Posts Tagged ‘Discover Forum’

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Smart Cities, Collaboration & the Chicago Cubs: Highlights from Discover Global Markets

November 18, 2016

By Vinay Vijay Singh, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Global Markets and Michael Marangell, International Trade Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service.  In addition to heading the Discover Global Markets Business Forum Series, Vinay heads the International Trade Administration’s Smart City Task Force and recently published Smart Cities, Regions & Communities: Export Opportunities.  Michael was part of the team that designed and executed the recent DGM forum in Chicago.

It took 108 years for the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series.  It was a fitting time for nearly 300 U.S. exporters from 27 states, industry experts, and international dignitaries to convene in Chicago (November 1-3) for Discover Global Markets: Building Smart Cities (DGM), the latest in the U.S. Commercial Services’ DGM series.  The global urbanization trend will require rapid deployment of smart city solutions in much less time than a century for citizens to integrate into cities with a high quality of living.  It is estimated that the world will need to create a few cities the size of Chicago every year for the next 15 years to accommodate citizens seeking their path to prosperity.

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Discover Global Markets Team

The three-day event, began with a formal welcome from invited speaker Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago. During his remarks, Mayor Emanuel highlighted the city’s data-driven planning methods and the recently deployed Array of Things, a sensor network designed in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory to monitor pedestrian and vehicular traffic, noise, air quality, and temperature.

Attendees had the chance to hear thoughts on market opportunities from more than 60 industry leaders ranging from the Chief Technology Officers of Motorola Solutions and Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector to the Chief Executive Officers, Partners, and Founders of such innovative small businesses as AECOM, InfoBright, Skipping Stone, and RWL Water. Key sectors of focus included transportation, energy, and water infrastructure, as well as cyber security, the Internet of Things, energy efficient building designs, and wireless connectivity.

In addition to industry thought leaders, DGM played host to high-level international delegations. Leading the luncheon discussion on November 2nd, for example, was Leocadia Zak, Director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, who was joined by Pravin Kumar, District Collector and Magistrate for the City of Visakhapatnam, and Hari Narayanan, Commissioner of the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Council. Later that afternoon, Nguyen Than Phong, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City and members of his 19-person delegation presented the city’s developing technology and infrastructure plans. And, to kick-off the program on November 3rd, Singaporean Ambassador Ashok Mirpuri joined Acting Under Secretary for International Trade Ken Hyatt for a discussion on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and U.S.-Singapore collaboration.

Also present at the event were U.S. Commercial Service experts from more than 21 markets, each one available to meet with U.S. companies while sharing thoughts on emerging Smart City, Internet of Things, and infrastructure opportunities in their markets. In total, 397 pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings were held between U.S. Commercial Service staff and U.S. exporters.

While 55% of the world’s population already lives in cities, that percentage will only increase as urbanization continues to accelerate. With 70% of global GDP coming from cities, urban planners are being pressured to invest in new technologies and infrastructure to ensure that their cities continue to provide economic security to constituents. Doing so requires ensuring the delivery of power and water, providing for sanitation, and reliable transportation for goods and people.

U.S. companies are uniquely positioned to capture business from these investments. The U.S. Commercial Service, a part of the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has resources in more than 100 cities around the U.S. and in more than 75 markets around the world to help them do so. More information can be found at https://export.gov/SmartCities.

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Discover Global Markets: Healthcare Connections Provides Expert Resources to Help U.S. Firms Expand Healthcare Exports

October 25, 2016

This post is co-authored by U.S. Commercial Service Seattle Director Diane Mooney and Global Healthcare Team Leader Tembi Secrist who shared the lead in organizing the recent Discover Global Markets: Healthcare Connections business forum.

Hundreds of healthcare sector exporters from 33 states convened in Seattle, Washington recently for the U.S. Commercial Service’s Discover Global Markets: Healthcare Connections business forum to access the expert resources needed to identify and capitalize on new international market opportunities.

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U.S. Commercial Service International Trade Specialist Young Oh counsels a U.S. firm on export strategies during the Discover Global Markets: Healhcare Connections business forum in Seattle, Washington.

