Friday, February 28, 2014

Export Credit Insurance Seminar

Posted by Keith Wiley, Intern

On February 19th the World Trade Center Harrisburg hosted an Export Credit Insurance Seminar. Our speaker, John Strayhorn, President of Global Insurance Services, gave a very informative presentation.  Attendees learned an extensive amount about Export Credit Insurance and how to expand sales as well as borrowing capacity.

The following topics were covered:
  • Introduction to Short-Term Export credit Insurance
  • Requirements for Short Term Credit Insurance
  • Single Sale vs. Multi-Buyer (Portfolio) Approaches
  • Permits Expansion of Borrowing Case
  • Private Sector Credit Insurance Providers
  • U.S. Export Import Bank Credit Insurance Policies
  • Agricultural Products 
  • How to expand your bank credit line using credit insurance

A note on the Export Import Bank of the United States: 
Ex-Im Bank does not compete with private sector lenders but provides export financing products that fill gaps in trade financing. They will assume credit and country risks that the private sector is unable or unwilling to accept. They also help to level the playing field for U.S. exporters by matching the financing that other governments provide to their exporters. With 80 years of experience, Ex-Im Bank has supported more than $600 billion of U.S. exports, primarily to developing markets worldwide. To contact the Eastern Region Office for more information please visit their website.

For more detailed information regarding the above topics covered at the seminar please feel free to visit the Global Insurance Services Website.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Consider Cultural Differences Before Exporting Your Product

Posted by Luke Stouffer, Intern

If you believe you have a product that can be successfully exported, and you need a primer on exporting know-how, check out the "Pennsylvania International Trade Guide". This useful resource was developed by our sister organization, the WTC Philadelphia, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Office of International Business Development.  The website features a number of export tutorials that provide a great overview and practical solutions for making sales around the world. 

My personal favorite tutorial can be found in the Culture section titled “Business Travel Abroad”.  My experience of a semester abroad truly highlighted how significant variances in culture can affect relationships and communication.  The ability to adapt to these variances was the key for me to successfully navigate Europe, and is the key for you to successfully export your product.  In most countries, there is a preference to conduct business in person before concluding a transaction, therefore, as an exporter you should count on traveling abroad at least once.  This tutorial provides a list of necessary travel documents, pre-departure tips, and the effects cultural differences can play on the ultimate success of a business deal.

Essential travel documents include a passport, visa, and vaccination records.  Allow six to eight weeks to acquire these documents.  Another valuable document for your travels is the ATA Carnet, which is a standardized international customs document that allows duty-free temporary admission of sample goods.

Some pre-departure tips include scheduling meetings prior to leaving the United States and familiarizing yourself with the means of transportation, whether public or private, the area offers in order to allot your time effectively.  Another key point to address is the effects language barriers will have on your negotiations.  If you do not already know the local language and do not have the time to learn it, you may want to consider hiring your own translator for your negotiations as opposed to solely relying on the customer’s translator, which can put you at a disadvantage.  Furthermore, you should print business cards in the local language to exchange with your customers. 

Cultural differences can turn a friendly gesture into one that damages a business relationship.  These differences can also be found in negotiating styles, the meanings of colors and numbers, and attitudes towards punctuality among others.  For example, in German culture one is expected to be highly punctual, whereas in Italian culture it is not unusual for someone to be 15 minutes late to a meeting.  Similar differences can be seen in greeting styles (handshake, hug, or kiss) and gift giving norms.  The exchange of gifts is routine for the first business meeting in Japanese culture, but not customary in the United Kingdom.  Read up on cultural differences in travel guides or contact us for information.

Tutorials are available for the following topics:

·         Export Basics
·         Culture
·         Finance
·         Legal
·         Logistics
·         Marketing

 For tutorials as well as an Export Readiness Assessment  visit the website

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 ...