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Reverse trade missions
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Reverse trade missions

U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA): Often, U.S. firms find that they can save time and money by attending USTDA events, where all of the key officials associated with current projects in particular sectors (such as renewable energy, electric power, and climate change) and various countries are gathered at one time.

For example, reverse trade missions are carefully planned visits to the United States to enable foreign delegates to observe the design, manufacture, demonstration, and operation of U.S. goods and services that potentially can help them achieve their development goals. These missions also present excellent opportunities for U.S. businesses to establish or enhance relationships with prospective overseas customers and clients.

Similarly, USTDA sponsors conferences on planned or potential overseas development projects that represent export opportunities for U.S. companies. These activities facilitate discussions on U.S. technology options to achieve sustainable development in our overseas partner countries, legal and regulatory barriers to infrastructure development, and financing mechanisms available for project implementation. Through these events, USTDA provides a forum for U.S. companies to highlight their goods, services and technology and have one-on-one private sessions with foreign project sponsors and other potential customers.

U.S. Commercial Service: Through the International Buyer Program (IBP), thousands of qualified international buyers and prospective distributors and trade partners are brought to the United States each year to meet with U.S. companies at approximately 35 major trade-only exhibitions. The IBP is targeting an increasing number of RE&EE-related trade shows, and interest is growing from foreign buyers who are seeking U.S. RE&EE technologies and services.

The chances of finding the right international business partner greatly increases at a trade show that’s part of the IBP. Not only do companies meet more buyers, representatives, and distributors, but products and services can also be listed in the Export Interest Directory distributed to all international visitors.

U.S. exporters will also benefit from:

Access to hundreds of current international trade leads in your industry.

Hands-on export counseling, marketing analysis, and matchmaking services by country and industry experts from the U.S. Commercial Service.

Use of an on-site International Business Center, where company representatives can meet privately with prospective international buyers, sales representatives, and business partners as well as obtain assistance from experienced U.S. Commercial Service staff.

RE&EE exports in action

Here are some examples of recent reverse trade missions:

The Africa Clean Energy Solutions (ACES) Initiative, established in 2010, funds projects to develop clean energy and energy efficiency solutions to support the continent's economic growth, as well as create job opportunities for U.S. workers. Already, four grant agreements have already been signed under the ACES Initiative that are designed to open new export markets for U.S. goods and services. For example, USTDA supported a reverse trade mission of South African officials to the United States to view energy efficient building solutions that resulted in South African retailer Pick ’n Pay ordering U.S.-manufactured prismatic skylights and LED lighting from U.S. producers for its retail locations. Use of these patented prismatic skylights is estimated to reduce energy costs by 70 to 80 percent.

In 2011, the IBP will bring foreign buyers to the American Wind Energy Association’s WINDPOWER expo in Anaheim, California and the Renewable Energy Technology (RETECH) expo in Washington, DC.

Where do I start?

Sign up for USTDA’s eNewsletter to monitor upcoming USTDA conferences and reverse trade missions for opportunities to meet directly with key foreign decision-makers. The eNewsletter provides regular updates including a link to USTDA's Events Calendar.

View the IBP list of trade shows in the coming year to find those in the RE&EE sector. The U.S. Commercial Service project officer and trade show organizer contact can provide you with additional information on the IBP and other international sales and marketing initiatives at the show.

To receive counseling on how the programs listed here can help you achieve your international sales goals, please contact your local U.S. Commercial Service international trade specialist.

More trade events/exports counseling programs

Return to the online guide "Trade Events and Export Counseling" section to read more about programs that can help RE&EE exporters.