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Miami Ushers in New Commercial Opportunities

Tradeology, the ITA Blog

Claire Maggio works in the Office of Public Affairs within the International Trade Administration. She holds a degree in political science from the University of Rochester.

Miami is known for a lot of things. The picturesque beaches, the exotic nightlife, and an incredibly vibrant culture are just a few of the things that make this city so unique. Yet there is far more than meets the eye. The city of Miami is also a bustling commercial hub with nearly limitless potential.

2010 saw Miami named the fifth largest metropolitan export market in the United States, with merchandise shipments totaling $35.9 billion. Helping to build on that strong performance, the Department of Commerce has announced the approval of PortMiami’s application for a Foreign Trade Zone(FTZ) that will not only serve the port’s facilities but allow quick FTZ access throughout the northern half of Miami-Dade County. As a result, the…

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International Networking Reception in Phoenix

International Networking Reception in Phoenix

If you will be in Phoenix next week, put this event on your calendar for Wednesday, Sept 26 at 5:30 pm. The best of Arizona’s international business community will be in attendance, and all are invited. Bring lots of business cards.

Please share this link with others in your professional network!

Reblogged courtesy of Ray Hays, Member of the Arizona District Export Council.

Brazil is an Olympic-Sized Market for Education Services

As we look at the trade deficit and the competitiveness of U.S. exports, it is important to look at both products and services.

While U.S. manufacturing saw the impact of outsourcing of labor to cheaper markets, service exports have performed better over the past decade. In the future, economists will keep their eye on U.S. services such as consulting, intellectual property licensing, franchising, technical services, financial services, travel and education.

This ITA article on education provides insight into the important role that U.S. education plays in terms of global competitiveness. Brazil is a good example of the potential for U.S. education “exporters.”

The International Trade Administration (ITA) blog provides the latest news on U.S. Trade.

Re-blogged courtesy of Ray Hays, Member of District Export Council of AZ

Tradeology, the ITA Blog

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Braeden Young is an International Trade Specialist and Brazil Desk Officer within the International Trade Administration.

Brazil, which became the world’s sixth-largest economy last year, is bustling with activity. As Brazil ramps up preparations for hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, opportunity abounds for U.S. companies to support infrastructure development at sports venues, surrounding communities and commercial centers, and transportation hubs.

The recent discovery of new oil reserves off Brazil’s coast presents new opportunities in the oil and gas sector. U.S. firms have specialized expertise in deep water drilling and related services and are well-positioned to partner with Brazilian companies to help Brazil reach its objectives.

However, Brazil’s rise is marked not only by towering cranes and the roar of jackhammers, but also by smiling students and the scribbling of pencil on paper…

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Exporting to China – 4 Tips for Success

Video: A senior U.S. Commercial Service Officer explains why China is a priority target for American exporters.

China is the world’s fastest-growing major economy, and the fastest-growing U.S. export market.  It is now our second-largest trading partner.  While China’s GDP grew by 10.3 percent in 2010, U.S. exports to China were up 32 percent, reaching $92 billion, and have more than quadrupled since 2000.   Our trade deficit in goods with China totaled $273 billion in 2010, but we had a surplus of $6.7 billion in services trade in 2009.

China is the world’s third-largest market for luxury goods behind Japan and the United States.  There are more than 200 million Chinese citizens with a per capita income over $8,000, and most economists predict a surge in the number of people achieving true middle class status during the next several years.

Four Tips for Exporting to China:

Tip #1: Consider targeting the Shanghai market

Tip #2: Multiple opportunities in multiple sectors

Tip #3: Many models for success

See the video in which a Senior U.S. Commercial Service Officer elaborates on the 3 tips above.

An extra tip, not mentioned by the U.S. Commercial Service…

Tip #4: Set up your in-country sales operations through a sales incubator based in Shanghai or other key markets. 

Sales incubators provide new exporters with a low-cost and low-risk solution to quickly build their own sales team in China. In effect, the sales incubator is an exporter’s outsourced sales office in-country, which builds the foundation of client sales and Chinese distributor support, during the early years of a company’s entry into the Chinese market.

Click on this link to read a recent blog post for more details on the sales incubator model.

