Archive | April, 2012
Diabetes

Global News from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Tax: the average tax burden on earnings in OECD countries continues to rise. The average tax and social security burden on employment incomes increased in 26 out of 34 OECD countries in 2011 according to the new OECD Taxing Wages publication. Tax payers in Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and the Slovak Republic were among those hit with the largest increases. Those in New Zealand and the United States saw their tax burden fall. In Hungary, the average single worker without children was faced with the largest increase in the tax wedge, but for families with children, it fell.

Health: the high cost of diabetes. Across OECD countries some 83 million people suffer from diabetes. On current trends, that will rise to almost 100 million by 2030.  Like other chronic diseases, diabetes reduces employment opportunities and earnings. In addition, diabetics are prone to depression, making it difficult to follow treatment guidelines.  In the coming 10 years, more than two out of three people will be overweight or obese in some OECD countries. This has an impact on both their salaries and their health – across OECD countries, obese people earn up to 18% less than non-obese people. And they are 8 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. This jumps to 60 times more likely for the severely obese.

Prevalence of diabetes in 2010, adults 20-79 years

Credit crunch squeezing entrepreneurs and small businesses more than big firms. The credit crunch has been tougher for small and medium-sized businesses than for large companies. SMEs are crucial engines of economic growth, jobs and social cohesion, according to the OECD. In many countries they represent around 99% of all firms. Access to finance remains one of the biggest challenges in the creation, survival and growth of small firms.  Analyzing  data from 18 countries, the OECD report finds that business loans to SMEs fell sharply during the recession and although they picked up somewhat in 2010, they generally failed to reach their 2007 levels. Venture and growth capital also suffered a big drop during the period studied.

Further reforms needed to sustain Korean growth and social cohesion. Korea recovered faster and more vigorously from the global crisis than most OECD countries, but strong economic growth alone will not be enough to address the fundamental challenges posed by its rapidly ageing population and rising inequality, according to the OECD’s latest Economic Survey of Korea. “Korea is one of the most dynamic economies in the world, with low levels of unemployment and solid public finances that place it near the top of the class in the OECD,” Mr Gurría said. “The fundamental challenge today is designing policies to cope with its ageing population, which will be the second-oldest in the OECD by 2050, while bringing down income inequality and relative poverty, which have been rising for the past 15 years. Economic growth by itself will not be enough to achieve social cohesion.”

Nasbite-author

NASBITE Member Leif Holmvall: “Export & Import – Winning in the Global Marketplace”

During the recent 25th Annual NASBITE conference held in Portland, Oregon I had the pleasure of chatting with a veteran trade professional, Leif Holmall, about his interesting book on International Business.

His book: “Export & Import – Winning in the Global Marketplace”, is a practical handbook for how to do international business. It suits both the person who is new to the game as well as representatives of business organizations who want to improve their skills for a more advanced professional approach. The book takes the reader step by step through topics such as culture, women in international business, researching market information, finding and activating a foreign representative, setting up distribution channels, export pricing, shipping, how to get paid, dealing with different currencies, adapting products/services, sales material and organizations to new markets, legalities, staff training and much more. The text contains hundreds of real-life examples from the author’s over 40 years of experience conducting international business in about 100 countries. It also presents case studies from other business people and organizations.

The book promises to provide readers what they need to know when going global:

  • The difference between domestic and international business
  • Which market to export to
  • How to adapt your company to become successful
  • Setting up distribution overseas
  • Export pricing
  • Getting paid
  • Dealing with foreign currencies
  • Finding a foreign representative

His Website: ExportPro.com compiles information garnered from the author’s 40+ years experience doing business in 100 countries and delivering consulting, business education and coaching services, to help expand businesses into international markets. He is also the creator of the innovative Export Master® program.  EXPORT MASTER® is a program for those who wish to rapidly improve their export and global business skills.  The program includes a combination of education, training, practical work and advice to develop individuals and groups within the company into a more knowledgable and active team. It works with all staff members ranging from the president and chairman of the board to those involved in marketing, finance and shipping.

The Author: Leif Holmvall, the owner and President of Export Pro Inc. He has lived and worked in both Europe and North America and gained his experience as an executive of several Swedish companies covering a broad range of industries. Leif served as Swedish Trade Commissioner to Canada. He has operated his own consulting companies since 1982 assisting foreign companies to do international business.  Most of his companies’ work is with overseas clients. Part of the business includes acting as an agent or representative for foreign companies to set up distribution channels, and select and activate distributors. His clients include companies in North America, Europe and Asia.

Capoeira

NASBITE Conference Speaker Nate Monosoff: Lessons Learned in Brazil: Strategies for Success

There were many great presenters, workshops and key-note speakers at the 25th Annual NASBITE Conference held last week, April 2012, in Portland, Oregon.

Some of them include: Dario Gomez, Associate Administrator for International Trade at the U.S. Small Business Administration; Michael Irwin, Federal Security Director;  and John Priecko, President and Managing Partner, Trade Compliance Solutions.  There were many International Business consultants, Trade Specialists, College Professors, Trade Program Directors, Economists, Business Managers and more.

Nate Monosoff

One of the highlights of the conference was the lunch presentation on Wednesday, April 19th by Nate Monosoff. Nate is a consultant for  CH2MHill. Established in 1946, today CH2MHill is “a global leader in consulting, design, design-build, operations, and program management.” They have 264 combined office locations around the world.

Nate talked about lessons he learned from working in Brazil. He has traveled extensively to Brazil for personal and professional reasons since 2003.  He has done public and private sector planning, engineering and consulting.  He has worked with the Ministries of Development, Industry and Commerce (MDIC), Treasury, Communications, Science and Technology, the Brazilian National Economic Development Bank and the Brazilian Industry Development Agency.

So why work with Brazil?  There are strong macro economic conditions there, says Nate.  Economic growth, a strong domestic market, natural resources, growing population, energy resources and technology, and democratic and economic institutional stability to name a few. The new middle class is projected to represent 56% of the population by 2014. Nate also says that “fiscal policies and domestic demand are forecast to keep Brazil growing sustainably…”

What are the challenges of working with/in Brazil?  One challenge is that it is not an easy market to enter into.  Secondly, the way they do business in Brazil is different from what we are used to.  Other factors are:

  • Credit can be very difficult to get and is very expensive
  • Taxes are complex and expensive
  • Enforcing contracts is not easy

Capoeira demo

Nate told stories of real experiences to illustrate the things to remember when dealing in Brazil:

  • Relationships are everything
  • Local knowledge is key
  • Language is critical
  • Time is flexible
  • Change is common
  • Rules are not always rules
  • The culture is risk averse (except when traveling on the back of a motor scooter holding a large suitcase)
  • Taxes are a big deal

Nate finished his presentation with a group demonstration of Capoeira which is a Brazilian Dance and Martial Art. He is an instructor of this amazing cultural form.

