17Th Annual Asian Small Business Expo 

Saturday, September 10th, 2016
9:00 AM to 1:00 PM (PDT)
Almansor Court Conference Center
700 S Almansor St.
Alhambra, CA 91801

“Recipes for Growth”

The Asian Small Business Expo is the only business-to-business Expo that engages the Asian business community and brings this growing economic force into the mainstream to connect and utilize your company and its services.

Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with small businesses, market your organization and tap into a network of entrepreneurs, service providers, financial organizations, franchises and governmental and legislative representatives.

Event Highlights
Network with hundreds of business owners, entrepreneurs start-ups.
40+ Exhibitors
Establish valuable new contacts.
Learn about new start-up opportunities.
Attend FREE business workshops.
Discover new and useful business services and methods.

It’s FREE to attend!

Workshop Schedule

9:30a – 10:30a
Recipes for Funding Opportunities
Financing options for your business at every stage of growth

9:30a – 10:30a
Finding Your Target Marget
Learn savvy marketing strategies and tips
Guest speakers: Ji Young Denick of MineMR
Esther Tseng, Freelance Food Writer
Stan Lee, Food Videographer

10:45a – 11:45a
Ingredients for a Successful Business (Women’s Entrepreneur Panel)
​Come listen to three amazing & inspiring women entrepreneurs and their paths to business success!
Annie Choi, Owner of Found Coffee
Ginger Dimapasok, Owner of Cafe 86
Khiow Hui Lim, Founder, iDigBrand, Inc.

​10:45a – 11:45a
Important Changes to the Minimum Wage & Labor Law
Is your business ready for the new minimum wage requirements?

12:15p – 1:15p
​The Art of Effective Business Networking
It’s all about relationship-building
Featured Speaker: John Bwarie, Co-Founder, Stratiscope

12:15p – 1:15p
New Opportunities in Financing
What alternative lending options are available for small businesses?
Speakers: Kiva, CDC Small Business Finance, Opportunity Fund

FREE Admission, FREE Workshops, FREE Parking, Networking, Business Advice


Container Housing Project “Affordable Home Program” in Los Angeles

Affordable Home Program by Pacific Rim Business Council.

Tuesday, August 22, Holmes Stoner, Chairman of American International Chamber of Commerce ( AICC), Pacific Rim Business Council (PRBC) held a press conference of Container Housing Project “Affordable Home Program” for the presentation by government officials and the veterans administration in Marina City Club Los Angeles.

Cascon Industries, one of the largest container manufacturers in the world, based in Hai Duong Vietnam, will donate a container home to a deserving homeless veteran to show sincerity and respect for America and its deserving veteran soldiers making an event of historic importance.

Cascon leads in the world of container home manufacturing providing new ideas and development in eco living and sustainability through their exclusive relationship with the Pacific Rim Business Council based in Los Angeles. With the upcoming TPP trade talks this offer is of great importance showing the priority Vietnam and America relations share in the future; making this a very historic event!

This monumental event is being supported by Support our Servicemen (SOS), a public charity set up to support and assist American who have needs.

Vietnamese VIP’s including Mr. Pham Thang, Chairman of Cascon industries builds modular container homes in his state of the art factory in Hanoi, Vietnam. In a gesture of friendship between Vietnam and America he presented an home to a Veteran. 

A homeless veteran and his family were given a home that is part of the tiny houses trend and is a way to fight homelessness in the U.S.

Tommy Weir and his family had been living in a homeless shelter, but now they have a place to call their own. They were the first to receive a new prefabricated home that was built from a steel container.

The home was created by Affordable Homes 4U, which mass produces steel and container-based homes as a way to house the homeless. It was started in Las Vegas and brought over to Los Angeles.

The Affordable Home Program hopes this move is just the beginning as one homeless veteran family has been taken off the streets. They said their mission is for everyone to enjoy the American dream of home ownership.

SBDC Orientation

August 30, 2016
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PDT
El Camino College Business Training Center
13430 Hawthorne Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA, 90250

Fee: None

This workshop will provide attendees with information about the program requirements and the different services and training offered at the center. Attendance is required for pre-venture and early start-up businesses.

Orientation is offered two-three times per month so check the calendar for future dates. NOTE: Late admittance is not permitted, please arrive early.
Instructor: Nate Jemison

Event Category:
El Camino College
Register Here:

SBDC Hosted by El Camino College

SBDC hosted by El Camino College
310 – 973-3177

Instructions: PLEASE NOTE: Venue are not located on the El Camino College campus, use address above for driving directions. Parking is located on street and median lots only. Please bring something to write with.

US Customs Broker Exam Prep

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at 6:00 PM – Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 9:00 PM (PDT)

Office of Economic Development
152 w 6th St.
Corona, CA 92880

Event DescriptionFree perperation course for the US Customs Brokers Exam held OCT 2015. Sponsored by California Centers for International Trade Development and the California Community Colleges

Learn How To Successfully Export Your Product or Service

Selling American products and services overseas is both profitable and culturally rewarding for all companies that want to prosper in today’s global marketplace.

Participate in an exclusive training program carefully designed to give business executives strategies, insights, and a ready network of contacts necessary to successfully expand sales globally. If you believe exporting could be part of your growth strategy, these courses will provide you with the hands on tools and the latest information necessary to succeed. In addition, through this course, you will become informed about the effective finance and marketing assistance currently available through both state and federal agencies and walk away knowing precisely how to leverage these resources.

CSU San Bernardino students will be engaging companies and conducting research projects as part of this program.

Session 1: 

Global Business Opportunities for Small Business | August 24, 2016 | 8a-1p

Participants will learn to utilize databases to determine best markets, describe the benefits of free trade agreements, classify a good and determine the duty rates for specific products.

Session 2:

Exploring Market Entry Strategies | August 31, 2016 | 8a-1p

This module covers identifying target markets, and locating foreign representatives and buyers. The presentation will help you better understand the methods and channels involved in the export sales process.  

Session 3: 

 International Trade Finance and Methods of Payment | September 7, 2016 | 8a-1pm

Understanding how to get paid for an export sale is crucial, since your buyer could be 10,000 miles away! This training discusses how your organization can finance the transaction and related business costs from the time you obtain the order, through the production cycle, to the time you receive the final payment.

Session 4: 

 International Shipping and Legal Issues | September 14, 2016 | 8a-1p

This session covers export distribution considerations, direct exporting, indirect exporting, Foreign Trade.

Location: The Workforce Development Center | 44199 Monroe St., Indio, CA

Questions: Contact SBA, Paul Smith or Robert Corona

Life in the Foreign Commercial Service

Life in the Foreign Commercial Service (FCS) reminds me of the title of one of my favorite books as a child, Dr. Seuss’s, Oh, the Places You’ll Go. Every time I begin the process of bidding on my next assignment, the world is my oyster. I start imagining myself living in India or South Africa or Chile – the sights, the smells, the foods, the commercial climate, the vacation possibilities. As I’m approaching bidding season soon, it’s fun to reminisce about some highlights from my prior postings:

  • Seoul, South Korea
  • Quito, Ecuador
  • Caracas, Venezuela
  • Recife, Brazil

When I joined FCS in 2006 as an officer, Asia was low on my list of places I wanted to go. So where was my first assignment? Seoul, South Korea, of course! It was my first time in Asia, so I dove in and learned how crazy I’d been for not having been more excited . The history of Korea’s post-war renaissance was fascinating in itself. A city almost totally in ruins in 1953, Seoul was a gleaming, bustling, rapidly growing, high-tech city of skyscrapers and massive highways intermingled with charming, historic alleyways selling sundubu stew and dukbokki when I arrived in the Spring of 2006.

As a first-tour officer, I got to play a supporting role in the negotiation of our FTA with Korea, which was followed intently by the local media. We worked closely with Las Vegas and Korean Air Lines to promote KAL’s new non-stop flight to Las Vegas. I even got to fly to Vegas on the inaugural flight. Using Seoul as a base, I traveled to eight countries in East and Southeast Asia, including some places not often open to tourism. I grew to love Asia.

In 2009, I moved to Quito, Ecuador – quite different from Seoul. It was a smaller pond in which to work, but I was fortunate to be the Senior Commercial Officer, so I had a much higher-profile job, advising the Ambassador on commercial issues in a challenging commercial environment, meeting with Ministers and private sector CEOs, and leading my own team. From our perch at 9,200 feet in Quito, there were easy daytrips to volcanic spas, camping trips at the base of a volcano, rafting trips into the Amazon basin, long weekends whale watching on the coast, and, best of all, two trips to the Galápagos Islands to soak in the natural splendor.

