New Hampshire exports are a vital part of our economy – $4 billion in 2015, supporting over 18,000 jobs in the Granite State.
In 2014, 2,734 businesses here exported their goods to markets overseas. Is it time for your business to go global?
Your go-to resource is the Office of International Commerce, which assists businesses with finding those markets and helping you navigate the process. Program Manager Tina Kasim and international trade officers Nathaniel Nelson and Rachel Adams (above) work with partners like US Commercial Services, the Small Business Administration and The Provident Bank to provide timely information and training seminars.
If the EEF program sounds familiar then that’s because it’s been around since 2014 assisting companies with international growth.
“Since its inception, New Hampshire companies have used the EEF over 60 times to support their international business development activities in over 20 markets,” said Tina Kasim, program manager of the New Hampshire Office of International Commerce. “We’re excited to see its continued growth through the partnership of The Provident Bank and we look forward to continuing our work with New Hampshire’s exporters to grow their international presence.”
Qualifying businesses can use EFF funds, via indirect grants, to take advantage of the many services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Commercial Service. With these programs, businesses looking to expand their market reach overseas can use the funds to cover costs of due diligence on and even meeting with identified partners.
The EEF program is open to qualifying New Hampshire companies with 1,500 employees or less in their state’s location. Although the program aims to concentrate on manufacturing companies, services companies, including educational institutions, travel and tourism, engineering and other service companies, may also qualify.
For the first time in the trade show’s history, the United States is the featured country; President Obama joins German Chancellor Angela Merkel to open this year’s event. Hannover Messe typically hosts over 200,000 people from more than 70 countries, including global investors, buyers, distributors and government officials.
“Taking part in this premier trade show puts New Hampshire in front of the world and gives us a platform to talk to international companies about the benefits of investing or expanding in the Granite State,” said Jeffrey Rose, commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development. “Direct foreign investment is a key driver of our state’s economy, with dozens of foreign companies located in New Hampshire, who are growing and thriving here.”
Director Carmen Lorentz
Tina Kasim, Office of International Commerce
Carmen Lorentz, director of the Division of Economic Development, and Tina Kasim, of the Office of International Commerce, will attend the trade show.
“We’re looking forward to meeting with global companies and talking to them about the state’s favorable business climate, educated workforce and possible partnerships in our key industry sectors, including aerospace and defense; advanced composites manufacturing and life sciences research and manufacturing,” Lorentz said.
The Division of Economic Development, part of the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development, is the one-stop resource for business information and assistance for companies within the state and those from outside looking to expand or relocate their business here. For more information, visit nheconomy.com.
(Rachel Adams takes over the blog today. She is our international trade officer and coordinator of our webinar series. – Ed)
Part of the mission of the Office of International Commerce is to educate New Hampshire businesses about the benefits of exporting and help them find global markets.
We’ve brought back our webinar series this year and the next one is scheduled for Thursday (3/17). From the comfort of your office, you can learn about the topic Expanding Overseas Sales through E-Commerce. The presenters include representatives from eBay, who will talk about increasing international business sales via e-commerce; growing marketplaces; export compliance and economic development opportunities.
E-commerce and social media have become powerful tools that companies of all sizes are using to expand their business. This webinar will have particular appeal to our small businesses, who will learn about the platform. Among the questions we’ll be asking:
What is different about shipping B2C instead of B2B?
What is the benefit of shipping to international customers?
What documentation does the U.S. seller have to provide for the international shipment to be processed?
Our webinars cover a variety of topics and are geared toward companies that are new to exporting, as well as businesses experienced in global markets. We started 2016 with a webinar discussion Updates on United States Sanctions Cuba, Iran, Crimea, Russia & Ukraine, a newsworthy topic and will continue with the e-commerce and how to utilize international trade leads (that’s coming up next month). Our webinar series is informative and worth the time and we’re looking forward to you joining them.
For more information about our webinar series and international trade, contact me or visit www.exportnh.org.
International Trade Officer
Office of International Commerce
We talk about international trade a lot on this blog, letting our businesses throughout the state know about the opportunities to be had overseas. Global markets likely need products and services made right here in New Hampshire – they just need to know where to find them. Our Office of International Trade works diligently to introduce businesses to these markets through its many partnerships. James Demers answers this week’s 5 Questions about one of those organizations.
1. Can you explain a bit about what the International Trade Advisory Committee does for the state and your role within it? The International Trade Advisory Committee is a committee authorized by law with the primary mission of assisting the Department of Resources and Economic Development and the state’s Office of International Commerce in promoting and increasing international trade for New Hampshire businesses.
