The State Department’s Direct Line Program: A Tool to Help You Expand Into New Markets


I recently came across yet another free service provided by the Government that will be helpful to business owners expanding overseas. The program is called “Direct Link” and is administered by the Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. It consists of an ongoing series of teleconferences that are hosted by U.S. Ambassadors and other consular officials serving in the relevant country. Each teleconference focuses on current opportunities for U.S. companies in the featured market and addresses the unique challenges of doing business in that country, offering up practical advice on how to mitigate potential risks. Recent Direct Link teleconference topics include “Opportunities for U.S. Companies in Oman’s New Airports” and “Intellectual Property Rights and the South China Market: Basics for Protecting Your IP Rights.”

Specific information about Direct Link teleconferences and the countries and opportunities they feature can be found on the State Department website devoted to the Direct Link Program.

On the site, you can subscribe to receive emails about future teleconferences, submit questions, or suggest future teleconference topics. It’s a great opportunity to take advantage of free business insight provided by our American representatives abroad. Also, don’t forget about the Commerce Department programs about and at the Advocacy Center. Of course nothing beats specific tailored advice from your lawyer or strategic advisor. What we do is use these resources for opportunities and then supplement what is provided with individually tailored meetings with the local government and private sector representatives after we have done our due diligence on potential opportunities and partners.

Have a great day,


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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