India’s Current Infrastructure Slows Growth

Global exporters eye India covetously: its 1 billion-strong population signals broad growth for consumer goods and services. And, it continues to attract professional services outsourcing. The country is a magnet. But all that is contingent on a balanced, multi-modal plan that transports the populace freely throughout the nation, and that moves raw materials and manufactured goods along the supply chain.

Someday the GQ Highway will rise above the traffic jams of Bangalore (Photo by Ed Kashi for National Geographic).

McKinsey & Co. conducted a study for the government of India, in which it reports that losses due to inefficiency in logistics infrastructure nationwide could triple to $140 billion annually in the next one decade (up from $45 billion in 2007), if increased usage of rail and optimal utilization of waterways is not achieved.

Though Kinsey based its conclusions upon a detailed analysis of a flow of three main commodities — coal, auto components and agricultural goods – of equal importance is efficient movement of India’s citizenry via mass transit. Not surprisingly, McKinsey emphasizes increased usage of rail and waterways in India, vs. burdening the road network.

India, with its billion-plus population and high-density living, needs scalable, clean transport infrastructure to realize its role as future power in world commerce. Therefore, I see the country as top choice for export expansion for providers of goods and services that improve how people move and live: engineering, construction, architecture, and all related goods and services.

Read more at McKinsey Quarterly.
Also, an informative feature article on the nation’s Golden Quadrilateral (GQ) Highway plan in National Geographic.

Hanson Marketing Capabilities Presentation

Hanson Marketing Global Sales Channels Drive Export Success

New and improved: capabilities presentation <a href="“>here.

Brazil Emerges as Venture Capital Magnet

Another fine entry from the excellent globalEDGE blog at Michigan State University points to another, exciting market development in South America: Venture Capital-led growth in Brazil.

“Brazil’s amazing growth is being fueled by their abundant natural resources, stable government policies, a strong banking sector, a middle class that now comprises 50% of the population and a surge in development preparing for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.”

Tasty enough for you? Read more here

Superporto do Acu

Need proof positive? Check out the Highway to China, a megaport being constructed by Chinese concerns, just off the coast of Rio.

White House Releases National Export Initiative Report

The president’s Export Promotion Cabinet has released its report to President Obama.

In so doing, Commerce Secretary Locke commented, “As American consumers spend a little less and save a little more, it has never been more important to connect U.S. businesses to the 95 percent of the world’s consumers who live outside our borders. Helping American companies sell more abroad will create jobs and boost our economy. This report is a blueprint for doing just that.”

On the same day, the European Union announced that it has signed its free trade agreement with its first Asian FTA partner-nation, South Korea. There’s a “safeguard” clause inserted to protect the small car industry from “sudden surges of imports in sensitive sectors, including small cars.” This added by Italy on behalf of FIAT. This development adds momentum to conclude our nation’s promising negotiations with South Korea, soon.

The Export Promotion Cabinet includes the Secretaries of Commerce, State, Treasury, Agriculture and Labor and the heads of all the trade-related government agencies. Its report provides an overview of the progress of the NEI and lays out a plan for reaching the President’s goals of doubling U.S. exports in five years to support several million new jobs. For a concise, brief executive summary of the report, visit the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration’s website.

Border Governors Conference: US-Mexico Relations

Santa Fe, New Mexico is site of the latest in a series of Border Governors Conferences, taking place right now. Hosted by Governors Schwarzenegger (CA) and Richardson (NM), the governors of US and Mexico border states – Arizona, Baja California, California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, New Mexico, Sonora, Tamaulipas and Texas – are hashing out vital issues tied to Border Security, Economic Development and Energy.

Why is this referred to as an “interim” conference? Read more at Wikipedia and here. (Hint: the conference was originally to be hosted by the governor of Arizona.)

The only problem is that 3 of the 4 US state governors are no-shows… Govs. Brewer of AZ and Perry of TX, lodging a counter-protest; and Gov. Schwarzenegger, with schedule conflicts. So – the teeth were kind of pulled out of this event right there.

Why should we listen when these six Mexican and four US governors talk? Because their 10 Border States represent a joint economy that ranks third in the world. And, with 42 different ports of entry, the region also represents one of the most dynamic trade and border crossing regions in the world.

Gov. Schwarzenegger is the state’s A-List deal maker; his recent trip to China resulted in preliminary agreements with Chinese suppliers for a high-speed, north-south rail link for the Golden State. (just as in the 19th century, China again contributes to Western US rail expansion… this time through infrastructure technology!) And, Gov. Richardson just secured a grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) targeting expansion of cross-border commercial rail service between New Mexico and Nuevo Leon (and he was Pres. Obama’s early nominee for Secretary of Commerce). Read previous Nitty Gritty Marketing posts on EDA here and here.

