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World TradeWinds



June - July 2013 - Issue N. 170
A Publication of the Monterey Bay International Trade Association (MBITA)

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MBITA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

President
Tony Livoti
MBITA

Vice President

Shay Adams
AIM Medical Sales

Members


Dr. Edward Valeau
Els Group LLC
Hartnell College
President Emeritus

Marcelo Siero
IdeasSiero

Jim Faith
Jim Faith & Associates

Cristina Polesel
MBITA
General Manager


MBITA
Contact Info
P.O. Box 523
Santa Cruz, CA 95061
U.S.A.
Phone: 1-831-335-4780
Fax: 1-831-335-4822
Email: info@mbita.org
Web: www.mbita.org


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

This newsletter has been
created by MBITA's editor
Cristina Polesel
cristina@mbita.org



World TradeWinds Sponsorship Information

World TradeWinds
is a monthly eZine distributed
to over 20,000+ subscribers located domestically and overseas.

MBITA's World TradeWinds eZine is also posted in the TradePort Collaborator, the online 'intranet' for California's global trade promotion service providers who collectively represent over 60,000 importers, exporters, trade promotion service providers and investors throughout California.

....
Call the MBITA office at
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IN THIS ISSUE

MBITA New Member
Law Office of Elena Eckert


MBITA New Member
The Outback Company

MBITA New Member
Fresh Junky Clothing Co.

MBITA New Member Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce

MBITA New Member Susan Duggan

What's NewTrade Finance Update

What's NewNational Export Initiative (NEI) Update

Ayse's Corner
U.S. Turkey Free Trade Agreement

The BRICS Countries -
A Global Growth Powerhouse - Monterey, CA - May 24th, 2013

The Monterey Bay Region - Like No Other - Salinas, CA - May 2nd, 2013


MBITA's UPDATE

We have a number of new MBITA/TradePort members featured in this issue from a wide array of industry sectors as well as updates on MBITA/TradePort's two conferences that were held in May of 2013 on the BRICS countries and the 'branding' and 'marketing' of the Monterey Bay region.

Also, see the featured columns on trade finance and global marketing from MBITA member Meridian Finance and Ayse Oge. Enjoy.

See MBITA upcoming events at www.mbita.org/events/home.php


Tony Livoti

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Tony Livoti
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MBITA New Member
Law Office of Elena Eckert

Law Office of Elena Eckert logo MBITA welcomes new member Law Office of Elena Eckert.

Attorney Elena Eckert, J.D., LL.M., is an experienced business and tax attorney with a background that spans continents and gives her a broad viewpoint of both personal and business practice requirements. Although experienced in a variety of areas, she has developed her practice to have a strong focus on business, corporate and tax law.

The Law Office of Elena Eckert provides comprehensive legal and tax services to local and international businesses in the following areas: corporate structuring, commercial contracts real estate services, taxation wealth structuring and planning for success.  International businesses may become distracted by tax, legislative, and regulatory constraints around the world.  Mastering their impact on business operations and cross-country transactions is vital to a company's success.

Elena Eckert was born and raised in Russia, where the majority of her practice experience was first acquired. She attended the prestigious Dnepropetrovsk National University Law School and graduated with honors.  Over the next seven years Elena became in-house counsel for one of the country's largest retail companies where she handled taxation abatement issues regarding the importation of goods into the country. In addition she also negotiated various agreements representing the interest of the company including successfully arguing a case for her company before the Supreme Court of Ukraine.

After coming to the United States in 2008, Elena attended McGeorge School of Law where she earned a Masters degree in Public Law and Policy. After graduating from law school in the U.S., she worked for the State Board of Equalization, Taxpayers' Rights Advocate Office. Her position there provided her with the opportunity to expand her skills by working closely with taxpayers, both individuals and companies.

Attorney Eckert's international and domestic commercial law and tax experience allows her to ensure that projects are planned and completed with the necessary tax and regulatory input, and taking account of all relevant corporate and commercial legal matters.

Ms. Eckert is also bi-lingual in Russian and English.

Elena Eckert

Contact:
Elena Eckert, J.D., LL.M.
Law Office of Elena Eckert
Tel. (916) 450-1609
Email: Elena.Eckert@ecklegal.com
Web: www.ecklegal.com

MBITA New Member
The Outback Company

The Outback CompanyMBITA welcomes new member Outback Company Inc.

Jack Bass, President of the company is a design, manufacturer and wholesaler of contemporary casual furniture.

Outback is located in San Diego, California. Established in 1998, as a U.S.A. subsidiary, of its parent company in South Africa.

