Printer Friendly

Utah's export programs: an untapped resource.


With faxes and telephones, business is now conducted 24 hours a day. Europe in 1992 will become a gigantic single market, larger than the United States. The wealthiest countries, such as Japan, Germany, and Taiwan, all have well-developed export industries.

These factors have motivated Utah's state government to improve the state's overseas performance. It is working hard in this area and now has resources that can be highly valuable to local firms willing to take a chance overseas. Hundreds, even thousands, of Utah companies could benefit from the state's export assistance, yet many don't

Here are several ways local firms can increase their visibility and profit potential in the international business arena, at little or no cost, with a little help from the state.

Overseas Offices

Among the state's most effective services are its overseas representative offices, located in Belgium, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Associated offices, which function much like the representative offices, are in Mexico, the Middle East, and the Netherlands.

These overseas offices provide a number of services. They can help a firm analyze its product or service and recommend whether the firm has a good chance of succeeding in foreign markets. They help match the firm and what it's

selling with the most receptive markets.

"We assess the viability of a product or service," says Stan Parrish, executive director of the Department of Community and Economic Development.

The offices also know their local markets, making them adept at identifying contacts likely to work well with Utah firms. No longer does a local businessperson have to fly to a foreign country and hope to meet the right people. Utah's representatives can make the proper introductions.

"These offices are matchmakers," notes Dan Mabey, the state's director of international business development.

Parrish says it's more common in foreign markets for governments to get involved with business transactions than in the United States. Having a government agency, like the state's community and economic development department, working on one's behalf provides credibility and access to people and organizations that would be difficult, if not impossible, to duplicate on one's own. Most services of the overseas offices are free.

Mabey invites local firms to come to his office first, rather than go directly to the overseas offices. His team of experts act as a clearinghouse to help business owners learn how best to proceed with overseas efforts.

Trade Shows

An efficient way of making contacts in any industry is attending trade shows. The state's International Business Development Office identifies trade shows likely to benefit Utah companies. It then rents booth space at each show. By paying a share of the cost of the space, local companies can have a presence at these international trade fairs. In the last year or so, the state has had booths at almost 30 shows.

While a booth is usually too costly for an individual company, by sharing permits even small businesses can take part in large international trade shows. "A company can attend a trade show in Japan or Korea for a week at almost the same cost as a trip to New York or Florida," claims Mabey.

Even less expensive are catalog and case shows. The state puts together the participation of local firms in these, which are similar to trade shows but have only catalogs and display cases. Companies don't have representatives attending these shows, which is why they are less expensive.

Export Directory

The state publishes the Utah Export Directory. Its free listings include each firm's name; address; telephone number; products; international markets, if any; contact person; and other information. These directories are distributed overseas to firms and government agencies interested in doing business with Utah companies.

In addition to this general directory, the state also publishes industry-specific brochures for computers, biomedical, pollution control, sports equipment, and aerospace firms. Listings here are also free and enjoy widespread overseas distribution.

The state organizes trade missions available to local firms. Often headed by a major government official, such as the governor or lieutenant governor, trade missions introduce foreign firms and bureaucrats to Utah companies.

"We try to match Utah firms interested in a particular product with potential buyers in that country," observes Parrish. Upcoming trade missions are scheduled for Mexico and Hong Kong. Each participating firm pays its own expenses.

"The trade missions can get doors open that couldn't be opened by individual companies," says Mabey.

Consulting and Education

Among the most useful and wide-ranging services provided by the state are its consulting and educational programs. Mabey has on-staff specialists in various countries. They can help match a firm's products or services with appropriate overseas markets. They'll help a firm create a viable marketing and business plan. They'll make introductions to government agencies and private companies who are likely customers.

The federal government has many programs to foster exports, and Utah's state government helps homegrown firms take advantage of these programs. The Export Finance Assistance Program, for instance, which involves loans from the Export/Import Bank; and the Foreign Sales Corp., which provide tax advantages, all require that extensive forms be filled out and pathways in the federal bureaucracy be traveled. The state helps with filling out the forms and suggests ways of dealing with the bureaucracy.

Also held are seminars and workshops that provide insights and information about dealing with overseas markets. Recent seminars and workshops discussed financing, marketing, and the intricacies of how to export.

If your product or service might be successful overseas and you want to take advantage of the services provided by the state, the best place to start is the state's international business development office. It is located at 324 S. State Street, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111. Call 538-8737.

Based in Salt Lake City, Alan S. Horowitz writes about business and computer topics.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Olympus Publishing Co.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:state government export assistance programs
Author:Horowitz, Alan S.
Publication:Utah Business
Date:Sep 1, 1991
Previous Article:Stock index to serve as barometer: information technologies industry eyes growth.
Next Article:Exchange rates: and the Utah exporter.

Related Articles
Utah exports: an overview of products and destinations.
Utilizing government resources: Utah firms get a boost.
Exporting with Uncle Sam: your tax dollars at work.
The low-cost way to overseas marketing.
Boosting members' exports.
New office set to gauge level of export interest.
Does the state of Utah: do enough to encourage the growth of local businesses? (Point Counterpoint).

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters