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Vidya Kori has been with the International Trade Administration for 5 years. She currently serves as a Project Officer in the United States and Foreign Commercial Service’s International Buyer Program.
I am writing from the bustling International Business Center located at Waste Expo 2009, North America’s largest trade show serving the solid waste and recycling industries. Here in Las Vegas Nevada, over 500 exhibitors are showcasing the latest equipment and technologies the industry has to offer. There are also 40 conference sessions and training workshops led by industry experts on current topics such as Green Management and Technology, Recycling, Energy, and Landfill Operations. The International Trade Administration’s (ITA) own Marc Lemmond (a trade specialist from ITA’s Office of Energy and Environmental Industries, a part of the Manufacturing and Services unit) was one of the speakers at a seminar titled E-Waste: New Laws, New Programs. Although this seminar took place on the pre-exhibition day, well over 100 people were in attendance at this seminar, even with 3 other concurrent sessions going on! Marc enlightened the audience on the international drivers for electronics recycling. The seminar focused on the fact that discarded electronics should be considered a recyclable commodity, not waste – for this reason, the recycling community prefers the term “e-scrap” to e-waste. The falling cost of electronics, transition to digital TV, and new technologies such as LED are making discarded electronics the fastest growing segment of the municipal waste stream. U.S. and international regulations are reinforcing market opportunities for shredding, sorting, and treatment technologies for electronics recycling. The session was very popular and well-received!
As a participant in the International Buyer Program (IBP), Waste Expo was promoted by United States and Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS) around the world resulting in USFCS Specialists recruiting and leading buyer delegations here to meet U.S. exhibitors from Vietnam, Romania, Japan, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Dominican Republic, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon. It’s been great to see so many international buyer delegates meeting with U.S. companies here in the International Business Center! The show also features a U.S. Export Pavilion with representatives from within the Department of Commerce (Census and Commercial Service) and Export Import Bank. “I’ve been to several trade shows over the past few years and there seems to be a higher percentage of U.S. manufactured goods and services in this industry than in the other shows,” stated Kelly Kemp from Export Import Bank.
It is only the first day of the 2.5 half day exhibition and so many important introductions and meetings have taken place. I’m excited to see what the next two days have to offer and commend all the Commerce and government representatives at the show for all their hard work on making this show a great success! For other shows participating in the IBP, you should check out www.export.gov/IBP.