Mr. Bass, a dual citizen, will be returning to his native, Cape Town South Africa, later this year and will be very interested in establishing U.S.A. companies, within a wide variety of industries or services, looking to gain market share in the fast growing Southern African market.

Mr. Bass carries with him a wealth of business contacts in South Africa, as well as sound knowledge of the U.S. market place and knows the Southern African business culture well; this gives him a unique ability to gain momentum rather quickly.

Mr. Bass is no stranger to BRICS opportunities, having worked for almost 20 years between U.S.A. and South Africa.

Mr. Bass will be delighted to explore opportunities for established companies looking to enter the Southern African market.

He would be interested in working within the following markets:

Food and Nutritional Products:
Health/Lifestyle related products:
Agricultural Products:
Electrical Power Systems/ Green Power/Alternative Energy:
Mining Equipment:
Safety/Security Equipment

Jack Bass

Contact:
Jack Bass
President
Outback Company Inc.
Tel. (858) 202-1841
Web:
www.outbackcompany.com
Email:
jack@outbackcompany.com

MBITA New Member
Fresh Junky Clothing Co.

MBITA welcomes new member Fresh Junky Clothing Co.

Fresh Junky Clothing Co. logoFresh Junky represents a borderless, global Lifestyle originating from California. Our designers have created Surf, Skate, and Urban Streetwear to serve as the initial launch pad on the journey towards an alternative culture far beyond the realm of fashion.

Hence, the birth of the apparel brand, Fresh Junky. FJ quickly staked its claim in the street-wear realm, becoming the destination brand for street savvy consumers. Fresh Junky maintains a focus of providing clever innovation through fabrication, application and design to its customers.

Individuality has been one of the brand's top priorities.
With the practice of trial and error, FJ continues its attempt in targeting more than the typical urban customer. Ten years have passed since the birth of FJ, and now our FRESH way of life secures it's place in history.

 

Contact:
Rei Camacho
Sr. Account Executive
Fresh Junky Clothing Co.
Tel. (646) 305-8182
Web:
www.freshjunky.com
Email:
rei@freshjunky.com

MBITA New Member
Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce

SVCC logoMBITA welcomes new member Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce

"Things are shakin' at the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce! Times have changed and we're changing with them," Paul Farmer, President & CEO remarks.

As one of the largest business associations in the tri-county area, the Salinas Chamber is working on behalf of their members to help grow a stronger local economy and improve the quality of life for everyone. Check out their newly-revamped website at www.SalinasChamber.com or Like them on Facebook. You'll see some of what they are doing to benefit their members - small businesses, large businesses, government agencies and non-profits.

"If you like talking to live humans (do people still do that?), we'd love to hear from you! Swing by our office at 119 E Alisal St in Salinas or give us a jingle at (831) 751-7725," Paul Farmer says. You can also shoot an email to Info@SalinasChamber.com if you'd like to receive their free email, "Word to the Member," which helps keep you aware of Chamber headlines. "With so many ways to reach people these days, sometimes we wonder what it must have been like when our only options were the Pony Express or a telegraph!," concludes Paul Farmer.

Salinas Chamber of Commerce Staff

The Staff of the Salinas Valley Chamber is "At Your Service!": Angel Garibaldo, Roxanne Noble, Paul Farmer, Carla Watkins, Paul Fuller

Paul Farmer

Contact:
Paul Farmer
President & CEO
Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce
Tel. (831) 751-7725
Web: www.salinaschamber.com
Email:
info@salinaschamber.com

MBITA New Member
Susan Duggan

MBITA welcomes new Member Smart World Center, the
Next Generation of Innovation.

"We always saw ourselves as the 'Switzerland' of the Internet industry," remarked Susan Duggan, founder and CEO of the Silicon Valley World Center. "A neutral place for innovators - large and small - to create ideas that turned to profit."

After twelve years running that showcase and think tank for a great variety of clients throughout the world (including IBM, SAP, Deutsche Telekom, Fujitsu, HP, among others), Dr. Susan Duggan created a successor entity called the "Smart World Center." A virtual company (for now), it services a variety of clients interested in profitable, "smart" innovations, be they for the high tech sector, agriculture, or education.

In its initial years, Dr. Duggan, through the Center, designed and conducted eight think tank sessions for Project 17 - Monterey Bay, examining innovative solutions to significant issues in the agricultural sector (e.g., food safety; nitrates; water management). "We look forward to providing service to clients from Silicon Valley to the Salinas Valley who are interested in sharp, smart dialogues that will move their businesses forward."

