Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Announcing PA's New Taiwan Trade Office


Pennsylvania's Office of International Business Development is pleased to announce that Anemone Ventures is the Commonwealth's new Authorized Trade & Investment Representative in Taiwan.

PA based companies can access the services of the Taiwan trade office by contacting their Regional Export Network Office - WTC Harrisburg is the regional partner for southcentral PA based firms.  Examples of services include: 

·         Gathering marketing and competitive intelligence

·         Providing insight and analysis on market entry strategies

·         Identifying overseas partners, distributors and agents

·         Providing regulatory information

·         Identifying relevant trade events

·         Conducting foreign company background checks

·         Organizing in-country meetings and logistical assistance

·         Assisting with trade leads and more....

Additional PA trade offices are located in Australia, Canada, Central and Eastern Europe, China, Germany, India, Mexico, Middle East, Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.  These 13 offices cover 46 countries and services are available at no cost.

Here is why Taiwan is relevant now to consider in your next business expansion plan:

Taiwan is a leading technology based economy known among the four Asian Tigers (Singapore, HK, South Korea and Taiwan) and despite the COVID-19 global impact, Taiwan has been able to display a strong economic growth of an estimated 6% in 2021. 

Taiwan’s continuous economic growth over the past three years has been primarily driven by the island’s world-leading semiconductor manufacturers and their ongoing expansion. Other factors include the considerable investment from companies exiting China due to international trade disputes, China's internal crackdown on technological companies and the vigorous construction of renewable energy facilities in Taiwan. These growth engines have boosted investor confidence in Taiwan; attracting significant foreign investment to create a momentum on which substantial current and future renewable energy efforts are carried forward. 

Taiwan is a democracy with a sound legal system, strong Intellectual Property (IP) protection, and a well-educated and skilled workforce. These provide the foundation which has enabled Taiwan to position itself as a regional technology hub, highly attractive to multinational companies seeking business expansion opportunities on the island and in East Asia.

Taiwan is located within 4 in-flight hours from major Asian markets such as China, Japan, Korea, and Singapore. The island can thereby serve as a practical and logistical springboard into China and other markets in the Asia region.

The average voyage time from the South Port of Kaohsiung, the 15th largest in the world, to five major ports including Manila, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo is approximately 53 hours. It is an important bridge between Europe, United States, Japan and the emerging Asian markets, and a top choice for operation centers of multinational companies in Asia Pacific in addressing their logistics and supply needs.


Taiwan Key Facts:

  • Population: 23.57 Mil
  • Official Language: Mandarin
  • Land area of 36,193 km2
  • Major Cities (by population): Taipei (capital), Kaushuing, Taichung and Tainan 
  • GDP: USD 759.104 billion (2021)
  • GDP Per Capita: USD 34,880 (2021)
  • 2022 GDP Estimated Growth 4.5%
  • A super-aged society by 2026 
  • Currency: USD 1.00 ≈ NTD 28.00

Taiwan as a Business Hub in Asia:

  • Top 5 export destinations: China and Hong Kong, ASEAN, USA, EU, Japan (2021)
  • High level technological workforce
  • Relatively low operational costs 
  • Modern and efficient infrastructure 
  • Leading high-tech and OEM manufacturing
  • Legal certainty

Taiwan International Ranking:

  • 4th globally and 2nd in Asia in the Investment Environment Risk Assessment Report, 2021
  • 8th most competitive economy, 2021
  • 16th globally in the World Talent Ranking, 2021
  • 6th Freest economy in the Index of Economic Freedom, 2021
  • 15th Ease of doing business, 2020
  • 5th Largest foreign exchange reserves, 2021
  • 21st Ease of starting a business, 2020
  • 2nd World’s safest country, 2020
  • 30th Renewable Energy Attractiveness, 2021
  • 22nd GDP Ranking, 2021


Industrial Clusters:
Taiwan has a comprehensive upstream, midstream, and downstream supply chain supporting their technology based industries and their need for customized components.

