Delaware companies exploring opportunities abroad will have access to support and resources from the State through an ambitious initiative announced Tuesday by Governor Markell. The initiative, announced during the Governor’s keynote address at the Delaware Chamber of Commerce Spring Legislative Brunch and Manufacturing Conference, includes trade missions to key countries, 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 an all-new website that will be used to support export efforts, as well as promote foreign direct investment in Delaware and showcase the State’s unmatched corporate services.
“With more than 96 percent of the world’s population living outside of the U.S., the potential for opportunities abroad is huge,” Markell noted in his address. “With the right help and support, our local companies have a real chance of growing 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 recently created 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.
As part of the initiative, DCID staff have 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 the exchange of information, review of resources and support materials and to ask questions and get advice on 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.
The Expand area on the site provides businesses with information, links and resources to help Delaware companies start exploring their options abroad. The site includes a comprehensive list of capital resources available for exporting activity from the State of Delaware, federal government and other agencies and organizations, as well as a list of events going on in the Delaware region.
The site also features active social media components, such as 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 you to expand your business globally, both in the countries you have identified, as well as markets that we believe offer exceptional opportunities. We have the partners, resources, and team both in Delaware and abroad, to help you succeed.”