April 30, 2014

5:00 – 6:30 pm

Welcome Reception- Hosted by the District Export Councils of the Southwest Region

International Center

Third Floor Ballroom

203 South St. Mary’s Street

San Antonio, Texas 78205

Day 1 – Thursday, May 1, 2014

7:15 am

Registration/ Continental Breakfast

8:15 am

Welcome Remarks/Opening Keynote

Arun Kumar, Assistant Secretary of Commerce

Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service

International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce

9:00 am

Dynamic Changes in the Middle East and North Africa

The Arab Spring has brought about historic changes taking place in the Middle East. Despite political challenges, U.S. exports continue to grow driven by infrastructure development throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Moreover, this infrastructure development has positively impacted neighboring markets in the region.

Moderator: David Hamod, President & CEO, National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce

Ann Bacher, Regional Commercial Counselor, U.S. Embassy Egypt

Dao Le, Senior Commercial Officer, U.S. Embassy Kuwait

Keith Curtis, Senior Commercial Counselor, U.S. Embassy Iraq

Brad Pierce, President/CEO, Restaurant Equipment World

10:00 am

Regional Opportunities in the Oil & Gas and Power Generation Sectors

There are ambitious plans in the region to boost oil production and exports over the next decade. As the region improves its existing infrastructure and new production comes online, the country will need massive investments in the mid and downstream petroleum sector.

Moderator: James McDevitt, Chief Operations Officer, Applied Machinery Corporation

Keith Curtis, Senior Commercial Counselor, U.S. Embassy Iraq

Amer Kayani, Minister Counselor, U.S. Embassy Saudi Arabia

Dao Le, Senior Commercial Officer, U.S. Embassy Kuwait

Fathi Hamidan, Senior Commercial Specialist, U.S. Embassy Libya

Mike Farina, Senior Manager, Strategy & Analytics, GE Oil and Gas

11:00 am

Networking Break

11:15 am

Doing Business in Africa: Strategies and Best Practices

Home to seven of the 10 fastest-growing economies, sub-Saharan Africa is now the second fastest growing region in the world.  With a growth rate predicted to reach 6.1 per cent in 2014, the region is outpacing global average growth.  Its fast growing middle-class, purchasing power, and consumerism, as well as urbanization, improved governance, increased global trade flows, rise of technology and infrastructure investment is attracting investors and businesses from all around the world.  From traditional industries such as oil and gas to infrastructure, agriculture, retail, financial services, education, telecommunication, and tourism, sub-Saharan Africa offers tremendous business.  To ensure that American companies are aware of these trade opportunities and are linked to the resources available to them, U.S. government agencies have joined efforts through the Doing Business in Africa (DBIA) campaign, launched in November 2012.  This panel will highlight DBIA strategies and business opportunities in the region.

Moderator: Danielle Walker, Director of African Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Paul Taylor, Senior Commercial Officer, U.S. Embassy Ghana

Brian McCleary, Senior Commercial Officer, U.S. Embassy Nigeria

Larry Farris, Senior Commecial Counselor, U.S. Consulate Lagos

William Marbell, Capture Manager for Africa, Trimble Export, Ghana Limited

Vernon Darko, President, EquipXP

Barry Bezuidenhout, Vice President, Standard Bank

12:15 pm

Networking Break

12:30 pm


2:00 pm

Regional Opportunities in the Security & Defense Sectors

High economic growth and the changing geopolitical climate have led to an increased focus on security. Private and semi-private entities are upgrading existing safety and security equipment to keep ahead of changing security requirements. The U.S. Safety & Security industry was one of the quickest industries to respond to worldwide efforts to improve safety & security products. Given the high regard local consumers have for U.S. expertise in the security sector and the favorable exchange rate compared to other convertible currencies, U.S. exports of related equipment and systems are expected to increase in coming years.

Moderator: Danny Sebright, President, U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council

Geoff Bogart, Senior Commercial Officer, U.S. Embassy Jordan

Robert Dunn, Commercial Attaché, U.S. Embassy Qatar

Keith Edwards, Program Director, Dillon Aero

Joe Walsh, CEO of Nivisys

3:00 pm

Networking Break

3:15 pm

If You Build It, They Will Come: Emergence of the Construction & Infrastructure Sectors

Government infrastructure projects such as highway and road construction, seaport and airport extensions, tourism projects, construction of new schools and hospitals, and hotels all contribute to the construction and infrastructure sector growth. These projects continue to be the leading economic sector in these markets and earthmoving equipment is in high demand.

