Houstonian Corner (V10-I35)
Register Your Foreign Trip Before Leaving USA : Most Knowledgeable Seminar of PCC-USA
“With the help of my able Executives, we have worked hard to implement our motto, which is GETIT, meaning Growth, Expansion, Training, Internationalism and Trade.” These were the words of Saeed Sheikh, President of the Pakistan Chamber of Commerce – USA (PCC-USA), as he welcomed everyone to the July Monthly Seminar of PCC-USA at a local Houston Restaurant. This Seminar was on the subject Travel & Commerce.
Panelists included Charles Perez, Assistant Port Director, Custom and Border Protection (CBPO); Phillip Danley, Chief CBPO; Saba Abashawl, Executive Officer, Houston Airport System; and Duaine Priestly, Director, U.S. Department of Commerce. The program coordinator was the young businessman Faisal Amin, who is Chairman of Seminars and Workshops for PCC-USA.
PCC-USA President Saeed Sheikh described the first-ever Pakistan Jewelry Expo coming to Houston in October, 2008, and work is underway in taking the State of Texas and the City of Houston Trade Delegations to Pakistan. He requested the cooperation of community members and all the four panelists to assist in welcoming the 50+ companies coming for this Expo. All four panelists promised to help as much as they could.
Mr. Sheikh added that no community can move forward without contributing towards the serenity, harmony and welfare of the society–and that is what PCC-USA is trying to do.
Duaine Priestly, Director of the US Department of Commerce, informed us that his department is dedicated to increasing exports, since there is a huge import-export deficit in the USA. He said when traveling to other countries, his department through USA consulates and embassies can assist in doing research on and finding the legitimacy of different companies overseas. Also, he explained, before going to any country for trade, US Citizens should register with his department and inform them about their where-abouts, so that the US Government can safeguard their interests.
He said to contact him via website at: www.BuyUSA.Gov/Houston.
Saba Abashawl, Executive Officer of the Houston Airport System informed us about the challenges faced at the 4th largest USA Airport–Houston; the Bush Intercontinental. She said no profiling occurs at the airport, but there are certain changes that the events of 9/11 prompted, which may be perceived as discriminatory, but he said they are not. “In order to better our service, we have got our personnel trained in cultural diversification.” She said the airport system comes under the City of Houston and Mayor Bill White is very keen to increase trade between Houston and the world. She said one of the most common mistakes people make when coming in to the airport for checking in for travel abroad is that they do not know the physical address of their destination, and that causes much delay.
Charles Perez and Phillip Danley of Customs and Border Protection informed us about the new Global Entry Program for the Trusted Travelers, who are frequent travelers and need to get expedited screening and processing. The Global Entry is a new pilot program managed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection which allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers expedited clearance upon arrival into the United States.
Participants will enter the US by utilizing automated kiosks located at (1) Terminal 4 – John F. Kennedy International Airport; (2) Washington – Dulles International Airport; and (3) George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The process will require participants to present their machine-readable U.S. passport or permanent residency card, submit their fingerprints for biometric verification, and make a customs declaration at the kiosk’s touch-screen. Upon successful completion of the Global Entry process at the kiosk, the traveler will be issued a transaction receipt and directed to baggage claim and the exit, unless chosen for a selective or random secondary referral. More information can be received at: http://www.cbp.gov/
Atif Mohammad, Trade Development Officer at the Houston Consulate of Pakistan, attended the program together with the majority of the executives of PCC-USA and community entrepreneurs.
These 2008 monthly seminars are sponsored by Tara Energy and Sam’s Club (their official Khalid Khan was also present). To get regular information about the useful entrepreneurial programs of PCC-USA, one needs to become a member by paying only $50 for two years.
For more information, call President of PCC-USA Muhammad Saeed Sheikh at 281-948-1840.