You can contact Nate at nate.monosoff@ch2m.com

NASBITE-CGBP

NASBITE International Certified Global Business Professional Program, Part lI

So What is the CGBP?  

It is a “benchmark for competency in global commerce. The CGBP designation demonstrates an individual’s ability to conduct global business, including global business management, global marketing, supply chain management and trade finance.  For candidates experienced in international trade, the certification confirms that knowledge. For candidates just beginning, it establishes a professional development goal to ensure a full understanding of the profession.  For organizations, it assures that employees are able to practice global business at the professional level required in today’s competitive market.”

How was the CGBP created?

NASBITE contracted with Professional Examination Service to create the certification, thus ensuring the most reliable, professional and comprehensive exam. Many partners were enlisted on the international, federal, state, industry and local levels.  From 10/2000 until 9/2002 feasibility studies with focus groups were held to determine support and identify issues.  These were primarily international trade professionals from the private sector. From 07/02 until 09/03 was a practice analysis study to identify and validate the major areas of knowledge (domains). In the summer of 2003, 1500 experts in international trade were surveyed.  The final stage was to develop the exam.

 So who should become a CGBP?

  • Individuals working in the profession
  • Students studying for a career in the profession
  • Individuals in small and large companies
  • Students in 2 or 4 year college programs

What are the benefits of achieving this certification?

  • Identifies to employers a proven competence in global business
  • Assures an understanding of a broad range of issues rather than only one or two areas
  • Use of the credential logo and wording on resumes and business card

How do you become a CGBP?

  • Prepare for the test.
  • Practice test is available on-line with 75 questions.
  • Pass the NASBITE CGBP exam which consists of 150 multiple choice questions.  The exam fee is $395.  The exam is offered at Prometric test centers in over 20 countries.
  • Have completed either 2 years of college-level studies OR 2 years working in the field of global business

Go to the NASBITE website for more information.  http://www.nasbitecgbp.org/cgbp-info/

NASBITE-CGBP

NASBITE International Certified Global Business Professional Program, Part l

Overheard at the NASBITE April 2012 Conference: “I wanted to get the CGBP certification because I wanted to get a trade promotion job with a federal agency.” And from another, “I realized that I didn’t have what it took to equip students to do international business.”

“The NASBITE International Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) provides a benchmark for competency in global commerce. It demonstrates an individual’s ability to conduct global business surrounding four domains:

  • Global Business Management
  • Global Marketing
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Trade Finance

Other topics that are addressed include: documentation, intercultural awareness, resources in support of global trade, legal and regulatory compliance, and technology.

Boot Camp for the CGBP at the NASBITE Conference

Why should one pursue this certification?   In this profession, professionals are often experts in one or two aspects of international trade only.  But more and more, trade professionals need to be aware of and competent in many areas of trade…  “from understanding how to avoid financial loss in even a simple international transaction to selecting the most appropriate foreign markets”.  This certification is based on 5 years of research and testing for reliability and validity.  Laurie Wolff, now President of  NASBITE, says there are many other bogus “certification” offerings out there that are not reliable or comprehensive.  Business schools do not teach everything that is needed to be successful in this field. NASBITE is the only organization who has done this right.”

Who should pursue this certification? Anyone working in the profession or studying for a career related to global commerce: those in small or large companies, students in college programs, those working in trade assistance or promotion organizations, as well as educational institutions.

The exam for certification consists of 150 multiple choice questions offered by Prometric.  Questions were developed by experts in the four domains listed above. Candidates must have completed either two years of college or worked in global commerce for two years.

Jim Foley

Jim Foley took on the development of the CGBP when NASBITE committed itself to this goal at the 2000 Conference in Boston.  He says that the CGBP finally gives respect for international trade, because there is a standard and people can say that they know best practices.  It is truly a global standard as the 500th person to acquire the certification was from Russia and the 1000th is from China. Jim states that he hears from those who have achieved the certification that it has made a huge difference in their getting a job.

Bottom Line:  CGBP helps you get a job.

NASBITE

NASBITE (National Association of Small Business & International Trade Educators) Past, Present & Future, Part II

NASBITE Future

President as of April 21, 2012, Laurie Wolff ( Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL) had many things to say about the future of NASBITE.  This year she would like to see several things happen:

  • Get the recertification process going for the CGBP.  There are 1000 who have been certified, 313 in this year alone.  This certification is valid for 5 years.
  • Finish the strategic plan.

When asked what she is most passionate about, Laurie said: to keep, establish and develop relationships: bridge the gap between educators, trade trainers and practitioners to improve the quality of international trade. One way she plans to do this is with businesses at trade shows.  Tell them how important it is for them to have a comprehensive knowledge base to do global business: be familiar with the  barriers, supply chain, clearances, Somali pirates and more.  It is not enough to be an expert in one area, in today’s global business, one must have a general competency in all areas of trade.  Professionals also need standards of excellence and best practices. NASBITE has the resources and expertise to do this.

Laurie Wolff, newly elected President of NASBITE

In 1999, Laurie Wolff shares, 30% of Americans thought free trade was bad for America.  Today, 50% of Americans think free trade is bad.  Many think that exports have decreased over the past years, but in reality last year had the highest level of exports ever.  Challenges to trade are still present, in fact they are even more important today.  Globalization of students is a bigger job with fewer resources.  All these are reasons for NASBITE to educate and certify.

Barbara Moebius has her own theories as to the future of NASBITE.  She says that NASBITE is poised to take off in leaps and bounds over the next 12 years.  It will grow into an organization that self-manages rather than depending on a host institution.  There will be more staff especially to manage the CGBP. The Distinquished Fellows Council of Past Presidents will see to it!

Anmmar Alsaggaf, first time NASBITE attendee. Interning with the CITD and preparing for the CGBP.

We had the pleasure of speaking with Anmmar Alsaggaf who is a young man majoring in entrepreneurship at Fresno State, CA. who attended the NABITE conference for the first time. His director at the CITD where he is an intern rewarded him with the opportunity.  (The CITD in Fresno is funded by the State Center Community College District.) When asked why he wanted to attend, Anmmar who was born in Saudi Arabia, answered that he wanted to learn all he could for a career in international trade. While attending Anmmar learned about the vision that links education and business and that even though regions are different it is okay.

He wants to attend the Thunderbird School of Global Management and pursue a masters in International Business.  He met all sorts of alumni from the school at the NASBITE conference and found that most of the presenters of the sessions were graduates of the school as well.  One of his goals is to get the CGBP certification before graduate school.  He said that employers check out the CGBP group on LinkedIn and he wants to be in that group.

Anmmar summed up his experience with NASBITE: “There is no better place to be at, for what I want to do.”

NASBITE

NASBITE (National Association of Small Business & International Trade Educators) Past, Present & Future, Part I

NASBITE  International is a professional organization for the global business community.  Members include global business educators and trainers at academic institutions; trade specialists at every level and global business practitioners.  The mission is to advance global business practice, education and training.  NASBITE has 4 main goals:

  • To coordinate and administer the Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) certification.
  • To promote an exchange of information and resources among global business education and assistance professionals
  • To offer professional development for those engaged in global business education and assistance
  • To provide advocacy and leadership for global business education and assistance professionals

We, at World Trade Daily, had the opportunity to attend the 25th NASBITE Conference in Portland, OR. last week.  We collected information, opinions and experiences from those who attended.

Barbara Moebius

NASBITE Past

Barbara Moebius is considered “Mother NASBITE” and as one of the founding members is considered the historian. She was the an attendee at the very first NASBITE Conference in 1988. She was president in 2000 and has been on the Board of Directors for 25 years. Needless to say, she has seen many changes over the years. “In 1988, the idea of export training was a new idea.  Using videos was new.  We did not know if others were doing this kind of work.”  says Barbara.  “In the ’80s it was all about the trade deficit. Now it is about the national deficit .”  The early days of NASBITE saw board of director meetings that lasted 3 days and into the wee hours of each morning. They were passionate about the goal to get the world to recognize the global community.  It was in 2000 at the Boston conference that the idea of a credential came up. The next 12 years of NASBITE was all about professionalizing the field of international trade education through the CGBP.  Link to NASBITE Board of Governors & Staff.

NASBITE Present

Currently NASBITE is considered “The nation’s preeminent organization for international business education, training and certification.”

This April 2012 is their 25th annual conference, where the 1000th person received certification in the Certified Global Business Professional program (CGBP). The organization is in good financial standing.  Its host institution is Cleveland State University. They have an excellent website:  www.nasbitecgbp.org.  The Small Business Association has accepted the CGBP for those in Small Business Development Centers.

Bob Irwin (University of Georgia, Lawrenceville GA) President until April 21,2012, now joins Barbara Moebius as a member of the very elite group called the Distinguished Fellows which is the council of past NASBITE presidents.   Their purpose is to advise the present board on budgetary concerns, university relations, etc.

Barbara Moebius was presented with the 2012 John Otis Lifetime Achievement Award at the conference. There have only been 3 persons who have received this award.  It was established in 2004 for John Otis, the original founder and who is now struggling with cancer.

Donna Davisson, Executive Director

The participants at the conference were both professional and friendly. There is definitely a sense of comradeship and shared passion among the members of NASBITE. For example,  when Barbara accepted her award she announced that anyone willing to contribute to John Otis’ expensive treatment could do so through the NASBITE website.

Conference sessions were plentiful, well attended and covered diverse topics.  Donna Davisson, LCB, CGBP, as Executive Director of NASBITE made sure the conference, which was held at the Nines Hotel in downtown Portland with its approximately 300 attendees, went smoothly.

Intellectual-Property2

Trade & Economic News: Intellectual Property Contributes $5 Trillion & 40 Million Jobs

From DOC: Intellectual Property-Intensive Industries Contribute $5 Trillion, 40 Million Jobs to U.S. Economy.  America’s entrepreneurs, businesses, and workers are the primary source of new ideas that drive innovation. Patents, trademarks and copyrights–the main protections in our IP system–are critical tools that help commercialize innovative, game-changing ideas, from advances in healthcare technology to improved consumer products. By creating a better environment for our private sector to capitalize those ideas, IP protections help foster the innovation and creativity that leads to a stronger economy and more jobs.

The U.S. Commerce Department released a comprehensive report showing that intellectual property protections have a direct and significant impact on the U.S. economy. The report, entitled “Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus,” finds that IP-intensive industries support at least 40 million jobs and contribute more than $5.06 trillion dollars to, or nearly 34.8 percent of, U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).

From Euromonitor: Wendy’s Overtakes Burger King as #2 Burger Chain in the US.  Wendy’s has surpassed Burger King in the U.S. fast food market, becoming the number two burger chain in sales terms in the country, says Michael Schaefer, global head of consumer foodservice research at Euromonitor International. Burger King held the number two spot in total sales after McDonald’s for decades, so this ranking is a very surprising shift. Wendy’s accomplished this by capitalizing on the fact that consumers are now eating fast food at other times of the day rather than just lunch or dinner. It also advertises fresher and more premium options, which consumers are willing to pay more for.

From ERS/USDA: Alleviating Poverty in the United States: The Critical Role of SNAP Benefits.  The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is one of the largest safety net programs in the United States, serving 44.7 million individuals in an average month in 2011. They used Current Population Survey data to examine the effect of SNAP on poverty from 2000 to 2009, by adding program benefits to income and calculating how SNAP benefits affected the prevalence, depth, and severity of poverty. They found an average decline of 4.4 percent in the prevalence of poverty due to SNAP benefits, while the average decline in the depth and severity of poverty was 10.3 and 13.2 percent, respectively. SNAP benefits had a particularly strong effect on child poverty, reducing its depth by an average of 15.5 percent and its severity by an average of 21.3 percent from 2000 to 2009. SNAP’s antipoverty effect peaked in 2009, when benefit increases were authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

From Census: Census Estimates Show New Patterns of Growth Nationwide.   Among the 50 fastest-growing metro areas over the last decade, only 24 of them were also among the 50 fastest growing since the 2010 Census. Our nation is constantly changing, and these estimates provide us with our first measure of how much substate areas have grown or declined in total population since Census Day, April 1, 2010. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves said. “We’re already seeing different patterns of population growth than we saw in the last decade.”

China-Mobile

International Trade & Economic News: China Mobile Phone Market. Debt & Taxes Go UP.

From Euromonitor: China Passes the One Billion Mark for Mobile Phone Subscriptions.  The number of mobile phone subscriptions in China exceeded the one billion landmark in March 2012, the first country to do so in the world.  Growth in household incomes, infrastructure development and a boom in smartphones have driven subscription rates, providing telecom businesses with opportunities. However, state control, income inequality and still-low per capita mobile penetration holds back sector growth, although consumers are benefitting from increasingly lower prices.

Chinese household possession of a mobile phone has risen from 73.8% to 91.2% over 2006-2011.  The engine behind this growth has been increasing access among lower-income groups, boosted by Chinese vendors ZTE and Huawei releasing budget models to compete with higher-priced foreign brands. There remain strong opportunities in the low-cost sector for wireless handheld devices, especially in rural and inland markets.

China’s mobile phone market has developed apace on the back of soaring economic advancement – real average annual GDP growth over 2006-2011 was at 10.9% – and a concomitant rise in living standards, as well as extended network coverage and increasingly cheaper deals offered by operators.

From OECD: Fiscal Consolidation: How much, how fast and by what means?  The economic crisis that began in 2008 caused government deficits to surge and pushed public indebtedness to 100% of GDP for the OECD as a whole in 2011. In many countries, just stabilising debt, let alone bringing it down to a sustainable level, will be a major challenge. The poor state of public finances will require wide-ranging fiscal consolidation in most countries, particularly in those whose pre-existing imbalances have been aggravated by the crisis, as well as in those facing rapidly rising spending on health and long-term care.

Bringing debt down to prudent levels will require sustained fiscal consolidations of more than 3% of GDP in many, though not all countries. Some countries must anticipate extremely large efforts: Japan faces fiscal tightening of up to 12% of GDP, while consolidation in the United States, the United Kingdom and New Zealand is projected at more than 8% of GDP

From U.S. Census: State Government Tax Collections Increase $62 Billion in 2011.  Income Tax Revenue Up 9.7 Percent; Corporate Tax Revenue Up 9.2 Percent

Overall government tax collections for states increased $62.1 billion to $763.7 billion in fiscal year 2011, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today. Corporate net income tax revenue was at $40.2 billion, up 9.4 percent, while tax revenue on individual income was at $259.1 billion, up 9.8 percent. General sales tax revenue was at $240.9 billion, up 8.2 percent. Corporate net income tax revenue, individual income tax revenue and general sales tax revenue comprised 70.7 percent of all state government tax collections nationally.

All 50 states saw an increase in total tax revenue in fiscal year 2011, led by North Dakota (44.5 percent), Alaska (22.4 percent), California (17.4 percent) and Illinois (15.3 percent).

Wiser-Trade-1

WISER: World Institute for Strategic Economic Research- Statistical Data Source, Part 2

Continued from Part 1

The WISERTrade Database Cheat Sheets

WISERTrade Databases include data on the following:

  • U.S. State Exports and Imports by HS, NAICS, SIC, Port (which is nice when looking for long term information, beyond HS code)
  • U.S. Imports and Exports by District and Port
  • 27 EU Countries Imports/Exports by HS
  • Detailed Reporting on the Following:
    • Canadian Province Imports/Exports by HS
    • Chinese Province Imports/Exports by HS
    • Taiwanese Imports/Exports by HS
    • Japanese Imports/Exports by HS
    • 184 UN Countries Imports by HS
    • Kompass database of 2.8 million companies

State Imports and Exports:

Data is organized according to two main subsets: extent of data (e.g. from annually from 1996) and by categories such as country (exporting to/importing from), value, weights by method of transportation, etc. Here’s the Cheat Sheet:

State Exports and Imports by 6-Digit HS Commodity:

By: Data Available from:
Country Value Weights by Method of Transportation
  • Exports:
    • Annual: from 1996
    • Monthly: from January 2006 to present
    • Imports: annual from 2008 to 2009

State Exports and Imports by 3 or 4 Digit NAICS Industry:

By: Data Available from:
Country Origin of Movement Exporter Location Series Value and Weights by Method of Transportation
  • Annual Data from:
    • 3 Digit: 1997
    • 4 Digit: 2002
    • Quarterly Data from:
      • 3 Digit: Quarter I 1997
      • 4 Digit: Quarter 1 2002
      • Monthly from 2006 to present (EXPORTS)
      • Annual from 2008-2009 (IMPORTS)

State Exports by 2-Digit  SIC

By: Data Available from:
Country Origin of Movement Exporter Location Series Value and Weights by Method of Transportation Annual and Quarterly Data from: 1988-2000 (No longer being updated by US Census)

State Imports by Port

By: Data Available from:
Exit by Country Value and Weights by Method of Transportation Annual: 1997Quarterly: Quarter 1 2001 to Present

U.S. Exports and Imports:

U.S. Exports and Imports of commodities are organized into two categories: by 10-digit HS code and by Port.

U.S. Exports/Imports by 10-Digit HS Code

By: Data Available from:
Customs district of exit/entry Country Total Value Units Unit Value Value and Weights by Method of Transportation Annual: 1998 to PresentMonthly: January 2006 to Present

U.S. Exports/Imports by Port

By: Data Available from:
6-Digit HS CodeCountry Annual: 2003 to PresentMonthly: January 2006 to Present

World Exports and Imports:

World Imports and Exports: WISERTrade provides detailed information on the following countries using the codes upwards of 8-digits, except for the broad United Nations (184 countries) category. Data for the world imports and exports is divided among various subsets, the two categories that each country shares are partner country and value in U.S. dollars.

European Union Imports/Exports

By: Data Available from:
8-Digit HS Commodity Value in Euros Weight Units Unit Value Annual: 1998 to PresentMonthly: January 2006 to Present

Canadian Imports/Exports

By: Data Available from:
8 and 10 Digit HS Commodity Province of Origin/Exit U.S. State of origin/destination Value in Canadian dollars Units Unit ValueMethod of TransportationDomestic/Foreign Total (Exports) Annual: 2002 to PresentMonthly: 2006 to Present

Japanese Imports/Exports

By: Data Available from:
9-Digit HS Commodity Value in Yen Annual: 1998 to PresentMonthly: 2006 to Present

Chinese Imports/Exports

By: Data Available from:
8-Digit HS Commodity Province of Origin/Destination Units Unit Value Method of Transportation Annual: 2002 to PresentMonthly: 2006 to Present

United Nations (184 Countries) Imports

By: Data Available from:
6-Digit Commodity Annual: 2005 to Present

Taiwanese Imports/Exports

By: Data Available from:
11-Digit HS Commodity Port of Exit/Entry Units Unit Value Method of Transportation Annual: 2003 to PresentMonthly: 2006 to Present
Wiser-Trade-1

WISER: World Institute for Strategic Economic Research- Statistical Data Source, Part 1

WISER: Tailored for the User

Formed in July 2004, the World Institute for Strategic Economic Research, WISER, sought to continue the work of its predecessor, MISER—Massachussetts Institute for Strategic Economic Research in the field of international trade data.

Another website that offers trade statistics, right? There are quite a few of them out there, so which ones are worth the effort and your dollars? Hopefully this review will help you figure out if WISER is a good fit for your needs.

WISER (MISER) was one of the first Business and Industry Data Centers to focus especially on foreign trade statistics and through various developments has become one of the leading providers of U.S. and state level trade statistics.

WISER boasts an extensive international trade database, consisting of the following categories:

  • Four U.S. State Level Export Series
  • U.S. Exports and Imports by Customs Districts and by Individual Port
  • EU Trade Statistics
  • Candadian Trade Statistics
  • Japanese Trade Statistics

Other WISERTrade benefits include:

  • Instant access to all data updates
  • Data coverage over long time series (primarily HS coding—less than 20 years, SIC—from 1988, and SITC—from 1997)
  • Standard and custom U.S. and world regions
  • Customized Industry/Commodity Lists
  • Drilldowns
  • Dashboard Graphics (charts, graphs, tables, etc.)
  • PDF, MS-Word, spreadsheet and text outputs
  • Mapping

WISER data is derived from only official sources, according to customer service representative Jack, such as the U.S. Census Bureau, government customs agencies, and United Nations database. Data from WISER is from “legitimate sources, no third parties here.” Dating back to 1988 until present day, many of the reports offer both annual and monthly data and can be exported into various dashboard graphics (charts, graphs, tables).

Though only available currently in English, Jack, the WISER customer service representative was very honest in stating where WISER falls on the totem pole of foreign statistic databases. UNComtrade’s data is on WISERTrade, however Global Trade Institute may come in different languages and be more complete, but not without a price passed on to you. Jack noted that subscribers are not allowed to download batches of data, but only limited amounts. However, as Jack described, there are options that allow you to batch your order at a price complete with computer software allowing you to extract the data.

Offered in a variety of formats, WISERTrade grants immediate access to comprehensive and timely U.S. trade databases. WiserTrade offers standard and customized statistical reports  and data files sent by fax or e-mail.

Okay, all of this information is great, but tell me the bottom line, right? How much do licenses cost? Well, it really depends on how many countries you need, as there are different licenses for different users. It is really tailored to the user, the amount you need, whether you want a monthly or quarterly subscription, or perhaps on an as-needed basis. Contact WISER for more information specific to your needs. Here are a couple numbers: consultant licenses range from $3,000 to $5,000 based on how many countries, and for personal use for projects or research is about $1,000.

Still not sold? Well, you can try it out for yourself and fiddle around with the system itself, just shoot customer service an e-mail and ask for an online demo, but you have to request it.

“WISERTrade is an invaluable resource for businesses, trade service providers, libraries, universities and other trade data users, providing the most extensive U.S. and World trade database available online.”

Aid-to-Developing-Countries

International Trade News from the OECD AID to Developing Countries Plummets

Development: Aid to developing countries falls because of global recession. Until 2011, aid had been steadily increasing for more than a decade.  Net ODA (official development assistance) rose by +63% between 2000 and 2010, the year it reached its peak.  ODA has long been a stable source of development financing and has cushioned the immediate impact of previous financial crises (e.g. after the Mexican debt crisis in the early 1980s or the recession of the early 1990s). However, a recession in several DAC donors has already severely squeezed their aid budgets and pressure may mount on other donors in the years ahead.

Major donors’ aid to developing countries fell by nearly 3% in 2011, breaking a long trend of annual increases. Disregarding years of exceptional debt relief, this was the first drop since 1997. Continuing tight budgets in OECD countries will put pressure on aid levels in coming years.

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría encouraged donors to meet their commitments, “The fall of ODA is a source of great concern, coming at a time when developing countries have been hit by the knock-on effect of the crisis and need it most. Aid is only a fraction of total flows to low income countries, but these hard economic times also mean lower investment and lower exports. I commend the countries that are keeping their commitments in spite of tough fiscal consolidation plans. They show that the crisis should not be used as an excuse to reduce development cooperation contributions.”

In 2011, members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD provided USD 133.5 billion of net ODA, representing 0.31 per cent of their combined gross national income (GNI).  This was a -2.7 % drop in real terms compared to 2010, the year it reached its peak.   This decrease reflects fiscal constraints in several DAC countries which have affected their ODA budgets.  Within total net ODA, aid for core bilateral projects and programmes (i.e. excluding debt relief grants and humanitarian aid) fell by -4.5% in real terms.

Net ODA – ODA/GNI in 2011. Click on this link to access the online dynamic version.

In 2011, the largest donors were the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Japan.  The United States continued to be the largest donor by volume with net ODA flows amounting to USD 30.7 billion, representing a fall of -0.9% in real terms from 2010.

ODA from the fifteen EU countries that are DAC members was USD 72.3 billion in 2011. This represented 54% of total net ODA by all DAC donors.  ODA volume rose or fell in real terms in DAC-EU countries as follows:

  • Austria (-14.3%): mainly due to a decrease in debt forgiveness grants;
  • Belgium (-13.3 %): as bilateral debt forgiveness grants fell compared to 2010;
  • Denmark (-2.4%);
  • Finland (-4.3%);
  • France (-5.6%);
  • Germany (+5.9%): reflecting an increase in bilateral grants;
  • Greece (-39.3%): following the country’s severe fiscal crisis;
  • Ireland (-3.1%);
  •  Italy (+33.0%): because of an increase in debt forgiveness grants as well as an upsurge in refugee arrivals from North Africa;
  • Luxembourg (-5.4%);
  • Netherlands (-6.4%): reflecting the decision to fix the 2011 ODA budget at 0.75% of GNI;
  • Portugal (-3.0%);
  • Spain (-32.7%): because of severe cuts in bilateral aid resulting from the financial crisis;
  • Sweden (+10.5 %):  as Sweden continued to allocate 1 % of GNI to ODA;
  • United Kingdom (-0.8%): a slight fall after exceeding its target in 2010; however, the UK remains on track to achieve an ODA/GNI ratio of 0.7% by 2013.

Click here to view and download a PDF containing many informative charts and graphs illustrating the above.

Income-Inequality

International Trade and Economic News from Euromonitor: Rising Global Income Inequality

Income Inequality Rising Across the Globe: Income inequality has risen in most countries in the world over 2006-2011, driven by rapid population ageing, rising unemployment and government spending cuts in advanced economies, and urban/rural and skills divides in developing countries. Rising income inequality is changing consumer spending patterns and creating substantial opportunities for adaptable businesses, although it can also undermine a country’s business environment and growth potential. Key Points:

  • Developed economies tend to have lower income inequality levels, mainly thanks to their effective income redistribution policies. In developing countries, income inequality remains relatively high due to greater disparities between regions, genders, ethnicities and education. In 2011, Norway had the lowest Gini coefficient of 25.6% in the world, while South Africa was the country with the most unequal income distribution, at 63.6%;
  • During 2006-2011, income inequality has increased within most countries around the world, mainly due to population ageing and high government debts in developed economies as well as a lack of government policies and high levels of corruption in developing and emerging countries.
  • Rising income inequality within countries leads to a change in spending patterns, creating good business opportunities at opposite ends of the economic spectrum, especially in the luxury and budget goods sectors. It can, however, affect a country’s social stability, limit the expansion of the middle class and the country’s economic growth potential.
  • Economic slowdown and fiscal austerity measures as a result of the financial crisis in the eurozone and the USA could spell greater income inequality in advanced economies in the future.

Global differences in income distribution. There are large variations in income distributions within countries worldwide:

  • Income inequality is relatively low in developed countries, particularly in Europe, due to strong income redistribution policies through the tax and benefit systems. High taxes and expansive social welfare structures maintain egalitarianism in Scandinavian nations, while Eastern Europe is still shaped by its equality-based communist past.
  • Among developed economies, the USA has one of the highest income inequality levels.
  • Countries with the most unequal income distribution are clustered in southern Africa and Latin America. Due to its history of racial inequality under the Apartheid regime during 1948-1994, South Africa has the highest income inequality in the world.
  • In most developing countries, income inequality remains relatively high due to the existing income gap between gender, ethnicity, regions and educational/skills levels. In many countries, a lack of adequate government policy and resources to help the poor also contribute to poor distributions of income.

Note: A society that scores 0% on the Gini index has perfect equality, where every inhabitant has the same income. The higher the number over 0%, the higher the inequality, and a score of 100% indicates total inequality, where only one person receives all the income.

GTIS-Part-2

GTIS Global Trade Information Services: “The World’s Data at Your Fingertips” Part 2

Continued from part 1.

“The Whizmachine” Global Trade Atlas

Ok, so you got  a broad picture about what GTIS is, what Global Trade Atlas is, and who’s using it, but you want the details!!! Okay, well here we go…

Global Trade Atlas is an online trade data system that “offers a unique perspective for viewing the world’s merchandise and trade statistics allowing users to view world trade flows for products using the latest import/export data from official sources of more than 80 countries. Russell, from the GTIS customer service team stated that one of the “ways we hope to develop is by updating database functionalities, and hopefully adding new countries. However, for now we only get our data directly from customs agencies and the official government.” GTA primarily uses the Harmonized Code (2-digit, 4-digit, 6-digit, and further detailed as provided by country) allowing users to determine the specificity of their searches. When asked why there are no provisions for other codes, such as NAICS, SIC, SITC, etc., Russell explained that, “the Harmonized code is the most detailed of the codes, and some of them are no longer being used. We have the capabilities for translating some of these codes, but we are primarily HS code.” By default, however the “history” of this data cannot really extend beyond about twenty years, so for longer term data, you may need to look elsewhere.

Upon the features of the World Trade Atlas, Global Trade Atlas has also added the “Extra Data Field Module,” which allows users to sift through data by reporting country by region or state, mode of transport, port or customs district, or re-exports and domestic exports. The data displays value, quantity and average unit price, import or export market share, and percentage change.

Okay, all good things, but what if I’m looking for a specific commodity for multiple countries, or a certain product group, or maybe all the trade of one or more particular countries, can GTA help me? YES! GTA users can choose to subscribe to all of the above and then determine whether they want to be updated monthly, quarterly, or annually.

You can use Global Trade Atlas to:

  • Track imports and exports of a product on a global scale on one screen
  • Identify new markets and competing products
  • Analyze trends in the market by viewing historical data
  • Find the existing market share of each product by country

Other features of Global Trade Atlas include:

  • Ability to download any screen or selected selection directly into Microsoft Excel or Word
  • Use the interface in multiple languages
  • Find the HS product via keyword or number
  • Derive import/export data for countries not available in the GTA

Bottom line, right? Well, subscription fees are based upon your needs and these three factors

  • Number of reporting countries
  • Number of 6-digit commodity codes
  • Frequency of data updates per year

Unfortunately, I was not able to obtain actual numbers since each of these criteria are important in determining the subscription cost. Contact GTIS Customer Service for specific pricing. Subscriptions are for a full calendar (12 months) year and if you want to experiment with the program before purchasing you may ask for a trial…but you have to ask!

GTIS continues to look for new ways to promote a better understanding of global economic development, with its innovative software, a professional staff with strong international trade backgrounds, and experienced professionals in the trade field with the latest technology.

GTIS-Part-1

GTIS Global Trade Information Services: “The World’s Data at Your Fingertips” Part 1

There’s Eurostat, International Trade Administration, WISER, and UNComtrade among other sources for foreign statistics. Well, here is one more, GTIS, the Global Trade Information Services.

Established in 1993 on the east coast, GTIS was “established to promote a better understanding of global economic development.” Through their understanding in the increasing importance of world trade and the development of computer technology, GTIS has produced their own software solution for trade data and analysis. Currently serving clients in over 250 cities and 50 countries worldwide, GTIS is recognized as a leading supplier of international merchandise trade data.” The Financial Times exclaims that it is, “ the world’s data at your fingertips.”

World Trade Atlas was the first software developed by GTIS revolutionizing the way trade data was used. The World Trade Atlas (WTA) allows quick and easy browsing through each country’s data to determine the competitiveness of the world market for certain commodities or products. WTA produces tables that trade analysts would need to spend months building. Export Today sings its praises, “Elegant, quick and easy…I searched a mountain of trade data in seconds.”

Succeeding the World Trade Atlas, is the Global Trade Atlas, GTIS’s newest software that was built off of WTA’s best features, while also accommodating the extra data fields (e.g. U.S. State, Port and Customs District data). GTA allows users to see the bigger picture instead of a country by country basis. A bonus feature of GTA is the ability to create a model for a commodity and show all exports or all imports worldwide on one screen. “Trade analysts can determine more accurately market shares of world trade data for a particular commodity.” Though GTIS only obtains data from reliable sources, such as government or customs agencies, users can estimate import or export trade of a country with unreliable data by using reliable trade data of other countries. For example, if a user was looking for information on Nigerian imports and exports and the data was deemed unreliable, the user could estimate what the trade statistics were by viewing other countries who had reported importing or exporting to Nigeria. Database Magazine, says that “World Trade Atlas provides a different and better approach to retrieving trade data.”

The team at GTIS’s Global Trade Atlas work out all the details so that clients can focus more on analyzing the data and less about the logistics concerning it. GTIS is constantly working to create a system that is not only up to date and comprehensive, but also easy to navigate, which is a huge plus considering how much data can be gained from one simple request. Publishing monthly official government trade statistics for more than 80 countries, representing close to 100 percent of world trade, GTIS has earned a reputation of reliability, efficiency, and service (something I can personally attest to).

Do you fall in any of these categories? If you do, your competitors may be already using GTA:

  • Multinational companies
  • Research organizations
  • Consulting firms
  • Industry associations
  • Government agencies
  • Financial institutions

Check back tomorrow for Part 2.

Consumer-Trends

Trade and Economic News from Euromonitor: Top Consumer Trends of 2012

TOP 10 CONSUMER TRENDS FOR 2012: City Living Reigns.  In 2012, Euromonitor International forecasts that there will be 3.7 billion urban residents worldwide. The number of urban dwellers globally will continue to increase, both in ‘traditional’ megacities such as New York but also in new hubs such as Chongqing and Guadalajara. Meanwhile, a whole mass of new arrivals to cities, often falling into the so-called ‘bottom of the urban pyramid’ category, may have less disposable income but aspire to a higher consumption that will extend to more space and health cover.

World's Fastest Growing Cities: 2012 and 2030

City dwellers make up a rich tapestry of consumer types increasingly sophisticated, demanding, connected and interested in new brand offerings and experiences. Everything from tastes in cuisine and culture to shopping preferences and technology-driven real-world meet ups and interactions are broader. This allows for an often buzzing brand creativity responding to busy city consumer needs in food service, fresh and packaged foods, clothing and the arts. 2012 megacities are hubs of new and established ethnic groups and culture, older people with trend-sensitive lifestyles, students, highly skilled and low income migrant workers, consumers on city breaks, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) consumers and cross-generational households.  Below is the complete list of 10.

Top 10 Consumer Trends of 2012:  Consumer identity is expressed in more complex ways than through consumption alone. Today, identity also encompasses weight, online status, green thrift, and attitudes to reality culture – even in emerging markets. Here are 10 consumer trends of 2012.

  1. City Living Reigns: Swelling masses of urbanites with lifestyles to suit – style, tech and convenience-savvy – soak up new cultural influences that are blending with fresh brand experience-led approaches.
  2. Consumer Vigilantes Speak up: On and offline protest is in the spotlight, pressurising brands towards greater accountability and genuine innovative responses to these engaged consumers.
  3. DIY Life: Consumers are revelling in their ability to track and control their health, identity, communication and buying habits.
  4. Emerging Market Shoppers: Enjoying spending and coming to a place near you!  In 2012, throngs of emerging market shoppers around the world are aspiring to more consumption. They are now enjoying malls and chain stores with shopping centres now also attractive to the less well-off.

    Real Annual Disposable Income in BRIC Countries: 2010-2015

  5. Green Thrift: While frugality is celebrating all the tech-led innovations at its disposal, its marriage with sustainability is thriving.
  6. Reality Culture and Consumers: Scripted reality or celebrities living the dream – consumers are gripped, sharing views and being moved to change their purchasing behaviour.
  7. Smartphone Universe:  Displacing computers worldwide, and in 2012, smartphones are reaching out to the lower end of the mass market so expect apps to reflect this.
  8. Tech Lifestyles Vs. Slow Living and the Best of Both:  Some consumers are embracing an ‘always-on’ lifestyle while others are trying to disengage.
  9. Youth – Future Imperfect: Young consumers are facing up to a different, less predictable reality in terms of purchasing aspirations, work, living set-ups and role models.
  10. Weight as a hot topic:  Are we what we eat? More consumers, health experts and government bodies seem to think so although many heavier consumers are in denial. What are consumers doing to stay healthy?
Each of the above is expanded upon further in the linked article above… so check it out!
You can also view a video produced by Euromonitor, that highlights 5 important consumer trends within the emerging markets in 2012.
Pharma-trade

Recent International Trade News from Various T.I. Vendor Blogs

From PIERS: The Effects of Supply Chain Interruption on Pharma Trade.  In proportion to the rapid diversification of suppliers of raw materials, quality-related issues have grown rapidly in recent years. In order to achieve consistent quality assurance from upstream to downstream throughout supply chain, it is essential to verify the quality management system of raw material suppliers through auditing and also to establish a quality assurance system for distributing released products to customers without jeopardizing product quality.

This phenomenon has already shown adverse effects in Canada, where quality isn’t the issue—simply obtaining the right drugs has caused supply gaps. Recent reports say the federal government is working with pharmaceutical companies to address shortfalls in the supply of some prescription drugs, including a request that they seek alternative sources of the medications outside Canada. Hospitals in several provinces are reporting looming supply gaps for dozens of medications used in operating rooms, emergency departments and intensive care units.

Supply gaps are being blamed on a number of factors including a diminished supply of raw materials—many of them from countries such as China and India—and a burgeoning global patient demand for medications.