The forum highlighted the importance of exports on the U.S. economy.  “SMEs are an engine of economic growth,” said CS Deputy Director General Judy Reinke in remarks to conference attendees. “What you do in the global market affects the health of billions of people.” Reinke presented the below three firms with Export Achievement Certificates to recognize their international successes and the associated positive impacts on their local communities:

  • Pleasanton, California-based Theradome Inc. recently exported a device for treating hair loss to the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore, and anticipates export sales of $1 million to these markets over the coming year.
  • San Jose, California-based BrighTex Bio-Photonics provides diagnostic technology to the medical imaging industry and recently exported products worth $100 thousand to Chile.
  • Kirkland, Washington-based Precision Image Analysis, Inc. processes diagnostic healthcare images and obtains 60 percent of total sales revenue from exports.

“It was a unique forum which brought together high-level intelligence from international markets, one-on-one meetings with U.S. Commercial Service industry specialists from around the world, and meetings with potential buyers and partners,” said attendee Francis Parnell, M.D., chairman and CEO of Parnell Pharmaceuticals.  “The U.S. Commercial Service stands out as a government agency that truly supports the private sector.   As a small U.S. company founder and CEO, I know they’re on my side and want to help me succeed.”

During the three-day conference, attendees heard from more than 50 healthcare speakers including industry leaders from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft, and GE Healthcare Clinical Business Solutions. Participants also joined interactive panel sessions addressing market opportunities in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and South America; as well as sessions focused on the impact of big data on global health, trends in medical travel, and regional regulatory and policy issues.

U.S. firms obtained up-to-the-minute market intelligence and export advice from U.S. Commercial Service (CS) specialists from 22 countries. In fact, 491 one-on-one counseling sessions were conducted with exporters during the 2 ½ day conference.

Additionally, U.S. exporters had the chance to meet with 17 foreign buyers from 10 countries who were interested in sourcing U.S. healthcare goods and services including health IT systems, medical devices, hospital HVAC systems and pharmaceuticals. The CS arranged nearly 270 meetings between 84 U.S. exporters and the buyers, resulting in at least 10 deals made during the conference.  More sales are expected based upon feedback from U.S. firms and buyers.

The chance to network was another valuable component of the forum.  In fact, Joel Rydbeck of Infor, who attended the Discover Global Markets: Healthcare Connections forum, said, “It was truly one of the more valuable events I’ve attended this year and I want to thank you for the helpful networking connections I was able to make.”

As Acting Under Secretary of International Trade Ken Hyatt said during his opening remarks, ITA provides a wide range of data and services to help small businesses identify market opportunities.  For those who were not able to attend the Discover Global Markets: Healthcare Connections event or would like additional information on international healthcare sector opportunities, please visit the CS Global Healthcare Team website and review the market reports listed below.

Health Technologies Resource Guide 

Top Markets Series Reports:

Health IT 

Medical Devices

Pharmaceuticals

The next event in the Discover Global Markets series focuses on building smart cities and will be held in Chicago on Nov. 1-3. More information about the event can be found here.

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Get Real: A Discussion About e-Commerce

August 5, 2015

Anna Flaaten and Martin Herbst are Senior International Trade Specialists at the International Trade Administration’s Export Assistance Center in Phoenix.

Last week, ITA hosted a webinar featuring speakers Aparna Lahiri from eBay’s Global Shipping Team and Chris Ko, Owner and Managing Partner of Nationwide Surplus. The webinar is a result of a strategic partnership between ITA and eBay. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker formalized the agreement to use strategic resources to support U.S. exporters last year.

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Join us Oct 8-9 in Dallas to learn about e-commerce strategies

“International e-commerce is at the heart of what we do here at eBay” and “enabling cross-border trade is key to our success” said Lahiri during the webinar. About 190,000 entrepreneurs on eBay are selling to four continents and those that are export-oriented grew a whopping 91% versus businesses that focused only on the domestic market at 58%. Here are some interesting facts we learned during the webinar:

  • Selling internationally isn’t as complicated as you think – the emergence of the internet can simplify the process. Intermediary partners including online marketplaces, secure payment collection, shipping and customs support can make life easier for the entrepreneur.
  • Mobile is here to stay– buyers are purchasing goods more from their smart phones than the traditional PC. A seamless presence across various devices is critical, especially for consumers in emerging markets.This is especially true in China and India, and eBay is seeing similar trends in Latin America where mobile usage has tripled over the past year.
  • There is tremendous demand for just about everything in the global online marketplace. Buyers online are finding inventory more affordably from US sellers and/or looking for a variety of products that are not available to them locally.

Nationwide Surplus, a company that specializes in refurbishing computers and electronics, provided the small business perspective on marketing and selling products online. The company exports 21% of their products to over 100 countries. Ko started his business in a small warehouse with a desk and a computer. He now has 47 employees and is opening a second warehouse location.

