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Questor Technology: A Success Story

January 5, 2017

Audrey Mascarenhas is President and CEO of Calgary-based Questor Technology Inc.

Questor is a clean technology company whose core commercial business is providing high efficiency waste gas incineration.  Energy efficiency is a key benefit with Questor and this has resulted in additional technology offerings such as waste heat to power and waste water vaporization. As Questor continues to provide solutions that eliminate toxic gases and result in cleaner air, these new technologies that utilize excess heat will lower costs and increase site efficiencies for Questor’s customers. In an ever-changing regulatory landscape, Questor provides its clients with peace of mind with best in class performance, innovative solutions and cost cutting technologies that deliver compliance and social license.

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Audrey Mascarenhas

When Audrey reflects on her company’s increasingly successful expansion into the United States, she notes that her introduction to SelectUSA by CS Calgary and subsequent participation in the Canada delegation to the 2015 SelectUSA Summit were key accelerators for Questor’s rapid and successful expansion into the United States. “During the 2015 Summit, Ambassador Bruce Heyman introduced me to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper; the governor subsequently connected me to his economic development and regulatory teams. I decided to stake a claim in Colorado for the expansion of Questor. The U.S. Foreign Commercial Service team in Calgary and their colleagues in Washington continue to partner with Questor as we expand into new U.S. markets.”

Not one to sit still, Audrey also made similar connections with that state’s economic leaders during the 2015 Summit, recognizing opportunities for establishing fabrication and operations centers in Florida.

Today, Questor employs approximately 25 people in Alberta and Colorado and 3 in Florida.

The SelectUSA Investment Summit will be held June 18-20, 2017. This is the highest-profile event dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States. This signature event provides an unparalleled opportunity to bring together companies from all over the world, economic development organizations from every corner of the nation, and other parties working to facilitate business investment in the United States. For more information on this years event, please visit us on the web.

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Pennsylvania Offers Experience, Knowledge & Diversity to International Companies

December 29, 2016

Kate Skopp, Director of Global Partnerships & Operations, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Office of International Business Development. 

Companies of all sizes and industries from around the world have been able to find a place in Pennsylvania’s business community and reap the benefits of investing in our diverse market. In fact, our state is home to 6,100 foreign-owned companies – businesses that employ more than 330,000 Pennsylvanians across the state.

Pennsylvania has focused on attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) for over two decades, providing quality assistance to foreign companies looking to establish business operations in our state. With nine representatives around the world covering more than 30 countries, we are committed to identifying and working with companies to break down investment barriers.

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Certuss participates with Pennsylvania’s Office of International Business Development in the SelectUSA Pavilion, organized by SelectUSA, at Hannover Messe in Hanover, Germany in April 2016. From left: Kate Skopp, PA Office of International Business Development; Holger Deimann, CERTUSS; David Moock, Pennsylvania Authorized Representative office in Germany; Lindsay Helsel, Team Pennsylvania Foundation; Stefan Peikert, Pennsylvania Authorized Representative in Germany.

Over this period of time, we have also learned to listen to what is most important to potential investors.  Pennsylvania’s prime location on the U.S. east coast provides easy access to 60 percent of the U.S. and Canadian populations and is supported by six international airports, 65 operating railroads, three major ports and eight foreign trade zones.  This led companies from around the world to locate or expand in Pennsylvania recently.  Here are a few examples:

  • Continuing its long tradition of doing business in Pennsylvania, Taiwanese company Foxconn expanded to a $30 million telecommunication equipment and Internet server manufacturing facility, hiring 50 employees in Harrisburg.
  • Chinese manufacturer, Taizhou Fuling Plastics, established its first U.S. manufacturing site in Upper Macungie Township, creating 75 new jobs. Fuling is recognized as the leading exporter of plastic tableware and kitchenware in the world.
  • Austrian manufacturer Greiner Packaging established its U.S. headquarters in Pittston, creating 128 new jobs. Greiner produces premium packaging and sustainable items for the food industry.
  • Almac Group, Inc., a global contract pharmaceutical development and manufacturing organization from Northern Ireland, is currently expanding its operations at its existing U.S. headquarters in Montgomery County, doubling its physical presence at its location in Lansdale. The company’s expansion will create 312 new jobs over the next three years.

Today, Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) houses the Office of International Business Development (OIBD), which is responsible for offering customized services to help international companies looking to locate or expand in our state find the resources they need. OIBD works in collaboration with a team of global investment representatives around the world, regional and local government organizations, industry associations, and many more partners to engage international companies in Pennsylvania’s business community.

