Posts Tagged ‘partnerships’

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Interest in Overseas Pension Markets Continues to Grow, Spurring Public-Private Cooperation

December 4, 2012

Michael Corbin is an international trade specialist for asset management and private pensions in the International Trade Administration’s Manufacturing and Services unit. In nearly fourteen years of service his portfolio has included asset management, hedge and sovereign wealth funds, insurance and private pensions

The U.S. asset management sector has long been one of the great success stories of U.S. business, both at home and abroad.  U.S. companies accounted for nearly half of the world’s $85.2 trillion in assets under management in 2011.  U.S. asset managers are increasingly looking abroad to secure future business and take advantage of developing growth opportunities in the sector.

Why look overseas?

A month ago I had a conversation with an executive from a fortune 500 investment company. He told me that the U.S. market has become saturated, with many individuals receiving payouts rather than paying into the system.  He explained that we also are witnessing a major shift globally from defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans.  In a defined benefit plan, the employer promises to pay a certain monthly benefit upon retirement based on a specified criteria (e.g.,  age and  years worked). In a defined contribution plan, individual accounts are set up for participants and benefits are based on the amounts credited to these accounts (through employer contributions and, if applicable, employee contributions) plus any earnings on the money invested in the account. In the vast majority of the developing world, defined contribution systems are the default pension schemes.

The need for greater cooperation

Manufacturing and Services’ (MAS) Office of Financial Services Industries (OFSI) has seen an increased demand for assistance to companies seeking  to secure greater market access and increase brand awareness.  Just in the past few months OFSI’s asset management related work has included:

  • Collaborating with U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia and the Principal FinancialGroup as it unveiled a new agreement to manage private pensions in Malaysia.  The agreement will allow CIMB – Principal to establish a collaboration with employers to systematically introduce their employees to Private Retirement Schemes (PRS) and encourage greater retirement savings. A signing ceremony on 21 November publicly highlighted this historic agreement and market access success for an American asset manager.  (photo included)
  • In June I participated in a conference in Russia where I presented an overview of the U.S. insurance and pension systems to their membership and select regulatory officials and discussed steps Russia needed to take to accede to the OECD Insurance and Private Pension Committee.
  • OFSI provided critical analysis and recommendations to a U.S. insurer requiring immediate assistance regarding potential legislation impacting the Polish pension market.
  • OFSI, Embassy Lima in Peru, and the Investment Company Institute collaborated to organize a conference call between major U.S. mutual funds and insurers and the Peruvian Supervisory Authority. The Peruvians specifically requested U.S. expert opinion on their new pension reform before the scheduled public announcement in December.

These examples highlight how the International Trade Administration’s MAS unit is working with U.S.-based asset management firms to  expand U.S. financial services exports and their business  in foreign markets.  We anticipate the need for MAS’s services and expertise to grow as will opportunities and successes for U.S. companies.

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U.S. India Importers’ Council Joins ITA’s Global Buyers Initiative

October 2, 2012

Matt Kennedy is the director of the Strategic Partnership Program

Under Secretary Sanchez and 3 DHL CEOs make ITA and DHL’s new partnership official at an MOU signing ceremony in New York City.

Under Secretary Sanchez and 3 DHL CEOs make ITA and DHL’s new partnership official at an MOU signing ceremony in New York City.

Yesterday, the U.S. India Importers’ Council (USIIC) joined the ITA’s Global Buyers Initiative. At the signing ceremony, Acting Assistant Secretary for Trade Promotion and Director General of the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service Chuck Ford said, “Extending the global buyers initiative to India emphasizes the importance of trade for our two nations and brings our business communities one step closer together.”

As part of the Initiative, USIIC  will refer Indian companies in search of new technologies or alternative sources of supply to the USFCS who will then connect India’s company directly to US businesses who can meet their needs.

India is a key trading partner and US businesses – especially in aerospace, healthcare and medical devices, education, construction services, energy and environment, information and communication technology, textiles, defense and security and export facilitation services should consider expanding to the region. And our work with the USIIC is just one example of how our partners are helping US businesses grow their exports.

As part of the National Export Initiative, the International Trade Administration has focused on utilizing the expertise of the private sector, trade associations and state and local organizations to increase our effectiveness and reach more small businesses.