Legislative leaders have recognized that opportunities exist for New Hampshire businesses to participate in the world economy and they have actually tasked DRED with developing resources to assist companies in this area. So, ITAC is one element that brings a group together with experience and interest in international trade to assist with these goals.
2. You’ve been involved in the field of international trade for many years, even serving on the board of directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corp. What can you tell us about the opportunities for New Hampshire in the export market?
It is an honor to serve as chairman of New Hampshire’s International Trade Advisory Committee as well as having been appointed by President Obama to serve on the board of the Overseas Private Investment Corp., which is the federal government’s development financial institution.
Many people think that international trade and business opportunities in developing countries are solely for very large corporations, but one of the things I have learned from both organizations is there are tremendous international opportunities for small businesses too.
The key point is businesses need to think a bit outside of the box. If they have a product or service that works well here in New Hampshire or in the United States, it is likely there are other places that could use it too. As a matter of fact, in many cases there are foreign markets that lag the United States and need many products we take for granted here.
Companies, big and small, that are looking to grow should think about potential opportunities in other countries. And that is where the state’s Office of International Commerce can help. Small businesses rarely have the expertise to figure out how to proceed in getting into another country, or even determining where opportunities might exist. People need to recognize the state has a division that can assist them.
3. Are there industries in New Hampshire that may not be thought of as exporters, but could discover tremendous opportunity for their businesses if they pursued an export strategy?
Absolutely. The one that comes to mind is in the healthcare delivery system. During Governor Hassan’s trade mission to Turkey, I met with a businessman in Istanbul who owns a cancer treatment hospital in Turkey. He told me that they have several missing elements of cancer healthcare, most notably hospice and palliative care facilities. That made me realize there is a significant need for hospice services that could be delivered by American entities that know how to deliver this aspect of service.
4. What are the biggest challenges to New Hampshire exporters right now, and what is ITAC doing to help solve them?
One of the challenges is actually finding foreign business markets and making contacts in countries that might help develop export opportunities. That is where the state’s Office of International Commerce can help. Businesses should not hesitate reaching out to the OIC for assistance.
5. What’s coming up for ITAC that’s new and exciting?
Earlier this year, the legislature amended the ITAC law, adding additional members who will bring more expertise in the area of international trade. We have always had support from federal agencies like the Commerce Department and Small Business Administration, but the law change also adds representatives from the state’s four-member congressional delegation, which hopefully will help coordinate even stronger collaboration between state and federal trade agencies. This should help bring even more resources and information for New Hampshire businesses looking to enter foreign markets.
The Dubai Air Show begins Sunday, but we got a sneak peek at USA Stand 1856 this morning, thanks to Paul Jensen of HALO Maritime Defense Systems.
New Hampshire is one of six states exhibiting at the show for the first time. Through a State Trade Export Promotion grant, the Office of International Commerce, joined by HALO, AQYR and Transupport, will showcase the state’s growing aerospace and defense industries.
A Dubai businessman this morning called our attention to an article about the show:
“This trade show also catches the attention of international media from over 1,000 different global outlets. Today it is the largest air show in the world and it provides an access to a large number of provincial markets of decision makers and is a successful trade show in the international aerospace calendar.”
Three companies, whose capabilities span from the ocean floor to satellite orbit, join the New Hampshire Office of International Commerce next month at the Dubai Air Show (Stand 1856), which will feature more than 1,000 exhibitors representing 60 countries and draw over 60,000 people to five day event.
This will be New Hampshire’s first appearance at the biennial air show, one of the largest trade shows in the Middle East. The Dubai Air Show runs from Nov. 8-12.
“This is a premiere event for New Hampshire to showcase its aerospace and defense capabilities,” said Tina Kasim, program manager for the Office of International Commerce, part of the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development. “Our companies are eager to be out in front of the decision makers who will be at the show and as a state, New Hampshire is ready to show how its aero/defense industry can meet the demands of a growing Middle East market.”
The companies’ representatives say their presence at the air show provides valuable exposure.
“Participating in the show gives us the ability to present our product to a worldwide audience, which we could not do on our own,” said Mark Wheeler, director of business development for AQYR. “By being at the Dubai Air Show, we’ll be able to seek out local and regional companies for distribution and sales partnerships. We’ll have access to military, government and commerce officials and all of these together increase our visibility and capabilities in a way we could not achieve on our own.”
HALO Maritime Defense Systems’ CEO Paul Jensen said that even though his company designs defense barriers for use at sea, the government and military officials with whom he needs to connect will be at the air show. Being part of the New Hampshire booth will also be a benefit.