One such partner is SelectUSA.  OIBD has partnered with SelectUSA at a number of international events to extend its outreach in targeted markets, capitalizing on these collaborative events to engage international companies in doing business in the Keystone State. This past year, OIBD participated with SelectUSA at three events – Hannover Messe, the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington D.C., and SelectUSA Canada in Montreal, Canada. At each of these events, OIBD was able to meet with over 50 interested companies. OIBD and its network of international representatives will continue to participate in upcoming SelectUSA events in Washington D.C., Italy, and India over the next few months.

And these events often lead to tangible successes.

For example, Certuss, a German steam generator manufacturer, first met with OIBD at Hannover Messe 2014 at the SelectUSA pavilion. After several discussions and meetings, the company ultimately made the decision to locate to Pennsylvania to establish its commercial activities for North America.  Today, Certuss is using the resources available from OIBD and other local partners to capture the potential for growing in the U.S. market.

From business diversity to competitive business advantages, we are proud that Pennsylvania provides abundant opportunities for companies from around the world and in all industries to succeed in the United States.  We look forward to what 2017 has in store.

For more information on FDI in Pennsylvania, contact OIBD’s Executive Director for International Investment, Mr. David Briel at: dbriel@pa.gov or 717-720-7373.

 

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International Buyer Program Select Recruits Buyers and Supports U.S. Exhibitors at the National RV Trade Show

December 28, 2016

ITA’s International Buyer Program SELECT once again supported the National RV Trade Show in Louisville, KY, Nov. 28 – Dec. 1, 2016. The Program helps promote the show to target markets in an effort to draw pre-screened foreign buyers to meet with U.S. exhibitors at the event.  The National RV Show is an industry- only event, organized by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), which features approximately 900 motorhomes and travel trailers by 50 manufacturers and over 200 supplier exhibits.  This year, the show drew over 7,600 attendees, including RV dealers, manufacturers and suppliers.  Through the IBP Select Program, ITA promoted the show internationally and recruited 73 international buyers to meet with U.S. exhibitors.

As an International Buyer Program (IBP) Select event, the National RV Trade Show also was a platform for promoting U.S. exports bringing international buyers from China (32), Korea (23), Italy (3), and the United Kingdom (6) for business-to-business matchmaking with U.S. firms exhibiting at the show.  Buyer delegations also came from Peru (6) and Colombia (3).  Delegates met with U.S. exhibitors and purchased RV models displayed on the show floor.

During the show, staff from ITA and the U.S. Export-Import (EXIM) Bank gave presentations on “Why Exporting Matters to the RV Industry” and “Creative Ways to Finance Your RV Exports.”  The seminar included presentations by Industry & Analysis’ Charlie Rast (Office of Consumer Goods) on RV industry top global markets, Jessica Son (Commercial Service – Seoul, Korea) on the RV market in Korea, Jessica Tan (Commercial Service – Beijing, China) on the RV market in China, Mark Cooper (Commercial Service – Indianapolis, IN) on export strategic planning, and Mark Klein (EXIM Bank) on export financing.

The U.S. RV industry  is currently experiencing record growth, as RV sales have been their strongest in nearly four decades.  According to RVIA, RV shipments, which include motorhomes and travel trailers, are expected to total 419,500 in 2016. This represents an increase of more than 12 percent over the previous year, and 438,100 in 2017.  U.S. companies are the largest manufacturers of RVs globally, producing more than twice as many RVs annually compared to the rest of the world combined.  The RV industry is a significant sector within the recreational transportation industry and was profiled in ITA’s 2016 Top Markets report. 

The International Trade Administration is now accepting applications for the International Buyer Program (IBP) and IBP SELECT service for trade events taking place between January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018. Click here for details regarding the application, eligibility, participation requirements, and selection process. 

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SEDC: Taking a Regional Approach to Promoting FDI

December 27, 2016

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

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.  

 

 

 

 

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Not Seeing Us at CES 2017 Equals $0 of International Money

December 22, 2016

Derrick Small is a Communication Specialist for the International Trade Administration

No long reading, we’ll do you a favor and state the list of reasons upfront.

We are bringing buyers.

Businesses have gone global – 95 percent of the world’s consumers are outside of the United States. Our country specialist and industry representatives are available at the Consumer Electronics Show to help increase your company’s market entry opportunities.

