Spotlight on Europe , Upcoming Events

Paris Startup Pitch Competition: DEADLINE APPROACHING!

European startups looking to enter the U.S. market have two more days to apply for the Paris startup pitch competition.  

October 22: Application deadline
October 31: Announcement of finalists
November 7: Jury presentations by finalists and closing ceremony / announcement of winner

Announcing the 2017 Italy Seminars!

Early next year, SelectUSA and the U.S. Commercial Service will hold a series of regional seminars in Italy to promote the 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit and connect Italian investors with U.S. economic development organizations (EDOs). The dates and locations are as follows:

Northwestern Italy Seminar: February 28 in Milan

Northeastern Italy Seminar: March 1 (Location TBD)

Central Italy Seminar: March 2 in Rome

Participants will hear case studies from Italian companies from each region that have successfully invested in the United States. EDOs will also be able to showcase their locations to Italian investors, network and arrange individual meetings. 

Based on interest, a fourth seminar may be held in Southern Italy.  

Germany: SelectUSA at K Trade Fair 2016

On October 21, 2016, in conjunction with the K Trade Fair 2016 in Düsseldorf, U.S. Consul General Michael R. Keller will host a half-day seminar highlighting investment opportunities in the U.S. plastics industry. 

United Kingdom: Southwest USA Technology Opportunities Seminar

SelectUSA is a co-sponsor of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council’s Southwest USA Technology Opportunities Seminar, taking place in London on November 4, 2016.

Germany: SelectUSA at MEDICA 2016

On November 15, 2016, the U.S. Consulate General in Düsseldorf and SelectUSA will host a half-day investment seminar at MEDICA, the world’s leading trade fair for the medical industry. 

Vietnamese Key Decision Makers Coming to Chicago!

Top decision makers from Vietnam and Qatar have confirmed!
November 1-3 | Chicago, IL

Meet with Vietnamese delegates from Ho Chi Minh City

Nguyen Thanh Phong, Mayor and Chairman of HCMC People’s Committee will lead a delegation with 12 key members of HCMC’s Information and Communications, Planning and Architecture, Post and Telecommunications offices, Department of Planning and Architecture along with private sector companies including:

HPT Corporation provides system integration service to include Server-Storage System, Database, Network and Unified Communications, Security Solution, and Software System Solutions.

Meet with Qatari Senior Official

Reem Al Mansoori, Under Secretary for Digital Society Sector Development, Ministry of Transportation & Communications. To further the Qatar government’s vision to adopt smart city technologies by 2030, the capital city of Doha has undertaken initiatives and projects that move towards digitization, smart innovation and form the basis of it becoming a smart city.

Business-to-Business Matchmaking (B2B)
Buyers and key decision makers from Vietnam, Qatar and the Philippines will be in attendance at Discover Global Markets: Building Smart Cities. Meet with these delegates during multiple networking opportunities or 20-minute on-site meetings. These meetings, arranged on-site, will be introductions for you to discuss business opportunities with these potential international partners.

For more information, please contact:
Sally Pacheco

Vietnam Buyer Delegates
Ho Chi Minh City 

Organization Delegates:
Mayor Nguyen Thanh Phong: Chairman, Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee (PC)
Ambassador Nguyen Vu Tu: Director, Ho Chi Minh City External Relations Office (ERO)
Le Thai Hy: Director, Ho Chi Minh City Department of Information and Communications (DIC)
Nguyen Thanh Nha: Director, Ho Chi Minh City Department of Planning and Architecture (DPA)
Tran Quang Lam: Deputy Director, Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport (DOT)
Huynh Quang Liem: Director of VNPT Ho Chi Minh City, serving as a member of Ho Chi Minh City Smart Cities Planning Committee

Pre-Schedule One-on-One Meetings with U.S. Commercial Diplomats from key markets:

Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Europe, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Korea, Mexico, Panama, The Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan and Vietnam.  

These in-country experts can address export opportunities and market trends in a broad range of industries associated with Infrastructure & Smart Cities, including:

21st Century Infrastructure
Airport & Ground Support Equipment
Building Materials
Cyber Security
Disaster Risk Mitigation
Energy & Smart Grids
Intelligent Traffic Management
Information & Communication Technology
Intelligent Lighting 
Smart Building Design
Smart Governance & Citizen Services
Training and certification programs
Water & Wastewater Management
Waste-to-Energy Technologies

“The Discover Global Markets conference was a unique forum which brought together high-level market intelligence from international markets, one-on-one meetings with U.S. Commercial Service industry specialists around the world, and meetings with potential buyers and partners. The U.S. Commercial Service stands out as a government agency that truly supports the private sector. They are enthusiastic, encouraging and above-board. As a small U.S. company founder and CEO, I know they’re on my side and want to help me succeed.” Dr. Francis Parnell, M.D., Chairman and CEO, Parnell Pharmaceuticals

Starting Nov. 1, U.S. passport photos with glasses no longeracceptable

Beginning November 1st, 2016, customers applying for their U.S. passport or U.S visa or renewing their U.S. passport must remove glasses for their photo.

Last year, more than 200,000 U.S. passport customers submitted poor quality photos which we couldn’t accept. The #1 problem was glasses. We had to put their passport applications on hold because we couldn’t clearly identify them from their photo. Many U.S. visa applications have been delayed due to the same problem.

If the photo of you in your unexpired U.S. passport or U.S. visa has glasses, don’t worry about it. You don’t have to get a passport or visa now. Next time you renew your passport or apply for a new visa, though, you’ll have to take your glasses off.

This policy change helps us and it helps you. We can see you more clearly now and you will experience fewer U.S. passport and U.S. visa application delays and can move faster through U.S. ports of entry. Don’t get us wrong, we love your glasses, but take them off for your U.S. passport or U.S. visa photo.*

For more information on photos, check out our passport photo requirements and photo examples or visa photo requirements and photo examples.

*If you must wear eye glasses for medical reasons, you’ll need to obtain and submit a signed statement with your U.S. passport or U.S. visa application from a medical professional or health practitioner.

Join the U.S. Information and Communication Technologies and Services Trade Mission to Singapore & Vietnam

March 6-10, 2017

The United States Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration (ITA) is organizing an Informational and Technologies (ICT) Trade Mission to Singapore and Vietnam from March 6-10th, 2017. The purpose of the mission is to introduce U.S. firms to Singapore and Vietnam’s rapidly expanding ICT sector, and to assist U.S. companies in pursuing export opportunities in this sector. The mission is designed for U.S. ICT companies. The mission also will help U.S. companies already doing business in Singapore and Vietnam increase their footprint and deepen their business interests. With the Administration’s emphasis on enacting the Trans-Pacific Partnership, medium and long-term opportunities will continue for American companies that strategically position in these markets. The mission will not be an executive-led mission.

This trade mission focus on recruiting U.S. veteran-owned companies and others who play a significant role in information communication and telecom infrastructure development, by helping U.S. companies get ahead of their global competitors in the ASEAN markets that present excellent market opportunities in these sectors.
Webinar: Opportunity in Singapore & Vietnam

The U.S. Commercial Service Vets Go Global team will host an in-depth webinar on November 22 featuring experts who will discuss the rapid growth of information and communication technology infrastructure in Singapore and Vietnam. Click here for more information!

Mission Goals

The goal of the Information Communication Technologies and Services Trade Mission to Singapore and Vietnam is to provide U.S. participants with first-hand market information, exposure and access to government decision makers, and one-on-one meetings with business contacts, including potential agents, distributors and business partners, so that they can position themselves to enter or expand their presence in the market. Mission members will meet with potential partners and buyers in both countries at local manufacturing or service provider facilities. Additionally they will meet with manufacturers’ associations and government officials to learn about the local market and sales opportunities. 

The precise schedule will be structured based on specific goals of the mission participants and availability of local government officials.

Target Products & Services for Trade Mission:

  • Digital Infrastructure
  • Emergency management technology equipment and services.
  • Information technology and big data management service (e.g. electronic health records, billing information, etc…)
  • Cyber security software, services, and equipment.
  • Critical infrastructure protection systems and management solutions.
  • Data loss and privacy protection technologies.

Commercial Setting


Trade between the U.S. and Singapore has continued to increase, thanks to one of the most successful FTAs on record, reaching $47 billion in 2014.

Singapore has one of the most developed ICT infrastructures in the world. It was the United States’ 13th largest export market and 17th largest trading partner in 2014 and is one of the best markets in Asia for U.S. companies hoping to expand their market penetration throughout Asia. With a U.S. style of business, strong intellectual property protection, easy to navigate market, an English-speaking society, and virtually no corruption, Singapore is a great regional trading hub.

Telecommunication and Internet facilities in Singapore are state-of-the-art, proving high-quality communications with the rest of the world. For mobile phone users, 3rd generation (3G) networks and services were rolled out in early 2005, 4G in 2011 and 4GLTE in 2014. The country is dependent on imports and U.S. products are traditionally well received here. Best prospects include equipment, content, software and technologies for broadband, wireless broadband, and 4G.

There are excellent opportunities to sell new applications and solutions to Singapore, as it is an early adopter of new technologies and innovations. Singapore’s telecom service operators are investing in infrastructure to improve their services. The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) is the Singapore government agency that spearheads the strategic use of ICT in Singapore. It is seeking to work with vendors of cutting edge technologies with the goal of developing Singapore into a smart and connected nation.


As of December 2014 (latest data available), the number of Internet users in Vietnam stood at 39.8 million, posting a penetration of 44 percent. According to Business Monitor International, the Internet market in Vietnam is forecasted to grow at a rapid annual pace of 9 percent for the next few years thanks to the strong growth of over-the-top applications, e-commerce and Internet TV. As the major mobile carriers and Internet service providers (Viettel, Mobifone, Vinaphone, VDC and FPT) plan to upgrade their network infrastructure to improve the quality of connectivity, this is expected to provide significant market opportunities for U.S. suppliers of networking equipment and power systems. U.S. suppliers of cyber security equipment and software are expected to see good market opportunities as virtually all mobile operators and Internet service providers in Vietnam are increasingly making investments to protect and keep their customers.

Security software revenue in Vietnam grew 11.9% year-on-year (YoY) and reached $US 16.2 million in 2014, according to International Data Corp (IDC). IDC forecasts the security software spending will be more on cloud and will see 11.8% growth in 2015.

Based on IDC’s Asia/Pacific 2H2014 Semiannual Software Tracker, the spending for network security that includes intrusion prevention and application firewall grew strongly with 19.7% increase in 2014 compared to 2013. “In terms of security investment, Vietnamese organizations are still focusing much on endpoint and network security, while the spending on web and messaging solutions has been reduced,” said Ha Ngoc Khuong, Market Analyst for IDC Vietnam. Khuong also added that both web and messaging security market will continue to face a challenging year in 2014 with 2.3% and negative 1.2% YoY growth respectively.

In 2014, the endpoint market had returned on track with a healthy growth of 12.4% due to the increased spending from government, communication and media for endpoint protection. There was also growing concern for Secure Socket Layer (SSL) for banking services and the demand for centralizing data center authorization has led to increased traction for identity access management with 15.4% growth last year.

Compared to the same period in 2013, the Security and Vulnerability Management saw lower traction with 2% negative growth in 2014 due to the slow spending from key end-users such as banking and communication sectors.

Trade Mission Features

Introduce your business to Singapore and Vietnam’s rapidly expanding needs for information and communications technology products.
Facilitate trade between your business and firms found in Singapore and Vietnam with market briefings and site visits.
Participate in one-on-one business appointments with pre-screened potential buyers, agents, distributors, and joint venture partners.
Attend VIP networking receptions and events with business leaders and government representatives.
Gain insights, make industry contacts, solidify business strategies, and advance specific technologies.

Fees and Expenses

  • $3,200 for a small or medium-sized enterprise (less than 500 employees)
  • $5,300 for a large firm
  • $750 for each additional firm participant
  • $700 for additional/optional meetings in Ho Chi Minh City

Expenses for travel, lodging, most meals, and incidentals will be the responsibility of each mission participant

To Apply

Recruitment for this mission will begin immediately and conclude no later than January 8, 2017. The U.S. Department of Commerce will review applications and make selection decisions on rolling basis. Applications received after January 8, 2017 will be considered only if space and scheduling constraints permit.

Contact Information

Deborah Misouria
Project Officer
Trade Promotion Programs
Washington, DC
Department of Commerce

Brian N. Beams
International Trade Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service – Northern New Jersey
Department of Commerce

Dylan Daniels
International Trade Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service – Memphis, TN
Department of Commerce

Murat Muftari
Senior International Trade Specialist
Vets Go Global Team Leader
U.S. Commercial Service
Department of Commerce

U.S. Safety & Security Trade Mission to Saudi Arabia & Kuwait

November 12-18, 2016

The United States Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration (ITA), is organizing a Trade Mission to Saudi Arabia & Kuwait.

The purpose of this mission is to assist U.S. companies in launching or increasing exports of U.S. safety and security goods or services to Saudi & Kuwait. Participating firms will gain market insights, make industry contacts, solidify business strategies, and advance specific projects, with the goal of increasing U.S. exports of products and services to the region. The mission will include customized one-on-one business appointments with pre-screened potential buyers, agents, distributors, and joint venture partners; meetings with industry leaders, market briefings, and networking events.

