Please visit our new website at www.export.gov!

LOCAL TRADE EVENTS:

The U.S. Commercial Service in Chicago, Peoria and Rockford organizes and supports conferences, seminars, and events to educate our clients and promote international trade. Our goal is to help local U.S. exporters sell globally. A sampling of our events includes:

  • Executive briefings in our office with one of our visiting Commercial Service Officers from around the world.
  • Educational export seminars and online webinars.
  • Matchmaking and export counseling services at international trade shows overseas and the U.S.

By organizing trade missions and educational seminars; providing matching or export counseling services at trade shows; and recruiting buyer delegations to U.S. trade shows, the U.S. Government helps U.S. exporters expand global sales at trade events.

EXPORT NEWS

U.S. Lifts Sanctions Against Burma/Myanmar
On October 7, 2016, President Obama removed economic and financial sanctions against Myanmar that had been in place for nearly two decades. “Burma has made significant strides in recent years, including choosing a civilian-led, democratically elected government. Lifting economic and financial sanctions will further support trade and economic growth,” noted U.S. Treasury official Adam Szubin.  For more details, see https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/pages/burma.aspx.

Illinois Education & Training Exports Rise 8.1%
The annual Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange was released this week, and notes that an increasing number of students are crossing the globe to gain practical, international experience that they can apply in their careers and life in a global society.  The number of U.S. students studying abroad increased by 3%, whereas the number of international students studying in the U.S. increased by 7% over the past year. According to the report, which is produced by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in partnership with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the number of international students at U.S. colleges and universities surpassed one million for the first time during the 2015-16 academic year—to a new high of nearly 1,044,000, and contributing nearly $36 billion to the U.S. economy.  The state of Illinois is the 5th most popular destination for international students, hosting over 50,000 students in the 2015-16 academic year, which represents an increase of 8.1% over the previous year, and equates to more than $1.57 billion in education and training exports for the state.   For more data, visit http://www.iie.org/Open-Doors.

2017 China City and Industry Report: A Guide for U.S. Exporters –Now Available!
The U.S. Commercial Service in China has just released subject 140-page report, which looks closely at 19 of China’s commercially important cities and 16 of its best prospect industries for U.S. exporters. Industries of focus include Agricultural Equipment, Environmental Technologies, Automotive Components, Rail, ICT, and Safety and Security.  Many of the featured cities are 3rd and 4th tier business centers, such as Harbin, Kunming, and Urumqi, that are growing faster than the top tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai, and are also where major infrastructure projects are under development.   We encourage you to take advantage of the knowledge and expertise this Report provides as you enter or expand your China business, but also to contact our staff and other seasoned experts for advice.  http://2016.export.gov/china/build/groups/public/@eg_cn/documents/webcontent/eg_cn_105813.pdf.

LOCAL EVENTS

December 16, 2016:  Study Illinois Annual Meeting – Chicago
The featured speaker will be International Trade Specialist Debra Rogers, who will provide information on the U.S. Commercial Service’s latest initiatives to assist U.S. colleges and universities international marketing and student recruitment efforts, including group recruiting trips. The agenda will include a business meeting, election of 2017 board of directors, and lunch.  10:00am-1:00pm at DePaul University Loop Campus - 1 East Jackson Boulevard, Room 8010.  Registration fee of $25 includes lunch and can be paid at http://www.studyillinois.info/support.php.  Both members and non-members welcome.  For questions/more info, please contact Antonia Creteanu at rcretean@depaul.edu or Debra Rogers at Debra.Rogers@trade.gov.

WEBINARS

December 6, 2016 @ 1:00pm CST: Building and Managing an International Distributor Network-Webinar
Join the U.S. Commercial Service and two experts from the NJ District Export Council for a 75-minute webinar focused on how to build and manage a successful international distributor network. Topics include: How to Identify a Partner, How to Build a Global Infrastructure, Keys to a Successful partnership, among others! This webinar will feature experienced and distinguished speakers Leigh Ann Catlin, the Vice President of International Development for NeoStrata Company, Inc., as well as Steven M. Richman, Esq. of Clark Hill PLC.  For more information, please contact Tricia McLain at Tricia.McLain@trade.gov or at 973-645-4682 ext. 212. To register, click HERE.

