ITA offers an opportunity to explore Thailand and Philippine export markets

By Erin Voegele | July 11, 2012

The U.S. Department of Commerce International Trade Administration is leading a Renewable Energy Trade mission to Manila, Philippines and Bangkok, Thailand in September. The event, which is being organized in conjunction with U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service and USFCS staff members in Manila and Bangkok, aims to offer U.S. companies a timely and cost effective way to engage markets in these countries. The ITA published a notice of the event in the July 9 issue of the Federal Register, noting that the mission can provide U.S. companies with a means to engage in key stakeholders, government officials and potential partners in these markets.

Biomass, waste-to-energy and biogas technologies represent some of the sectors that have been targeted for the mission. Others include geothermal, hydropower, wind power and solar power. According to the ITA, both the Philippines and Thailand rank highly on its Renewable Energy Best Prospects Study, which aims to identify markets that show good potential for U.S. exports of renewable energy goods and services.

The ITA has noted that the five-day mission includes meetings with high-level national government officials, as well as one-on-one meetings with potential partners and industry leaders. Additional activities will include briefing on local markets, site visits, and meetings with members of the Asia Development Bank.

At Biomass Magazine, we’ve seen growing interest and activity in biomass-related project development in Asia, spanning from biobased chemical production to biomass power and thermal systems, pellet production and advanced biofuels. I think the ITA is offering members of the U.S. biorefining and biopower sectors a highly valuable opportunity to explore the possibility of expanding their presence into the Asian market. It is my sincere hope that our readers will jump at this opportunity. I encourage those who are interested in the program to apply as soon as possible, as the number of attendees is limited.

According to the notice published by the ITA, a minimum of 10 and maximum of 20 companies will be selected to participate in the event, representing a cross-section of U.S. industries that have developed products and services from the renewable energy sector. In other words, the ITA will select a group of delegates that represents not only the biomass sector, but the solar, wind, geothermal and hydropower sectors as well.

Those interested in participating are directed to complete and submit an application package, which will be considered by the Department of Commerce. The notice specifies that applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis, and applicants will be judged on their ability to certain conditions related to selection criteria. This includes suitability of your product or service to the market, your potential for business in the Philippines and Thailand, and the consistency of your goals and objectives with the scope of the mission. An applicans must also provide adequate information on its products and services, market objectives, and participation goals. Applicants must also certify that the products and services it is seeking to export are either produced in the U.S., or are marketed under the name of a U.S. firm and have at least 51 percent U.S. content in the finished product or service.

Companies selected for participation are required to pay a participation fee. The fee for small or medium-sized firms is $2,130 while the fee for large firms is $3,835. There is an additional fee of $850 for each additional firm representative that attends. These fees do not cover travel, lodging, meal or incidental expenses.

In my opinion, the trade mission represents an exciting opportunity for biomass companies that have been considering expansion into the Philippines or Thailand to gather more information on the market and touch base with potential project partners.

For additional information, please see the Federal Register website