World Tradewinds

August - September 2005 - Issue N. 130
A Publication of the Monterey Bay International Trade Association (MBITA)






MBITA Annual Luncheon with Congressman Sam Farr
Fri October 21, 2005
Monterey, CA
Crazy Horse Restaurant
at Bay Park Hotel

For more information
about this event visit

To register for MBITA luncheons and events, call 831-335-4780 or email including the event specifics you are signing up for in the subject line.

For more details on MBITA events, go to


Tony Livoti

Vice President
Shay Adams
AIM Medical Sales


Dr. Edward Valeau
Hartnell College

Marcelo Siero

Jim Faith


Cristina Polesel
General Manager

Emi Hirano
Marketing Assistant

Tomoko Takamura
Marketing Assistant

Lidia Thompson
Eastern European Consultant

725 Front St. Ste 104
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 U.S.A.
Phone: 1-831-335-4780
Fax: 1-831-335-4822

If you would like to have an article published on this newsletter please contact the editor by email.

This newsletter has been created by MBITA's editor
Cristina Polesel

MBITA Members and Corporate Sponsors' Newsletter Links

CalTrade Report

Small Business Technology Review

World TradeWinds Sponsorship Information

World TradeWinds is a monthly eZine distributed to over 3,500 subscribers located statewide, nationwide and overseas. The newsletter is also distributed to eight service centers located throughout California, representing over 30,000 small to mid-sized enterprises.

Call the MBITA office at
831-335-4780 for sponsorship rates and benefits.



This month's issue focuses on two countries we believe have some great trade and investment opportunities, Vietnam and Spain. These two countries have very different business cultures yet both have expanding economies and aggressive trade and investment strategies. MBITA has built some strong business ties with these two countries and look forward to discussing in detail how we can support your interests and efforts with trade and investment in Spain and Vietnam.

Tony Livoti


This is the first edition of MBITA's World Tradewinds eZine that allows you to interact with your comments, articles or suggestions. Please visit the MBITA eZine blog to make your comments.

Thanks to Sean Gilligan of vBlog Central for help setting up the blog.




MBITA New Member: Invest in Germany (IiG)


Invest in Germany, GmBH, presents business opportunities in Germany to potential investors around the world. Headquartered in Berlin, Invest in Germany (IiG) is an agency of the German federal government with branch offices located in the U.S., Japan, China and Brazil. IiG's U.S. offices are located in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

IiG's focus is on industries in which Germany has particular strengths and advantages such as Photonics, Biotechnology/Life Sciences, Nanotechnology, Green Technologies, Automotive, Aerospace, Information Technologies / Telecommunications, and others. There are industry specialists in each of these fields in the Berlin office. IiG frequently organizes panel presentations and other events in the U.S., either as stand-alone events, or in conjunction with trade shows and conferences, to present information and business opportunities to select audiences. Valuable connections are often made at these events, such as for in- or out-licensing deals or for financing.

With highly respected speakers from many disciplines, including business leaders, researchers, venture capitalists, industry experts and many others, these events offer specialized information to U.S. businesspeople with an interest in learning more about trends and emerging opportunities in the German and European Union markets. For example, early in 2005, IiG presented a panel of speakers at a luncheon at the annual Photonics West Conference in San Jose. Speakers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics; Rofin-Sinar, a world leader in laser technology; OptecNet; and SPIE, the worldwide industry association; and others, helped to make this a standing-room only event.

IiG produces two regular English-language publications. The Invest in Germany Magazine is published twice a year, in January and July, and contains interviews, success stories, descriptions of major deals, information about political and tax trends and practical information about living in and doing business in Germany. The Invest in Germany Newsletter is published every two months and contains information about recent deals, events and industry news. These and other publications, such as the 169-page, Business Guide to Germany are available in hard copy or can be downloaded from

IiG also works directly with U.S. firms that are interested in setting up or expanding operations in Germany. IiG offers practical assistance, including site selection; introductions to regional authorities in any or all of the 16 German states; industry information; guidance with respect to the German corporate environment and business practices; support through IiG's extensive network of contacts in the public and private sectors; information about markets or market segments; assistance with regulatory issues; and other services.

