Overseas opportunities for Galesburg businesses explored at conference

April 9, 2013 09:02 AM
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The Seventh Annual "Hot Market Conference" held by the U.S. Commercial Service last week in Cincinnati, Ohio was attended by Gary Camarano, Galesburg’s Global Strategies Director. The purpose of the conference was to provide companies with updates on markets, tools, and resources to enter or expand their international markets presence. The conference, attended by over 200 U.S. companies and economic development professionals also highlighted the markets of India, South Korea, Russia and Indonesia.
 
Speaking on the conference, Mr. Camarano said, "Our business community has a number of resources being made available to them by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Commercial Service. My job is communicating information about the opportunities for them overseas and the tools and resources we have that can help them take advantage of those opportunities."
 
Cesar Suarez, Galesburg’s Economic Development Director said, "Having the staff that can explore these opportunities and communicate back to our businesses and industry is a real plus for our economic development efforts throughout the region. There are lots of opportunities in becoming part of the global trade and investment network.  We want our region to be globally competitive and connected to benefit from exporting, importing, and foreign direct investment."
 
While many of the presenters acknowledged that there are several challenges to overcome in selling aboard, there are many fantastic opportunities there that make the effort to do so worthwhile. Mr. Camarano observed, "The fact that 95% of the world’s population lives outside the U.S. and have a strong desire for Western goods and brands is a strong point made by the presenters in urging small and mid-sized companies to get involved in overseas sales. The opportunity is very real, and the tools and resources are available for them to use. The U.S. Commercial Service can be a big help to us locally with their country/market reports, business ‘matchmaking’ services and positive reputation among the countries they work in."
 
During the day long conference several opportunities for U.S. businesses were highlighted, among them opportunities for railroad related businesses. Henry Steingass, Regional Director for South and Southeast Asia at the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, spoke of several rail projects in India, Thailand and Indonesia. The USTDA will be sponsoring a summit in Indonesia in September to promote the best practices and use of U.S. rail and transportation technologies in Southeast Asian countries. Mr. Camarano noted, "Galesburg has had some success with Indonesia, having recently completed a December trade mission where one of our railroad participants has begun negotiating a $5 million contract. Going back with several rail companies to attend this summit makes sense to me as a continuation of our first trade mission and moving the projects discussed by all our participants in that trade mission towards a successful conclusion."
 
Information about the opportunities discussed at the "Hot Market Conference" will be disseminated to area businesses in the near future. Mr. Camarano will also begin recruiting possible participants for the rail summit and other overseas opportunities. Interested businesses should contact Gary Camarano at 309/371-0474.
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