Here are some of his insights:

  • Photos, photos, photos – include detailed photos online including 360 degree angles if possible. Nationwide Surplus even disassembles their products to capture interior component images.
  • Understand the international marketplace – purchase prices overseas can exceed those of the US market if the international consumer does not have local access to certain products. AND, there may be a demand for your products internationally even if there is no US consumer demand.
  • Handling returns – understand and plan for returns as they can be expensive depending on the duties, taxes, and shipping costs, etc… involved.
  • Correct paperwork is critical – accurately identifying harmonized tariff codes, for example.
  • Export assistance – “I didn’t realize how much export assistance is out there” stated Mr. Ko, and of particular value is the assistance provided by the US Department of Commerce.

To learn more about international e-commerce, network with other entrepreneurs and US Commercial diplomats, register for our upcoming Discover Global Markets: E-Commerce Strategies event taking place in Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX on October 8-9, 2015. Early bird discount ends August 14th.

The content will resonate with any company interested in e-commerce and social media as key drivers for international business development.

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Exporting Might Be the Only Thing Better Than College Basketball

October 30, 2014

The ACC is to college basketball what the Americas are to global export markets.

Chris Higginbotham is a Public Affairs Specialist in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs, and a proud UNC alumnus.

Imagine my surprise yesterday…

There I am, walking around the venue for our DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: The Americas business forum, when I walk upstairs and am all-of-a-sudden surrounded by an ESPN crew.

There’s a row of radio reporters on the wall next to me. Bright lights, video cameras, and lots of tall kids.

Our forum shared a venue with the Atlantic Coastal Conference (ACC) college basketball media day. Players, coaches, and staff from some of the nation’s top college basketball programs were right above us.

And the appropriateness of the coincidence struck me last night, because the ACC is to college basketball what the Americas are to global export markets.

I’m an East Coast guy – a North Carolina native – so I don’t say that lightly.

Every year, the ACC is among the top conferences in basketball. Just like how every year, markets throughout the Western Hemisphere present some of the best global opportunities for U.S. exporters.

And as the basketball teams of the ACC compete through the fall and spring, I think that many of the companies here at DISCOVER will be increasing their sales by competing and winning in markets throughout the Americas.

During the next two days, we’ll be helping businesses from 31 states learn about free trade agreements, tariff rates, market opportunities, trade financing, industry trends, e-commerce, and more. We’ll give them the tools they need to gain every advantage when competing in growing markets in the region.

We’re connecting companies directly to a delegation of energy industry buyers from Mexico – a delegation of leaders who know that the quality of U.S. products and services is unmatched in the global market.

If you couldn’t make it to this event, I hope you’ll follow the action and the updates on Twitter using #DGMCharlotte.

You should also look into upcoming DISCOVER events in Atlanta Nov. 5-6, and Minneapolis Nov. 17-18.

Being a U.S. exporter won’t get you drafted in the NBA. There’s no uniform, no conference rivalries, and no fight songs.

But there is opportunity, and that opportunity can take your business to the next level of success.

I hope we’ll see you at an upcoming event, and that we’ll see your business growing through exports very soon.

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Discovering Greater China Through Long-Term Plans, Serious Relationship-Building, Finding Good Partners

October 9, 2014

Jim Cox is the Regional Director of the U.S. Commercial Service’s Northeast Network, which is part of the International Trade Administration.

Image of three people meeting at a table and having a discussion at Discover Global Markets in New York

Our DISCOVER forums feature individual counseling sessions between your business and U.S. commercial diplomats who can help develop export strategies for specific markets.

When it comes to exporting to China, there is a world of opportunities for U.S. companies.

But there are also many hurdles to overcome.

That’s why our Commercial Service team brought together dozens of industry experts, U.S. commercial diplomats, and successful exporters for the DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: Greater China event in New York City this week.

With more than 300 innovative and ambitious U.S. business representatives in attendance, we discussed market intelligence, best practices, and strategies to compete and win in some of the world’s fastest-growing markets.

Through one-on-one counseling sessions, we helped more than 90 individual companies develop their strategy for entering new markets.

And we learned some great information from business leaders that are already doing business in the region.

Like that when you’re vetting a potential partner in China, a great way to find information about them is to do a web search for their fax number.

