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Zack Hutchins
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January 13, 2004

Grant program offers support for U.S. business initiatives in Eurasia

Business that want to foster relations with overseas contemporaries may do so through an internship program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce, that allows U.S. companies to host industry professionals from Eurasia.

The Special American Business Internship Training (SABIT) awards competitive grants to private-sector U.S. companies and industry association organizations. Grants allow U.S. businesses to host an industry professional from Eurasia (Russia, Central Asian and Caucasus Republics) for three to six months.

The program allows U.S. companies to provide their SABIT intern with hands-on training while establishing relationships with potential partners and/or customers overseas.

“U.S. host companies also receive assistance from interns in areas such as market access, certification, customs, taxation, logistics, networking, and accessing marketing data,” said Patrick Brennan, SABIT program marketing coordinator.

The program, which began in 1991, has helped more than 1,000 U.S. companies host 3,000 individuals from 12 countries in Eurasia. The program has also generated more than $260 million in U.S. export revenues and overseas investment, according to Brennan.

SABIT assistance is also available through a group program that sponsors 18 individuals from Eurasia for four weeks of industry-specific training at various sites in the U.S.

The group program sponsors an average of 16 four-week sessions per year. Each session includes an initial overview of a specific industry with several weeks of training with U.S. host companies.

SABIT began accepting applications for its 2004 grant program this month. All for-profit and non-profit organizations are encouraged to apply.

For more information on SABIT visit www.mac.doc.gov/sabit/, or call Patrick Brennan at 202.482.2077.