Trade Missions Offer Business Opportunities Throughout the World
Exporters know that visiting a market and meeting one-on-one with potential agents, distributors and customers is one of the best ways to evaluate a market and gain the first-hand knowledge necessary to plot a successful sales effort. These three upcoming Trade Missions organized by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce (Commerce) offer a focused business perspective into different regions of the world.
Central America - January 28 – February 2, 2007
A Wisconsin delegation will be leaving the cold and snow behind them as they seek to increase their exports to Panama and Costa Rica January 28 – February 2, 2007. Central America is currently a hotspot for Wisconsin exports. During the first six months of 2006, Wisconsin's exports to Panama grew by 67 percent. Exports to Costa Rica were up by 38.5 percent in the same period. See the article about the Panama Canal Modernization for more information about the Panamanian economy.
Southeast Asia February - 5-14, 2007
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Singapore; and Manila, the Philippines will be the destination for a joint Wisconsin/Minnesota trade mission February 5-14, 2007. These three fast growing and stable markets in Southeast Asia offer excellent opportunities for Wisconsin exporters. Taken as a region, Southeast Asia is already Wisconsin's #7 export destination, but there are significant opportunities for increased exports, especially in the environmental technology and IT sectors.
South Africa - February 16-25, 2007
South Africa is one of the fastest growing export markets for American companies. Wisconsin exports to South Africa were up 33 percent in 2005 and the South African economy is expected to grow
5 percent in 2007. Initiating or expanding business activities in this important market can be accomplished through a multi-state trade mission initiated by the Council of Great Lakes Governors, February 16-25, 2007.
Harley Davidson Visits Mexico
Harley Davidson's Monterrey dealer hosted the group for a tour of the dealership and a dinner with a spectacular view of the mountains of Monterrey. The individuals in the photo are: back row, left to right: Kevan Leedle, Elwood Corporation (WI); Richard Rothwell, Hankins Lumber (MS); Bill Rogers, Newman Lumber (MS); Donald Pierce, Service Tool and Die Two (WI); Carlos Mejia, Harley Davidson dealership in Monterrey; front row, left to right: Marcos Hernandez, Wisconsin Trade Office in Mexico; Susan Dragotta, Wisconsin Department of Commerce; Rose Boxx, Mississippi Development Authority; Rick Barrett, Midwest Hardwood (WI); Claudia Garber, Harley Davidson (WI); Lorena Mejia, Harley Davidson dealership in Monterrey. Dave Martin of The CMM Group was not available for the photo.
While in Brussels, the Wisconsin Department of Commerce partnered with Foley & Lardner LLC., which has an office there, and the Wisconsin World Trade Center to provide the delegation members with a further understanding of how to do business in the Benelux region and the legal issues and concerns to be aware of. Foley & Lardner sponsored the event and had lawyers from their Washington D.C. and Brussels offices give presentations and made themselves available to answer any questions that the Wisconsin companies had. Pictured in the photo from left to right: Christian Bartley, Wisconsin World Trade Center; Kate Clarke, Wisconsin Trade Office in Europe; Brad Schneider, Wisconsin Department of Commerce; Robin Schumacher, Quantum Devices; Sophie Lignier, Foley & Lardner; Peter Linzmeyer, Foley & Lardner; and Per-Olof Andersson, PremierTec. Mike Beckmann of Bonstone Materials and Dave Slain and Mark Glendenning of Inland Printing are not included in the photo.
What are the benefits for Wisconsin companies?
As a part of all Commerce-organized trade missions you will receive an individualized schedule of appointments designed around your firm's particular interests and needs, briefings from government officials and business people operating in the market, assistance with travel and logistical arrangements, and the opportunity to network with and learn from other Wisconsin firms facing similar challenges and opportunities.
Five Wisconsin companies (The CMM Group, Elwood Corporation, Harley-Davidson, Midwest Hardwood, and Service Tool and Die Two) and two Mississippi companies recently participated in a multi-state trade mission to Mexico September 24 -30. The week was spent in business appointments with prospective clients, representatives and/or distributors, in Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey.
During a business briefing in Mexico City, mission participants were provided an up-to-date review of macroeconomic and political issues, sector-specific forecasts, how to work with local representatives and distributors, sales and credit strategies, and financing sources. The mission was scheduled to coincide with Eximueble, a furniture trade show in Monterrey. The local lumber industry trade groups in Guadalajara and Monterrey facilitated additional sessions where their members were able to meet with the wood companies in the delegation. These events provided the mission participants the opportunity to meet with many potential buyers in a short period of time.
"The trip was very well planned. I kept busy and walked away feeling the week was very worthwhile. Midwest is very appreciative of a job well done," said Rick Barrett, of Midwest Hardwood.
As a result of contacts made during the mission, Barrett is expecting to book sales with new Mexican customers within the next 12 months.
In Late November, Bonstone Materials, Mueller Sports Medicine, Premier Tec, Quantum Devices, and Inland Printing visited Amsterdam and Brussels as part of a trade mission to the Benelux countries. Many Wisconsin firms use the Benelux countries as distribution hubs for their European sales activities, but as Kara Smith, the Director of Wisconsin's European Trade Office, is fond of saying "Europe as a single market does not exist." As with all Commerce organized missions, individual meeting schedules were created for each mission member whether they were seeking to initiate or expand exports into the target countries or explore ways to expand their business across Europe.
"Overall, I wanted to tell you how impressed I was with what you were able to do for us. Job well done," said Dave Slain, Inland Printing.
Per Andersson of PremierTec has already identified the distributor which he intends to work with and is planning a return trip to The Netherlands in December to finalize the partnership and conduct product training in order to begin selling product into the Benelux by early 2007.
To learn more about any of the missions contact one of the following staff people:
- Mexico: Susan Dragotta, email@example.com, phone: (262) 691-5147
- Benelux: Brad Schneider, firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: (920) 420-1796
- Central America: Greg Miller, email@example.com, phone: (608) 266-0393
- Southeast Asia: Beng Yeap, firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: (608) 266-1480
- South Africa: Mary Regel, email@example.com, phone: (608) 266-1767
You may also contact our Trade Show/Mission Coordinators:
-- Stanly Pfrang and Brad Schneider