Moderator: Radi Al-Rashed, President and CEO International Chem-Crete, Corp.

Doug Wallace, Senior Commercial Officer, U.S. Consulate Casablanca

Assad Barsoum, Senior Commercial Specialist, U.S. Consulate Jerusalem

Walter Koenig, Senior Commercial Officer, U.S. Embassy Afghanistan

Emily Shaffer Economic & Commercial Officer U.S. Embassy Oman

Ralph Taylor, Program Director of Global Programs, AECOM

Nathan Regan, U.S. Country Manager, Bahrain Economic Development Board

4:15 pm

Emerging Opportunities in East Africa

There is increased international business interest in the East African Community (EAC). The EAC is a regional organization and an integrated market composed of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi. The market size is composed of approximately 144 million people, an emerging middle class, with consumption growing in volume and variety. The GDP growth reached as high as 8% in some of these countries in 2012, outpacing the BRICS. In recognition of the EAC’s economic potential, President Obama launched the Trade Africa Initiative, aimed to support regional economic integration and trade as well as increased trade and investment between the region and the United States. The Commerce-led U.S.-EAC Commercial Dialogue is the primary tool of engagement with the U.S. business community under the Initiative. It also aims to foster public-private partnerships and support the East African governments in strengthening the countries’ business environments. Learn more about the opportunities in key sectors - ICT, energy, infrastructure/construction, agribusiness and medical, the Trade Africa Initiative, and how to do business in East Africa.

Moderator: Jim Wilson, Senior Coordinator- Trade Promotion, Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Chip Peters, Senior Commercial Officer, U.S. Embassy Kenya

Chrissy Borskey, Director, Government Affairs and Policy, GE Power & Water - Distributed Power

Susan C. Tuttle, Director, Middle East and Africa, IBM Governmental Programs

Ben Kazora, President, Eastern Africa Diaspora Business Council

Shannon Nagy Cazeau, Counselor for Political and Economic Affairs, U.S. Embassy Ethiopia

Travis T.M. Cook, Sales Executive 20Cube

8:00am –5:30pm

Commercial Diplomat Appointments (Concurrent)

5:30 - 7:00pm

Networking Reception

Day 2 – Friday, May 2, 2014

7:30 am

Badge Pickup/Continental Breakfast

7:50 am

Welcome Remarks

John Andersen, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Global Markets

International Trade Administration

8:00 am

A Weak Dollar Will Create More Medical/Healthcare Sales Overseas

Advances in U.S. technologies continue to distance U.S. products from their foreign competitors. Due to growing populations, foreign governments have pledged to improve healthcare causing a recent boost in the purchase of medical devices. Opportunities for U.S. equipment and services are substantial and cut across the entire spectrum of medical-related activities and needs. In line with reform efforts to upgrade the overall healthcare system, there are several opportunities for U.S. firms. Easy market-entry conditions and receptiveness to buy U.S. technologies make this region an ideal destination for U.S. healthcare exports. U.S. products have an advantage over European products in the medical sector due to their high quality and long record of success. Moreover, demand for these products is increasing due to the weakness of the dollar in relation to euro. Equally important is ensuring that companies have an intellectual property protection strategy as part of their market entry and expansion plan.

Moderator: Dr. Trevor Gunn, Managing Director - International Relations, Medtronic

Ann Bacher, Regional Commercial Counselor, U.S. Embassy Egypt

Maria Andrews, Commercial Counselor, U.S. Embassy Israel

Naaman Tayyar, Senior Commercial Specialist, U.S Embassy Lebanon

Peter Deluca, Partner, Carter, Deluca, Farrell & Schmidt, LLP

9:00 am

Regional Opportunities in the Water and Environmental Technologies

Due to the renewed interest in quality, U.S. firms are finding access to subcontracts offered through targeted bidding tenders. Foreign governments have recently sought U.S. Embassy assistance in attracting more U.S. firms to these markets. There are business opportunities in air pollution control, which lies with the red category polluting companies such as cement, steel, iron and power industries. Ambient air quality monitoring for cities is also an area of major opportunity. In the water sector, the government is primarily involved in raw water treatment and sewage treatment operations. Remote sensing and safety systems for dams and hydroelectric projects are areas of significant opportunity. On the other hand, the private industrial sector includes equipment for clarification, sludge treatment, aeration, disinfection and filtration.

