Helping more companies enter and navigate export markets is more important than ever, because slowed economic growth globally and the strengthening U.S. dollar may continue to have a negative impact on exports nationwide in 2017.

In 2016, the EDPNC’s international trade team helped more North Carolina companies enter foreign markets and increase their income from exports.

Port of Wilmington. Photo courtesy of North Carolina Ports Authority

The EDPNC’s trade specialists assisted 558 companies with export issues last year, and those companies reported exporting $832.2 million worth of products in 2016. By comparison, EDPNC trade staff supported 501 companies in 2015, and those businesses exported $739 million worth of merchandise during the year.

Also in 2016, the trade team reached out to companies in counties where there had been little interaction with EDPNC international trade staff the year before. The goal was to make those companies better aware of the EPDNC’s export promotion services.

The strategic outreach helped the international trade team increase the number of counties where it supported companies — from 77 in 2015 to 89 in 2016.

The international trade team’s services to North Carolina’s small- to medium-sized businesses enable them to identify and develop overseas sales opportunities. The services are free of charge, which is essential to smaller businesses that often don’t have staff dedicated to exploring and developing export markets

International trade team services include providing export education programs, customized searches for new distributors or agents, and market research on international markets. The team also leads delegations of North Carolina companies to international trade shows, sets up meetings with potential buyers and distributors at shows, and provides overseas market intelligence including economic, social and political data.

The EDPNC’s international trade division employs multilingual trade experts located in North Carolina (each of whom specializes in specific industry sectors) and seven foreign offices in Canada, Mexico, Europe, South Korea, Japan, China and Hong Kong.

For more information about the EDPNC’s activities and performance in 2016, download our Annual Report here.  Visit our export assistance page to find out more about how the EDPNC can help your company begin or expand exporting.