award the International Trade Administration (ITA) awarded to AMT.

The award is helping AMT represent and promote the interests of U.S.-based manufacturing technology businesses. AMT supports manufacturers that design, build, sell, and service the continuously evolving technology that lies at the heart of manufacturing.

Our team recently spent five days with Arbex and AMT executives at the FEIMAFE Machine Tools Trade Exposition in Sao Paulo, talking to U.S. exhibitors about how AMT’s Technology Center can help U.S. companies take advantage of opportunities in Brazil.

To help its member companies access emerging global markets more easily, AMT has opened technology centers in Shanghai; Chennai, India; Monterey, Mexico and now Sao Paulo.

AMT’s technology centers provide a variety of services to AMT members, including:

  • Researching and arranging meetings with potential customers
  • Providing comprehensive market and competitive analysis
  • Translation oversight on promotional pieces and technical documents
  • Trade show assistance
  • Negotiation practices

The MDCP award is a competitive program that provides funds to organizations aiming to increase U.S. exports. For every dollar given to an industry by ITA, the industry group must provide two of its own. As part of the award, ITA will work with awardees to help accomplish their mission.

The Department of Commerce recently announced seven recipients of the 2013 MDCP awards. For more information about the awards, including how to apply for future consideration, visit: www.trade.gov/mdcp.

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Commerce-Supported Student Recruitment Group Opens Office in Vietnam

May 8, 2013

John Siegmund is an International Trade Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Services.

The VETEC team talked about its mission at the Association of International Educators.

The VETEC team talked about its mission at the Association of International Educators conference.

United States colleges and universities are one step closer to garnering a bigger share of the education market for Vietnamese students with the official recognition of the Vietnamese Education Training and Export Center (VETEC).

The initiative is part of a Market Development Cooperator Program award (MDCP) between the International Trade Administration (ITA) and the California Education and Training Export Center.

VETEC offers a broad variety of services to Vietnamese students and U.S. colleges and universities, all with the goal of increasing the number of Vietnamese studying in the United States. VETEC operates an office in Vietnam, which ITA supported with an MDCP award of $388,000 in 2011.

“Vietnam has been among the fastest growing source countries for overseas study in the United States during the past four years,” says VETEC Director Mark Matsumoto. “It has the potential to become one of the three most significant export markets in the world for U.S. education and training service exports within the next 10 years.”

VETEC is ideally located to help both U.S. institutions of higher learning and Vietnamese students. The office will open up new and effective ways to promote the benefits offered by U.S. colleges and universities to Vietnamese students and their families.

“VETEC was designed to provide U.S. schools an on-the-ground resource in Vietnam to actively engage students and parents in Vietnam,” added Matsumoto.

Education comprises a large portion of American exports in the service industry. In 2012, education accounted for nearly $23 billion in U.S. exports.

In 2011-2012, more than 15,000 students from Vietnam enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities, making the United States the eighth-largest host market for Vietnamese students. Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) reported that as of December 2012, 106,000 Vietnamese students were studying abroad.

VETEC will offer the following services:

  • Year-round promotion of U.S. educational opportunities in Vietnam
  • High-impact advertising campaigns and promotions
  • On-site student advising and counseling
  • Facilitation of institutional contacts and exchange
  • Translation and interpretation support
  • Coordination of in-country logistics and meeting schedules
  • Other services as needs arise

For more information go to www.californiaetec.com and www.vetecusa.com.

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Keeping Tune with American Exports

February 5, 2013

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Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale is the Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services in the International Trade Administration (ITA). Andrea DaSilva is ITA’s Senior Media & Entertainment Analyst and Project Leader for the Market Development Coordinator Program award with the American Association of Independent Music.

Last week, we stood at the intersection of creativity, technology and intellectual property.

We stood there with the American independent music industry, a provider of American jobs and a significant contributor to American culture. It’s an industry facing a difficult road through technology advancements, piracy concerns and a changing business structure.