For more information about China:

Exporting to China – The Sales Incubator Model

Why are U.S. exporters fixated on selling their products into China? China is a market where U.S. exporters, large and small, endeavor to establish a foothold in an enormous and growing marketplace. Many exporters see an opportunity to capture early market share for long-term export growth into China.

Rising prices in China have resulted in a “slowdown” that mostly impacts U.S. companies with manufacturing facilities in China. Some of these manufacturers moved their operations other low-cost markets, such as Indonesia or Malaysia, (or even relocated production back to the U.S.)

However, economic growth is still strong, and consumer wealth in China continues to expand, driven by a new middle and upper class of professionals and entrepreneurs. As a result, the Chinese market still offers green fields for ambitious U.S. small businesses that seek to export products that have growing demand China.

Exporting your product China has a long list of challenges: language and cultural barriers, regulatory issues, logistics, IP protection… just to name a few. Even the most seasoned exporters struggle with the fundamental question: How can my company break into the Chinese market?

It seems that few good options exist. Agents abound but are often dubious. Good joint venture partnerships may take years to develop, and requires the U.S. exporter to give up some level of control and profits. Setting up a direct subsidiary or sales office can be prohibitively expensive, complex and time-consuming.

Weighing the time investment, capital requirements and business risks, many SMEs abandon their China entry ambitions, leaving the opportunity to bigger businesses with deeper pockets. However, some SMEs have discovered a relatively unknown business model that offers compelling advantages: low risk, low investment and local know-how.

The concept is dubbed the “sales incubator”, and the strategy is simple. View it as your company’s cost-effective outsourced sales department. A sales incubator provides its clients with the equivalent of their own sales team and office in China but with the added power of local China sales and business development experience… and without the overhead, liability and regulatory requirements of opening a Chinese subsidiary.

The sales incubators provide a comprehensive cross-industry platform for American SME’s to sell their products and build their sales channels in China. Their support programs range from single sales objective, trial sales efforts, and Chinese distributor support, to full-service sales support programs that prepare an SME for its own entity in China.

A good incubator provides their client with a professional China sales team in as little as two months. The service includes a market-specific salesperson hired for your business, China-proven management oversight, an inside salesperson and administrative support.

The CEO of one U.S. industrial products exporter describes how the sales incubator model worked for them. “[The sales incubator] was key to our successful entry into the China marketplace. From recruiting and managing our China-based representative, helping manage safety certification process, to navigating through the cultural and commercial nuances of China, they continue to be a valuable partner in establishing our brand in China.” 

In summary, the sales incubator model provides a platform for SME exports into China in early years. Once they have a foothold in the market, the client may choose to roll over the sales program into their own independent entity or otherwise expand their distribution channels.

For more information on exporting to China, contact your local U.S. Commercial Service Office about export assistance programs. (See www.export.gov.)

For recommendations on a sales incubators in China that would be a good fit for your company, you may contact the author of this blog, Ray Hays.

Email: ray@rayhays.com

Chile Keeps Warming to U.S. Franchising

Chile loves American products. Last week, at a Trade Mission reception in Santiago, Chile, I enjoyed skewer hors d’oeuvres of fresh California strawberries and Hawaiian pineapple.

Add a few other U.S. imports, such as the Apple Store and KFC, and you will see that American brands abound. For decades, Chile has offered an economically stable and receptive market for U.S. brands. If you stroll through a shopping district or visit any mall, you will see diverse logos of American services and products.

Read more the opportunity for U.S. concepts in Chile from this International Franchise Association article.

U.S. Franchising Blooms in Bogota

Colombia is often overlooked as an opportunity for U.S. exports. Having attended the U.S. Franchise Trade Mission to Latin America last week, I can attest to the fact that Colombia is open for U.S. business. If Colombia is not on your list of export target markets, think twice!

This article from the International Franchise Association provides good insight into the opportunity for U.S. brands.

Hot, hot, hot: Franchising in Panama

Along with dozens of other U.S. franchise concepts, I joined this Trade Mission to promote U.S. franchises to Latin American investors. Panama was our first stop. The market is booming, and U.S. franchisors found high levels of interest in introducing new American franchise concepts.

Our international franchise management company, EGS, represented a range of franchisors, including Sport Clips® Haircuts for Men, BrightStar Care®, Rita’s Italian Ice®, Fuddruckers®, Round Table® Pizza, and The Melting Pot®.

Click here for the full Article from the International Franchise Association blog.