For more information please see: www.smartworldcenter.com or contact Susan Duggan at duggan@smartworldcenter.com

What's New

MBITA's finance column features articles from the experts in trade finance for exports.

Trade Finance

New Trade Credit Insurance Programs

MBITA member Meridian Finance Group provides credit, insurance, and trade finance tools that companies can use to expand their domestic and international sales. We specialize in brokering trade credit insurance, which protects accounts receivable against nonpayment risks. During the past 20 years Meridian has brokered policies for hundreds of companies all over the U.S.A. and in other countries. The credit insurance market continues to evolve and we want to share information with you about a few new programs.

Insurance on Foreign Suppliers: Financing is difficult to obtain in developing economies, so foreign suppliers sometimes get cash deposits from their U.S. customers or trade finance loans from U.S. banks. But what happens if the goods are never delivered or the supplier defaults on the loan? Insurance is now available to protect against these risks, underwritten based on the supplier's own financial strength or with the support of an SBLC issued by the supplier's bank. The minimum insurable risk is $1 million.

Policies for Factored Receivables: As more exporters have begun factoring their foreign receivables, a growing number of factoring companies are using export credit insurance to manage their overseas A/R exposures. Insurers are writing more policies for banks, asset-based lenders, and factors that discount foreign receivables without recourse, as well as for exporters who factor their insured receivables with recourse. Either structure protects both parties' foreign receivables against virtually all nonpayment risks.

Single-Debtor Credit Insurance: Insurers have resumed covering adversely-selected (cherry-picked) receivables, mostly on top-tier debtors with unassailable credentials. When a large debtor is facing financial difficulties, the alternatives for credit risk protection are generally limited to A/R put options and credit default swaps. Now Meridian is brokering a new single-debtor insurance policy, albeit with higher rates than multiple-debtor policies, for covering selected high-profile distressed debtors.

Performance Bonds vs. Standby L/Cs: When exporters ask for cash deposits or letters of credit, their foreign customers sometimes demand performance bonds in return. The conventional solution is for an exporter's bank to open a standby L/C to the buyer, which serves the purpose of a bond but may severely restrict the exporter's assets and working capital. Meridian is working with several U.S. bonding companies to develop a true performance bond for eligible exporters to use in these kinds of situations.

More Trade Credit Underwriters: Growing demand for credit insurance is being met with expanding capacity from existing underwriters and also by new insurers coming into the U.S. market. Among the latest entrants are Amtrust, Beazley, Chaucer, Equinox, Ironshore, Kiln, Talbot, and XL Group . . . A-rated carriers, each with unique capabilities, and all brokered by Meridian Finance Group.

For more information, contact Meridian Finance Group at insurance@meridianfinance.com.

What's New

National Export
Initiative (NEI) Update

International Visitors Spent $14.4 Billion in the United States in March 2013

First Quarter U.S. Travel and Tourism Exports Contribute $43 Billion to the U.S. Economy
May 6, 2013

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank highlighted new data that shows spending by international visitors to the United States in March 2013 totaled more than $14.4 billion, an increase of nearly 3 percent when compared to last year. International visitors spent $43 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities within, the United States during the first quarter of 2013. The data release coincides with National Travel and Tourism Week, celebrated each year to recognize the positive impact the industry has on our economy.

"International travel and tourism represents our country's largest services export," said Deputy Secretary Blank. "So far this year, international visitor spending in the United States has markedly outpaced U.S. spending abroad by more than $13 billion, which continues our momentum from 2012's record-setting year. Likewise, last week's jobs report showed continued strong job growth in the leisure and hospitality industry. Travel and tourism is an important sector of our economy, which is why we are continuing to increase our efforts to attract more international tourists to vacation in the United States."

Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the United States totaled $11 billion during March. These goods and services include food, lodging, recreation, gifts, entertainment, local transportation in the United States, and other items incidental to foreign travel. Fares received by U.S. carriers (and U.S. vessel operators) from international visitors also increased by nearly 3 percent to $3.4 billion for the month, an increase of $70 million when compared to March 2012. Overall, the United States enjoyed a favorable balance of trade for the month of March in the travel and tourism sector, with a surplus of $4.2 billion.

Travel and tourism-related industries as a whole support nearly 8 million American jobs. President Obama's National Travel and Tourism Strategy, which was announced a year ago, aims to attract more than 100 million international tourists per year by 2021, visitors that would spend an estimated $250 billion per year, supporting more jobs and spurring economic growth in communities across the country.

