Posts Tagged ‘State’


Trade and Investment Mission to Tunisia Follow Up

April 11, 2011

Chris Wilken is the North Africa Desk Officer for Market Access and Compliance.

At least half of the companies returning from a recent trade mission to  Tunisia have reported promising leads, indicating that they intend to return to the country to finalize deals. Ten U.S. companies participated in the Trade & Investment Mission, organized by the Department of State and joined by Assistant Secretary of Commerce Suresh Kumar.  Mission participants included companies in renewable energy, private equity, defense/security, and telecommunications sectors.  Companies had more than 70 meetings with potential local partners and Tunisian government officials.   The goal of the trade mission was to foster ties between the American and Tunisian private sectors so that U.S. companies participate in Tunisia’s successful political transition.

Tunisia’s recent political changes have dramatically improved the business environment for American companies.  The trade mission members were told by the new Tunisian officials of the high regard they hold for U.S. companies and their desire to see an increased U.S. business presence in the country.  Government officials also indicated that they wish to move forward on a number of pro-business economic reforms.  There is also a major push in Tunisia to focus on the prevention of corruption, a major grievance leading to the departure of President Ben Ali.


Pow Wow Kicks Off in Miami

June 2, 2009

Helen Marano is the Director of the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries which serves as the National Tourism Office for the United States.  She has worked in the travel and tourism industry for 18 years.

I am writing you from Pow Wow in sunny Miami. Pow Wow is the travel and tourism industry’s premier international sales and marketing event. It’s great to be here with a strong federal presence from the Departments of State and Homeland Security, as well as our Travel & Tourism Team from the U.S. Commercial Service. Part of our mission at Pow Wow is to educate international travel leaders about new entry and exit programs and provide the latest information about U.S. travel destinations programs, and inbound visitation statistics.

International Trade Administration Travel and Tourism Team

International Trade Administration Travel and Tourism Team. Department of Commerce photo.

It’s exciting to see over 4,000 attendees here from all over the world. They’re folks from State Tourism offices, cities, attractions, hotels, travel journalists and foreign buyers of U.S. travel and tourism products and services. It is great to see commerce at work with more than 50,000 appointments between buyers and sellers taking place this week. These negotiations typically generate over $3 billion in future travel to the United States.

Today, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke spoke at Pow Wow’s closing luncheon.  He said, “I am especially pleased to note that travel and tourism is responsible for over one-fourth of all services exports for the United States. And for the 20th consecutive year, travel and tourism produced a travel trade surplus for the U.S. – a record $29.7 billion.” He went on to say, “What is impossible to count are the friendships that were formed, the perspectives that were broadened, or the discoveries that were made about a new culture and country as a result of traveling to the United States.”

Events like Pow Wow are an excellent opportunity for individual destinations like Miami to showcase their attractions and venues to international buyers. Pow Wow shows how resilient the travel and tourism industry is and what an engine it is for economic growth. Events such as Pow Wow help generate more visitors to the U.S., more dollars spent, and more jobs created.