University of Southern California

CIBER Hosts 25th Annual Asia/Pacific Business Outlook Conference
March 26-27, 2012 Conference Provides Pacific Rim and BRIC Nation Briefings for Exporters
March 20, 2012 • by News at Marshall

With developing Asian economies forecast to grow robustly by 7.5 % in 2012-2013 and the U.S. economy expected to grow by only 2% in 2012-2013 (IMF), it is not surprising that more American firms will look to expand their sales in Asia, according to Richard Drobnick, the founding director of the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at the USC Marshall School of Business.

At the 25th annual Asia/Pacific Business Outlook (APBO) conference, which is produced by CIBER in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce, approximately 300 American businesspersons will get a crash course on 15 Asia/Pacific markets, as well as Brazil and Russia, by 60 business experts from the U.S. Commercial Service, the private sector and academia. The 2012 APBO conference will be held March 26-27 at the University of Southern California.

Since its inception in 1988, APBO has briefed approximately 7,000 business leaders and entrepreneurs about opportunities in Asia/Pacific markets. The conference draws businesses that want to tap into the growing economic powerhouses in the Pacific Rim, which have major infrastructure and environmental improvement needs, as well as booming consumer demand.

"In addition to the difference in economic growth rates, the APBO markets are much more open today than they were 25 years ago," Drobnick said. "Tariffs imposed on American exports and government barriers to selling into these markets are much, much smaller."

"And because of the information technology revolution, it’s much easier to be effective in the global markets, to track your goods and services and build global supply chains," he added.

Beyond exporters of traditional goods and services, last year's attendees included companies trying to sell extreme weather prediction reports via satellite feeds and export agricultural waste to prevent river erosion in China. This year’s APBO conference will draw exporters of traditional goods and services as well as gourmet food purveyors, a gin distiller and a company exporting Las Vegas-style tourism.

In addition to the country specific briefings called "Outlook" sessions and one-on-one consultations with overseas experts from U.S. embassies, this year’s conference will feature the following keynote speakers:

  • Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president, sales, Asia Pacific and India & president of Boeing India, who will discuss "Asia Pacific: Engine for Global Growth"
  • James McGregor, senior counselor at APCO Worldwide, Beijing, who will present "The China Model and Your Global Business."
  • Francisco J. Sanchez, under secretary of commerce for international trade with the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C., who will provide insights about "The Changing Face of Trade in the Asia Pacific Region."
  • Antonio Villaraigosa, mayor of Los Angeles, will open the conference with remarks about city initiatives to promote and expand foreign investment and exports.

Another area of special emphasis in 2012 is sustainability and green business opportunities in Asia/Pacific, Brazil and Russia. Sessions will address energy and water conservation, renewable energy and clean coal technologies, as well as the wider green technology industry.

"Connecting students, alumni and business leaders with the thought processes and network needed to succeed in Asia is a priority at USC Marshall," said USC Marshall Dean James G. Ellis, one of several USC speakers at the conference. "The Asia/Pacific Business Outlook conference has proven the value of bringing together thought leaders for this purpose for the past 25 years and will remain a vital resource in our ever-changing global economy."

A full list of speakers and a complete schedule of events are available on the APBO website at:

The Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at the USC Marshall School of Business has been supported by the U.S. Department of Education since 1990, as one of its 33 national resource centers on international business. The centers form a network focused on improving American competitiveness and providing comprehensive services and programs that help U.S. businesses succeed in global markets.

About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.