Gov. Jack Markell and export experts offered tips to Delaware manufacturers at a Delaware State Chamber of Commerce brunch on March 31.
Although the governor said only 1 percent of U.S. companies export their goods, the state is promoting Delaware industry around the world. With a new website posted at Global.Delaware.gov and connections in foreign ports, the state is poised to help Delaware companies export their products.
Delaware has overseas trade representatives in place to smooth the way for local manufacturers. It offers $2,000 market-access grants to help businesses get ready to export. It runs trade missions, where companies pay for their own international travel but the state provides introductions and information. International trade loans are available through the Small Business Administration’s Delaware office.
The state has identified Canada, Germany, South Korea, and Mexico as good places for Delawareans to do business. One Delaware produce company recently sold all its uncommitted produce for the 2015 growing season to Canadian grocery stores, said Beth Pomper, export adviser for the state’s Global Delaware initiative.
The chamber panel included state export advisers and export-savvy businesspeople from Polymer Technologies Inc. and W.L. Gore & Associates Inc.
They focused on the things businesspeople need to know before they export.
“What we hope to do is take Delaware companies and put them in front of international companies and hope they get some new business,” said David Mathe, export trade director for the state’s Global Delaware initiative. He said Brazil, for instance, has a very complicated tax structure, but having a state representative on the ground there can help.
Global Delaware has helped manufacturers of everything from chemicals to agribusiness find distributors in Canada, Mexico, South Korea, South Africa, Germany and other parts of Europe, Israel, and South America. It plans six trade missions in the next 14 months.
“We can help you work the system so it will help you speed your process,” said Beth Pomper, Global Delaware’s export adviser. She said the state initiative can provide data for the last five years at no cost to businesses.
Robert Prybutok, president of Polymer Technologies, a Newark noise-reduction-materials manufacturer, said his company works closely with manufacturers in Canada and Mexico engineering his products into their products.
He said businesspeople who know the language of the country they want to operate in will find it easier going: “Even though they say it’s not necessary, they appreciate it,” Prybutok said. He added that product liability insurance and a world-risk policy that covers kidnapping and ransom and car collisions are musts. He said one of the barriers to exporting is the companies must invest the time to understand the countries.
Although the conference focused on manufacturing, only about a dozen hands went up when a speaker asked the packed room who was a manufacturer. Of the 40 exhibitors at the event, four were manufacturers. Most were business-services providers. ♦