“For American companies, this lends credibility – people trust you and recognize that you are not a ‘suitcase salesman,’” he said.
For Transupport, being visible at an international venue is important.
“It’s a global economy and as a small New Hampshire business, this gives us an opportunity to branch out in an ever changing market,” said company vice president Ken Foote.
With more than 300 companies and manufacturers in the state involved in the aerospace and defense industries, New Hampshire will be one of six states exhibiting at the Dubai Air Show. The Office of International Commerce will promote the industries, highlighting its advanced composites manufacturing capabilities and other innovative technologies.
For more information about the Office of International Commerce and upcoming programs, contact Kasim at 603-271-8444.
(Kristine Adams is our intern this summer at the Office of International Commerce and we’re taking full advantage of her expertise; she has a dual major in international relations and Spanish, with a minor in politics, at St. Anselm College, where she’ll be a senior. Working with US Commercial Service, she’s helping to coordinate our trade mission to Colombia. – Ed.)
¡Buenos días, empresas de Nueva Hampshire!
With its fast growing economy and free trade agreements in place, Colombia is market rich in opportunity that New Hampshire businesses should explore by joining the Office of International Commerce on a trade mission to Colombia, Oct. 19-21.
This mission offers New Hampshire businesses an introduction to this South American country.
Why join a trade mission? It’s typically a government-supported business development program where participants considering international expansion meet directly with potential customers and partners in a foreign market. Our goal is to introduce New Hampshire businesses to those in Colombia through the combined networks of the OIC, US Commercial Service and the US Embassy.
Value-added services, like group transportation, a country briefing with the U.S. Embassy, personalized translation for your business meetings and a networking reception with the U.S. ambassador, are also included.
Why Colombia? Many OIC clients have expressed interest in expanding to Latin America and Colombia has market needs that align with the goods and services New Hampshire businesses produce. Some of these target markets include (but are not limited to): aerospace and defense; education; electric power and renewable energy; food processing equipment; IT; infrastructure; medical equipment; processed food and beverages, and travel and tourism.
Economic indicators in Colombia are strong. With political stability, continued growth and moderate inflation, the Colombian economy is the fourth largest in Latin America and boasts major commercial and investment ties to the rest of the world. With the implementation of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement in 2012, Colombia has become the third largest market for U.S. exports in Latin America. Last year, New Hampshire businesses exported $30,409,307 worth of goods there.
Why use the AmCham? In addition to the support of the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá, the American Chamber of Commerce of Colombia, a non-profit organization with over 1,000 affiliated Colombian companies, will provide supplementary services to New Hampshire businesses and coordinate high value appointments with potential partners and customers outside of Bogotá. Collectively, its offices in Bogotá, Barranquilla, Cali, Cartagena and Medellin have over 60 years of experience in stimulating trade and investment between the US and Colombia.
Not sure if your business has what Colombia needs? The OIC can arrange for a conference call with the U.S. Embassy and the AmCham to discuss your market potential – at no cost to you.
One of the most difficult challenges an expanding business can face is how to bring its products and services to other countries. Language barriers are just the beginning – regulations (domestic and international) must be minded, marketing strategies must be adjusted, contacts must be made, and oftentimes additional funding is required to get a company’s exporting activity off the ground.
To find out more about the resources available to New Hampshire businesses in navigating this landscape, we interviewed Karen Wyman, trade compliance manager at Elbit Systems of America in Merrimack. Ms. Wyman is also the chairman of the Granite State District Export Council, a private, non-profit organization whose members are appointed to four-year terms by the US Secretary of Commerce. DECs connect experienced international business people for mentoring and advising other businesses on their entry or expansion into international markets.
1. The official mission of the Granite State DEC is “to encourage and support exports that strengthen local business, stimulate economic growth and create jobs.” What does that look like on a day-to-day basis?
On a daily basis, the DEC members are called upon to assist other New Hampshire exporters with specific questions or issues they face. DEC members are vetted and approved by the US Department of Commerce to ensure they meet the requirements of DEC membership, such as being able to be of benefit to the local exporting community in a productive and ethical way.
Other activities include the management and running of various grant programs that we have co-funded with other exporting agencies and groups within New Hampshire.
We also participate in the many international trade events hosted around the state and coordinate provision of services with our many partners, in New Hampshire and around the world, especially the New Hampshire Export Assistance Center, New Hampshire Office of International Commerce, New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium and Small Business Development Centers.
We often act as a multiplier for our partners, promoting their events, supporting their activities financially and administratively, etc.
