Posts Tagged ‘SBA’

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Duluth Export Summit

January 22, 2010

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Amelia Goeppinger is an International Trade Specialist serving in the Minneapolis U.S. Export Assistance Center with the International Trade Administration’s U.S. Commercial Service.

Last week, I had the pleasure of participating in a significant export summit led by Sen. Amy Klobuchar in Duluth, Minnesota  – the fourth summit she has held to promote the importance of exporting in her state.  Sen. Klobuchar, who chairs the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation and Export Promotion, is working with the International Trade Administration (ITA) to encourage the expansion of trade among businesses in her state through summits that can inform the private sector about economic opportunities through international trade.  Minnesota manufacturers and service providers play a major role in trade around the globe, and their participation is expected to increase as the world’s economy grows.

The senator kicked off the Duluth Export Summit by championing the relationship between exports and job creation, and during the summit she facilitated and led a panel discussion on the opportunities of exporting with local experts from the Minnesota office of ITA’s U.S. Commercial Service and representatives from the Small Business Administration and the Minnesota Trade Office.  Thirty representatives from local businesses and other interested parties listened to the presentations, which were followed by a spirited question-and-answer session.

My client, Epicurean Cutting Surfaces, was the highlighted company.  The local Fox News channel interviewed Dave Benson, Epicurean’s chief financial officer, and I was asked to highlight and elaborate on the successes of the Featured U.S. Exporter (FUSE) service – which Epicurean is using effectively.  FUSE successfully identified qualified distribution partners for the company.

The success of the export summit is hopefully going to be replicated as an example of how the International Trade Administration, through its U.S. Commercial Service offices, collaborate with state congressional offices, exporting companies and local export resources to educate firms on the link between export growth and job creation.

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Do You Know the Way…to San Jose’s “Green Hub”?

November 10, 2009

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Federico Bevini is the Commercial Specialist responsible for the building products, construction equipment and architectural, construction and engineering services sectors for the U.S. Commercial Service at the U.S. Consulate in Milan, Italy. Federico has been a part of the U.S. Commercial Service since 2003.

After the excellent programs in the green cities of Pittsburgh and Denver, the participants in the Green Build Road Show found their way to San Jose and discovered that Silicon Valley has a green heart. Mayor Chuck Reed, who opened the day’s program in  the San Jose City Hall (a LEED Platinum – certified building), actually described San Jose as an “ecosystem” of entities, among them the City government, that are cooperating in making San Jose the world center of clean technology innovation.  It is very well known that the high technology industries have been bringing talent and jobs to the San Jose area over the years but, in the Mayor’s words, the challenge is now to capture the next wave of innovations in clean technology and facilitate the exporting of those technologies to the rest of the world.  To be sure, many local companies already derive most of their revenues from foreign markets, but many more can benefit from exports and Mayor Reed stressed how important it will be to inform the 6,000+ hi-tech companies in the area about the opportunities highlighted by the Green Build Road Show.

The U.S. Commercial Service Green Build Road Show crew with San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed.

The U.S. Commercial Service Green Build Road Show crew with San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. (U.S. Department of Commerce photo)

Many of those local companies actually attended the day’s program and from the Q&A sessions it became clear that quite a few had not been involved in exports but were now considering exporting as a result of the very effective (as usual) presentations delivered by the Commercial Service and its partners in the Road Show, as well as by Knauf Insulation, which was part of the panel and was very persuasive in demonstrating that driving energy efficiency in buildings is good for climate, energy, economy, jobs (a “win win win win” situation).   During the Q&A session, members of the Small Business Administration and the Exim Bank had an opportunity to highlight their organizations’ financing programs aimed at increasing local companies’ participation in foreign trade shows and at furthering developments in renewable energies.  The audience’s interest in the day’s program was exemplified by the eagerness of representatives from the Greater San Jose Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to be involved in the FedEx Green Trade Mission and in the Hannover Fair.

On a personal note, the afternoon meetings with local companies interested in starting or expanding their presence in Europe confirmed my initial impression that San Jose and Silicon Valley are home to innovative, open minded and ambitious entrepreneurs who are not looking to make a quick profit but, at least in the area of green building, really want to contribute to reducing the carbon footprint in the USA and abroad.    Excellent!

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infoComm09, an IBP Event has its Biggest East Coast Show in History

July 27, 2009

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Graylin Presbury has been with the International Trade Administration for 30 years. He has spent the last five years in the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS) as a Project Officer in the Global Trade Programs unit.

I had the privilege of being the project officer for InfoComm09, the world’s premier annual B2B conference and exposition for the professional audiovisual information communications industry.  It alternates annually between the east and west coasts of the United States.

