The Sacramento U.S. Export Assistance Center co-hosted Import/Export Orientation Seminars on April 5th at the Ethan Way office in Sacramento and on April 29th 2011 at the Roseville California Chamber of Commerce. The seminars were organized in conjunction with the Greater Sacramento Center for International Trade Development (CITD) and the Northeastern California Small Business Development Center (SBDC). These seminars were aimed at helping emerging and existing small businesses increase their market opportunities by presenting the attendees with an introduction to the world of international trade. The seminars covered topics such as the Basics of Importing and Exporting, Sources for Assistance, Creating an Exporting/Importing Plan, Market Research and Technical Requirements for Importing/Exporting. There were a total of 17 participants attending the seminar on April 5th and 13 participants at the April 29th seminar.
Moderated by George Tastard, Director of the Sacramento USEAC, the workshop kicked off with welcoming open remarks by Brooks Ohlson, Director of the Sacramento CITD. The first presentation was by Senior International Trade Specialist, Tony Hill of the Sacramento USEAC. He gave an overview of the U.S Commercial Service, described how to start in exporting by creating an export plan, and discussed resources for market research. ITS Hill then spoke in greater detail about all of the services that the U.S Commercial Service provides including the International Partner Search and the Gold Key Service. ITS Hill also gave an introduction to export documentation, HS codes, INCOTERMS, export licensing, and free trade agreements. ITS Hill ended his presentation with a brief discussion of methods of payment and Ex-Im Bank programs for financing exports.
The second speaker was Ester Gordillo from the CITD who gave an overview of the CITD and a presentation on the importance of imports. She discussed steps to successful importing, finding prospective suppliers, and business planning. The next presenter was Jerry Avila, the Regional Manager of the Office of International Trade of the Small Business Administration (SBA). Mr. Avila talked about export financing and discussed the different export financing programs provided through the SBA.
Following Mr. Avila was a presentation by Panda Morgan, the Director of the Northeastern California SBDC. Ms. Morgan gave an overview on how to write a business plan and gave tips and information on starting a business. The seminar concluded with a presentation from Ruth Southworth, the Global Account Manager of the U.S. Postal Service. Ms. Southworth gave a detailed presentation of all the services that the Postal Service can provide to importers and exporters.