Archive for the ‘Strategic Partners’ Category

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Startup Global starts local

October 12, 2017

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By Tricia Van Orden, Deputy Director of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee Secretariat

Philadelphia-area startups recently gathered at Temple University’s Fox School of Business for advice on going global with business. The Startup Global event, a partnership between the International Trade Administration (ITA) and the Global Innovation Forum, helps entrepreneurs and early-stage companies strategically plan for international business. Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers live beyond the U.S. borders, and modern technology has made it easier than ever to reach them. International business expert and attorneys offered some important lessons:

1. Start with what you know and leverage others’ knowledge. Whether it’s tapping into big data from online platforms to gain market insights or scheduling a meeting with a business counselor at a local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) or U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC), you don’t have to do it all. A plethora of online tools and community resources are available to help startups and small business find success in international markets. The U.S. Government, and in many areas, State and local governments, offers free training and counseling to develop an international business plan and get started doing business globally. A great starting point is your local SBDC.

If your startup or small business has done business in one or two foreign markets and you’re interested in finding new opportunities and expanding sales, contact your local USEAC.

2. Know when to seek the counsel of a lawyer you trust. International business can be complicated, and you need to ensure your ideas, trademarks, and copyrights are protected and that you’re compliant with U.S. and international laws. Professional legal guidance will help you find the right path. Until you’re ready for that step, peruse the intellectual property information available on export.gov.  Another resource is the Export Legal Assistance Network, a network of attorneys who volunteer their time to provide an initial legal consultation free of charge to new exporters to assist with issues related to export licensing, taxation, tariffs, and intellectual property.

3. It’s never too late to go back to school.  Your campus days might be over, but local universities and community colleges often provide opportunities for business expansion. You might find your next partner or investor at networking event, and many schools offer international immersion programs that can broaden your global mindset and help you make connections in markets of interest. At many business schools, students team up with local companies to conduct market research and develop market entry strategies.  Companies interested in exporting can take advantage of these cooperative agreements and receive market research products either free of charge or for a very low fee.

If you are interested in hosting a Startup Global event in your city, please contact Pat Kirwan  from the Department of Commerce or Jake Colvin from the Global Innovation Forum.

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The NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional Credential Program Helps Advance U.S. Exports and International Trade

September 14, 2017

About the authors: Yuki Fujiyama is a trade finance specialist in the Office of Finance and Insurance Industries and the author of the Trade Finance Guide: A Quick Reference for U.S. Exporters. Fujiyama currently serves as an ex-officio Board Member of NASBITE International.  Cory Simek, the Executive Secretary of the Missouri District Export Council, currently serves as the Director of the U.S. Commercial Service – St. Louis, Missouri.

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

Helping U.S. businesses, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), enter and compete in global markets is a core mission of the International Trade Administration (ITA), the federal government’s lead export promotion agency.

As part of that ongoing effort, ITA and the University of Missouri International Trade Center–a joint program of the Missouri Small Business & Technology Centers and the University’s Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business–recently partnered to present a three-day interactive training workshop designed for those seeking to earn the Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) credential.

Participants of the NASBITE CGBP Preparation Training Workshop on August 8-10, 2017 at the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo.

Participants of the NASBITE CGBP Preparation Training Workshop on August 8-10, 2017 at the Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo.

The CGBP credential program, which helps advance U.S. exports and international trade, is administered by NASBITE International (NASBITE), a non-profit and ITA strategic partner.  Launched in 2005, the NASBITE CGBP provides a benchmark for competency in global commerce by certifying an individual’s ability to conduct international business at the professional level across four main categories:

  • Global Business Management
  • Global Marketing
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Trade Finance

These categories capture the key challenges facing SMEs in today’s highly competitive global business environment.

To become a CGBP, a candidate must pass a three-hour exam comprising 150 multiple-choice questions, and have completed two years of either college-level study or work in global commerce.

NASBITE CGBP – Certified Global Business Professional – Credential Logo

NASBITE CGBP – Certified Global Business Professional – Credential Logo

Since 2005, ITA has used the CGBP credential program to enhance the ability of its employees to assist American SME exporters in accessing global markets.  The CGBP credential enables ITA team members to diversify their skills and stay abreast of the ever-changing aspects of international trade.  To date, almost 2,000 professionals worldwide, including several hundred ITA trade specialists and commercial officers, have been awarded the CGBP credential.

The three-day workshop was facilitated by NASBITE Past President, Jim Foley, who is currently serving as the Director of the Illinois SBDC International Trade Center at Bradley University and as the National Co-Chair of the International Trade Committee of America’s SBDC, which represents a nationwide network of approximately 1,000 SBDCs.  ITA co-facilitated the workshop’s trade finance session and helped participants learn about the methods of payment and export finance options described in the U.S. Commerce Department’s Trade Finance Guide.

