Who We Serve Industry Focus Regions of the World

Your Passport to International Markets, Sales and Profits

El Camino College's Center for International Trade Development (CITD) provides a full range of trade assistance services to companies and individuals in Los Angeles County and surrounding areas. We serve this area in collaboration with our sister CITDs in Pomona and Long Beach. All CITD services are either free or low cost. Whether you are a new or experienced company, small or large, we have experts and resources on every aspect of international trade ready to help you:
  • Assess your trade readiness and potential
  • Get started as an exporter, importer or intermediary
  • Research and identify promising markets or supply sources
  • Develop export market plans and entry strategies
  • Find qualified overseas buyers and distributors
  • Promote your products abroad
  • Respond to inquiries and quote requests
  • Comply with documentary and regulatory requirements
  • Finance sales and get paid
  • Transport the goods
Our featured services include: Through our network of federal, state and local partners, we can also help you with:
  • Matchmaking and representation
  • Trade events
  • Trade finance

Help-Ask Us - If you have an export or import question, or seek specific trade information, simply call or E-mail our Help Desk. We will get back to you with the answer, or direct you to other helpful sources in our partner network.

Export-Import Counseling - Call for a free initial consultation for expert advice on getting started as an exporter or importer, developing new markets, increasing your sales, or to just solve a problem. A CITD consultant will discuss your interests, objectives and needs, review your options, and suggest a course of action within your means. Click here for a list of CITD consultants by area of specialty.

Export Readiness Assessment - It's easy to take our computerized export readiness test. It assesses your export readiness based on your answers to 23 questions about your present operations, management and products. You receive an immediate point-by-point assessment of your export strengths and weaknesses, with advice and tips on how to overcome weaknesses and increase export readiness. Click here to take the Export Readiness Assessment test.

Training and Education - We offer practical training and education for exporters, importers, intermediaries and corporate staff at all levels of experience. We conduct our training in a variety of convenient forms, including workshops, certificate programs and customized functional training for corporate managers and staff. Call us for topics and dates that meet your needs. Click here for class schedules.

  • For exporters, learn whether exporting is for you, how to get started, and how to develop an export market plan, find best markets and customers, promote your products, respond to inquiries, quote prices, comply with regulatory requirements, handle the paperwork, deliver the goods, and get paid.
  • For export intermediaries, learn how to find products and clients to represent, match buyers and sellers, negotiate representation agreements, and protect your commissions against buyer-seller end runs.
  • For importers, learn how to source your products, find reputable suppliers, comply with import requirements, and clear goods through customs.
  • For corporate trainees, learn best on-the-job practices for your function, whether itÁs market research, planning, procurement, promotion, regulatory compliance, logistics, or trade finance.

Customized Export Market Planning - We'll help you develop an Export Market Plan tailored to your products, objectives and budget. We'll identify your most promising markets, suggest best ways to distribute, price and promote your products, and recommend specific steps to develop leads and business in each market. Customized

Market Research - You tell us what you need, and we'll retrieve it and send it to you. We have access to large databases of worldwide market research, including trade statistics, product market surveys, country guides and international trade regulations. We also have a number of basic publications on exporting and importing. Click here for available custom research options and trade publications.

Export-Import Directory - A place to promote your company and post your own export-import offers, find buyers and suppliers, and gain worldwide market exposure. Click here to list in or search the Trade Directory.

Hot Trade Leads - We have access to specific worldwide trade leads by product and/or country. Many of these leads are screened and reported daily by U.S. Embassy officers posted abroad (commercial and agricultural attaches). We can do a trade lead search on request or even automatically send you leads as they come in for the products you specify.

