Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Press Release

Connect with export partners in South Korea via WEDC’s virtual trade venture

Companies that join the Wisconsin delegation for the virtual Global Trade Venture will receive personalized market insights and matchmaking

By - Jul 28th, 2020 08:32 am

MADISON, WI. July 28, 2020—To help Wisconsin companies continue to grow their exports even while international travel is limited, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is organizing a virtual Global Trade Venture that will connect Wisconsin exporters with potential buyers, distributors and other partners in South Korea.

The virtual Global Trade Venture to South Korea will consist of online meetings taking place from Nov. 2 to Dec. 4, 2020. This is the second virtual Global Trade Venture organized by WEDC; the first one, connecting Wisconsin companies with potential partners in Germany, is taking place in late September and early October.

Registration for the South Korea virtual trade venture is open now through Sept. 18. Interested companies are encouraged to register early so Wisconsin’s trade office in South Korea has plenty of time to research potential partners and set up meetings.

“Face-to-face meetings are typically essential for making connections in a new market,” said Katy Sinnott, WEDC vice president of international business development. “One day, they will be again, but for now we can take these meetings online so Wisconsin companies can continue to forge new relationships in overseas markets and bring their innovative products to the world.”

Learn more about the virtual Global Trade Venture to South Korea and find registration details at wedc.org/southkorea20.

As with all WEDC Global Trade Ventures, Wisconsin’s in-market trade representative will conduct a market assessment for each participating company. This research, conducted on a custom basis for each company, highlights market conditions and information on competitors, as well as identifying potential distributors, end users and customers for the company’s specific offerings. This customized matchmaking is one of the main benefits of joining a Global Trade Venture with WEDC. Participating companies benefit from the expertise of Wisconsin’s authorized trade representatives, who understand the market and already have connections within it.

In lieu of the office visits and plant tours that would normally be part of a Global Trade Venture, WEDC will arrange online meetings with senior decision-makers, and will also handle the technology and scheduling so participants can focus on their customers’ needs and interests. WEDC will arrange for interpreters with industry knowledge if they are needed, and will help Wisconsin business participants prepare for their meetings with tips on how best to appeal to South Korean customers and convey their value proposition. A country briefing offered at the beginning of the program will go over elements of South Korea’s culture and business environment, expectations and strategies for success.

Typically, WEDC’s Global Trade Ventures are limited to one or two cities to minimize the time spent on travel. The virtual format allows for expanding the scope of the trade venture to be countrywide, so Wisconsin companies can meet with partners located anywhere in South Korea.

Another benefit of the virtual format is significantly reduced price. The cost of an in-person Global Trade Venture is often well into the thousands, taking into account airfare, lodging and meals. The participant fee for the virtual Global Trade Venture to South Korea is just $500.

The virtual format offers one more benefit: Participants won’t be required to be away from the office for a full work week. Because of the time zone difference, most meetings with South Korean counterparts will be scheduled in the evening Wisconsin time, leaving the rest of the day free. Instead of the typical duration of a trade venture (10-14 days), meetings with pre-screened and well-qualified potential partners in the market will be spread across five weeks to enable easier scheduling given the limited time window for meetings each day, making the meeting schedule lighter on any given day.

South Korea is a sophisticated market with a taste for high-quality, differentiated products and commodities. It is the world’s 12th-largest economy and was Wisconsin’s #8 export destination in 2019. Top categories of exports from Wisconsin to South Korea in 2019 were industrial machinery (19%), medical and scientific instruments (14%), meat products (11%), electrical machinery (6%) and pharmaceuticals (5%). Wisconsin companies in any sector with prior exporting experience are encouraged to participate, but especially companies in the biohealth, advanced manufacturing, and food and beverage sectors due to demand and trends in the market.

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