Washington, DC—Last week, the District of Columbia Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) concluded its third global trade mission in two months, leading thirteen small and local firms to identify and develop market opportunities in Asia and Africa. The trade missions were part of ExportDC, the District of Columbia’s first major export readiness and development initiative, funded in partnership with the US Small Business Administration (SBA).
"DSLBD is focused and committed to expanding the global opportunities available to our small businesses," said DSLBD Director Harold Pettigrew. "Our small businesses did a fantastic job of pursuing opportunities and building relationships in these markets. The trade mission also served as an invaluable opportunity for us meet with our government counterparts, trade associations, and other small business support organizations to plant the seeds for valuable long-term relationships, and we thank the SBA for their support of the District in promoting global partnerships."
The two-month span of heavy trade mission activity began in May 14th, with the TradeWinds Trade Conference and Mission in Singapore. This multi-sector business development conference and trade mission highlighted businesses opportunities and challenges in the Asian market, and provided numerous opportunities for one-on-one business networking.
"Asia offers a lot of attractive export opportunities," said ExportDC Director Martha LaCrosse. "Singapore offers gateway access to Asian markets, and this trade mission was an excellent way to deepen relationships and kick off a period of intense global business development activity. Throughout, I have been impressed by the ability of DC businesses to seize upon identified global opportunities."
Returning from TradeWinds Asia on May 22nd, the ExportDC team began preparing businesses for their trade mission to Johannesburg, Tshwane, and Capetown from June 11th-15th. Specifically, ExportDC held a Doing Business in South Africa briefing, followed by a session with the South African embassy prior to departing for Johannesburg on June 9th. The ExportDC team designed the South Africa trade mission to maximize the number of one-on-one business meetings, resulting in more than 70 meetings with potential partners and customers during the week.
"DSLBD did an excellent job of preparing us for the mission and designing an effective week," said Delphos International Vice President Brian Tarmey."We met with two of South Africa’s three largest construction companies. We look forward to growing our business in South Africa and beyond."
The ExportDC team returned to the District on June 15th, held pre-China small business mission briefings during the week of the 22nd, and departed for Beijing on June 23rd. The China trade afforded small businesses with the opportunity to connect through business matchmaking session, identify small business export opportunities, and launch the DC Center China in Shanghai. Participating District firms identified business opportunities in China, and will continue to work closely with ExportDC to progress and develop their export capacity and offerings.
"We could not have accessed the key stakeholders or gained the market insight we have without the support of the ExportDC team," said Dr. Ryung Suh, CEO of Atlas Research. "We established a foundation of important relationships and identified concrete business opportunities that we will focus on shaping and pursuing in the weeks and months ahead. Kudos to Mayor Gray and ExportDC."
To learn more about ExportDC, please visit http://dslbd.dc.gov/service/exportdc.
About the District of Columbia Department of Small and Local Business Development
The District of Columbia Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) fosters the economic growth, development, and retention of District of Columbia based businesses, and promotes economic development throughout the District's commercial corridors. For more information on all of DSLBD's services, go to http://dslbd.dc.gov or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Brendon Miller (DSLBD), (202) 741-0860