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Finding Unique International Investment Opportunities in Montgomery County, Maryland

June 1, 2017

Guest blog post by Spiros Balntas, CEcD, Director of Business Recruitment, MCEDC

This post is part of SelectUSA’s EDO Spotlight series, highlighting the work of EDOs around the country recruiting foreign direct investment, how that work supports jobs and economic growth across the United States, and how SelectUSA partners with EDOs to support economic development.

Next door to the nation’s capital is a bustling business center that is building a powerful innovative base for emerging industries. With one million residents, Montgomery County is the most populous county in Maryland, and home to more than 32,000 businesses, including 227 internationally owned companies. These global companies have a major presence in the county, adding to a vibrant economic workforce in a culturally diverse and growing area.

Knowing that international companies seek out key attributes in choosing a location, Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) focuses on highlighting the areas where Montgomery County gets the highest marks, and offering new opportunities for global business to grow. Some of the county’s homegrown companies have become international from this home base.

Here are examples of companies with global reach that have chosen to come into the county or expand here:

  • Choice Hotels – International company based in Rockville, MD
  • Greencourt Innovation Center – Chinese-owned company creating a green, state-of-the-art innovation center in Rockville MD
  • GSK – British pharmaceutical company, opened its first dedicated vaccines R&D center in Rockville, MD
  • Honest Tea – International sales from its Bethesda, MD headquarters
  • Marriott International – In 122 countries from its Bethesda, MD headquarters

A Highly Educated Population

Montgomery County boasts the nation’s highest percentage of adults with post-graduate degrees – 31 percent – higher than anywhere else in the country. Local colleges and universities in the county contribute to an active pipeline of skilled employees. The Universities at Shady Grove offer degree programs from nine University of Maryland institutions, and is constructing a state-of-the-art, biomedical sciences building. Meanwhile, Montgomery College’s Bioscience Education Center is a 145,000-sq. ft. complex for STEM field education and workforce development.

A Hub for Connectivity

Companies with a presence in Montgomery County, recognize the incredible benefits of our unique proximity to federal agencies, foreign embassies, chanceries and diplomatic missions. Transportation also frequently rises to the top of the list for global companies deciding on a home base. Montgomery County-based companies have three international airports to choose from, each within 30 miles: Ronald Reagan Washington National, Washington Dulles International and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Montgomery County is also part of the Greater Washington rapid transit system, providing easy access to the national capital area.

A Central Location for Growth Industries

Montgomery County’s industry clusters are growing in key areas including cybersecurity, biohealth and information technology. When global GSK opened its first U.S. dedicated vaccine R&D center in Rockville, the company cited Montgomery County’s location at the heart of a dynamic and cutting-edge bioscience hub in Washington, D.C. as a key factor in its decision. Many also take advantage of proximity to federal institutions including the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, among others—all headquartered in Montgomery County.

It’s not just the biohealth and cybersecurity clusters that are growing – so is the hospitality industry. Marriott Hotels, which has a long history in Montgomery County, is planning a state-of-the-art, $600 million complex in downtown Bethesda. Choice Hotels also chose to keep its Montgomery County roots in selecting Rockville for its expanding headquarters.

Opportunities for Building and Growth

Business infrastructure is in high demand, especially the need for more wet lab space for BioHealth companies. Montgomery County is planning for improvements in future land use, including zoning changes to meet long-term goals and objectives in the BioHealth Capital.

Montgomery County is poised to continue its rapid growth as a magnet for global business – and MCEDC is here to help international companies find success.

For more information, reach out to:

Spiros Balntas, CEcD
Director of Business Recruitment
Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation
spiros@thinkmoco.com
301.857.1942

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Where do thousands of U.S. Exporters look for advice?

May 31, 2017

Export.gov, U.S. Commercial Service offer trade expertise to help your business compete and succeed in the global marketplace

David Fiscus is the Regional Director of the Pacific North, U.S. Commercial Service
Looking to add international sales to your bottom line? Why wait? There’s a lot you can do today to accelerate your entry into global markets. One of your first stops should be a visit to export.gov, where you can find export-related educational articles and videos, tools, local events, market intelligence, and much more.

Each year, thousands of U.S. companies navigate the export.gov website to take advantage of free information designed to help their businesses grow. New to the vast line-up of exporter resources is our Exporting Basics Video Series. Topics addressed include export planning and strategy, finding foreign buyers, getting paid, making the export sale, and other considerations such as intellectual property protection.

