The objective of U.S. bilateral environmental assistance is to support sustainable development by helping developing countries design and implement programs to address global and local environmental challenges. Significant benefits of these initiatives are the creation of new markets in countries which receive this assistance and opportunities for U.S. exporters of environmental technologies.
To successfully enter an environmental technology market in a developing country, U.S. firms should be aware of the opportunities and resources provided through U.S. foreign assistance. This report describes the principal developing country markets that have been affected by U.S. bilateral environmental programs and examines how U.S. exporters of environmental technologies can take advantage of the opportunities generated by U.S. Government environmental initiatives. This report is also designed to help companies evaluate and locate the resources available through foreign assistance and presents recommendations for using these resources as part of a marketing strategy that includes understanding the market, making initial contacts, identifying sales opportunities, and expanding market share.
U.S. foreign assistance provides opportunities to U.S. companies through:
• Direct procurement,
• Technology transfer, and
• Technical assistance.
Direct procurement and technology transfer create direct sales opportunities for U.S. companies to enter a new market. Although technical assistance initiatives offer little in the way of immediate sales opportunities, these programs improve market conditions through training, policy support, and information dissemination, which in turn enhance demand in developing countries for environmental technologies in general and U.S.-made technologies in particular.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) administers the largest share of U.S. foreign assistance for developing countries. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) cooperate with USAID in its programs and have their own international initiatives as well.
Programs supporting climate change mitigation through the promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energy make up the largest share of the U.S. Government’s environmental assistance, followed by water supply and wastewater management, and industrial cleaner production. Sales opportunities for U.S. companies, however, do not necessarily follow this pattern. The largest amount of equipment procurement with U.S. foreign assistance funds is found in the water sector, while technology transfer programs are primarily designed for the industrial and energy sectors.
There are a number of programs offered by USAID (e.g., Global Technology Network, U.S.-Asia Environmental Partnership and EcoLinks) that help U.S. businesses enter new markets. These programs offer information support, trade promotion events, identification of trade leads, selection of local partners, and other important trade development services. Technology promotion programs conducted by EPA and the Department of Commerce also offer opportunities and services to U.S. firms interested in penetrating new markets.
This report describes existing and prospective opportunities for U.S. companies in five countries: Egypt, India, Mexico, the Philippines, and Ukraine. In all of these countries, U.S.-funded environmental and energy programs serve as a major market driver and create competitive advantages for U.S. companies through technology transfer and direct equipment procurement.
In Egypt, USAID operates the largest country-specific environmental program, focusing its environmental activities in three areas: water and wastewater, air pollution, and industrial cleaner production (including sustainable tourism). Over the past 20 years, U.S. investments in Egypt’s water and wastewater infrastructure have topped $2.7 billion. Although USAID/Egypt is currently moving away from infrastructure development and technology demonstrations toward greater policy assistance, many opportunities still exist in this and other sectors, especially since Egypt continues to receive the largest volume of direct USAID equipment procurement.
India is another major recipient of U.S. foreign aid. Climate change mitigation is a priority area for U.S. technical assistance and technology transfer initiatives in India. Several USAID and DOE programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have created market demand for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean coal technologies. U.S.-funded initiatives to encourage sound environmental management and the use of cleaner industrial technologies have provided some opportunities for U.S. technology companies, particularly through the U.S.-Asia Environmental Partnership.
Mexico is the largest developing country trading partner of the United States and receives generous U.S. environmental assistance, primarily from USAID and EPA. EPA’s activities focus on water supply and wastewater management improvements along the U.S.-Mexico border and include substantial infrastructure investments. USAID/Mexico’s environmental programs concentrate on energy efficiency in the industrial, commercial, and residential sectors; renewable energy; and industrial cleaner production. With U.S. technology suppliers already dominating the Mexican market, USAID/Mexico’s technical assistance efforts are likely to lead to further export opportunities.
U.S. assistance programs in the Philippines foster increased demand for environmental and energy technologies by building capacity for improved environmental protection, increasing awareness about energy efficiency and cleaner production, and facilitating investment in environmental and energy-efficient technologies. Climate change mitigation is a major objective of USAID and DOE programs in the Philippines. These programs create significant opportunities for U.S. vendors of energy-efficient equipment in energy supply, manufacturing, and commercial and residential sectors, as well as renewable energy technologies. USAID is also helping the Philippines attract private investment in large water and wastewater infrastructure projects.
There are a number of opportunities for U.S. suppliers of energy efficient technologies as a result of U.S.-funded energy and environmental programs in Ukraine. These focus mostly on low-cost energy efficiency improvements in industry and municipal district heating. These opportunities are likely to grow, as USAID has made Ukraine a key target of its assistance in climate change mitigation while trying to leverage large multilateral investments in Ukraine’s municipal infrastructure.