Archive for the ‘Trade Missions’ Category

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Trade Winds: A Special Opportunity for U.S. and Latin American Business

August 24, 2016

Arun M. Kumar is the Assistant Secretary for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service.

The U.S. Commercial Service will head to Latin America in September with about 100 U.S. companies and organizations, to cultivate trade and investment deals between the United States and some of our key regional partners.

Meeting

Trade Winds visited Africa in 2015, bringing 108 U.S. companies and facilitating 650 business-to-business meetings. It was the largest-ever U.S. government-led trade mission to Africa.

The Trade Winds trade mission and business forum is one of our flagship events in the Commercial Service. Trade Winds has taken  more than 800 U.S. companies and organizations to six global regions in the last nine years, facilitating more than $239 million in business deals, with the majority of our attendees being small to medium-sized enterprises.

This year’s Trade Winds will be an incredible opportunity for attendees to make new contacts, connect to prospective partners, and capitalize on promising opportunities in seven Latin American markets: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.  As impressive as Trade Winds is, it is only one element of our agency’s commitment to deepening our trade and investment partnerships in the region.

The Department of Commerce began this commitment in 2014 when Secretary Penny Pritzker announced the Look South campaign to help U.S. companies learn about and take advantage of promising opportunities in the Western Hemisphere.

That commitment continued through our work to ensure that U.S. exporters reap the benefits from regional trade agreements. The United States has more trade agreements with Western Hemisphere partners than with any other region in the world. Partly because of our work to drive results from our trade agreements, nearly half of U.S. exports are sold in this part of the world.

The next step is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This 21st-century trade agreement will reduce and eliminate trade barriers with 11 leading global economies – three of which will be a part of Trade Winds: Chile, Mexico, and Peru. TPP will decrease the cost of doing business for U.S. firms, and Trade Winds participants will get a first glimpse of how the connections we make at Trade Winds can become even more fruitful once TPP becomes a reality.

I want to thank our Commercial Service staff and our partners at Embassies across the region, who have worked tirelessly over the last few months to create an incredible program.

I would also like to thank the members of our delegation, and extend a special thank you to our Official Sponsors for making Trade Winds possible.

We hope you will follow updates from Trade Winds on Twitter using #TradeWinds16, and you will see what an excellent experience this is for U.S. companies and economic development teams.

 

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Latin America –Opportunities for U.S. Automotive Aftermarket Exports

February 25, 2016

Kellie Holloway is a Senior International Trade Specialist and Deputy Team Leader of the U.S. Commercial Service’s Global Automotive Team

 Todd Peterson is an International Trade Specialist in the Office of Transportation and Machinery and Team Lead for the Auto Care Association’s Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP)

The U.S. auto parts sector continues to be one of the largest contributors to total U.S. exports.  In 2015, the U.S. exported nearly $81 billion in auto parts worldwide. One of the promising, but overlooked regions for U.S. automotive aftermarket parts exports is Latin America, particularly Peru, Guatemala and El Salvador. Demand for aftermarket auto parts and repair services in these three markets is increased due to aging vehicles (averaging 15.5 years for private and 22.5 years for commercial vehicles).  In addition, there is a high level of used-car sales and deteriorating road conditions.  US market share for auto parts in Guatemala is 31 percent, in El Salvador it is 26 percent, and US companies have a 19 percent share of the Peruvian market.  Also worth noting: U.S. auto parts exports over the last five years grew 87 percent in Peru; 19 percent in Guatemala, and 50 percent in El Salvador.

Auto parts

Auto parts

In addition, these three countries are Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partners with the United States, which increases U.S. market access by breaking down potential market entry barriers. FTA partnership, product quality, available warranties and geographic proximity, all contribute to the United States having a competitive advantage when entering Latin American markets.

Some of the specific products/services in demand include:

  • Motor parts: compressors, radiators, batteries, accumulators, green filters, motor oil, and lubricants;
  • Body and crash parts;
  • Accessories: sound systems, spoilers, bumpers, cleaning products;
  • Safety Products: alarms, GPS systems;
  • Brake systems, suspension and components;
  • Driving simulators; and
  • Tools and diagnostic equipment.