That’s one reason why the U.S. government is supporting the independent music industry with a financial award. It’s happening through a joint public-private sector program called the Market Development Cooperator Program, or MDCP. This is a competitive financial assistance award the International Trade Administration (ITA) provides to industry groups pursuing projects that will help U.S. firms export and create jobs.

Assistant Secretary Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale (center) and Andrea DaSilva announce the awarding of a Market Development Cooperator Program award to the American Association of Independent Music.

Assistant Secretary Nicole Y. Lamb-Hale (center) and Andrea DaSilva (right) announce the awarding of a Market Development Cooperator Program award to the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) at a music industry trade show. (photo courtesy A2IM)

In 2012, ITA selected the proposal submitted by the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) for an MDCP. Indie music artists may not fit the traditional profile of a U.S. exporter, but the music industry directly supports American jobs. Most music labels and music publishers are small businesses. Behind music recordings are musicians, makers of music instruments, sound engineers, recording technicians, tour promoters, band managers, talent agents,  marketing executives,  and myriad other professions.

Indie music constitutes some of the most vibrant and uniquely American exports, supporting American culture and encouraging tourism to the U.S. Supporting American music exports creates American jobs, especially for small and medium sized businesses, and meets our National Export Initiative goals.

As a group representing a wide array of independent musicians, A2IM is working hard to protect the interests of artists in international markets. ITA is partnering with A2IM to help ensure a competitive market for American indie music on the global scene.

We announced this export project at MIDEM, the principal global trade show for the music industry, in Cannes, France in January. Via the MDCP, ITA will accompany A2IM representatives to trade shows, bring delegations to select markets to increase music licensing, and join forces with the music industry to support enforcement of copyright laws and educate consumers on the cost of “free” music. ITA’s Manufacturing and Services unit is providing one-third of the award, or about $285,000, to support A2IM’s mission to increase exports of American culture in the form of music. A2IM provides the remaining two-thirds in financial and in-kind contributions.

ITA looks forward to working with A2IM and the other eight industry groups who earned MDCP awards in 2012. ITA is currently accepting applications for the next round of awards and the 2013 application deadline is February 28. Interested industry associations or nonprofits should visit the MDCP website to learn more about the award and how to apply.

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Backing U.S. Industries to Support U.S. Exports

February 4, 2013

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

Chris Higginbotham is a communication specialist with the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs.

How could $300,000 help your industry increase exports?

The International Trade Administration (ITA) is accepting applications for federal funding for U.S. industries that are looking to increase the business they do overseas. Each year, ITA makes several financial assistance awards, called Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) awards, to industry groups to pursue projects that help U.S. firms export and create jobs.

“Any project we support has to aim to create or sustain U.S. jobs by increasing or sustaining exports,” says MDCP Director Brad Hess. “We’re specifically interested in industries with the capability to execute the projects they’re proposing.”

Nine industry groups earned awards up to $300,000 in 2012. On average from 1997 through 2012, every one dollar awarded has generated $258 in exports.

Industries receiving awards do need a solid business plan and must provide financial backing of their own to qualify for an MDCP award. For every dollar given to an industry by ITA, the industry group must provide two of its own.

The MDCP is not available to private companies; it’s specifically meant to help organizations that represent a large segment of an industry.

“The primary reason we have this program is that we can have an impact on more companies by reaching out to industry groups,” Hess said.

The application period closes on Feb. 28. ITA published a step-by-step guide to applying for an MDCP award.

Not every application earns a financial award, but any American business is welcome to seek help with competing globally throughout the year at one of ITA’s more than 100 offices in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries worldwide. ITA officials can also refer you to resources and respond to technical and informational questions during the MDCP application process.

Even if an application doesn’t earn funding, ITA debriefs all applicants and provides feedback as to why an application was or was not funded.

“It’s to an organization’s benefit to apply even if it doesn’t succeed,” Hess said. “Next year, that organization can apply again and utilize feedback to be really competitive for an award.”

