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USTDA's program creates a win-win scenario by promoting U.S. exports to advance economic growth in developing and middle-income countries. Because of the flexibility of USTDA’s program, its partners are able to obtain financing from a variety of sources: U.S. government finance institutions, commercial banks, private equity funds, multilateral institutions and local development banks, among others.  The availability of multiple financing resources increases the likelihood of project implementation, which in turn increases the potential for greater developmental impacts and more U.S. exports.  

Connecting U.S. Firms with Foreign Buyers

The Agency connects foreign project sponsors with U.S. manufacturers and service providers in order to open new export markets and identify commercial opportunities for U.S. companies through:

  • Reverse Trade Missions
  • Conferences and Workshops
Reverse Trade Missions

Reverse trade missions bring foreign decision-makers to the United States to observe the design, manufacture and operation of U.S. products and services that can help them achieve their development goals. These strategically planned visits present excellent opportunities for U.S. businesses to establish or enhance relationships with prospective overseas customers.

Visit our Events page for a current list of Reverse Trade Missions.

Conferences and Workshops

Worldwide conferences and workshops connect U.S. firms with foreign project sponsors. These sector- and project-specific events are designed to showcase U.S. goods and services to foreign decision-makers. U.S. firms have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with overseas project sponsors. These events also provide U.S. companies with an understanding of U.S. government programs and the role they can play in supporting increased exports, from advocacy support to financing options.

Visit our Events page for a current list of Conferences and Workshops.

Project Preparation: Getting it right from the Start

USTDA is unique among federal agencies in that it is mandated to engage the U.S. private sector in development projects at the critical early stages when the projects’ technology options and requirements are being defined.  By highlighting opportunities for the use of U.S. expertise and technology when they can effectively be incorporated into project preparation, the Agency increases opportunities for the use of U.S. exports in project implementation. 

Effective project preperation is key to attract and mobilize private sector capital in key regions.  A common refrain – from both investors and host country project developers – is that capital exists, but well-prepared projects are what is most needed.  As the World Economic Forum (WEF) reported, “While there is plenty of private-sector interest in financing bankable projects, the available project-preparation resources are insufficient to advance the projects to a bankable state.”  The Agency’s project preparation tools help fill this critical need by providing the comprehensive analysis required to bring infrastructure projects from concept to financing and implementation.

USTDA provides grants directly to overseas sponsors who, in turn, select U.S. companies to perform Agency-funded project preparation activities. An overseas sponsor is a local entity, public or private, with the decision-making authority and ability to implement a project. Key project preparation activities include:

  • Feasibility Studies and Pilot Projects
  • Technical assistance
  • Training Programs
Feasibility Studies and Pilot Projects

U.S. company-led feasibility studies link foreign project sponsors with U.S. businesses at the critical early stage when technology options and project requirements are being defined. These studies provide the comprehensive analysis required for major infrastructure investments to achieve financing and implementation.

In some cases, export opportunities depend on a demonstration of the U.S. seller’s goods, services or technologies in the foreign buyer’s setting. In response, USTDA has increased the number of its pilot projects to test – and then scale – innovative U.S. solutions to global development challenges, particularly in energy and ICT.  USTDA-funded pilot projects demonstrate the effectiveness of commercially proven U.S. solutions and provide the analysis, evaluation and empirical data needed for potential foreign projects to secure funding.

Technical Assistance

USTDA advances economic development in partner countries by providing technical assistance that supports legal and regulatory reform related to commercial activities and infrastructure development, the establishment of industry standards, and other market-opening activities. These technical assistance programs facilitate favorable business and trade environments for U.S. goods and services.

Training Programs

USTDA provides training for foreign decision-makers to support the sale of U.S. equipment and services. Training, which can take place in either the United States or host country, typically focuses on technology or regulatory requirements in order to give project sponsors a better understanding of U.S. capabilities and expertise related to a procurement.