It has the highest industrial cluster density in the world. And its successful IT competitiveness mainly relies on superior high-tech infrastructure and R&D talent.

The industrial clusters have positioned Taiwan globally as:

  • 1st in foundry and packaging & testing manufacturing
  • 2nd largest producer of IT hardware equipment 
  • 2nd in IC design industry
  • 3rd in PC products

International Investments:
International corporations including Google, Microsoft, ASML, Corning, Micron and ├śrsted have increased their investments in Taiwan to intensify collaboration in R&D, advanced manufacturing, and industry collaboration.

Monday, February 21, 2022

FTZ 147: A Supply Chain Success Story

Thirty-five years ago, The Reading Chamber of Commerce filed an application with the US Foreign-Trade Zones Board resulting in the creation of Foreign-Trade Zone 147 (FTZ 147), the 147th such zone established in the US.  For perspective, as of the end of 2020, there were 298 FTZ’s in and around the various U.S. Customs Ports of Entry.  The original Zone covered the land at the Reading Municipal Airport.  
FTZ 147 now covers eleven counties in Southcentral Pennsylvania:

  • Adams County
  • Berks County
  • Cumberland County
  • Dauphin County
  • Franklin County
  • Fulton County
  • Juniata County
  • Lancaster County
  • Lebanon County
  • Perry County
  • York County

FTZ 147 got off to a slow start.  For various reasons no zone activity occurred until 1996 when Baker Refractories began to use the FTZ program to eliminate Customs Duties on imported magnesite.  That use was short lived as the United States eliminated the import duties on magnesite a year or so later.  While the zone grew by expanding the service area into additional counties, the use of the zone by companies stalled until 2005 when Clarks’ Shoe Company began importing footwear using FTZ procedures.  The next 15 years saw the explosion of zone use in FTZ 147.  The amount of merchandise moving thru foreign-trade zones in FTZ 147 went from $0.00 in 2005 to $14,073,059,437.00 in 2020.

In 2020, the most recent year statistics are available, FTZ 147 received over 10 times more merchandise in zone status than any other zone in Pennsylvania.  FTZ 147 ranks 5th in the nation, and 2nd for an inland port, for receipts of merchandise into warehouses in Zone Status.  FTZ 147 ranks 20th in the nation in terms of exports from warehouse zones.  Remember, FTZ 147 was last in the nation in 2005, just 15 years ago.

Companies can use foreign-trade zones to maintain the cost competitiveness of their U.S.-based operations in relation to their foreign-based competitors.  The fundamental benefit offered by the FTZ program to U.S.-based companies include:

  • Deferral of Duties
  • Reduction of Duties
  • Elimination of Duties

For the U.S.-based companies involved in international trade, the FTZ program provides a means of improving their competitive position in relation to their counterparts abroad.

For more information regarding U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones, please contact Randy P Campbell at FTZ@CampbellTradeGroup.com

Monday, August 16, 2021

Risk of Global Non-Compliance

By guest blogger Liz Parent, Director of Sales and Marketing, Testing Partners 

Many manufacturers choose not to obtain required wireless or safety certifications for their devices going into global markets for various reasons. While those reasons might seem valid, and are definitely based on value, the risks of noncompliance can far outweigh the few thousand dollars certification costs for global markets. Have you ever stated any of the following? "We don't ship enough product into that region." "Our sales revenue doesn't offset the cost of certification." "We've been shipping into that country for years without certification." "They don't check at Customs." While we agree that sales revenue is top priority in manufacturing processes (or what's the point, right?), thinking long-term plays a huge role in your overall success and teaches your entire team the benefits of being proactive instead of reactive. 