Moderator: Henry Sauvignet, Administrator, North American Development Bank

Kamal Achab, Senior Commercial Specialist, U.S. Embassy Algeria

Fathi Hamidan, Senior Commercial Specialist, U.S Embassy Libya

Frank Richerand, Sr., Director, Enviro-Tech Systems, LLC

Michelle LaNoue, CEO, Headworks International

10:00 am

Networking Break

10:15 am

Maintaining a Level of Excellence for the Aerospace & Aviation Industry

As regional air travel grows and the size and age of aircraft fleets evolve, there are significant opportunities for American suppliers given historical preferences for U.S.-origin aircraft and brands.  U.S. suppliers of aviation services, aircraft, avionics, and other technologies have enormous potential in these regions.   Important service opportunities also exist in aircraft maintenance and repair, advanced military maintenance, fixed-base operator services and ground handling.

Moderator: Jim Perschbach, Senior Counsel, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP

Bobby Bryan, Commercial Director East and West Africa, Delta Airlines

Joe Barrett, Program Director, Gore Design

Heather Pederson, Senior Director, International Operations, Boeing

Cheryle Jackson, VP Government Affairs/Corporate Development, AAR Corporation

Geoff Bogart, Senior Commercial Officer, U.S. Embassy Jordan

John Simmons, Senior Commercial Officer, U.S. Embassy UAE

11:15 am

Networking Break

11:35 am


Keynote: Matthew Murray, Deputy Assistant Secretary – Europe, Middle East and Africa, International Trade Administration

Special Presentation of Export Achievement Certificate

1:00 pm

The Next Wave of Opportunities in Global Communications & Information Technology

The telecom sector is expected to grow over the next 10 years. This industry generally imports all its equipment to operate, including satellite and cabling depending on the requirement. Successful companies in the region are suppliers of hardware, software, general supplies, equipment and any/all other products related to operating a telecom company. Tenders present business opportunities for suppliers of hardware, software, general supplies, equipment and any/all other products related to operating a telecommunication operating infrastructure. U.S. companies interested in exploring and pursuing opportunities in these markets are encouraged to identify suitable local partners. The procurement process with telecom operators and service providers is done through tenders and international companies need to be represented locally to participate and bid.

Moderator: Brenda Hall, CEO, Bridge 360

Dao Le, Senior Commercial Officer, U.S. Embassy Kuwait

Assad Barsoum, Senior Commercial Specialist, U.S. Consulate Jerusalem

Brian Shultz, Vice President Sales and Marketing APS Technology, an ABB Company

2:00 pm

Regional Education and Training Opportunities

The educational sector is currently experiencing an astonishing transformation. Not only have foreign government increased budgetary allocations in support of education, but it has increasingly been opening its doors to U.S. universities, institutions, and major corporations. U.S. educational institutions can participate in the education market in two ways: by recruiting students for their programs, or by creating educational exchange programs through joint ventures with foreign institutions. Come and learn about official government scholarship programs that fund thousands of top students to study abroad for master’s and doctorate studies every year. Each scholarship includes funding for intensive English language study, as well as full funding for graduate programs in all fields of study.

Moderator: Gigi Do, Executive Director, International Initiatives, Houston Community College

Camille Richardson, Principal Commercial Officer, U.S. Consulate Mumbai

Robert Dunn, Commercial Attaché, U.S. Embassy Qatar

Maria Andrews, Commercial Counselor, U.S. Embassy Israel

Jim Kelim, Executive Director-Office of ESL Services, University of Texas – San Antonio

3:00 pm

Networking Break

3:15 pm

Regional Opportunities in Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Smart Grid Technologies

Current and future projects in the region will need everything related to renewable energy industry either technology, equipment and consultancy services. These markets will be open to solar cells and panels, wind turbines and blades, generators, support structures, energy software management and many more. There are also numerous tenders and opportunities offered by these foreign governments. Learn best practices on how to enter the market. American companies, however, can invest and bid directly on energy projects, but it is important to work closely with a local agent, distributor or partner to ensure a competitive position and successful market entry.

Moderator: Laura Raymond, Chief Commercial Officer, Innovari

Maja Wessels, Executive Vice President, Global Public Affairs, First Solar

Chip Peters, Senior Commercial Officer, U.S. Embassy Kenya

Geoff Bogart, Senior Commercial Officer, U.S. Embassy Jordan

Camille Richardson, Principal Commercial Officer, U.S. Embassy India

Shannon Nagy Cazeau, Counselor for Political and Economic Affairs, U.S. Embassy Ethiopia


Commercial Diplomat Appointments (Concurrent)


Closing Remarks

4:30 pm