In addition to the annual CGBP Preparation Training Workshop, the University of Missouri International Trade Center actively collaborates with ITA’s two local U.S. export assistance centers in St. Louis and Kansas City to assist Missouri-based SMEs with export planning and foreign market sales.  The Center won the 2016 President’s “E” Award for Export Service in recognition of its dedication to supporting Missouri SMEs in understanding the export process and entering new international markets.

In 2016, Missouri’s $14 billion in goods exports helped contribute to the $2.21 trillion of U.S. goods and services exports. In 2015, nearly 88,000 U.S. jobs were supported by goods exports from Missouri.  In 2014, over 5,000 SMEs in Missouri exported their goods to global markets, accounting for 85 percent of Missouri goods exporters.

With the new knowledge gained from the three-day workshop at the University of Missouri, participants, who are ready to take the next step in obtaining the CGBP credential, are now more equipped to enter, grow, and succeed in global markets!

Do you need more info on how to become a CGBP?

Visit the NASBITE website at http://nasbite.org.

Do you want to learn more about how to enter, grow, and succeed in global markets?

Visit the U.S. government’s export portal at https://www.export.gov.

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Maritime Trade Partnership Leads to Big Returns for Small Businesses

August 17, 2017

By Patrick Morris, Intern, Office of Strategic Partnerships

The International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Global Marine Technology Team has been working since 2010 to help grow U.S. exports of marine technology. This specialized team helps U.S. marine technology companies take advantage of worldwide sales opportunities and engage in partnerships with U.S. maritime industry leaders. A mutual interest to support U.S. marine technology exports has forged a notable Strategic Partnership between ITA and The Maritime Alliance (TMA) that is yielding big wins for small businesses.

California-based firm, Blue Robotics, pitches their product to potential buyers at Ocean Business.

California-based firm Blue Robotics pitches its product to potential buyers at Ocean Business.

TMA, a non-profit industry association based in San Diego and an ITA Strategic Partner since 2014, represents one of the largest marine technology communities in the United States and the world. TMA promotes sustainable, science-based ocean and water industries to create jobs and encourage the development of marine or ‘blue’ technology. TMA and ITA collaborate on education, policy and technology resources, information sharing, networking, and outreach to promote innovation and economic development to expand the blue economy.

In 2016 TMA was selected as a recipient for ITA’s Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP), and received $297,000 from ITA to enhance exports from U.S. marine technology firms.

TMA used this funding to launch the first U.S. Maritime Technology Export Initiative (USMTEI) – a three-year project supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their trade promotion endeavors. Through USMTEI, funding goes directly to U.S. companies to offset the total cost of participation in trade events by up to 50 percent.

Arizona-based firm, Hydronalix, demos its technology during the Rotterdam stop of the trade mission.

Arizona-based firm Hydronalix demos its technology during the Rotterdam stop of the trade mission.

In 2017, USMTEI supported U.S. companies at three separate events: the inaugural Oceanology International North America trade show in San Diego, Ocean Business in Southampton, UK, and a trade mission to Europe.

Oceanology International North America attracted 3,100 visitors, 161 exhibitors, and conference delegates from 39 U.S. states and 46 countries.  TMA organized 75 business-to-business matchmaking meetings between USMTEI companies and potential foreign partners. To complement the matchmaking program, ITA trade specialists working in European, Latin American, and Asian markets participated in nine export counseling meetings with USMTEI companies and conducted more than 25 additional individual consultations with other U.S. companies at the show. In addition, ITA organized a conference session highlighting marine technology opportunities in Brazil, Denmark, Mexico and Singapore, and assisted TMA in recruiting potential foreign buyers to the show.

Ocean Business and the trade mission to Europe showcased export programs, business-to-business matchmaking, and policy discussions between TMA and its European counterparts. A total of 11 U.S. SMEs participated in both activities, and each company benefitted from the trade leads obtained at the events.

Mark Gundersen, President and CEO of Marine Advanced Research commented, “TMA and ITA exceeded my expectations with the USMTEI. We had a packed schedule before, during, and after Ocean Business, meeting with companies and organizations in our industry. You would be hard pressed to find another way to open as many doors in such a short amount of time.”

While Rusty Jehangir, Founder of Blue Robotics, said “As a young, small business, the programs offered by USMTEI, TMA and ITA provided us with an invaluable opportunity to reach new customers and companies.”

As for the future of the USMTEI, TMA intends to support 12-16 U.S. companies to exhibit in the U.S. BlueTech Pavilion at Oceanology International 2018 in London, and lead a follow-up trade mission to Europe.

