MDA Leading Business Trip to Canada

Jackson, Miss. (August 9, 2013) – The Mississippi Development Authority will lead a business development mission to Toronto, Canada from Sept. 30 – Oct. 2, 2013. Mississippi business representatives are invited to participate in the trip, which will provide business-to-business matchmaking opportunities for Mississippi companies interested in expanding trade and creating business relationships in the Canadian market.
“Toronto is a great place for Mississippi companies to begin exporting to or increase trade if they are already selling in Canadian markets,” said Vickie Martin, MDA’s Canadian trade specialist. “A high percentage of U.S. products are not subject to tariffs due to the North American Free Trade Agreement in place with Canada. Also, Canada boasts a supportive, favorable business climate and Canadian consumers are very interested in U.S. products.”
Canada is one of Mississippi’s top export markets. In 2012, Mississippi businesses exported almost $2 billion worth of products and services to Canada, an increase of more than 11 percent over 2011 exports.
Qualified participating small businesses are offered financial incentives through the U.S. Small Business Administration-funded Mississippi State Trade Export Promotion program to help offset certain costs related to the trip. The STEP program reimburses eligible businesses up to 50 percent of their travel costs, including airfare and lodging, and provides translation services at no cost. Additional services include scheduled appointments with prospective, qualified buyers, local transportation assistance and a customized itinerary.
MDA also works through existing contacts in Canada to help qualify potential buyers, distributors and business representatives prior to meeting with members of the Mississippi delegation.
“We work with Mississippi businesses throughout all phases of the trip to help them best capitalize on any business opportunities that come about as a result of the trade mission,” said Skip Scaggs, director of MDA’s Existing Industry and Business Division. “This is a very cost-effective way for Mississippi businesses interested in expanding trade into Canada.”
Space is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis, and early registration is recommended. The deadline to register is Aug. 26, 2013. For more information or to obtain a registration form, please contact Vickie Martin at 601.359.2070 or vwatters@mississippi.org. Interested parties can also visit mississippi.org to learn more about the agency’s international marketing services and events or to request a consultation with an international trade specialist.

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