Posts Tagged ‘SBA’


How to Get Paid for Your Aerospace Exports

June 17, 2014

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Fred Elliot is a Trade Specialist with the Aerospace Team at the International Trade Administration.

Photo of an airplane engine.Have you ever wondered if you should extend credit to your overseas customers in the same way you do your national customers? Or whether your banking relationships are solid enough to allow this type of credit?

Now’s the time to start getting some answers. Register now for the July 24th Trade Finance Webinar for U.S. Aerospace Exporters and gain expert insight about topics such as:

  • Dos and don’ts of export finance;
  • Methods of payment from overseas customers;
  • How the Export-Import Bank and the Small Business Administration (SBA) can help finance aerospace exports, and;
  • Ways the U.S. Department of Commerce is helping aerospace manufacturers learn about export opportunities and how to take advantage of them.

Companies in southern Ohio are welcome to participate in-person in Cincinnati, where you can meet one-on-one with finance experts from the Export-Import Bank, SBA, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, and PNC Bank, who can answer any questions you may have.

Both webinar and in-person attendees will leave this event better prepared to succeed in global business.

You can register or find more details online, or contact Howard Thompson of the Ohio Aerospace Institute at (440)-962-3237.


Houston, We Have a…Conference!

April 25, 2014

Austin Redington is a Communications Specialist with the SelectUSA Program.

The U.S. energy sector is a hot topic, from renewable energy to the high-tech recovery of natural gas to the exploration of untapped resources. With so much buzz – and significant investment inflows – this year’s Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas from May 5-8, promises to be both timely and exciting.

Naturally, the International Trade Administration (ITA) will be there, and we hope to see you there too!

OTC 2014, which is supported by ITA’s International Buyer Program, is a leading international trade show focusing on opportunities in the fields of drilling, exploration, production, and environmental protection.

For attendees, ITA will be onsite offering services to international and U.S. investors, U.S. exporters, and international buyers. Here’s a brief look at what we’ll be up to:

  • For investors & U.S. economic development organizations: SelectUSA, the U.S. investment promotion program, will be hosting a “Build Your Business in the United States” lunch symposium, as an opportunity for attendees to meet federal and regional partners. The event will offer a case study about the U.S. investment climate, resources, and services. Attendees will also learn best practices from companies that have already invested. Register here by April 29th.
  • For exporters and buyers: We’re also offering our B2B Matchmaking service, which connects U.S. suppliers with interested international buyers. We recruit and screen each international buyer through our network of U.S. Embassies and face-to-face meetings to ensure the highest likelihood of connecting the “right” partners. Companies interested in engaging in this service are encouraged to sign up (click here for more).
  • For U.S. exporters: Our Global Markets team will be offering export counseling meetings and country-specific information. U.S. exporters will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with our U.S. Embassy oil and gas industry specialists. Team members from 25 embassies will be available: Algeria, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Cyprus, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates. Representatives from the Small Business Administration and Export-Import Bank of the United States will also be on site.

ITA experts will be offering country briefings and procurement seminars. Stop by to learn about deep water exploration in Colombia or about oil and gas opportunities in Ghana.

As you can see, it will be a busy and interesting week full of opportunities to learn, meet, share, and connect. If you’re planning on going, we hope you’ll stop by and see us!

For more information on OTC 2014, go to the OTC 2014 website.

Further details on our OTC presence can be found on the Houston, Texas U.S. Export Assistance Center’s website


Minority Businesses Export to Support Jobs in Long Island

June 25, 2012

Francisco Sánchez is the Under Secretary for International Trade

Washington can be a sweltering place in the summer. And this year is no exception. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to escape the heat of Washington today for Long Island, New York. There, I joined forces with my friend and colleague Congressman Tim Bishop to help highlight the benefits of exports and the impact they have in strengthening the economy.

Under Secretary Sanchez (center), Congressman Tim Bishop (right) and Shakir Farsakh, director of the Long Island Export Assistance Center (left) during a roundtable event highlighting minority-business exporting in Long Island, NY (Photo Commerce)

Under Secretary Sanchez (center), Congressman Tim Bishop (right) and Shakir Farsakh, director of the Long Island Export Assistance Center (left) during a roundtable event highlighting minority-business exporting in Long Island, NY (Photo Commerce)

We’ve always known exports to be among best ways to boost domestic economic output.  Just last year, the United States had a record-setting $2.1 trillion in exports which supported nearly 10 million American jobs.

