Posts Tagged ‘SABIT’


SABIT Fosters Relationship Building between American and Pakistani Business Leaders

November 24, 2014

Becky Long and Tanner Johnson are International Trade Specialists at the International Trade Administration’s Special American Business Internship Training Program (SABIT).

The Pakistani delegation made a visit to Hess Brother's Fruit Company to learn about trends in packaging materials and food safety.

The Pakistani delegation visited a number of U.S. companies, including Hess Brother’s Fruit Company, to learn about trends in packaging materials and food safety.

The Special American Business Internship Training Program (SABIT) promotes international economic development and the formation of business ties by hosting delegations of international executives in the United States.

The program has been training international business leaders from Eurasia, South Asia, and other regions for more than 20 years.

SABIT recently hosted a delegation of 13 Pakistani executives from the packaging industry, in an effort to further the U.S.-Pakistan business relationship.

The delegation met with leaders of American companies, associations, and government agencies in Washington, DC, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Illinois to discuss trade opportunities, technological innovations, and U.S. trends in packaging materials, manufacturing processes, food safety, and marketing.

The group also attended PACK EXPO, one of the world’s largest exhibitions of packaging equipment and materials.

Hosting delegations like this is crucial to furthering the U.S. relationship with an important trade partner.

The United States is the largest export market for Pakistani goods, with nearly $3.7 billion worth of goods going to U.S. consumers. Roughly 90 percent of that total was in the textiles and garments industry, which means there are considerable untapped possibilities for Pakistan’s other industries to expand their exports to the United States.

Pakistani business leaders in a variety of industries are seeking more information about the U.S. market and industry-specific import regulations and processes.

Upon returning home to Pakistan, the delegates will use the knowledge and contacts gained in the United States to improve their businesses, encourage industry collaboration, and increase exports. At the end of the program, several delegates were eager to share their thoughts and takeaways from their visit:

“I learned a lot about laws and regulations, and how to implement food safety regulations. This is important because in Pakistan people are not very aware [of international food safety standards] and due to this reason, food waste is quite high….The flexible packaging market is very similar in the United States and Pakistan, and it is growing in [both countries]. So we have a lot of opportunities to develop flexible packaging materials.”
– Tahira Yasmin, Assistant Manager of Research and Development, Packages Limited

“Being here is like being presented with a crystal ball, you can look ten years ahead into the future, so that is a very good thing. We already know what the future is and where we should be if we want to stay in business.”
Motasim Ahmad Bajwa, Chief Operating Officer, Lucky Plastic Industries Ltd

In March 2015, SABIT will host a Pakistani delegation of professionals in the sphere of supply chain management. The program will help improve Pakistan’s transportation, storage, and logistical linkages, and it will serve to further integrate Pakistan into the international supply chain. SABIT is also planning future in-country training events and webinars for SABIT’s alumni in Pakistan.

Click to watch SABIT’s video interview with some of the packaging delegation participants. U.S. companies interested in hosting SABIT’s international delegations may contact the SABIT office at 202-482-0073 or


Russian Entrepreneur Touts ITA Training Program ‘Life-Changing’

September 12, 2012

Justyna Kottke and Tracy Perrelli are International Trade Specialists at the U.S. Department of Commerce

At a reception honoring alumni of ITA’s Special American Business Internship Training (SABIT) Program held in St. Petersburg, Russia on August 2, Dr. Oleg Prokhorenko, a Russian entrepreneur and small business owner, told Under Secretary for International Trade Francisco Sánchez that participation in a SABIT internship “changed his life and career.”

(L-R) U.S. Consul General Bruce Turner, Under Secretary Sánchez, and Oleg Prokhorenko during the SABIT Alumni event held in St. Petersburg, Russia August 2. (Photo Vladimir Grigoryev)

(L-R) U.S. Consul General Bruce Turner, Under Secretary Sánchez, and Oleg Prokhorenko during the SABIT Alumni event held in St. Petersburg, Russia August 2. (Photo Vladimir Grigoryev)

Dr. Prokhorenko grew his company, Laboratory of Glass Properties, after participating in a SABIT internship in the United States in 1995 to learn about glass manufacturing at Ford Motor Company’s Scientific Research Laboratory.

His company provides testing and data analysis of glass and glass material qualities, and has invented a system to check energy efficiency methods used during the manufacturing of windows, car glass, and optical glass. Dr. Prokhorenko attributes the growth of his small business to the knowledge and experience gained during his SABIT Program internship.

“I built this business based on what I learned during my SABIT internship.  I now employ more than 60 people and my company is growing,” he told Sánchez.

Earlier that day, Prokhorenko participated in a training seminar on corporate leadership ethics for SABIT alumni.  The attendees for the training included past SABIT program participants and leaders of small and medium enterprises; both groups found the training very useful for their businesses.

