The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina expects to triple the number of free exporting workshops it typically offers in a year as it emphasizes online education during the time of coronavirus.
“We usually host eight in-person workshops for exporters in different communities across the state in a year, with each drawing 15 to 30 participants,” said John Loyack, vice president of EDPNC global business services.
“But when Covid made face-to-face gatherings risky, we pivoted to webinars. We expect to have hosted 25 to 30 exporting webinars by the end of this year. Many of them have drawn 50 to 100 participants.”
Loyack offered several reasons for the strong interest in the webinars. “Newly launched international trade agreements and the pandemic itself are having a big impact on international trade, so North Carolina manufacturers need the latest information,” he said. “Webinars are also one way to help businesses make global sales a part of their recovery.”
The webinars have covered timely topics such as getting the best out of virtual international trade shows when the pandemic has shut down travel, borders and in-person trade conferences. Several webinars have focused on the new US-Mexico-Canada and US-China Phase 1 trade agreements.
Webinars also cover nuts-and-bolts topics for exporters including export documentation, regulation, tariffs, and financing; country- and industry-specific export opportunities; and preparation for U.S. Customs audits. They also educate North Carolina exporters about resources that can help them meet their exporting goals, including the North Carolina State Ports Authority and the U.S. foreign trade zone program.
Some of the webinars have been recorded and are available for viewing at the links below:
Using Technology and Strategy to Thrive in a Post-Pandemic Marketplace
Recorded Aug. 26, 2020
During a pandemic, how is your company navigating the challenges of making sure newly remote workers are collaborating and communicating effectively with one another, with suppliers and with existing and potential customers? The right technology and strategy can help your company eliminate siloed business processes. In this webinar, Jeff Prillaman, senior consultant in architecture and strategy at Cisco, discusses how companies can use technology to adapt and grow in the post-pandemic marketplace. Prillaman has been with Cisco Systems since 2010, focusing on collaboration, contact centers, remote work, and customer experience.
How U.S. Foreign Trade Zones Can Benefit NC Manufacturers
Recorded July 23, 2020
North Carolina manufacturers whose operations take advantage of U.S. foreign trade zones can significantly reduce their costs in duties and taxes, as well as streamline their customs paperwork. These geographic areas near major ports of entry in North Carolina are, for legal purposes, considered outside U.S. Customs territory. In this webinar, administrators of all five U.S. foreign trade zones operating in North Carolina gather to discuss what activities are permitted in these free trade zones ― such as landing, storing, manufacturing, reconfiguring and re-exporting goods. You’ll also learn about how to apply for foreign trade zone status.
Getting the Best Out of Virtual Trade Shows and Missions
Recorded July 21
COVID-19 has forced many trade show organizers to replace their traditional events gathering thousands under one roof with virtual ones that can connect businesses with prospective customers around the world. But what must North Carolina businesses know about the benefits and matchmaking opportunities of virtual trade shows and missions? How can they identify leads and make sales in this new format? Expert Paul H. Grossman Jr. answers these questions and more. Grossman, U.S. director of OCO Global, an international trade and investment consulting firm based in Ireland, expects the convenience and lower cost of virtual trade shows will make them a fixture even after the pandemic ends.
Overview and Update from NC Ports
Recorded July 15, 2020
This webinar provides an overview of North Carolina State Ports Authority facilities and activities, including a $200 million capital improvement plan that is bringing an even higher level of service to businesses utilizing the Port of Wilmington. The port already boasts one of the fastest truck turn times in the Southeast, an average 32 minutes for an unloaded truck to enter the port and then exit with its load. NC Ports is committed to maintaining that efficiency even as it grows business volume through berth renovations, turning-basin expansion, new neo-Panamax cranes, and an expanding refrigerated container yard. NC Ports is now welcoming the largest container ships serving the East Coast. Aaron Brott, senior director of key clients and trade development, and Ben Massa, senior director of carrier and trade development, present this overview, which also discusses the Port of Morehead City and the Charlotte Inland Port.
The Best Economic Defense is a Good Offense: Export Opportunities in Europe
Recorded July 8. 2020
Brent Decent, director of the EDPNC’s European trade office, outlines the European market for U.S. exports, discusses opportunities in e-commerce, and identifies third-party warehouse and fulfillment center solutions in Europe. Co-presenter Stan de Caluwe, senior manager of supply chain solutions for the Holland International Distribution Council, focuses on why many U.S. companies choose the Netherlands as their order-fulfillment hub ― including its geography and tax advantages. Decent explores the three strongest European markets for U.S. goods ― Germany, France and the UK. “But the opportunity for your particular company may be elsewhere,” he says, citing North Carolina exporting success stories in Denmark, Ireland, Spain, Poland, and even the small Republic of Moldova. He also touches on what to expect from Brexit and some ongoing trade disputes with the European Union.
Understanding the China Phase One Deal
Recorded July 1, 2020
Daniel Ding, director of the EDPNC’s China office, analyzes Phase 1 of the new U.S.-China Trade Agreement. He also outlines opportunities for North Carolina exporters to the China market, which is growing through rapid urbanization. “China urbanizes about 20 million people a year,” Ding says. He calls the Phase 1 agreement a ceasefire in a trade war that had led to a 25% increase on almost everything traded between the two countries. The negotiations led both countries to issue lists of products exempted from the tariffs. Lower export-entry requirements and tariffs on agricultural products, for example, present opportunities for North Carolina exporters. China heavily relies on import of pork, soybeans, and forestry products.
Doing Business in Canada—Opportunities, Updates, and the USMC
Recorded June 24, 2020
Nancy Ward, the EDPNC’s trade representative in Canada, discusses what North Carolina exporters to Canada can expect from the new United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement. The agreement promotes regulatory compatibility and increased trade among the three countries in areas including information and communication technology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, cosmetics and chemicals. Its changes affecting agriculture provide new opportunities for farmers in North Carolina and other states. In addition to the trade agreement, Ward discusses “post-Covid” prospects for North Carolina exporters related to planned Canadian investment in wastewater infrastructure, residential and nonresidential construction, cybersecurity, virtual health care delivery, and replacement of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) system.