Rather, the question has always been “how can we expand the message of exporting to more businesses?”

This was the challenge laid forth by President Obama in 2010 when he announced the National Export Initiative, which aims to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014.

Well, the data is in!  One of the great things about our country is our diversity. And according to the U.S.  Census Bureau, that same diversity is boosting our economy. A report released this month, using data from 2007, shows that exports by minority-owned American businesses make significant contributions to our economy.

Minority-owned exporting companies have always fascinated me. According to the report, “exports accounted for 14.4 percent of total receipts of minority-owned exporters compared with 5.4 percent of total receipts for nonminority owned exporters” in 2007. That’s nearly three times higher!  Couple this with the fact that “exports accounted for a larger percentage of the receipts of minority-owned exporters than nonminority-owned exporters” and you begin to understand the value of this demographic.

And here at the Department of Commerce, we are doing everything in our power to continue this momentum, not just for minority-owned companies, but for all American businesses that wish to explore new markets abroad. And with 95% of the world’s potential customers living outside our borders, who can blame them?

To many, New York City is a center for innovation and business, a commercial powerhouse with a tremendous diversity of strong businesses. However, many fail to realize the economic potential of its neighbor, the iconic Long Island. The commercial innovation and contributions of this area deserve more attention.

This was the purpose of my trip to Long Island – to let businesses there know we are here to support them and have resources on hand to help them succeed in the export business.

The Long Island office of the U.S.  Export Assistance Center has tracked nearly a million dollars in export sales alone as a result of their assistance. And I hope many more businesses will tap into our expertise.

Like New York City, Long Island is home to a population with diverse backgrounds, and its businesses are no different. Several hundred high-technology companies have their headquarters in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Even better, these are industries with high export potential. Sectors such as information technology, biotechnology, and avionics are pillars in the local economy, accounting for well more than half of all export sales from the region. These are just a few of the reasons I chose to come to Long Island.

My day there began with a roundtable for minority business leaders in Farmingville where the Congressman and I heard about some of the challenges facing the local business community. It’s heartening to hear directly from the hard-working and dedicated men and women. I was able to explain many of the resources the Department of Commerce has to offer. If you are interested, I urge you to visit the website to see everything we have to offer.

We followed the roundtable with a business forum, “Expanding Your Business Through Exporting.”  There, representatives from the Small Business Administration, the Export-Import Bank, and the local U.S.  Export Assistance Center joined us in our remarks.

Following the forum, we departed on a tour of local manufacturing company ENECON, an industry leader in the design, production, and export of advanced polymers. Manufacturing continues to be a bright spot in the nation’s economy; and exports of manufactured goods have increased 9.1 percent year-to-date through April. ENECON is a true paragon in this regard, successfully exporting their products to nations all around the world.

In 2010, the New York-New Jersey-Long Island metropolitan area was the largest export market in the United States, with merchandise shipments totaling $85.1 billion. The companies I met today represent important contributors to this accomplishment.

Minority-owned business and manufacturing are both close to my heart and it’s a personal goal of mine to ensure they have all the tools they need at their disposal.


Small Baltimore Engineering Business Believes in “Doing Well by Doing Good”

April 13, 2012

Doug Barry is an International Trade Specialist in the Trade Information Center, part of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service

Engineer Kimberly Brown started Amethyst Technologies five years ago.  Her Baltimore, Maryland-based company now has 24 employees and recently expanded its markets to include Africa with help from the U.S. Commercial Service.  Dr. Brown spoke to Doug Barry of the International Trade Administration’s Trade Information Center.

Barry:  Your work in Africa is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense.  It sounds like the U.S. government is a good entree for small companies of a certain type to get into the international marketplace.  True?

Brown:  Definitely I agree with that statement.  It was our first prime contract.  And we had different tasks.  And our last task was the Tanzania-scope project.  So as a small business, we were just trying to do business in Maryland.  And we were given the opportunity to provide services to support the U.S. Army in Tanzania and Kenya.  That’s really the only reason why we are in Africa now, and we’re pursuing other opportunities. 

Dr. Kimberly Brown of Amethyst Technologies

Dr. Kimberly Brown of Amethyst Technologies

Barry: Where will you go next?

Brown:  We are currently pursuing opportunities in about five countries.  Most of those opportunities right now are with foreign governments.  We also have been talking to the large NGOs.  Because our work supports global health initiatives, we have value-added resources to assist with the President’s Malaria Initiative, with the Global Health Initiative. 