December 7, 2016 @ 11:30am CST: Smart Tech Opportunities in Greater China – Webinar
Increasing urbanization in Greater China (China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) is driving demand for Smart City technologies to cope with rising population density and the need for transportation solutions, energy efficient building designs and retrofit technologies, and the technology-enabled financial services that are vital for economic growth. Join our teams from the American Institute in Taiwan and the U.S. Consulates General in Hong Kong and Guangzhou to learn about the emerging opportunities for U.S. exporters in these sectors due to an expected market value of nearly $5 billion by 2023. Participants will also learn about the upcoming Smart Tech Business Development Mission to Greater China (see below under “Trade Missions,” and the ways in which the U.S. Commercial Service can help you grow in the market.11:30am-12:30pm Central. For more information, contact Michael Marangell at: michael.marangell@trade.gov. To register visit: https://emenuapps.ita.doc.gov/ePublic/event/editWebReg.do?SmartCode=7Q6P   

December 7, 2016 @ 8:00am CST: Opportunities in Taiwan’s Renewable Energy Market—Free Webinar
Join the U.S. Department of Commerce as they share information about market opportunities resulting from Taiwan’s plan to expand renewables capacity and how U.S. companies can pursue these opportunities! Speakers will include Sarah Fox of the American Institute in Taiwan, Brian Aiello, Executive Vice President at Virginia Energy Exchange; and Reg Macdonald, Managing Partner at Radiant Capital.  To register, send an email to Matthew Quigley at matthew.quigley@trade.gov.

December 7, 2016 @7:00pm CST: Opportunities in China’s Medical Device Market- Webinar
Is your product ready for the China Market? Hear an overview of the current regulatory requirements that must be met to successfully enter the China market.  Also, learn how to protect your IPR when exporting medical devices to China, and about the 2017 SMEF Show and opportunities for U.S. companies!  To read an overview of The China Medical Device Market, click HERE. Fee:  $35.  To register, click HERE.

December 8, 2016 @ 11:00am CST:  Recruiting Students from Kazakhstan and Ukraine – Webinar
If you seek to diversify your student body, increase enrollment, and get more information on how to connect with students from Kazakhstan and Ukraine, join us for this virtual briefing!  U.S. Commercial Service education specialists representing these markets will highlight market characteristics, upcoming recruitment opportunities, and best practices and strategies for student recruitment. The target audience: for this webinar is accredited U.S. higher education institutions including: undergraduate and graduate programs, community colleges, summer programs, etc. Kazakhstan has one of the strongest economies in Central Asia, which grew by 8% in the last decade. The government offers free education to top high school graduates; however these opportunities are limited. The government is reducing the number of universities in Kazakhstan from 139 to 100 to focus on the quality of education. Pursuing higher education is very important to Kazakhs, 62% of students participate in undergraduate programs. This makes higher education admissions process highly competitive and many elite students seek to study abroad. It is estimated that there are over 40,000 Kazakh student currently pursuing degrees in foreign academic institutions, the U.S. being 3rd most popular choice. Number of students from Kazakhstan to the U.S. increased to 2,017 for the 2014/15 academic year. The number of Kazakh students enrolled in US graduate programs has increase by 16% in the last year alone. Ukraine is an ideal recruitment market for U.S. universities that look for student body diversification. A combination of talented high school graduates, a lack of competitiveness in domestic higher education system, and the unmet demand for graduates with adequate workplace skills creates opportunities for Western universities, as well as language study programs. As a result, the number of international students from Ukraine has significantly increased since 2009. Between 2009 and 2014 the number of Ukrainian students studying abroad increased by 79 percent to reach 47,724 students studying in 34 countries. To register, please go to https://emenuapps.ita.doc.gov/ePublic/event/editWebReg.do?SmartCode=7Q5X For more information, please email amy.ryan@trade.gov or anastasia.mukherjee@trade.gov with cc to Debra.Rogers@trade.gov. Registration fee: $30.

December 14, 2016 @ 12:00PM CST: Central American Webinar Series: Nicaragua
The U.S. Commercial Service is organizing a Central America Webinar Series highlighting business opportunities in Nicaragua.  The United States is Nicaragua’s largest trading partner, the source of roughly a quarter of Nicaragua’s imports and the destination for approximately two-thirds of its exports (including free zone exports).  This webinar will provide a market overview that will help to advance U.S. exports to Nicaragua. Fee: $35. To learn more and to register, click HERE.  Contact Jessica Gordon at Jessica.Gordon@trade.gov or (601) 373-0748; or Delia Valdivia at Delia.Valdivia@trade.gov.

January 11, 2017 @ 12:00PM CST: Central America Webinar Series: Panama
The U.S. Commercial Service is organizing a Central America Webinar Series highlighting business opportunities in Panama.  Panama has historically served as the crossroads of trade for the Americas.  The United States is Panama’s most important trading partner with about 30 percent of the import market.  This webinar will provide a market overview that will help to advance U.S. exports to Panama. Fee: $35. To learn more and to register, click HERE.  Contact Jessica Gordon at Jessica.Gordon@trade.gov or (601) 373-0748; or Delia Valdivia at Delia.Valdivia@trade.gov.