And now I’m in Northeast Brazil. Business is growing, I’m opening up a new office, and I’m in Brazil – the capital of fun. Carnaval comes around early in the year, and Recife hosts the second-largest party in the country. I was here for the international pageantry of the World Cup and got to see the U.S. team beat Ghana in a thriller and play Germany in Recife during a massive flood that shut down most of the city. I’ll be finishing up my tour in 2016 with a trip to the Rio Olympics.

What’s next for me? Where will I be living this time next year? What new professional challenges and personal highlights are around the corner? Oh, the places I’ll go…

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Eric Olson is an Officer in the International Trade Administration’s U.S. Foreign Commercial Service

Building Peace: Colombian Peace Presents New U.S. Business Opportunities

Bogota, Colombia

After decades of civil unrest, the Colombian government reached a ceasefire with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on June 23, 2016. The ceasefire deal was the last major step in reaching a final peace agreement, expected by the second half of August, according to Colombia’s Minister of Post-Conflict, Rafael Pardo. Peace is expected to bring many benefits to Colombia, including improved rule of law, security, and increased investment. This improved business environment has the potential to open a number of new opportunities for to U.S. companies.

The U.S. is an important trade and investment partner for Colombia. U.S.-based companies have been exporting an increased number products to Colombia since the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement went into effect in 2012. U.S. goods exports to Colombia stand at $16.3 billion in 2015, having grown 14% since the implementation of the agreement – compared to just 1.2% growth in U.S. goods exports worldwide over the same period. This makes Colombia our third largest export destination in Latin America.

Two industries that have made large gains are agricultural products and manufactured goods. Agriculture exports have doubled to $1.3 billion, and manufacturing exports grew 9.8% for a total of $14.5 billion in 2015.

One of the areas under negotiation as part of the peace process is comprehensive agricultural development. Therefore, a number of large agricultural development projects are planned as part of the government’s post-conflict strategy. The goal is to assist those areas most affected by the conflict and work to peacefully reintegrate the FARC and its former members into society. This priority has the potential to improve the standard of living for about 20% of the Colombian population that lives in rural areas affected by violence.

As Colombia seeks to develop and modernize its agricultural sector, U.S. agricultural equipment and services firms may find new business opportunities. For instance, new agricultural equipment imports can be subsidized by the government of Colombia, and the two-year, $500 million Colombia Siembra program is expected to increase agriculture growth in four years from 2.3% to 6.2% by 2018.

In addition, Business Monitor International found that total food consumption is projected to rise by 56.4% between 2014 and 2019. As a result, more opportunities may open up for businesses that provide value-add technologies to the sector, such as food processing and packaging companies.

Furthermore, Colombia’s post-peace development agenda includes a Contratos Plan (Peace Contracts) initiative led by the National Planning Department (DNP). This plan consists of about 1,450 priority peace projects for a total investment of about 14 trillion pesos, or USD$4.5 billion. The Peace Contracts will include long-term infrastructure projects, as well as other smaller development projects. The most important business opportunities for companies post-conflict include:

  • Infrastructure: roads, airports, aqueducts, schools, hospitals, telecommunications infrastructure, and connectivity
  • Tourism: development of rural tourism and ecotourism
  • Logistics: storage centers and regional distribution centers
  • Agriculture: commercialization of family farming, increased agricultural productivity at small scale farms, and development of irrigation districts.

Colombia is seeking international cooperation and private sector participation to fund several of these development projects. Some of the financial tools being considered are private investment incentives such as Free Trade Zones and Public-Private Partnerships in post-conflict areas. Minister Pardo has also proposed an adjustment to the private sector infrastructure tax. This will create tax incentives for businesses developing infrastructure projects in conflict-affected areas.

The post-conflict environment will present new business opportunities for U.S. companies. Accordingly, U.S. businesses should begin exploring the market now in order to take an advantage of these opportunities.

For information on doing business and exporting to Colombia, visit our web page, including information on upcoming trade events. The Colombian U.S. Commercial Service team is ready to support you in successfully doing business in Colombia.

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Steven Armendariz is an Intern at the Colombia Desk at the International Trade Administration