Resources for Selecting Payment Methods/Foreign Government Agencies
|Unit 5.2-Resources for Selecting Payment Methods||
Foreign Government Agencies
As countries negotiate trade agreements, it is often understood that each country will work to promote the other’s products in their home markets. This support may come in the form of offices for trade promotion established in the embassies or consulates (www.embassies.org) or separate agencies such as the Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO) (www.jetro.org) or the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (www.tdctrade.com).
US Dept. of Commerce – www.export.gov
Building on existing economic and community development efforts, the USDoC attempts to help strengthen America's transitioning and most needy communities, while making better use of taxpayer dollars by reforming and restructuring many of the existing federal economic and community development programs. The Export Assistance Division of the USDoC can provide market research, industry analysis, in market support as well as company credit profiles, trade leads and trade show support.
Small Business Administration (SBA) - www.sba.gov
The SBA offers numerous loan programs to assist small businesses. It is important to note, however, that the SBA is primarily a guarantor of loans made by private and other institutions. The SBA’s primary business loan program helps qualified small businesses obtain financing when they might not be eligible for business loans through normal lending channels. It is also the agency’s most flexible business loan program, since financing under this program can be guaranteed for a variety of general business purposes. Loan proceeds can be used for most sound business purposes including working capital, machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures, land and building (including purchase, renovation and new construction), leasehold improvements, and debt refinancing (under special conditions). Loan maturity is up to 10 years for working capital and generally up to 25 years for fixed assets. In addition, the SBA provides long-term, fixed-rate financing to small businesses to acquire real estate or machinery or equipment for expansion or modernization. Typically such a loan is secured from a private-sector lender. Many of the programs offered by the SBA are geared toward exporters and financing export transactions.
Export Import (EXIM) Bank - www.exim.gov
EXIM bank is the US government agency that provides foreign receivable insurance to US companies. Policies are available to both public and private sector companies and can cover up to 100% of losses incurred due to political or commercial risks. The paperwork and required documentation is quite extensive, however the benefits far outweigh the costs as these programs allow US exporters to extend more favorable payment terms to their overseas customers. This could lead to increased export sales and profits, while reducing the risks associated with the transactions.
Many state and local government agencies are also helpful. Most states in the US have created agencies and/or funding opportunities to help local companies develop their international business ventures. These efforts may come from the state, county or city Economic Development Agency or Small Business Development Centers. There are also a variety of initiatives focused on minority businesses. The programs may include funding, trade missions, reverse trade missions, trade shows, or networking/training seminars. The best way to identify these resources is to check your state or local government websites. For example, in California, the state funds the Centers for International Trade Development (CITD) which are housed at community colleges across the state (www.citd.org).