Now in its 50th year, CES has reached a momentous milestone. To celebrate we are bringing over 375 professionals from over 35 countries. In addition to buyers, take a look at our other offerings at CES:

Are those not services worthy of praise?

Thomas Jefferson said “the care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.”

People are at least 80 percent likely to recommend our services, and we help establish at least 1.54 jobs per company we assist. We want to help make your business profitable in the global terrain. We’ve put numbers on the board. We are like ghost writers for celebrities. One more – I promise – we are the cool tips and tricks your coworkers hold secret so he/she may look better at performing the job than you. We even the playing field.

“We’ve found the International Trade Administration (U.S. Commercial Service) team a great help for our business over the last 2 years. They’ve been very helpful providing direct introductions to customers and suppliers, and put on a fantastic event (Discover Global Markets – Pacific Rim) which saw us sign up the largest retail chain in South Korea as a customer, and get some direct links with Rakuten resellers in Japan,” said Adam Brown, Founder of Protempo. “On top of that, they’ve provided a ready-made platform of assistance for our upcoming move to California, which we’re ready to utilize to kick-start 2017!”

With privacy concerns and a huge respect for our clients we rarely get to publicize our effort’s yield. In fact, bragging is discouraged. You’d quicker hear an official say “we should never pat ourselves on the back for a job well-done because it’s our duty, let the clients speak for us.” Well, with the exception of a few, most companies do not want you to know about the U.S. Commercial Service’s value to your business and on improving your competitive position.

“U.S. Commercial Service has provided us valuable feedback and guidance on our international expansion strategies. The information given by the team at CES was very informative and actionable, which has saved us a significant amount of time and cost in our business research,” said Angela Pan, Founder and CEO of Ashley Chloe Inc. “In addition, the team at CES has provided us various opportunities for international publicity. As a start-up, we greatly appreciated the services provided by CES which has helped jump start our international business.”

Your competitor’s edge over you is us.

  • Want to enter a new market? We are there (obviously we’re not everywhere, but 108 domestic offices and 75 countries is pretty good right?)
  • What market is your competitor in? Do you even know if your competitor is exporting?
  • How many markets are you in? (FYI, if you say none, you are losing the race.)
  • Have you even looked at our basic guide to exporting? (You Should)

Information on some of our services at CES 2017:

How the B2B Matchmaking Program Works?

  1. When you register, your company profile will be added to the CES 2017 Industry Focused Promotion (IFP) trade lead platform.
  2. S. Embassy & Consulate Information Technology Commercial Specialists worldwide will promote this site to qualified potential buyers in their respective markets.
  3. Once a buyer has requested a meeting with your company, the U.S. Commercial Service will evaluate and approve the request.
  4. After the buyer’s request is approved, you will receive a confirmation and information on the international buyer.

Global Markets Insight Program – Direct Feedback

The International Trade Administration’s International Buyer Program partners with CTA to recruit foreign buyers and agents to CES 2017. Through the U.S. Commercial Service’s GMIP or scheduled one-on-one sessions, you’ll have the unique opportunity to present your products and services to our international industry specialists from 20+ U.S. Embassies & Consulates who will provide valuable feedback on:

  • Individual market opportunities and challenges related to the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sectors
  • Market potential for your products & services
  • Finding an appropriate overseas partner
  • Best practices on exporting

International Matchmaking Reception

The reception will connect U.S. companies and their product or service table-top displays with hundreds of foreign buyers in a unique setting beyond the show floor. This is the perfect opportunity for expanding your business into new global markets.

By exhibiting, you will be able to:

  • Meet and prospect new customers
  • Network with foreign buyers and industry professionals
  • Entertain new contacts/partners/clients at a hospitable and professional event.

Foreign Buyers Representing the Following Countries:

Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Finland, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Latvia, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Philippines, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, Ukraine, United Kingdom.

We hope to see you at the Consumer Electronics Show!

 

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Largest Annual U.S. Government Trade Mission Heads to Southeast Europe

December 21, 2016

Leslie Drake is the Director of the U.S. Commercial Service Team in West Virginia, and is Project Director for the Trade Winds-Southeast Europe Forum and Trade Mission.

After ten years of creating business success for hundreds of U.S. companies in promising markets around the world, I’m proud to announce that the Trade Winds forum and trade mission will head to Southeast Europe in October 2017.

