MBITA CORPORATE SPONSORS:
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Wed, Sept. 25th
Global Marketing in the Cyberworld
Fri, Oct. 25th
Trade Between California and Mexico
Fri. Nov, 22nd
Topic: International Banking and Marketing - Partners in Trade
Sponsored by MBITA New Corporate Sponsor EastwestBank
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This newsletter has been created by MBITA's editor
In the past MBITA has concentrated only on the exporting side of Global eCommerce. We are now introducing an automated solution for importing called SmartBorder. SmartBorder is the first dynamic ASP hosted U.S. Customs ABI application for customs brokers, self-directed importers, and third party logistics providers. Please call the MBITA office to arrange a free demonstration of this affordable, automated importing solution.
Robert "Tony" Livoti
MBITA New Corporate Sponsor: East West Bank, Inc.
The Monterey Bay International Trade Association (MBITA) would like to introduce its new corporate sponsor East West Bank. East West Bank is headquartered in Southern California and has Northern California administrative headquarters in San Francisco with an additional 29 offices throughout the state, with 7 in Northern California and more to come.
East West Bank is a $3 billion asset-size bank that specializes in catering to the small and medium size businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area that have international as well as domestic finance needs. "There are all too few local banks emphasizing both the domestic and international needs of small and medium size companies in California" says Michael Farstad, VP of Commercial Lending located in the Cupertino office of the Bank.
East West Bank is also aggressive in promoting trade activities between California companies and Asia-especially to China. Many local businesses want to sell products to China buyers, but that can be an intricate transaction to accomplish. East West Bank specializes in helping its customers to sell products abroad with its Asian contacts and very experienced international finance personnel.
Combining international banking capabilities with a strong local presence, East West Bank is well positioned to help small businesses, especially in the growing Pacific Rim market. East West bankers have an in-depth understanding of the global marketplace and can help with a wide array of international finance and trade services.
Correspondent Banking Services include documentary processing, processing, remittance and foreign exchange.
Through their Web Base Trade Services system you can process your letter of credit application and communicate with East West Bank via Internet,anytime,anywhere with no additional charge (EWBtrade).
Mr. Farstad is a 26 year Bay Area resident and banker and has worked for several local banks in commercial and international banking. As the former Northern California Regional Manager for the State of California Export Finance Office (CEFO), he worked closely with MBITA and its clients and members supporting all of their export loan guarantee needs. CEFO works with exporting businesses to help them finance export sales with trade finance loan guarantees. CEFO is one of a few government programs (including the SBA and Export-Import Bank) which provides export working capital loans to California companies to promote California exports to the world.
Mr. Farstad was hired by East West Bank to emphasize the bank's desire to provide international banking services to the local communities in addition to traditional business banking services-cash management, PC banking, commercial, consumer, construction and real estate finance, etc. As a new corporate sponsor, East West Bank is looking forward to providing specialized and attentive service to MBITA members and clients.
MBITA New Member: California Giant, Inc.
MBITA welcomes to its membership one of the leading strawberry growers in the country. Built by the dedication of many hard-working individuals, California Giant Inc. produces 9-10 million crates annually.
California Giant began in 1969 as Monc's Consolidated Produce, a Watsonville company that procured and sold strawberries as well as other fruits and vegetables. Monc's was founded and owned by Bill Moncovich, who is the President of California Giant today. In 1983 Bill created Pacific Valley Sales, a Santa Maria company specializing in strawberries. Pat Riordan, Bill's cousin, joined him shortly thereafter, as did Frank Saveria and Red Bryan. These four gentlemen are all from the Watsonville area - the predominant U.S. strawberry-growing region for more than half a century. They've all been involved in the strawberry industry for most of their lives. In 1985, the name of the company was changed to New West Fruit Corporation. The company began concentrating solely on berries, with operations in Watsonville and Santa Maria.
In 1993, to establish sources of supply that would extend their strawberry season, the company began shipping Southern California strawberries from Oxnard. They determined that they could provide better quality and supply of the fruit that they ship to our customers by controlling as much of the chain of production as possible, including the farming operations.
In 1998 the company adopted their primary brand name, California Giant, as their corporate name in order to sharpen the company's brand focus. They now control most of the production that they ship around the country and the world, as well as the handling facilities. They breed many of their own varieties and have even acquired a strawberry transplant nursery to ensure yet greater control over the production and handling of the strawberries they sell to our customers.