Each organization plays an important role to increase US exports and create jobs here in America. Over the last year, our partnership program here at ITA has grown from 15 to more than 122. Together our partners, large multinational companies like UPS, FedEx and DHL, to trade associations like the National Association of Manufactures and National Marine Manufacturers’ Association, to state and local organizations like the Pasco Economic Development Council, have helped us reach tens of thousands of small business owners and connect some directly to business opportunities.

If your organization would like to work the ITA please send us an email.

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ITA and FCIB’s Commitment to International Trade Finance Continues

September 28, 2012

Yuki Fujiyama is a trade finance specialist with the Office of Financial Services Industries in the International Trade Administration. He is the author of The Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters

Increasing access to financing for U.S. exporters and their foreign buyers is one of the top priorities of the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI). One of the private-sector organizations that is actively supporting such efforts, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the Finance, Credit and International Business Association (FCIB),  a globally recognized association of international credit and trade finance professionals. Established in 1919, FCIB enjoys an international reputation as a prominent business educator of credit and risk management professionals in exporting companies ranging in size from multinational to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Attendees at the 2011 FCIB Annual Global Conference (Photo FCIB)

Attendees at the 2011 FCIB Annual Global Conference (Photo FCIB)

FCIB is currently working with the Commerce Department on the development of the third edition of The Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters and its inaugural Spanish language version scheduled for release at FCIB’s 23rd Annual Global Conference on November 11-13, 2012 in Philadelphia, PA.

In 2007, FCIB assisted the Commerce Department in the development of this well-received publication, a concise and easy-to-understand guide designed to help SMEs learn quickly how to get paid from their foreign customers in the most effective manner. Subsequently, in recognition of its contributions to the development and promotion of the Guide, FCIB was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the Under Secretary for International Trade, the head of the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA).  With more than 200,000 copies distributed to the public since its release in 2007, the Guide has grown to become one of the most popular export assistance resources published by ITA. The Guide is actively utilized by many international credit, banking, and trade finance professionals to help promote basic trade finance literacy among new-to-export SMEs. In support of the NEI, FCIB will continue to promote the new Guide to help advance international trade and facilitate U.S. exports.

Another recent partnership example is FCIB’s “Doing Business In” series  that focus on country-specific exporting issues. This series features experts from various nations providing expertise on some of the most vital ins and outs of profitable sales of products and services in both established and developing economies. FCIB is currently working with the Commerce Department to expand its “Doing Business In” series through the participation of selected ITA’s country desk officers and commercial service officers who work at U.S. embassies overseas.

In 2004, in partnership with Commerce Department and Michigan State University, FCIB developed, designed and launched the first course of its kind–International Credit & Risk Management (ICRM) online course. The course comes to exemplify the level of respect and cooperation between FCIB and the Commerce Department in the shared mission to promote the growth of U.S. exports and advancement of international trade. FCIB’s 13-week ICRM online course is designed to educate credit, trade finance, and international business professionals about the various intricacies of global credit and risk management.

In September 2012, FCIB launched the latest session of its ICRM online course. Now approaching its second decade of service to the global credit and business communities, more than 1,700 professionals in credit and finance have earned the ICRM program’s prestigious Certified International Credit Professional designation. A Commerce Department partnership awarded through the Market Development Cooperator Program was of critical importance in getting the ICRM online course program off the ground.

FCIB is a two-time recipient of the President’s “E” Award,  which recognizes the significant contributions that companies and organizations have made to increasing American exports.

  • In 1970, FCIB was awarded the President’s “E” Certificate for Export Service for its role in stimulating increased interest in exporting within the U.S. business community from 1967-1969.
  • In 1982, FCIB was awarded the President’s “E Star” Award in recognition of its outstanding work and continuous support of the export credit community.

Now in its 93rd year, FCIB continues to develop easily-accessible services to facilitate the role that its membership and other credit and trade finance professionals play in the growth of U.S. exports and the advancement of international trade.

FCIB’s parent, the National Association of Credit Management, is a non-profit organization that represents nearly 16,000 businesses in the United States and is one of the world’s largest credit organizations. More information on FCIB is available at www.fcibglobal.com.

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The National Export Initiative: Making Progress and Striving for More

March 6, 2012

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

Francisco Sánchez is the Under Secretary for International Trade

This month marks the second anniversary of President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI).  Launched in 2010, its goal is to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014.  In real terms, that means doubling our exports from $1.5 trillion at the end of 2009 to $3.1 trillion at the end of 2014.

As we reach this milestone, I’m proud to report that to date the NEI has been a resounding success.