Both the weather and the technology were hot last month in Orlando at InfoComm09. The conference, held June 14-19, had more than 300 educational workshops and seminars, and the exhibition, held June 17-19, had roughly 850 exhibitors and more than 28,000 attendees, making this the biggest east cost show in its history.

ITA Global ICT Team in cooperation with the International Buyer Program at InfoComm09

ITA Global ICT Team in cooperation with the International Buyer Program at InfoComm09 (U.S. Department of Commerce photo)

The International Business Center (IBC) provided a one-stop shop for U.S. Government assistance at the show.  The IBC featured International Trade Administration (ITA) export and industry experts as well as representatives from the Export-Import Bank and the Small Business Administration.

As a project officer, I particularly appreciated having the support of ITA’s Global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Team. Through the ICT Team and the USFCS International Buyer Program, we brought in nearly 500 delegates from 27 countries, including delegations from Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Mexico, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay. Additional ICT Team support came from trade staff in our U.S. Export Assistance Centers in Austin, TX; New York; Clearwater, FL; and Portland, OR, which included outreach and export counseling to exhibitors from their states and regions.

The ICT Team was instrumental to our success and the quality of services we delivered.  Aside from the 20 or so U.S. exhibitors and attendees who visited the IBC, there were about 35 U.S. exhibitors that scheduled 130 appointments as part of the ICT Team’s Showtime program. In addition to the market counseling provided by USFCS overseas staff, ITA industry experts informed participants about market trends, trade policy and regulatory issues.  Representatives from the Export-Import Bank and the Small Business Administration counseled exhibitors about loan guarantee programs, business development assistance and export credit insurance.

To read more about the International Buyer Program, please visit http://www.export.gov/IBP.

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Globalization in the Midst of Recession-Prominent Business and Government Officials Headline Utah’s World Trade Week Conference

June 4, 2009

(This post was written on May 20, 2009. This post contains external links.  Please review our external linking policy.)

Dave Fiscus is the Director of the U.S. Foreign & Commercial Service‘s Utah Export Assistance Center, where he helps Utah companies compete and succeed in the international marketplace. He’s been with the International Trade Administration for ten years.

Greetings from Salt Lake City, home of the 2002 Winter Olympics and one of the fastest growing export markets in the country! I’m here at Zions Bank’s 8th Annual International Trade and Business Conference. Zions Bank, a corporate partner of the U.S. Foreign & Commercial Service (CS), has assembled a great cast of speakers to address this year’s topic, “Globalization in the Midst of Recession.” Zions Bank’s President and CEO, Scott Anderson, just provided opening remarks, in which the Zions Bank-CS partnership featured prominently (a great highlight for the CS and for the corporate partnership program!).

Over 800 members of Utah’s business community turned out for this half day event of presentations from officials representing all sectors of the economy from government to manufacturing to academia.

Rick Wade, Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff for the Department of Commerce just concluded his kick-off remarks. They were spot on with the theme of the conference and very well received by attendees. He pointed out that Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke said in his confirmation hearing that he is committed to “work every day to make the Commerce Department an engine for improving our competitiveness, encouraging innovation, and creating jobs.” Furthermore, he stated that partnerships are a critical component of this goal, and the Secretary and our team intend to strengthen our relationships with business, other federal agencies, and state and local organizations to position the United States as a global leader in exports and innovation.

Rick Wade at the International Trade and Business Conference, Salt Lake City, May 20, 2009

Rick Wade, Deputy Chief of Staff, Department of Commerce, speaks at the Zions Bank’s 8th Annual International Trade and Business Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah on May 20, 2009. (U.S. Department of Commerce photo)

The audience also just heard that last year, exports accounted for 13 percent of U.S. economic growth and supported millions of jobs in the United States. The U.S. exported an astounding $1.84 trillion worth of goods and services. To put this in historical context, exports accounted for nearly 10 percent of our gross domestic product five years earlier and 5 percent 40 years ago.

Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., who was recently appointed as the next U.S. Ambassador to China by President Obama, just stopped by to accept Utah’s “Internationalist of the Year Award”. The Governor provided remarks, underscoring the theme of the day. A fitting send-off for a leader who made Utah’s global competitiveness a hallmark of his tenure at the helm of the state.

Well, we’re going into a break and my colleague Jeff Hamilton and I need to head over to the Commercial Service Utah table in the exhibitor information section of the conference alongside Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee partners Ex-Im Bank and SBA as well as various local trade multipliers. Russell Roberts, Professor of Economics at George Mason University and Tom Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are slated to round out the day’s agenda.

Best from the American West!

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