WEDC: Wisconsin businesses gain access to expanded global trade support

Contact: Tom Thieding, 608-210-6767

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WEDC expands global network to 36 countries to help companies reach new markets

MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin businesses now have expanded access to growing global markets through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), which now offers trade assistance to 36 countries, according to Lora Klenke, vice president of international business development. Previously WEDC provided trade assistance to four countries.

“WEDC has identified priority markets with high growth potential,” Klenke said, speaking at the Manufacturing Matters Conference in Milwaukee. “These markets may be new for many Wisconsin firms and require additional resources or assistance to pursue export opportunities.”

Klenke said WEDC has undertaken an aggressive strategy to help Wisconsin businesses pursue global markets to grow the state’s economy and job opportunities. Wisconsin exported $23.1 billion worth of goods in 2012, an increase of 4.6 percent compared to the previous year.

“With 96 percent of the world’s population outside the U.S. and one billion people expected to join the global middle class in the next decade, Wisconsin businesses have tremendous opportunities outside U.S. borders,” Klenke said.

WEDC expanded the network from Canada, China, Brazil and Mexico to include: Australia, New Zealand, India, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Poland, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Russia, South Korea, Indonesia, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. The network also includes 10 South African countries: South Africa, Botswana, Mauritius, Malawi, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia.

In each country WEDC contracts with trade representatives who are marketing and business consultants to provide market assessments, partner searches and business meeting facilitation. WEDC’s market development directors, who are based in Madison, Wis., help companies identify specific needs and answer high-level questions about the market. If needed, they then direct businesses to the organization’s trade representatives for additional assistance.

About Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), formed in 2011 as a public-private entity, leads economic development efforts for the state and nurtures business growth and job creation by advancing Wisconsin’s business climate. In addition to Wisconsin’s strong legacy industries of agriculture and manufacturing, recent growth has occurred in water technology, renewable energy, bio-sciences, health care, and food processing. In 2012 Wisconsin was ranked No. 20 in Chief Executive Magazine’s “Best States for Business” and No. 17 as a top state for business by CNBC. WEDC partners with 650 economic development organizations throughout Wisconsin to serve businesses looking to start, grow or relocate. WEDC has four focus areas: business and industry development, economic and community development, entrepreneurship and innovation, and international business development. Visit or follow WEDC on Twitter @_InWisconsin to learn more.