Our Commercial Service team will lead U.S. companies from across business sectors to meet with prospective business partners, government decision-makers, regional press outlets, and European market experts. Trade Winds-Southeast Europe will be an excellent opportunity for companies to find insight and access to markets that are heavily investing in growth and are receptive to U.S. partners and products.

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Trade Winds will feature a business forum in Romania, with networking events with government leaders, plenary sessions with U.S. companies already finding success in the region, and one-to-one business counseling with market experts on the ground in Europe.

Optional mission stops in Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, and Serbia will connect U.S. companies to qualified, pre-screened potential partners that can help your business hit the ground running in new markets.

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1-on-1 counseling with Lain America market experts at Trade Winds.

We chose these markets because of their projected growth and their strategic location as potential footholds in a larger European export strategy. The region features strategic ports and bustling overland trade routes to established markets, and these individual markets are all heavily investing in infrastructure growth and market development.

Companies that look to Southeast Europe now will be in on what we see as a promising trend for global business.

Our Commercial Service teams in the United States and Europe are excited to welcome what we know will be a strong U.S. delegation for Trade Winds, and to see these U.S. companies succeed in what we know is a promising region. If your company or organization is ready to find new customers in Europe, please join us at Trade Winds-Southeast Europe.

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Partnering to Support America’s Independent Music Industry

December 20, 2016

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

The American music industry is integral to the U.S. economy and its culture. The growth of the U.S. music industry has a multiplier effect, impacting businesses in other industries, including technology, manufacturing, television, film, advertising, and video gaming.

Recognizing the importance of music to the U.S. economy and its potential for growth in the international market, the International Trade Administration (ITA) partnered with The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) in 2012.  Thanks to funding from a Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) award, A2IM has been able to support its members’ participation in trade events around the world, generating over $40 million in business for over fifty member companies.

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ITA’s delegation with the Consul General in Hamburg during the A2IM Trade Mission to Hamburg.

A2IM was introduced to ITA through its New York U.S. Export Assistance Center in February 2011. During the first meeting, A2IM learned of ITA’s export services such as the Gold Key, tailored business counseling and partners search, the International Buyer Program (IBP), the Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP), and the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program available to NY exporters.

In the fall of 2011, A2IM embarked on its first ever trade mission to Asia (Beijing, China, Hong Kong, and Seoul, South Korea) via the STEP grant, and with support from ITA. A2IM subsequently applied for the MDCP in cooperation with The Recording Academy, and was awarded in August 2012.  In 2015 A2IM furthered their relationship with ITA by becoming a Strategic Partner.

A2IM’s MDCP award established and expanded trade missions for American independent music labels and created American pavilions at global industry trade shows.  Since the inception of the MDCP project, A2IM member companies have taken advantage of financial assistance to attend the world’s largest music industry trade shows and participate in trade missions in key markets that were identified in coordination with ITA.

MDCP award funds helped cover the travel and personnel costs needed to make these sales happen.  With the first ever government assistance of this kind for the music industry, these business relationships will continue to grow, supporting U.S artists and associated U.S. businesses for years to come.

The results have been extremely positive.  A2IM estimates that during the MDCP program, participating member firms increased their exports by a total of over $40 million across nearly 400 export transactions. Bob Frank Entertainment and Thirty Tigers are prime examples of A2IM members who were able to achieve export success through the program. These two companies participated in major trade shows, such as MIDEM in France and Canadian Music Week, as well as trade missions to strategic markets, including Brazil. Both of these small firms were able to garner distribution and licensing agreements at these events, resulting in over $1 million in estimated new international revenue for each firm. This is a big deal for small businesses.

In 2016, ITA’s Global Media & Entertainment Team, including staff from Marseille, New York  and Washington D.C, provided extensive business-to-business (B2B) matchmaking and trade services support for A2IM at MIDEM 2016, the premier global B2B market place and trade show for the music industry – which celebrated its 50th Anniversary this year.  There were over 200 U.S independent music firms represented in the A2IM Pavilion, with dozens of meetings facilitated during the conference. The team also provided services at the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg and the Amsterdam Dance Event, both growing markets for the global music industry.

The American Association of Independent Music (“A2IM”) is the 501(C)(6) not-for-profit trade organization created to protect the rights, educate and promote commerce for the American Independent music label community. A2IM’s membership includes over 390 music labels of varying sizes and all musical genres across the country, plus more than 300 associated member companies that provide services to the music industry, representing the diversity of American music.

Click here for more information about A2IM’s Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) project.