U.S. exports have grown 34 percent since the President implemented the initiative.  Last year, U.S. goods and services exports reached a record $2.1 trillion.  As a result of these successes, we are making progress toward the President’s goal.

Why is this important?

Under Secretary Sanchez tours the Larsen & Toubro engineering facility in Chennai

Under Secretary Sanchez tours the Larsen & Toubro engineering facility in Chennai (Photo Larsen & Toubro Limited)

Because, even as the nation’s economic recovery accelerates, there is still a lot of work to be done.  Too many Americans are still looking for work.  Too many businesses find themselves with too few opportunities.

Exporting addresses these challenges, providing companies with new opportunities to sell their goods abroad, which is where more than 9 out of 10 of the world’s potential customers live.  When a business reaches more customers, it can lead to more sales, more revenues and ultimately more jobs.

The overall economic impact of exports has been tremendous; they comprised nearly 14 percent of GDP in 2011 — yet another record.

Naturally, as the Under Secretary of International Trade, I’m pleased with this success.  Certainly, I’m proud of the contributions that the International Trade Administration (ITA) — particularly it’s talented staff — has made to this progress.

For example, last year alone, ITA helped 5,600 American companies export for the first time. This is great news. But I want to be clear: We are not satisfied.

With new economic challenges emerging in pockets throughout the world, in Europe for example, we realize that we have to work harder to keep the momentum of the NEI going.

That’s why we continue to push for progress in a number of ways.  Here are four specific areas of focus:

1. Policy: The United States – Korean Trade Agreement will take effect later this month.  It is estimated to create roughly 70,000 jobs and add billions to the U.S. GDP.  The agreement will create new opportunities for U.S. companies in the world’s 12th largest economy, which is sure to boost exports and enhance the nation’s competitiveness.

We look forward to supporting our colleagues at the Office of the United States Trade Representative to resolve the outstanding issues involved with the free trade agreements with Panama and Colombia.

2. Promotion: We continue to actively link U.S. companies with promising growth markets and industries around the world.  For instance, as you’ll read about in this edition of International Trade Update, I just returned from India where I accompanied twelve U.S. companies on the first-ever ports and maritime trade mission.

Recently, the Indian Government announced infrastructure investments of nearly $100 billion in the port and shipping sectors.  U.S. companies offer cutting-edge products and services that would be a valuable asset to this development.  Recognizing this enormous opportunity, I urged all sides to come together and create mutually beneficial partnerships. I’ll continue to do that in different industries and markets all over the world.

3. Enforcement: We’ll continue to fight to level the playing-field for American firms seeking to do business overseas.  One exciting new effort to do this is President Obama’s Interagency Trade Enforcement Center. Working with colleagues from across the U.S. government, we will take unprecedented steps to remove the barriers to free and fair trade.  American businesses deserve a fair chance to compete.  We’ll keep working to give them that chance.

4. Partnerships: With efforts like the New Market Exporter Initiative and our work with the Brookings Institution, we will continue to leverage our partnerships to maximize opportunities.  In fact, on March 12, the actual date the NEI was launched, I will be at the Port of Baltimore celebrating their great contributions to U.S. exports.

With these and other measures, all of us at ITA remain focused on ensuring that the future of the National Export Initiative is as successful as the past — if not more so. Additional stories, successes and achievements will be detailed in the special NEI anniversary edition of the International Trade Update due out later this month.

We look forward to working with all our stakeholders to increase U.S. exports and expand opportunities for Americans across the country.

We won’t stop working until every American is working.

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The ITA’s Work to Keep Americans Working: A Message from Under Secretary Francisco Sánchez

December 7, 2011

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

Our focus at the International Trade Administration is on supporting American jobs, creating new opportunities for U.S. businesses and strengthening our partnerships abroad to bolster our economy here at home.

Francisco Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade

Francisco Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade

As you’ll read in this issue of International Trade Update, we are working every day — from the community level to the international level — on behalf of the American people to achieve these goals. And, as we look out at the landscape, it’s clear that one area that will be a key to our economic future is the Asia-Pacific.

President Obama recently said that “there’s no region in the world that we consider more vital than the Asia-Pacific region. And, we want, on a whole range of issues, to be working with our partner countries around the Pacific Rim in order to enhance job growth, prosperity, and security for all of us.”

That’s why the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum held in Honolulu, Hawaii was so important. I was proud to participate in this conference with President Obama, Commerce Secretary John Bryson, a host of other Administration officials and Asia-Pacific leaders. And, it’s safe to say we all left energized by the incredible possibilities and opportunities.

