Posts Tagged ‘Peace Through Commerce’

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Export Promotion Makes U.S. the Destination for One-Stop Shopping

December 9, 2013

Richard Swanson is the Pacific South Regional Network Director for the International Trade Administration’s U.S. Commercial Service.

Werner Escher, far right, receives the Peace Through Commerce Medal Award from Deputy Under Secretary Ken Hyatt at the IPW Tourism Summit in June 2013. At far left, Roger Dow, President of the U.S. Travel Association.

Werner Escher (right) receives the Peace Through Commerce Medal Award from then-Acting Deputy Under Secretary of International Trade Ken Hyatt (center) at the IPW Tourism Summit in June 2013. At far left is Roger Dow, President of the U.S. Travel Association.

It is no accident that guests travel from countries like China, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, or regions like Middle East to seek out top brands, fashion, and dining in the United States.

Werner Escher has understood this for four decades. As the director of domestic and international markets for South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif., Escher has implemented a strategic plan to cater to international visitors.

His efforts have made South Coast Plaza a major shopping destination for foreign visitors to Southern California, and he was recognized this year by the Department of Commerce with a Peace through Commerce Medal.

“The number one activity of people who travel is shopping,” Escher explains. “We chose to expand South Coast Plaza’s global reach and in so doing placed the retail sector as an integral part of attracting in-bound travelers to the United States.”

That is a customer base that continues to grow. Travel and tourism exports experienced a seven percent increase in the first half of 2013 over the same time period in 2012, totaling $87.1 billion.

What began as several modest promotional trips to Japan in the 1970s blossomed into a truly global marketing effort. In 1987, South Coast Plaza launched its “California Dream Promotion,” one of the largest overseas promotions in the history of the state. It put the shopping center on the map next to other Southern California attractions like movie studios, amusement parks, and zoos.

South Coast Plaza now actively markets in a half-dozen countries, and its foreign language assistance program has translators that speak more than 40 languages.

South Coast Plaza has recently turned its attention toward the growing number of visitors from China. Escher has teamed up with the U.S. Commercial Service to conduct training sessions for retailers on hosting visitors from China, and has spearheaded South Coast Plaza’s annual Lunar New Year celebrations, drawing visitors from China and throughout Asia.

Further solidifying the role of retail in tourism promotion, South Coast Plaza has also actively supported the Orange County Tourism Council’s new China marketing office that opened in Shanghai earlier this year.

South Coast Plaza annually welcomes more than 22 million visitors and a significant number are from overseas. According to Escher, approximately one-third of South Coast Plaza’s annual travelers come from the visitor market segment. South Coast Plaza’s gross sales, approaching $2 billion, is among the highest in the United States and supports thousands of American jobs.

South Coast Plaza has become an important tourism promotion asset in Southern California, contributing to the marketability of the region as a key destination for international visitors. Escher and his team work with the Orange County Tourism Council, the State of California and Brand USA to promote tourism to the United States from across the globe.

In June of 2013, Werner Escher was recognized for “exceptional vision and leadership in growing travel and tourism for the United States in support of President Obama’s National Export Initiative” when he was presented with the Peace through Commerce Medal by then-Acting Deputy Under Secretary of International Trade Ken Hyatt in a ceremony at the International Pow Wow (IPW) Tourism Summit in Las Vegas.

Werner Escher and the South Coast Plaza are excellent examples of the clients that ITA’s Commercial Service help expand their exports and increase their revenues.

Whether you are exporting travel & tourism services, or another product or service, please contact us to find out how we can help your firm achieve success in international markets!

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Honoring Individuals Who Help Promote Peace and Commerce

November 30, 2011

Cory Churches is a Communications and Outreach Specialist with the Office of Public Affairs in the International Trade Administration.

Today we recognized a few of the recipients of a unique award bestowed by the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez. Eight individuals and organizations received the International Trade Administration’s Peace through Commerce Medal Award for 2011.

Rebecca Blank, Acting Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Francisco Sanchez, Under Secretary for International Trade present Jerry Levine, President of Mentor International (center) with the Peace through Commerce award.

