The fifth annual The Americas Business Forum, which focuses on helping small and midsized California firms create jobs through exports, will be held Sept. 25-26 from 8:15 a.m.-5 p.m. at the UCLA Covel Commons.

The early bird registration deadline is Aug. 16, with final registrations taken by Sept. 12. The cost is free to qualifying companies.

Those eligible must be a small or mid-sized California-based manufacturer with at lest 51 percent of the contents of their products made in the United States.

People who do not fit into these categories can pay a $199 registration fee by Aug. 16 or $250 afterwards.

The first day of the conference is organized around country-specific presentations from the United States Department of Commerce senior commercial officers stationed at 13 U.S. embassies in the Western Hemisphere. These diplomats are very knowledgeable about the export opportunities for your products and services in Canada and Latin America. In addition, there will be discussions of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Central American Free Trade Agreement, Panama, Colombia, Peru and Chile free trade agreements, the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), access to credit and export financing, increasing competitiveness and market positioning, and the growing middle class.

On the second day, entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to participate in pre-scheduled one-on-one private meetings with senior commercial officers. In these meetings, business owners will be provided with practical and current information about the exporting opportunities for their products in countries of their preference. During 2012, an estimated 289 meetings were scheduled and eventually resulted in more than $16 million in new exports sales were generated by California manufacturers and exporters as a result of previous forums.

Interested business owners should RSVP at lachamber.com/tabf.

For additional information, contact the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce at (213) 580-7500.