Recognizing the opportunities for automotive aftermarket suppliers in Latin America, the International Trade Administration (ITA) awarded the Auto Care Association a three-year matching award of just under $300,000 to support activities designed to help boost exports to that region. Upcoming events utilizing this Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) project are two automotive trade missions to Latin America.  The first mission is destined for Peru (May 17-19, 2016), followed by a mission to Guatemala with an optional stop in El Salvador (June 21-24, 2016). Future missions are planned to Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Honduras.

“The MDCP award creates important partnerships that assists U.S. firms in selling more of their goods and services to the 95 percent of consumers living outside our borders,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry & Analysis Marcus Jadotte. “We are excited to help the U.S. auto care industry increase exports in Latin American and expand economic opportunity in such an important sector of the U.S. economy.”

The Automotive Trade Missions to Peru, Guatemala and El Salvador are designed to inform participants of the local market and provide access to key industry contacts. The number of mission participants is intentionally limited to ensure customized and well-targeted matchmaking scheduling. In addition, U.S. Embassy staff will provide country commercial briefings on the legalities and nuances of doing business in those markets, with the schedule rounded out to include industry-specific networking receptions and site visits. The Auto Care Association’s upcoming missions are an extremely cost-effective way to expand your business prospects in Latin America. The package includes personalized business-to-business matchmaking meetings with foreign industry executives, hotel accommodations and local transportation, networking receptions, interpreters, and country briefings.

A past trade mission participant relayed the value that joining a supported mission provided. “We’ve boosted sales by 70 percent in Latin America and could not have done it as fast without the U.S. Commercial Service,” said Ross Tamimi, Vice President, Warco Products. The contacts that Ross made while on the mission helped the firm understand local commercial dynamics and regulatory policies, and successfully identify local distributors.

Harness your share of these growing Latin American economies and expand your export strategies through both Automotive Trade Mission opportunities!

For more information on auto parts exports, please see ITA’s Top Markets Report for Automotive Parts.

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Business Opportunities in West Africa: Attend the Trade Mission to the Canary Islands & Africagua

August 20, 2015

John Saylor is the Chair of the District Export Council of Virginia and Washington, D.C.

The Canary Islands may not be huge in geography, but they are becoming an economic force in West Africa.

Located just 62 miles off the coast of West Africa while providing all the infrastructures, services, and advantages that Europe has to offer, the Canaries are an ideal location for operational centers:

  • Top logistic services and maritime connectivity with more than 40 ports in Africa
  • A competitive local labor market
  • Maximum guarantee of legal security and transparent fiscal regulations from a fully integrated EU legal system
  • A 4 percent corporate tax regime and multiple tax exemptions in indirect taxation

Why should your business export to West Africa?

At more than 5 percent GDP, West Africa had the strongest economic growth of the continent in 2014. This rapid growth is generating opportunities and prosperity in all industry sectors.

The Trade Mission to the Canary Islands & Africagua will help your firm access West African markets, find regional business partners, and highlight the advantages of setting up an operation in this booming hub.

The mission will include:

  • Expert briefings by U.S. Commercial Service and regional government officials about the opportunities and challenges of the region and advantages of setting up an operation in the Canary Islands
  • B2B business appointments with pre‐screened potential partners
  • Technical site visits in the islands of Gran Canaria and Tenerife
  • Exclusive networking receptions with local industry and government leaders
  • Optional participation in the Africagua Conference (island of Fuerteventura) for renewable energy and water sector firms to meet with Ministers and other government decision‐makers from 6 West African countries

To find your next customers and grow your business, join the Trade Mission to the Canary Islands & Africagua on November 16 – 20, 2015. I hope you’ll join us on this mission.

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Commercial Service Philippines Completes Renewable Fuels Association Trade Mission

July 28, 2015

Andrew Edlefsen is the Director of the Las Vegas U.S. Export Assistance Center and currently serves as Global Asia Team Leader. He has been with ITA for eight years.

Glacial Lakes Energy in B2B meeting

Glacial Lakes Energy in B2B meeting

As part of my summer 2015 Asia Team outreach, I went to Manila, where the U.S. Renewable Fuels Association, along with six U.S. ethanol companies, met as part of a U.S. Commercial Service-organized trade mission. The objective of the mission was for U.S companies to gain a deeper understanding of the ethanol market and business potential in the Philippines. The U.S. Embassy Commerce, Economic and Agriculture officers and local government agencies provided in-depth presentations on the renewable fuel environment, rules and regulations, and business opportunities.