Online applications to participate in the USMTEI’s 2018 European programs are live, and those who are interested in expanding their company’s export opportunities are encouraged to apply: https://bluetechexports.org/the-maritime-alliance/. For more information on the work of ITA’s Global Marine Technology team and the role ITA plays in promoting blue technology please visit http://2016.export.gov/industry/marine/ or contact Maryanne Burke at Maryanne.Burke@trade.gov.

 

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ITA’s Strategic Partnerships Helping eCommerce Firms Sell More Online, Overseas

July 25, 2017

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By Patrick Morris, Intern in the Office of Strategic Partnerships

Getting to Global staff giving a presentation.

Josh Halpern, Director of ITA’s eCommerce Innovation Lab, works with business leaders in workshops around the world to help them reach new, foreign markets online.

Interested in entering new overseas, online markets?  Join the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Strategic Partner Global Retail Insights Network (GRIN) and the Getting to Global Initiative for interactive labs around the world. The events are designed to help companies develop a strategy for taking their online business global. Those attending learn best practices for new market entry as well as develop specific plans of action to catapult their e-commerce business’ global network.

ITA established a Strategic Partnership with GRIN in 2016 based on a mutual interest to encourage U.S. domestic companies to learn about and access the online, global market. Recent research suggests that shoppers choose to buy online because it is cheaper, easier, and more convenient. In addition, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) predicts that the global middle class will grow to 4.9 billion people in the next 15 years, compared to 1.9 billion in 2009. Many of these new middle class members will engage in online, cross-border purchases, making e-commerce increasingly more lucrative, especially in emerging economies.

A recent iteration of the GRIN Lab was hosted by another Strategic Partner, eBay, at their Chelsea location in New York City on July 13. The content was designed by Josh Halpern, the Director of ITA’s eCommerce Innovation Lab, and Carl Miller, the Managing Director of a not-for-profit global community for e-commerce professionals. It provided a full-circle guide to accessing overseas markets. The conference covered various topics, such as where and how to begin a global network, how data can be used to identify specific market opportunities, and the tools needed to optimize global pursuits.

Carl Miller discusses the benefits of taking online retail global at the GRIN Lab on July 13 at Strategic Partner eBay’s New York City office.

Carl Miller discusses the benefits of taking online retail global at the GRIN Lab on July 13 at Strategic Partner eBay’s New York City office.

To take advantage of international markets online, stay tuned for future GRIN events as they host more 20 labs annually, in cities including Shanghai, Singapore, Paris, San Francisco, Chicago, and London.  The next lab is in Boston, August 15-16 with a focus on Asia.  The labs, regardless of location, stay dedicated to the same core principles: presenting niche business-knowledge to the broader community, synergizing through the collaboration of business minds with various backgrounds, and helping retailers and brands of all sizes learn from the first-hand experiences of others.

Visit http://www.thegrinlabs.com/leadership-labs/ for a comprehensive schedule of upcoming labs.

You can view video interviews about how to sell more online and overseas from our public/private partnership on the industry site: www.gettingtoglobal.org. To learn more about ITA’s work in the eCommerce market, specifically the work of the eCommerce Innovation Lab, please visit https://www.export.gov/eCommerce.

 

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Learn Exporting Essentials to Capitalize on Foreign Markets

July 17, 2017

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

By Linda Abbruzzese, Senior International Trade Specialist at the Office of Digital Initiatives, U.S. Commercial Service and Patrick Morris, Intern at the Office of Strategic Partnerships, Industry and Analysis

The U.S. Commercial Service, the export promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA), is collaborating with the National Customs Brokers Freight Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) Educational Institute to present an exporting mechanics webinar series. The NCBFAA represents more than 970 member companies with 110,000 employees in international trade, and through its various committees, counsel and representatives, the Association maintains a close watch over legislative and regulatory issues that affect trade.

NCBFAA, an ITA Strategic Partner since 2016, collaborates with ITA to provide educational opportunities to the larger trade community. Based on a mutual desire to increase U.S. wages and jobs through exporting, ITA and NCBFAA host educational sessions in areas that include supply chain management, customs brokerage, global logistics, and export transactions. In 2015, exports supported an estimated 11.5 million jobs in the U.S., providing increased security to the job market and greater prosperity to the national economy.

This series will give U.S. small and medium size businesses the basic exporting information they need to help them increase exports abroad, while increasing employment in the United States. The series will consist of 12 hour-long, monthly sessions and cover a variety of topics, including “Ecommerce Best Practices and Strategies”, “AES / EEI Regulations”, “Export Compliance”, “Export Control Basics”, “ATA Carnet 101″, “Sanctions”, “Export Administration Regulations”, “Export Licenses”, “ECCN Classification Numbers”, “Letters of Credit”, “U.S. Harmonized Tariff Classification Numbers”, “Duty Drawback and Refunds.”

