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APEC Business Spotlight: SKAI Ventures Export to the Asia-Pacific Region

SKAI Ventures is a Hawaii-based venture accelerator—a company which seek out new ideas and innovations with biomedical and biodefense applications to invest in, develop, and market as a finished product. Currently, SKAI Ventures portfolio companies include Eyegenix, TruTag Technologies, CBI Polymers, SKAI Vision Institute, Hawaii Endoscopy Institute, and the Eye Surgery Center of Hawaii. The three largest companies, Eyegenix, TruTag Technologies, and CBI Polymers, all export significantly to the Asia-Pacific region.

CBI Polymers — a company which developed and now markets a nuclear and chemical decontaminant called DeconGel — exported about $100,000 worth of products and services in 2011. Half of those exports were to markets in the Asia-Pacific region including Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Canada. However, SKAI Ventures portfolio companies, including CBI Polymers, often find difficulties in expanding to new markets in the Asia-Pacific region because of trade barriers and country-specific regulations.

Last week, at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperative (APEC) Ministerial and Leaders’ Meetings in Honolulu, USTR worked with our APEC trade partners to begin to reduce barriers to trade in the Asia-Pacific region. President Obama worked with fellow APEC leaders on a set of principles to increase innovation and encourage more market access for new business and industries by streamlining and coordinating regulations. These reduced barriers will help companies like CBI Polymers to introduce their products into new markets and compete on a level playing field in those foreign markets.

Recently, CBI Polymers was able to work with the United States Department of Commerce to bring their DeconGel to Japan to aid in the cleanup efforts of the recent nuclear catastrophe. With more opportunities like this to bring their products to markets overseas, CBI Polymers and its parent company SKAI Ventures will be able to support additional jobs for workers in Hawaii.