WASHINGTON, April 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- (http://www.myprgenie.com) -- Exports were front and center last week at the annual conference hosted by the U.S. Export-Import Bank (EXIM Bank) here. Hundreds of business and government leaders convened to discuss the state of the export business, especially in light of President Obama's challenge to make exports a priority in efforts to rebuild the U.S. economy.
Last year, the President unveiled an initiative to double U.S. exports over the next five years, which has shown early signs of success. In 2010, total exports of goods and services were $1.834 trillion, up by 21% for goods and 8.6 % for services from the previous year. Financing of exports grew significantly with the EXIM Bank having completed a record year financing $24.5 billion of exports for an 11.7% increase over 2009. Yet much remains to be done to achieve the President's goals.
Alexander Gordin, a seasoned expert in international trade and finance and Managing Director of the New York-based Broad Street Capital Group, a private international merchant bank, and Trustee of the Princeton Council of World Affairs, warns that as the world economy rebounds, the U.S. is not projected to be the leader among the global exporters as measured by the percentage of total exports to GDP.
Gordin, also the author of the soon to be published guidebook for doing business abroad, "Fluent in Foreign," says that to meet our national export goals and create a long-term export driven economy, we must fight for a greater market share among the world's exporters. We must change our thinking and make exports a priority in the strategy of our nation's businesses. Moreover, he says, we must learn to approach exports strategically and to cultivate exporters as a recognized part of our economic landscape,
Gordin, who has guided dozens of companies through the minefields of international business, believes that the U.S. can retake the lead and influence abroad. "The next wave of U.S. export expansion must be built on four cornerstones that will transform the way American businesses think of export and foreign trade."
1. Comprehensive Education of Exporters. We must establish an education system where exports, foreign culture and international business are taught not as a byproduct, but as a core economic discipline at all levels. We do not, as a nation, foster the cultivation of exporters via intensive training or formal education, nor do we have a system of measuring and standardizing the quality of export organizations. This must change.
2. Enhanced Export Infrastructure. We must refine and enhance our export infrastructure to better focus our resources on preparing and assisting promising companies to effectively sell overseas. Gordin says this can be done by expanding funding to appropriate agencies such as the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), which delivers $47 in exports for every dollar it spends to fund project feasibility studies and reverse trade missions. He also calls for government resources to be leveraged with Private-Public Partnerships and to involve more banks and private finance companies in funding exports.
3. Increased National Focus on Exports. Exports must become a part of our national agenda, on par with healthcare, housing, real estate and education and done not only during bad economic times, but consistently and on a sustainable basis. "When asked to name the top three initiatives that can improve our economy, the average American should be able to name exports as one of them," Gordin says, noting that the Small Business Administration reports a mere 1% of all U.S. companies are currently engaged in exporting.
4. Build "Securities" Market Approach to Exports. The U.S. export machine should learn from the way the securities industry is structured, based on analysis and real-time distribution of information. "Imagine," says Gordin, "how our export industry could be served if, in the wake of Japan's nuclear crisis one or more export analysts covering the nuclear sector would highlight third country export opportunities for U.S. companies because of the heightened demand from Japan. We could answer the call by supplying equipment and services worth hundreds of millions of dollars."
Gordin says creating an actionable analytical/informational platform for the industry will provide a strong forward-looking base of transaction flows for U.S. exporters. A "securities type" platform can be developed on the basis of banks and insurance companies currently financing exports, Export Management Companies (EMCs) and independent private analytical services. "The need for forward information and immediate analysis to help qualified exporters in their decision-making and business development is critical," he says.
The U.S. has already started on the correct path to growing its exports, Gordin believes. "With improved education of exporters, enhanced export infrastructure, increased focus on exports as a national issue and the addition of a forward looking information and analytical platform to aid exporters in growing their business, America is certain to secure its rightful place as the leading exporter in the world."
Contact: David Reich, [email protected], 212 573-6000
SOURCE Broad Street Capital