From its own nurseries to its state-of-the-art cooling facilities, the company controls all aspects of their operation to provide the highest quality fruit available. Their team is committed to one common goal: the perfect berry. The company goes to great lengths to produce the most flavorful, healthy fruit possible. As we enter the 21st century, California Giant, Inc. is ready to meet the demands and challenges of an ever-changing marketplace.
Although California Giant is a large company, they have the flexibility to respond quickly to your needs and requests. The company is built on the dedication of many individuals who will surpass your expectations. Concerns for the environment, food safety, excellent quality and service are at the core of their business.
MBITA New Member: DigitalTech Displays
While DigitalTech Displays (DTD) is a newly founded company and new member of MBITA, the International Sales Manager, Shay Adams is well-known to the MBITA membership. As a long-time Board Member, Shay has been active in the international arena for over 20 years on the Monterey Peninsula. Previously with Slautterback Corporation in Monterey, which was acquired and relocated to Atlanta, Mr. Adams joined forces with DTD when they established their business in Sand City in February of this year. Currently with a staff of 10, DTD is importing the new flat-panel displays, which are primarily manufactured in the far-east (Japan, Taiwan, Korea, China). One of the co-founders and CEO, Nathan Nguyen also worked with Shay at Slautterback as Manufacturing Manager. He was a jet fighter pilot for South Vietnam during the war and came to the Monterey Peninsula in 1975.
DTD is focusing on a number of specialty markets for these new display technologies. "The gaming industry, medical imaging, interactive kiosks, marine, security, and POS (Point of Sale) are just a few of the exploding markets for these displays", Mr. Adams states. There are many advantages to these new displays such as the size (they can be hung on wall like a picture), vivid color and picture resolution, and they take less than 1/3 the power of the conventional type of tube displays. DTD expects the growth to be dramatic as the price and production costs continue to decrease. "We have reached the crossover point where the price of these new displays, coupled with their significant advantages, make it very difficult to even consider the purchase of the older CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) type displays - I think they will be dinosaurs within 5 years," Mr. Adams expands.
DTD is not trying to compete with the generic desktop type of displays or TV's, but is making value-added improvements for their specialty markets. This can include specialty packaging, such as for the marine industry, or special brightness or contrast features that might be required, as in outdoor or medical applications. These new displays also require sophisticated control electronics, which is a specialty of DTD and is becoming a larger portion of their overall business.
DTD has introduced more than 6 product lines in the past few months and their website explains them in detail and also provides examples of some of their applications. "Currently, it would be like taking coals to Newcastle, - but as our vertical markets continue to grow, we see exporting becoming a major part of the business." Mr. Adams indicates when asked about exporting. "Long term, DTD plans to be a leader in the new display technologies, not just the current LCD or Plasma. There are new technologies coming very soon that are truly revolutionary, such as electronic ink and OLED - and they will lend themselves to be more cost-effectively manufactured in the US" Mr. Adams concludes.
To learn more about DTD or this new technology and how it might apply to your business,
Shay Adams, International Sales Manager
A Japanese Woman's Perspective on the American Business Culture
In the past five years MBITA has had the pleasure of hosting five Japanese interns for one year periods under the International Internship Program in Tokyo. This program positions Japanese professionals, mostly woman, in an American business enterprise for a period of one year in a particular industry selected by the intern who wishes to make a change of career in that industry.
MBITA had the pleasure of hosting Satoko Seda this year and the following his her written perspective of her experience and insights as a young Japanese woman in the world of a non-profit international trade association.
I am Satoko Seda and was born and raised in Sapporo, Japan. I was educated at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto and received a degree in Japanese history. I began my professional career at a furniture retail company headquartered in Sapporo. I worked there for seven years but felt I needed to make a change to learn about international business and to improve my business English. I quit my job at the Japanese furniture franchise as a budget planner and I signed up to the International Internship Program in Tokyo. I was placed at MBITA in August of 2001.
The first noticeable difference I encountered at MBITA is how American businesspeople make their business connections. They call it 'networking'. I worked at MBITA's frequent luncheons and conferences and noticed that before and after the event the attendees aggressively introduced themselves to each other exchanging business cards and immediately talking about their particular business interests.
I believe that Japanese businesspeople in the small business sectors would benefit greatly if they 'network' more like the Americans. I also noticed that there are more events, seminars, conferences, workshops and online eLearning classes to help American businesspeople in their particular business sectors. I was very impressed by this process.