Rebecca Blank, Acting Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Francisco Sanchez, Under Secretary for International Trade present Jerry Levine, President of Mentor International (center) with the Peace through Commerce award.

Jerry Levine, President of Mentor International, Steve Calderia, CEO of the International Franchise Association and Jack Earle, CEO of the International Franchise Association were on hand to receive their awards and spoke highly of the efforts of the Commerce Department and partners in promoting exports and jobs across America.

The award, reintroduced by Sánchez, recognizes an individual, group, or organization, either domestic or abroad, whose actions have significantly promoted and developed U.S. export initiatives, encouraged innovative approaches, and improved overall U.S. trade relations.

“The Peace through Commerce Medal winners have all played a crucial and proactive role in increasing trade and strengthening our countries overall relations. They also assist us in fully exercising President Obama’s National Export Initiative,” Sánchez said. “Their efforts have led to increased exports of U.S. manufactured goods and services, thus creating jobs at home and stimulating the economy.”

President Obama’s National Export Initiative seeks to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014, supporting millions of jobs. 

The Peace through Commerce Medal dates back to the first Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, who commissioned the medal in 1790. Jefferson gifted the medal, formerly known as the Diplomatic Medal, to foreign diplomats who aided the Continental Congress during the American Revolution. The medal is most renowned for its inscription, To Peace and Commerce, centered along the top.

The 2011 Peace through Commerce Medal Award recipients are:

  • China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Beijing, China
  • Fred Irwin, President, American Chamber of Commerce in Germany and Vice Chairman of Citigroup, Global Markets Deutschland AG, Frankfurt, Germany
  • Frederick Lam, Executive Director, Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Hong Kong
  • International Franchise Association, Washington, D.C.
  • Jerry Levine, President, Mentor International, San Francisco, Calif.
  • Kiran Pasricha, Confederation of Indian Industry, Arlington, Va.
  • Pete Peterson, President, Peterson International, Inc., Victoria, Australia
  • Putera Sampoerna, Founder, Sampoerna Foundation, Jakarta, Indonesia
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Third Time is a Charm: Our Strong Relationship with India

November 8, 2011

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

By Francisco J. Sánchez, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

I’ve arrived in New Delhi, India, with a Clean Technologies trade mission of seven U.S. companies eager to find partners in key sectors such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, and environmental technologies. After New Delhi, we will travel to Hyderabad, a high-technology hub in the south; and then the companies will go on to Ahmedabad – an important “next tier” city in the western Indian state of Gujarat. As one of the fastest growing economies in the world, India offers enormous potential to U.S companies. It has critical infrastructure needs in energy, transportation, environment, and supply chain, to name a few – all areas where U.S. companies can offer cutting-edge technologies. I strongly believe that India’s needs are our companies’ potential opportunities.

This is my first trade mission to India, but my third visit as Under Secretary. A year ago, I came here with President Obama, and two months before that, I came to launch our GEMS initiative – Growth in Emerging Metropolitan Sectors.

Under Secretary Francisco Sanchez presents the Peace through Commerce Award to Ms. Kiran Pasricha, former head of the Washington office of the Confederation of Indian Industry

Under Secretary Francisco Sanchez presents the Peace through Commerce Award to Ms. Kiran Pasricha, former head of the Washington office of the Confederation of Indian Industry

Why the attention to India? The Administration accords great importance to our relationship with India. President Obama said in November 2010 before the Indian Parliament that the U.S.-India relationship “will be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.” This trade mission advances President Obama’s National Export Initiative, which aims to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014, supporting economic and job growth. This should be an achievable goal with India – we already doubled exports between 2005 and 2010!

I am continually impressed by the vibrancy and entrepreneurial spirit of India’s private sector. In many ways our two business communities are ahead of the governments in expanding the relationship. That’s why I’m especially pleased that I was able to give a Peace through Commerce Award yesterday to a key private sector partner – and friend – Ms. Kiran Pasricha, former head of the Washington office of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The Peace through Commerce award was actually started by President Thomas Jefferson, but it had fallen into disuse. I brought it back because I wanted to recognize our partners abroad. Kiran has been a wonderful partner who has had the foresight to understand how trade can contribute to the broader relationship, and help bring prosperity to both our nations.

