About the Author: David Adelman serves as U.S. Ambassador to Singapore.
America's economic recovery and job creation will be powered by exports. Helping U.S. businesses bring their products to markets in Asia is at the top of our agenda here in Singapore. My father was a salesman, and one of the things he taught me was to always "work your way home." Last month when I traveled to Washington, D.C. for a conference, I followed my father's advice and stopped in five cities on my way back to promote U.S. exports to Asia, where I currently serve as U.S. Ambassador to Singapore. While Singapore may be one of the world's smallest countries by size, it is a business hub and has become one of our top ten export markets.
Together with our embassy's Commercial Counselor, Dan Thompson, I covered, five cities in five days. We started in Houston and made our way up the West Coast, from San Diego to Los Angeles, San Francisco and ending up in Seattle. In each city, we met with American companies interested in looking for new markets overseas, especially to Asia. We spoke to groups of dozens of businesses and had one-on-one meetings. We also organized panel presentations by successful American exporters. Singapore is at the center of Southeast Asia, a region with 600 million people and some of the fastest growing economies in the world, with growing middle classes that appreciate and can afford quality U.S. products. As a distribution hub, Singapore has networks that can help move our exports to customers in all important Asian markets.
While in Los Angeles ,we met with Pelican Products, which started out as a small business making equipment for sport divers and became a major manufacturer of specialized containers. Pelican now has six manufacturing plants across the United States employing about 1,400 people, and sales offices around the world to market their products. Pelican was a great example of how even small businesses can become exporters. We had a great discussion at their headquarters about the opportunities in Singapore and Southeast Asia, and the support the U.S. Embassy and the rest of the U.S. government can provide to help break into new markets.
President Obama set an ambitious goal for us in his National Export Initiative this year to double exports in five years, and we'll be working to meet and exceed that goal in Singapore. I'm planning to make two more trips back to the United States next year to the Southeast and East Coast to support American businesses. Our U.S. Foreign and Commercial Service office here in Singapore specializes in helping small and medium-sized enterprises find new overseas markets. If you'd like to take advantage of their services, please contact them directly by telephone at (+65) 6476- 9037 or via email Office.Singapore@trade.gov or find your nearest U.S. Export Assistance Center by calling 1-800-USA-TRADE.