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  Thursday, October 27 , 2011         Issue 273         Volume 11 Number 20 Sponsor this Newsletter
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Dear International Traders,

This week in Really Useful Resources you will:

• Learn about opportunities in the Middle East
• Find out about the District Export Councils
• Get information about the new Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama

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Improving Trade with the Middle East and North Africa

In this issue we are pleased to have an article by a guest writer, Barney Lehrer of International Internet Strategies in New York City. The article originally appeared in the World Trade Daily blog.
As we know from seeing the news over the past year, the Arab world (MENA – Middle East North Africa) is changing. And such political changes will result in new business and trade environments. The recent death of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi has further focused international business communities on risks and opportunities in what seem to be new markets. The US government and US companies are observing the situation. As with the fall of the Soviet Union, some risk takers will do very well in this new era.

The Dubai Coast
Dubai Coast

The US government has outlined four main objectives for trade development in the MENA region:

1. Trade facilitation – lowering tariffs and other non-tariff barriers that currently hinder trade between the US and many of the MENA countries
2. Greater SME involvement in trade and investment-related activities
3. Expansion of services and investment
4. Improving access to and utilization of preference programs. The US already has Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco and Israel. The administration wants to expand tariff reductions to other countries in the region as their political situations stabilize.

For more information about the markets and business climate in the MENA region take a look at these websites:
Albabwaba Business and AMEinfo - Business news from the Middle East
Doing Business in the Middle East and North Africa - The World Bank’s report on setting up and doing business for SMEs in the Middle East and North Africa
OECD-MENA Women's Business Forum - A platform for empowering women in business
"Managing in Uncertain Times" a conference of the Academy of International Business - Middle East North Africa Chapter
Trade and Investment Engagement with the Middle East and North Africa - A statement of US policy towards trade with the MENA region
OPIC Fund for MENA investment - The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, will provide up to $2 billion in financial support to catalyze private sector investment in the Middle East and North Africa

To help you do business in the MENA region:
US Commercial Service resources for doing business in MENA
Egypt: Forward – Partnering for Trade and Economic Growth
National US Arab Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC) - Many events and extensive resources for doing business in Arab countries
US Arab Chamber of Commerce - Document certification for trade with Arab countries
Arab Chamber of Commerce - Extensive list of chambers of commerce throughout MENA

For information about doing business in other countries:
FITA Country Miniportals, Reports about 185 countries.
• The Country Channels on

District Export Councils

Exporters in the US may have heard about their local District Export Council (DEC). But they may not really know what they are. According to the DEC's website, “The District Export Councils contribute leadership and international trade expertise to complement the U.S. Commercial Service's export promotion efforts through counseling businesses on the exporting process and conducting trade education and community outreach.” In other words, the DECS are a way of helping the US Commercial Service division of the US Department of Commerce promote exports. In these days of budget cuts, the DEC's services are more needed than ever.

The DEC's also do local training through Export University , lobby Congress on trade-related matters of interest to the Commercial Service and promote green technology exports. Many of the DEC's also have their own excellent websites. Particularly useful is the Minnesota DEC website.

The DEC Conference will be held this year in Las Vegas. It is the best conference in the US to network with exporters and service providers to the international trade community.

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Free Trade Agreements and Trade Adjustment Assistance

After more than 5 years of negotiations and political squabbling in the US and other countries, Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama were finally signed by President Obama on October 21. The agreements create new opportunities for increased trade with these three markets.

Crucial to passage and signing of the agreements was the extension of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), a program that helps retrain workers who have lost their jobs because of international trade agreements.

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Tobin Shipping and Transport Limited an expert in 3rd Party Logistics in Ireland
BPO SOLVER an expert in Business Process Outsourcing in Argentina
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Stay up to date and informed with U.S. Commercial Service events and webinars!
2011 National DEC Conference & Exposition - Las Vegas, NE, United States 11/2/2011 - 11/5/2011
Recruiting International Students - Nashville, TN, United States 11/16/2011 - 11/16/2011
AESPCLink Training - Los Angeles, CA, United States 11/17/2011 - 11/17/2011
AESPCLink Training - Long Beach, CA, United States 11/17/2011 - 11/17/2011
EU REACH (Part 2) - Newark, NJ, United States 11/17/2011 - 11/17/2011
Support Local Jobs & Grow globally - Ontario, California, CA, United States 11/28/2011 - 11/28/2011
BIS Complying with Export Controls - TX, United States - 11/29/2011 - 11/30/2011

Get ready for next year's Tradeshows! Here is a list running in February 2012:
ACREX India - For a greener tomorrow - Bangalore, India 02/23/2012 - 02/25/2012
ICC China – Electronics & Telecommunication - Shenzhen, China 02/23/2012 - 02/25/2012
Irish Franchise Catalog Show - Dublin, Ireland 02/24/2012 - 02/25/2012
Personal Care and Homecare Ingredients - Shanghai, China 02/27/2012 - 02/29/2012

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