Or that Chinese people are very guarded about trusting potential business partners, so you’ll have to put a lot of work into developing a trusting personal relationship in order to create a successful business relationship.

Our District Export Council told us some great information about etiquette, like that Chinese business leaders see a business meal as a place to relax and break the ice, so working through meals can actually harm your chances of striking a deal.

Bottom line: The markets of Greater China aren’t always the easiest to enter, but they do offer a return that could be well worth the investment of time your business will have to make.

To the panel members, marketing partners, and attendees who made our event the success that it was, I give many thanks. I am certain that we will see some great success stories about businesses creating new business in Greater China.

If you couldn’t make this event, trust me – you need to check out the upcoming DISCOVER events. Register for them. And succeed because of them.

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For World Octopus Day, 8 Reasons to Attend a DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS Business Forum

October 6, 2014

Our team is in New York now, supporting our DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: Greater China business forum. While we’re here, we’ll also celebrate World Octopus Day (of course) on Oct. 8.

In honor of the day, here are eight reasons your business should attend an upcoming DISCOVER event:

  1. One-on-One Counseling: One size doesn’t fit every business, and that’s why we offer the opportunity for you to meet one-on-one with our commercial diplomats. Get a tailored plan for your business, taking into consideration your industry, your target market, your goals, and your resources.
  2. Networking: Find new partners, make new connections, secure new business. That’s what our networking sessions help you find, and our events feature some of the world’s leading companies. It’s a great opportunity for you!
  3. U.S. Commercial Diplomats: These folks live and work in your target markets and there’s no one with more knowledge of opportunities, regulatory considerations, market potential, and business contacts than our team.
  4. Focus on Key Markets: We didn’t pick our markets out of a hat. These forums focus on the markets that present the most opportunity for your business: free trade partners, the Americas, Africa, and China. Like the octopus that picked so many winners in the 2010 World Cup, our team can pick the winning markets for your business.
  5. Focus on Industry: Our upcoming events in Minneapolis and Silicon Valley focus specifically on healthcare and sustainable industries. For our region-specific events, we have a variety of industry experts to support you. So no matter which event you choose to attend, we will have the expertise there for your industry.
  6. Buyer Delegations: For many of these events, we bring opportunities to you when qualified, pre-screened buyer delegations from major markets come to DISCOVER to meet your business. What better return on investment for attending an event than a newly signed business deal?
  7. Opportunities: Not every business inks a deal at our forums, but every business does learn about new opportunities. Come join us at an upcoming event in Charlotte, Atlanta, or Minneapolis and let us help you find new opportunities.
  8. Intelligence: Whether it’s details about a developing market or details about a new government program, DISCOVER events provide your business the intel it needs to take the next step on its export plan.

So what are you waiting for? Learn more about our upcoming events and register now!

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Soaring Energy Demand Means Opportunities for U.S. Companies in Latin America

September 24, 2014

Marjorie Baker recently completed a summer internship with the International Trade Administration’s Office of the Western Hemisphere.

Register now for discover: the Americas

Energy consumption in Latin America is expected to more than double between 2010 and 2013.

More Latin Americans than ever are now members of the middle class, and sustained economic growth in the region has led to increased demand for energy.

Energy consumption is projected to more than double in Latin America between 2010 and 2030, and this will transform the continent’s energy sector, creating new opportunities for U.S. companies.

As part of the federal government’s Look South initiative, the International Trade Administration (ITA) has published a series of best prospect sector reports for our 11 Free Trade Agreement partners in Latin America (Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Peru).

Our on-the-ground experts have identified the following countries as especially attractive for U.S. energy sector exporters:

We are also leading several U.S. companies on a renewable energy trade mission to Peru in November, and we look forward to new opportunities and new business deals as a result of that mission.

The energy sectors of these countries face challenges in terms of generating, distributing, and transmitting power, and that means there are a wide variety of opportunities for U.S. companies.

One way to learn about these opportunities and how to take advantage of them is at the upcoming DISCOVER GLOBAL MARKETS: The Americas forum in Charlotte, N.C., Oct. 29-31.

Register now for discover: the Americas

This forum will be the premier international business conference for U.S. executives to explore new market development strategies in the Americas, featuring:

  • One-on-one appointments with a buying delegation from Mexico;
  • Opportunities to meet with commercial diplomats who work in these markets every day; and
  • A breakout session focusing specifically on energy opportunities across the hemisphere.

We hope to see many U.S. companies taking advantage of the promising opportunities in Latin America!