LANSING, Mich. – Business leaders from seven Michigan companies will travel to Brazil and Colombia on Sunday to meet with prospective partners, distributors and customers to increase export opportunities in these markets.
The trade mission, taking place March 24-29, is being coordinated by the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers (GSGP) in partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s International Trade Program.MEDC’s International Trade Program is committed to increasing Michigan’s exporting opportunities by helping businesses identify and enter key emerging foreign markets. Since its inception in 2012, the International Trade Program at the MEDC has worked with Michigan companies to support more than $2.6 billion in export sales and 12,389 jobs across the state.
“Michigan’s ties with Brazilian and Colombian companies have resulted in good jobs here and we look forward to further strengthening these relationships,” said MEDC Chief Executive Officer Jeff Mason. “This South American trade mission will open doors for these companies by helping them identify and enter into new relationships, ultimately growing their businesses and bringing additional jobs to Michigan residents.”
The participating Michigan companies will receive a customized schedule of business-to-business meetings to meet with prospective customers and business partners. Matchmaking meetings in Brazil were arranged by the Michigan Brazil Center, while Colombia meetings were arranged by the GSGP Affiliate Center in South America. Mission participants will also benefit from networking events and logistical support.
- Challenger Communications, LLC (Albion) – Manufacturer of world-class antenna systems and mounts. Builds antennas ranging from 1.0-meter quick-deploy models, to 12-meter earth stations. Designs and manufactures trailers for systems that require mobility.
- Littlite LLC (Whitmore Lake) – Manufacturer of high-quality USA made gooseneck task lights using sturdy metal components in critical areas that provide solutions for the most challenging lighting problems.
- Supply Chain Solutions (Grand Rapids) – Provider of supply chain management and improvement that manages all aspects of supply chain and implements effective supply chain improvements quickly and affordably.
- Thunderbird Aviation, LLC (Harrison Twp.) – Manufacturer and distributor of airplanes available in a variety of packages, ranging from sub-kits to fully assembled aircrafts.
- Corrigan Air and Sea Cargo (Romulus) – Provider of turnkey supply chain management services and solutions with the resources and expertise to handle projects of any scope.
- eVitamins (Utica) – Online retailer of health and beauty products including vitamins, supplements, herbs, skin care and more. eVitamins has shipped millions of orders to more than 90 countries worldwide. eVitamins carries more than 28,000 products from 720+ different manufacturers.
- RightAnswer.com (Midland) – Develops and manages databases and software that are reliable data solutions and cost-effective document support for Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) requirements.
This trade mission is the third MEDC-sponsored event in which RightAnswer.com has participated.
“As a small Michigan-based business, RightAnswer.com has benefitted significantly from participation in three recent international trade missions sponsored by MEDC/GSGP. This upcoming trade mission to Brazil and Colombia is another wonderful opportunity for our company to expand our business internationally in ways that we would not otherwise be able to do effectively,” said RightAnswer.com Corporate Business Development Manager Glen Markham. “These trade missions are helping our company to penetrate markets in new countries and to establish and fortify distribution channels for our information technology services. These new opportunities bring excitement for our company’s future growth.”
Export sales facilitated by the MEDC International Trade program in fiscal year 2018 were more than $7.3 million to Brazil and more than $3.7 million to Colombia. Total exports from Michigan to Brazil in 2018 exceeded $1 billion and total exports from Michigan to Colombia the same year were more than $131 million.
The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers unites the chief executives from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Québec and Wisconsin. The governors and premiers work as equal partners to grow the region’s $6 trillion economy and protect the world’s largest system of surface fresh water.
Export sales facilitated by the MEDC International Trade program totaled more than $641 million in fiscal year 2018, surpassing the goal of $630 million. This puts the International Trade program-to-date total facilitated export sales at $2.5 billion. Top reported countries for export sales include Canada, Mexico, China and the United Kingdom.