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Consulting

World Trade Daily Commercial Services: Consultation, Application Development & Project Management

Consultation, Application Development & Project Management

I am available on an hourly, daily or project basis, to consult and lead during the many facets of developing, integrating and applying trade intelligence.

By the day : Contact me directly via email.  Rate: $1,000 to $2,000 per day ($125 to $250 per hour), plus expenses (billed in 1/2 day increments).

By the project (over 10 billable days):  Dependent upon the nature and scope of the project, a discount in my daily rate may apply.  I also have several handfuls of excellent technologists, writers/editors and graphic design folks at my disposal if needed for the project. Rates vary from $35 to $125 per hour for their time & expertise.  There are few things I enjoy more than directing a team of competent professionals as we work together on an innovative project toward an inspired objective.

Examples of Customized Trade Applications

Besides developing innovative trade intelligence applications that were ultimately acquired by the largest T.I. Provider on the planet, we worked with a couple of dozen organizations along the way developing custom trade applications that were designed and integrated for their specific requirements and target markets.  Included among them are the following:

Our first interface, named “Trade Made Easy”, later renamed CenTradeX 2.0., was a colorful interactive feast of statistical interplay (over 1 billion dynamically generated charts and graphs) wherein users would select a “X” axis (one of 25,000 products) and a “Y” axis (one of 200 listed countries) and thereupon an entire website would be magically created from which they could retrieve a plethora of information.  This application fared very well within academic circles.

G.E.M.S. Developed for the U.S.D.A. Foreign Agricultural Service for their 50 state marketing offices (customized for each of their four regions) to help U.S. Food exporters to find and market overseas.  GEMS integrated Statistical, Company, Tariff, Shipping costs and foreign exchange rates into one easy to use system.

S.E.E.D.S.  State Export & Economic Development System.  Developed, then customized for many state trade offices including California, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia and more.  The user interface was designed to work seamlessly within the look and feel of the respective states’ websites therefore “attributing” tremendous technological and information power to the state and providing valuable services to their consistency.

SEEDS was further customized for the WTCA (World Trade Centers Association) for their 300 WTC’s in 100 countries servicing 1 million members.  Each member trade center’s U.I. (user interface) was regionalized to present data pertinent to their city, state, country, industries and companies.  In addition, automatically generated reporting – incorporated into each members interface – helped generate revenue from the sales of reports and services.

Our development work went beyond simply modifying our interface to the “style sheets” of our respective customers.  We specialized in doing “innovative things with international trade data” to meet the specific requirements and needs of each client.  For MSU/Global Edge (the most visited international info. website on the planet at the time) we constructed interactive industry, country and state “channels”.

For the State of Pennsylvania (with the most “funded” state international trade office at the time) we developed an advanced interactive platform for their exporting companies throughout the state that lead them – step-by-step – through a diagnostic tool that evaluated their export readiness, directed them to the appropriate resources and gave them a 20 plus customized comprehensive global market report on their selected product.

In collaboration with E.C.R.M and Walmart we developed and integrated several “industry channels” within their Marketgate application suite, which provided trade and market intelligence to U.S. retail sourcing professionals and suppliers.  Incorporated within the system was the capability to generate ad-hoc “on the fly” reports based upon the users selected product – source country pair.

Working with Panalpina (a long time CenTradeX customer) and other logistics providers we developed a geographically oriented prospecting tool which was later named Prospects. Under the hood of this powerful application was our superior capacity to geo-code the transactional data we received from U.S. Customs – connected with huge data repository of International companies.

There were handfuls of other clients, big and small that we worked with to develop business solutions for their international trade service.  Much innovation has been done within the world of trade innovation, but there is still very very much to do.  It is a trillion-dollar industry that still operates in many ways like we still exist in the industrial age.  I’d love to help you develop and refine the technological tools you possess to better compete and succeed in the global market place.

Commercial

World Trade Daily Commercial Services: Research & Reporting, Publishing & Social Marketing and Sponsorship

Research & Reporting Services

Over the last decade, we have performed a plethora of research and reporting services for clients in many industries.  The scope and focus have ranged from industry and sourcing analyses conducted for Disney, Wal-Mart, ECRM and the WTCA… involving months of work and a handful of researchers, writers and analysts… to straightforward product, prospect or competitive reports usually produced within a couple of days… to simple downloads of a competitor’s shipments and suppliers or a statistical view of prospective export markets ready within hours.

Prices for the above have ranged from several hundred dollars to $25,000 in the case of the comprehensive analysis of the China “tainted toy” fiasco in which we utilized our data sources to analyze over 400,000 toy shipments by hundreds of China suppliers to thousands of U.S. importers.  This study was utilized by Wal-Mart, the New York Times and the U.S. Toy Association. See our article The Use and Application of Trade Intelligence Can Be a Matter of Life and Death.

We maintain the capacity, with the Prospects and Stats Plus licenses to produce smaller reports very quickly.  Please contact me at robert@worldtradedaily.com for further information.

Custom publication and marketing.  We can take the pain out of publishing for you.  Contract with us to provide all your blog design, content development, technical administration and social marketing. We can produce content designed specifically for your company and target market(s).

To design, integrate, write, edit, market and administrate the complete content, blog technologies and social networking aspects for your trade or international business related company would require you hiring and overseeing a handful of employees which is very costly. We provide a less expensive, more professional alternative.  See the cost structure below.

There is an initial one-time fee of $10,000 to cover consultation, design and complete set-up. Outsourcing is a great way to improve content without hassle or hiring several employees.

  • Articles written, published and marketed once per week (50+ articles, averaging 400 words each with visuals): $36,000 annually.
  • Twice per week (100+ articles): $60,000 annually.
  • Weekdays (five times per week): $100,000 annually.
  • Daily (seven days a week): $120,000 annually.

Sponsorship & Republishing

Sponsorship of WorldTradeDaily.com.: Your banner advertisement will appear as the header (570 X 80) on a WTD article once each week of the year: 52 placements, 52 articles.  Your header will remain permanently attached to each of the 52 respective articles for $5,000 per year which is less than $100 per article.  You can become a “global” sponsor of all 365+ articles per year along with site header attribution for $25,000 annually.

Sponsorship with (re)publishing and marketing rights:  You may integrate our articles within your website and thus promote enhanced pertinent fresh content  every week – 52 articles annually – for less than an additional $20 per article – only $1,000 per year.  Two per week (104 per year) @ $2,000 and so on.  A good way to add new weekly content to your website.

Customs-Data-Transformed

CenTradeX: Development and Overview of Available Trade Intelligence (T.I.) Applications

The following provides a cursory outline of processes employed by CenTradeX in crafting innovative trade intelligence applications. Readers are invited to (mouse over for explanation) click on the hyperlinks below to expand their understanding further through graphic illustration and related articles.  Additional information can be made available upon request.

From March 13th WTD article, “The Holy Grail of Trade Intelligence: “Connecting the Dots” to U.S. Customs Data”: CenTradeX, founded by Robert Thompson in 2000, initially focused on bringing value added features to U.S. import and export data.  Thereafter, they layered and connected this U.S. centric data with global import and export data on 200 countries. Up until then, no one had ever layered and integrated these data sets.

