Earlier this week two of our WTC Utah team members participated in the SelectUSA Investment Summit in Washington, DC.
The summit is the highest profile event dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States and helps connect global businesses to investment opportunities. FDI is a new part of WTC Utah's responsibilities, and we were thrilled to be part of the summit.
During the summit we met with representatives from several foreign companies and were privileged to meet with some Israeli business owners that have big interests in Utah. Meanwhile, our networking during the reception resulted in great contacts for Gov. Herbert's upcoming trade mission and opportunities to collaborate. As exciting as that is, I think our biggest impact was building the Utah brand. Our attendance at the summit shows Utah is a player on the FDI scene and an important location for foreign businesses to consider expanding.
We hope you will stay connected with us to hear more about our FDI activities via future newsletters, our website and social media.
Going Global: Ardusat Inc.
Many companies grow their sales and services domestically before they look beyond their borders for international opportunities. At Ardusat Inc., it is just the opposite. As an education technology company focused on helping K-12 schools expand their STEM education curriculums, international growth is a top priority. Approximately 97 percent of the schools in Ardusat's market are located outside of the United States.
"We want to pursue international opportunities faster because the global market is much larger than we could ever hope to reach domestically," says CEO and Co-founder Sunny Washington.
Ardusat was launched in 2014 from the Salt Lake City central business district, where it employs seven full-time and two part-time workers. On June 8, the company received one of 13 Export Acceleration Grants from World Trade Center Utah during the Salt Lake County's Metro Solutions event. The grant was made possible thanks to a $200,000 contribution from JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Washington says the grant will help Ardusat offset the costs associated with its current expansion efforts in the Middle East, and in Dubai specifically. She notes that schools in the Middle East are deeply interested in space technology, which is one of Ardusat's product areas. The company has a partner in the Bay area that launches satellites and through Ardusat's space tech curriculum, students can leverage those satellite launches to perform experiments and obtain hands-on experience in science and space technology.
"We provide ground-breaking, collaborative tools and support that are natural fits for the classroom, but the educational experiences go far beyond what happens in the classroom," Washington continues." We've taken STEM education to space and we think it can go even further."
She says the Ardusat curriculum is exciting for students and easy for teachers to integrate into their classrooms. Best of all, it extends studies of scientific methods and processes beyond classroom studies and into real-world experiences that connect process and discovery.
Approximately 220 U.S. schools have brought Ardusat's curriculum into their classrooms, however, Washington says schools in the international marketplace are embracing technology more quickly than domestic schools, hence the company's interest in growing its global market. In addition to the Middle East, Ardusat is looking to expand into China, Singapore and Hong Kong. The company has employed in-country partners within its target international markets and relies on those relationships to help the company grow its global presence.
For more information about Ardusat Inc. visit ardusat.com or call 801-871-5516.
Weber County International Business Forum
Learn how to grow your business in a global economy during the Weber County International Business Forum on Monday, July 10 at the Ogden Eccles Conference Center.
You'll join leaders from World Trade Center Utah, the City of Ogden, Weber County, Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce and the Weber Economic Development Partnership for an insightful discussion on how international business, especially exporting, can open new opportunities for your company.
The free event runs from 12-2 p.m. and will bring together business leaders from throughout Weber County in a fantastic venue to network with industry experts and learn the essentials of exporting. The forum features keynote remarks by WTC Utah President and CEO Derek Miller and a panel comprised of business owners.
Registration is required.
Register for the Governor-led Trade Mission to Singapore and Vietnam
World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah) is accepting applications for Gov. Gary Herbert's trade mission to Singapore and Vietnam, which takes place Aug. 25 through Sept. 3. Any company considering expanding into Asia should attend.
Trade missions put Utah companies in front of potential partners and customers, which establishes trust and leads to increased opportunities. Having Gov. Herbert lead the Singapore and Vietnam trade mission will open doors to companies traveling to support their international efforts.
Registration must be submitted by July 11, at which time a non-refundable $500 deposit is also due. The registration form can be found at www.wtcutah.com.
Why You Should Attend
Vietnam and Singapore are prime markets for companies looking to export their products to Asia. Vietnam is expected to have the second strongest average GDP growth between now and 2050, exceeding 5 percent a year on average. Both countries have a growing middle class and are recognized for their ease of doing business. Household spending in Singapore is projected to increase 11 percent by 2018.
Trade mission participants will experience market-specific briefings by in-country experts and the U.S. Commercial Service; pre-arranged and customized business-to-business meetings through the U.S. Commercial Service's Gold Key Matchmaking Service; site visits; and VIP networking receptions for business leaders and elected officials.
Toolbox: Identify Resources
Tool Tip #2.3: Private Sector Services
Earlier this year, World Trade Center Utah launched its "10 Tips to Help you Think, Act and Succeed Globally." Since the launch, we have featured corresponding articles in the export toolbox section of our newsletter. We are pleased to revisit these "10 Tips" and dig deeper into topics that will be important as you pursue international business opportunities.
Our second tip, "Identify Resources," informed you of the tools available to help you expand internationally. This article highlights the smorgasbord of private sector services that are offered in Utah to support your exporting efforts.
Private Sector Services
In order to connect with customers in foreign countries you will need to communicate in their language. However, this does not mean that you will have to hire a full-time native speaker, as there are many local third-party services that you can employ.
One example of a local company with these services is the U.S. Translation Company. Not only does this company provide translation services and interpreter solutions, but it also provides voice-over-services for your foreign marketing media.
In order to legally protect the intellectual property of your product/brand, you will need to complete the correct legal procedures in the country of interest. It is wise to hire a legal representative to help you with these details.
One local example of an international servicing law firm is Ballard Spahr, which provides international services for intellectual property, taxes, licensing and more.
Does your product comply with the standards and regulations of your target market?
Depending on the regulations of the foreign market you want to enter, you might need a third-party to perform certification tests on your product. Here in Utah, we have multiple certifying agencies that can certify your product's compliance with foreign requirements.
Shipping and Distribution
Once you have an idea of what country(ies) to sell to, you will need to find out how much shipping will cost, how long shipping will take, where products will be stored and how they will be delivered. Utah has many excellent logistics companies and services to choose from that can service all of these needs and more.
Specific taxes and duties exist for each product imported into a country. You will need to find out which ones are applicable to your product, how they are calculated and when they are due.
A company in Utah that provides strategic counsel on international taxes is Deloitte. They have international tax professionals that can counsel you on the best strategy for efficiently getting your product across borders and through customs.
International Transactions and Financing
In order to complete international transactions with foreign buyers, you will need a bank with international capabilities. Banks with international services can help you with letters of credit, international open accounts, foreign currency risk management, SBA export loans, etc.
Utah is lucky to have various international servicing banks such as Zions Bank, Wells Fargo, KeyBank, and JP Morgan Chase.
Foreign Online Presence
If you wish to establish an online presence in your target market, you will need to consider site language translation, site localization, currency exchange calculation, shipping calculation, etc. Utah is home to many companies that have international e-commerce experience.
International Market and Advertising
To effectively market your product internationally, you must be aware of culture and customs within the country. With products that are consumer focused, it is wise to get expert advice so that you do not make costly mistakes.
Here in Utah, we have multiple companies that are specialized in specific regions and cultures so that they can market your product in an appealing way to your foreign customers.