The MDCP awards were created in legislation in 1988. Congress created the program as unique way to “develop, maintain and expand foreign markets for nonagricultural U.S. goods and services.” The first MDCP awards were given in 1993 totaling $2 million.

Visit the MDCP award homepage to learn more about the awards and the application process. If you have any questions about the program, please visit the frequently asked questions page. You can also contact Hess directly or join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #MDCPaward.

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U.S. Medical Center Partners with Kuwaiti Institution and U.S. Embassy for World Diabetes Day

November 29, 2012

Steve Miller is an International Trade Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Service Industries where he is responsible for knowledge economy issues including health services, research and development services, and university commercialization.

Ambassador Tueller (left) and Dr. Kazem Behbehani, Director General of the Dasman Diabetes Institute at the "Diabetes 101: Understanding Diabetes Worldwide" Digital Video Conference on November 14, 2012.

Ambassador Tueller (left) and Dr. Kazem Behbehani, Director General of the Dasman Diabetes Institute at the “Diabetes 101: Understanding Diabetes Worldwide” Digital Video Conference on November 14, 2012.

On November 14 the U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait, Matthew Tueller, along with representatives from U.S. and Kuwaiti healthcare institutions participated in a Digital Video Conference (DVC), Diabetes 101: Understanding Diabetes Worldwide to provide education on this healthcare challenge and create linkages between clinicians in both countries. The event was hosted by Kuwait’s previer diabetes research and treatment facility, Dasman Diabetes Institute, the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait and San Antonio’s Methodist Healthcare Systems. Methodist is one of over 30 U.S. academic medical centers that comprise the United States Cooperative for International Patient Programs (USCIPP), a joint program between the University HealthSystem Consortium and the International Trade Administration, through its Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP).

Nearly 60 doctors, nurses, clinicians, diabetes educators and nutritionists from Dasman’s multinational staff were in attendance in addition to several Kuwaiti health care professionals and a number of local journalists from print and television. Opening the event, Ambassador Tueller highlighted the important role that medicine has played in the U.S.-Kuwait relationship, beginning with the establishment of the first hospital in Kuwait, the Amrikani Hospital, by American missionaries in 1912. The Ambassador further noted that, just like in Kuwait, Type 2 diabetes is also a problem in the U.S. and that events such as this DVC illustrate how Americans and Kuwaitis can come together to address mutual concerns and share best practices and experiences to move toward a common goal.

Following the Ambassador’s remarks, Ms. Sara Villegas, a veteran diabetes educator from Methodist Healthcare Systems, gave an overview of diabetes in the U.S., primarily focusing on Type 2 diabetes. Her presentation not only addressed the current situation in the U.S., but also highlighted prevention and disease management strategies. After a brief look at the global scope of the disease, she turned the stage over to Dasman Diabetes Institute Director Dr. Kazem Behbehani, who discussed the rampant increases in Type 2 diabetes in Kuwait over the last twenty years, and the challenges that the country will potentially face if the disease is not checked. In their presentations, both speakers stressed the importance of prevention and awareness activities in combating the disease.

The DVC received widespread and favorable media coverage, with stories appearing in many of Kuwait’s daily Arabic and English newspapers, and reports carried on several local television stations.

Additional events are planned between healthcare institutions in the U.S. and the region. More on ITA’s MDCP program can be found at http://www.trade.gov/mdcp.

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Constructing Partnerships: Evergreen Building Products and ITA Reach New Heights in the Building Industry

October 2, 2012

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

Tyler Voorhees is an intern in the Office of Public Affairs at the International Trade Administration. He is a senior at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.

U.S. building materials industry representatives share the latest “green building” products and technologies with Chinese builders, architects and designers at a technical seminar earlier in 2012.

U.S. building materials industry representatives share the latest “green building” products and technologies with Chinese builders, architects and designers at a technical seminar earlier in 2012.

