Utah businesses interested in expanding their global sales got some help Monday at an International Trade Summit at the Marriott in downtown Salt Lake City. The conference - hosted by the Governors Office of Economic Development - gave local business people a chance to meet the state’s Foreign Trade Representatives. Ariel Briggs is Coordinator for the State Trade and Export Promotion Program.
“We’ve seen a lot of good results to our economy as a result of exporting, so we wanted to provide those benefits to the companies that are maybe not sure yet how to export - or if they really want to be there,” said Briggs, “We want to help them build that confidence by bringing in our trade reps and giving them the expertise that would help them go out and sell.”
At the registration tables, a man in sneakers, jeans and a baseball cap stands out from the crowd of suits. Turns out, Rich Eggett is President of Rockwell Watches - a Utah company looking to expand its reach internationally.
“We’ve had a lot of people contact us from other countries, even within the first year of starting, and we just didn’t know the correct steps and how to do it, and so we’ve always put it off,” said Eggett, “This is really good for us, kind of like a mentor walking you along on how to do it.”
Rockwell Watches recently participated in a trade mission to Mexico and landed a sale there. They’ve launched Rockwell Europe, and now they have their eye on Brazil and the Middle East. They’re here hoping to make connections with trade reps. Organizers say the trade reps can help guide businesses to find the best markets for their products. Maria Ester Laso is a state trade representative based in Chile.
“The main market between Chile and Utah it’s mining - mining equipment, mining technology, and what we really need from Utah is help in the energy production,” said Laso, “We’re lacking in that. So we’re expecting to have a lot of investment in that area.”
Conference organizers from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development say they’re focused on expanding exports in energy, agriculture, services, software and IT.