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The global marketplace holds real promise for Delaware companies, and their success in pursuing opportunities abroad will be one of the key factors in our state’s ability to thrive in the 21st century economy.
Businesses around the world have an appetite for U.S. products, especially those from the manufacturing, bioscience and technology industries, where Delaware’s small businesses excel.
Launched in 2014, our Strategic Export Program, administered by Export Delaware in the Delaware Department of State, has worked to provide small businesses with the support and resources needed to craft and execute a successful export strategy.
Our team conducted a comprehensive study to determine which international markets offer the most opportunities to Delaware’s businesses. We’re using that data to plan business trips to those countries, so that local companies can visit new markets in-person and meet with buyers and distributors. We’ve also expanded our agent network, contracting experienced representatives around the world to facilitate export activity. Delaware now has foreign trade representatives in Africa, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, Southeast Asia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.
Through the SBA’s STEP Grant Program, Delaware businesses are eligible to receive grant awards to help offset international marketing expenses. Since the launch of the Strategic Export Program, we’ve awarded Delaware businesses more than $1 million to support their export development.
As a result of this initiative, we’ve helped Delaware small businesses achieve nearly $148 million in new export sales. In addition, participating businesses are projecting a combined $318.5 million in additional export sales over the next few years.
We are engaging with the world, and the world is engaging with us. We hope Delaware businesses will take advantage of this terrific program.
Secretary Jeff Bullock
Op Ed written by Secretary Jeff Bullock
Featured in the News Journal, October 15th, 2015
The global marketplace holds real promise for Delaware companies, and their success in pursuing opportunities abroad will be one of key factors in our state’s ability to thrive in the 21st century economy.
The world’s middle class is growing, driving increased demand for goods and services that were previously unaffordable or unknown in faraway markets, and creating new opportunities for companies of all sizes to meet this demand. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. exports set a record for the fifth straight year in 2014, reaching $2.34 trillion, up more than $760 billion since 2009.
Delaware businesses produce goods and services with wide international appeal, from pharmaceuticals to technology and agricultural products. Examples of Delaware companies that are exporting products include Newark-based Litecure and Sanosil International of New Castle. Last year, Delaware exported $5.29 billion in goods and services to foreign markets. The State’s top export markets were Belgium, Canada, the UK, China, and Germany; the top five export industries were plastics & rubber products, machinery, transportation equipment, computer & electronic products and chemicals.
The opportunities exist for more Delaware companies to take that next step into the global marketplace. Our State’s businesses have the goods and services, and all Delawareans will benefit from the increase in jobs and revenue that result from doing business overseas. There are challenges. Business owners worry they don’t have the international connections to build upon or understand the markets well enough to expand operations.
The State has launched a new initiative to provide businesses with the support and resources needed to craft and execute a successful export strategy. Members of my team have conducted a comprehensive study to determine which international markets offer the most opportunities to Delaware’s businesses. We’ve taken that data, and are using it to plan trade missions to those countries, so that local companies can visit the markets and meet with buyers and distributors.
We have expanded our agent network, contracting experienced representatives around the world to facilitate export activity. Delaware now has foreign trade representatives in Canada, Mexico, Germany, South Korea, Brazil, and Israel. We are aggressively pursuing assistance from the federal government in the form of STEP grants to help provide financial support to our businesses to develop markets overseas, and just received $276,000 for this purpose.
We’ve developed a powerful online platform that provides businesses with information, links and resources to explore options abroad, and we’re providing companies with access to a database that provides distributors abroad and a comprehensive list of capital resources for exporting. We’ve launched a variety of social media channels to share Delaware news, activities and resources.
We are holding events here to connect Delaware to key export resources, including financing options, professionals and members of our agent network. We are engaging with the world, and the world is engaging with us.
Delaware companies must be fearless about finding and competing in markets around the world. We are committed to doing all we can to ensure that they get their fair share—and more—of the business opportunities available around the world.
Jeff Bullock has served as Delaware’s Secretary of State since 2009.