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Global Opportunities and New Markets

  • Submitted on 28 July 2016

    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.


    VietnamBefore 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.”

  • Submitted on 27 July 2016

    Created on July 27 2016

    New Webinar Series: Business Opportunities in the Pacific Rim

    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:

  • Submitted on 15 July 2016

    “Innovative thinkers and early adopters exist everywhere: In Silicon Valley, but also in Sub-Saharan Africa; in the legendary startup garages … and in even more humble venues that may lack electricity,” Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) Vice President Judith Pryor wrote this week in the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

  • Submitted on 15 July 2016

    Created on July 15, 2016

    Fernando Gracia is an Intern in the Office of the Western Hemisphere at the International Trade Administration

    Four years ago, the United States Colombia free trade agreement went into effect, representing a commitment to trade and prosperity between our two countries.  Today, we look back at the four years since the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA) entered into force and analyze what it has meant for trade between our two countries.

    The overall trend for U.S. exports to Colombia has been positive since the CTPA was implemented in 2012.

  • Submitted on 12 July 2016

    Created on July 12, 2016

    Shipping containersThe United States and Mexico share a deep, longstanding relationship that goes far beyond diplomatic relations to include extensive commercial, cultural, and educational ties, with over $1.6 billion in two-way trade of goods and services and roughly one million legal border crossings each day.  Mexico is our second largest export market and third largest source of imports, with annual two-way trade of $580 billion, reflecting the highly integrated nature of our bilateral value chains.

    These deep commercial ties not only make Mexico a favorable market for businesses to expand their operations, but they also make it an ideal first market for new exporters.  Mexico is a high-performing, diversified economy with strong macroeconomic fundamentals.  It provides significant opportunities for U.S. exporters in key sectors such as chemicals, automotive products, metals and ores, machinery, and information and communication technologies. In fact, more than 18,000 U.S. companies have operations in Mexico and more than 57,000 U.S. companies exported goods to Mexico in 2013. These goods exports supported over 952,000 U.S. jobs, and services exports supported an additional 192,777 U.S. jobs. In addition to these market opportunities, initiatives between our governments such as the U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue promote mutual economic growth, job creation, and competitiveness.

  • Submitted on 06 July 2016

    Created on July 6, 2016

    Kusum Kavia, President of CAIOver the last 9 years, minority-and woman-owned business Combustion Associates Inc. (CAI) has significantly grown their business from a small domestic operation to one that generates the majority of its revenue from exports to sub-Saharan Africa, using financing from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM).

    Established in 1989, the California-based company manufactures and customizes gas turbine power generation systems, bringing dependable electricity to customers from Western Africa to Eastern Asia to South America. CAI's generators and power plants provide a reliable supply of electricity to governments, businesses, schools, and communities where spotty access to power has often hamstrung economic growth.

    “We are part of the American dream of owning a business, being entrepreneurial and creating American jobs,” said Kusum Kavia, President of CAI.

    Kusum and her husband Mukund were born in Kenya, raised in England, and immigrated to the United States, founding CAI in Corona, California 26 years ago. Beginning as environmental consultants, they moved on to engineering, manufacturing and installing their electrical power equipment and auxiliary systems.

  • Submitted on 24 June 2016

    Created on June 24, 2016

    Zaheer FaruqiFounded more than 15 years ago, a fast-growing supply company seated in the suburbs of Atlanta, Ga., started selling aircraft parts to commercial airlines and military air forces. The small company of only 35 is now considered one of the best spare parts providers in the world.

    Aventure Aviation, nicknamed the ‘AutoZone for airplane supplies’ by its founder and president Zaheer Faruqi, found its humble beginnings in the basement of Zaheer’s home in Peachtree City, Atlanta.

    The concept of providing a "customer driven first rate" aviation parts supplier service was the goal for this business venture. The idea originated from Zaheer’s previous work experience with a local part supplier company when he started noticing that similar companies lacked customer service and were solely profit oriented.

    Zaheer visualized something greater and wanted to provide a service tailored to its individual customers overseas.

  • Submitted on 15 June 2016

    Created on June 15, 2016

    Register NowIt's important to form relationships on the ground in order to succeed. The Trade Winds--Latin America trade mission can connect you to key leaders, potential partners, and promising opportunities in seven growing markets.

    Trade Winds will feature a Latin America business forum in Chile, along with trade mission stops in six promising Latin American markets. Join us in September to connect your business with the opportunities in this region!

  • Submitted on 10 June 2016

    Created on June 10, 2016

    MBDA Associate Director for Business Development Takes Part in Follow-On Trade Mission to China

    Follow-On to “China Clean Technology – Business Development Mission” from April 2015 As he embarks on a trade mission to China, Efrain Gonzalez of the Minority Business Development Agency  (MBDA) looks forward to laying the groundwork for growing numbers of American companies to participate in one of the fastest-growing markets in the world.

    “It’s exciting to be a part of the effort to explore potential collaboration and partnerships in support of our minority business global business development effort in China,” said Gonzalez, Associate Director for Business Development at MBDA at the U.S. Commerce Department.

    “Our goal is supporting the Department of Commerce’s efforts to create a strong foundation for global business development in China, particularly in green energy sectors,” Gonzalez said.  “For the thousands of minority-owned businesses that MBDA serves, China represents a crucial international marketplace.”

  • Submitted on 08 June 2016

    Created on June 8, 2016

    The 2016 A.T Kearney Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Confidence Index surveyed global executives about their plans for foreign investment, and they ranked the United States at the top for the fourth year in a row. A.T. Kearney also asked executives to identify the two most important factors for deciding where to establish or expand their businesses. “Regulatory transparency and lack of corruption” tied for first place with the size of the domestic market and the cost of labor; each factor was chosen by 15 percent of respondents. The “efficiency of legal and regulatory processes” was just a few points behind at 13 percent.

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