Atop these various statistical data collections, CenTradeX crafted a graphic, interactive interface.  After selecting an “X” vector (one of 20,000+ HS coded products) and a “Y” vector (one of 200 listed countries) users were presented with dozens of dynamically created reports on their chosen “intersection”.  Over a billion unique reports could be potentially generated by the system. Next, they identified and incorporated company data – both foreign and domestic – to uncover the actual traders behind the statistics. CenTradeX assimilated the best-known sources; Kompass, Harris Info, Hoovers, D&B, PIERS, etc.

One of the challenging aspects was that statistical data is organized under one (HTS) classification schema while company information is organized under other (unrelated) systems (SIC, NAICS, or a vender’s particular proprietary taxonomy).  Further, they successfully incorporated other disparate data sets such as tariffs (for all countries and products), estimated shipping costs (from various U.S. port regions to any /all countries), live stock market and Forex feeds as well as their clients’ proprietary data collections.

The most daunting data transformation endeavor was that of understanding, normalizing and intelligently incorporating U.S. Customs data into this dynamic mix. It took CenTradeX several years to develop an intelligent system by which to quickly and seamlessly assimilate the daily Customs feeds.

From March 12th WTD Article, “Why U.S. Customs Data is The “KING” Among All International Trade Data Sources.” U.S. Customs (waterborne manifest BOL) data is considered the most valuable data collection. Why? It’s available on a daily basis, within hours after shipments clear. It’s detailed and transactional; containing shipment by shipment accounts of suppliers, importers, products and supply chain.  It represents $1 trillion+ global trade a year.

See this MUST READ article: March 1 WTD Article – “U.S. Customs Data Primer Part 4: Enlightenment Through Graphics & Diagrams”.  Also check out March 14 WTD Article, “U.S. Customs Data: Parsing & Normalization. The First Steps in its Long, Transformational Journey” and March 15 WTD Article, “U.S. Customs Data: Resolving the Enigmatic & Challenging Problems Inherent Within the Data” and March 16 WTD Article, “Complete Transformation: Final Refinements & Enhancements Applied to U.S. Customs Data” for a deeper, more technical explanation of the processes involved in parsing and assimilating U.S. Customs data.

Transformed Customs data, integrated with other statistical, company, trade and economic data sets can be a powerful tool by which to successfully navigate within the multi-trillion dollar international trade marketplace.  A plethora of Trade Intelligence applications and services can be thus developed and marketed.  See Samples of selected developed applications and WTD Article, “PIERS, Part 3: Acquired Apps – Stats Plus, Prospects & Trade Finance.”

The collection of programs, procedures and referential databases with which CenTradeX transformed raw data into usable business intelligence is referred to as their “A.I.” (Artificial Intelligence Engine).  It, along with their huge data repositories of statistical, company and transactional data collected over the years, represent the primary assets (along with the human intelligence and experience by which to integrate, develop and deploy them) that are offered for license, sale or joint venture consideration.  Commercial Services offered through WorldTradeDaily.com.

reference

International Trade Data References: Global, U.S., State, Metro & Company Data

In addition to the primary TI providers much referred to within the articles published on World Trade Daily, there are a number of valuable statistical sources that are useful when trying to develop a complete picture of International Trade.  These include sources that provide Global, U.S., State and Metro trade statistics.  They include the following:

Beyond the resources referenced above, which are mostly places to get hard facts, data and charts, it still remains a matter of interpreting the data, making sense of it, seeing patterns, making observations, and “spicing” /dressing it up a bit with some Google research as well as your own intuition (based upon intelligence, knowledge and experience).

Some other interesting articles I ran across recently as an adjunct or primer to the above are the links below. They are particularly helpful when trying to prioritize which cities, companies, states to select from when conducting research and developing analyses.

Container-Ship

WorldTradeDaily.com Completed Its First Year of Publication. What’s Up for the Coming Year?

We concluded our first year of consecutive daily publishing with the announcement of a new format and focus: We’re going to be conducting extensive coverage of the $2 trillion of annual U.S. Import Trade.

For the past 120 days, prior to our September 1st launch of WTD 2.0, while we are busily compiling the extensive background data required for this project (and looking for a commercial sponsor and University partner), we republished selected articles from the previous year.

Please check out the complete details in several of our recent articles:

However, over the last several months, in discussion with several of our advisors, we have further refined our intention.  Specifically, we want to address U.S. Waterborne Import Trade.  There are several reasons behind this decision.  First of all, two-thirds of all U.S. import trade is waterborne.  Secondly, transactional data is only available for waterborne imports.  Taken together with statistical and company data the three-fold combination is powerful.  Therefore, if we focus on U.S. Waterborne Import Trade, we will be able to provide granular shipment detail, lists of both foreign suppliers and U.S. importers as well as trend analysis and strategic statistical overview… in each and every article… comprehensively representing every significant imported (via Water/ by Vessel) product.

Our plan is that during the 250 or so weekdays (Monday – Friday) of the forthcoming year (commending August 1st), we will report on specific products and commodities within the major (4 digit) product groups (those exceeding $1 billion dollars).  There are 170 product groups (of the 1250 total) that fit within this threshold thus together our selected product groups represent over $1 trillion of annual U.S. waterborne import trade.

In each story, we will expand upon the highest ranked (by import dollar volume) 6 digit sub-category within its respective 4 digit (billion dollar) parent.  In cases in which a particular 4 digit product heading has more than one billion dollar 6 digit “child” subcategory, we will develop an article for that product as well.

The purpose behind focusing articles on the top ranked 6 digit codes is that it lends to the greatest amount of specificity and business application. By covering the largest couple of hundred products individually, we will develop – over the course of one year – the most comprehensive (and hopefully useful) detailed analysis of U.S. Waterborne Import Trade available.

Those 4 digit Product groups that fall below the billion dollar threshold will be covered in summary fashion within their respective HS section or HS chapter heading for which we plan to dedicate a couple of dozen additional stories.

The graph below depicts a sample of the products for which we will be developing individual articles.  We have intentionally groomed the list as to eliminate all but the top 6,000 plus HS 6 digit products.

Sample of U.S. Waterborne Import trade product groupings to be developed into individual articles

Under HS Chapter 20, “Prepared Vegetables & Fruits” (Approx. $6.5 billion total import trade of which $4.6 billion came via water):

  • 4 digit product group 2008 “Prepared Fruits & Nuts” is ranked in excess of $1 billion waterborne import trade but doesn’t have any billion dollar 6 digit “babies”; therefore we will choose one or     both of the largest sub-groupings (Pineapples and/or Citrus Fruit) to develop.
  • Apple Juice ($672,868,720) is the largest sub-category under 2009 “Fruit Juice”, therefore it will be the subject of an article.

Under Chapter 22 “Beverages & Spirits” we will develop a handful of articles.

  • For 2202; 220210 – “Flavored Waters” ($1,043,205,967 waterborne imports)
  • Under 2203; 220300 Beer ($1,703,419,096 waterborne imports)
  • Under 2208, there are two sub-categories of $1 billion each: Whiskies and Vodka. Therefore we will dedicate an article to each.

Chapter 24 Tobacco, although it generated $1,273,160,265 in Waterborne imports, doesn’t contain any 4 digit product categories in excess of $1 billion.  Therefore it will be covered in our HS section and HS chapter summaries.

Notwithstanding our focus on U.S. Waterborne Import Trade, we will continue to reserve weekend articles to pertinent international trade and economic news, op-ed pieces and articles contributed by our WTD community of readers.  That’s the plan for now.

New-Format

WTD 2.0 Coming September 1, 2012 Will Focus on $2 Trillion of U.S. Import Trade Flows

All products that are traded internationally are categorized within a common taxonomy called the “harmonized system”  This hierarchical schema consists of 21 sections, 98 (2 digit) chapters, 1250+ (4 digit) product groups, broken down into 6,000+ commodities and products.  These identifiers represent the agreed upon common “international language” of product trade.  Beyond the above, each country maintains its own unique sub-classifications (8,10,12, 15 digits) which are utilized for organizational, policy and tax (tariff) purposes.

Behind the statistics, analyses and facts about a specific commodity or product category, there is a wealth of valuable related information which can be gleaned and expanded upon about the locales (economic impact on countries, cities, communities) and companies (specifics on the foreign manufacturers, U.S. importers and trade service providers such as ports, carriers and NVOCCs).  Over the previous year, we published dozens of trade reports featuring various aspects of this mix including metro, country, product, company and historic trends.  Click this link to view a summary of all trade reports written by Isaac Thompson, who interned for WorldTradeDaily.com during this last semester.

So the plan is to report on ALL $2 trillion of product inflows within one year.  How this breaks down is as follows.  Every 4 digit product group that exceeds $2 billion (representing 1% or more of the total) we will dedicate a specific article to.  There are over 160 (out of 1250+) of these. Together they represent over 80% of U.S. Import trade.  In addition, we will cover every 2 digit HS chapter along with their corresponding 4 digit product groups under $2 billion.  In cases where the trade volume of the 2 digit chapter doesn’t merit individual attention, we will group them together for representation in a section article.  Thus, within the 250 – 260 planned week day articles, we should cover all product categories.

Taken together, it will represent a comprehensive portrayal of U.S. import trade, trading partners, and marketplace trends.  Hopefully, it will provide significant strategic knowledge with valuable business application, globally.  This comprehensive, if complex portrait of U.S. Import Trade is available for download via our Google Docs site

If the project continues beyond the initial year we can develop articles on lower ranked product groups (in the $250 million to $2 billion range) within the U.S. Import Trade flow perspective. We could take an alternate point of view, perhaps focusing globally on products equalling or exceeding a particular value threshold.  We could revisit the same product groups by expanding upon the trading partners and supply chain aspects of each.  We could increase the specificity (down to the 6 digit HS level) of the articles and address products /commodities of a particular threshold or angle (such as exports by China or BRIC countries). We could cover the several $trillion in global “services” trade.  Obviously, our university partner and commercial sponsor  together with reader feedback and interest within the context of available resources, will help guide our direction.

WTD-2.0

WorldTradeDaily.com Concludes First Year of Publication with Launch of WTD 2.0

WorldTradeDaily.com celebrated its one year anniversary May 1st, 2012   365 days of consecutive publication.  During the year we have undergone several evolutions in focus, content and design.  The breadth and depth of our viewership has correspondingly enlarged.  Half of our readers live outside the U.S. from over 120 countries.  This is important to us, since we strive to maintain a global, non ethnocentric viewpoint and provide value to an international audience.

I launched WorldTradeDaily.com with several ideas in mind, some personal some commercial.  Commercially, I sought to extract value from the assets retained (database repositories, artificial intelligence engine, application licenses) following the UBM Global Trade/ PIERS acquisition as well as my consulting and application development services.  Personally, I sustain a passion for international trade, making an impact, creating cool technologies and applications, and working with talented people.  WTD provided a forum and platform to explore and promote those ideas and ideals.

What now?  Well, the ideas and ideals remain the same. We’d like to further enhance the content and expand the reach.  Finding an appropriate commercial sponsor and partnering University would accelerate the process to be sure.

We concluded our first year’s publication with interviews and observations from the 25th Annual NASBITE (National Association of Small Business and International Trade Educators) conference.  Throughout the next couple of months, we will republish selected articles from the previous year, while redesigning the website and restructuring business operations. Commencing in July/August, we intend to launch WTD 2.0.  ideally incorporating daily video stories in addition to new article content. WorldTradeDaily.com will remain true to its motto: “Uncovering and Reporting on the Stories Buried Within International Trade Data… Every Day.”

Throughout the subsequent year, we will report on Products–  at least during the 250+ week days (Monday – Friday) – while presenting pertinent international trade and economic news stories on the 100+ weekend days.

Specifically, we will dig deep into the $2 trillion+ of annual U.S. import flows. There are a number of reasons for this.  The U.S. market is considered one of the easiest markets to access for overseas suppliers.  Relevant information on what, how much, when is bought by who is very valuable information for existing or prospective foreign manufacturers.  Also, U.S. companies gain strategic advantage by sourcing well and keeping up to date.  In addition, a plethora of data exists – including U.S. Customs Waterborne Import Shipping Manifest data (which is transactional and daily)  – that can greatly aid in “uncovering and reporting” on the valuable “stories buried within”.  Lastly, there are a handful of valuable sources providing assistance and analysis on U.S. Exports, and not as many representing and looking at U.S. Imports and Importers.

The following are example of previous trade reports. Click on the image to view the respective article. Click this link to view a summary of all trade reports written by Isaac Thompson, who interned for     WorldTradeDaily.com during this last semester.

Banana Product Report

Atlanta Metro Report

Coca Cola Company Report

Tunisia Country Trend Report

Proposal

Proposal for the License of World Trade Daily Database Repositories & Technologies

Recently, we have received several inquiries regarding the purchase of our database repositories and technologies.  Therefore, I thought it pertinent to publish one of our proposals as an example of several options we are able to offer.  Options outlined below range from the simple acquisition of parsed, normalized historical U.S. Customs data to the purchase /licensing and integration of our advanced Artificial Intelligence engine, accompanying technologies and related data repositories.

For an outline on the development of our innovative technologies check out this recent article. You may also want to check out our article on our database repositories and artificial intelligence engine.

Proposal for the purchase (licensing) of a complete duplicate normalized copy of the U.S. Customs AMS Waterborne Import Shipment databases. February 6, 2012.

We have used the actual cost of the raw data from U.S. Customs as a yard stick by which to establish valuation… without the attribution of processing, enhancements, related databases, or associated technologies.

The base cost of Raw Data from U.S. Customs/DHS for 1 year (365 days @$100 per day) is $36,500.  The complete historical CenTradeX /World Trade Daily Customs Data Collection- acquired and processed daily from January 1, 2006 through August 18, 2010- cost us $160,900 (1,690 days @ $100).

Based upon this cost-value assumption, we have established the following framework for (non exclusive) licensing /purchase.

Option 1. Acquisition of processed, parsed, normalized data in a relational database without the addition associated company or reference databases; i.e. AMSTradeDataImport, along with three sub-options.

a. 1 year data (365 days) @ 33.3% base cost = $12,045
b. 2 years data (730 days) @ 25% base cost = $18,250
c. Complete Data collection of over 4 1/2 years data (1,690 days) @ 15% base cost = $24,135*

*The third option “c” comes with complimentary licenses to the Stats Plus or Prospects trade application for one year, subject to the PIERS EUA.

Option 2. Acquisition of the above ALONG WITH associated relational reference tables and international trade company databases; AMSReporting2 and associated tables as required.**

Please note that this option is only available for option “C” (the complete data collection) and will be calculated @ 30% base cost of raw Customs data (double the 15% factor outlined in 1.c.) = $48,270 total. This figure represents the total cost for both the complete Customs data collection AND all associated reference  and company databases; NOT an amount added to the rate outlined in option “1.c.”

**Option 2 also includes a complementary one year PIERS license to either Prospects or Stats Plus as well as 20 hours of my consulting time on a complimentary, i.e. free, basis.

Option 3.  Licensing of our A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) Engine – along with all scripts, documentation and associated databases needed to import, process and normalize new Customs data and connect it to company databases and reference tables.***

This option is only available with the acquisition of the complete Customs data collection (“1 -c”) AND (Option 2) associated company databases; i.e. AMSTradeDataImport, AMSReporting2, and other files as required. Pricing shall be calculated @60% base cost of raw Customs data (double 30% factor outlined in option #2) = $96,540* total. Again, this is total cost, not a cost in addition to the amount outlined in options #1 & 2.

***Option #3 will include 2 complimentary three-year licenses (through June 30, 2015); one for Stats Plus and one for Prospects, subject to the PIERS EUA. In addition, this option also includes 80 hours of my consulting time, to be arranged within a mutually agreeable schedule.

A fourth option, not outlined above, calls for the outright sale of our existing technologies and database repositories (on an exclusive basis) for $500,000.  Consulting and application development services, if required, would be additional.  Below, please find a diagram that depicts the process of transforming raw Customs data into Trade Intelligence.

  The Journey of Customs Data Transformation from Raw data to Trade Intelligence.

Business-Partnership

WorldTradeDaily.com is Seeking Commercial Sponsor and University Partner for WTD 2.0

In the last two articles, “WorldTradeDaily.com Concludes First Year of Publication with Launch of WTD 2.0” and  “WTD 2.0 Coming July 1, 2012 Will Focus on $2 Trillion of U.S. Import Trade Flows” we have outlined our intentions of launching a revised focus for the WorldTradeDaily.com website.

As initial preparation for this project, I have put together next year’s “cheat sheet” highlighting our planned product categories.  With some difficulty, I have combined U.S. Imports (by 2 & 4 digit product category) for the last 10 years – 2002 through 2011 with other data on U.S. imports.

  • U.S. Imports for each chapter & product group by each of the 25 leading U.S. trading partners
  • U.S. Imports for each chapter & product group by each U.S. State
  • U.S. Imports for each chapter & product group through each U.S Port District
  • U.S Imports for each chapter & product group by various methods of transport: water, air and ground (rail/truck).

This comprehensive, if complex portrait of U.S. Import Trade is available for download via our Google Docs site.  I would welcome your feedback.

Consolidated Spread Sheet Portraying Various Aspects of U.S. Import Trade Flows

The scope, detail and depth by which we can address this objective will largely be determined by the previously mentioned support and participation of an appropriate commercial sponsor and University partner.  It takes money and people.  There is a lot of in-depth research and prep work to do for each article, particularly if we produce and edit a videotaped version of each article.  Story development, writing, editing, graphics, site administration and marketing for a daily online publication require a considerable amount of time, persistence and elbow grease.  If we include video, there are many more considerations involving pre-production, production and post-production operations.  Thus the need for assistance.

Specifically, we would like to raise a minimum supplemental annual budget of $65,000 to cover operations, out-of-pocket expenses, and needed personnel from a commercial sponsor.  In addition, we are seeking an overall commitment of 100 -200 hours per month (collectively) from a handful of student interns via our University partner.  What’s in it for the respective sponsor and partner?

For the commercial sponsor – whether data vendor, information publisher, trade service provider or business-to-business international trade matchmaking forum – underwriting this endeavor would provide a valuable enhancement to their current marketing and promotional strategy.  It could also be a boon to their clientele.  For the University partner, it would provide valuable, practical experience for their business students who are interesting in pursuing a career within the international trade field.  In addition, it could improve market visibility.

Additional “perks” for both the partnering University and Sponsor will be:

  • Graphically appealing, tasteful attribution (promotion) on the WorldTradeDaily.com website, all published articles and distributed (downloaded) informational materials.
  • Complimentary use of the powerful trade intelligence applications Stats Plus and Prospects, originally developed by CenTradeX, then acquired and now marketed by UBM Global Trade /PIERS.  We maintain distribution /usage rights to a 13 licenses of each of the above applications through June 30, 2015.
  • Development of a dynamic collaborative partnership which has the potential of generating significant commercial and educational dividends on an ongoing basis.
  • Proprietary republishing rights of WorldTradeDaily.com content… whether utilized for education, promotion or otherwise.
Vision for WTD

WTD Editorial: The Original “Letter to Stakeholders” and WTD Launch.

The following are excerpts from a letter sent to CenTradeX stakeholders and associates regarding the closure of CenTradeX and the launching of WorldTradeDaily.com.

The Global financial meltdown of late 2008, wreaked havoc in many industries and was particularly acute within the International Trade arena.  Prior to this devastating economic earthquake, CenTradeX was poised to experience skyrocketing growth via a promised capital infusion from a prestigious Venture Capital group.  In the wake of this severe financial crisis, CenTradeX, Inc. saw a dramatic decline in sales with corresponding operational difficulties which ultimately resulted in an acquisition of its innovative trade applications, clients and virtually all core technology personnel by UBM Global Trade/PIERS in May, 2010

Notwithstanding, many core technological assets were retained such as:

  • The A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) Engine which normalizes and “magically” integrates many disparate sources of trade related data.  
  • The vast data repositories containing decades of statistical, company, product information as well as the daily import waterborne manifests from U.S. customs and 5 years of transactional import & export data from China.  
  • The UBM deal also allowed for redistribution rights to 12 licenses of each of the three primary applications acquired from CenTradeX by PIERS; namely Prospects, StatsPlus and Dashboards to July, 2015.

I’ve always had more of a bent toward innovation, application development, education and philanthropy. Those who know me well know that I’m a person driven by passion, vision and mission, not just money and business as a review of my bank statements can attest.  The sale of CenTradeX allows me to focus my energies within the non-profit, educational sector, where my heart is.

My intention is to leverage the retained core assets mentioned (and into which over $1,000,000 has been invested over the last 10 years) along with my personal expertise, knowledge and passion for world trade to develop an interactive virtual community of trade data users, suppliers, educators, consultants and data-philes @ WorldTradeDaily.com.

WorldTradeDaily.com (WTD) will focus on issues relating to World Trade Data, information technologies and business applications. As a non-commercial forum, WTD will provide a forum for non-bias feedback on new products and applications.  It will encourage a free exchange of ideas,  facilitate connection, provide information and direction, and enhance the World Trade Community.

Another aspect of the vision is to provide free open source access to our vast data repositories and advanced technologies. We also intend to facilitate continued development, innovation and expansion of these available assets. This provocative approach is certain to cause quite a stir within the commercial sector!

As you know, providing free access really isn’t “free”.  At this point, the data is already a year or two out-of-date.  Ongoing data acquisition and handling, web site hosting and hardware /software maintenance will run $100k+ out-of-pocket per year. Also, not being independently wealthy, I need to develop an income stream to provide for me and mine.  So, I am looking to garner sponsors/advertisers/underwriters to help support WorldTradeDaily.com, both via in-kind contributions, or cash, or both.

We believe that the combination of open source free access to valuable databases and technologies, interesting daily publications by credible authors in the field, the unique needed focus of the forum, as well as social marketing could over time make WorldTradeDaily.com not only popular but vital.

A longer article with (almost) no pictures.  Not typical. Notwithstanding, I thought it apropos to restate publicly my original vision and intent, at this, the close of the first year of publication.

AI

World Trade Daily Commercial Services: Artificial Intelligence Engine Connects the Dots

CenTradeX was known to be on the cutting edge of developing innovative trade applications. Over a decade we focused our resources in 3 general areas: Access, Integration and Delivery.  Access is in terms of providing user-friendly interfaces with common sense terminology and easy to understand processes.  Integration is connecting the dots, i.e. associating many types and kinds of data together.  Delivery is from the stand point of developing “Disney type” graphic displays and reporting mechanisms that help bring data to life and highlight business understanding and application.

The most challenging task, one that our team labored on for a decade and into which we invested the lion’s share of our development budget was integration.  It was rather easy to layer global, U.S. and state statistical data… although it had not been done by any company prior.

Next came connecting company information – gathered from many sources including Kompass, Hoovers, D&B, PIERS, etc. The difficulty came (and comes) from the fact that statistical information is organized under one universally accepted schema (the harmonized tariff system) while company information is arranged under a completely unrelated system (SIC, NAICS, or a special proprietary one in the case of D&B and Kompass).  To reveal the traders (importers and exporters) underneath the numbers, one has to connect those dots.  Not an easy task…

Finally, statistical information and company information are only updated on a monthly, quarterly or even annual basis. Although much can be learned from combining these disparate data sets /systems, the real value is connecting daily, transactional data with these. That’s where the U.S. Customs Waterborne Import manifest data comes in.  Although it only tracks U.S. imports and only those arriving by sea, it still represents a trillion dollars of international trade.  The U.S. market is known to be the easiest market to access by foreign exporters.  And we are a country of consumers.  And most importantly, contrary to most other trading nations, through the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) many details of the individual transactions by foreign suppliers and U.S. importers is transparent and public.

There are other ancillary data sets that offer valuable perspectives that are worth noting and integrating such as shipping costs, tariffs, foreign exchange rates, supplier ratings, etc. The point here though is that integration leads to value and competitive advantage.

Because UBM Global Trade /PIERS had already invested decades and millions of dollars into their “data engine”, the powerful CenTradeX A.I. Engine was excluded from the acquisition in 2010.  As a result, we retained THE most valuable of our assets:  our A.I. Engine and Data repositories upon which all our innovative web applications were built and into which we invested many hundreds of thousands of dollars over a 10-year span.

I believe, although several T.I. Providers have done some very neat and noteworthy things with data over the last couple years, that our A.I. engine – now dormant since May 2010 – is still the most advanced system by which to parse and normalize the daily waterborne data. It uses complex internal scripts while referencing a huge company database of millions of international trading companies and connects this transactional data to company, statistical and ancillary data.

We therefore offer this resource to consider for sale, license or joint venture.
Database-diagram

World Trade Daily Commercial Services: Database Repositories for License or Sale

Licensing /Sale of CenTradeX Data Repositories

Data is THE fundamental building block used in constructing Trade Intelligence.

When I founded CenTradeX in the Spring of 2000, I endeavored to offer a missing value added component to readily available, inexpensive but obtuse trade statistics and reports. My initial premise was that there was tremendous inherent value locked away in publicly available trade data that had been hitherto ignored or undervalued.

It was incredulous to me that NO one had ever layered global statistics with U.S. statistics.  It seemed like a no brainer.  First of all, I began the task of combining many sources of data together to provide a more complete picture, 3-D versus flat, such as U.S trade flows with global statistics with state exports. Thereafter, we integrated several sources of company data with statistics.

Marrying huge sets of data organized under very different, asynchronous code systems is not a simple task. I and my team kept adding layer upon layer (of statistical, referential and company data) in order to develop this 3-D versus flat perspective of international trade. CenTradeX became the first to merge, integrate, marry, and correlate disparate data systems together.

Our accumulated data repositories contain decades of statistical, company, and product information as well as the daily import waterborne manifests from U.S. customs and five years of transactional import & export data from China.

The following represent our retained data repositories available for license /sale:

Database repositories

  • World Statistics: Annual trade flow data (imports & exports) garnered from (up to) 192 countries, years 1996 through 2008. All commodities organized by HS code – by 2, 4 & 6 digit detail – as well as summary tables.
  • U.S. Statistics: Annual trade flow data (imports & exports) also organized by HS code – by 2, 4, 6, & 10 digit detail along with summary tables; years 1989 to 2009.
  • State Export Statistics: Annual trade flow data organized by HS code – by 2, 4, 6 digit detail along with summary tables; years 2000 to 2008.
  • U.S. company information: A rather extensive database, accumulated and refined over a decade, that details U.S. companies engaged in some aspect of world trade; exporters and importers as well as ‘service’ related entities.
  • Global trading companies: Gathered from many sources over 10 years highlighting importers & exporters as well as ‘service’ related entities.
  • China company /statistic database: A huge, transactional database of Chinese trading companies – along with virtually EVERY import and export transaction (including the values of each shipment) from years 2000 through 2006. Translated and normalized into English.
  • U.S. Customs waterborne manifest data: A mammoth, highly refined database collection detailing virtually every U.S. import (waterborne) shipment– on a DAILY basis – from January 1, 2006 though May 31, 2010 including millions of transactions per year with extensive detail on products, shippers (sellers), importers (buyers) and shipping data.
  • Reference tables: Normalization and referential tables that serve to LINK the various databases referenced above as well as provide easy access to and /or understanding of obtuse data such as harmonized code language, trade nomenclature or obscure data fields.
Software

World Trade Daily Commercial Services: Complimentary Licensing of Piers Prospects and StatsPlus

In 2010, PIERS acquired several of our (CenTradeX) Trade Intelligence Applications that now represent half of their product line, namely Prospects (and a Prospects derivative they now market as Trade Finance),  StatsPlus, and “Dashboards”.

As partial consideration, I retained the rights to 13 licenses of this software for five years: 13 licenses to StatsPlus, 13 licenses to Prospects and 13 licenses to Dashboards (which they have yet to bring to market). Said rights expire July 1, 2015.  Under the terms of that agreement, 12 licenses are eligible for redistribution. Redistribution being “employees, independent contractors and consultants, clients of the licensee, for whom, from time to time, the licensee or his appointees are carrying out consulting or other commercial engagements”. Currently I have assigned 2 which will expire June 30, 2012. See the article, WTD Backstory- Part 5: Retained CenTradeX Core Technologies & Licenses.

Prospects & Trade Finance Geo Locator Home Screen

Prospects is unique in the world of Trade Intelligence. It combines many data sources into one easy to use graphic interface. U.S. Customs Waterborne Import data is matched with D&B Company information as well as various statistical sources. In addition, PIERS adds their proprietary export data (at this point they are the ONLY game in town able to offer data on daily exports) as well as some supplemental referential databases. One of the coolest things about Prospects is that all this data, from individual shipment detail to highly aggregated summary, is searchable by-product, company, or region.

Also see WTD article: PIERS Prospects™ – Prospecting For International Buyers and Sellers.  Also refer to PIERS website and informational materials:  PIERS Prospects Information.    Prospects Product Brochure.

StatsPlus integrates U.S. import and export statistics, state export data, and global trade flow information together with global buyers and sellers underlying the statistics. PIERS StatsPlus, retains the slick visuals, colorful graphics and dynamic charting capabilities that were always inherent in all the CenTradeX interfaces.  See WTD article: PIERS StatsPlus™ Attempts to Transform Trade Statistics Into Intelligence.  Also refer to PIERS website: PIERS Stats Plus Information.

Complimentary Licensing of Piers Prospects and StatsPlus.

My vision is to see WorldTradeDaily.com develop into a vital interactive community of trade professionals representing every aspect of World Trade and Development.  To help seed this vision, I am offering complimentary subscriptions to StatsPlus or Prospects- arguably the most innovative TI software available.

There are several ways to qualify for this complimentary subscription.

1. As an educator, trainer or consultant or as an international trade professional:

Educators and trade professionals will be considered for a complimentary license; provided that as a material and integral part of agreement, they agree to regularly submit for publication articles that reflect their views and experiences in International Trade, utilize the software and be available for occasional surveys and research studies.

Stats Plus Global Market Report

We are limiting the number of available licenses within each particular facet and function involved in International trade (academia, government, NGOs, logistics, maritime, commercial, consulting, etc.).  A minimum commitment of 1 article per month for each subscription is required (2 per month if both StatsPlus and Prospects are utilized).

As a WorldTradeDaily.com sponsor or client:

Ongoing sponsors of WorldTradeDaily.com articles and clients (with consulting, development or project management contracts) provided that they cannot be a current PIERS client (or listed prospect) or previous CenTradeX customer.  In addition, you must sign the standard PIERS end-user agreement (EUA), abiding by its normal terms and conditions. You cannot resell or assign this license to anyone else.

This complimentary subscription is only valid for 1 year.  After that, you may contact Aliet Martinez, head of commercial sales at UBM Global Trade / PIERS, AMartinez@piers.com – for a WorldTradeDaily.com discount on the subscription rate to Prospects and Stats Plus.

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.

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. 

REports

WorldTradeDaily.com Community Bulletin: Send Us Your Report Requests

Most week days we, at WorldTradeDaily.com run various types of trade reports on a particular Metropolitan region, a corresponding top importer /exporter located in the area, products /components and designated trading partners (countries), in accordance with our motto; “Uncovering and Reporting on the Stories Buried within International Trade Data… Every Day.”  Weekends we reserve to run pertinent news stories – pulled from various sources – on some aspect of international trade and economics.  Every month I’ve also been drilling down into some technical aspect of trade data and business intelligence.  Occasionally, our readers will submit a interesting article to be included within our forum.

Since January 1, my son Isaac Thompson, who is finishing his first of two years in Graduate school at University of Tennessee – Chattanooga for Industrial Psychology, has been utilizing PIERS Prospects and Piers Stats Plus as well as a handful of ancillary data sources to develop the aforementioned Metro /company/product/country trade reports.

The selection is guided by his interest and input from myself and interested readers.  Therefore, we invite you – our readers – to provide us your suggestions and feedback on trade reports you would like to see developed.  In addition, you are welcome to submit particular requests related to a story you see published within our forums.  The following is a recent example resulting from the article, “Indianapolis, Indiana: Metro World Trade Profile – Top Importers & Exporters“.

“My firm has been engaged by Indianapolis Airport Authority to develop an airfreight strategy.  Pursuant to that end I have been in search of Indiana trade data by industry, firm, product, value, and weight for all imports and exports.
From your article, “Indianapolis, Indiana: Metro World Trade Profile-Top Importers and Exporters,” it appears you have the data. Are the Excel files available? If so, how might I get them?  Looking forward to your response.”

Response:  “Thank you for your interest. We certainly do have access to the excel files: all waterborne trade by industry and location. For individual companies we can see all the bills of lading. With a quick search there seem to be almost 2000 companies importing in the state. I included an excel file with all of them, titled Indiana Import Companies. One of the largest companies in the area is Eli Lilly, a pharmaceutical company. I included an excel file of their shipment for the last 12 months, titled Eli Lilly shipments. We can of course separate that data by import / export, commodity, etc.

The last attachment is a screen shot of the top industries in the area, Indiana, by weight shipped. We can view individual companies from this screen.  So it depends on the size of your project and what your goals are. We are available for any services you require.  I hope this helps.  

Download Indiana Import Companies.  Download Eli Lilly Shipments.

Top Industries shipping into Indiana by teus and weight

If your request exceeds the scope and size of an average WorldTradeDaily.com article, Isaac is available, on a free lance basis @$35.00 per hour, to conduct research, analysis and write reports utilizing the very powerful trade intelligence applications at his disposal.  You may contact him via Linked-In or directly by email: ThompsonIsaacB@gmail.com.

We also invite you to review a description of our additional commercially available technologies, databases and services.

Global-Environment-Crisis

From the OECD on the Global Environment: Act Now or Face Costly Consequences

From the OECD: Environment: Act now or face costly consequences, warns OECD.  As countries struggle with the immediate challenges of stretched public finances and high unemployment, they must not neglect the longer term. Action needs to be taken now to prevent irreversible damage to the environment. “Greener sources of growth can help governments today as they tackle these pressing challenges. Greening agriculture, water and energy supply and manufacturing will be critical by 2050 to meet the needs of over 9 billion people.” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.

The OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050: The Consequences of Inaction presents the latest projections of socio-economic trends over the next four decades, and their implications for four key areas of concern: climate change, biodiversity, water and the health impacts of environmental pollution. Despite the recent recession, the global economy is projected to nearly quadruple to 2050. Rising living standards will be accompanied by ever growing demands for energy, food and natural resources – and more pollution.

The costs of inaction could be colossal, both in economic and human terms. Without new policies:

  • World energy demand in 2050 will be 80% higher, with most of the growth to come from emerging economies (for North America about +15%, for OECD Europe +28%, for Japan +2.5, for Mexico +112%) and still 85% reliant on fossil fuel-based energy. This could lead to a 50% increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally and worsening air pollution.
  • Urban air pollution is set to become the top environmental cause of mortality worldwide by 2050, ahead of dirty water and lack of sanitation. The number of premature deaths from exposure to particulate air pollutants leading to respiratory failure could double from current levels to 3.6 million every year globally, with most occurring in China and India. Because of their ageing and urbanized populations, OECD countries are likely to have one of the highest rate of premature death from ground-level ozone in 2050, second only to India.

Premature deaths from ground-level ozone: Number of deaths per million inhabitants

On land, global biodiversity is projected to decline by a further 10%, with significant losses in Asia, Europe and Southern Africa. Areas of mature forests are projected to shrink by 13%. About one-third of biodiversity in rivers and lakes worldwide has already been lost, and further losses are projected to 2050.

Global water demand will increase by some 55%, due to growing demand from manufacturing (+400%), thermal power plants (+140%) and domestic use (+130%). These competing demands will put water use by farmers at risk. 2.3 billion more people than today –over 40% of the global population – will be living in river basins under severe water stress, especially in North and South Africa, and South and Central Asia.

These projections highlight the urgent need for new thinking. Failing that, the erosion of our environmental capital will increase the risk of irreversible changes that could jeopardize two centuries of rising living standards.

OECD Logo

To avert the grim future painted by the Environmental Outlook to 2050, the report recommends a cocktail of policy solutions:

  • Using environmental taxes and emissions trading schemes to make pollution more costly than greener alternatives.
  • Valuing and pricing natural assets and ecosystem services like clean air, water and biodiversity for their true worth.
  • Removing environmentally harmful subsidies to fossil fuels or wasteful irrigation schemes.
  • Encouraging green innovation by making polluting production and consumption modes more expensive while providing public support for basic R&D.
Emarketplace

Guest Blog by Barney Lehrer: Online International Trade Marketplaces

Since the advent of the public internet in the 1980s (before the invention of the World Wide Web), international traders have been posting “trade leads,” or messages about their products for sale and products that they need to buy. The earliest such systems were developed independently by the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA) (http://wtca.org) and a service of UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) http://unctad.org called the World Trade Point Federation. Both the WTCA trade lead system and the Trade Point system no longer exist. But to this day the service they introduced has expanded to thousands of “eMarketplaces” based throughout the world. Among the most famous are Alibaba.com, Global Sources (http://globalsources.com) and TradeKey (http://tradekey.com). The FITA website has an extensive list of these marketplaces athttp://tradeleads.info.

As international trade professionals well understand, successful import/export transactions can only succeed when both parties trust each other. The biggest drawback to electronic marketplaces is the reliability of the offers and demands that are posted on the websites. There are many people who may be posting scams or are not able to fulfill whatever they post. And to this day there are limited ways of performing due diligence by only relying on the eMarketplaces. Some of these websites have set up “Trust” procedures on their website. However even some of those due diligence services proved to be vulnerable to fraud, in some case from within the marketplace companies themselves.

Still, however, the eMarketplaces are invaluable tools for anybody in the world who wants to see what products are offered from which countries, what price levels are and who manufactures many items. And they can be good venues for finding suppliers and buyers as long as good standards of due diligence are established.

With the intent of helping international trade professionals navigate the intricacies of doing honest and effective international trade online, the trade promotion agencies of Canada, Norway and Spain run eMarket Services, http://www.emarketservices.com a website that is a complete resource for using eMarketplaces. Among the free resources on the website are:

Another recent type of eMarketplace that is appearing is what we would call a “hybrid.” That is, these marketplaces, although internet-based, still rely on old-fashioned personal relationships as well as social media technologies to ensure that transactions are transparent and honest. One such marketplace is iComtrader http://icomtrader.com/. Built by James Vena, an international trader with 20+ years working for and running successful trading companies, it relies on the personal relationships of the people in a worldwide network of offices. Other new “social media” marketplaces include Globial (http://globial.com) and Tradesparq http://www.tradesparq.com. However at this point neither of these seems to have generated much traffic or interesting content.

My advice? Be careful and good luck!

Metro-Indexes

Index of Metro World Trade Reports by Topic Area Through February 16, 2012

Beginning the first week in January 2012, we dramatically refined the focus of WorldTradeDaily.com.  Week-ends are still reserved for pertinent economic and trade related news, domestically and abroad. However, Monday through Friday, we publish trade reports originating from various Metro areas in the U.S.  Each week, we highlight 1 or 2 top importers or exporters for a particular region as well as their primary products.

Occasionally, we will interrupt our Metro Series Reports to cover recent developments on a trade data provider or it’s products, specific details about an important data source – such as aspects of the U.S. Customs Waterborne Import data series or to direct attention to one of our unique technologies or services.  Bottom line, WorldTradeDaily.com content is much more focused on International Trade Data and the valuable stories that can be extracted from it.

Although we utilize a host of statistical and referential trade related sources to gather our information for our reports, two primary trade intelligence applications we regularly turn to are Prospects and Stats Plus, originally developed by CenTradeX and later acquired by UBM Global Trade /PIERS.

Here is a list of reports that have been written by staff research writer /analyst Isaac Thompson thus far, compiled for easy reference.  We will update this list every month or so.  You can also refer to the navigational menu at the top of the website.

Metro Areas:

International Traders:

Related Products:

Commercial-Overview

New Content Focus for World Trade Daily: Overview of Commercial Technologies, Products & Services

As some of you may have already noticed, beginning January 1 of this year, we dramatically revised the focus of WorldTradeDaily.com.

Whereas we had focused upon International Trade Intelligence in general – including reviews of data providers, pertinent global news, world trade centers as well as loosely associated stories on intercultural communication and internet marketing – we now have narrowed the focus strictly to International Trade Data and its business applications.  Even news stories, which run on the week-ends, will specifically focus on international trade data or will feature articles published by trade data providers.

Specifically, Monday through Friday, we will primarily be publishing data reports that look at international trade within various metropolitan areas, then drill down into the individual trading patterns of major importers and exporters as well as looking more closely at the products they buy or sell.  Many times we will include a link to download the detailed and comprehensive shipping records for a particular company which reveal their foreign sources and many aspects of their supply chain.

Although we pull from many governmental and ancillary sources for these reports, we largely depend upon PIERS Prospects and Stats Plus Trade Intelligence applications for the underlying data. Originally developed by myself and my team at CenTradeX, then later acquired and now marketed by UBM Global Trade, these products represent cutting edge technologies.  Therefore, one of the primary reasons for using the applications to generate these reports is to demonstrate the commercially available technologies, products and services which we currently have at our disposal and are wanting to promote for contract, sale or license.

Last week, each day, we published an article on a particular product, technology or service provided through World Trade Daily and myself.  For more information, click on the link provided below.  In summary, they are as follows:

Complimentary Licensing of Piers Prospects and StatsPlus.  Educators and trade professionals will be considered for a complimentary license provided that as a material and integral part of agreement, they regularly submit for publication articles that reflect their views and experiences in International Trade, utilize the software and be available for occasional surveys and research studies.

Research & Reporting, Publishing & Social Marketing and Sponsorship.  Custom publication and marketing: we can take the pain out of publishing for you.  Contract with us to provide all of your blog design, content development, technical administration and social marketing. We can produce content designed specifically for your company and target market(s).

Database Repositories for License or Sale. Data is THE fundamental building block used in constructing Trade Intelligence. Our accumulated data repositories contain decades of statistical, company, and product information as well as the daily import waterborne manifests from U.S. customs and five years of transactional import & export data from China.

Artificial Intelligence Engine Connects the Dots.  Our A.I. engine is the most advanced system by which to parse and normalize the daily waterborne data. It uses complex internal scripts while referencing a huge company database of millions of international trading companies and connects this transactional data to company, statistical and ancillary data.

Consultation, Application Development & Project Management.  I am available on an hourly, daily or project basis, to consult and lead during the many facets of developing, intergrating and applying trade intelligence.  I also have several handfuls of excellent technologists, writers/editors and graphic design folks at my disposal if needed for the project.

International Trade is a trillion dollar industry that operates in many ways like it’s still in the industrial age.  I’d love to help you wield the technological resources to better compete and succeed in the global market place.  Please feel free to contact me: Robert@WorldTradeDaily.com.

costa-rica

Country Focus: Intercultural Nuances of Doing Business With Costa Rica, Part 2

Though Costa Rica shares quite a few cultural similarities with the U.S., one thing that seems to permeate throughout Central America is the importance of family. Perhaps not so surprising in this collectivist culture, many decisions are based on the effect they have on the family. In this peaceful country, Ticos believe in peace through negotiations. However, just because peace or an agreement is the end goal does not mean that you have to sugarcoat your ideas. Ticos are more concerned that honest opinions are expressed than the need to “save face” due to negative or unpleasant opinions. Ticos encourage open dialogue. By no means be disrespectful, but be honest in your opinions and ideas.

Men typically wear conservative suits (where the jacket is kept on until the Tico counterpart removes his first), while women wear dresses or skirts and blouses (pants are not typically worn). Men usually shake hands during greetings, while the abrazo greeting (patting each other on the right forearm or shoulder) is done between women. Kissing is only done between people who know each other well.

Good times to visit Costa Rica are February and March and between September and November. Vacations are usually taken during December and January and for Christmas and Easter. In the public sector, the fiscal year is the same as the calendar year. Make appointments in advance and reconfirm before arrival. Do try to visit Costa Rica before making business arrangements, as face to face contact is preferred over telecommunications.

Costa Ricans have a strong work ethic and tend to focus on the process of accomplishing the goal as much as the result/goal itself. By preferring to take their time with the process, they are attempting to avoid risks and anxiety. Costa Rica may be a monochromatic society, they also like to take their time to complete projects and generally try to avoid precise commitments. They avoid these precise commitments because of their “high uncertainty avoidance” established in their strict rules and policies in the legal system and societal norms. Ticos are more formal and serious than their neighbors. It is advisable to have local legal representation in addition to a local advertising agency.

During these meetings and presentations, everyone involved is encouraged to share their views and ask questions, so to put up a united front each member of your team or delegation to Costa Rica should take part in the presentation. Decision makers in Costa Rica are highly accessible and are willing to participate in frank open dialogue and discussions. The high ranking individual may make the final decision, but usually only after input from almost all involved with the decision, group consensus (group culture). And while a monochromatic society, decisions take time and thought (especially if group consensus is the goal), so try your best not to display any signs of impatience, as that may lower your credibility. Let the decisions stew over a business dinner, perhaps.

costa-rica

Country Focus: Intercultural Nuances of Doing Business With Costa Rica, Part 1

During the age of Imperialism, many of those who settled in Costa Rica were seeking land and mercantile opportunities. This “rich coast,” named Costa Rica by Columbus, is barred physically with mountain ranges and water, from instability and hostility that plagues the region, and promotes civility and neutrality within Costa Rican borders. Costa Rica has no official army to guard its borders, a history of peace, a relatively stable democratic republic, one of the highest literacy rates in Central America, and a sound economy.

Though Costa Ricans feel a strong affiliation towards the U.S. ideals of hard work and individual effort, their attitudes towards the U.S. and its citizens is ambivalent. In fact, like Belize, you may feel more comfortable in Costa Rica than other Central American countries. Though sharing in the Central (and Latin) America tradition of being relatively conservative and risk averse, in addition to the dominance of the Roman Catholic Church, Ticos are monochromatic (punctuality counts here!), they are probably the most punctual people in Central America. Other Tico distinctions include negotiating patterns in markets, where bargaining is considered a game and an expected practice, it is simply rare in this Central American country. In general, Ticos welcome affluent foreigners, however they do not encourage poor immigrants, for they cite them as the cause of petty crime, loss of civility, and other social ills.

Like the United States, Costa Rica, leans more egalitarian than hierarchical. Costa Rican prosperity, general ethnic homogeneity, and commitment to widespread education contributes to an egalitarian society. While there are various social classes, there is a strong emphasis on the equality and dignity of work regardless of social class. There is no need to tip taxi drivers in this egalitarian culture. Following the egalitarian pattern of Costa Rican society, machismo is not as strong as in other Central American countries. There are lower levels of gender discrimination in Costa Rica. For example, women keep their own identity apart from their husbands in all legal and business matters and there is a greater acceptance fore women in business. “Sharing the wealth” is a government mandate that encourages egalitarianism and enforces the preexisting humanitarian, democratic, and group culture attitudes. This “sharing” culture also extends to Costa Rican mentality—they are open to discussion on almost any topic.

Ticos are also similar to U.S. Americans regarding their demeanor. They are more subdued and detached in their communications styles, similar to U.S. American businessmen and women. Ticos are more reserved, non-emotive, proud and self-respecting. They have strong beliefs and are not easily persuaded. It is these beliefs more than rules that can determine decisions—rules are guidelines, most things are taken on a case by case basis. While they may have a strong self-image, because of the egalitarian mentality, they have a strong distaste for arrogance and expect all, even those in high positions, to display humility. Status is not as important in Costa Rica, and even if you have a lot of accomplishments, tooting your horn here is not exactly smiled upon.

belizeheader

Country Focus: Intercultural Nuances of Doing Business With Belize, Part 2

Belize is also different than its neighbors concerning the concept of time. While many of its neighbors have a relaxed view about time and punctuality, Belizeans are more monochromatic like their founders. Punctuality is expected for all business appointments, and while there is some flexibility concerning social occasions, certainly not half an hour or more. While Belizeans are firm believers in punctuality, the pace of life is slightly slower in Belize and like many of you would agree, big decisions need time. They do not have a clear aversion to risk, but actually have a high tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty. Unlike Guatemala, Belize is past oriented with a concern for a better future. When a good opportunity presents itself, you will find that individual decision makers can move rather quickly.

Though hierarchy is flexible, start with formality and titles and then ease your way into informality, like the saying, “better to be overdressed than underdressed.” Like mentioned before, outsiders can quickly become involved in a group, so in large groups pluck up the courage and introduce yourself.  Don’t expect personal introductions.

Dress in business situations is expected to be formal (dress pants, shirts, skirts, dresses, etc.), but often accommodates the heat and therefore tends to be more casual. Before your arrival in Belize, it is best to make your appointments at least one week in advance. Then, upon first meetings or introductions, since relationships are key in this country and hierarchy is flexible, make quality (over quantity) connections with people through extended conversations. In the business setting, decisions may take a long time, but punctuality is very important. Since Belize has primarily British roots, many business practices and business laws are similar to those in the United States. Since Belizeans follow many of the British and United States protocols for business, it also means that contracts are exactly as stated, unlike most of Central America, where contracts are flexible. It is also recommended that, like other countries where you conduct business, you have a local contact on the ground to help you conduct business in Belize. However beware that Belizean citizenship can be bought.

Other facts about Belize:

  • To find a particular address, get directions from a well-known landmark.
  • Breakfast is referred to as “tea”.
  • Lunch is referred to as “dinner”.
  • When invited to a home for “tea” or to “drink some tea” you are having what we usually consider “dinner” but also known as “supper”.
  • Belize has a distinct style of popular music and dance called Punta, where the feet remain stationary and the rest of the body (especially the hips move; popular among the Garifuna). So get your dancin’ shoes on!
  • Taking coral or tropical fish out of the country is illegal.