State Department Tools and Resources

  • BIDS: The Business Information Database System (BIDS) gives U.S. businesses up to the minute information about significant foreign government and multilateral development bank procurements. Through an interactive map interface, businesses can find new export opportunities, validated by U.S. government economic and commercial experts overseas. Public and private partners can link to or download BIDS data for matchmaking, analysis, or other purposes.
  • Direct Line for American Business: The Direct Line for American Business program connects U.S. businesses and American Ambassadors and U.S. mission personnel overseas, making you part of our “country team.” You will get up to the minute information on markets vital to your business, and learn about new sectors and tenders to help you expand your business.
  • Office of Commercial and Business Affairs (CBA): CBA coordinates State Department advocacy on behalf of American businesses. We provide assistance in opening markets, leveling the playing field, providing commercial information and identifying market opportunities for American firms, advocating on their behalf, engaging them via teleconference with U.S. Ambassadors overseas, and encouraging corporate social responsibility.
  • Business Visa Center (BVC): The Business Visa Center (BVC) is part of the Department of State’s ongoing effort to better facilitate the issuance of visas for legitimate business travelers worldwide. The Business Visa Center is available to assist businesses in the United States and their partners, customers and colleagues around the world.
  • Office of Authentications: The Office of Authentications provides signed certificates of authenticity for a variety of documents to individuals, institutions, and government agencies.
  • Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC): OSAC promotes effective cooperation by working to assist the U.S. private sector to better anticipate security issues, including identifying and tracking threats, particularly those targeting private sector personnel, facilities, investments, interests, and intellectual property.
  • Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC): The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) is charged with controlling the export and temporary import of defense articles and defense services covered by the United States Munitions List (USML).The U.S. Government views the sale, export, and re-transfer of defense articles and defense services as an integral part of safeguarding U.S. national security and furthering U.S. foreign policy objectives.
  • Overseas Business Insights: The Overseas Business Insights is a monthly newsletter with five to six unique articles spotlighting the business environment in an assortment of countries throughout the western hemisphere. The newsletter serves as an information entry point for small businesses considering exports or investments abroad and, more broadly, as an easy to digest, periodic awareness resource for all U.S. business. This is currently a Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA) pilot program. Archived copies can be found here.

Other U.S. Government Resources

  • USA.gov Small Business: The small business section of USA.gov provides official government information that can help your business grow.
  • Department of Commerce: The U.S. Department of Commerce webpage provides information for small businesses, licensing and patent applications, economic data, and other important information for U.S. businesses.
  • Export.gov, Department of Commerce: Brings together resources from across the U.S. Government to assist American businesses in planning their international sales strategies and succeed in today’s global marketplace. Export.gov also hosts information on the National Export Initiative.
  • Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), Department of Commerce: A primary mission of BIS is the accurate, consistent, and timely evaluation and processing of licenses for proposed exports and re-exports of goods and technology from the United States. BIS’ objective is to protect U.S. national security, foreign policy, and economic interests without imposing undue regulatory burdens on legitimate international trade.
  • Export Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im): The mission of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is to assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets. Information on applying for export financing is available on this website.
  • Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Department of Treasury: OFAC plays a primary role in administering and enforcing many U.S. sanctions programs. In coordination with the Department of State, OFAC issues licenses where appropriate for a variety of goods, services and transactions. OFAC’s website is a useful resource on sanctions programs and on individuals and entities subject to sanctions.
  • National IPR Center: The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) stands at the forefront of the U.S. government’s response to global intellectual property (IP) theft.
  • Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR): The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is responsible for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity, and direct investment policy, and overseeing negotiations with other countries.
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC): OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy.
  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA): The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides support to U.S. small businesses and small-business owners across the nation through capital (loans), access to federal contracts, and counseling.
  • U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA): USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project planning activities, pilot projects, and reverse trade missions while creating sustainable infrastructure and economic growth in partner countries. The website includes information on events, conferences, and workshops sponsored by USTDA.

Note: Links to non U.S. Government Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of those sites or the information contained therein.

Multilateral Development Banks

International Organizations

U.S. Department of State

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