The Economic Development Pulse Third Quarter 2016 - Page 7

These business owners were unsure of all the exporting requirements, so with the help of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the West Texas DEC was formed. Over time, the group has evolved and has a database of government resources available for exporting. The organization is a group of volunteers who are business owners, government liaisons, and non-profits supporting exporting. The Council has helped many Odessa businesses, and is a great alternative to third party exporting consultants whose fees can range in the $100’ks.

3. What are the benefits of exporting?

The main benefit of exporting is the additional business revenue gained from markets outside of the Permian Basin. Customers in other countries put a premium value on U.S. made products and have confirmed time and time again that they are willing to pay the premium price. Once a relationship is established with international customers, they are often repeat customers and their payment transactions are more trusted.

4. What are the challenges for a first-time business owner seeking to start exporting versus the challenges of a seasoned exporter?

The top two beginner exporting questions are: 1) How to get paid and 2) How to ship products internationally.

a) How to get paid - International trade happens every day, and many institutions exist to help businesses obtain payment from various currencies. For example, private banks and other organizations can help transfer funds from different countries, and the Export-Import Bank of the United States will insure accounts receivables by charging a small percentage of the invoice.

b) How to ship products internationally – The important factor in shipping is knowing your customer and their country. The U.S. Government and State of Texas does not want businesses selling to fraudulent customers. Each country including the U.S. keeps a list of “denied” vendors available to protect exporting businesses from making transactions with vendors with a history of fraud or other bad intentions. After checking the denied vendors list, the beginner exporter will need a broker for shipping assistance and completing paperwork, such as UPS or Fedex. Both the U.S. and receiving destination customs will need to approve the shipments and will need a Certificate of Origin on incoming products. Each county will have different requirements, and if those are not met, customs can hold the shipments for months, possibly even destroying it.

A seasoned exporter’s biggest challenge is finding new customers in different markets.

5. What advice would you give to a business owner wanting to start exporting?

The West Texas DEC is a great starting point to ask questions and get advice from business owners who have experience with exporting. The group has a variety of government resources, and I encourage businesses to take advantage of those. The West Texas DEC is hosting an export conference on March 31, 2017 on the UTPB campus that will have simultaneous presentations for beginners and seasoned exporters. Keep up-to-date on the conference at www.exportexas.com/westtexas.

Industry

7

Seal Grinding Machine

Odessa MSA Exports

2013

2014

2015

137,059,164

166,551,938

91,882,512