From Panjiva: Increased Shipments Show Bunnies will be Back this Easter. Panjiva has good news for those opening Easter baskets this Sunday. According to an analysis of U.S. customs shipment data, there was a 22 percent increase in shipments of “bunnies” this January, the month Easter items are shipped in order to make it to the U.S. in time to be packed into baskets. Shipments of bunnies, which include chocolates, toys and decor, steadily declined from 2009 to 2011, likely a result of the economic downturn and recession. However, with the economy hopping back on track, it should be safe to say that the Easter Bunny’s coming to town!

From Zepol: Zepol Offers “HTS Code Widget”.  Zepol’s recent creation of the “HTS Code Widget” allows media partners and industry professionals to access up-to-date statistics on thousands of HTS Codes…directly from their websites!

From Import Genius: Introducing TradePulse: A Free Tool to Analyze Import Volumes for Any Product. “We’re proud to introduce our newest free tool for analyzing U.S. import data, TradePulse. Type a product keywords into this free public service to find out the number of shipments imported into the U.S.”

“We’ve collected more than 66 million shipping manifests since we started tracking U.S. ocean freight imports in 2006. We’re now opening much of this data to the public for free as part of our mission of opening up the lucrative world of international trade to more people. To try our new search tools, simply visit importgenius.com/pulse.

From Datamyne: No Winner in Chinese Solar Case. Commerce finds countervailable subsidies, but will tariff help US industry?

NASBITE

The 25th Annual NASBITE Conference is coming Soon. Don’t Miss It!

NASBITE is a professional organization for the global business community. Members include educators, trainers, trade specialists and practitioners that engage in or facilitate global business activity. NASBITE originated as the North American Small Business International Trade Educators bringing together international trade programs nationwide.

NASBITE is one of the finest groups of folks with whom I have ever had the pleasure of associating.  As a vendor, exhibitor, or presenter (and currently as a news reporter), I have attended many of their annual conferences and have been privileged to serve many of the members as my clients and/or development partners.

I consider NASBITE the one essential group/ conference to attend for anyone wishing to connect with other international trade educators and professionals, as well as for those desiring to expand their knowledge and understanding of pertinent issues and research.  So be alerted to the fact that this year’s conference is being held in Portland, Oregon, April 18th – 20th.  The registration deadline in only a couple of days away – April 6th.  Click this link for additional information.

For those that are new to NASBITE, let me brief you on a couple of cool things that they offer.

First of all, they spent many years developing a credentialing program called the CGBP; Certified Global Business Professional.  The NASBITE CGBP certification confirms knowledge in international trade and assures that employees are able to practice global business at the professional level required in today’s competitive environment.  The CGBP is a must for those entering the international trade professional, as well as those who want to expand their knowledge and opportunities in the field.

During the conference there is plenty of time to meet and mingle with other international trade professionals. There are engaging activities to participate in as well as interesting educational sessions to attend.  It’s a great mixture of fun, connecting, education and vocational advancement.  Below is an outline of the agenda for the upcoming conference.  Click this link for a more detailed conference agenda including presentation titles, speakers and more.

Conference Agenda

Tuesday, April 17, 2012
9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. CGBP Bootcamp Day 1

Wednesday, April 18, 2012
9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. CGBP Bootcamp Day 2
9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Conference Registration
12:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. Board of Governors Meeting
6:15 p.m.-6:45 p.m. Presenter Orientation
6:15 p.m.-6:45 p.m. First Timers Orientation
7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. Opening Reception

Thursday, April 19, 2012
7:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Conference Registration
7:00 a.m.-8:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8:00 a.m.-9:30a.m. Keynote Speaker
9:45 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Session I
11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Session II
12:45 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Lunch and Keynote Speaker
2:15 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Session III
3:45 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Company Roundtable Discussion

Optional Outing: The Portland Brewery Tour

Friday, April 20, 2012
7:00 a.m.-8:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8:00 a.m.-9:30a.m. Keynote Speaker: Dario J. Gomez, Associate
Administrator for International Trade, US SBA
9:45 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Session IV
11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Session V
12:45 p.m.-2:45 p.m. Lunch and Awards
3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Session IV
6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. NASBITE CGBP Celebration Reception

Saturday, April 21, 2012
8:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Board of Governors Meeting

Register Now. 

Foreign-Direct-Investment

International Trade News: The Undervalued Value of Foreign Direct Investment

From the DOC: Promoting Best Practices in Exports and Foreign Direct Investment to Spur Economic and Job Growth. When President Obama first announced the National Export Initiative (NEI) two years ago—with its goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014—there may have been some who wondered what this had to do with domestic economic development. But the answer is simple: a lot. From the worker in an auto plant owned by a foreign firm, to the many service businesses across the country selling to overseas visitors, to the U.S. companies from every sector selling their products and services to foreign buyers, America’s economic vitality is very much tied to the world market. And the benefits are many: more jobs, higher wages, and the overall prosperity that comes when we are selling to billions of consumers worldwide.

One often-overlooked element of international trade is foreign direct investment (FDI). The United States is the largest recipient of FDI in the world. Foreign-owned companies operating in the United States support more than 5.3 million U.S. jobs, and U.S. subsidiaries of foreign-owned firms account for 21 percent of U.S. exports. The total stock of FDI in the United States—$2.3 trillion—is equivalent to nearly 18 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product.

But there is room for such investment to grow. The U.S. share of world FDI has been declining since the 1990s, as other economies aggressively compete to attract such investment. One impediment to FDI growth in the United States has been the lack of concrete tools and strategies available to local economic development practitioners that could help them more effectively leverage their communities’ competitive strengths to expand exports and attract FDI.

In an effort to help fill this gap, EDA recently partnered with the Georgia Tech Research Corporation to establish the FDI Best Practices project. This collaborative effort will eventually make available the kinds of information that local communities will need to attract overseas investment and the jobs that can come with it.

The project has already undertaken a number of steps to create a comprehensive knowledge base on FDI: reviewing relevant literature to better identify lessons learned from communities and practitioners; surveying the practices of various economic development organizations; and conducting interviews and focus groups to determine successful FDI strategies. The end result of this effort will be a user-friendly guide, along with a web-based toolkit that will outline steps that practitioners can take to attract investment to their communities.

The results of the Georgia Tech project are expected to be available later this year. For more information, visit www.fdibestpractice.org.