Today (Tuesday) India’s Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar and I co-chaired a public-private session of the U.S.-India Commercial Dialogue. Through this Dialogue, the two governments and the two private sectors regularly work together to find solutions to nuts-and-bolts commercial issues. In today’s session, we talked about what conditions are necessary to build a modern, flourishing cold chain. A cold chain is the system for transportation of perishable products such as food, chemicals, and drugs along a supply chain, together with the logistical planning to ensure the integrity of such shipments. I very much appreciated the participation on the U.S. side of the Global Cold Chain Alliance, the American Chamber of Commerce, and the U.S.-India Business Council; and on the Indian side, of CII. Secretary Khullar and I will be working with our business communities to set an agenda on a range of different topics for the coming year.

In 20 years, 68 cities in India are expected to have populations surpassing 1 million. And total annual income of households in urban areas is expected to reach $4 trillion in 2030. This is a huge market for both Indian and American companies. This is why India was the place where we started the GEMS initiative. I want to make sure we continue that effort. So yesterday I met with a number of officials from some of the states surrounding New Delhi. After our stop in Hyderabad, where I will inaugurate SOLARCON, a preeminent trade fair for solar technology, the companies will go on to Ahmedabad.

At the same time, India poses a number of serious market access barriers for our companies. In my talks with government officials this week, I have urged them to continue to become more open to the investments and the innovations of foreign companies. In this way, India will improve its chances of meeting the needs of its people – and together we can prove that trade and investment will be win-win for us both.

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Hong Kong Trade Agency Recognized for Support of U.S. Exports

November 1, 2011

By Tim Truman, a public affairs specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs.

On October 18 in Hong Kong, Fred Lam (center), executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, was presented with the Peace through Commerce Award by Francisco Sánchez (right), under secretary of commerce for international trade. He was accompanied by Andrew Wylegala (left), senior commercial officer in Hong Kong. (U.S. Department of Commerce photo

On October 18 in Hong Kong, Fred Lam (center), executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, was presented with the Peace through Commerce Award by Francisco Sánchez (right), under secretary of commerce for international trade. He was accompanied by Andrew Wylegala (left), senior commercial officer in Hong Kong. (U.S. Department of Commerce photo

Fred Lam, executive director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) was presented with the Peace through Commerce Award in recognition of his organization’s support of U.S. exports through the Pacific Bridge Initiative (PBI). The award was made by Francisco Sánchez, under secretary of commerce for international trade, at a ceremony in Hong Kong on October 18, 2011.

“I’m proud to honor Fred Lam today for his decades of service and his pioneering efforts with the groundbreaking Pacific Bridge Initiative,” said Sánchez. “The PBI has been a win-win collaboration for America and Hong Kong. It’s helping us to achieve President Obama’s National Export Initiative goals, and supporting Hong Kong’s efforts to be the pre-eminent commercial platform for this dynamic part of the world.”

The PBI was introduced in 2010. It aims to leverage the existing U.S.-Hong Kong trade relationship to explore new markets, particularly in Asia and China, in support of the National Export Initiative (NEI). Through it, the HKTDC became the first government body outside the United States to promote the NEI on a bilateral basis. Since its inception, the PBI has helped triple the number of export transactions to Asia by new-to-market U.S. firms.

RELATED: Pacific Bridge Initiative

The Peace through Commerce Award is a medal given to recognize an individual, group, or organization, either domestic or foreign, whose actions have significantly promoted and developed U.S. export initiatives, encouraged innovative approaches, and improved overall U.S. trade relations. It dates back to the first secretary of state, Thomas Jefferson, who commissioned the medal in 1790. Then known as the Diplomatic Medal, Jefferson awarded it to foreign diplomats who aided the Continental Congress during the American Revolution.

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