Matchmaking - Through our Federal and California partners, we can help you find qualified agents and distributors in your most promising markets. Partner matchmaking services offered through the U.S. Department of Commerce include:

  • International Partner Searches look for qualified overseas representatives for U.S. firms. U.S. embassy officers conduct the search and prepare a report identifying foreign prospects that have examined the U.S. firm's product literature and expressed interest in representing the U.S. firm's products.
  • Matchmaker Trade Delegations match U.S. firms with prospective agents, distributors, and other potential business partners in selected countries. Delegation members travel to each country and benefit from export counseling, interpreter service and logistics support, market research, in-depth market briefings, and a personalized itinerary of business appointments.
  • Gold Key Matching Services assist U.S. firms conducting business trips abroad. The service includes embassy orientation briefings, market research, introductions to potential partners, interpreter service for meetings, and assistance in developing a sound market strategy and effective follow-up.
  • International Company Profiles provide key details about a specified foreign firm's reputability, financial status, references, recommendations to assess their suitability as a potential trading partner for U.S. firms.

Trade Events - "Show and tell" is still the best way to generate export business. We'll tell you about our own and partner trade missions, trade shows and catalog shows and arrange for you to participate. Click here for the Trade Events Calendar.

Trade Finance - We can help you obtain financing for export activity through our collaborations with the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Export-Import Bank, including pre-export working capital, export operational financing, and export credit insurance.

7-Step Export Enabler Program

This exclusive CITD program is designed for motivated clients willing to commit to the 7-step process. Although we also offer the components individually, the benefits are cumulative. A successful outcome ÁV new, increased and ongoing export sales -- requires the dedication of both the CITD and you, the client. After a free consultation to gauge your interests and needs, the Export Enabler Program starts with increasing your capacity and readiness to export, proceeds to market identification and entry planning, and ends when you have established a market presence and distribution network for self-sustaining export sales. The CITD works closely with you each step of the way to help you succeed. REGISTRATION INFORMATION: Call (310) 973-3173 to find out how to participate! Step 1 - On-Site Competitiveness Audit: A CITD consultant will meet with key managers at your site to assess your current operations, capabilities and export needs. You get a customized assessment that thoroughly explores your operations and processes and recommends specific actions to increase your export efficiency, productivity and competitiveness. Step 2 - Export Readiness Assessment: A CITD consultant will assess your companyÁs export readiness and potential, based on your answers to 23 questions about your present resources, management attitudes, operating methods, and products. You get a point-by-point assessment of your export strengths and weaknesses, with tips on how to overcome weaknesses. Step 3 - Customized Export Training: CITD expert instructors will conduct practical workshops to increase your competency in export analysis, planning, distribution, pricing, promotion, compliance, logistics and finance. You get hands-on instruction and detailed reference materials for everyday use on the job. Step 4 - Customized Market Research: CITD analysts will conduct in-depth market research needed to identify and assess your most promising markets, develop market entry plans, and locate potential buyers and distributors. You get a compilation of market research tailored to your product lines, including relevant trade statistics, product market surveys, trade contacts and specific trade leads. Step 5 - Customized Export Market Plan: A CITD consultant will help you develop an export market plan that fits your available resources, capabilities and potentials. Your plan will provide a structured roadmap to export success, with specific recommendations on target markets, market entry strategies, prospective buyers and distributors, and a step-by-step action plan to keep you on track. Step 6 - Targeted Export Promotion: The CITD will help you increase your overseas market exposure and attract export inquiries and orders. You get advice and assistance to improve your companyÁs international Web presence, market more effectively on the Internet, post "sell" leads in export directories and trade lead systems, place media ads, and take part in trade shows, missions and other promotional events. Step 7 - Matchmaking and Transaction Support: The CITD will work with you and our partners to help you find, screen and select qualified overseas buyers and distributors and make export sales. You get buyer-distributor leads, background reports on top prospects, model sales contracts and agent-distributor agreements, and templates to respond to inquiries and calculate and quote prices. We will also connect you with services that can finance, insure and ship your goods and protect your legal interests.

