Automation Alley, Michigan’s largest technology business association, will lead a trade mission to Mexico, Sept. 20-25, 2015, making stops in Mexico City, Puebla, Querétaro and Guanajuato. The deadline to register is Aug. 14, 2015.
“We’re returning to Mexico for the third time because of its popularity with previous trade mission participants and the enormous amount of opportunity we see there for Southeast Michigan businesses,” said Noel Nevshehir, Automation Alley’s director of international business services.
Trade missions allow small and medium-sized businesses in Southeast Michigan to explore opportunities to expand their business overseas. To date, Automation Alley has led 170 local companies on 24 trade missions to locations around the globe, resulting in $472 million in export sales for those companies.
Prior to each trade mission, Automation Alley works with the Michigan Mexico Center to arrange matchmaking meetings for mission participants with potential clients, customers, end users, agent/distributors, join-venture partners, and technology licensees. Participants can expect to meet with two to three companies per day while on the mission.
Participants in Automation Alley’s 2014 trade mission to Mexico had positive things to say about their experience.
“This mission was so productive and stress-free,” said Cheryl Goin, account manager at Vantage Plastics. “It was a wonderful luxury to just show up at the airport and put yourself in their capable hands! I also really appreciated the high quality of the meetings that were arranged for us in Mexico. We met decision makers with a high level of interest in our products.”
Mexico offers a number of advantages for companies looking to expand their business abroad. The country is Michigan’s second-largest market overseas, behind only Canada, with $10.8 billion in exports being shipped to Mexico alone last year. Latin America’s second-largest economy, Mexico has free trade agreements with 44 countries, including the North American Free Trade Agreement, providing U.S. companies with preferential access to an additional one billion consumers, or 60 percent of global gross domestic product.
Mexican industries with a particularly high demand for Michigan-made products, services and technologies include automotive and automotive components; aerospace; design, engineering and advanced manufacturing services; clean-tech and environmental; information technology and information communication technology; and medical.
In addition to matchmaking meetings, mission participants will also attend business receptions and meet with government officials and business leaders, who will share insights into the opportunities and challenges of doing business in Mexico.
The cost to participate is $4,995 for members or $5,595 for non-members. The cost includes international airfare, five-star hotels, transportation, matchmaking meetings, business briefings, welcome receptions and tours.
Participation is limited to 10 companies, and only a few spots remain. Interested companies should ask about the State Trade and Export Program (STEP) to find out if they qualify for funding that can be applied toward the cost of the mission.