Construction is an important industry to the American economy, and employs Americans in all stages of the supply chain, from logging to the manufacture of new and innovative building supplies. With low domestic demand, it is especially important for those in the industry to turn to foreign markets to help sustain and support American jobs.

In developing countries, there is huge potential for U.S. building product exporters, especially in high-value areas. Currently, we’re seeing a massive new infrastructure builds in emerging economies, and they are looking for more sustainable construction technology, which is perfect for American exporters. At the International Trade Administration (ITA) we’ve made it a priority to help expand global market share for U.S. building products exporters. This export sector encompasses a wide range of basic materials ranging from basic materials (wood, glass, paint) to installed machinery (windows, air conditions). The sector employs roughly 2.2 million U.S. workers.

There are many programs and initiatives within ITA that work with local businesses to promote trade and exports. Our Commercial Service  has local chapters in major cities across the country and in many foreign markets to help match domestic suppliers with foreign buyers. One of the most effective programs we have though is the Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP). Through MDCP, ITA partners with non-profit industry groups such as trade associations and chambers of commerce to provide funds and technical assistance for export promotion programs that are aimed at enhancing an industry’s global competitiveness in target markets. Non-profit industry groups are particularly affective at reaching local small and medium-sized enterprises, a focus for ITA.

Partnership awards do not exceed $300,000 and partners pay two-thirds of the cost of the program while ITA provides the remaining third. This approach helps to ensure that the program is sustainable beyond the initial partnership. From 1997 to 2011, MCDP projects generated $219,000 in exports for every $1,000 invested. Any businessperson in the private sector would be astonished at such a high return on investment. Clearly, the MDCP program is a hugely successful program and a great example of the potential in public-private sector partnerships.

Awardees range in industry as well as geography, yet all focus on expanding exports and increasing jobs. Some of the more innovative and successful partnerships include the hosiery industry targeting Japan to promote the export of American made socks and independent film industry.

Engaging China is a priority within the Department of Commerce, both to highlight export opportunities as well as ensure fair trade. China is a particularly important market for building product suppliers for many reasons, most importantly shear demographics. There is projected to be over 221 cities with populations of over one million alone by 2025.

This huge urbanization of not only first tier cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, but also second tier cities means that there will be many large, lucrative markets for U.S. suppliers. Not only that, there will be a growing middle and upper class that will want and be able to afford high quality homes as well an aging population that will soon need the same type of senior housing that we have in Western countries. In conjunction with positive demographic factors, the Chinese government has made it a priority to adopt more energy efficient technology, including building products and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

The Evergreen Building Products Association (EBPA) from Tacoma, Washington, has a proven track record of working with the MDCP program to promote exports to China through their U.S.-China Build Program (UCBP). In 2001, Evergreen submitted a project proposal that garnered their first partnership. The focus was to support the promotion of earthquake resistant building technology. In 2008, they submitted another successful project to promote green building technology in China.

Just last month, Evergreen received their third award which is focused on promoting housing for elderly in China. Since their most recent partnership award in 2008, UCBP trade mission participants reported $190 million in export sales. This amounts to $1,283 in exports for every dollar of federal funding through the MCDP program! These exports sales translate directly to jobs for Americans- participants credit the program with helping to create 300 jobs in the last half of 2010 alone.

The most recent proposal builds on their past work, but also highlights the promotion of senior housing. As China’s population ages, it will be necessary to consider new types of housing that can accommodate older residents. Given our older population, the U.S. building product manufacturers are already accustomed to this market. With the help of Evergreen, building product manufacturers are hoping to export senior housing building products abroad and grow their businesses. There are huge opportunities, and Evergreen will help by leading two trade mission annually and helping to match U.S. producers with Chinese buyers.

Again, given the previous success of the program, everyone at ITA is excited about the prospects for this new MCDP grant. This is another example of the opportunities that become available to American companies as China grows and begins to consume the same type of goods at we do in America. To learn more about the MCDP awards, visit our website. Also, to learn more about the resources we have to help export abroad, visit www.export.gov.

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