Posts Tagged ‘Asia’

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AES: Reaching Business Opportunities in Vietnam

August 29, 2018

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

This is the second entry in a series of guest blogs highlighting ITA activities that help connect U.S. companies to opportunities in the Indo-Pacific region following the recent Indo-Pacific Business Forum where Secretary Ross, Secretary Pompeo and other cabinet officials spoke about the Administration’s commitment to the region.

Click here to read the first entry of our Indo-Pacific blog series.

Guest Blog Q & A with David Stone, President – Vietnam, AES, on ITA’s Vietnam Energy Working Group

 ITA: Tell us about your business and what makes your product/service unique?

Stone: AES is the first independent power producer to reach successful financial closure in Vietnam since 2003, with a total financing of approximately $1.46 billion. The company has been investing in Vietnam since 2010 and successfully developed, built, and currently operates the 1,240 MW Mong Duong 2 BOT Power Project in Quang Ninh province. The project was completed with an award-winning safety record, on budget, and ahead of schedule. The plant is expected to generate up to 7.6 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually.

AES is looking at other business opportunities in Vietnam including renewable energy and natural gas power generation. AES signed an MOU on November 12, 2017, in the presence of Vietnam President Tran Dai Quang and United States President Donald Trump. This MOU is a critical milestone, expressing the commitment of both PetroVietnam Gas Joint Stock Corporation (PV Gas) and AES to jointly develop the Son My LNG Terminal Project, with a partnership structure of 51 percent and 49 percent for PV Gas and AES respectively. This marks another milestone in the historic partnership and strong collaboration towards mutual economic development between Vietnam and the United States.

In addition to Son My LNG Terminal Project, AES has also expressed interest in investing in the Son My 2 CCGT Project, which will not only create jobs in Vietnam and in the United States through exports of equipment to Vietnam,but could substantially contribute to the bilateral trade and investment relationship between the two countries. The Son My LNG Terminal Project and Son My 2 CCGT Project may pave the way to increased long-lasting economic ties that would benefit both countries, and further increase the visibility of Vietnam in the US and vice versa.

ITA: How do you see Asia affecting your business in the future?

Stone: AES’s mission is improving lives by accelerating a safer and greener energy future. We strongly believe that Asia should be part of the transition to CO2 free energy production and we work in this direction committing to different projects in the region that will bring it to a new level of energy production and consumption.

ITA: What was uniquely useful about the Vietnam Energy Industry Group?

Stone: In the rapidly changing global environment the dialogue and exchange of ideas is the engine that drives the economies further. That is why we are happy that the newly-formed US-Vietnam Energy Industry Group has been able to create an energy forum and that facilitates dialogue to help business communities have the chance to discuss ideas with the local and national authorities of Vietnam, generating plans for economic development of the country.

ITA: Why do you work with ITA? And/or How has ITA already helped you in Asia?

Stone: ITA is a valuable partner that helps us to strengthen the dialogue between the business and the authorities in different country. The fruitful dialogue with our key stakeholders is essential for the development of our ideas reflecting the needs of the local societies. In Vietnam we work with the Embassy and Department of Commerce to provide to the Government of Vietnam messages to reinforce AES commitments as well as request for a thorough consideration from the Government to ensure a fair business.

ITA is proud to connect U.S. companies to opportunities in the Indo-Pacific region. If you are interested in how ITA can help you access Asian markets, contact your local International Trade Specialist

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Helping U.S. Businesses Soar at the Singapore Airshow and Beyond

February 22, 2016

Marcus Jadotte is ITA’s Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry & Analysis.

Last week, I joined U.S. Ambassador to Sinagpore Kirk Wagar and Kallman Worldwide President & CEO Tom Kallman to kick off the Singapore Airshow at the Changi Exhibition Centre. Gen. Lori Robinson, Commander, Pacific Air Forces; and LTG (Ret.) Robert Durbin, COO, Aerospace Industries Association; also participated in the opening ceremony of Asia’s largest biennial airshow. This year, the United States was the show’s largest international exhibitor, with more than 140 exhibitors occupying nearly 30 percent of the show’s total indoor exhibit space.

Marcus Jadotte

ITA’s Assistant Secretary of Commerce, Marcus Jadotte speaks at Asia’s largest biennial airshow.

The Asia-Pacific is one of the fastest-growing markets for aviation; therefore, the Singapore Airshow provides an unmatched opportunity for U.S. companies to form partnerships with companies and governments across this dynamic region. In 2015, U.S. aerospace companies exported more than $144 billion worth of equipment to markets around the world. In that same year, approximately $48 billion in exports went to customers in the Asia-Pacific region, a figure that will likely increase as the region expands infrastructure for aviation and defense.