As companies develop an export plan, contacting their local U.S. Commercial Service office is a valuable avenue to gathering additional market intelligence, confirming market opportunities, and identifying prospective foreign partners through an array of specialized marketing and due diligence programs. With more than 100 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service is the export promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA). Check out a short video highlighting our unique capabilities.

There’s an incredible depth of experience across the entire U.S. Commercial Service. Our trade specialists throughout the United States and “boots-on-the-ground” professionals in overseas markets possess a wealth of international business skills, industry sector expertise, and connections that are second-to-none.  Our people around the world work seamlessly as a team – identifying market opportunities and addressing and resolving market access barriers to help U.S. exporters compete and succeed in the global marketplace.

Each year, the U.S. Commercial Service assists thousands of American businesses in making new export sales and expanding into markets worldwide, helping generate billions of dollars in U.S. export sales. In fact, 86 percent of the firms we assist are small and medium-sized companies with fewer than 500 employees. You could be one of them.

The results speak for themselves. In a 2016 U.S. Department of Commerce study, nine out of 10 companies that used ITA export programs would likely recommend ITA’s assistance. On average, these companies increased their annual revenue from the previous year by 9 percent, or $1.9 million, as a result of this assistance. Moreover, the same percentage of companies also anticipated increased revenues within the next three years due to ITA assistance.

Our success is your success. Get Inspired. Read how other U.S. small business exporters are succeeding abroad. Check out our Exporting Basics Video Series and get on the path to export success today!

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The U.S. Government Pavilion at the SelectUSA Investment Summit – Federal Investment Resources at Your Fingertips

May 31, 2017

 

Andrew Owusu is an Intern at SelectUSA

The 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit provides a platform to communicate economic priorities and affirm the United States as the number one destination in the world for foreign direct investment.  Looking for U.S. economic data and analysis? The U.S. Government (USG) Pavilion in the Exhibition Hall at the Summit will feature representatives from federal agencies that can help participants find and understand U.S. economic indicators. They include:

  • The Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) which performs high-quality economic analysis, disseminates national economic indicators   and fosters the mission of the U.S. Census Bureau (Census), the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE).  OCE created the Assess Costs Everywhere (ACE) tool for businesses to evaluate locating in the U.S.;
  • The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is a trusted and impartial source of data and statistics on the U.S. economy. BEA data is comprehensive and available for free to all;
  • The U.S. Census Bureau is the leading source of data about the nation’s people and economy; The U.S. Census Bureau provides a wealth of demographic and economic data that can help potential businesses make informed investment decisions.

Looking for data specifically on FDI?  SelectUSA Stats is a public, free online data visualization tool that allows you to compare data on foreign direct investment into the United States. The tool features interactive dashboards that display graphical data. The data, from sources like BEA, includes useful categories such as greenfield investment by country, stock and flow, impacts on U.S. employment, exports, research and development; FDI trends by industry, country, and state. With a choice of multiple data agencies, attendees have numerous opportunities to pick up practical tools and strategies from expert practitioners in a variety of investment-related fields.

Officials will also be standing by to provide information on workforce and training programs, U.S. exports, supply chain, research and innovation, U.S. visas, and the Global Entry program. Below is a list of all of the federal agencies, along with their booth numbers, that are participating in the USG Pavilion.

GP1: U.S. Department of State

GP2: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

GP3: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

GP6: U.S. Department of Commerce Rural Team

GP7-8: SelectUSA Stats

GP9: International Trade Administration, Industry and Analysis

GP10: Export Assistance Programs

GP11: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development

GP12: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service

GP13: U.S. Economic Development Administration 

GP14: Minority Business Development Agency

GP15: Bureau of Industry and Security

GP16: The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

GP17:  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

GP18: Export-Import Bank of the United States

GP19: U.S. Department of Transportation

GP20: U.S. Small Business Administration 

GP21: UNICOR

GP22: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

GP23-24: U.S. Department of Labor

GP25-26: Bureau of Economic Analysis

GP27:  Economics Statistics Administration

GP28: U.S. Census Bureau

GP29: National Institute of Standards and Technology, Manufacturing Extension Partnership

GP30: National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, Manufacturing USA

GP31-32: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

A number of U.S. government representatives will also be participating in the matchmaking system, so interested attendees will be able to request meetings and learn more about the various resources that the agencies offer.

We look forward to seeing you next month at the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit.  If you’re interested in learning more about the Summit and USG Pavilion, but unable to attend in person, SelectUSA can help you find information on federal tools and programs. Please visit our website and contact us.

