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Created on August 3, 2016
Michael Waters is an International Trade Specialist for the U.S. Commercial Service office in Atlanta
In this digital age, a website is a necessity for any business of any size across all industries. A company’s website speaks about the organization and should be viewed by management as a virtual introduction of products and services offered to prospective customers.
However, working with international customers presents its own unique set of circumstances, especially when it comes to websites. For example, is there a link for international sales inquiries on your company’s website? And if so, what details are you requesting? What does your site look like on a mobile device or when translated into a foreign language? These are a few questions that every organization needs to consider when designing a website that offers a product or service for international customers.
Globalizing your company’s website does not have to be overly technical. This article will provide a few easily implementable suggestions that anyone can apply, with the ultimate goal of increasing international sales.
Created on August 2, 2016
The U.S. Small Business Administration released its highly anticipated Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) online tutorials to help small businesses navigate the SBIR program. The site provides users with a mobile-compatible site to learn about the program through a combination of videos and text. This platform will provide accessible program information and training resources to underrepresented areas. There is no registration or fee required and the courses are open to all.
“We are excited to introduce these tutorials. We know there are many small businesses in rural communities as well as young entrepreneurs that are unaware of this amazing program,” said Mark Walsh, SBA’s Associate Administrator for Investment and Innovation. “SBA has pulled together resources from across the federal government, providing them in a format easily accessible on mobile devices, while allowing users to select just the information they need.”
Created on July 28, 2016
Stuart Schaag is a career Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Commercial Service. He currently serves as Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi. Barbara Banas is an International Trade Specialist with the Office of ASEAN and the Pacific Basin, where she covers Vietnam. She is based in Washington, D.C.
Before you keep reading, let’s conduct an experiment. Open another page on your internet browser and type the word “Viet” into the search bar. What was the first term that came up from the autofill function? It wasn’t “Vietnam”, was it? More than forty years have passed since the end of the U.S.. conflict with Vietnam, yet our old ghosts still linger, revealed in our internet algorithms. As Pulitzer Prize winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen stated, “Vietnam is a country and not a war,” a fact that many U.S.. companies are learning as they seek out new export markets. We like to think that Vietnam is not a war and not just a country, but an opportunity.
Since the United States and Vietnam renewed diplomatic relations in 1995, our commercial relationship has grown exponentially. The United States is now Vietnam’s largest export market and a major source of foreign direct investment. Conversely, in 2015, Vietnam was the United States’ fastest growing export market (up over 23% from 2014) among new TPP partners, demonstrating the increasing demand for U.S.. technologies and goods. Moreover, in Asia, Vietnam’s average annual economic growth rate of well over 5% over the past 25 years has been second only to China’s. After rebounding from the doldrums of the last decade’s global financial crisis, Vietnam has regained its luster as an investment destination and lucrative export market. Last year closed with the economy back in full swing, buoyed by GDP growth of over 6%. What does growth like this mean for Vietnam’s future? The recent joint World Bank and Ministry of Planning and Investment study, Vietnam 2035, states that “growth rates in this range would produce by 2035 an upper-middle income country on the cusp of high income – at the level of Malaysia or the Republic of Korea in the mid-2000s.”
Created on July 27, 2016
Did you know that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has the largest seed fund on the planet?
Capital formation or “seed money” is the first infusion of capital to make an idea go from a napkin to reality. America's Seed Fund, otherwise known as SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, specialize in assisting entrepreneurs in the technology and science fields. SBA is authorized by Congress to deploy $4 billion annually and there is $25 billion in assets currently under management.
Created on July 27 2016
Join the U.S. Commercial Service for a series of complimentary webinars focusing on business opportunities in leading and emerging Pacific Rim markets that are included in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The webinars will focus on the 11 TPP countries and will cover: