VITA Newsletter April 2016

A Note from your Former Chairman

I have had the extraordinary privilege of serving The Valley International Trade Association (VITA) Board of Directors and Membership as Chairman for about 8 years. Never did I imagine when Bruce Ackerman asked me to get involved in VITA, that I would have as much fun working with such a wonderful group of professional people, nor did I expect my term of office to continue this long. It has been a pleasure and I would like to thank the Board and Officers for their effort, support and warm collegiality.

Frankly, when I was elected I found the prospect of trying to do the job as well as Katherine Whitman to be terrifying. But we survived and here we are with a newly installed, wonderful team of leaders. Katherine Whitman and Elyse Hookaylo-Rosenblatt, both serving as Co-Chairpersons, and Natasha Suton serving as Vice Chairperson.

Our organization continues to be served by the incredibly willing Greg Mariscal as our Secretary, and the glue that holds us all together; Angela Amirkhanian our Treasurer and master of making it all work.

The new Officers began our new year with a sensational program produced by The Valley Economic Alliance (TVEA), VITA and the Port of Los Angeles. The two elements of the day included a Manufacturer’s Roundtable and TradeX-Trade Connect. What a fabulous start to our new year. Most hearty congratulations for an excellent program to TVEA, our new leadership and the wonderful people from the Port.

Sincere thanks to everyone for having made my term of service both memorable and extremely pleasant.

Thank you,

Robert L. Rodine

San Fernando Valley’s Top Manufacturers Presented Latest Innovations at TradeX-Trade Connect

San Fernando Valley manufacturers and international companies attended TradeX-Trade Connect on Thursday, March 17th, hosted by The Valley Economic Alliance (TVEA) and the Port of Los Angeles at Los Angeles Mission College.

A manufacturing executive policy roundtable kicked off the day, where manufacturers discussed policy issues with Council District 3 Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and other city representatives. TVEA shared findings from a 25 year review of top industries in Los Angeles County that had lost and gained employment.

Kenn Phillips, President and CEO of TVEA, shared that manufacturing is still a strong industry with 360,000 employees, however has lost more than 450,000 jobs in the past 25 years. In the past year, California has seen a 3.7% increase of manufacturing jobs, a majority of which are in Northern California.

TradeX-Trade Connect followed the meeting, where 3 top manufacturers demonstrated their latest products to a panel of industry experts, who critiqued the marketability and export potential of each product in various markets.

Richard Brent, CEO of Louroe Electronics presented an impressive gunshot detector system that recognizes firearm discharge within seconds of a gunshot and sends immediate notification through video management systems.

Primo Wind’s President, William Fitzmaurice, demonstrated energy from thin air with their compact rooftop wind turbine for commercial buildings and small-scale community installations. The turbine offers the same amount of energy as a rooftop solar system, with half the footprint and 2/3 the price.

Bobrick Washroom Equipment’s Marketing Projects Specialist, Beth White, demonstrated their top-of-the-line automatic foam soap dispenser.

The panel included executives from U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Export Import Bank, Los Angeles Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association and Kogon Trade Consulting.

New Member Spotlight

Paul R. Allen, Director
DCP Global Partners

DCP Global Partners advises and assists U.S. companies entering foreign markets. DCP conducts market research and business strategy; assists in identifying foreign based distributors and other representatives; negotiations; and offers country specific advice on advertising, marketing, and promotions, as well as advising and referring to appropriate logistics providers and finance providers.

DCP also locates and assists U.S. companies on behalf of foreign buyers who want to import U.S. made products and goods to their country.

Paul Allen is Director of DCP and has 40 years of experience in insurance, risk management, real estate investment and development. He grew up in the United Kingdom and the U.S., and has traveled in South East Asia which included two years in Vietnam while serving in the U.S. Marines.

DCP represents construction equipment companies, building materials companies, medical technology companies, and various agricultural commodities. They have buyers in the Pacific Rim including India, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East including North Africa.

Visit www.dcpglobalpartners.com for more information.

In the News

Attendees at the manufacturing roundtable on Thursday, March 17th were featured in The San Fernando Valley Business Journal’s Valley Biz Seen.

The Valley Economic Alliance and Port of Los Angeles hosted TradeX-Trade Connect at Los Angeles Mission College on March 17 with dozens of San Fernando Valley manufacturers and international companies in attendance.

VAT Filing Deadline for Europe is Approaching

Many U.S. companies are leaving Value Added Tax (VAT) money behind in Europe. Are you one of them?
The possibility of having VAT refunded has been around for many years, but hundreds of millions of Euro remain reclaimed.

The deadline for claiming back last year’s (2015) business related VAT incurred on events, hotels, transportation, and other costs in the various EU countries is fast approaching.

Contact Euro VAT Refund, Inc. at 310-204-0805 or email vat@eurovat.com before April 15, 2016 if you are interested in proceeding with a VAT refund.

Sky’s the Limit – Aviation Career Day

The 11th Annual Sky’s the Limit : Aviation Career Day on Friday, April 1st welcomed over 1,200 local high school students and 45 aviation industry experts to VITA member, Van Nuys Airport (VNY).
Hosted by VNY, MP Aero, The Valley Economic Alliance and Los Angeles City Councilmember Nury Martinez, students were provided a behind the scenes airport tour, took part in interactive exhibits and viewed aircraft displays including an EA-18 Growler, Condor Squadron’s AT-6, Los Angeles Fire Department Air Rescue Unit. Van Nuys Airport’s major tenants include Clay Lacy, Signature Flight Support, Western Jet and the North Valley Occupational Center.

