By Catherine Doss
Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 33 - June 18, 1998
Argentina, Brazil, and Chile are some of Virginia's fastest-growing export markets. Sales of Virginia products to Brazil have increased almost 400 percent since 1993 to more than $407 million. During the same time, sales to Argentina and Chile have doubled to $85 million and $58 million respectively.
Armed with this information, a group of local businesses gathered recently at Virginia Tech's Donaldson Brown Hotel and Conference Center to learn more about export opportunities in these three countries. The "Contacts to Contracts" event was a video-conference briefing by U.S. Department of Commerce commercial staff members stationed in Latin America.
The event, which was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Appalachian Regional Commission, was broadcast to more than 50 sites nation wide. The U.S. Department of Commerce Export Assistance Center in Richmond and Virginia Tech's Division of Continuing Education and Public Service Programs hosted the local downlink.
Participants learned about export opportunities and where to go for assistance in selling to Latin America. They were also warned about the need to have material in Spanish, convert to metric, and prepare for the high import costs of Brazil to be successful.
"Locally, exports from the Roanoke metropolitan area to Brazil have increased 150 percent in the past five years to more than $5 million," said Chad Miller, international-trade specialist with Virginia Tech's Public Service Programs. "Top-selling products to Latin America from Virginia are electronic equipment, industrial machinery, primary metals, chemicals, and tobacco products."
For more information about export opportunities or upcoming programs on international trade, contact Miller at 1-08324.