3-Step Keystone Program

The Keystone Program combines up to four workshops of your choice with before and after expert consulting. It is designed to give a company or an individual the knowledge and preparation needed to make competent strategic and operational decisions on initiating or expanding international business activity. REGISTRATION INFORMATION: Call (310) 973-3173 to find out how to participate! Step 1: One-on-One Consulting Session -- The opening two-hour consulting session is designed to assess your objectives and needs. Under certain conditions, the opening session could be held at the your business site. During the opening session, the CITD consultant will make recommendations and help you set achievable goals to be completed by the end of the Keystone Program. Step 2: Hands-On Workshops -- Keystone participants can attend up to four workshops of their choice at special; discount rates. Our presenters are experts in their fields. You will be able to select your four Keystone workshops from over 20 workshop topics currently available at CITD. Courses range from introductory to more advanced export-import topics. Step 3: One-on-One Wrap-up Consulting Session -- Once you complete your workshops, you will again meet with the CITD consultant to evaluate your progress and to see whether you have arrived at the goal or goals you set for yourself in the opening consulting session. Completing the Keystone Program opens the door to all other CITD personalized services.

Custom Research Options

  • U.S. Export/Import Statistics
  • Industry/Product Market Research
  • Country Market Research
  • Trade Regulations

U.S. Export/Import Statistics: Clients specify the products (by HS code, up to 10 digits) and/or countries to be covered. All tables show dollar values and percent growth rates over the latest 5-year period. Options include:

  • Top Markets for [specified products] -- This table shows the largest and fastest growing destinations for any specified U.S. export products or product categories. Call for sample table.
  • Top Foreign Sources of [specified products] -- This table shows the largest and fastest growing supply sources for any specified products or product categories imported into the U.S. Call for sample table.
  • Top U.S. Exports to [specified markets] -- This table shows the largest and fastest growing U.S. exports to the world or to any specified country or region. Call for sample table.
  • Top U.S. Imports from [specified markets] -- This table shows the largest and fastest growing U.S. imports from the world or from any specified country or region. Call for sample table.

Industry/Product Market Research: Clients specify the industries or products to be researched. The reports assess the market potential for the industry or product for the world as a whole or for a specied region or country.

  • Best Market Reports assess the overall world market potential for a specific U.S. industry and identify the most promising individual markets (e.g., "Best Export Markets for Apparel." The market recommendations are based on analysis of demand trends, the competition, and receptivity to U.S. products. Call for report structure and contents.
  • Product Market Surveys are in-depth reports on the market for a specific U.S. industry sector or sub-sector in a specific country (e.g. "Market for U.S. Leisure Wear in Saudi Arabia:"). The reports analyze demand trends, the competition, business practices, distribution channels, promotional opportunities, and any relevant trade barriers. They also list relevant trade contacts in the country. Call for report structure and contents.

Country Market Research: Clients specify the countries to be researched.

  • Country Market Guides are comprehensive assessments of the market potential and political, economic and business climate in a specific country. In up to 17 chapters and 80 pages, they cover the country's economic trends and outlook, the political situation, its trade policies, regulations and business practices; key trade contacts; the leading sectors for U.S. exports; and how best to market U.S. products and services in the country. Call for report structure and contents.
  • Country Trade Regulations assess and describe the trade laws,regulations and policies in a specified country, including key tariff and non-tariff barriers.

Trade Publications

The following publications are available and may be ordered in print or diskette versions:

Exporting Basics -- $25.00. Exporting Basics, by Maurice Kogon, is a 91-page practical guide to exporting for new and less experienced exporters, with many illustrative Appendices. Chapter 1 deals with the benefits, costs and risks of exporting; what it takes to export, how to get started, and where to go for help. Chapter 2 explains how to plan for export; identify and select promising markets; determine entry strategies for each market; increase overseas market exposure; and find qualified buyers and distributors. Chapter 3 explains how to respond to export inquiries; quote prices, check out prospects; prepare goods for delivery; comply with documentary and regulatory requirements; ship the goods; and get paid.

Export Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) -- $10.00. Export FAQs answers a wide range of questions in 12 key aspects of exporting, including:

  • Starting Up
  • Assessing Export Readiness
  • Understanding Trade Terms and Codes
  • Market Analysis & Planning
  • Identifying & Assessing Markets
  • Complying with U.S. Export Regulations
  • Accessing Foreign Markets
  • Finding Suppliers, Buyers & Distributors
  • Filing Required Documentation
  • Preparing and Shipping the Goods
  • Getting Paid