The 21 APEC member economies represent 2.7 billion consumers and generate 55 percent of the world’s GDP. In fact, the region is home to six of our top ten trading partners. Despite these stunning numbers, however, there is room for even more growth.

As this year’s APEC host, the United States has worked to fulfill this promise, and a great deal of progress has occurred. For example, APEC leaders agreed in Honolulu to:

  • Help small and medium-sized businesses by establishing business ethics principles and simplifying the customs process to make it faster, easier and cheaper to trade goods;
  • Reduce tariffs and other barriers that hinder the global exchange of environmental goods, one of the world’s most promising sectors; and
  • Reform the regulatory environment to level the playing field, enhance transparency and lessen unnecessary burdens on businesses.

ITA has been a valuable asset to this work, and we look forward during the APEC 2012 Russia host year to building on these results to strengthen the economy worldwide, for both our partners and the United States.

We seek to do this in other ways as well.

For example, as you’ll read in this newsletter, the ITA’s U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service is helping businesses — like Amarr Garage Doors, which is featured in this month’s issue — sell their products and services in overseas markets.

I also was proud to join Secretary Bryson in announcing the Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness to ensure that U.S. companies can ship their products efficiently and compete effectively in the global marketplace.

And, I continue to advocate for U.S. firms abroad. In November, I led a transportation infrastructure trade mission to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, which have announced plans for hundreds of billions in new projects. I also headed a clean technology trade mission to India, which has set ambitious renewable energy goals to support its rapidly growing economy.

Through it all, those of us at ITA have been proud to give American businesses and workers new opportunities at this critically important time in our nation’s history. And, we are so happy to have partners around world helping us turn our plans into progress. This is important work.

As the President said in Honolulu, “behind all the different languages and some very long names, we all share the same hopes, the same struggles, and the same aspirations. And we’ve learned that we’re more likely to realize our aspirations when we pursue them together.”

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Secretary Locke and U.S. Postmaster General Potter Sign Agreement to Boost Exports

July 12, 2010

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

Adam Wilczewski is the Director of Strategic Partnerships in the International Trade Administration’s U.S. Commercial Service.  Stephanie Smedile is the Strategic Partnership Manager overseeing the U.S. Postal Service relationship.

The National Export Initiative is already driving broad government coordination – just take a look at www.trade.gov/nei to see what’s happening – but now the private sector is engaging in new ways, too.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Postmaster General John Potter shake hands after signing agreement.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Postmaster General John Potter shake hands after signing agreement to boost Exports in a ceremony on July 12, 2010.

Today Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and the U.S. Postal Service’s Postmaster General & CEO, John Potter, announced the launch of a new effort, the New Market Exporter Initiative (NMEI), to help boost U.S. exporters.  The NMEI will identify current U.S. Postal Service customers who are exporting their goods and services abroad, and working with ITA, help them expand their reach to additional international markets.  This initiative builds on an already successful relationship between the U.S. Postal Service and the U.S. Commercial Service’s Strategic Partnership Program.

With less than one percent of America’s 30 million companies exporting, and of those companies exporting, only 58 percent selling to one international market, we know there is potential for American companies to expand export sales.  The NMEI’s goal is to educate U.S. exporters, particularly small and medium-sized companies, about the benefits of expanding their exports to additional markets.  In addition, we want to inform them of the public and private sector resources to assist them.  To reach our goal, we are engaging partners like the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, and UPS to provide assistance to targeted exporting customers.

The buzz is already starting – take a look at Bloomberg’s Businessweek or PR Newswire to learn more about today’s event.

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U.S. Postal Service Expands Partnership to Support the National Export Initiative

February 26, 2010

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

Adam Wilczewski is the Director of Strategic Partnerships in the International Trade Administration’s U.S. Commercial Service.

We are proud to announce that the U.S. Postal Service has released a statement in support of President Obama’s National Export Initiative.  The U.S. Postal Service has been a valued strategic partner of the U.S. Commercial Service since 2007 and by expanding our partnership, we seek to encourage and support small- and medium-sized businesses interested in establishing or expanding exports of their products to markets worldwide.  Strategic Partnership Manager, Stephanie Smedile, has been working tirelessly with U.S. Postal Service staff to enhance this partnership.  We know that with strong partners like the U.S. Postal Service, we will be able to get America back to work.

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