 

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ITA & Global Futures Group Partner to Focus on Smart Cities

May 25, 2017

Earlier this month, ITA Strategic Partner Global Futures Group (GFG) hosted the 2017 Smart Cities: Powered by People Conference (SCNYC17) in Brooklyn.

This was the first show of its kind to focus on the importance of citizen participation in making cities “smart.” The four-day event brought together global mayors, CTOs, CIOs, civil society organizations, non-profits, the private sector, and thought leaders from around the world for discussions and debates on the key issues confronting modern urban leaders in their efforts to improve the quality of life in their cities.

ITA’s U.S. Commercial Service Office in NYC led a workshop on ITA resources, including market intelligence, programming and counseling, available to support export activities related to Smart City technologies and services.  Additionally, the workshop offered an overview of the multitude of different business models available to companies and cities developing Smart City projects.

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Global Futures Group kicks off the event with a presentation on “leading cities into the future”.

SCNYC17 covered a broad range of critical topics, including the benefits of cloud technologies in education, public safety, health, transportation, and other modern government services; technology for the disabled; cybersecurity; the use of big data in managing urban assets; fostering innovation through urban labs; harnessing a new creative class through entrepreneurship ecosystems; the future of automation and the impact on employment; urban planning and design to address new methods of commuting and a transient economy; training tech talent for the future.

The development of smarter cities in the United States and around the world opens up global business opportunities for U.S. firms.  To learn more about export opportunities in the smart cities area, check out the International Trade Administration’s Smart Cities, Regions, and Communities: Export Opportunities Guide, or connect with our Design & Construction Team

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President’s “E” Awards Highlight the Importance of Exporting U.S. Goods and Services

May 24, 2017

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross kicked off World Trade Week by honoring 32 U.S companies and organizations during the President’s “E” Award. Winners of the 2017 “E” Awards represent diverse communities in 23 U.S. states and Guam. Among the honorees, 26 are small and medium-sized businesses and 11 firms are manufacturers.

This year’s recipients included Johnsonville, LLC  of Sheboygan Falls, Wisc. The company started as a small butcher shop by the late Ralph F. and Alice Stayer and has now expanded to become the nation’s No. 1 sausage brand.  Its products, which include bratwurst, Italian sausage, breakfast sausage, meatballs, and now chicken, are sold in all 50 states and 40 countries. The company’s international business has grown 233 percent during the past 10 years, and its leadership recently set a goal of doubling international sales within the next five years. Since 2008, Johnsonville has added 400 jobs, with many of those supported by its growing export business.

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Johnsonville, LLC of Sheboygan Falls, Wisc recieved the E Star Award.

Davenport Aviation, Inc., of Columbus, Ohio, acts as an end-to-end procurement partner for each of its customers. It helps source aircraft parts, inspect for quality, consolidate orders and manage the lifecycle of their orders. Today, 95 percent of the company’s sales are outside of the United States, resulting in new jobs near its headquarters. Nineteen of their 20 employees support its export business.

Hoosier Gasket Corporation’s export growth shows how U.S. small business can win in today’s global marketplace. This Indianapolis-based company made its first export sale in 2007. Shortly after, the company began aggressively exploring other potential markets by using the U.S. Commercial Service’s Gold Key matchmaking service. The company’s international sales now account for 15 percent of total sales, supporting 15 percent of the 140 jobs.

The President’s “E” Award is the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. In 1961, President Kennedy signed an executive order reviving the World War II “E” symbol of excellence to honor and provide recognition to America’s exporters. Winners of the “E” Award are authorized to fly a blue and white banner, to display the accompanying certificate of commendation which is signed by the Secretary of Commerce in the name and by the authority of the President. Employees of the company are also encouraged to wear an “E” lapel pin as a sign of achievement for their contribution to increasing U.S. exports.

This year’s awardees helped contribute to the United States’ exporting more than $2.2 trillion of goods and services in 2016, and the estimated 11.5 million American jobs supported by exports. For a full list of the 2017 E Award winners, click here.

 

 

 

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Administration Moves Forward with Plans to Renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Seeks Comments from the U.S. Public

May 23, 2017

John Andersen, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Western Hemisphere

On May 18, the Administration formally notified Congress of its intent to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). As provided by the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, this notification triggers a 90-day period before negotiations with Canada and Mexico can begin. As part of the 90-day process – and in an effort to hear from you – the Administration has published a Federal Register Notice (FRN) soliciting public comments on the renegotiation. Per the FRN, the Administration seeks comments on general and product-specific negotiating objectives, as well as comments on specific provisions.  Following the comment period, a public hearing will be held at the U.S. International Trade Commission.

