Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pennsylvania's Free Export Assistance Services

Posted by Tina

Did you know that the State of Pennsylvania has the most comprehensive export assistance program of any state?  And that their services are offered mostly at no cost to companies in the Commonwealth?

We are very fortunate to be located in a State that is so forward thinking and committed to supporting PA companies with their global development efforts.  Here is a brief overview of the available resources through Pennsylvania's Center for Trade Development:

Free Export Assistance Services:  The State has partnered with 10 existing trade services providers located across the Commonwealth and provides funding to these organization so that they can offer free export assistance.  These services include market research, technical trade assistance and referrals to public and private trade facilitators.  The World Trade Center of Central Pennsylvania is the State's regional partner for an 8 county region in Southcentral PA.
  
Overseas Trade Offices:  Pennsylvania has a network of  20 overseas trade offices, these are local international business consultants who are contracted with the Commonwealth to provide very customized assistance to PA companies at no charge.  The majority of these offices have been working on behalf of PA companies for over 10 years and all of them have great connections to their local business community.  Remember, their services are very customized, but to give you an idea of typical requests for assistance from our region, here are some examples of their services:
  • Gathering marketing and competitive intelligence
  • Providing insight and analysis on market entry strategy
  • Identifying overseas partners, distributors, agents, etc
  • Providing regulatory information
  • Identifying relevant trade events
  • Conducting foreign company background checks
  • Trade lead assistance
  • Organizing in-country meetings and logistical assistance
  • And much more....

Global Access Program Grants - GAP is a valuable tool available to qualifying companies seeking financial assistance and foreign market entry support. GAP will provide up to $5,000.00 in 1:1 matching funds per year to qualifying Pennsylvania companies to offset a portion of the expenses associated with export promotion activities, such as international business development trips, participation at international trade shows, translation of product literature and website globalization. This program is funded in part through a grant award from the U.S. Small Business Administration.  For more details, you can download more information.

International Trade Missions and Trade Show Participation - Every year, the State organizes several trade missions to key international markets as well as Pennsylvania Pavilion at major international trade shows.  Contact us for the most recent schedule of events.

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