MADISON, WI. JAN. 7, 2021—To help Wisconsin companies continue to grow their exports even with the current economic uncertainty and while international travel is limited, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is organizing a virtual Global Trade Venture that will connect Wisconsin exporters with potential buyers, distributors and other partners in Canada.
The virtual Global Trade Venture to Canada will consist of online meetings taking place from March 22 to 26. This is the fourth virtual Global Trade Venture organized by WEDC; other virtual ventures have connected Wisconsin companies with potential partners in Germany, South Korea and Mexico.
Registration for the Canada virtual trade venture is open now through Jan. 22. Interested companies are encouraged to register early so Wisconsin’s trade office in Canada has plenty of time to research potential partners and set up meetings.
“With a virtual trade venture, Wisconsin companies can continue their exporting efforts even as COVID makes it impossible to meet face-to-face,” said Katy Sinnott, WEDC vice president of global trade and investment. “Companies will be able to meet one-on-one with potential Canadian partners online, allowing them to forge new relationships and bring their products to a receptive market.”
Learn more about the virtual Global Trade Venture to Canada and find registration details at wedc.org/canada21.
As with other WEDC Global Trade Ventures, Wisconsin’s in-market trade representative will conduct a market assessment for each participating company. This research, conducted on a custom basis for each company, highlights market conditions and information on competitors, and identifies potential distributors, end users and customers for the company’s specific offerings. This customized matchmaking is one of the main benefits of joining a Global Trade Venture with WEDC. Participating companies benefit from the expertise of Wisconsin’s authorized trade representatives, who understand the market and already have connections within it.
To adapt to the pandemic, WEDC has converted its Global Trade Ventures into a virtual format that consists of online meetings between Wisconsin companies and potential customers, distributors and other prospective partners in international markets. WEDC will arrange these one-on-one meetings between Wisconsin companies and potential partners in the Canadian market. Partners are chosen specifically for each participating company based on the company’s specific goals and objectives.
WEDC will handle all technology and scheduling, so participants can focus on showing up ready to make their pitch and determining if the potential partner is a good fit. A country briefing offered at the beginning of the program will go over elements of Canada’s culture and business environment, expectations and strategies for success. WEDC will provide Wisconsin business participants with tips on how to best appeal to Canadian customers and convey their value proposition, and will also arrange for interpreters with industry knowledge if they are needed.
Typically, WEDC’s Global Trade Ventures are limited to one or two cities to minimize the time spent on travel. The virtual format allows for expanding the scope of the trade venture to be countrywide, so Wisconsin companies can meet with partners located anywhere in Canada.
Another benefit of the virtual format is significantly reduced price. The cost of an in-person Global Trade Venture is often in the thousands given the price of airfare, lodging and meals. The participant fee for the virtual Global Trade Venture to Canada is just $500.
As a large, advanced economy with well-developed infrastructure, Canada offers great opportunities for new-to-export companies as well as those seeking to further expand their business/distribution networks in the country.
Although the economy is still recovering from COVID-19, Canadian GDP growth is forecasted to accelerate to 4.9% in 2021. Canada is the largest export market for U.S.-produced goods and for Wisconsin-produced goods as of 2019, with Wisconsin exports to Canada totaling more than Wisconsin exports to Mexico, China, the UK and Germany combined. The U.S. and Canada enjoy the world’s largest and most comprehensive trading relationship, trading more than $2 billion in goods and services daily.
Leading export categories from Wisconsin to Canada include industrial machinery, electrical machinery, paper products, non-rail vehicles and parts, and plastics. The Canadian market seeks innovative, advanced technology product and service solutions—so whether a company is a first-time or a seasoned exporter, this market should be a key component of its export growth strategy. With Canada being a highly receptive, open and transparent market for U.S. products and services, Wisconsin companies from a broad range of sectors are encouraged to attend this trade venture.