The FRN seeks comments on a total of seventeen topics that will help inform the direction, focus, and content of the NAFTA negotiations. These include digital trade, intellectual property rights, regulatory practices, state-owned enterprises, services, customs procedures, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, labor, environment, and small and medium-sized enterprises.  Written comments must be submitted to the U.S. Trade Representative no later than Monday, June 12, 2017. To access the FRN for more detailed information and submission instructions, please click here.

Stakeholder consultation is crucial to ensuring our trade agreements are reflective of what the U.S. economy needs to thrive and grow. This is a great opportunity for your voice to be heard. I hope your organization will take the time to submit input that provides the U.S. government with actionable recommendations that will generate meaningful outcomes for U.S. businesses, workers, consumers, farmers, and ranchers.

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World Trade Week: Celebrating the Achievements of American Exporters

May 22, 2017

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

Sarah Kemp is the Acting Deputy Under Secretary at the International Trade Administration

This month, the International Trade Administration (ITA) joins the world in celebrating World Trade Month. In fact, this week is recognized as World Trade Week (May 21-27).

Nearly 295,000 U.S. companies exported goods in 2015. In fact, 97.6 percent of these companies were small- or medium sized businesses, with fewer than 500 employees. This is a perfect time to celebrate the achievements of American exporters, particularly small-and medium sized businesses.

Today, Secretary Wilbur Ross welcomed hundreds of U.S. company representatives to the Department of Commerce in honor of the President’s “E” award. The Award was created by Executive Order of the President in recognition of a firm or organization that has made significant contributions to the increase of American exports. For example, previous recipients have included; Chicago-based Garrett Popcorn which sells gourmet popcorn from retail shops, and has expanded to sell their products throughout Asia and the Middle East; Nanci’s Frozen Yogurt of Mesa, Arizona, which makes and sells soft serve, flavorings, and smoothie mixes to frozen yogurt chains and restaurants in dozens of countries around the world; and Hernon Manufacturing, Inc. of Sanford, Florida, which makes high-performance adhesives, sealants,  and precision processing equipment, and exports to 44 countries.

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Secretary Wilbur Ross congratulates winners of the 2017 President’s E Awards at the Department of Commerce

Whether you are a small business or a huge corporation, here at ITA, we are charged with helping U.S. exporters and workers succeed in the global marketplace. We have a number of resources to help. Throughout the month, our Industry & Analysis sector leads will be releasing new Top Markets reports, adding to a collection of sector-specific reports that are designed to help U.S. exporters compare markets across borders, using our unique combination of market analysis, data and economic modeling. Each Top Markets report includes commentary on opportunities, trends, and challenges facing U.S. exporters in the largest potential markets, allowing exporters to target their resources at the most impactful opportunities.

ITA also has resources to help current exporters challenge unfair trade practices. The agency’s Office of Trade Agreements Negotiations and Compliance (TANC) is another great resource for U.S. exporters. They specialize in working with U.S. businesses to remove unfair foreign government-imposed trade barriers.

Our unique role in promoting exports, attracting investment, and leveling the playing field continues to produce results. Last year, we assisted over 28,000 U.S. companies (nearly 90% of which were small-and-medium-sized enterprises). Our efforts enabled $59 billion in U.S. exports. We also facilitated more than $5.3 billion in foreign investment into the United States; administered 368 Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties orders; and successfully removed, reduced, or prevented 110 foreign trade barriers. In total, our work supported more than 300,000 American jobs last year alone.

Our resources help exporters at every stage of the process, from becoming an exporter to helping your company face unfair trade barriers. Whether you are a big or small, new to exporting or have been exporting for decades- we are here to help. Every day, we strive to expand opportunities for American businesses through new markets. Our U.S.-based export assistance centers are in more than 100 cities, and our foreign commercial service offices  are in more than 75 markets around the world. Together we help U.S. businesses tap into global markets in ways they may not have been able to otherwise.

Throughout World Trade Month, events across the country are being held to recognize the importance of exporting. I encourage you to follow ITA on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We will be covering a series of events throughout the month.

It is an honor to see the profound impact our agency has had on exporting and helping clients across the country. We would love to hear your story! Tell us how ITA has supported job creation at your company. Make sure to tag us on Twitter, @TradeGov,