Connecticut emphasizes export opportunities

By: | at 08:00 PM | Channel(s): International Trade  

By Karen E. Thuermer, AJOTSmall and mid-size Connecticut businesses may find it easier to export their products now that the Connecticut Development Authority, the state’s quasi-public business financing arm, has entered into a partnership with with the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank).
Ex-Im Bank bills itself as an independent, self-sustaining federal agency that “helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in export financing and strengthening U.S. export competitiveness.” In fiscal year 2010, the Bank posted a record $24.5 billion in export financing, which supported $34.4 billion worth of American exports and 227,000 American jobs at more than 3,300 U.S. companies. Of these authorizations, more than $5 billion was for small businesses.
Ex-Im Bank has helped Connecticut companies export $12 billion of goods and services so far in fiscal year 2011 that began October 1, and $205.6 billion for all of fiscal 2010 that ended September 30. In the Stamford area, the bank supported $1.9 billion in exports so far in fiscal 2011 and $122.8 billion for all of fiscal year 2010.
Localized Export Support
The Stamford Chamber of Commerce also entered into partnership with Ex-Im Bank in December, making the chamber a member the bank’s City/State Partners Initiative.
Stamford Chamber’s Paul B. Edelberg, an attorney with Murtha Cullina LLP, and Ex-Im Bank Board Director Diane Farrell signed the agreement.
“Stamford has long been recognized as an international business center for our global companies located here,” says Stamford Mayor Michael Pavia. “This new program will encourage and help our small and medium-sized Stamford-based companies to think about global opportunities in their forward plans.”
Stamford, in Fairfield County, benefits as being part of the Greater New York City Metropolitan area.
The City/State partnership is part of the Stamford Chamber’s new program known as SITREP (Stamford Chamber International Trade Resource Program) to help new and existing area businesses export, utilizing federal, state and private assistance programs to increase their business.
“SITREP should offer an excellent opportunity to help local companies grow their exports, and to help start-up businesses enter the global marketplace,” says Stamford Chamber of Commerce President Jack Condlin. “We expect Ex-Im Bank to be a driver in this effort.”
By being a member of the Initiative, the chamber can help Stamford businesses learn about and apply for a range of Ex-Im Bank financing products, such as short-term export-credit insurance to mitigate the risk of foreign buyer nonpayment; loan guarantees to increase export-related working capital; and medium-term financing for foreign buyers.
“The Stamford Chamber, by extending its small business programs into the export arena, helps Ex-Im Bank turbo-charge its support of even larger volumes of exports within Connecticut’s small business community,” she says.
According to Farrell, Ex-Im Bank sees this partnership as a strategic part of meeting President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015. She credits the Middletown U.S. Export Assistance Center for helping to jump-start the two new Connecticut-Ex-Im Bank partnerships.
Export Council Promotions
Other ongoing efforts by the Connecticut District Export Council in cooperation with the U.S. Commercial Service in Middletown, CT, include a trade mission to London, England this mid April with an emphasis on the aerospace and defense sector.
The UK aerospace market is the second largest in the world, and in 2009 was valued at $37 billion, representing approximately 17 percent of the global market. Defense accounts for approximately 52 percent of the market, compared to 48 percent for civil aerospace. Products in greatest demand in the UK include aircraft systems and frames, engines, and equipment. U.S. aerospace/defense manufacturers with a significant presence in Connecticut include Honeywel

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American Journal of Transportation