The deadline is closing soon, but if you’re an Oklahoma-based company in search of a stable market with solid partnership opportunities, look north to our largest trade partner.

StitchCrew is working with the government of Canada to identify 10 U.S. companies interested in exploring investment, trade or R&D opportunities with Canadian firms.

No sectors are ruled out, but there is a particular focus on firms interested in energy, aerospace or Native American Tribal-owned firms.

The deadline for applying is Wednesday, Mar. 27, 2019. Application link is here.

Reach out to Erika Lucas at StitchCrew for more information.

 

After more than two decades of existence, the leaders of the U.S., Canada and Mexico are open to updating the free-trade agreement to stay caught up with the digital age. President Donald Trump notified Congress on May 18 of its intent to renegotiate NAFTA, which triggered a 90-day period before negotiations with Canada and Mexico begin. In an effort to hear from Oklahoma businesses, farmers and manufacturers who will be impacted.

According to the U.S. Commercial Service, comments on a total of seventeen topics will help inform the direction, focus, and content of the NAFTA negotiations include:

  • Digital Trade
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Regulatory Practices
  • State-Owned Enterprises
  • Services
  • Customs Procedures
  • Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
  • Labor
  • Environment
  • Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Directions for submitting comments via the Federal Register Notice:

  1. Visit www.regulations.gov and search for docket number USTR-2017-0006
  2. Click the “Comment Now!” button to make your voice heard

Written comments must be submitted to the U.S. Trade Representative no later than Monday, June 12, 2017. A hearing will be held on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at 9:00 am, in the Main Hearing Room at the U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E St. SW, Washington DC, 20436. Persons wishing to testify orally at the hearing must provide written notification of their intention by Monday, June 12, 2017.

Are you in the aerospace sector or involved in serving customers who work in it?

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce has STEP Grant Funds available that may help offset costs of participation at the Paris Air Show on June 19-22, 2017. But you must apply ASAP. Here is the registration form for the STEP Grants.

As noted on ODOC’s website, “The Oklahoma STEP Forward Enhancement Fund is part of the State Trade Expansion (STEP) Grant Program, an export promotion initiative to make matching-fund grants assisting small businesses in Oklahoma. The intent of this program is to increase the number of small businesses that are exporting, and to increase the value of exports for those small businesses that are currently exporting…

“The STEP program is a matching grant which pays a portion of participation costs and travel expenses to exhibit at designated international trade shows. Matching reimbursement varies by show.”

If you have any questions, please reach out to OK Department of Commerce International Trade Specialist Jesse Garcia.

If you missed the October 2016 version of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce’s monthly publication, The New Pioneer, you may have missed the good news for Oklahoma’s aerospace and defense industry, whose products and parts account for $4.1 million in Oklahoman exports to the Republic of South Korea, an astounding 350 percent increase from the previous year.

From ODOC,

“Oklahoma Secretary of State Chris Benge signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with officials from the South Korean province of South Gyeongsang. The signing took place in Changwon, South Korea with a small delegation, including a representative from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce joining Secretary Benge.

The agreement is the result of months of work by both parties and fosters collaboration and trade through the exchange of industry expertise and reciprocal visits by senior officials.

Both regions have a large presence in the aerospace sector. Oklahoma is home to the American Airlines facility in Tulsa, the largest commercial aircraft maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) depot in the world and the largest U.S. Department of Defense depot at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma City. Gyeongsang is the largest province in South Korea for manufacturing and the South Korean economy is the world’s 11th largest.

“Both Oklahoma and South Gyeongsang are internationally recognized as hubs for the aerospace industry, and leaders in manufacturing and innovation,” said Benge. “This reciprocal agreement is a win-win for both parties and brings with it many potential opportunities for Oklahoma companies to expand sales of products made here to the growing South Korean market.”

The MOU and recent dialog among government leaders serve as a framework for South Korean companies to invest in Oklahoma and create new jobs in the state.”

Read the full article here, or check out the October 2016 edition of the The New Pioneer for more information about business in Oklahoma.

(Top photo: Oklahoma Secretary of State Chris Benge signed an MOU with officials from the South Korean province of South Gyeongsang in September 2016. Courtesy of Oklahoma Department of Commerce.)

 

Governor Fallin and a delegation of state officials from her cabinet, including OKGIT member and Secretary of Commerce and Tourism Deby Snodgrass, went wheels up on Friday for a visit to the 2015 Paris Air Show.

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase Oklahoma as a top destination for the global aerospace industry,” Fallin told the Tulsa World. “We believe Oklahoma’s business climate, strong economy, educated workforce and high quality of life make it an obvious choice for both commercial and military aerospace companies considering expansion into North America.”

Also attending will be cabinet member Stephen McKeever, the secretary of Science and Technology.

Oklahoma’s aerospace industry is known worldwide, and Governor Fallin has become a regular at events like the Paris Air Show as a spokeswoman selling potential investors on the Sooner State.

According to an article on www.newsok.com, Choctaw Defense (McAlester)Frankfurt Short Bruza (Oklahoma City)Janeway Machine (Sapulpa)M&M Manufacturing (Tulsa) and Rise Manufacturing (Broken Arrow) also will be part of the delegation.

