Posts Tagged ‘Peru’

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USTR Highlights Trade Opportunities for Small Businesses in Chile and Peru

June 26, 2014
From L to R: Peru’s Ministerial Office Cabinet Advisor Carmen Bedoya Eyzaguirre, Peru’s Vice Minister of SMEs and Industry Sandra Doig Diaz,  USTR’s Christina Sevilla, Peru’s Vice-Ministerial Office Advisory Maggy Manrique Petrera, Director of Innovation Alejandro Bernaola Cabrera, and US Embassy in Lima Economic Officer Peter Lee

From L to R: Peru’s Ministerial Office Cabinet Advisor Carmen Bedoya Eyzaguirre, Peru’s Vice Minister of SMEs and Industry Sandra Doig Diaz, USTR’s Christina Sevilla, Peru’s Vice-Ministerial Office Advisory Maggy Manrique Petrera, Director of Innovation Alejandro Bernaola Cabrera, and US Embassy in Lima Economic Officer Peter Lee

This post originally appeared on the blog for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Small Business Christina Sevilla convened Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Working Groups with Chile and Peru to discuss cooperation through the Obama Administration’s Small Business Network of the Americas, which links U.S. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) with counterpart centers in countries throughout the Hemisphere to expand trade opportunities, share best practices in SME development, and help more small businesses take advantage of U.S. trade agreements. As President Obama has stated, the United States is going to “focus more on small and medium-sized businesses, on women’s businesses, making sure that the benefits of trade don’t just go to the largest companies but also to the smaller entrepreneurs and business people.”

In Santiago, USTR welcomed the decision of the Bachelet Administration to establish 50 SBDCs based on the U.S. model throughout Chile, in order to promote inclusive growth and strengthen our respective countries ties in the SME sector. In June, a delegation from Chile will visit U.S. SBDCs at Howard University in Washington DC, George Mason University in Fairfax, VA and University of Texas at San Antonio, TX. The United States and Chile also discussed ways to promote trade by minority-owned small businesses and will develop an online webinar with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce through the Administration’s Look South initiative.

In Lima, Sevilla met with Vice Minister of SMEs Sandra Doig Diaz, and congratulated Peru on the recent completion of training in the U.S. SBDC model and the Ministry of Production’s decision to establish pilot SBDCs in Peru in 2015. Peru intends to partner with U.S. SBDCs and their SME clients to expand opportunities under the trade agreement. The US and Peru also discussed efforts to empower women-owned businesses through the public-private partnerships under the Women’s Entrepreneurship in the America’s initiative.

The U.S. also discussed expanded regional opportunities for SMEs with Chile and Peru through the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that is currently being negotiated.  The United States, Chile and Peru are three of the 12 countries in the TPP.

To learn more about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, please visit http://www.ustr.gov/tpp.

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Making It Easier to Clear Customs in Latin America

April 10, 2014

Diana Alvarez recently completed an internship in the International Trade Administration’s Office of South America.The Look South campaign is encouraging companies to seek export opportunities in Latin America.

More than 40 percent of current U.S. exports go to Mexico, Central America, and South America. Both its geographic proximity and the presence of 11 free trade agreements in the region make these markets attractive for U.S. businesses.

As the U.S. government continues to support businesses expanding in Latin America through the Look South Initiative, one key aspect being addressed is working through potential barriers to trade.

Issues like long customs-clearance times, inconsistent interpretation of customs regulations, and subjectivity of customs inspectors can add to the time and cost of the exporting process. These costs can especially affect small business exporters.

To address these problems, the International Trade Administration is working alongside U.S. Customs and Border Protection, governments across Latin America, and other public and private sector partners on the Customs Modernization and Border Management Reform Program.

This program brings business and government together to discuss the challenges faced at the border and to develop solutions that will make clearing customs easier, faster, and more efficient.

The program began in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Honduras and has already helped create a simpler and more efficient border-crossing process:

  • Honduras extended its operating hours at many border posts and harmonized them across the many different border agencies.
  • El Salvador eliminated several administrative requirements for express shipments, saving companies time and money.
  • Costa Rica recently launched its one-stop web portal that will allow companies and government agencies to submit and review all customs-related documents in one place.

As part of a second phase of the program, training workshops and dialogues were held in Peru and the Dominican Republic in March, with events in Guatemala and Uruguay scheduled to take place soon.

We’re excited to see more businesses expand to Latin America under the Look South Initiative, and we look forward to being a part of a smoother trade process under the Customs Modernization and Border Management program.

If you’re ready to increase your business’s presence in Latin America, contact your nearest Export Assistance Center or visit export.gov/looksouth.

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Be Brief, Be Bright, Be Gone

June 10, 2009

Walter Bastian is Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for the Western Hemisphere, a part of Market Access and Compliance.

From June 1 to June 5, I had the opportunity to lead a group of U.S. business executives on a trade mission to Santiago, Chile and Lima, Peru.  The mission was comprised of executives pursuing business opportunities across a wide range of manufacturing and service sectors.  The results were impressive.

Chile and Peru were selected as target markets for a variety of reasons, including market potential and ease of doing business.  These factors were enhanced by the existence of free trade agreements each has with the United States.  Besides the eventual elimination of all tariffs on U.S. products entering these markets, these agreements establish clear and transparent rules for the conduct of business with U.S. firms.  These agreements have worked.  In the case of Chile, U.S. exports in 2008 were up 49.4 percent over the year before and in Peru, U.S. exports were up 51 percent over the same period.  U.S. exports to Chile are up 345 percent since 2004 when the agreement went into effect.  Last year, Peru was the fastest growing export market in the Western Hemisphere.

Daycare center funded by U.S. companies and United Way Chile.

Daycare center funded by U.S. companies and United Way Chile. (Department of Commerce photo)

The heart of the mission is the business matchmaking service provided by the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service in both countries.  Each company had appointments each day with prescreened local companies.  The mission participants also had the opportunity to meet and talk to members of the U.S. and local business communities at events hosted by the embassies.  The days were full.  Meals became business meetings.  The business days lasted well into the night.

Chris Hood of Coastal International Logistics, LLC, noted that his business philosophy was to “be brief, be bright, be gone.”  He had a contract before leaving the first stop.  He and the other mission members seemed to adhere to the same philosophy and contributed to a highly successful trade mission.

While mission members were busy developing new clients and pursuing commercial opportunities, I met with government officials to pursue issues which would further enhance the competitiveness of U.S. firms in these markets.  I met with customs officials, economy and energy ministers, business groups and NGOs.  I also visited examples of U.S. corporate social responsibility and highlighted the value of partnerships with the U.S. private sector.

The mission was truly representative of a public/private sector partnership.  In the end, the public and private sectors accomplished their mutual objectives of contributing to the economic growth of the United States and creating U.S. jobs through exports.

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