February 1, 2017 @ 12:00PM CST: Central America Webinar Series: the Dominican Republic
The U.S. Commercial Service is organizing a Central America Webinar Series highlighting business opportunities in the Dominican Republic.  The United States is the Dominican Republic’s largest trading partner, accounting for 44% of the DR’s total imports. In 2015, U.S. exports to the DR totaled $7.1 billion.  This webinar will provide a market overview that will help to advance U.S. exports to the Dominican Republic. Fee: $35. To learn more and to register, click HERE.  Contact Jessica Gordon at Jessica.Gordon@trade.gov or (601) 373-0748; or Delia Valdivia at Delia.Valdivia@trade.gov.

TRADE MISSIONS

March 6-10, 2017: U.S. Information and Communication Technologies and Services Trade Mission to Singapore & Vietnam
This trade mission will provide U.S. participants with first-hand market information, exposure and access to government decision makers, and one-on-one meetings with business contacts, including potential agents, distributors and business partners, so that participants can position themselves to enter or expand their presence in the market. Mission participants will meet with potential partners and buyers in both countries at local manufacturing or service provider facilities. Additionally, participants will meet with manufacturers’ associations and government officials to learn about the local market and sales opportunities. The precise schedule will be structured based on specific goals of the mission participants and availability of local government officials. Target markets include: Digital Infrastructure, Emergency management technology, IT, Big data management, Cyber security, and data loss prevention. Registration Deadline: January 8, 2017. For more information, and fees click HERE. For questions contact Brian Beams at Brian.Beams@trade.gov, or Deborah Misouria at Deborah.Misouria@trade.gov.

March 12-16, 2017: Power Technologies Trade Mission to Saudi Arabia & UAE
Target mission participants are representatives of leading U.S. companies that provide state-of-the-art generation, transmission and distribution equipment.  Participants will meet key power sector contacts in the UAE and KSA, and gain insights on relevant export opportunities.  Mission stops will include Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Riyadh, & Dhahran.  Contact Douglas Wallace at Douglas.Wallace@trade.gov or Dao Le at Dao.Le@trade.gov. Application deadline is December 31, 2016.

March 26-31, 2017: Trade Mission to Central America and Business Opportunities in Central America Conference- Costa Rica +
Central America is an expanding market for U.S. exports, with almost 46 million potential buyers.  This mission will connect U.S. companies with qualified potential buyers, agents, distributors or joint-venture partners during pre-arranged business-to-business matchmaking appointments.  The meetings will occur in Costa Rica and one other Central American country – Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Belize or Panama.  Industries of focus are: safety and security equipment, automotive parts and accessories, construction equipment and road building machinery, and renewable energy technologies.  The Opportunities in Central America Business Development Conference will offer similar one-on-one consultations with U.S. Foreign & Commercial Service (USFCS) Commercial Officers and/or U.S. Department of State Economic/Commercial Officers to gain information and discuss the strategies for entering or expanding their business across the Central America region. Registration Deadline: January 31, 2017. For more info on the mission, click HEREFor questions, contact Jessica Gordon at Jessica.Gordon@trade.gov. To complete the Trade Mission application, please click HERE.  See also under the “Webinar” heading of this calendar, info on the related Central America Webinar Series highlighting business opportunities in each Central American country.

April 24-28, 2017: Smart Tech Business Development Mission to Greater China – Taipei, Hong Kong, and Guangzhou
The United States Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, is organizing a Smart Technologies Business Development Mission to Taiwan and Hong Kong with an optional stop in Guangzhou (China). The business development mission will help expand U.S. exports for U.S. technology providers of Smart Transportation, Smart Building designs and energy efficient retrofits, and tech-enabled financial services (FinTech).  Participants in the mission will gain first-hand knowledge of the opportunities and challenges in each market, engage with government leaders, and meet potential partners, buyers, and representatives through customized one-on-one appointments. Space is limited, so apply now. http://go.usa.gov/xksvc. For more information, contact Michael Marangell at michael.marangell@trade.gov or Gemal Brangman at gemal.brangman@trade.gov

OTHER OPPORTUNITIES AND EVENTS

December 5-7, 2016: ICEF Workshop – Miami, Florida
U.S. Commercial Service Trade Specialists will be staffing a booth and participating in the business meetings.  We encourage participating U.S. colleges and universities to look for us on the Marcom schedule and request a meeting with us to discuss how we can help facilitate international student recruitment via agents and otherwise. Contacts: Debra.Rogers@trade.gov or Stephanie.Heckel@trade.gov.