I also noticed that American businesspeople change their jobs frequently in their careers, which is also becoming more common in Japan. In the past a Japanese businesspeople would work with the same company their entire career. But now lifetime employment and seniority with one company is deteriorating quickly. Among Japanese young people in their 20's and 30's a change of jobs is now very active. Japanese workers in their 40's and 50's that have been laid-off because of the recession now find it very difficult to find a new job because most of them have a family to support and they request a similar salary that they were receiving at their previous job. This is a real problem in Japan and I am noticing there are some similarities in these regards in America.
I was impressed to see so many American women in responsible management positions. In Japan it is very difficult for women to continue to work and succeed in higher management positions after marriage and childbirth. There is a system in Japan for women to take a leave of absence from their jobs to raise a child. However this system is sometimes troublesome for Japanese woman. One reason is because their co-workers are not cooperative and Japanese women may quit their jobs against their better judgment.
This problem is exacerbated because Japanese men are not good at housework and childcare so some Japanese women who get married don't bear children. I think this is one of the reasons the Japanese birthrate is declining. The birthrate drop in Japan is a serious problem. According to Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare survey, Japanese babies born in 2001 decreased around 20,000 babies from the year 2000.
I also noticed some basic cultural differences that I needed to adjust to when living and working in America. The Japanese people try to guess what you are thinking before speaking. For instance, the Japanese will often decline a kind offer or an invitation from people they don't know well even they would like to receive that invitation. They feel it might be an imposition to accept. This attitude in Japan means being modest and thoughtful. On a second invitation the Japanese person might say 'yes' but sometimes it can work in the reverse. A Japanese person might say 'yes' but really means 'no'. Again, it's a feeling of being modest and thoughtful for the person extending the invitation. In the American working environment this kind of cultural difference can sometimes cause misunderstandings and difficulties.
My one-year internship in America was very enjoyable. I had the opportunity to travel to many cities like New York, New Orleans, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. I visited a lot of tourist attractions and enjoyed the variety of different foods in New Orleans and noticed how large the portions of food were. I spoke to many people because my English had improved during my internship at MBITA and I was impressed that there are so many different kinds of people in America.
I now look forward to returning to Japan to use my new English skills and better understanding of international business for a new career in Japan. I believe this kind of internship program would be very helpful for American professionals like myself to do an internship in Japan. Trade between Japan and the U.S. is very beneficial to both of our countries. The more we learn about each other's culture and business practices the more peace and prosperity peace we will have between our countries.
…David Hoffman, renowned marketing guru addresses MBITA's Santa Cruz chapter on how to market through the web, and Italian office talks about the European Union.
On June 7th, 2002 MBITA Santa Cruz chapter luncheon meeting had over 40 local businesses in attendance. Before the two main speakers were introduced, MBITA's new Corporate Sponsor All World Currency Worldwide gave a brief presentation on their currency exchange services for small businesses.
Moreno Bertoldi, Counsellor for Economic and Financial Affairs at the European Commission Delegation to the US in Washington DC represents the European Union (EU) in the United States then gave his presentation to the lively Santa Cruz group. Mr. Bertoldi discussed the EU's economic and monetary integration, the new Euro currency and the EU's current economic relationships with the U.S. and Japan.
David Hoffman of Guerrilla Media then gave a very informative and humorous presentation on global marketing communications strategies. Mr. Hoffman is a nationally acclaimed Peabody Winner and Producer/Director of over 100 PBS and TBS documentaries. He also specializes in creating, researching, writing, producing and distributing marketing communications messages for Fortune 500 companies. Mr. Hoffman discussed how to craft the most effective messages for particular audiences using mass media and the WWW. MBITA was so impressed by Mr. Hoffman's presentation that we have asked him to give a similar presentation to the Monterey Chapter on September 25th.
Congressman Farr Speaks on the New Farm Bill in Monterey
On July 1st, 2002 at the Monterey chapter luncheon meeting at the Old Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey, Congressman Sam Farr discussed the latest developments and issues of the new Farm Bill that was signed by President Bush last May.
"The new Farm Bill will help new initiatives for export of specialty crops from the Monterey Bay region", stated Congressman Farr at a Monterey chapter luncheon where over 50 representatives of the Monterey Bay business community attended. The congressman eluded that the new Farm Bill has funds directed mainly to the 'corn-belt' states, but did say because the Monterey Bay region is one of the largest agricultural hubs in the US, there are some benefits that will come out of the new Farm Bill for our region.
Also making a presentation was Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Bruce Blakeman of the U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC). He and Mark Weaver, director of the Monterey Export Assistance Center of the USDOC, gave 'Exporter of the Year Awards' to local companies, Casa De Fruita, exporters of dried fruits and nuts, and Falcon Trading Company one of the leading exporters in the region of organic foodstuffs.
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