Where Future Cool Is Born: DEMO in Santa Clara

In sunny Santa Clara, DEMO Fall 10 is underway. It’s an homage to the magic that happens when a crowd of influential analysts and investors stands elbow to elbow to watch a succession of 6-minute demos on stage.

What future cool products were once hatched on this stage? The likes of Adobe Acrobat. TiVo. E-Trade. No slouches, these.

Learn more here. Or, visit DEMO’s cool webpage dashboard for real-time goings-on.

Rev Up Your Sales Machine: San Diego Event Coming

For San Diego-area readers: I co-chair the Marketing & Sales Roundtable for TechAmerica San Diego, and we’re planning a breakfast event for Thursday, Sept. 16 that you may like.

Many compensation plans simply don’t produce the desired sales behaviors or results, leading to millions of dollars of unrealized sales. Distinguished panelists have Sales and HR VP backgrounds in direct, channel, key account and inside sales.

Leave a reply here or e-mail me ( and I’ll send you the event link. Hope you can join us!

Most Successful Imports to China? Finished Goods

Most successful, yes … but certainly harder to attain, as a great deal of imports to the country are raw materials or components. A notably successful import strategy to China includes finished consumer packaged goods, specialty/gourmet foods, household wares and — here’s a long shot — apparel. Or, value-add goods such as specialty components for the automotive, maritime, or heavy equipment manufacturing sectors.

Systems and process control hardware and software, and the professional services they require, are also primo targets for companies around the world that wish to open up new markets in China. Same goes for pharmaceuticals, construction equipment, mass transit systems, civil engineering, architectural and urban planning services, agricultural goods and processing equipment, IT services.

Whether for an industrial product or service, or a popular consumer item, the rules of brand management apply: Brand equity must convey a “made only here” image that captures the attention of customers and consumers in China who value quality and durability.

Tariffs Among NAFTA Nations Not Dead Yet

As previously featured on this blog, trucking rights for Mexican companies in the US has been NAFTA’s most-enduring hot potato issue, since its ratification 15 years ago. This is tied into the US’ non-compliance with NAFTA’s international trucking provisions. While US companies already operate freely in Mexico, the inverse has not yet come to pass.

A recent editorial in Wall Street Journal relates that “The newest USA products on Mexico’s list face tariffs of 5 to 25 percent, up from zero or near zero under NAFTA. The higher tariffs likely will eliminate the Mexican market for the affected U.S. companies that export to Mexico. Washington state apples and California oranges and pistachios, among other things, will now cost 20% more in Mexico than they did last week. Cheeses from California and Wisconsin now face a 25% tariff. In all, the current round will hit products exported to Mexico from 43 states, with Delaware, Mississippi and South Dakota added to the list… Mexico’s revised tariff list adds products and subtracts others from the initial list to keep the affected imports at basically the same level. But the net number of U.S.-made products rose by 10”.

The Bush Administration in 2007 (reluctantly, it appears… NAFTA provisions called for it in 2001) launched a pilot program to allow a limited number of Mexican long-haul trucks into the U.S. and test their safety. The program demonstrated that Mexican trucks are as safe as their U.S. counterparts. However, the pilot program was canceled in 2009.

Credits and read more:
– Nitty Gritty Marketing,“NAFTA Wink-Nudge Stalls Mexico’s Trucking in US”

Houston Chronicle coverage

Wall Street Journal, “The Teamster Tariffs”

Chile Mining Rescue and Recovery

Camp Hope: San Jose, Chile

A break from my usual theme and tone to comment on the extraordinary story from Chile about rescuing 33 miners who are trapped a half-mile underground, after a cave-in on August 5.

The rescue will not be easy or fast, and is expected to last between two and four months from now. Getting supplies to the miners is a difficult operation. The rescue team has already begun sending them sugar water, medicine and nutrients, as well as letters from their loved ones. Each transmit of goods takes an hour to reach the miners and another hour back.

The plan now is to drill three shafts — one for communications, another to send food, oxygen and other supplies, and a third for ventilation. The actual rescue will not be through any of these shafts. A new 26-inch diameter vertical tunnel will have to be drilled in order to lift the miners up, one by one. I wonder how long each conveyance will take, and what it will it feel like to be hoisted through a two-foot-wide pipe, a half-mile upward? Imagine hearing the first voices, catching the first glimpse of sun, and feeling the air change from ventilated to fresh?

The miners will be working, too, receiving (small-sized) machinery the rescue teams will lower to them in pieces, then learning how to assemble and use it. They will break ground from the bottom up, clean out the material that will fall, and guide the machinery working above ground, while widening their own rescue tunnel.

So – imagine your worst day at work, and compare it to what these 33 guys are enduring. By the time their faces meet the sun, some five months will have passed.

Read more at this excellent series of dispatches and articles at Global Post.

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