2. Can you share a couple of examples of how the DEC assisted individual businesses recently?
– One DEC member has assisted a New Hampshire exporter needing information on how to export to India and the “ins” and “outs” of having a local representative there;
– Another DEC member has assisted several New Hampshire exporters with specific and general questions regarding export compliance (the regulations overseeing exports of items of national security sensitivity);
– One DEC member recently assisted a New Hampshire exporter with an issue related to the use of a carnet in Italy. A carnet, also known as a merchandise passport, can simplify customs procedures for temporary imports into a country. – Ed.
3. What, in your opinion, are the biggest challenges businesses face today when trying to export their products and services?
– Lack of knowledge of how to penetrate a specific foreign market. Each country has different sets of regulations, norms, and cultural expectations, all of which impact how a product or service is sold in that country. To varying degrees an exporter needs to modify its export strategy for each target country. It’s hard to know all the information you need to be successful in that market. Through the DEC and its many partners, we can help an exporter find those elements needed for its success.
– Complex export regulations. New Hampshire is strong in high technology products and services, whether it’s for the medical, IT, aerospace or defense sectors. Due to the high level of technology involved, the US has regulations to ensure that those technologies do not fall into enemy hands. The various sets of regulations are complex, confusing, and in many cases, overreaching in their control. The DEC, along with our partners and the Congressional Delegation, have been advocating for the alignment and revision of these regulations to meet both the needs of national security and the exporter.
– The need for funding export expansions. Many companies need assistance with capital needed to expand due to an international contract, project, etc., but banks are often skittish about helping. A number of sources for help exist for New Hampshire exporters:
* Export Import Bank – This bank has been a vital resource for a number of exporters as they need capital to fund their international endeavors. It’s a US government agency, which receives no funding from taxes, with the sole purpose of helping US exporters!
* NH Export Expansion Fund – a micro grant system funded in part by the DEC to get a small international project off the ground.
* SBA financial programs – SBA has several programs to assist small exporters.
4. How did you, personally, come to the DEC, and what inspires you to do this work on behalf of NH’s exporters?
I used to work at the state’s International Trade Resource Center when the DEC was reinitiated. I was asked to be a member so I could provide my knowledge in a capacity that was needed by our exporters.
I love helping companies expand their markets internationally. I’ve traveled around the world and have seen and experienced the complexities that exist. It’s very satisfying to help an exporter succeed in a market.
The help I provide ultimately helps the overall state economy. New Hampshire has a very strong mix of beautiful nature, great education and advanced business. I live here, I want to keep it thriving for all of us to enjoy.
5. What events does the DEC have coming up for businesses interested in learning about or ramping up their exporting activities?
Upcoming events are:
– NHADEC annual conference, 4- 8 pm, Wednesday, June 10;
– Healthcare Executive Service to India, Monday, July 27 -Saturday, Aug. 01;
– State of New Hampshire Trade Mission to Colombia, Oct. 19-21.
More information for these events and a listing of all of our events, and those we promote, can be found on our website.
Nathaniel Nelson, our international trade officer, reports on the Combating Terrorism & High Tech Networking Summit held earlier this week. – Ed.
When it comes to combating terrorism, you may not think New Hampshire can contribute much to the arsenal of prevention.
When it comes to the security of our nation and defense of the global community, scores of New Hampshire businesses are at the forefront of the fight, with innovative equipment, software, components and technology that help keep us safe.
Our companies and manufacturers present an array of sea, air and land capabilities – like antennae, sensors, unmanned vehicles, software and security systems. Innovation is in our nature and time and again, these businesses have been global leaders in innovative technologies and products that are a vital to the U.S. defense industry.
US Sen. Kelly Ayotte with members of the New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium
Earlier this week, about 75 people, representing some of these companies came out to the Combating Terrorism & High Tech Networking Summit at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. Sponsored by U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, the New Hampshire High-Tech Council and the New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Consortium, the summit provided Granite State businesses the opportunity to introduce their capabilities to representatives from the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the independent, not-for-profit organization In-Q-Tel.
For a few short hours, it was a showcase of aerospace and defense capabilities and why New Hampshire is earning a reputation as a hub of innovation.
By the end of the summit, our businesses established partnerships that will help build and strengthen the local economy. More than that, these relationships
Nathaniel Nelson International Trade Officer Office of International Commerce
will contribute to making the world a safer place. Ayotte noted that the mission of combating terrorism and protecting the U.S. is not just a job of the government; it’s a call New Hampshire businesses have answered.
What is the value of these summits? This interest and enthusiasm catches, and holds, the eye of federal agencies who may not otherwise know about the capabilities industry can provide.
Additionally, local businesses learn about the current and emerging requirements needed to keep communities and countries safe.