These opportunities are why President Obama pursued the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is a 21st-century, high standard trade agreement that will benefit U.S. workers and the economy, and also deliver unprecedented opportunities for companies across the Asia-Pacific region.

The TPP represents a generational opportunity to expand market access for businesses in the Pacific Rim by eliminating all manufacturing tariffs, removing non-tariff barriers, setting a new high-standard for global trading rules, and leveling the playing field for American workers.

Once implemented, the TPP will enhance transparency and predictability, which are two critical factors to improving the overall business environment and facilitating global commerce. The agreement will commit partner nations to stronger intellectual property protections as well as clearer rulemaking to prevent the rise of unnecessarily burdensome regulations that impede trade in the region.

In addition, the Trans-Pacific Partnership will lead to an overall increase in economic activity and trade for this region. As economies grow, there will be a natural, corresponding rise in demand for transportation-related products. As a result, we believe that the TPP will be particularly good for aerospace manufacturers. To learn more about these opportunities, visit our TPP page. Many TPP partners have been identified by the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) Aerospace Team as Top Markets (see Aircraft Parts) for U.S. aerospace parts producers, including Canada, Japan, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, Malaysia, and, of course, Singapore.

Singapore is already a transportation linchpin for the Asia-Pacific region and a hub for aircraft maintenance. The country is consistently a top market for U.S. aerospace parts exports averaging more than $5.7 billion in parts exports between 2005 and 2014. As a result, Singapore and this airshow are perfect entry points for U.S. companies exploring the region.

ITA has many resources available to support U.S. firms pursuing business prospects in Asia. For the Singapore Airshow, we organized our fifth Aerospace Executive Service Trade Mission, through which we helped small- and medium-sized companies find agents and distributors, while our industry specialists from across the region provided one-on-one counseling. We were also proud to certify the U.S. International Pavilion, where cutting-edge American firms were on display. As part of our commitment to the Pavilion, we flew in 14 specialists from 12 countries across the region to provide market intelligence to U.S. exhibitors, and recruited a delegation of more than 280 international buyers from across the Asia-Pacific to attend the show.

And, for the first time ever, we hosted an Aviation Infrastructure workshop under the Lower Mekong Initiative to complement the show. The two-day workshop featured aviation and airport management best practices, and highlighted how U.S. companies can bring their technology and expertise to address real world problems.

Aerospace is one of America’s most successful exporting stories. This sector already has the highest trade surplus of any manufacturing industry and has had this distinction for many years.

This showcases both the quality of American technology and the strength of our ability to form international partnerships.

Every day, companies are realizing that success in the aerospace industry requires having a thoughtful plan for targeting opportunities beyond U.S. borders. They know that the highest growth markets for aviation are outside North America, in places like Singapore and the rest of Asia. I’m proud to say that ITA stands ready and able to help U.S. companies plan their export strategy, and address challenges head-on. We look forward to working with our Asia-Pacific partners now and in the future.

 

 

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How to Find Sector Opportunities in Korea

November 16, 2015

Jim Bledsoe is an International Trade Specialist with the U.S. Commercial Service in Little Rock, Arkansas

A business client named Max recently contacted me to ask some general exporting questions pertaining to a few specific markets. It soon occurred to me that a lot of what he was asking about was readily available in our agency’s Country Commercial Guides (CCG), which are posted online for free here. I asked Max if he had ever used a CCG or even heard of them, which led to the following conversation.

Max:  What is a CCG, and why do I, as a U.S. business, care?

Jim:  A CCG is a guide prepared by boots-on-the ground trade and economic professionals at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad that highlights specific country market conditions. While similar to the CIA World Fact book in concept, the nature of the CCGs is geared more towards giving you market insights so you can sell your product or service in that country.

Max:  I see. A lot of what I’ve found out there on the Internet hasn’t really helped me narrow down the field for potential markets to sell in. So these CCGs then are more useful—how so?

Jim:  There are currently CCGs covering 123 markets. These Guides have the latest on high-demand industry sectors, as well as market-by-market economic overviews, selling techniques, investment climate considerations, trade financing options, and business travel advice and resources. U.S. companies can also find opportunities not only in popular markets, but also in many other less crowded markets. In our earlier conversation, you had asked about the Korea market, so let’s take a closer look. We have a great group of trade professionals that I work with who write about specific areas like Agriculture, or the Defense Industry. Basically, you are getting current market conditions from people—U.S.  Federal Employees—who live and work in the respective markets of the CCG they write.

