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Posts Tagged ‘US Commercial Services’

International Business: Doing Business in Spain

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Nathaniel Nelson, our international trade officer, reports on the recent roundtable discussion in Portsmouth held earlier this week. – Ed.

New Hampshire’s 20-mile coastline is home to numerous maritime technology businesses eager to expand their reach to distant shores.

Representatives of these firms came out to a recent roundtable discussion with Angela Turrin, an international trade specialist with the U.S. Commercial Service stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Spain.


Angela Turrin, left, at the recent roundtable discussion about doing business in Spain.

Why was this an important meeting for these New Hampshire businesses? For the valuable insight it provided into a market that can only come from those with first-hand knowledge.

During the meeting, Turrin provided her thoughts on many cultural factors, such as ways to cultivate relationships and the tempo of business transactions in the region. Entry into foreign markets is no easy task, so foreknowledge is extremely valuable.

The meeting enabled local businesses to learn the value and benefit of the many partnerships that the State of New Hampshire has built with national and international partners. It is these partnerships that can help make entry into a foreign market go from challenging to manageable.

As we saw here and at previous roundtables, unique opportunities often arise. Those attending this meeting were introduced to a new overseas market, were able to ask questions, and put forth ideas to the experts. During the exchange, Turrin learned about the capabilities of these New Hampshire companies, which will serve her well as she works on establishing business connections for them.

The takeaway for these companies is that they need to explore maritime opportunities in the Iberian Peninsula. According to Turrin, that region serves as one of the main gateways to the European market due to its strategic location near France’s border and the Cantabrian Sea, with open access to the Atlantic Ocean and the cultural and geographical closeness to Africa. The Basque Country is also positioned as one of the world’s leading regions in the field of marine renewable energies.

Participating businesses received valuable insight into some of the niche trade shows for future participation (e.g., Oceanology International, Ocean Business) and highlighted some ways that US companies could benefit from partnering with the U.S. Commercial Service. Participants were provided with a list of European distributors of marine science and ocean technologies.

Nathaniel Nelson  International Trade Officer Office of International Commerce

Nathaniel Nelson – Office of International Commerce

The meeting concluded with remarks noting that Spain and Portugal have a lot of room for growth and trade in the Marine Technology sector and that this is a demand that New Hampshire businesses can meet.

Now that the businesses have been provided with some stones to lay a foundation for entry into the markets discussed, they can now begin taking the next steps of building upon those stones and, ultimately, grow their business.

The Next STEP

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Monday started off quite nicely, thank you, with the announcement that New Hampshire will receive nearly $300,000 for the second year of funding of the State Trade Export Promotion.

This money will be used just like the acronym says – to help small businesses here in the Granite State take a STEP toward exporting their products overseas.

The announcement, which included remarks from US Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Jeanne A. Hulit, the Small Business Administration’s Associate Administrator for Capital Access, was made at Axenics inNashua, a small manufacturer that makes specialized assemblies, clean piping products and gas systems. Right now, the company exports less than 10 percent of its annual sales, but it has worked with the International Trade Resource Center and made use of funding in the first year of the grant to investigate and increase its export potential.

“STEP is working for us,” said Haywood Schmidt, president of Axenics, who added that the 28-year-old company intends to grow over the next two years and create 35 new jobs.

Christopher Way, interim Director of the Division of Economic Development, said the STEP program, at the conclusion of its first year, “has provided a valuable infusion of assistance to small businesses and funding for state export programs.”

In the first year of the STEP program, 24 New Hampshirecompanies received assistance from the grant and in the second year, that will continue. Matching grants will be available to qualified businesses to offset the cost of export promotion, including tradeshow fees, translation of websites and developing marketing materials.

On Thursday, representatives of six New Hampshire companies, including Axenics, Corfin Industries of Salem, EPTAM Plastics of Northfield, Orion Wire of Haverhill, Tech Resources of Milford and Wall Industries of Exeter, head to Montreal.

Gov. John Lynch is leading the Aerospace and Tourism Trade Mission on Thursday and Friday, during which the Granite Staters will take part in the Montreal Aerospace Global Supply Chain Summit .

By stepping up to this mission, the participating companies will receive a wealth of information and make valuable connections that will, ultimately, open trade opportunities.

“Those of you familiar withNew Hampshire government know one thing – we don’t like to sit on the sidelines and our businesses have no interest in standing still while the global economy swirls around us,” Way said. “ This is why STEP is important.”


Lorna Colquhoun

Communications Director

Division of Economic Development




Take a STEP into Exporting

Monday, June 4th, 2012

The global market for aerospace and defense industry products made right here in New Hampshire is heating up.

             At the same time, the state’s Office of International Commerce has a key ingredient for businesses looking to take advantage of overseas opportunities – grants to help them make that leap.

            Investing some time and using the funding to check out what the world has to offer can have these businesses flying high and landing products around the globe.

            The OIC received a State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant that can help small and medium sized companies serving the aerospace and defense sectors cover the cost of market research overseas.  For eligible companies, these grants, provided in partnership with US Commercial Services, can save up to $700, as they begin the process of marketing their product in foreign markets and screening the responses.

            “We know there is an intimidation factor,” said Tina Kasim, program manager for the OIC. “We know that some of the regulatory aspects for many exports are a barrier for companies. But now is the time for many of them to jump into the overseas market and there is financial help available to make that happen.”

            In 2011, aerospace components were the ninth largest commodity exported from New Hampshire to countries around the world. Trade missions from China, Turkey and Taiwan to the Granite State in the past month illustrate the interest there is in products made here.

            “They look here, specifically, for US-made products and they know that New Hampshire is on the leading edge of new technology,” Kasim said.

            The assistance available, and underwritten by the STEP grant, provides individualized research on the markets where a company’s product is in demand.

            “We have the money for market research specifically for aerospace and defense,” she said. “This STEP grant for these sectors does the initial ground work for the companies, like determining whether certain countries have the right market for those components and products, what the competition looks like and a look at local regulations there and how it affects companies here.”

            Despite a soft global economy over the past year, New Hampshire companies that export have been doing well.

            “During our economic downturn, companies and manufacturers looked overseas to secure and diversify their markets,” Kasim said. “In many cases, this enabled them to retain their workforce, if not create more jobs right here at home.”

            For more information about how the STEP grant can help your business, contact Kasim at 603-271-8444 or tina.kasim@dred.state.nh.us or Justin Oslowski of the US Department of Commerce at Justin.Oslowski@trade.gov or 603-953-0210.