As part of the trade mission, the Commercial Service Manila office arranged more than 50 B2B meetings between the U.S. delegates and local Philippine companies to discuss industry trends and potential opportunities for partnership.

On the evening of the first day, a reception was held gathering the mission delegates to mingle with local businesses, organizations, and industry practitioners.  Day two included a tour of the International Container Terminal Services at the Manila port, followed by an up-close and personal meeting with the President of the San Miguel Corporation, one of the Philippines’ most diversified conglomerates in beverages, food, packaging, fuel, oil, power, mining and infrastructure.

The six mission participants represented some of the U.S.’s leaders in ethanol production, namely: Buffalo Lake Advanced Biofuels; Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company; CHS, Inc.; Glacial Lakes Energy, LLC; Lakeview Energy LLC; and Renewable Products Marketing Group.

Commercial Attaché Totayo introduces U.S. companies at reception

Commercial Attaché Totayo introduces U.S. companies at reception

Commercial Attaché Aliza Totayo and the Commercial Service Manila staff worked diligently for several months to organize this important trade mission. As a result, the delegates expressed praise for the quality and value of the trade mission and referred to the excellent business potential and insights provided into the Philippine ethanol market.

Find out about upcoming trade missions.

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Growing the Export Tradition in North Carolina

June 10, 2015

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Wayne Cooper is the Chair of the District Export Council of North Carolina, a Marketing Partner for the Trade Winds-Africa Business Forum and Trade Mission.

Wayne Cooper

Wayne Cooper

As long as North Carolina has been a state, it’s been an exporter.

One of our first main exports was pine tar, and one rumor has it that our use of pine tar in the Revolutionary War is how we became known as the Tar Heel State. But I’m not writing to talk about rumors, or about the past.

What I want to talk about is the future, and for companies here in North Carolina and around the country, the future is global. We’re on a winning streak here in this state, and I’m not talking about college basketball. North Carolina has set goods export records for four straight years, hitting $31.3 billion in 2014.

Our globally engaged companies are reaping the benefits of that success: finding more revenue, hiring more people, expanding their inventories, their services, and their companies.

Why wouldn’t your company want to find that kind of success?

At the North Carolina District Export Council, the importance of exporting is always top of mind for us. What we want is to help get more North Carolina companies on board.

That’s why we are so glad to work with the U.S. Commercial Service, and it’s why we are partnering on the Trade Winds—Africa Forum. When we talk about the future of global business, it would be folly to not talk about Africa. In development, population, spending power, and just about any other measure, few regions can compete with the growth in Africa.

I hope that companies across the state, from the beautiful sands of the Outer Banks to the highest peak of the Appalachian Mountains, will take a look at opportunities in Africa, and at the Trade Winds mission. If there is any way your company can best take advantage of the opportunities in that continent, it’s with the help of the Commercial Service team.

I want more companies to find the success that our state’s exporters already enjoy, because we all know that there aren’t many places in the world that compete with North Carolina when it comes to manufacturing, building, selling, or providing quality products and services.

Now let me say this in my best North Carolina voice: I hope to see y’all in South Africa!

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Trade Winds – Africa Offers Opportunities, Tips, and Intel to U.S. Firms

May 29, 2015

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

Chris Higginbotham is a Communications Specialist in the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Northern Virginia.

Trade Winds Africa Business Development Conference and Trade Mission
Africa is a huge potential market for almost any U.S. exporter, but there are several factors for any business to consider before exporting to the continent:

  • What is your market potential?
  • How should you enter the market?
  • Who can you partner with on the ground?
  • How will you protect your intellectual property?

Good news: the Trade Winds—Africa Business Development Conference and trade mission in September 2015, will answer these questions and connect your company directly to the opportunities on the ground.

Check out the conference program and you’ll see that it runs the gamut of intelligence necessary for U.S. companies to take advantage of opportunities and find success in Africa.

U.S. Commercial Service officers from the region and expert guest panelists will explain how to mitigate business risk, brand your business, take advantage of government support, and access the growing middle class in these important emerging markets.

Click to register by June 15, 2015

Africa is one of the most promising regional markets in the world:

  • Regional economic growth has outpaced the world average and is forecast to continue.
  • A growing middle class means there’s an expanding pool of potential customers.
  • The regional focus on infrastructure development helps simplify the export process.
  • African leaders and consumers recognize and seek out quality American-made goods.

Don’t forget that in addition to the conference, there are also trade mission stops in eight growing African markets, where you will be connected directly to potential partners on the ground.

When you register for Trade Winds, our team will help identify the best markets for you, so you can make the most of your trip.

Are you ready to find your next customers and grow your business? Join us at Trade Winds! To get more information or if you have questions, contact us at tradewinds@trade.gov and follow the conversation on Twitter: #TradeWinds15.

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Smart Growth Trade Mission to Guangzhou: The Start of Something Great

May 19, 2015

Tim Truman is the supervisory public affairs specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs. 

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall witness the signing of an agreement between Cummins, Inc., and the Guangzhou No. 1 Public Transit Co., during the Smart Cities-Smart Growth trade mission stop in Guangzhou, China, on April 17.

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall  witness the signing of an agreement between Cummins, Inc., and the Guangzhou No. 1 Public Transit Co., during the Smart Cities-Smart Growth trade mission stop in Guangzhou, China, on April 17.

The next time someone asks me to name my favorite city in China, I won’t say Beijing or Shanghai. I will immediately say “Guangzhou”! Known as Canton in 1784, Guangzhou, the beautiful capital city of the Guangdong Province, is the original hub of international business between the United States and China. The city was recently recognized for a second time as the No. 1 city for business in China by Forbes China. It was also the final stop on the Smart Cities – Smart Growth Trade Mission jointly led by Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Deputy Secretary of Energy Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall in April.

I was honored to help our Commercial Service Guangzhou (CS Guangzhou) team welcome representatives from 24 U.S. companies to Guangzhou. CS Guangzhou secured meetings with an unprecedented roster of provincial and municipal government officials—including the Guangdong Party Secretary, Guangdong Governor, Guangzhou Party Secretary and the Guangzhou Mayor—for the visit. The team also arranged a full day of matchmaking meetings with potential clients for the delegation. In all, the U.S. companies held 162 important matchmaking meetings with Chinese businesses from six provinces in China seeking their world-class products and services.

The delegation’s full schedule during their short visit to Guangzhou kept everyone busy and brought with it some early results that offer a glimpse of future growth in the Pearl River Delta region. A few immediate successes include:

  • Commerce Secretary Pritzker and Energy Deputy Secretary Sherwood-Randall witnessed Cummins, Inc., sign a long-term Cooperation Memorandum with Guangzhou No. 1 Public Transit Co., Ltd., (GZPT) the primary municipal bus company of Guangzhou. The agreement includes GZPT purchasing Cummins natural gas engines to promote clean public transportation in Guangzhou City and Guangdong Province.‎
  • The Digit Group, Inc., announced that it will open a four-person office in Guangzhou as a direct result of the interest it received in preparation for the stop in Guangzhou. The company provides Smart City solutions in the form of Master Architectural Design Services and the development of cloud-based software and hardware.‎
  • The Guangdong Development and Reform Commission (GD DRC) invited Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., to join the Guangdong Governor’s Economic Advisory Conference. Later this year, Qualcomm will be one of 10 companies to participate in an exclusive, high-level international consultancy conference to solicit ideas, suggestions, and proposals on the Guangdong province’s economic development and modernization plans.

In addition, there was a special signing ceremony to finalize a major investment by a Chinese firm in the United States. Amer International Group, a leading Chinese multinational non-ferrous metals company, signed a contract with General Moly International – its U.S. counterpart – that finalized an initial $700 million investment in a mining deal in Nevada. This investment – the first of what will eventually be a multi-billion dollar deal – will create 1,200 jobs in the United States.

These early successes only scratch the surface of potential exports to south China. Opportunities abound for U.S. companies in a variety of industry sectors—from energy and aviation, to information and communications technology, and travel and tourism—in this region that covers a significant part of China’s manufacturing heartland.

Guangzhou and the Guangdong Province have a great deal to offer U.S. companies. Guangdong is China’s largest province by population (106.44 million) and GDP ($1.10 trillion). If Guangdong were a country, its GDP would rank 16th in the world just behind Mexico in 2014. It would also, on its own, be the sixth largest trading partner of the United States, with last year’s total trade volume totaling $121.76 billion.

While Guangzhou may not immediately come to mind as the place to do business in China, there are at least 24 U.S. firms that will not soon forget this city on the Pearl River. It might just become their favorite city in China, too.