SABIT Program Impacts Small Business Development

Since the SABIT Program was founded over 20 years ago, the program has trained more than 5,000 mid-to-senior level professionals and business leaders from the countries of the former Soviet Union. These participants are selected through a highly competitive application process for industry-specific technical assistance programs, which bring them to the United States for three to four weeks during which they meet with federal, state, and local government, associations, academia, large corporations and small and medium businesses.  These programs typically begin in Washington, DC, and then take the delegations to various locations in the continental United States, chosen for best fit with their industry.

Upon returning to their home countries, SABIT Program participants have reported many successes, including the establishment and growth of industry associations, cooperation with participants from their countries and other regions, opportunities to make positive improvements to the protection of intellectual property, promotions to decision-making positions within their government, and development of new business relationships with U.S. companies that they met during their training.

In fact, the SABIT Program has facilitated over $850 million in U.S. exports over the last 20 years. These types of outcomes are very beneficial to both the SABIT participants and their countries and to U.S. companies, many of which are small and medium firms that interact with the SABIT trainees during and after their training.

For small and medium companies, the opportunity to meet with SABIT Program delegations is very appealing as a chance to learn about their industry in a different geographic area, and meet with industry leaders and potential business partners without having to travel to these countries.

The SABIT Program provides valuable benefits to U.S. companies and organizations and to its alumni. Dr. Prokhorenko is a great example of one of the thousands of SABIT Program alumni who have been able to significantly better their businesses and lives thanks in part to ITA.


New Training Exchange Program with Russian Business Leaders Launched

December 20, 2011

Becky Long is an International Trade Specialist at Special American Business Internship Training (SABIT) in the International Trade Administration’s Market Access and Compliance unit.

For more than 20 years the Special American Business Internship Training Program, or SABIT has been promoting economic development in the countries of the former Soviet Union and encouraging business ties between these countries and the United States. Today SABIT continues to put a strong emphasis on the development of Eurasian countries and is at the same time expanding its reach into other regions by hosting groups from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The SABIT office, under the International Trade Administration’s Market Access and Compliance unit, annually hosts 12 to 15 delegations of professionals from emerging market countries in industries such as airport development, cargo transportation and logistics, niche tourism, intellectual property rights, construction, and energy efficiency just to name a few.  These delegations come to the United States for three to four weeks to meet with their industry counterparts in the private sector, government, associations, academia, and other relevant organizations.  All of the meetings are arranged entirely by the SABIT staff based on their industry knowledge and the participants’ interests, resulting in programs that are tailor-made for each delegation.

SABIT’s professional development training programs directly support economic development by encouraging market-based reforms, while generating valuable export and investment opportunities for U.S. companies.  Since 1990, over 1,500 U.S. companies and organizations have hosted more than 5,000 international trainees through SABIT, resulting in more than $850 million in export revenues.

Michelle O'Neill (center) with the delegates from SABIT's PMT program on energy efficiency. (Photo credit ITA)

Michelle O’Neill (center) with the delegates from SABIT’s PMT program on energy efficiency. (Photo credit ITA)

This Fall, SABIT launched the new U.S.-Russia Presidential Management Training Exchange Program (PMT) by hosting two delegations Russian professionals in the information technology and energy efficiency sectors for three weeks.  PMT aims to provide unique professional development and business networking opportunities that help facilitate business relationships, economic development, and international trade.

PMT is being implemented under the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, which is dedicated to identifying areas of cooperation and pursuing joint projects that strengthen strategic stability, international security, economic well-being, and the development of ties between the Russian and American people.  The PMT exchange program was created as a result of an agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the United States in the Area of Training of Management Personnel which was signed by former Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Minister of Economic Development Elvira Nabiullina in November 2010.

In October 2011, PMT’s Russian energy efficiency group met with Michelle O’Neill, Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade and U.S. Coordinator for the Business Development & Economic Relations Working Group to celebrate the completion of the pilot phase.  During their three-week program in the United States, the 8 delegates participating in the energy efficiency group visited companies and organizations such as the Alliance to Save Energy, Greater Philadelphia Clean Cities and Philadelphia Electric Company, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Johnson Controls, Bentley Systems, U.S.-Russia Business Council, and the World Green Energy Symposium, where delegate Ivan Bragin spoke about the state of the green energy sector in Russia. The participants also had a chance to mingle with Michael Nutter, the Mayor of Philadelphia, at the symposium’s opening night reception, where the mayor highlighted Philadelphia’s green initiatives.

The 13 delegates who participated in the information technology group met with U.S. companies and organizations such as the Software & Information Industry Association, New Jersey Institute of Technology-Enterprise Development Center, the social gaming company CrowdStar, and the Northern Virginia Technology Council. Delegates also attended training seminars on innovation management and software project management.

For the second phase of PMT, SABIT plans to send the first group of American businesspeople to Yekaterinburg, Russia this spring.  Given the success of the pilot trainings, plans for future exchanges with Russia are under discussion.

U.S. companies interested in hosting SABIT’s international delegations may contact the SABIT office at 202-482-0073 or