Despite criticism in the past about the need and costs associated with the governor’s personal attendance at such international events, the delegation’s cost will be paid for by the Oklahoma Business Roundtable.

Yet the trips by high-ranking officials like the governor indicate that the state is serious in attracting investment. Governor Fallin cited the results of her previous attendance at similar air shows overseas in a statement to the Associated Press, touting the investments by Belgium-based ASCO Aerospace, Ferra Engineering of Australia and Swiss-based Oerlikon Balzers.

Once finished in Paris, the governor will continue on to a business recruiting mission in Italy and Germany.

Though the energy industry receives much of the coverage for its impact on Oklahoma, the state boasts a wide range of sectors and products that appeal to foreign markets.

Subrina Chow - Courtesy of www.norcalwtc.org

Subrina Chow – Courtesy of www.norcalwtc.org

The Journal Record’s Brian Brus chronicled the visit of a delegation from one such market who visited Oklahoma City this week. Subrina Chow, a representative at the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in San Fransisco met with a number of government and commercial representatives in a stop at the state capitol, including Governor Mary Fallin.

According to the article, Chow’s visit was to learn more about suppliers for Hong Kong’s growing need for food products, manufactured goods and computer equipment. The state’s aerospace and biotech sectors were also areas of interest for the former British colony, which since 1997 has been a part of the People’s Republic of China under the “One country, two systems” governing strategy.

Of $40 billion in U.S. exports to China in 2014, Oklahoma exports only accounted for $41 million, a drop  from the $43.7 million the state sent to the People’s Republic in 2002 when then-Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating visited the island as a member of a trade delegation.  However, Oklahoma’s solid agricultural base provides opportunities for the steady, if slowing, Chinese economy.

By Daniel Mayer - via Wikipedia Commons GDFL.

By Daniel Mayer – via Wikipedia Commons GDFL.

Though the American beef industry’s exports have been hard hit due to a rising U.S. dollar and overhang from last year’s West Coast port strikes,  there was growth in the U.S.’s 2014 beef exports to Hong Kong, which is now the third highest beef importer globally behind Japan and Mexico according to an article at Oklahoma Farm Report by Oklahoma State University’s Derrell S. Peel. While Peel notes that January beef exports to Hong Kong were down by 33 percent, the end of the port strikes and demand in Hong Kong will likely return exports to a positive output.

If you would like to read the full report from The Journal Record about Ms. Chow’s visit, please click here. If you or your business would like to learn more about doing business in Hong Kong, please visit the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office’s website here.

 

 

 

Oklahoma City- based Electro Enterprises Inc. was recently awarded the Export Achievement Certificate from the U.S. Commercial Service. We sat down with Electro Enterprises’ Mitch Enright to discuss the military and aerospace company’s work in Oklahoma and the challenges and benefits of exporting from the Sooner State.

What does Electro Enterprises Inc. do?

“Electro Enterprises is stocking distributor of interconnect, electro-mechanical, wire and cable, and wire harness management products for the military and aerospace industries. For more than 40 years, Electro Enterprises has been providing superior electronic components at competitive prices to various markets around the world.”

Electro Enterprises recent 36,000 square foot factory extension.

Electro Enterprises recent 36,000 square foot factory extension.

How many employees do you have in Oklahoma? How many more are outside the state? 

“In Oklahoma we have 140 employees, with an additional 43 located outside the state.”

Can you give me an idea of how much Electro Enterprises Inc. relies on exporting its products outside the U.S.?

“Exports make up roughly 15 percent of Electro’s total sales, which amounts to over $13 million in sales. Beyond this, exporting our products to companies around the world allows us to expand our customer base, reach new markets, and create relationships with manufacturers that we otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to work with.”

What are some of the challenges Electro Enterprises Inc. faces in exporting from Oklahoma? Are there some benefits from exporting from Oklahoma as well?

“It is extremely important for us to ensure that we are exporting all of our products within the rules and regulations set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce as well as the U.S. Department of Defense. Being heavily entrenched in the military and aerospace industries, some of the items we sell are ITAR controlled and, as a result, we must make sure to apply for export licenses whenever applicable. Over the years, we have a created an internal export control system that allows us to successfully manage the export of products to our international customers.”

Looking back to when Electro Enterprises Inc. first began producing items for export, is there any advice that the company would provide to fellow firms in Oklahoma who are considering forging international ties and exporting?

“It is imperative for companies new to exporting to reach out to your local Department of Commerce office and sign up for export training. There are numerous export seminars that companies and attend at minimal cost. These seminars will provide the basic information that all companies need to know in order to export within all of the rules and regulations set forth by the Government of United States.

“While Electro Enterprises has been exporting for many years, we still make it a point to attend these seminars yearly.”

 

OKGIT member and Director of Oklahoma City’s Dialogue Institute Ersin Demerci recently penned an extensive look into Oklahoma’s growing aerospace industry for Ameri-Turkic Magazine. It is republished here with their permission.

