Showing posts from 2016

17th annual Bringing the World to PA!

posted by Hannah Copenheaver

In conjunction with the Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development, we hosted the 17th annual Bringing the World to PA on Monday, September 19, 2016.

Meetings with PA’s Trade Offices:
The event brought 14 of PA’s authorized trade representatives to meet one on one with local manufacturers and colleges to discuss their international business strategies. These representatives cover 46 different international markets for Pennsylvania. The list of Pennsylvania's Authorized Trade Representatives in attendance included:  Australia (Australia, New Zealand)Ms. Angela FoleyCanada           Mr. Chris LeslieCentral & Eastern Europe (Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Ukraine)Ms. Pavlina BecvarovaGermany (Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland)Ms. Franziska WegerichIndiaMs. Supriya KanetkarIndonesiaMs. Mary VeronikaMexicoMr. Efren FloresMidd…

A Look at the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Posted by Ian McGinnis, Intern
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a free trade agreement among the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries. Generally speaking, the agreement lowers tariffs and reduces barriers to trade among all countries involved. The trade agreement is one of the largest ever, consisting of 40% of the global GDP and 25% of the world’s exports. Full text of the agreement can be found on the United States Trade Representative website. As with any policy decisions, there will be negatives and positives. One positive of the TPP tariff reductions is the gains to be made in the agricultural sector. The export tariffs on certain goods such as fruit and soybeans are cut, giving an edge to companies that export these products. Also, machinery export tariffs are cut, which could provide that sector with a nice push. Big pharmaceuticals may not have as positive of an outlook on the TPP due to decreased intellectual property rights changes. Another way the TPP may affect …

5th Year for the Pennsylvania Pavilion at the Summer Fancy Food Show

Posted by: Hannah Copenheaver

The World Trade Center Harrisburg partnered for the 5th year with Pennsylvania's Office of International Business Development in organizing the Pennsylvania Pavilion at the 62nd annual Summer Fancy Food Show.

The show was held at the Javits Convention Center in New York City from June 26-28, 2016.

The Fancy Food Show is North America's largest show for the specialty food and beverage industry and attracts a large number of foreign buyers.

This Year's Show Recap:

- This year was the largest since the show’s 1954 inception.
- More than 47,000 specialty food professionals filled the exhibit halls (equal to 6 football fields).
- There were over 2,670 exhibitors, from over 55 countries, displaying their delicious foods!
- Nearly 60 Pennsylvanian companies exhibited throughout the show.

Pennsylvania Pavilion: 

The Pennsylvania Pavilion included 13 companies, with four from our southcentral region.

Companies were able to arrange pre-scheduled appointments with …

Hannah Joins Core PA on the Mining, Oil & Gas Tour

Posted by: Hannah Copenheaver

World Trade Center Harrisburg partner CORE PA Global hosted a tour for seven journalists to showcase Pennsylvania companies involved in the mining, oil and gas field from June 13 to 17, 2016. The tour took place in the western part of the state, beginning in Berlin and ending in New Castle. Hannah accompanied the tour for the week as a Core PA Representative. 

The tour was CORE PA funded and executed, with additional support from the TEAM PA
Foundation, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), and Tierney, a public relations firm, whose services were secured through DCED. 

With the "core" region of Pennsylvania having a large, diverse manufacturing history, inviting international journalists to tour the Commonwealth is beneficial for attracting foreign direct investment into the region. They are able to gain first-hand experience, which makes for a stronger story and a lasting connection. The ultimate goal is to send a m…

Customs Valuation Issues for Imports into China

by WTC Guest Blogger Ted Murphy, Partner, Baker & McKenzie LLP

China recently amended its customs declaration requirements to capture new information that may make it easier for the General Administration of Customs to target potential customs valuation issues.  Specifically, importers are now required to identify whether the buyer and the seller are related; whether that relationship influenced the price charged; and whether the importer is making any royalty payments.  A client alert my colleagues in China prepared on these changes may be found here.

Given the increased scrutiny China Customs has paid to related party transactions and the payment of royalties in recent years, we expect that the new declaration requirements will only intensify this trend.  If you are importing into China, you need to be aware of these issues and be sure they are adequately addressed (e.g., have you confirmed whether royalties are being paid and, if so, whether they are dutiable for customs purposes…

Event Recap: International Trade Conference 2016

Posted by: Hannah Copenheaver

This year marked our 17th International Trade Conference! It was held on May 18, 2016 in Lancaster. If you missed it, you did miss another exciting and fun event, but here is a recap of what went on.

1. The morning “Mimosa Mingle” breakfast kicked off the conference and celebrated our 25 year anniversary. Special remarks and a toast was made by WTC Vice-Chairman Adam Say (RoomMates Decor).