Commercial Setting


The Government of Kuwait has a stated plan to invest considerable sums in safety and security equipment through 2020. Kuwait defense and security forces will be looking to purchase surveillance equipment, perimeter security and control systems, security check point equipment (fences, crash barriers, cameras, access points), and contraband detection systems, including scanning systems, and consulting services in security planning.

In particular, several projects currently under consideration by the Government of Kuwait, particularly under the Ministry of Interior, include camera surveillance systems to be installed in and near most transportation infrastructure points, geospatial intelligence connectivity, maritime netting, and sensors to minimize security threats to vessels, facilities security of oil refineries and power plants, production facilities and loading platforms, including ports, and the hardware and software infrastructure needed to support a fully integrated C4ISR (C41 Surveillance and Reconnaissance) Systems.

Kuwait plans to spend a total of US$ 28.2 billion on projects in the transportation sector, including aviation, airport, rail, roads, building and terminals. The expansion of Kuwait International Airport is a significant infrastructure development. The planned $6 billion project includes a new terminal building and expanding the two existing terminals. Kuwait is aiming to double the airport capacity to 20 million passengers by 2025. Other major projects are the construction of the country’s fourth refinery and the expansion of the existing refineries valued at approximately $30 billion. All of these projects require state-of-the-art safety and security solutions.

Saudi Arabia: 

The security market in Saudi Arabia continues to develop rapidly. Threats from both internal and external sources pose major challenges to existing and upcoming infrastructure. Sectors that are vital to the economy all require constant surveillance and security systems to allow continued and undisturbed output. The government’s privatization plans have triggered considerable security upgrades within the electricity, telecommunications, air-travel, water, oil and gas, railways and petrochemical sectors.

Saudi Arabia is forecasted to procure $14 billion worth of security systems and services over the next 3 years. For example, the transport sector alone security expenditure is forecast to reach $76.2 million by 2016. Since 2011, the Saudis hiked their 2011 Homeland Security & Public Safety procurement budget by 46% and never looked back since. During 2016-2018, Saudi Arabia intends to procure as much as $14B of Homeland Security (HLS) & Public Safety related products and services making them the highest per capita HLS & Public Safety spenders in the world.

The Saudi Homeland Security & Public Safety market is a unique case, since the global financial crisis does not impact the economy of Saudi Arabia. The regime has at its disposal nearly $500B of petrodollars and will spend “whatever it takes” to secure the country’s stability and defeat any internal or external regime threats. The growing need coupled with nearly unlimited resources creates a highly profitable business environment for state-of-the-art technology and service providers. Saudi Arabia imports defense and security equipment mainly from the US, Russia, France, and the UK.

Trade Mission Features

  • Business and market briefings;
  • One-on-one business appointments with pre-screened potential buyers, agents, distributors, and joint venture partners
  • Site visits
  • Networking receptions and events with business leaders and government representatives
  • Media exposure

Target U.S. Products and Services
Surveillance equipment

  • Perimeter security and control systems
  • Security check point equipment (fences, crash barriers, cameras, access points)
  • Contraband detection systems, including scanning systems
  • Consulting services in security planning

Fees and Expenses

$2,900 for a small or medium-sized enterprise (less than 500 employees)
$3,300 for a large firm
$750 for each additional firm participant

Expenses for travel, lodging, most meals, and incidentals will be the responsibility of each mission participant

To Apply

Applications received after September1, 2016 will be considered only if space and scheduling constraints permit.

Contact Information

Tatyana Aguirre
International Trade Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service – Irvine, CA

Doug Wallace
Commercial Counselor
U.S. Embassy – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Saluhuddin Tauhidi
Country Manager, Office of Mideast & Africa
U.S. Commercial Service – Washington, D.C.

U.S. Department of Commerce Partners with USC Marshall School of Business, Ports of L.A., Long Beach to Advance Nation’s Supply Chains

A strategic partnership with the USC Marshall Center for Global Supply Chain Management aimed at improving the global competitiveness of the nation’s supply chains was signed by U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on October 14 at the University Park campus.

“Through this new partnership, we hope to encourage ports around the country to increase efficiency by adopting new technologies that will provide more information on the flow of goods to port users and stakeholders,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The ability to move cargo quickly through our ports is critical to national and regional trade, economic growth, and our nation’s overall competitiveness.”

The partnership with USC Marshall will allow for collaboration on digitalization of the nation’s supply chains, including applications related to IoT (Internet of Things).

The first formal event of the partnership will be the Port Community IT Systems Exhibition and Technology Challenge at USC on Nov. 18-20. The gathering will open with a symposium offering leaders from ports communities and supply chain owner organizations, as well as public policy and academic experts a chance to explore how digital innovations can increase port operating efficiencies and reduce overall supply chain congestion.

“The Port of Los Angeles isn’t just the nation’s leading cargo port—it’s a laboratory for ideas and technologies that show how ports across America can thrive in the global marketplace for generations to come,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Los Angeles is the perfect home for this innovative partnership, and I’m proud of the critical role our port has played in making it possible.”

The November conference will also feature a technology challenge, allowing teams of startups and student developers to compete for $15,000 in prizes for innovative new applications and solutions for sharing vital information through Port Community IT systems.

The Department’s 21st Century Ports Initiative is designed to promote excellence in the operation of the nation’s ports and associated supply chains. Digitalization of supply chain operations offers exciting opportunities for innovation and increased efficiencies that can benefit the wider U.S. economy. The existing research program at the Center for Global Supply Chain Management brings real synergy to this effort. 

“At the direction of Mayor Garcetti and Secretary Pritzker, The Port of Los Angeles will embark upon a project to test the capabilities of advanced digital technology to support efficiency, transparency and reliability in the maritime supply chain,” said Gene Seroka, Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles. “We must engage a broad network of experts to succeed and the partnership announced today offers an excellent platform to do that.”

The Center for Global Supply Chain Management at the USC Marshall School of Business has worked with the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach on multi-year research projects to develop efficiencies and solutions for improved cargo flow and environmental sustainability for three years. The Center has hosted the annual Global Supply Chain Management Excellence Summit since 2012, bringing together key supply chain stakeholders to network and share knowledge.

“The alliance between the Dept. of Commerce, USC Marshall and the CGSCM will facilitate the crucial first step of dissecting this problem so we can move forward with modernizing global supply chain using digital technology,” said Nick Vyas executive director of USC Marshall’s Center for Global Supply Chain Management (CGSCM) and assistant professor of clinical data sciences and operations at USC Marshall.

Registration for the conference on Nov. 18 and the Hackathon on Nov.19 is now open

For more information on the conference, contact Eric Chow, associate director at or 213-821-0093 or Marni Goldberg at

For media inquiries, contact Alison Stateman, or 917-224-8777.

Just In! Global Smart Cities Decision Makers Coming to Chicago!

Hear from top decision makers and learn about India’s
100 Smart Cities Program!
November 1-3 | Chicago, IL

Meet International Market Experts from Brazil to China to Europe!

Meet with key officials from Visakhapatnam (Vizag), one of the leading smart cities in India:
Praveen Kumar, District Collector & Magistrate of Visakhapatnam
Hari Narayanan, Commissioner of the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation

India is set to become the most populous country in the world by 2030, making it the home to the biggest and the most under-penetrated market for global manufacturers and service providers. This growing population is shifting, giving rise to new megacities estimated to generate 80% of economic growth, with potential to apply modern technologies and infrastructure.

More to come on decision makers from Vietnam and Qatar

At Discover Global Markets: Building Smart Cities learn about export opportunities and market trends by meeting with in-country experts on a broad range of industries associated with Infrastructure & Smart Cities, including:
21st Century Infrastructure
Airport & Ground Support Equipment
Building Materials
Cyber Security
Disaster Risk Mitigation
Energy & Smart Grids
Intelligent Traffic Management
Information & Communication Technology
Intelligent Lighting
Smart Building Design
Smart Governance & Citizen Services
Training and certification programs
Water & Wastewater Management
Waste-to-Energy Technologies

Pre-Schedule One-on-One Meetings with U.S. Commercial Diplomats from key markets:

Register today for the best opportunity to pre-schedule your meetings with experts from the markets listed below and obtain market knowledge. Meetings are arranged on a first-come, first-serve basis, so don’t wait.

Brazil Canada Chile China Colombia Hong Kong India
Kenya Korea Mexico Panama The Philippines Qatar
Singapore South Africa Taiwan Vietnam
Europe: Cyber-security
Europe: Energy Efficiency/Design & Construction
Europe: Infrastructure / Transportation / IoT
Europe: E-Mobility

At Discover Global Markets…”You are able to speak with Commercial Diplomats from all over and gather market intelligence for many countries; all at a single event.” said Cameron Javdani, Director of Sales and Marketing for Louroe Electronics.