December 10, 2016: 1st Virtual Student Recruitment Fair of Turkey
The first virtual higher education recruitment fair in Turkey will take place on December 10, 2016. The U.S. institutions of higher education, including the community colleges offering undergraduate and/or ESL programs are invited to join this fair without leaving home to meet live with Turkish students who wish to continue their undergraduate degrees in the United States. The virtual recruitment fair has a unique model allowing students to connect virtually from all over Turkey as well as to visit physically venues in four cities (Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Adana) where they will be able to receive assistance during the fair and meet with U.S. diplomatic mission representatives promoting the U.S. as a study destination. The event is jointly organized by Mezun Group and ISF, with the support of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Turkey, including the U.S. Department of Commerce.  Event details can be found here: www.mezun.com/virtualfair   For more details, contact  Kristi.Wiggins@trade.gov or Perim.Akguner@trade.gov with cc to Debra.Rogers@trade.gov.

December 13-15, 2016: International Market Counseling at PGI 2016 – Orlando, FL
PGI 2016
is the power generation industry’s largest event in the world, attracting more than 20,000 attendees and 1,400 exhibitors from over 110 countries. The U.S. Commercial Service's Global Energy Team is supporting U.S. Embassy and Consulate-led international buying delegations from over 35 countries at PGI 2016Participating companies will have the opportunity to meet with our U.S. Embassy and Consulate power generation specialists at PGI 2016. These power generation specialists from will be on-hand to discuss trends and opportunities for your business in their markets. Meetings will also be available with representatives from Export-Import Bank, Small Business Administration, and ITA’s Office of Energy and Environmental Industries are also available. These 30-min meetings will take place on Wednesday, December 14 from 9:00AM-5:00PM at your booth or in Room S220 AB, Level 2 of the Orange County Convention Center. The registration deadline for these meetings is Wednesday, November 23. Registration fee: FREE. For any questions, please contact Jason.Sproule@trade.gov or Ashley.Wilson@trade.gov.

February 6-7, 2017: Vocational and Technical Training Education Fair—Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
Vocational and technical schools are being built all across Saudi Arabia and there is a need for training providers. Opportunities in the Saudi market can be found in English language programs for professional development as well as hands-on training in specializations such as machine tooling, metalworking, electro-mechanics and auto mechanics. Attend the VoTech Training Education Fair to learn how you can take advantage of lucrative opportunities and build sustainable partnerships in the VoTech sector of Saudi Arabia. Participants will have the opportunity to meet and network with decision makers of the top technical schools in the kingdom and visit their facilities. Application Deadline: January 15, 2017. For more information, contact Anastasia.mukherjee@trade.gov.

February 16-17, 2017: Discover Global Markets: Advanced Manufacturing - Scottsdale, AZ
Forum for U.S. companies on the opportunities at the forefront of a wide array of manufacturing technologies essential to the manufacturing industries around the world. Participants will: 1) learn about international manufacturing needs and how to build strong partnerships necessary to gain business 2) understand the global demand for new technologies the improve production quality, efficiency, and increase capacity, and 3) hear from executives who have successfully tapped in the global markets of advanced manufacturing technologies. In addition to panels of industry experts, U.S. Commercial Service staff from approximately 20 countries around the world are expected and will be available for one-on-one appointments. There will also be business-to-business matchmaking meetings. The U.S. Commercial Service and the Arizona District Export Council are partnering to host this forum at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Paradies Valley in Scottsdale, Arizona this upcoming February! Early Bird Registration ($375) ends December 16th. For information and registration go to: http://2016.export.gov/discoverglobalmarkets/advancedmanufacturing/index.asp. For registration questions and concerns please contact Kristian Richardson (Kristian.Richardson@trade.gov) or Christina Parisi (Christina.Parisi@trade.gov).

March 1-3, 2017:  Illinois Pavilion at Sino-Pack 2017 – Guangzhou
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Office of Trade & Investment is inviting Illinois’ small businesses on a Trade Mission to exhibit in a No Charge exhibit space in the Illinois Pavilion at the Sino-Pack 2017 (www.chinasinopack.com) trade show in Guangzhou, China from March 1–3, 2017. Supported by the US SBA STEP Grant, which means that companies qualifying for this mission will receive the following: 

  • Free fully furnished trade show booth
  • Partial reimbursement of travel for hotel and airfare
  • Briefing material
  • Pre-show promotion
  • Assistance with travel logistics from the State of Illinois Chicago and Shanghai Offices

No charge space is limited and qualified Illinois firms will be accepted on a “First Come – First Served” basis.  Please contact Zhigang Ren at zhigang.ren@illinois.gov for more information, with cc to Debra.Rogers@trade.gov. Participating companies may opt to add on a Gold Key Matchmaking service provided by the U.S. Commercial Service, which may also qualify for SBA STEP funding.

