WASHINGTON — The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) announced today that the National Ethanol Conference (NEC) has been selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Buyer Program (IBP). It is the first time the NEC has participated in the program, which recruits pre-screened foreign buyer delegations from U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide and brings them to selected trade shows and conferences in the United States as a way to connect U.S. companies with international buyers. "We are extremely excited about being selected to participate in the IBP, and for the opportunity to work closely with the Department of Commerce to provide a pathway that connects domestic ethanol producers with international markets," said Edward Hubbard, RFA's general counsel. "Export promotion is a crucial component for maintaining the vibrancy of the ethanol industry, and the NEC provides the perfect forum for accomplishing that goal. By joining forces with the Department of Commerce, the RFA is ensuring that the NEC will be the premier destination for U.S. ethanol producers who are interested in opportunities to promote their products in the international marketplace." The NEC will take place Feb. 15–17, 2016 in New Orleans. The countries that will be represented at the NEC are: Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and the Philippines.