2. There were six sessions during the conference:

Top Issues for Employers When Sending Employees Abroadpresented by Jennifer Nelson & Kristi Weierbach, Stambaugh NessLogistics Keeps the World Movingpresented by Gordon Hartmann, UPS, Tom Stump, UPS, & Daniel Johnson, iGlobal StoresIntellectual Property Primer and International IP Considerationspresented by Shawn Leppo, McNees Wallace & NurickInternational Trade (Show) Secretspresented by Adam Say, RoomMates DecorDownload the presentationRediscovering Letters of Credit as a Trade Tool in the Strong Dollar Environ…

WTC Board Meeting in the New World Trade Center Building & Special Guest from WTCA

Posted by: Hannah Copenheaver

On May 11, 2016, we hosted our quarterly Board of Directors meeting at the "new" World Trade Center Harrisburg location. Even though it is still under construction, that didn't stop us! We transformed the conference room area using a few folding tables and chairs and some nice tablecloths. This allowed us to "get a feel" for what future meetings will be like! 

We also welcomed special guest, Martin Salloum, who is the new World Trade Centers Association Regional Development Manager for North America. Martin was previously the President & CEO of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce and World Trade Center Edmonton for eighteen years. 

ABRIN Toy Fair Brings Latin American Economy To The Forefront

By WTC Guest Blogger Jessica Toutsis, RoomMates Décor

ABRIN, the largest event in Latin America for the toy industry, brings together the most important toy makers in Brazil and introduces new products that will impact sales for the upcoming year. 
While the show provided a firsthand look at many new and exciting product lines, the current state of the Latin American economy was top of mind for many distributors. A shrinking economy and increased unemployment rate, leaves worry in many consumers’ minds, but re-regulating the economy is crucial in order for it to start growing again. The country has not experienced this type of economic restraint for 35 years, which provides hope that things can get better once again. 
This topic lingered through the ABRIN Toy Fair, allowing many exhibitors to weigh in on the topic. Viewpoints were similar. The economy is difficult, but a united sense of confidence was expressed by many. 
With the current political and economic concerns at hand, distributo…

Cheers to 20 Years!: Tina's 20 Year Work Anniversary

By: Hannah Copenheaver

This month marks Tina's 20th year with World Trade Center! Tina was hired in May 1996 as the first full-time employee of the then-named Southcentral Pennsylvania International Network (SPIN), after several years of the organization operating on a volunteer-basis. Tina has served as the Executive Director since this time. (Click here for a full timeline of our organization.)
Hannah and Jan surprised Tina on April 28 with presents and cake! You can see in the picture below the new desk set that was given to mark Tina's twenty years of leading the organization, including a matching clock, name placard, and business card holder. 

International Trade Fair for our Children's World

By WTC Guest Blogger Jessica Toutsis, RoomMates Décor

In the Eastern European toy industry, the Kids Russia Fair in Moscow is the aspirant fair everyone is flocking to. Also known as the “International Trade Fair for our Children’s World,” products including children’s toys, hobbies, baby, outdoor, playground and sports are all featured. 
Having the reputation as one of the most important trade shows for the Russian toy industry, the Kids Russia Fair is the perfect place for distributors, licensors, vendors and buyers to establish themselves in the market. For RoomMates Décor, the largest manufacturer of peel & stick wall stickers, the Kids Russia Fair is a great place to strengthen relationships with international distributors. Receiving featured booth placement with Russian toy distributor Konik Ltd. at the show, both RoomMates Décor and Konik Ltd. benefited, and also received increased foot traffic from the larger space.
Irina Fedotova, Head of Marketing and Advertising for RoomMa…

Hannah Judges Enactus Competition

By: Hannah Copenheaver
I had an awesome opportunity to represent World Trade Center as a judge for the Enactus regional competition in Washington, DC on March 29. For those who are unfamiliar with the organization, Enactus is an international non profit that brings together students, colleges and businesses who are committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better more sustainable world. Enactus chapters are located in colleges around the world (in 36 countries!) and each team creates community development projects centered around improving the livelihood of their respective community. 

Enactus puts on an annual series of competitions to provide a forum for college teams to showcase the impact of their efforts, which are evaluated by business executives serving as judges. Winning teams from six regional competitions, like this one in Washington DC, advance to the one national competition for the United States. There are 35 national competitions…

Doing Business in Eurasia

By Hannah Copenheaver

On March 22, we hosted a roundtable discussion with the Mid-Atlantic Russian Business Council/Mid-Atlantic Eurasia Business Council in Harrisburg that addressed emerging business opportunities in the greater Eurasian region. 

A panel of experts discussed a variety of topics, ranging from legal, regulatory standards, and taxation, that influence the way Eurasian counties conduct business in their respective markets. 

Here is a brief overview of the speakers and their key points:

Ulf Schneider, Founder and Managing Partner, SCHNEIDER GROUP
- Eurasian Economic Union has 182.5M people, 20M sq km, and 14% of world's land. Key concepts include the free movement of goods, services, capital and people.
- Russia continues to be the largest country in the Eurasia region, with 146 million people and $1236 billion (USD) in GDP in 2015. Their GDP is ranked at #13 in the world. 
- According to the "Doing Business Report" (2016), Ukraine presents the most challenges in t…