Governor Markell Announces Initiative to Increase Export Opportunities for Delaware Companies
Dover, DE – Delaware companies exploring opportunities abroad will have access to support and resources from the State through an ambitious initiative announced today by Governor Markell. The initiative, announced during the Governor’s keynote address at the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce Spring Legislative Brunch and Manufacturing Conference, includes trade missions to key markets overseas, an experienced support team, and the development of an online community to facilitate the exchange of information among Delaware exporters and State officials. The State has also launched a new website to support export efforts, as well as promote foreign direct investment in Delaware and showcase the State’s unmatched corporate services.
“In a global economy with more than 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside of the U.S., growing exports to ensuring access to international markets is critical to the prosperity of our businesses, our workforce, and our state,” Markell noted in his address. “With the right help and support, our local companies have opportunities to grow their business significantly.”
The initiative, dubbed the “Strategic Export Plan for the State,” was crafted using data gathered in a comprehensive study to determine where Delaware companies can have the most success overseas. The study, conducted by the Division of Corporate and International Development (DCID) in the Department of State, identified Canada, Mexico, Germany and South Korea as the countries with the most buying potential for the products and services that Delaware has to offer. The State will lead trade missions to those countries over the next 18 months to give Delaware business owners the chance to visit the market and meet personally with buyers and distributors.
“Companies involved in global trade are 20 percent more efficient, and do 25 percent more business than those who don’t,” said Markell. “We should do all we can to ensure that Delaware companies get their fair share – or more – of the business opportunities available to them around the world.
“But it’s not that easy, especially for small- and medium- sized companies. Less than one percent of American businesses export. Sixty percent of those that export trade with only one country. The result is a tremendous amount of lost business opportunities. However, when global trade is made easy, more companies take advantage of it. This is my goal for Delaware.”
As part of the initiative, the State has developed a comprehensive suite of services to assist companies with their export activities. Services include export counseling, market studies to identify the best countries for doing business, access to foreign buyers and distributors, one-on-one matchmaking business meetings, trade missions led by Delaware staff and in-country trade representatives, and financial assistance through grants for eligible export expenses.
In addition, the team has launched a network of online communities through LinkedIn Groups to facilitate discussion among new and experienced exporters. The groups, Delaware Ambassadors and Delaware Exporters, provide real-time forums for exchanging information, reviewing resources and support materials, as well as asking questions and finding advice about export issues and activities.
At the event, the Governor also unveiled Global Delaware, a powerful online platform that promotes Delaware for international economic development. The website is visually engaging and user-friendly, and is organized into the three areas that are the focus of the DCID: Investing in Delaware, expanding markets, and forming corporations in the state. It also includes success stories that show ways local companies, like ANP Technologies, are benefitting from exports and working with the State.
The Expand area on the site provides businesses with information, links, and resources to explore options abroad. The site includes a comprehensive list of capital resources available for exporting activity from the State, federal government and other agencies and organizations, as well as a list of events happening in the Delaware region.
The site also features active social media components, with the ability to broadcast a wide array of Delaware news and events to followers.
“The State is committed to increasing business opportunities and jobs for our companies,” Markell said. “We are ready to work with them to expand their business globally, both in countries that they identify and in markets that our experts believe offer exceptional opportunities.”