Importers and exporters find many benefits in Virginia

By: | at 08:00 PM | Channel(s): International Trade  Ports & Terminals  

By Karen E. Thuermer, AJOTVirginia is ranked America’s Top State for Business by CNBC in 2011! On top of that, Virginia is also ranked tops of any state east of the Mississippi in the American Legislative Exchange Council’s economic competitiveness ranking of the states.
While such ranking offer positive publicity to Virginia, they also add to the Commonwealth’s arsenal as to why Virginia is a good place for international business activities.
While pressure heats up amongst East Coast seaports to attract business during this down economy and foster growth once the widening of Panama Canal takes place in 2014, executives at both the Virginia Port Authority (VPA) and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) remain scattered around the globe selling access to Virginia via its seaport.
VEDP has identified the top hot markets for Virginia exporters and will lead Group Market Visits to those countries in the coming year. Beginning in Fall 2011, VEDP will travel to Costa Rica, Canada (Montreal and Toronto) and Southeast Asia (Vietnam and Singapore).
Other key markets are India, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, China, South Africa, Brazil, as well as the Farnborough Airshow in 2012 in England.
VEDP is also arranging trips for several companies to travel together to meet face-to-face with prospects. Potential buyers or distributors are pre-qualified, based on information provided to meet export market objectives.
Meanwhile, VEDP recently opened a new marketing office in Shanghai, with India soon to follow.
The VEDP also has 45 international in-country consultants to support Virginia’s exporters. They provide in-country market research; identify potential distributors and are able to match-make on your behalf with potential distributors and clients
VEDP Programs
Numerous companies involved in international trade in Virginia have benefited from VEDP programs. One program, called Virginia Leaders in Export Trade, or VALET, assists exporters in Virginia who have firmly established domestic operations and are committed to international exporting as an expansion strategy. Participating firms are chosen based on their dedication to growth through export.
The program provides participating companies assistance from a team of experienced international service providers to help them meet their international goals. Private sector service providers such as attorneys, Web designers, bankers, translators and freight forwarders contribute essential expertise for expansion into international markets.
“The VALET program accelerates the development of international business by connecting companies with the practical tools needed for successful export sales,” says Paul Grossman, VEDP Director of International Trade and Investment.”
Given proven results as indicated by VALET’s graduates, the Commonwealth plans to expand its work with more Virginia companies. New participants in the VALET program will have access to $15,000 in reimbursement funds from the Commonwealth.
As of July 2011, the VALET program, which was launched in January 2002, had 108 graduates.
Mediatech, Inc., based in Manassas, VA, benefited from its participation in VALET and relationship with VEDP.
Recently, the company was searching for ways to handle the increasing number of international inquiries while maintaining a competitive price point. To do so, the company employed a strategy of revamping shipping methods to reduce costs.
The strategy was important since Mediatech manufactures and supplies cell culture and molecular biology reagents to academic and government research facilities as well as biotechnology companies. Their diverse product portfolio includes cell culture media, basal salt solutions, antibiotics, sera, specialty media and flexible packaging systems.
Additionally, Mediatech provides custom manufacture media and other sterile solutions for a number of uses. These products and services are provided by Mediatech, Inc. under the cellgro® brand name. The inte

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American Journal of Transportation