Barry:  It must be a wonderful feeling to get up every day realizing that you’re contributing to saving lives and improving the lives of, potentially, millions of people.

Brown:  Definitely.  It makes it all worthwhile.  It’s an added bonus to doing business when you’re doing something that is very beneficial, very needed, and it will change lives.  Small things make a very large difference.

Barry:  What do engineers like you contribute to the finding of cures for malaria and other kinds of diseases?

Brown:  We set up laboratories.  One of the primary things we do on the engineering side is we ensure U.S. Food and Drug Administration compliance for equipment. We develop software.  We get specs for clean rooms, laboratories.  So we set up World Health Organization-compliant laboratories for drug testing, developing standards for education, for health care, for transportation and agriculture.  So as engineers, we offer something very unique and beneficial to global health.

Barry:  What did you hear about the U.S. Commercial Service and its local office, the Baltimore Export Assistance Center, that piqued your curiosity about how the U.S. government could help grow the international side of your business?

Brown:  Well, I heard that they can help us identify partners.  They can also assist us with identifying what countries we can do business with and what type of business we can do.  So as a small business, for me, that levels the playing field, because large businesses which are doing business overseas, they have a whole department that’s dedicated to providing these types of services.  And I found out that the U.S. government will help do it for us.  My first meeting with the U.S. Commercial Service, I was told that I needed to find a partner.  Before that, I thought that Amethyst could just go in ourselves and get a contract or look for opportunity.  So they really opened my eyes to:  you need to find a partner.

Barry: Did they provide you with a partner, other than the advice that a partner is needed?

Brown:  They told me organizations to contact.  So in this case, they didn’t actually give me a specific partner, but they gave me leads to identify a partner.  That worked out very well, because I’ve identified several partners in several countries.  And that is very important, because in many countries, as a U.S. company you can’t own a business; you can’t be the primary majority owner.  So you will need an in-country partner. The time involved – again, as a small business, you’re going to need somebody who knows how to do business in that country.  And then the connections – you have to know people.  It’s great advice that I received from the U.S. Commercial Service that is really making a difference in our pursuit of opportunities abroad. 

Barry: Were you a little put off by the fact that it was a government agency?

Brown:  I’ve always had very positive results and had great assistance from government agencies.  My company receives help from the Small Business Administration.  So I never had any hesitance to contact them and am always seeking opportunities to contact government agencies to get resources, especially with doing business overseas. 

Barry:  Do you think that’s a competitive advantage for U.S. businesses to make sure that they know about the government services available and make full use of them?

Brown:  Definitely.  As a small business, and even large businesses know, you need to take advantage of any information that you can receive that is appropriate, that is correct and is free or very affordable. 

Barry:  In working in Africa and with a different culture, have you or your company had to develop a different mindset in order to effectively interact with people from a different culture?

Brown:  We really haven’t had many problems in interacting other than language barriers.  In Tanzania, everything is in Swahili.  So we had to have all our documents translated to Swahili and we hire interpreters.  But other than that, it’s really been a very smooth transition, especially in health care.  That’s a global language.  And everyone understands malaria.  And that’s what we’re doing in Tanzania. 

Barry:  What else are you considering and thinking about now in positioning your company to do more of this kind of work?

Brown:  Well, definitely diversifying, listening to the large businesses like GE.  I attended an event a few years ago, and the CEO of GE talked about going global.  And that always stuck with me, that as a small business we need to do what the large businesses are doing.  Creating jobs in the U.S., doing work overseas is our model.  So we have been aligning ourselves with partners, public and private partnerships; that’s really what we’re focusing on now. 

Barry:  Do you have a person that does that full-time or is that you or do you have someone else in the company?

Brown:  That’s all of us.  Primarily it’s me. But our people who are working in Africa, they often will identify opportunities.

Barry:  As you know, there’s a lot of fear and paranoia, paralysis even, when it comes to thinking about selling something to somebody in a different country.  And what would you say now to the fearful based on your experience?

Brown:  Definitely do your homework.  Use the U.S. Commercial Service to research any country that you are thinking about doing business.  Find out what the markets are, what are the positives, what are the negatives.  And look for in-country partners. And both of those things are resources that the U.S. Commercial Services specializes in helping business with.


Spreading the Word about How to Succeed in Exporting

October 4, 2011

By John Ward, a writer in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Public Affairs.

