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Event helps businesses access international markets

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Participants meet with international trade advisors at last year's Bringing the World to Northeastern Pennsylvania program at Woodlands Inn at Wilkes-Barre. (Contributed)
Participants meet with international trade advisors at last year's Bringing the World to Northeastern Pennsylvania program at Woodlands Inn at Wilkes-Barre. (Contributed)

Companies interested in exporting or expanding their global presence can register for a free event at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions in Tobyhanna Township on Sept. 22.

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance, a nonprofit based in Pittston, will host “Bringing the World to Northeastern Pennsylvania,” an event that gives participants opportunities to meet with 15 international trade representatives covering 52 nations.

“Each year, we bring overseas trade representatives to meet with businesses who want assistance,” said Michael Horvath, senior international business development manager for the organization. “They are there to help Pennsylvania businesses in those markets to sell their goods and services.”

Each company gets a half hour to explain to the trade representative what products their company makes and what they are looking to accomplish on an international level, Horvath said. After that initial meeting, the organization follows up with specific assistance for that company, he said.

“If it’s a new company, they will explain to the trade advisor what they want to accomplish in that market,” Horvath said. “Maybe they are having problems with rules and regulations. The trade advisor will give them advice. After that initial meeting, that’s when we meet with the company to get more specific so they can overcome that barrier to get into that market.”

The trade advisor can also provide an agent search if the business is seeking an agent and also explore the competition and determine if there’s too much competition.

The advisors do not sell for the company or represent the company and most have been with the NEPA program for more than 20 years, Horvath said.

They are consultants in those countries and provide these services free of charge to Pennsylvania businesses through funding from the state Department of Community and Economic Development’s office of International Business Development.

While the event is free, registration is required before the Sept. 14 deadline. Meetings are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Meetings are scheduled 8:30 a.m. to noon. Refreshments and lunch are provided. Participants will also get an individual meeting schedule before the event.

“Our goal is to get more Pennsylvania companies exporting to increase or retain the employees they have working for them,” Horvath said.

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Brian Pedersen

Brian Pedersen

Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4108. Follow him on Twitter @BrianLehigh and read his blog, “Can You Dig It,” at http://www.lvb.com/section/can-you-dig-it.

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