April 24-28, 2017: Hannover Messe Trade Fair – Germany
Join the U.S. Commercial Service at the world's largest trade show focusing on industrial technology. HANNOVER MESSE offers unmatched international exposure for U.S. firms, associations, and economic development organizations looking to expand their international footprint. Featuring more than 200,000 attendees from over 70 countries, this fair provides an opportunity to showcase your products and technologies to the world. The U.S. Commercial Service will be there to help maximize the value of your participation, by providing:

  • Personalized, one-on-one counseling with our global network of industry experts,
  • We will promote your company and provide facilitated introductions to buyers and partners from around the world,
  • U.S. Commercial Service staff will be on hand at the show to support you, whether you are an experienced exhibitor or are attending for the first time.

Reach out today and let us know you are interested in learning more about attending HANNOVER MESSE 2017 at http://2016.export.gov/pennsylvania/pittsburgh/hm17interestregistration/index.asp.  For questions, please contact Dan Kim at Kyungsoo.Kim@trade.gov.

April 26-28, 2017: I3S Innovation in Infrastructure Security Business Forum UK
This Business Forum is targeted at U.S. companies with cyber and physical security solutions for critical national infrastructure and will present significant business and informational opportunities to them.  The I3S Forum will highlight broad business opportunities for supply chain development and specific regional market intelligence. The program includes seminars, market briefings, networking events, and site visits in order to introduce U.S. Suppliers, and Service Providers to key decision makers in the UK, educate on local procurement practices, showcase innovative products and services, and help participants understand the implications of Brexit. Event details may be found HERE. For more details, please contact Kristina Schaferova at Kristina.Schaferova@trade.gov.

April 27-29, 2017: Costa Rica Community College Education Fair
The U.S. Commercial Service and Education USA Costa Rica would like to invite U.S. Community Colleges to participate in the second edition of the Community College Education Fair.

The fair will include:

  • Three visits to the high schools (students expected 600)
  • One afternoon will be dedicated to government meetings and the formal education sessions with counselors.
  • An Open Education Fair with students and parents that will take place on Saturday.
  • Optional cultural event.
  • Transportation services from and to the airport.
  • Some meals are included.

**Please note: This fair is specifically targeted at Community Colleges/ Colleges with annual tuition fee lower than $15,000.  Cost: $1950 (Expenses for travel, lodging, most meals, and incidentals will also be the responsibility of each tour participant).  Registration deadline:  November 30, 2016.  For additional information, contact Stephanie Heckel Stephanie.heckel@trade.gov with cc to Debra.Rogers@trade.gov.

May 4-6, 2017:  Illinois Pavilion at IE Expo Environmental Technology Show – Shanghai
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Office of Trade & Investment is inviting Illinois’ small businesses on a Trade Mission to exhibit in a No Charge exhibit space in the Illinois Pavilion at the IE EXPO 2017 (www.ie-expo.com) trade show in Shanghai, China from May 4 – 6, 2017. Supported by the US SBA STEP Grant, which means that companies qualifying for this mission will receive the following: 

  • Free fully furnished trade show booth
  • Partial reimbursement of travel for hotel and airfare
  • Briefing material
  • Pre-show promotion
  • Assistance with travel logistics from the State of Illinois Chicago and Shanghai Offices

No charge space is limited and qualified Illinois firms will be accepted on a “First Come – First Served” basis.  Please contact Zhigang Ren at zhigang.ren@illinois.gov for more information, with cc to Debra.Rogers@trade.gov. Participating companies may opt to add on a Gold Key Matchmaking service provided by the U.S. Commercial Service, which may also qualify for SBA STEP funding.

PARTNERS’ EVENT CALENDARS:

Visit our partners' event calendars for additional international trade and policy-related events:

Alliance for Illinois Manufacturing https://www.illinoismanufacturing.org/upcoming-events/
Chicago Council on Global Affairs https://www.thechicagocouncil.org/events
Chicagoland Chamber - https://www.chicagolandchamber.org/Events.aspx
International Trade Association of Greater Chicago http://calendar.itagc.org/
International Trade Club of Chicago http://www.itcc.org/events



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