A conference last month in San Diego, California, brought together more than 1,300 business counselors from around the country. With help from several Department of Commerce bureaus, including the International Trade Administration, participants sharpened their export counseling skills.

RELATED: ITA Joins with Small Business Development Centers to Help U.S. Exporters

Thanks to detailed training sessions that featured export specialists from the International Trade Administration (ITA), other federal agencies, and public and private partners in the trade community, more than 1,300 business counselors from Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) recently updated their knowledge and skills in how to best help U.S. companies export.

The sessions were part of the annual convention for the Association of Small Business Development Centers, which was held in San Diego, California, on September 6–9, 2011. The SBDCs are a nationwide network of business counseling centers that are hosted by universities, colleges, and state economic development agencies. They are funded in part through a partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and many work closely with ITA’s U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEACs). There are approximately 1,000 SBDCs located throughout the country.

For More Information

To find the location of the nearest U.S. Export Assistance Center, visit the U.S. government export portal at or contact the Trade Information Center, tel.: 1-800-USA-TRAD(E) (1-800-872-8723). More information about Small Business Development Centers, including links to local offices, is available at Click on “Small Business Development Centers” under “Counseling and Training.”

Certification Process

These small business counselors were among those who had the opportunity to learn more about exporting through a series of workshops cohosted by the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee at the convention of the Association of Small Business Development Centers held in San Diego, California, September 6–9. (photo © Association of Small Business Development Centers)

These small business counselors were among those who had the opportunity to learn more about exporting through a series of workshops cohosted by the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee at the convention of the Association of Small Business Development Centers held in San Diego, California, September 6–9. (photo © Association of Small Business Development Centers)

By taking the training at the convention, SBDC staff members can qualify for certification as export counselors. The impetus for this training comes from the National Export Initiative (NEI) and the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.

President Barack Obama announced the NEI in the State of the Union Address in January 2010. It calls for doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014. The Small Business Jobs Act requires that no less than five individuals or 10 percent of the staff from each of the 63 “lead” SBDCs be qualified as international trade counselors. (A “lead” SBDC is the institution that holds a contract with the SBA. It is responsible for administering and operating the SBDC program within a given jurisdiction, usually a state or territory.)

Introductory and Intermediate Topics

ITA was directly involved in more than 10 exporting sessions at the conference through the work of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC), which is a federal interagency body that coordinates federal export promotion efforts.

The sessions included introductory and intermediate tracks and covered topics such as export marketing and sales, global logistics and supply chain, export regulations, and international trade payments. Presenters included representatives from the Census Bureau and the TPCC.

The sessions focused on the basics of exporting because SBDC business counselors will be focusing their efforts on the needs of first-time exporters. Companies that are already exporting will be referred to the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service staff at the local USEAC.

Fulfilling a Mandate for Export Growth

The training sessions come at a propitious moment as the goal date set by the NEI comes closer. This cooperative approach also underscores how small and medium-sized enterprises can benefit when government agencies, along with public–private partnerships, join their complementary skills to more effectively promote U.S. exports.


ITA Joins with Small Business Development Centers to Help U.S. Exporters

October 4, 2011

By Philippa Olsen, a marketing and communications specialist with the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service.

Lyn Doverspike (center), director of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Export Assistance Center, speaking at an Export Achievement Award ceremony for Cardinal Resources LLC. Exports account for close to 80 percent of the environmental services company’s sales. Also attending the ceremony were Rep. Mike Doyle (right) and Kevin Jones, president of Cardinal Resources (left). (U.S. Department of Commerce photo)

Lyn Doverspike (center), director of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Export Assistance Center, speaking at an Export Achievement Award ceremony for Cardinal Resources LLC. Exports account for close to 80 percent of the environmental services company’s sales. Also attending the ceremony were Rep. Mike Doyle (right) and Kevin Jones, president of Cardinal Resources (left). (U.S. Department of Commerce photo)

In their business counseling efforts, the Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) often work closely with the International Trade Administration’s U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS) through the network of U.S. Export Assistance Centers (USEACs). There are more than 100 USEACs located across the country that are staffed by trade specialists who can provide market intelligence, trade counseling, business matchmaking, and advocacy support. The USEACs can also call on the knowledge and expertise of the USFCS’s overseas staff members, who are located in more than 75 U.S. embassies and consulates.