Max:  How do I use this CCG to get my Defense Industry in Korea-related market information?

Jim:  The easiest and most efficient way to capitalize on the valuable market information contained within the CCGs is to contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC). So right here by calling me, you are already doing it the easy way! But seriously, anyone can contact their local USEAC where an International Trade Specialist can help identify and winnow down potential markets, work with you to develop an export strategy, and help explore  options for business to business matchmaking

Max:  What if I just wanted to do some looking myself?  I would hate to bother you with this….

Jim: It is no bother at all—this is what I do and am happy to help!  However, if you wish to do further research into the markets yourself, it is easy. Here’s what I recommend:

  • First go to the CCG landing page and select which country you want find out more about. They are split up by region: Asia, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Western Hemisphere.
  • Once you have clicked on a country, you will notice there are eight sections listed with topics you can click on in each of the following:
    • Doing Business in [Country]
    • Political and Economic Environment
    • Selling U.S. Products and Services
    • Leading Sectors for U.S. Exports and Investment
    • Trade Regulations, Customs, and Standards
    • Investment Climate Statement
    • Trade and Project Financing
    • Business Travel

Max:  What if I just want to find out about the Defense Industry in South Korea?  What all would I click on?

Jim:  Well, that depends. First click on the Korea link under the Asia region, then next under the “Leading Sectors for U.S. Exports and Investment” section. I would recommend clicking on the Defense Industry Equipment link. Under this link, you will get a comprehensive view of the Defense Industry market segment in South Korea, including best prospects and opportunities in the market. This section also includes major trade shows and key acquisition contacts for the Defense Industry in Korea. However, I wouldn’t recommend stopping at that link alone, especially for the Defense Industry. I would recommend looking at the “Doing Business in Korea” section, and reading through the overview sections where there is valuable information on how strong a trade partner Korea is with the United States. Then look at Market Opportunity and Challenges insights, as well as where you can find a general Market Entry Strategy specific to Korea.

Seeing as how the “Doing Business in Korea” Market Entry Strategy link explicitly recommends “a local presence is essential for success,” I would highly recommend that you look at the “Selling U.S. Products and Services” section. This explains the various aspects of actually selling in Korea, such as the Using an Agent to Sell US Products and Services or Establishing an Office , where you will find  how to establish the local presence recommended by our Commercial Specialists at the U.S. Embassy in Korea.

Max:  That sounds helpful, is that all I should look at then?

Jim:  Your company has had good success in selling quality U.S. goods to the Defense Industry worldwide. In pursuing opportunities in Korea, you should check out the “Trade Regulations, Customs, and Standards” section for Korea, where topics such as Import Requirements and Documentation and U.S. Export Controls, among others, are covered for the South Korean market.

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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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Rebuilding, Opportunity, Challenges in Philippines

June 6, 2014

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

Doug Barry is a Senior International Trade Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Global Knowledge Center.

Developing countries have plenty of difficult tasks to overcome while modernizing. The Philippines was a special case, as a 2013 typhoon brought destruction and tragedy to the islands.

But some good news has returned to a population inching towards the 100 million mark.

For one thing, GDP growth is at 7.2 percent, among the highest growth rates in Asia. That’s expected to continue, fueled in large measure by repairing damage from the deadly storm. Sound macroeconomic policies under President Aquino’s administration have been helpful, and robust growth is expected to continue.

Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker visited this nation with a delegation of U.S. business executives to discuss ways the United States can support rebuilding and growth in the Philippines, and how to advance the U.S-Filipino commercial relationship.

“This is a young, growing, vibrant market,” said Senior Commercial Officer Jim McCarthy, who hosted Secretary Pritzker on her visit.

He points out that the Philippines is the 12th most populous and fourth-largest English-speaking country in the world. “The people here think well and favorably of Americans and American products.”

With a median age of 23, this market holds plenty of future opportunity for U.S. businesses.

In particular, opportunities abound for U.S. exporters in aviation, security, defense, franchising, energy, infrastructure, franchising, IT, just to name a few.

For all the upside, said McCarthy, “it’s important to remember the Philippines is a work in progress.”

Filipinos are working to improve transparency and eliminate corruption in the market. Improvements in the nation’s Ease of Doing Business rankings led to an increase in the country’s investment rankings from all three major debt-rating agencies.

Other challenges persist. With high economic growth and a rising population come strains on infrastructure, including power generation, roads, airports, and ports. Government procurement requires patience and determination.

McCarthy believes that U.S. Government services available in the country lower risks and increase the success rate for U.S. companies.