For more information, please contact IiG's West Coast representative:

Angelika Geiger
Invest in Germany, LLC
201 California St., Suite 450
San Francisco, CA 94111
Tel: 415 248-1246 - Fax: 415 627-9169

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Bridging International Business Opportunities Between the U.S. and Spain

On May 15th Tony Livoti, President of MBITA, represented's 'California-Spain Initiative' at the 3rd annual US-Spain Executive Program at Harvard University. This program is offered jointly by Real Colegio Complutense in partnership with Harvard University.

The Real Colegio Complutense is a non-profit organization established in 1990 by Complutense University of Madrid in cooperation with Harvard University to foster scholarly and scientific exchange between Harvard University and Colegio Complutense as well as other prominent universities in Spain. This Executive Program is attended by top American and Spanish Managers to help them capitalize on the wealth of business opportunities that exist today between the U.S. and Spain.

As part of the presentation led by Michael Liikala of the U.S. Commercial Service office in California, Tony Livoti gave a presentation on's California-Spain initiative. This initiative offers free marketing and industry reports on Spanish industries provided by the Foreign Commercial Service office at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Spain. In the past year hundreds of inquiries of these reports from TradePort users have been distributed to Trade Promotion organizations throughout California and the U.S. to offer trade promotion services to these users for possible trade and investment support in doing business with Spain.

Mr. Livoti proposed in his presentation that a similar website such as TradePort could be created in Spain linking its various economic development organizations in provinces located throughout Spain to California's trade promotion network represented through TradePort.

This effort is now being worked on by MBITA, as managers of TradePort, and the various Spanish economic development organizations that attended the conference. "I believe there are some great opportunities for California companies in trade and investment with Spain. Spain's economy is the fastest growing of all EU nations and Spain offers a great foothold into doing business in the EU", states Tony Livoti.

Please contact the MBITA office for more details on attendees to this Executive Program and also potential trade and investment opportunities to and from Spain and California.

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MBITA Luncheon
Vietnam in the Global Marketplace
Monterey , June 30, 2005

Over 40 participants attended a MBITA luncheon on trade and investment with Vietnam with four guest speakers discussing the various opportunities, challenges and future of U.S. trade and investment with Vietnam.

The luncheon program began with an overview of the current Vietnamese economy with highlights of the U.S./Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement presented by the keynote speaker, Ernest Garcia, CEO of San Francisco-based Direction 21 who specializes in business strategies in China and Southeast Asia.

Mr. Garcia then presented information about Vietnamese import opportunities, emphasizing Vietnamese goods that can compete in the U.S. marketplace.

Mr. Garcia then highlighted the benefits of the Vietnam-U.S. Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA), emphasizing that Vietnamese goods are highly competitive in the U.S. market. He also mentioned opportunities that Vietnam's investment law creates for U.S. companies in Vietnam.

Tran Quoc Tuan, Trade Consul, Consulate General of Vietnam in San Francisco then gave a presentation on the importance of U.S./Vietnamese relations in trade and investment. He highlighted some of the key trends that American business people should note about Vietnam and included remarks about American investments in Vietnam.

Ms. Michelle Moquin, Owner and Apparel Designer of MOQ Designs, San Francisco, shared her successful experience and achievements in doing business in Vietnam. Presently her full line of apparel designs are manufactured in Vietnam and her company is making sales of $500,000 per year in the U.S.
-- with expectations of 20% growth in 2006. Ms. Moquin highlighted how her business efforts have led her to be successful in the Vietnamese domestic market with her products soon to be selling in over 100 stores throughout Vietnam.

Mr. Phan Son Truong, Assistant Regional Manager, Vietnam Airlines, San Francisco spoke about Vietnam Airlines travel service and the increased travel that is taking place between California and Vietnam -- particularly after December 2001 when a Vietnam Airlines office opened in San Francisco. Mr. Phan highlighted the contribution that Vietnam Airlines has made to the economic development of Vietnam. He informed the luncheon participants of Vietnam's efforts to implement the BTA with the U.S., gain entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), and create a more liberal business and investment environment for foreigners. He highlighted Vietnam's government with its increased stability for foreign investors.

The luncheon was highly spirited as a group of concerned Vietnamese Americans who live in Monterey, California, picketed outside of the luncheon venue. This Vietnamese American group have organized a local chapter of the Federation of Vietnamese Americans, Northern California (FVA/NC) and are joining the voices of Vietnamese overseas in expressing their concerns of Vietnam's PM Phan Van Khai and his entourage that recently toured the U.S., Canada and Japan urging these respective business communities for investment in Vietnam.

Dan Hoang, President of the FVA/NC expressed his concern with MBITA's World TradeWinds that doing business with Vietnam just for the sake of doing it may not be so fruitful. For example, Vietnam has been designated as one of the Countries with Particular Concerns (CPC) and the business community needs to be reminded of Vietnam's human rights abuse record.

"Doing business in Vietnam can directly or indirectly help create jobs and a better quality of life for the Vietnamese but, continues Mr. Hoang, investors should be very prudent about who their partners are in Vietnam and avoid pouring money into a corrupted bottom-less tank which inadvertently will help the Vietnamese regime instead of helping the people of Vietnam".

It is MBITA's opinion that trade and investment with Vietnam is a step in the right direction. "The more we can interact with the people of Vietnam with trade, investment and services, the closer the people will be towards a more democratic life. I think China is a good example when you compare where the Chinese people are today with their economic prosperity and integration into the world community as opposed to ten years ago", states Tony Livoti of MBITA.

L-R: Hon. Tran Quoc Tuan, Trade Consul, Consulate General of Vietnam in San Francisco, Ernest Garcia, CEO of Direction 21, Michelle Moquin, Owner and Apparel Designer of MOQ Designs, San Francisco, Tony Livoti, President of MBITA and Phan Son Truong, Assistant Regional Manager, Vietnam Airlines, San Francisco.


Ernest Garcia
CEO, Direction 21
Tel. 415-522-0396
Michelle Moquin
Owner and Apparel Designer,
MOQ Designs
Email :

Hon. Tran Quoc Tuan

Trade Consul, Consulate General of Vietnam - San Francisco
Vietnam Trade Office in San Francisco
Tel 415-410-8068 - Fax 415-673-7181

Phan Son Truong
Assistant Regional Manager, Vietnam Airlines - San Francisco
Tel. 415-677 0888 - Fax 415-677 9788

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by Ernest Garcia of
Direction 21

GDP is forecasted to grow at average of approximately 7% through the current decade.

Major exports

  • crude oil o furniture
  • apparel and textiles
  • electronics and computers
  • seafood o handicrafts
  • footwear
  • agricultural produce (Vietnam is the world's second biggest exporter of coffee).

Major industrial imports from U.S.

  • aircraft
  • machinery
  • iron and steel
  • cotton and agricultural products (wheat, dairy products and fresh fruit)
  • hardwood lumber
  • Industries such as computer/electronics are receiving high priority from the government.
  • In regard to heavy industries, foreign investors have contributed heavily into steel, cement, and engineering.
  • Vietnam is involved in significant trade with Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, China, Australia, the EU and the US.
  • Vietnam has a significant level of foreign investment in services sectors (e.g. hotels, tourism, real estate, banking and finance).


  • Good supply of smart and well educated people
  • Low cost of labor
  • Abundant natural resources
  • Willingness to comply with international rules


  • Important manufacturing hub
  • U.S. imports from Vietnam are about 8 times the dollar amount U.S. exports to Vietnam
  • Growing GDP
  • Large young population base
  • Increased demand for consumer goods
  • Expected further liberalization of economic structure
  • ASEAN, APEC and ASEM (future WTO)
  • Bilateral agreement with U.S.