More countries are cracking down at Customs and could change their policies tomorrow. The international regulations for type approval and safety certifications were put into place for each country with varying caveats. Some regulations were written as a way to enforce use of the radio spectrum and set forth boundaries and allowances within the scope of the regulation. The purpose of a regulation in one country might stipulate that the regulation is in effect strictly to dictate which bands are allowed to be used by non-governmental entities, for example. A manufacturer can go a lifetime without violating the radiofrequency usage laws, and technically, be compliant with the law as it pertains to which bands can be used. However, the fact that a country has a regulation for using the bands isn't the end of the regulation: the regulation is actually stating certification must be obtained proving they are not violating the usage of any bands. If certification is not obtained, and the manufacturer has products utilizing the radiofrequency spectrum in accordance with the regulation, and the authority decides to start checking for certification, the manufacturer will be held accountable for violation of not holding certification.

Some countries do check at Customs, and the regulations are written in a way that dictates this. However, other countries don't detail the Customs enforcement in writing, so when manufacturers ask for proof within the regulations for each country, the detailed specific proof might not be available. It is proof enough, however, that a regulation for certification exists, based on the technology within the products. It has to be assumed, therefore, that because the regulation for certification exists, there will be risks involved if certification is not obtained, and this is a gamble manufacturers must decide if they want to take. Rolling the dice on obtaining certification could be the difference between a $1500 permanent certificate or tens of thousands of dollars in returned product, Customs shipment holds, product pulled from shelves, etc, all at the cost of the manufacturer. Spending a few thousand dollars for peace of mind knowing you are continually compliant with certification regulations over noncompliance is one less aspect of your daily life you need to worry about.

If the stress of not knowing each country's constantly changing regulations keeps you from obtaining the necessary certifications, or you don't know how to build a product that will be compliant with global regulations, that's the time to pick up the phone and call Testing Partners. Let us handle compliance mapping and certification for you so you can focus on other aspects of your job, like sales or new product launches. We can help you create, engineer, build and certify every product from start to finish, for anywhere in the world you want to ship your product (within government allowances, of course).

Do you want to be the one caught without certification? The risks of noncompliance could cost way more than certification. Testing Partners can map out the risks so you can determine which countries are priorities based on cost, certification validity, and more. Give us a call today for a free consultation at (862) 243-2329 or email customerservice@testingpartners.com.  

Saturday, September 12, 2020

US-Bulgaria Chamber in America Promotes Trade & Investment Opportunities

By guest blogger Eliz Nestorov, President,US-Bulgaria Chamber in America 

The recently founded U.S.-Bulgarian Chamber in America (USBGC) is a nonprofit organization that focuses on increasing bilateral trade and investment opportunities between Bulgaria and the United States. The organization encourages all types of investments in Bulgaria, while trying to promote a positive image of Bulgaria and Bulgarians in the United States and abroad. The USBGC will at the local level, effectively represent the interests of a rapid growing number of Bulgarians residing the Capital area.

“Our goal is to collaborate and be a bridge for US companies with interests and business in Bulgaria, Bulgarian companies present on the American market, and individuals having stake in economic relations between the two countries” said Eliz Nestorov, President & Co-Founder of the Chamber. She also added that “The number one reason people join chambers of commerce is to get business and to do business and we provide the necessary tools to make that happen”.

The USBGC provides business referrals, connection and support for export and import activities for US and Bulgarian businesses as well as special rates for market research, advisory and legal services. Members have priority access to meet visiting delegates, including sector-specific business delegates, and market their products and services through the Chamber’s website and events.

There are many investment and trade opportunities in Bulgaria, most importantly the country is a gateway for U.S. business to 750 million consumers. Advantages include: - lowest cost of doing business in Europe
- lowest corporate income tax, a flat 10%
- multilingual engineering savvy workforce
- highly developed tech industry
- close proximity to MENA Region
- eligible for $120 bn. in EU R&D grants
- excess in electricity production

For more information contact us at info@usbgchamber.org or visit www.usbgchamber.org.

Announcing PA's New Taiwan Trade Office

                    Pennsylvania's Office of International Business Development is pleased to announce that  Anemone Ventures is the  C...