Empowering Business and Entrepreneurship Abroad

The Office of Commercial and Business Affairs (CBA), led by Special Representative Ziad Haider, is the State Department’s gateway for American businesses overseas. Our mission is to engage U.S. government resources to assist and advocate for U.S. business interests abroad, strengthen intellectual property enforcement, promote a vibrant ecosystem for entrepreneurship and innovation, and ensure U.S. private sector concerns are integrated into our foreign and economic policy.

Commercial Diplomacy:
CBA coordinates State Department advocacy on behalf of American businesses. We provide assistance in opening markets, leveling the playing field, protecting intellectual property rights, and resolving trade and investment disputes. CBA works with U.S. Government trade promotion partners and U.S. embassies around the world to support American businesses overseas by 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. CBA can answer your questions and provide information on important issues such as dealing with corruption and bribery in overseas markets, U.S. export controls on sensitive equipment and technologies, and business-related visas for employees, partners and clients of U.S. firms.


To advance entrepreneurship promotion abroad, Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) works with U.S. embassies and partners to promote new programs, such as generating new angel investment networks, entrepreneurship delegations, mentoring collaborations, global celebrations, and incorporating the women’s entrepreneurship portfolio in order to promote the success of potential high growth, high impact women-owned enterprises.

GEP plays a key role in planning, organizing, and implementing President Obama’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), which aims to showcase inspiring entrepreneurs and investors from around the world creating new opportunities for investment, partnership, and collaboration. This year’s Summit in Silicon Valley includes a wide range of breakout sessions, masterclasses, pitch competitions, and networking sessions designed to give participants tailored opportunities to gain skills and relationships that will help their ventures grow. Learn more about GES 2016 by visiting www.GES2016.org.

CBA's GEP is a vehicle to catalyze, coordinate, and convene with both non-government partners (such as NGOs, universities, foundations and the private sector) and U.S. government programs, principally with Department of Commerce, USAID, OPIC, SBA and the Millennium Challenge Corporation.