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Wisconsin officials planning export trade mission to Poland, Turkey, Czech Republic


MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) -- Wisconsin officials are looking for businesses that may consider expanding their exports to the Czech Republic, Poland, and Turkey.

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s Mark Maley says they are organizing a trade mission later this year to those three countries, and he says it’s a great opportunity to reach new customers.  “These are countries that have, you know, specific demands , especially in areas like infrastructure, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and it’s the kind of thing where there may be a customer base that a company is totally unaware of waiting right at your footstep, and it just really could open up some doors for some local companies.”

Often, Maley says companies here may shy away from foreign trade because of the rules and regulations, or their unfamiliarity with the process. He says that’s where WEDC can help Wisconsin businesses open doors.  “We have trade representatives in those countries, people that work on behalf of the State of Wisconsin that can cut through the red tape, that can hook you up with some partners whether you’re seeking a customer or you’re seeking somebody to be a partner in manufacturing.”

Maley says export business is not just for big companies. He says small and medium sized businesses of many types have benefited from making connections overseas.  “I’ve personally talked to companies where exporting has just changed their entire business, you know, companies that may have been struggling because of the recession and may have had to lay off some workers. They found that through exporting, it’s really opened up new markets and new customers for them.”

The WEDC trade mission is November 1st through the 11th. The sign up deadline for businesses is later this month. Qualifying businesses may be eligible for grants to reimburse some of the costs of the trip.