The Department of Commerce, through its U.S. Commercial Service in Manila, organized five U.S. trade missions last year, the first such missions in several years. Delegations came from the states of Utah and Iowa, and from sectors such as energy and education. In addition, the multi-sectoral Trade Winds mission came to the Philippines in 2013. Three more delegations will visit the country later this year and include franchising, medical equipment, and a mission from the State of Mississippi.

“The increased interest in our services shows dramatically more interest in the export opportunities in the Philippines,” McCarthy said. “We urge U.S. companies to take their first or a second look at the country.”

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Understanding Business Opportunities in Vietnam

June 3, 2014

Peggy Keshishian is the Acting Senior Commercial Officer in the International Trade Administration’s Foreign Commercial Service Team in Vietnam.

Secretary Pritzker met with leaders from the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam.

Secretary Pritzker met with leaders from the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam.

It was an honor to host Commerce Secretary Pritzker here in Vietnam. She and the visiting delegation of U.S. CEOs and the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council are absolutely right to prioritize the Vietnam market and their visit to the country will do nothing but help solidify a promising commercial relationship.

Here’s what I know about Vietnam: Despite some potential pitfalls, it is a hotbed of opportunity for U.S. businesses.

There are two important reasons Vietnam is a promising market:

  1. The country is modernizing, meaning there are numerous needs for infrastructure development. Improvements of transportation systems — including subways, highways, and airports — not only mean opportunities for U.S. firms, but also an improved business environment in the country.
  2. The population is also young; 70 percent of Vietnamese citizens are under 40 years old. That means there is tremendous opportunity for developing brand loyalty among consumers. Vietnamese citizens recognize the quality of U.S. products, and incomes in the country are rising. That helps create a promising environment for U.S. goods and services.

That said, it’s important to recognize there are some risks in the Vietnamese market.

Much of the money being injected into the economy comes from foreign sources, and is often provided by nations that expect their companies to receive a leg-up when it comes to competing for state contracts. You need to aware of how projects are financed so that you don’t end up spinning your wheels competing for a contract your business is unlikely to win.

This is something Secretary Pritzker addressed in several meetings with Vietnamese leaders, and I believe the country is taking important steps to increase transparency and fairness.

Our Foreign Commercial Service team works hard to make sure any American company looking to enter this market knows how to succeed. We work with our Commercial Service colleagues in the United States to support U.S. businesses with services like market research, finding the most qualified local partners, and discovering the best opportunities available.

We’ll remain here on the ground, continuing to support U.S. businesses and building off the success of the Secretary’s visit.

If you’re interested in opportunities in Vietnam – or in any other market – you should contact your nearest Export Assistance Center to get started.

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New Expansion to Support New Opportunities

April 29, 2014

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

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

Arun Kumar

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Last week, Commerce Secretary Pritzker made an important announcement that demonstrates the United States’ commitment to supporting developing economies and the Department of Commerce’s commitment to U.S. businesses competing overseas.

The Department’s International Trade Administration will open offices in five new markets, bringing Foreign Commercial Service (CS) officers into some of the world’s most rapidly developing economies. In cooperation with the U.S. State Department, we will open offices in Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Burma this calendar year.

These new offices, and our staff additions in other offices around the world, will make us more capable of supporting U.S. exporters. We can support more Gold Key Matchmaking, we can conduct more market research, and we can help connect U.S. companies to more global markets.

As a new member of the Department of Commerce team, I’m very excited to be a part of this major expansion – especially in such important markets for U.S. businesses.

Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest growing economic regions in the world. The International Monetary Fund predicts continued growth throughout the continent, as part of a broad continental economic transformation.

Our new offices will support White House initiatives like Trade Africa and Power Africa, which have spearheaded a larger campaign to bolster development throughout the continent.

As U.S. companies look to ship goods to Africa, help increase electrical capacity, or help improve transportation networks, they will receive unparalleled assistance and expertise from our staff. With our new offices on the continent, we will be able to find partners for American companies, help navigate regulatory hurdles, and support the development that will make Africa thrive.

Our team in Thailand is already assisting American companies doing business in Burma, and our new office in Rangoon is a symbol of the importance of this market and of America’s commitment to Burmese reform, growth, and increased openness. We know that the Burmese people see U.S. goods as being of high quality, and the nation’s businesses are looking to get involved with American companies.

As this expansion takes place, these markets are where we will truly see the mutual benefits of trade.

As U.S. companies find more opportunities in these growing economies, they will bring the infrastructure and ideas that improves quality of life for citizens and they will support the partnerships that spur innovation among local businesses.

This announcement is just the start. I’m very excited to see how this expansion will help support existing partnerships, create new opportunities, and bring about the kind of development that is only possible through global trade.