Those seeking economic development opportunities overseas can meet with trade representatives from countries around the world at a Lehigh University event in Bethlehem on Sept. 11.
Lehigh University’s Small Business Development Center will host “Bringing the World to You,” a program that focuses on the global economic outlook and provides opportunities for local companies to schedule one-on-one meetings with Pennsylvania authorized international trade representatives.
The event is at Ben Franklin Tech Ventures on the Mountaintop Campus from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We are focusing on the global economy this year,” said Cora Landis, international trade program director at the SBDC at Lehigh. “Companies will meet with overseas representatives, and there are concurrent workshops with speakers.”
The day begins with a breakfast program with Don Cunningham, president and CEO of Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. speaking about the local economy. Then, from 10 a.m. to noon, participants can meet with trade representatives or choose to attend concurrent workshops with speakers. These workshops include one on “Ethical Issues in International Business Expansion,” another on “Financing your International Business” and another on logistics, “Getting your Products from Here to There,” Landis said.
At noon, Frank Gunter, a Lehigh University economics professor, will present a program on the global economic outlook. After lunch, companies have another opportunity to meet with trade reps.
The follow-through is also helpful for companies, Landis said.
“If they are looking to expand their markets into international markets, our representatives are very good at helping them find distribution, giving them research to help them put together a marketing plan,” Landis said. “We have a lot of experts in the field, and there are a lot of opportunities for companies to go right to the source.”
For companies that have never exported, the program offers a great way to get started, Landis said. Also, she said she has companies that already work with trade representatives but have never met them, so this gives them another opportunity for a face-to-face meeting.
The fee is $50, with a registration deadline of Sept. 5.
For companies that want to meet with trade reps, there is no cost to attend but registration is needed to schedule the meetings.
The cost includes breakfast, lunch and all programs and workshops.
The state Department of Economic & Community Development funds the program.
For information, visit http://www.lehigh.edu/~insbdc/