Congressman Tony Cardenas, LAUSD Boardmember Scott Schmerelson and VITA boardmember and airport board commissioner, Jeffery Daar, welcomed students and gave remarks and encouragement. “In order for the U.S. to continue being a global leader, we must connect our communities to resources and opportunities in key industries such as the aviation and aerospace field. By encouraging our young generations to seek a career in such fields, we are, in turn, building a framework of innovative professionals that will drive our country forward to a better future,” said Congressman Cardenas.

U.S. Forum for Direct Foreign Investors

The U.S. Forum for Direct Foreign Investors on June 7-8, at The Langham Huntington in Pasadena includes a dynamic two day program, where you will hear from industry experts on topics including Residency in the U.S., Tax Implications, Transferring Funds to and from the U.S., Visa and Residency Rules and many more.

The event also includes a networking reception and dinner with the Keynote Speakers: Andrew Cherng, Founder of Panda Restaurant Group, Inc., Stephen Cheung, President of World Trade Center Los Angeles and Samuel K. Freshman, Chairman of Standard Management.

Visit www.usforum2016.com to register. Enter code VIPGUEST for 25% off tickets.

Contact heidi.nietert@gmail.com for questions and additional information.

SELECT LA Investment Summit

The 2016 SELECT LA Investment Summit is Southern California’s premier international trade event that brings together global investors with business and governmental leaders from Southern California to facilitate and secure foreign direct investment (FDI), and gain exclusive insights on market trends and opportunities in the Los Angeles region. This summit provides key components of what every foreign investment requires: detailed research and investment opportunities.

The World Trade Center Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation will jointly host the summit on June 16 (VIP reception) and 17 (summit) in Downtown Los Angeles. The event will present an array of opportunities to connect international investors with local partners. The program includes a one-on-one matchmaking session, a reception at Fox Studios the night before the summit, and plenary and panel discussions led by local and international executives and experts.

Los Angeles is home to the United States’ largest county economy, with an annual GDP of over $664 billion. With 88 fantastic cities and over 100 unincorporated areas within Los Angeles County, investment opportunities are unrivaled in the nation. More than 18 million consumers that live in the 5 counties within the Greater Los Angeles Region create a stable and attractive market place for businesses from around the world. In recent years, we have witnessed numerous international firms open up new operations and their North American Headquarters in the Los Angeles region, accounting for billions of dollars of investment. Over 9,000 foreign-owned enterprises have already selected Southern California as their home in the U.S., and we are seeing more entering our region every single day.

Visit www.laedc.com/2016summit for more information.

Hong Kong International Lighting Fair Welcomed nearly 20,000 Buyers

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) hosted the 8th Annual Hong Kong International Lighting Fair from April 6-9 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. The fair featured more than 1,300 exhibitors from 11 countries and regions. Nearly 20,000 buyers from 108 countries and regions took part in the fair.

“Despite the lingering global economic uncertainties and challenges, the Spring Lighting Fair showed a considerable increase in buyer attendance,” said Benjamin Chau, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director. “It reveals that buyers remain optimistic and Hong Kong companies are encouraged to grasp the opportunities brought about by the Chinese mainland and Asian markets.”

The HKTDC commissioned an independent on-site survey during the fair, interviewing more than 342 exhibitors and buyers about their views on industry prospects. The survey found that 64% of respondents expect overall sales this year to increase or remain unchanged. As for product trends, respondents consider LED & green lighting to be the product sector with the best growth potential in the sales/export market (35%), followed by household lighting (23%), commercial lighting (15%) and smart lighting & solutions (10%). It also showed that customers are increasingly concerned about product quality (90%) and practicality (90%), as well as after-sales service/maintenance (89%) and product price (87%).

The applications of LED products in the lighting industry have become increasingly prevalent. Besides consumers growing more environmentally conscious, the price drop of LED products and their easy integration with smart lighting systems helped the LED market to continue thriving and maintain a strong demand.

The Viribright brand under Hong Kong’s Matrix Holdings, Ltd. has been participating in the Spring and Autumn Lighting Fairs with their energy-efficient LED bulbs since 2009. Eric Leung, Director of Matrix Holdings, stated that their latest LED product, the Viribright A19 bulb, has a color rendering index (CRI) of 90 and a wide beam angle of 320 degrees, close to that of natural light. Buyers from the US, Australia and Europe had expressed their interest in the product.

Russian buyer Andrey Egoshin, Product Manager at UNIVĀ®ERSAL, was primarily looking for LED bulbs, floodlights and panel lights. He said he had business negotiations with more than 30 suppliers from the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong. He pointed out that, as customers in Russia were becoming more price-sensitive, he was looking for products with prices and quality that met their requirements. He expected the company’s first order with each new supplier to amount to $100,000.

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China COSCO Shipping Vessel Will Be First to Transit Expanded Panama Canal

China COSCO Shipping won the draw for the first transit through the Expanded Panama Canal during the waterway’s inauguration on June 26th. The shipping line’s container vessel Andronikos will be making the inaugural transit. The vessel, which has a maximum capacity of 9,400 TEUs, is 8.25 meters in beam and 299.98 meters in length. In addition, more than 100 Neopanamax ships have already made reservations for commercial transit through the new locks, which will begin on June 27th, following the historic inauguration.

The draw took place on April 29th at the Panama Canal Administration Building and The Norwegian/Swedish shipping line Wallenius Wilhemsen Lines (WWL) and the Chinese shipping line China COSCO Shipping participated in the draw.

WWL participated with the car carrier Thalatta. The car carrier, which has a maximum capacity of 8,000 CEUs (car equivalent units), is 36.5 meters in beam and 199.97 meters in length.

“It is a great honor to have one of our top customers celebrate this historical moment with us,” said Panama Canal Administrator, Jorge L. Quijano. “We are excited and prepared to continue providing the same reliable and efficient service within the Expanded Panama Canal that our customers have come to expect through the years.”