Increasing U.S. travel and tourism will not come at the expense of national security. The President's plan for common sense immigration reform includes a number of proposals to support his commitment to increasing U.S. travel and tourism while maintaining our nation's security. Specifically, the President's immigration proposal reforms the Visa Waiver Program to strengthen law enforcement cooperation while facilitating more efficient trade and tourism to the United States, securely streamlines visa and foreign visitor processing, and strengthens and improves infrastructure at ports of entry. These priorities are reflected in recently introduced bipartisan immigration reform legislation, which the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin considering this week.

This press release was issues on Monday, May 6th by the Office of Public Affairs of the U.S. Department of Commerce
Press release source article

To learn more about Commerce's ongoing efforts to promote international travel and tourism, visit http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/

##########
The National Export Strategy is available also at
http://trade.gov/NEI and http://export.gov.
International Trade Update at
http://www.trade.gov/publications/ita-newsletter/
United States Department of Commerce
Office of Public Affairs - Tel. 202-482-4883
##########

Ayse Oge

Ayse's Corner

U.S. - Turkey Free Trade Agreement


Ayse Oge is a published author and global trade marketing expert. She is the author or the book Emerging Markets. Ayse's Corner is a periodic feature for the World TradeWinds eZine'.

The United States and Europe have recently started to establish groundwork for the planned TAFTA (Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement) for trade and investment. This agreement would help to jumpstart the ailing European economy to restore growth, boosting American exports by reducing regulatory barriers and creating a robust new free trade zone of almost a billion consumers.

However, Turkey will be affected unfavorably by this pact, facing unfair competition against products entering Turkey duty free and Turkish products being subjected to high customs taxes abroad.

The United States exported over $12 billion of goods/services to Turkey and imported more than $6 billion. The U.S. trade balance with Turkey posted a net surplus of $6.2 billion. Bilateral trade has expanded in favor of the U.S. by doubling exports and increasing the amount of American companies investing in Turkey to 1,200 since 2007. The U.S. government has designated Turkey as a priority market under the National Export Initiative. The Turkish Ministry of Economy has identified six U.S. states (California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois and Georgia) as the focus of its efforts to increase bilateral trade with its U.S. counterpart.

U.S.' relations with Turkey - a dependable U.S. ally - have been going strong, due to Turkey's economic vitality and geopolitical prominence, located in close proximity to Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia. Turkey also has the world's 16th largest economy, which has elevated its influence regionally and globally. Turkey's growing economic strength provides a tremendous opportunity to strike a free trade agreement with the U.S. to offset the potential trade deficit that could emerge from the signing of TAFTA and boosting its exports to the U.S.

Despite the challenges the U.S. and Turkey encounter in their bilateral trade relations, now is the time to implement innovative ideas and solutions to forge the new economic partnership that will be beneficial for both countries and their people. Special efforts aimed at strengthening trade between the U.S. and Turkey include:

  • Overcoming market access barriers, emphasizing regulatory compatibility, streamlining export procedures, assistance for small and medium-sized enterprises, and producing globally competitive branded products in both countries.
  • Enabling businesses to focus on key sectors such as renewable energy, financial services and infrastructure.
  • Encouraging people-to-people ties that will be conducive to developing relations, which is essential to any trade success.
  • Scheduling visits on the part of governors, mayors of large cities, and business associations to undertake trade missions in both the U.S. and Turkey.
  • Setting up Global Education/Training Centers to develop and enhance the existing skill and knowledge of Turkish business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs' by providing training on creativity, marketing savviness, and organizational and management skills to tap into the American consumers and come up with customized unique products for the target markets in the U.S.
  • Facilitating close cooperation and collaboration between the U.S. and Turkish businesses to generate new trade opportunities and expand existing trade in third country markets, especially in the Middle East and North Africa and also extending their economic sphere of influence in Sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, Latin America and the Pacific region.

The potential U.S. - Turkey Free Trade Agreement will be instrumental in creating an environment in which both countries can partner together, thrive and create much-needed jobs through increased commercial ties and expanded trade and investments.

Ayse Oge is a published author and global trade marketing expert. She is the author or the book Emerging Markets. Ayse's Corner is a periodic feature for the World TradeWinds eZine'.

Ayse Oge is President of Ultimate Trade, International Trade Consulting, Speaking and Training. Her work has been featured by Fox Business Online, Bloomberg Business Week Online and she was quoted by Investor's Business Daily and American Express Open Business Online. She is the author of Global Business Guide and a new book, World Wise Children, which helps children develop international skills and qualities needed to create future opportunities and realize their dreams. She is Counselor at SCORE, conducting export seminars and webinars for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

 

Contact:

Ayse Oge
President
Ultimate Trade LLC
Tel. 818-609-9196
Email: oge@earthlink.net
Web: www.goglobaltowin.com

MBITA/TradePort event


BRICS conference banner

MBITA/TradePort's event on the BRICS countries held at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) on May 24th was a great success for all presenters and attendees. The event showcased 17 different presenters on their BRICS expertise. All the presenter's slides can be viewed in the agenda of the event web site.

The opportunities and challenges that exist when working with the BRICS countries as the strongest growing regional sector in the world were addressed. All of the panelists and presenters demonstrated a clear picture that there are tremendous opportunities for American companies for bilateral trade and investment with the BRICS, especially in the IT, agro-technology, clean-tech and agricultural industries.

Please see some comments below from some of the attendees.

Panel

BRICS afternoon Trade Promotion Service Q & A Panel (Aileen Nandi, Silicon Valley Export Assistance Center; Satya Narayan, Royse Law Firm; Roberto Machado, Michael Page; Elizabeth Turner Fox, U.S.-China Clean Tech Center (USCCTC) - Innovation Center for Energy and Transportation (iCET); Lynn Sarkany, MarketFinders; Stephen Scheibe, Allabroad.org; Barbara Cole, Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan; Paul Watts, Export-Import Bank of the U.S. (EXIM BANK).

Comments from attendees

'Your BRICS conference was well done and very worthwhile attending. From the very beginning, some years ago, when I first met you and Tony I have appreciated the good and hard work you both have done in making these events happen. Each event has been valuable to me and I have made many worthwhile contacts through the years. Please be assured that your good work is much appreciated.'

Michael Durney
Mampeza Industrial SARL
Benguela, Angola

###

'I really enjoyed the conference and the information presented. It was a great forum to hear so many ideas and voices. The speakers were exceptional.'

Mystere Sapia
Contracts Manager
ROLANDS & ASSOCIATES Corporation

###

'Please convey my sincere congratulations to all MBITA staff for a great conference on May 24, 2013. It was a productive learning experience and I have already done some follow up. I have established a connection with Gunjan Bagla from Amritt Ventures, yesterday I signed an agreement with a firm from Turin, Italy to represent their interests in California. On Monday I have a teleconference with State Senator Galgiani to talk about legislation to allow California High Speed Rail staff to receive technical training from the International Union of Railways in Paris sometime in the near future. In addition, our employees come from all corners of the globe, including Russia, Nepal, Lebanon, Vietnam, India, and Indonesia. Again, thank you for a great well organized conference.'

Jack Ybarra
President / CEO
Transmetrics

###

'Thanks for the wonderful event last week. I really got a lot out of the content and presentations. We will be doing some follow-up on social media this week!'

Leslie Levy August
Senior Vice President
Corporation for International Business

###

'A million thanks for the opportunity to participate in yesterday's BRICS conference. In addition to high learning, high networking opportunities, I so appreciated the professional ways you eased the path for speakers like us. Thanks again!'

Lucie Newcomb
President & Chief Executive Officer
The NewComm Global Group, Inc.

###

'It was great to attend the BRICS conference and share timely information on these countries and regions. Please receive my best regards.'

Juan Alfonso Almanza
20 years in State, Fed, & Foreign Gov't Int'l Trade & Development services with a focus on food, agriculture and water

###

View the photo gallery.

MBITA/TradePort events

Branding Banner

The Monterey Bay Region - Like No Other

Congressman Sam Farr of the 20th District again showed his support and vision for 'branding' and 'marketing' the Monterey Bay region to the domestic and global marketplace at the 3rd in succession event on this project which is led by MBITA/TradePort and a group of regional business leaders.

21 panelists and presenters gave their perspective on the uniqueness of the Monterey Bay region, not only as a prime travel and tourism destination but also as leaders in marine science, language, agro-technology, organic agriculture, specialty crops, wine grapes and an array of entrepreneurial activity in IT, clean-tech and sustainability that feeds off the region's northern borders with Silicon Valley.

You can view all the presentation slides for this event in the agenda of the event web site. See the MEDIA coverage. Stay tuned on the evolution of this exciting project, and yes, the Monterey Bay region is 'like no other'.

View the photo gallery.

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Export Institute

Online Export Classes
This six-course series will cover all key areas of the export industry, including markets, sales representatives, pricing, agreements, shipping and payments. You can earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and a Certificate in Export Management. The classes are available online 24/7, so you can start immediately and learn at your own pace. More

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