  • Business licensing procedures have been greatly simplified in Vietnam.
  • Legal Environment: all businesses operating in Vietnam follow Vietnamese law. Foreign businesses can apply foreign laws under specified circumstances.

Tax incentives granted to foreign investors in Vietnam include:

  • low business income tax rates
  • generous tax holidays and/or tax reductions for projects in priority sectors and regions
  • exemption and/or postponement of import duties and/or VAT for certain imported items
  • exemption or reduction of land rent, natural resources tax and technology transfer tax -- and more.

Sectors with FDI encouragement and "best prospects" for American firms

  • Computer Hardware and Services
  • Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution
  • Telecommunications Equipment and Services
  • Oil and Gas Machinery and Services
  • Medical Equipment
  • Packing Equipment
  • Air Traffic Management Systems
  • Safety and Security Equipment
  • Plastics Machinery
  • Education and Training
  • Environmental Protection equipment

Best Prospects for American agricultural exporters

  • soybean meal
  • bulk cotton
  • wheat and wheat flour
  • livestock genetics
  • fresh fruit and vegetables
  • snack foods, canned foods
  • forest products and hardwood lumber

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3rd Annual Tet Celebration
a Feast of Fortune

San Francisco, CA - February 11, 2006

The East Meets West Foundation partners with the people of Vietnam to improve their health, education, and economic conditions. Their programs focus on children and families living in poverty.

Founded in 1988, the East Meets West Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-governmental organization that promotes sustainable development in Vietnam. In 2004 alone, EMW's projects benefited over 186,000 people in Vietnam and continue to have a lasting impact on the country.

Based in central Vietnam, their programs enhance the education and health of children; build and renovate vital institutions like schools, hospitals, medical clinics; and provide clean and safe water systems for home and agricultural use. They also provide scholarships, medical care and safe homes to poor families and children.

Every year the East Meets West Foundation rings in the Vietnamese Lunar New Year with the Tet Banquet. The 3rd Annual Tet Celebration: A Feast of Fortune, will commemorate the Vietnamese Lunar New Year at the Hotel Nikko, San Francisco, February 11, 2006. All proceeds support innovative humanitarian programs that benefit the people of Vietnam.

Attendees include community leaders with an avid interest in international trade, development, world affairs, philanthropy and Asian cultures. Outreach to 2,700+ individuals throughout the United States plus thousands more via website and newsletters. Current supporters include Asian Pacific Islanders, Vietnamese Americans and American Veterans.

Sponsoring the 3nd Annual Tet Celebration is an immediate and effective way to:

  • Support sustainable development in Vietnam
  • Demonstrate an awareness and responsibility to help people in need
  • Enhance your business' image
  • Reach a professional audience
  • Stimulate awareness of products or services
  • Increase positive image recognition by consumers
  • Generate awareness and visibility for your company
  • Entertain clients, prospects and employees
  • Partner with a highly-reputable, international organization
  • Promote goodwill as a leader in public service

For more information and sponsorship opportunities, contact:

Thuy Linh
Events Coordinator
East Meets West Foundation
Tel. 510. 763. 7045, x17

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MBITA Member DeFeo Associates, Inc. is seeking, $5M-$30M annual revenue, software development and consulting companies with sales or marketability in the defense sector for possible acquisition by a client investment group forming a $100M defense and high tech sector corporation. Contact Bob DeFeo,
tel. 831-238-4605

Leader organic ingredient company based in Santa Cruz, CA, has a full time job opportunity for a sales support/logistics person. Contact Grace Marroquin, Marroquin International, tel 831-423-3442.

Submit your trade opportunities leads at

The Small Business Technology Institute has just released, together with Symantec Corporation, its latest market intelligence report: titled 'Small Business Information Security Readiness'. The complimentary report can be downloaded at:

Please go to MBITA newsletter archives to see other MBITA Members profiles and visit MBITA's Export Promotion Services.


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