U.S. trade agency forms partnership with Norfolk
The Arlington-based U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has formed a partnership with Norfolk’s Department of Development through the agency’s Making Global Local program.
USTDA is an independent federal agency that connects U.S. businesses to global infrastructure projects, most often in the transportation, energy and telecommunications sectors and exclusively in emerging markets, such as Brazil, Mexico, Turkey and South Africa.
USTDA’s mandate is to invest in projects that lead to economic growth in emerging markets, while also identifying business opportunities for U.S. industry.
The agency generates business for U.S. firms by getting them involved early in the planning process for infrastructure projects by funding feasibility studies, technical assistance and pilot projects.
During the past three years, the agency has formed strategic partnerships with more than 40 key trade promotion organizations.
USTDA collaborates with its Making Global Local partners most closely on its reverse trade mission program, ensuring that delegations from foreign countries visit key industry clusters and innovative firms in the U.S.
On May 28, Norfolk will host an export seminar at the Community Room of the city’s Slover Library. USTDA will explain the opportunities it offers and show how Hampton Roads businesses can take advantage of them through the agency's partnership with the city.
An estimated 40 percent of the local Hampton Roads region and 30 percent of the commonwealth's economy are dependent on the Department of Defense's activities. As a result, Norfolk is encouraging its businesses to look abroad as it seeks to diversify the local economy.
The city has begun a fund to promote more exports. The Global Initiatives Fund, the first of its kind in Virginia and the U.S., is designed to support local exporters that need access to capital.
The fund is one of four investment tools developed under the Norfolk First Investment Initiative. It is capitalized with Community Development Block Grants and other federal funds.