GROW 2016 Economic Development Conference

GROW Conference
October 25, 2016
Discovery Cube Orange County
2500 N. Main Street
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Time: 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM PDT

Once again hundreds of business professionals, developers, and investors will gather for an afternoon of insight and networking. Santa Ana is hitting the GROW button-the thriving cultural and urban center of the OC!

Register Now

Small Business Expo 2016 – Los Angeles

Thu, November 10, 2016
9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
California Market Center | Penthouse
110 East 9th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90079

Small Business Expo is THE largest & most anticipated business-to-business networking event, trade show & conference for business owners, entrepreneurs & decision-makers. If you are serious about your business, this Expo is a “MUST ATTEND EVENT.”


Your FREE badge gives you full access to
the Exhibitor Hall
20+ Business Critical Workshops.

Small Business Expo is the most anticipated networking event of the year for business professionals to learn about products & services to help their business exceed its goals, network with other industry professionals & attend informative and cutting-edge workshops & seminars. If you are a business owner, entrepreneur or someone that works for a small business you should attend this trade show & conference. 


  • Network with thousands of business owners, entrepreneurs & start-ups
  • Establish hundreds of new contacts and reconnect with old ones.
  • Attend FREE business critical workshops & seminars.
  • Learn about new products and services that will help your business grow.
  • Interact with the movers and shakers of your industry.
  • Discover new and innovative technologies.
  • Be in the RIGHT place at the RIGHT time.
  • It’s FREE to attend!

Exporting Agriculture International Trade and Ag Summit 2016

Wed, November 2, 2016
8:30 AM – 3:00 PM PDT

Hilton Palm Springs
400 East Tahquitz Canyon Way
City of Palm Springs, CA 92262

Registration is FREE.
To register to attend the event please go to ‘TICKETS’ and choose General Admission.
Exhibitor Tables available under ‘TICKETS’

To register free for matchmaking appointments go to event website.

Hear from Leaders and Agricultural Experts about
The State of Agriculture in the United States for Export

  • How do California Growers Fare as Exporters?
  • What Role can Food Packers and Processors play to help Growers Export more?
  • What International Markets are looking for Ag Products?

Opportunity to sell your product — Register for the No Cost match making event

Riverside County EDA – Office of Foreign Trade

Organizer of Exporting Agriculture International Trade and Ag Summit 2016

The Office of Foreign Trade (OFT) is part of the County Economic Development Agency and is the official agency and representative body for international trade, development, and foreign investment within the County of Riverside. The OFT was established by the Agency and with the consent of the County Executive Officer in 2009 in an effort to consolidate foreign trade and investment in one centralized office.


The Office of Foreign Trade (OFT) assists business owners, corporate officers, investors, and entrepreneurs with export and import assistance with the objective of creating new jobs and investment within the county. The OFT serves as your link to developing and existing markets overseas, including our United States Export Assistance Centers, Foreign Agricultural Services, United States Chambers of Commerce operating abroad, Unites States Commercial Service, Foreign Trade Offices, and investors from other nations interested in establishing a business location in the County of Riverside.

The OFT is also directly responsible for government-to-government relations, as it pertains to economic development, trade, tourism, and good will building with the Organization of American States, United Nations, and all nations and governments formally recognized by the government of the United States of America. This office also exists to promote the use of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Central American Free Trade Agreement, and existing trade agreements or treaties. These treaties open markets for goods and products produced within the County of Riverside that are manufactured, or grown in Riverside County. OFT is strategically placed within the Economic Development Agency to have direct access to the vast resources, support, and assistance from its team of highly dedicated professionals within the agency.

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