The story of aviation often begins with Leonardo Da Vinci`s design for flying machines which would later inspire the Wright brothers and the famous sustainer Kitty Hawk in 1903. Even the most enthusiastic aviators in early 1900s would have struggled to believe the way in which the powered flight would evolve this much during the first 100 years of aviation industry. Starting from Wilbur and Orville Wright in 1903 with a basic wind tunnel to latest technology TRI model wind tunnels, the first hundred years of flight was just fascinating. Predicting what advancements we may witness in the store of the next 100 years of aviation is just as challenging.

Many people outside the state of Oklahoma have no idea the role of the state has played in the history of the aerospace industry. Oklahoma has been one of the world`s major aerospace industry centers since World War II. Clyde Cessna began testing aircraft in the state during the early decades of the 20th century. While other states struggling to recover after World War II, Oklahoma already had two airlines founded; Tulsa-Oklahoma City Airways and Southwest Air Fast Express. The Sooner State is one of only seven global aerospace hubs and home to the largest military aircraft Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) operations in the United States. The American Airlines maintenance center in Tulsa is the largest commercial MRO in the world. Oklahoma`s Spaceport is one of only a few in the country and with a 13,500-ft main runway, has one of the largest runways in North America. With nearly 5 million square feet of aviation-suited commercial space within a 4-mile radius of two international airports and the Air Force Base, the state fully supports local and international aerospace companies.Drone and Info

Economic forecast for the growth of global aerospace industry are expected to increase rapidly in a decade. Already recognized as “global aerospace hub”, Oklahoma is leading the way and promising great opportunities for businesses and investors. There are more than 500 aerospace companies contributing over $12.5 billion to the state`s economy such as Boeing, American Airlines, NORDAM and Spirit AeroSystems. According to Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Oklahoma`s parts and component industry exports to more than 170 countries around the world which brings $4.4 billion to the state.

Oklahoma`s aerospace industry is supported by comprehensive training infrastructures. The Federal Aviation Administration Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center is the central training and support facility in the U.S. for the FAA and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The center trains more than 20,000 students each year. 12 Oklahoma colleges and universities have undergraduate and graduate level programs and six centers with dedicated training for the aerospace industry. With an existing pool of skilled labor and a system that delivers a pipeline of well-trained workers, Oklahoma`s reputation as the MRO hub of the United States, continues to gain momentum. Oklahoma is one of the few states provide variety of Business Incentive Packages for the aerospace industry such as Quality Jobs Program, Investment or New Jobs Tax Credit, 21st Century Quality Jobs Programs, Aerospace Industry Engineer Tax Credit, Small Employer Quality Jobs Program and Economic Development Pooled Finance Program.

Leading Unmanned Aerial Systems on all fronts

An unmanned Aerial System is a reconnaissance vehicle; an aerial vehicle capable of operating without an internal pilot; are tethered by a radio control link; and can be programmed for both flight and payload operations prior to launch. Today, unmanned aircraft are flying in the National Aerospace System (NAS) under very controlled conditions, performing border and port surveillance by the Department of Homeland Security, helping with scientific research and environmental monitoring by NASA and NOAA, supporting public safety by law enforcement agencies, helping state universities conduct research, firefighting, border patrol, disaster relief, search and rescue, military training and other operational missions.

Over the past few years, UASs have undergone a radical transformation. Although commercial drones are not legal yet, reports show that companies are already willing to pay high salaries. According to Al Palmer, director of the center for UAS at University of North Dakota, drone pilots are paid about $50 an hour. It is expected that the use of UAS for commercial use will have a big impact across a wide variety of industries. BI Intelligence predicts that 12% of an estimated $98 billion in cumulative global spending on aerial drones over the next decade will be for commercial purposes. Currently, only UAS used for recreational and filmmaking purposes are allowed with the FAA approval.

Uses

Commercial Applications of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems

Economic forecasts for the growth of the Unmanned Aerial Systems industry, both worldwide and in the U.S., indicate a burgeoning industry set to grow rapidly. For the United States Defense Department alone, expenditures on UAS will rise from its current $3.9 billion per year to over $5.5 billion by 2025. The world market will also triple over the next decade from the current $5.9 billion annually to a projected $15.1 billion. It is estimated that seventy percent of the world Research and Design (R&D) and procurement market in UAS will belong to U.S by the year 2020. AUVSI estimates almost 50,000 jobs will be created in the primary UAS market by the year 2015, with $106.6 million annually wages. With its central location, ideal terrain, research and development capabilities, training programs, business incentives, comprehensive UAS infrastructure, Oklahoma is expected to lead the industry.

Oklahoma`s rich history in aerospace has added to the sheer volume of unmanned aircraft development. The state is leading the on Unmanned Aerial Systems development efforts on all fronts. The state has established the world`s first university graduate degree in UAS at Oklahoma State University (OSU). “I would like Oklahoma to be the Silicon Valley of UAS!” said OSU President Burn Hargis during an open innovation forum on UAS hosted by the university.

Sources: Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Oklahoma Aeronautics and Space Commission, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems Association.