The informational sessions are designed to assist companies in the preliminary stages of the exporting business, including those that have never exported before. The series will provide valuable tips as well as contacts in the exporting community to help companies grow and compete in foreign markets across the global.

For more information about the webinar series or to register for the sessions, please visit http://www.ncbfaa.org/Scripts/4Disapi.dll/4DCGI/cms/review.html

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Join ITA at OPEN for Government Contracting: Summit for Success

June 14, 2017

Jamie Merriman is Acting Director of ITA’s Office of Strategic Partnerships

Interested in learning how to navigate the government contracting landscape, including opportunities for international contracts and sales?  Join ITA and American Express at its 9th annual OPEN for Government Contracting: Summit for Success in Washington DC on June 15th.  The event helps small and middle market business owners get the insight and experience they need to do business with the world’s largest customer: the U.S. government*. This year, for the first time ever, the event will also highlight international opportunities, including information about the services ITA offers to assist U.S. small businesses looking to enter international markets.

Since launching their partnership in June of 2015, ITA and American Express have collaborated on a program of activities to increase trade education and awareness of export opportunities for U.S. businesses.  The joint effort has focused on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the American Express Grow GlobalSM program designed both small and middle-market businesses – those generating up to $1 billion in revenues annually.  American Express and ITA have teamed up to bring the Grow Global program to Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Baltimore and Long Beach, and are now adding elements of that program to the upcoming OPEN for Government Contracting: Summit for Success in Washington, DC.

The Summit will feature the Director of ITA’s eCommerce Innovation Lab and a Baltimore-based small business that has successfully reached international markets utilizing ITA services.  Register now for this free event to learn how your business can leverage ITA’s services and take advantage of opportunities in international markets.  You can also view video interviews about how to sell more online, overseas, from our public/private partnership on the industry site: http://gettingtoglobal.com/

 

 

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SEDC: Taking a Regional Approach to Promoting FDI

December 27, 2016

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Guest blog post by Gene Stinson, President, Southern Economic Development Council

As the membership association for more than 1,000 economic development professionals across 17 southern states, the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) enthusiastically aids its members seeking foreign direct investment (FDI) in their communities. SEDC members include statewide, city, town and county economic development organizations (EDOs) and agencies, representing the vast diversity in geography, transportation infrastructure, workforce assets, municipal incentives and public-private partnerships available in the southern United States.

Building awareness of FDI is central to SEDC’s mission to provide members with the information and resources that help them increase economic development in their communities. However, while many members have succeeded in attracting FDI, others have not had access to the tools and information needed to draw investment. This year, we worked hard on changing that – here’s how.

In April, SEDC launched AmericanSouth.net, an initiative to highlight the many benefits of the region to international investors. The program has a twofold objective: to demonstrate “best FDI attraction practices” to all SEDC members; and to offer direct opportunities for members to develop leads that can bring FDI to their areas.

Today, in concert with our regular newsletter, SEDC News, we provide articles, directions to resources, and other information through AmericanSouth.net. We also plan to take advantage of our location in Atlanta – where several international chambers of commerce and foreign consulates have offices – by hosting an International Site Location Advisors Summit to help members build relationships with these organizations and increase contacts with FDI site location influencers.

Moving forward, we will continue building out the capability of AmericanSouth.net not only to position the region as a top destination for FDI but also to provide an additional way for international companies get in touch with our member EDOs. To help advance the initiative, SEDC is forming an advisory board of international investment specialists from EDOs, SelectUSA, the Organization for International Investment (OFII), site location consulting firms, and more. The board will guide SEDC’s FDI programing and develop educational content for its members.

Throughout our development, SelectUSA has been a valuable partner, particularly in helping us prepare for our first venture to Hannover Messe 2016, the world’s largest industrial technology trade show. Conference calls, connections to international investors, and follow-up personal calls – organized by SelectUSA – maximized our exposure in the Investment Pavilion. AmericanSouth.net made its debut at the pavilion and drew several hundred international business and industry representatives to our booth.   Next year, SEDC will again participate in the SelectUSA Investment Summit in June and join the U.S. delegation to Hannover Messe in April. We are also exploring new opportunities, including the possibility of organizing an AmericanSouth road show with SelectUSA.

SEDC’s development of AmericanSouth.net and our exciting ambitions for 2017 mark a new high point in our association’s efforts on behalf of its members. FDI is an under-explored frontier for many communities and a resource many others can expand upon. We are excited about continuing to position the American South as the global destination of choice for business.

 To learn more about SEDC, please visit www.sedc.org and follow @SEDCouncil on Twitter.