Even with the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses, international trade continues, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. remains ready to assist Wisconsin companies with their export goals. Companies can emerge stronger from the economic downturn if they take steps now to pursue new opportunities, the organization said.
In light of the current environment, WEDC has converted its global trade ventures into a virtual format with online meetings between Wisconsin companies and potential customers, distributors and other partners in international markets. The first virtual trade venture will connect Wisconsin companies with potential partners in Germany.
Under normal circumstances, face-to-face meetings are key to establishing trust in international business, but given recent events and constraints on international travel, the focus has shifted to companies that are nimble and adaptable.
Wisconsin firms that take advantage of technology instead of letting export expansion grind to a halt can set themselves apart in international markets, leaving them well positioned to grow these relationships further once travel restrictions ease and in-person meetings become possible. Wisconsin companies interested in expanding their exports to Germany are invited to join WEDC’s virtual trade venture, which will take place Sept. 21 through Oct. 2.
Germany is consistently among Wisconsin’s top export destinations and was No. 5 in 2019. This healthy volume of trade reflects a history of German immigration in Wisconsin, mutual strength in manufacturing and shared emphasis on quality, productivity and a strong work ethic. In all, Wisconsin exported $761 million worth of goods and services to Germany in 2019. The potential exists to increase Wisconsin companies’ sales to German customers even further.
Although the pandemic has cut into the economic growth that had been predicted for Germany in 2020, the country remains a major trading nation with significant imports and exports. It is the fourth-largest economy in the world, with a GDP of $4 trillion, and accounts for more than one-fifth of the European Union’s GDP.
The virtual format means participants won’t need to be away from the office for a full work week. Because of the time zone difference, most meetings with German counterparts will be scheduled in the morning, leaving afternoons free. The meeting schedule will be spread across two weeks to enable easier scheduling given the limited time window for meetings each day, making the meeting schedule lighter on any given day.
To learn more or sign up, click here.