Lyn Doverspike, director of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USEAC noted, “SBDCs are a perfect partner for us because they provide trade counseling for new exporters, as our complementary focus is on companies already exporting.” She added that “companies exporting for the first time have a longer timeline before they begin, and SBDCs offer foundational counseling for them before the U.S. Commercial Service steps in and offers them specific exporting assistance.”

This collaboration is especially beneficial in rural areas, commented Vickie Gyenes, a global trade manager who assists small businesses in the Appalachian region of western Pennsylvania through the St. Vincent College SBDC in Latrobe and the St. Francis University SBDC in Ebensburg. “Our clients are all small to medium-sized enterprises and may have experimented with exports in the past, but now see exporting as a vital part of their business,” she said. “SBDCs provide secondary market research; organize educational seminars—from basic training to more complicated topics, such as export controls; and work with the USEACs who have overseas presence and expertise. It’s a joint effort and a great relationship.”

In 2010, the St. Vincent College SBDC’s Center for Global Competitiveness received the President’s E Award for Export Service. This annual award recognizes U.S. companies and organizations that facilitate export trade and contribute to U.S. job growth and competitiveness. From late 2009 through 2010, the center’s efforts directly generated more than $8.9 million in increased export sales for Pennsylvania companies, accounting for more than 150 new or retained jobs


Majority Leader Joins Congressman Murphy’s International Forum in Pennsylvania

April 14, 2010

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Tony Ceballos is the Director of the Philadelphia U.S. Export Assistance Center of the U.S. Commercial Service.

Congressman Patrick Murphy and House Majority Leader Representative Steny Hoyer headlined what proved to be one of the most engaging events of the season.  With the USEAC’s support, Congressman Murphy (PA08), hosted the International Trade Forum to support the President’s economic priority to create jobs through exports and brought together the federal resources to make that a reality. Congressmen Murphy and Hoyer reaffirmed the importance of the work we are doing at the U.S. Commercial Service in facilitating President Obama’s mission to decrease the American trade deficit.  The event featured a panel of speakers, from CS, Ex-Im Bank, and SBA, presenting on federal export resources to help SMEs enter new markets. Congressmen Murphy and Hoyer remarked on the important role exports play in the nation’s economic recovery and encouraged companies to take advantage of the export assistance provided by federal trade agencies.   The Bucks County Courier Times noted: “The two congressmen stressed the importance of providing businesses with the tools they need to tap global markets because giving those businesses a boost creates jobs and helps the economy grow and prosper. Plus, Murphy added, President Obama wants to double U.S. exports in five years”.

Following the panel, companies had the ability to discuss potential plans of action with several trade specialists who were on hand.  Those who attended left with a clear idea of how to continue to grow their companies.


Duluth Export Summit

January 22, 2010

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Amelia Goeppinger is an International Trade Specialist serving in the Minneapolis U.S. Export Assistance Center with the International Trade Administration’s U.S. Commercial Service.

Last week, I had the pleasure of participating in a significant export summit led by Sen. Amy Klobuchar in Duluth, Minnesota  – the fourth summit she has held to promote the importance of exporting in her state.  Sen. Klobuchar, who chairs the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation and Export Promotion, is working with the International Trade Administration (ITA) to encourage the expansion of trade among businesses in her state through summits that can inform the private sector about economic opportunities through international trade.  Minnesota manufacturers and service providers play a major role in trade around the globe, and their participation is expected to increase as the world’s economy grows.

The senator kicked off the Duluth Export Summit by championing the relationship between exports and job creation, and during the summit she facilitated and led a panel discussion on the opportunities of exporting with local experts from the Minnesota office of ITA’s U.S. Commercial Service and representatives from the Small Business Administration and the Minnesota Trade Office.  Thirty representatives from local businesses and other interested parties listened to the presentations, which were followed by a spirited question-and-answer session.

My client, Epicurean Cutting Surfaces, was the highlighted company.  The local Fox News channel interviewed Dave Benson, Epicurean’s chief financial officer, and I was asked to highlight and elaborate on the successes of the Featured U.S. Exporter (FUSE) service – which Epicurean is using effectively.  FUSE successfully identified qualified distribution partners for the company.

The success of the export summit is hopefully going to be replicated as an example of how the International Trade Administration, through its U.S. Commercial Service offices, collaborate with state congressional offices, exporting companies and local export resources to educate firms on the link between export growth and job creation.


Do You Know the Way…to San Jose’s “Green Hub”?

November 10, 2009

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Federico Bevini is the Commercial Specialist responsible for the building products, construction equipment and architectural, construction and engineering services sectors for the U.S. Commercial Service at the U.S. Consulate in Milan, Italy. Federico has been a part of the U.S. Commercial Service since 2003.

After the excellent programs in the green cities of Pittsburgh and Denver, the participants in the Green Build Road Show found their way to San Jose and discovered that Silicon Valley has a green heart. Mayor Chuck Reed, who opened the day’s program in  the San Jose City Hall (a LEED Platinum – certified building), actually described San Jose as an “ecosystem” of entities, among them the City government, that are cooperating in making San Jose the world center of clean technology innovation.  It is very well known that the high technology industries have been bringing talent and jobs to the San Jose area over the years but, in the Mayor’s words, the challenge is now to capture the next wave of innovations in clean technology and facilitate the exporting of those technologies to the rest of the world.  To be sure, many local companies already derive most of their revenues from foreign markets, but many more can benefit from exports and Mayor Reed stressed how important it will be to inform the 6,000+ hi-tech companies in the area about the opportunities highlighted by the Green Build Road Show.

The U.S. Commercial Service Green Build Road Show crew with San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed.

The U.S. Commercial Service Green Build Road Show crew with San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. (U.S. Department of Commerce photo)

Many of those local companies actually attended the day’s program and from the Q&A sessions it became clear that quite a few had not been involved in exports but were now considering exporting as a result of the very effective (as usual) presentations delivered by the Commercial Service and its partners in the Road Show, as well as by Knauf Insulation, which was part of the panel and was very persuasive in demonstrating that driving energy efficiency in buildings is good for climate, energy, economy, jobs (a “win win win win” situation).   During the Q&A session, members of the Small Business Administration and the Exim Bank had an opportunity to highlight their organizations’ financing programs aimed at increasing local companies’ participation in foreign trade shows and at furthering developments in renewable energies.  The audience’s interest in the day’s program was exemplified by the eagerness of representatives from the Greater San Jose Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to be involved in the FedEx Green Trade Mission and in the Hannover Fair.

On a personal note, the afternoon meetings with local companies interested in starting or expanding their presence in Europe confirmed my initial impression that San Jose and Silicon Valley are home to innovative, open minded and ambitious entrepreneurs who are not looking to make a quick profit but, at least in the area of green building, really want to contribute to reducing the carbon footprint in the USA and abroad.    Excellent!


infoComm09, an IBP Event has its Biggest East Coast Show in History

July 27, 2009

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Graylin Presbury has been with the International Trade Administration for 30 years. He has spent the last five years in the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS) as a Project Officer in the Global Trade Programs unit.

I had the privilege of being the project officer for InfoComm09, the world’s premier annual B2B conference and exposition for the professional audiovisual information communications industry.  It alternates annually between the east and west coasts of the United States.

Both the weather and the technology were hot last month in Orlando at InfoComm09. The conference, held June 14-19, had more than 300 educational workshops and seminars, and the exhibition, held June 17-19, had roughly 850 exhibitors and more than 28,000 attendees, making this the biggest east cost show in its history.

ITA Global ICT Team in cooperation with the International Buyer Program at InfoComm09

ITA Global ICT Team in cooperation with the International Buyer Program at InfoComm09 (U.S. Department of Commerce photo)

The International Business Center (IBC) provided a one-stop shop for U.S. Government assistance at the show.  The IBC featured International Trade Administration (ITA) export and industry experts as well as representatives from the Export-Import Bank and the Small Business Administration.

As a project officer, I particularly appreciated having the support of ITA’s Global Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Team. Through the ICT Team and the USFCS International Buyer Program, we brought in nearly 500 delegates from 27 countries, including delegations from Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Mexico, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay. Additional ICT Team support came from trade staff in our U.S. Export Assistance Centers in Austin, TX; New York; Clearwater, FL; and Portland, OR, which included outreach and export counseling to exhibitors from their states and regions.

The ICT Team was instrumental to our success and the quality of services we delivered.  Aside from the 20 or so U.S. exhibitors and attendees who visited the IBC, there were about 35 U.S. exhibitors that scheduled 130 appointments as part of the ICT Team’s Showtime program. In addition to the market counseling provided by USFCS overseas staff, ITA industry experts informed participants about market trends, trade policy and regulatory issues.  Representatives from the Export-Import Bank and the Small Business Administration counseled exhibitors about loan guarantee programs, business development assistance and export credit insurance.

To read more about the International Buyer Program, please visit